Financial Freedom for Music Entrepreneurs Part II: Abundance and Career Success

Your attitude about money says a lot about how you make, spend and save your money.   How do you feel about your money?A lot of people have fears around how to manage their money which can hold them back from taking the first steps towards financial freedom. ((Take the Financial Freedom Quiz-Part I,  to assess your attitudes and learn more …

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. 

Top 10 Tips for Music Entrepreneurs: How to Create Sustainable Career Success

With the year coming to a close, it is time for top 10 lists.  My contribution to the field is a top 10 list for Music Entrepreneurs on how to create career success.  This list reflects my belief that successful music entrepreneurs align who they are with what they do  .

The short answer is be authentic, be unique, and master the skills that will enable you to create big dreams and make them happen. Not surprisingly, this list reflects the topics that I will be covering in my class next semester at YSM on Creating Sustainable Careers in the Arts.

Here are my top 10 tips for musicians who are committed to creating and sustaining authentic success:

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:

Using Your Brand to Write Your Professional Bio: Top Tips to Help You Stand Out

One of the great things about having a brand is that it can be used in so many ways.  A brand is fundamentally a marketing tool that connects the best of you with your ideal audience.  Your brand has a practical application as follows: Logo and tag line Website Promotional Materials Career Materials, including a professional bio, resume and CV. …

Personal Branding for Musicians: How What I Do Makes Me Unique and Memorable

I have been doing a lot of work with students these days around branding and the results have been fascinating! 

First, I worked with the Choral Conducting students at the Yale School of Music to teach them the basics of branding and how to use a brand statement to write a professional bio.  Then I was at Juilliard to help the students create a brand statement that we then converted into an elevator speech. 

A lot of the focus of these classes is to help students discover how they are unique so that they can best present themselves to the audiences that will hire them. One of the best ways to do this is by looking at what you do besides music and figuring out what that says about you.  But first, some basics.

Finding Passion in Your Life’s Work: Do What You Love

One of the reasons that I love working with musicians is that they chose to do what they do because of a deep sense of commitment and passion to the field.  Otherwise, why would they spend some much time practicing and honing their craft in a competitive and challenging field?

It is one thing to be in love with your art.  Yet many musicians have trouble taking the next step to figuring out how to  translate that passion into a  successful and sustainable career.

Where do you start?

Thoughts on Ben Zander’s TED Talk on Music and Passion (Leadership and Possibility)

I am in the process of finalizing the reading list for my course next semester at the Yale School of Music on “Creating Sustainable Careers in the Arts” and am including Ben Zander’s TED Talk on Music and Passion. TED Talks originated from a conference with the world’s thought leaders in Technology, Entertainment and Design around the theme of “ideas worth spreading”.  The talks have broadened in scope to include inspirations voices that anyone can access for free online on the ted.com website. I have chosen this particular talk because not only it is an inspiration for today’s conservatory students to hear one of the world’s great proponents of classical music but also because it contains some powerful leadership lessons that transcend music and apply to all areas of life.

Career Transitions Part 3: “I’m Exploring”–The power of testing options to discover your new career path

I work with a lot of musicians and creative professionals who feel stuck and trapped in their current roles. This feeling of being stuck can be stressful and debilitating, especially if you think that there is something “perfect” out there if only you could figure out what “it” is. This is a classic case of the first phase of career transitions that I previously wrote about called “I’m done“:  what happens when your dream dies or your job comes to an end.

The good news is that if you spend some time “reflecting” on who you are at your core– the next phase of transition where you do the personal development work that you need to do in order to set yourself up for a successful transition–you will be in a much better position to move on.