TAG: goals

Creative Success Now: Overcome the Creativity Killers

It has been a busy summer for me! I finished up my book, Creative Success Now, which will be published in a few weeks.  I traveled, did some fun guest teaching and performed at my annual piano retreat in California,  pianoSonoma. It was here that I learned a valuable lesson in what to do when your creative pursuits butt heads with …

How to Jumpstart Your Creative Success: Take the Creative Success Assessment

I am passionate about empowering creative success!  In fact, my mission is to help creative people achieve success so that the world is teeming with creativity. Why? Because I believe that when we put our passions and talents to work in the service of spreading creativity throughout the world, we are making the world a better place. The goal of …

Using Music to Solve Problems: How Music Entrepreneurs Discover Solutions in 3 Steps

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How can the process of learning how to perform music help music entrepreneurs and arts leaders solve difficult leadership problems when the answers are not obvious? This was among the questions under discussion at last week’s Opera America’s Leadership Intensive Next Steps (LINS) program, which brought together 15 talented mid-career opera managers to provide advanced leadership training in order to retain high-quality leaders …

How to Stay in Balance over the Summer: 5 Steps for Music Entrepreneurs

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Summer is officially here! For many of us, it means a change in routine and the opportunity to do things that we do not have time to do during the rest of the year. School is out, summer festivals are about to begin, you may be on tour and/or you may have more down time around home. How do you …

The Life-Long Journey of Music Entrepreneurship: Where are you now and how can you improve?

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We hear a lot today about “arts entrepreneurship” but what exactly does that mean? Let’s start with “entrepreneurship”:  the process of transforming an idea into an enterprise that creates value—economic, social, cultural, or intellectual– through innovation risk-taking and actualizing an idea. To me,  “arts entrepreneurship” is:  applying the entrepreneurial mindset (including taking risks, creating and recognizing opportunity, grit and growth) …

How to Achieve Your Big Goals: Challenge Your Assumptions through SMART Life Experiments

Life Experiments

Think about the last time you set a big, transformational goal for yourself. Maybe it was to change careers, feel more confident in your work or assume a leadership position in your organization. Thinking big is a hallmark of entrepreneurship so you have undoubtedly done this! For some people, it’s a matter of setting the goal, breaking it down into …

How Smart Music Entrepreneurs Decide on Gigs: 3 Factors to Evaluate

As young musicians begin to develop their careers, they often wonder how to decide which gigs to take on. The advice from many professional musicians I know–including many of the alumni who have spoken at my class at Yale–is to consider how well an opportunity satisfies the following 3 criteria and to choose gigs that give you 2 out of 3: …

Managing Audition Rejection: How Music Entrepreneurs Keep Going

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This is the season when music students are hearing about the results of their auditions: from graduate schools, fellowships and summer programs, as well as professional orchestra and other ensemble auditions. With so much competition for a limited number of spots, rejection is a common phenomenon. In two of my recent coaching groups at the Yale School of Music, we went …

SMART Goals for SMART Music Entrepreneurs: How to Make Your Dreams Come True

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Musicians abound with passion and creative ideas. For many, however, this abundance of ideas can be paralyzing since they find it hard to figure out which ones to harness, let alone how to make them happen. Here are two ways to help take those great ideas and make them happen: 1. Write down your goals 2. Set a SMART Goal …

“Be good” vs. “Get Better”: Optimizing the Experience of Performing

I have just returned from my summer vacation in California wine country where I learned some valuable lessons about optimal goal setting while improving my piano skills!

Where did all this happen?

At pianoSonoma, a festival that brings together serious adult piano students to study with Juilliard faculty members Michael Shinn and Jessica Chow Shinn, and collaborate and perform chamber music with Young Artists ( current students at or recent graduates of Juilliard), as well attend concerts by the faculty and the Young Artists.  It is a thrilling week where I can indulge in my passion for learning and playing the piano and share the joy of making music with superbly talented musicians.

On the plane ride out to California, I had a chance to catch up on my Kindle backlog and settled into a short book called “9 Things Successful People Do Differently” by psychologist  and goal-setting expert Heidi Grant Halvorson.  Now success is what I teach, coach on and advocate so I was interested in her 9 points.  And the one that resonated most powerfully with me was point #5:

Focus On Getting Better, Rather Than Being Good

What does she mean?