Horn Player and Manhattan School of Music Student
"[Career Planning for Music Entrepreneurs] was a fantastic workshop. In many ways, I wish that the topics covered in your seminar were part of the core curriculum for conservatory training. For musicians, self-esteem is closely related to artistic success which is in turn deeply intertwined with successful artistic endeavors. Goal-setting strategies, project planning, asking the key questions which help to unlock hidden information--- these are the skills necessary for building a platform of success.
I thought your seminar was a fresh look at how artists, and specifically musicians can do this. I was particularly interested how you were able to blend aspects of the disciplined-black-and-white corporate world with the artistic needs of musicians. Your advice was direct and pertinent, without being harsh and cold. It created a sense of possibility and enablement, which surprisingly started an ebb and flow of ideas in my mind, even while you were speaking. I was compelled to start jotting down ideas as the seminar was going on.
I look forward to working with you in the future, this is exactly the kind of devil's advocate, brain-picking, and support I need to see my upcoming projects into reality."
— John-Morgan B, New York, NY
legal analyst at major nyc financial institution
Where can I even begin to describe how much Astrid has helped me. I met her when I was beginning my final semester of college. I was unsure of what I wanted out of the next few years; she talked me through each thought I had until I knew exactly what I wanted. I was unsure of how to get what I wanted; she talked me through how to best present myself to potential employers and prepped me for every question I might be asked. Because of my sessions with Astrid, I was able to walk into every interview prepared and confident.
By providing a calming, judgment-free environment for me to reflect on what my hopes and dreams were, Astrid allowed me to focus on my future in a way I had not been able to before. It wasn’t always easy but she stuck with me until I knew exactly what I wanted for my future: two years from now, five years from now, ten years from now, and twenty years from now. My goals may very well change, but because of the skills I have learned from Astrid I know I will be able to apply myself to recognize what I want and go after it.
Not only was she so instrumental in helping me discover a career path that worked for me, I left every meeting with her feeling more in control and more hopeful about my future; in short feeling much happier. Astrid is a wonderful woman and every one she works with is the better for it – I know I am.
— Kate K., New York, NY
Astrid has turned around the way I look at my career in the most extraordinary way. I used to think that the professional part of what I do was very separate from the creative and deeply personal aspects of being a composer. Going after professional opportunities to get my music out there felt to me like a very daunting task--one that I found a little distasteful because it felt like "selling myself." Astrid really helped me realize that building a career has to come from the most genuine part of myself--in the same way as building a piece. With this understanding, the professional world looks much less scary to me now, and I'm able to reach out to my professional network with the courage of my conviction, and with the kind of personal investment and care that makes professional experiences deeply meaningful. Career building is about believing in what you do, and its validity; it is about communication and courage. It only works if it feels true to who you are.
With her supportive and positive attitude combined with her incredible sensitivity and intelligence, Astrid has created for me a wonderful safe space to discover how I want to develop my goals from the inside out. I have found in her a true kindred spirit as well as a powerful ally and coach.
—Hannah L,. New York, NY
I chose to work with Astrid because of her background in both the arts and business worlds. After our consultation meeting, it became clear to me that she works with her clients to help them achieve success that rings true for each individual, and doesn't just follow the same formula with everyone. She is also a terrific listener and very easy to talk to. There was nothing about the coaching process with Astrid that felt fake or empty -- we got down to nuts and bolts, and took a good look at the motivations behind my current habits as a means of changing those habits when necessary. As a result of working with her, I have reached a new level of balance in my life, and I have more confidence than before about my business decisions. Though it wasn't my main goal going into coaching, I also have found I am doing better financially than in the past. I am now able to approach new situations and apply what I discovered with Astrid, so the benefits of coaching with her have extended beyond the time we were actively working together. It was an invaluable experience.
— Christina J., Publicist, New York, NY
I met Astrid as part of Piano Sonoma last year as I play classical piano and she opened her home up to a presentation of the week long event. She was encouraging of me to participate even though I had just been widowed a year ago and going to California with a group of strangers to study and perform was a little out of my comfort zone. I decided to do it and enjoyed her company and outstanding playing during that week.
When I returned I seemed at sea as regards my career path. My husband's death made me question my path as an independent rabbi which I had been practicing for 3 years after a 30 year business career. I reached out to Astrid and decided to work with her as my coach. She brought her own honest personal experiences as well as a wealth of experience in the world of business. She also started with my emotional state and built on feelings of positivity. Her approach was unique, refreshing and most valuable to me. After three months I felt i had the clarity to continue with my spiritual occupation but only after exploring it and my talents with Astrid.
How lucky I was to have found her and work through my issues with her.
— Gloria M., independent Rabbi, New York, NY
What does it take to find that fulfilling path, the spark that causes you to leap out of bed in the morning because you can’t wait to get started, the impulse that screams, ”This is important!”?
This is what Steve Jobs was talking about when he urged the Stanford graduates to follow their passions and not worry about how things come together because at some point you will connect the dots.
While many long for this eureka moment, it is often the result of a lot of reflection, inner work and experimentation. In other words, it is a process that involves a lot of moving parts:
One of my clients with whom I have worked for some time has just had the experience of connecting her dots so let me share her process.
This young woman--let’s call her Nicole-- came to me because she was not satisfied with her career as a lawyer. Nicole is enormously creative. As a child, she loved to write and make clothes. In college, she was involved in the theater as a costume designer, made a movie and poured herself into literature. She thought about pursuing a graduate degree in writing but was too intimidated by the thought of having to write the great American novel so instead she landed up in law school. Because she was so brilliant, she got a job with a prestigious law firm but the hours were grueling and she was not interested in the subject matter. She transitioned from a law firm job to a government job where her schedule was a lot better but it still did not provide her with a meaningful, fulfilling career.
Through our work, she considered other possibilities like starting a clothing business or perhaps teaching but nothing seemed to click. She was also concerned about how to make a living from her creative pursuits. She resolved to get another law job as an interim step before heading off in the direction of a creative career.
Meanwhile, Nicole continued to write and journal and make clothes, all the while pondering what to do. About a year ago, she began thinking about writing a costume drama. The idea stayed with her, and she was not sure what to do about it. Then a friend told her that someone was going to write the American version of “Downton Abbey”. Her immediate reaction was one of anger! She felt that Downton Abbey was based on a lot of other source material and that she was perfectly capable to coming up with something similar, if not better!
Coincidentally at work, she was engaged in a big research project at work. This reminded her that she knew how to research from her job as a lawyer and had done so in college when preparing costumes for theatrical productions.
The more she thought about it, the more she realized that writing costume dramas—whether as TV or movie screen plays, novels or stories—combined all of her interests, strengths and skills. It also aligned with her values around aesthetics, autonomy and fun plus her ideal lifestyle of working from home and collaborating with others on creative projects.
One other factor loomed large: through our work, she learned that career transitions take time. I told her of my own transition whereby I went from life coaching to teaching at Yale in the space of 3 years. And the book Working Identity by business school professor Herminia Ibarra, documented the results of many career transitions where the process took a good 3 years or so for people to leave one career and successfully morph into a new area. Nicole realized that by starting something new now, she could get to where she wanted to be in just 3 years.
It took a trip out of the country this spring for it all to come together. She was sitting on the beach, looking out at the beautiful scenery when she realized that there was nothing stopping her from writing something. She also realized that she did not have to quit her job and worry about making money from the endeavor—all she had to do was try it. It felt amazing!
Armed with this realization, she has reframed her job description: instead of “lawyer”, she now thinks herself as a “writer” for in fact, in her day job as a lawyer, she does a lot of writing. And the idea of writing a costume drama has indeed gotten her out of bed in the morning and she writes before going to work. She is still not sure what form this will take but she is thrilled with the possibility of what may be.
So the moral of this story is as follows: