TAG: positivity

The Mindset of Today’s Music Entrepreneur:  The 4 Elements of Success

What’s the starting point for creating a successful career in today’s music world? To me, it’s having the mindset of success. I define mindset as your attitude and how you perceive the world based on your experiences:  how you feel about your ability to translate your musical talent into a successful career as opposed to the FACT of what instrument …

The Elements of Career Success: 6 Steps towards Fulfillment

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What are the common elements in creating a successful and fulfilling career? This question is at the heart of my work with professional musicians and arts leaders, as well as creative business professionals—in short, anyone who is committed to incorporating her passions into her work. Here are the 6 steps to creating a career that is not only fulfilling but …

The Mindset of Success: Four Pillars for Today’s Music Entrepreneurs

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Note: A longer version of this post appeared in I CARE IF YOU LISTEN. It is a fascinating, challenging time to be a musician. Traditional institutions struggle to remain relevant as new technologies and new ways of performing, disseminating music and interacting with audiences are changing our very world. A new model and more entrepreneurial model of success is emerging. What …

Managing Multiple Passions: Taking Charge of Your Life and Living at Choice

One of the hallmarks of creative success is having a positive can-do mindset and feeling great about the choices that you make because this makes you feel in charge of your life.  This can be quite a challenge for those with multiple passions. I recently explored the challenges of having multiple passions and how to push through the fears that often paralyze those who love a lot of different things and are afraid to make the “wrong” decision. 

There is another big challenge in managing multiple passions: deciding which one to focus on.  When you love a lot of different things, it is tempting to want to do everything.  However, that is simply not realistic. In my experience, people who do “everything” wind up defaulting on their commitments, jeopardizing their relationships, feeling overwhelmed and often harming their health.  And yet, if we love doing a lot of different things, we might land up feeling resentful if we have to put off doing something we love.

Managing multiple passions is a function of choosing the activities that advance your goals and make you feel great about your decisions.  So here are a few strategies that can help you to focus your efforts and manage those passions!

My Brilliant Career: Messages to Inspire Today’s Musicians

The June 3, 2012 New York Times Sunday Review section featured a series of essays from 5 prominent people in different fields entitled “My Brilliant Career” reflecting on the “crooked paths to success”.

I was delighted to see that music figured prominently in this round-up since the writers included the brilliant composer and my colleague at the Yale School of Music, David Lang and pop record label president Jonathan Poneman, as well as politician Olympia Snow, the novelist Hilary Mantel, physicist and polymath Leonard Mlodinow.

The article, aimed at college graduates, shows us that the path to success is often a series of odd jobs and bizarre circumstances.  Moreover,  there are a number of themes that resonate powerfully for the creative people with whom I work.

Let’s take a cl0ser look.

Speaking About Music: How to Be Confident and Powerful

If you happened to wander by my classroom at Yale recently, you would have seen and heard my students and their professor (that would be me!) moving their arms, doing knee bends, rolling their lip, singing scales to the tune of “mi mi mi” and reciting tongue twisters under the tutelage of Professor Brian Lewis who came to my class to help us learn more about public speaking and overcome “glossophobia”(the fear of public speaking).

In fact, in some surveys, fear of public speaking is the number one common phobia, ranking even higher than the fear of death!  So Professor Lewis was there to give us some valuable tips on how to get comfortable with public speaking since he adn I both believe that this is an essential skill for today’s musicians.  Here is a summary of his remarks, together with my own observations on how to speak in public with power and confidence. 

Two Confidence-Boosting Tools for Music Entrepreneurs: Strengths and Flow

One of the goals of my entrepreneurship class at the Yale School of Music is to help my students develop a mindset of positivity and project confidence since this is at the heart of being a successful entrepreneur. My students have learned two great tools for boosting their confidence—strengths and Flow.  These are more than “feel-good props”.  Both originate from positive psychology, the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive and whose mission includes “find[ing]and nurture[ing] genius and talent”.

What’s not to like?

So here is how strengths and Flow can help you to become confident in your professional and your personal endeavors.

What’s Working for Music Entrepreneurs?: The Power of Living at Choice

Spring Break is here.  My students are on overload.  They have been performing a lot, as well as auditioning for DMA programs, summer festivals and orchestra jobs, interviewing for internships and jobs on top of all their schoolwork.  We began our last class before Spring Break with a check-in on what’s working.

What’s working is a great question because you focus on the positive aspects of your life.  It is another way to change your perceptions and use the forces of positive energy to motivate you.

Here’s the way it works:

1.    First you identify what is working in your life.

2.  Then you figure out what about it works, analyzing the steps you took to create your success.

3.  Finally, you apply your methodology to areas of your life that are not working as well so that you can overcome your challenges.

Let’s take a look at what is working from my class.

 

Financial Freedom for Music Entrepreneurs Part I: How To Overcome Your Fears and Become Financially Literate

Let’s start off the New Year with a topic that sends shivers down the spires of many musicians:  your finances.
What’s the first thing that you think of when you think “money”? 

“Dread.”

“I don’t want to think about it.”

“I don’t know where to begin.”

Your attitude about money says a lot about how you make, spend and save your money.  By using a combination of the positive mindset of an entrepreneur combined with knowledge of basic skills, you can start to conquer your fears around money and begin to forge a healthy relationship with making and spending money, with the goal of achieving financial freedom.

How do you feel about making money as a musician?  Start out by taking the Financial Freedom Quiz. 

How to Develop the Mindset of a Music Entrepreneur: 5 Tips on Positivity

I was quite taken with a recent blog post in Music Career Juice on how musicians should not look to businesses as a model for how to operate but instead to aspire to be expressive energy grids – generating, transforming and distributing energy continually.  Since I teach musicians how to create career success, this got me thinking more about the kind of energy that one brings to a situation in order to be successful.

We have all heard about “negative” and “positive” energy.  Think of what it is like to be surrounded by a group of people who complain and bemoan the state of the world, which we hear a lot of these days in the world of the arts:  orchestras like Philadelphia declaring bankruptcy, fewer spots available in orchestras, the weak economy.  I could go on but I don’t want to add to the doom and gloom!  That’s what negative energy can do-bring you down.  And because energy is transferred, if enough people in the room are spinning out negativity, it tends to drag down others.
Let’s look at another scenario: