I’m finally back with another career update. I know this is something you guys enjoy, so I didn’t want to leave you hanging. Have a listen to this quick episode to get caught up on how things have been going in the last 90 days.
In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I share about the latest happenings in my life and career.
- 00:14 – What’s been happening with career updates
- 00:54 – What’s new in my life and career
- 02:45 – My music projects and recent performances
- 04:12 – Performing with Adrenalize and Long Jon Lev
- 04:32 – Getting into a groove with The New Music Industry Podcast
- 05:30 – Trucking along with the Using Your Power podcast
- 06:27 – How things are coming along with my books
- 07:24 – What I’ve been learning in quarter one of 2017
- 07:49 – Gaining clarity with my goals
- 08:33 – The point I keep driving home about consistency
- 12:04 – The people I’ve been learning from – James Schramko, Neil Patel, and Eric Siu
- 12:47 – What I’m looking to do next and how I’m maintaining my focus
It’s been a while since I’ve done a career update. But I know many of you have been following along with them and have shown interest in them, which is why I continue to publish them.
You probably noticed that I fell behind with the updates in January, and though I could have caught up with them in February, I decided instead to do them in quarterly installments.
If you prefer to get monthly career updates from me instead of quarterly updates, you can let me know.
I was feeling like my career updates were beginning to dominate the podcast feed, which isn’t necessarily what I had in mind. My goal is to create content that helps you, so I don’t want to be talking about me all the time.
But if you feel otherwise, be sure to leave a comment or email me.
January and February were both busy months for freelance content work. I haven’t had as much to do in March with blogging, but live performance has picked up some of the slack. Overall, my work life hasn’t changed that much.
But I am starting to look at making some changes again, as things have become somewhat stagnant. This was prompted by a conversation I had with a friend. There’s an entrepreneurial idea I’ve been tossing around for a while, but I put it on the backburner because I just couldn’t see how to make it work. He asked me a question that got me thinking about the problem differently, and now I see how it could be done.
This is good to remember, because sometimes we might not know where to take an idea, but by talking to others and getting their feedback, we can uncover a path we didn’t know existed.
Anyway, this got me thinking about changes in my work life, and possibly even in my living situation. I feel like there is a season for everything, and I seem to be moving into a new season.
I can’t share all the details with you right now, but they will be forthcoming.
These changes, however, should not affect what I do here at The Music Entrepreneur HQ. If anything, it should give me more time to focus on what I’m doing. I even launched a new music PR service for musicians and music businesses. If you’re interested, I would encourage you to go to the products page on the website to learn more.
I’m also working on putting together a live event for this summer. I don’t have any of the details nailed down yet, as far as where it will be or what the exact schedule will be, but I’m excited about it, and hope you will set aside some time in your schedule in August to be a part of it. It will likely be a half-day event, but this is new territory for me, so I’m starting small and simple. Again, keep an eye on the products page for more information.
As you probably now, I haven’t come out with any new music releases in a while. I’ve been demoing new songs, but some of that hasn’t been going as expected. It could be that I’ve been getting overly ambitious with my self-produced singles. If you try to do too much on your own, it can be hard to get the quality of performance you’re looking for.
Fortunately, I finally have another song that’s nearing completion, so stay tuned.
Though I haven’t released anything new in a bit I’ve had some solo shows, most notably my performance at The Circle in February, and The Brass Monkey in March. At the Brass Monkey show, I had members from Adrenalize backing me up on drums and bass. Unfortunately, attendance was low. I think this might have been because my show landed on the day after St. Patrick’s Day. We all play shows like that from time to time, and sometimes that’s just how things are.
I had a lot of fun playing guitar and singing for Frederick Tamagi’s CD release party towards the beginning of March too. I was just one member of a seven-piece band, and it was a pleasure performing with such accomplished musicians. I think there were 90 people in attendance at this show, which I thought was a great turnout, and they seemed to enjoy themselves a lot.
Finally, I have another show coming up at The Circle, with The Listening Room YYC, which I also got to play in February. This time, I’ll be covering the music of David Bowie along with David Kemick and Patrick Stauch.
Adrenalize & Long Jon Lev
I’ve done a few shows with Adrenalize and Long Jon Lev this year. I wouldn’t say there’s anything major to report on this front, but Adrenalize is looking to line up movie theater shows for May, June, and maybe July and August as well. With Long Jon Lev, we’re working on new music and preparing for the next release.
The New Music Industry Podcast
You can tell that I’ve gotten into a groove with the podcast, mostly releasing shorter, digestible episodes. But I recently did an interview that will be published in April, and I’ve also been working to get more guests on the show.
You’ve heard me mention the word “series” before. Although the original plan was to release episodes in installments of 12, I may just keep things going for now. I have a handful of videos and podcast episodes already recorded, so I’m not straining to keep up. I have a good amount of content in the bank, and that being the case, it shouldn’t be a problem sticking to a regular schedule.
In terms of downloads, February and March have been the biggest months yet. Thank you all for tuning in. If the podcast has added value to you, please consider leaving a five-star review in iTunes to help me get this content out to more creatives, entrepreneurs, and musicians just like you. They need it just as badly.
You can also share this episode with a friend if you think they would enjoy it.
Using Your Power
The Using Your Power podcast is trucking along at a good pace, and as I write this, we have 32 episodes published.
As far as what’s new, we recently decided to change the format of the podcast. Although the tagline of the show is “Going Deeper into Life’s Big Questions,” we’re trying out shorter episodes instead of the longer ones we started with.
We used to talk for anywhere from 50 to 80 minutes plus, but now we’re looking to record snappy 15 to 20 minute episodes instead. We’ve already tried this out, and I think both Maveen and I like the high-energy, rapid fire approach. Since we already have over 30 hours of material, I can’t imagine any of our listeners rallying against this decision. If anything, it should make the show more accessible to more people.
Maveen and I have teased about an upcoming course for Using Your Power, which we’re working on right now. We’re excited about its launch, and I’ll be letting you know when it’s available.
The New Music Industry has been doing quite well this year. I’m glad to see this message spreading.
At this point, most of my focus has turned towards finishing my next book, Flashes of Elation. You can still pre-order it until the end of June if you’d like to support its creation and claim a few bonuses, but this is not a requirement.
You’ll still be able to get the book once it launches, and I will be putting out a deluxe edition featuring a ton of extra material, but the price will be much higher. So, if you’re waiting for a better deal, just know there won’t be one.
I am fast approaching the 40,000-word mark, which was my original goal for the book. There are many projects requiring my attention, and there’s so much more I want to do with our books and courses, but I’m glad I decided to concentrate on the completion of this book. I have a way to go yet in terms of writing, editing, and designing, but I’m long past the halfway point, which is encouraging.
What I’m Learning
What am I not learning?
When it comes to building an online business and a music career, you can always go deeper. And it’s never enough to gain that knowledge. It must be applied.
At times, I’ve been hungry for knowledge. At other times, I felt I had everything I needed. But I’m getting hungry again. Whenever I’m looking to grow and expand, I know it will require a different kind of commitment, and I want to know what that will look like.
Getting Clear on My Goals
One thing I’m learning – at least about myself – is that goals can be a moving target. I set a few goals for myself this year, as I do most years, but I didn’t start out the year prioritizing them. For some reason, I had a bit of a mental block.
As it turns out, my mind was more cluttered than I even realized. A few whiteboard sessions later, I was clear on what I needed to do again. I also took the time to put my high priority projects into a project management system called Asana. Separating high level tasks from urgent tasks is one of the best things I’ve done this year.
There might be a tip in that. If you aren’t sure what next steps you should be taking in your career, it can be worthwhile to spend some time in front of a whiteboard brainstorming and drawing out your goals and priorities.
I think one of the reasons I’m constantly adjusting like this is because I’m always taking in new information. As I look at what others have been able to accomplish, I consider how they were able to do it. And I keep coming back to a concept I’ve been talking about for years – consistency.
Consistency isn’t sexy. But in building a business, there is no quality more desirable. If you aren’t following a system, you’re just improvising, and that makes you less effective. But if you’re daily following a plan, and prioritizing the right things, you have a much better chance at arriving at your chosen destination.
Two to three hours per day is all it takes. But if you were to look at most people’s lives, they aren’t spending that amount of time consistently on their most important creative projects or businesses. They spend 10 minutes here, five hours there, three minutes there, and so on. I will say this – 10 minutes is better than no time spent on a project. But if you stay consistent in your efforts, you’ll inevitably get ahead of the competition.
The podcast episode you’re listening to right now was all written out in advance. By the time I’m done, it will contain over 2,000 words. I didn’t accomplish this by sitting down to write it all in one session. That’s how I used to do things, but now I’m just making it a habit to work on content for 30 minutes per day.
You might recall that I have a course called The 60 Minute Online Marketing Checklist for Musicians. This is a product I’m planning to update, but that’s beside the point. What I’m showing you is that this method isn’t a bunch of hogwash. I’m demonstrating that it’s possible. You really can sit down for 20 to 30 minutes per day and put a major dent in your projects.
Author Alex Kleon talks about the concept of the daily deployment. The idea is to share your creative projects with the world daily. If you want to learn about the exact process, you can check out his book, Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered. I talked about this book in episode 25 of the podcast. But I love this idea. Many artists struggle with marketing. But if they just shared a little bit with the world every day, they would see their careers grow.
What is all this telling you? That consistency is important. Now, I’m not telling you that I’m building my business in 30 or even 60 minutes per day, because I’m in growth mode. The marketing and product creation work I’m doing right now requires three or four hours per day, and that doesn’t necessarily include client work. But I remember when I used to practice guitar for three hours per day and meticulously tracked every minute I played. It’s the same idea here. I know to start early in my day, or I will not reach that three-hour mark.
Just in those three hours, I can get a head start on my next blog post, podcast episode, or video. I can make progress with my next product, which in this case is Flashes of Elation. I can write a guest post or distribute a press release. I can queue up new social media posts and interact with commenters. I can update the website.
No part of this is sexy, because you wouldn’t necessarily complete any one project daily. But give it a few days, and writing 2,000 words isn’t so bad. Often, we try to take something from concept to completion too fast. I know I’ve been guilty of this. But you can gain a better perspective on your work if you’re willing to give it some time and space.
I’ve tried many different approaches to my work. I used to spend way more time on just content. I feel more at ease now that I’m spending a good chunk of time on product creation and marketing too. These are all important pieces of the larger whole.
Who Have I Been Learning From?
Well, I’m certain I’ve mentioned the name James Schramko before. I recently found an interview he did with Chris Rockett on YouTube, and even took notes on it. I shared these notes in a recent blog post.
Another source of inspiration has been a podcast called Marketing School with Neil Patel and Eric Siu. My co-host on Using Your Power, Maveen turned me onto this show, and it has been motivating. Listening to it, I began to see where some of the holes in my marketing efforts were.
This goes back to an issue many of us struggle with. You can know something but not act on it. We need to be reminded to do the things we aren’t doing yet.
Okay, I’ve probably said enough, so I’ll step down from my soapbox now.
For me, it really has become about focus. There are dozens of projects I want to undertake and complete for TME. But I’ve come to realize that trying to do them all at once isn’t the best way to tackle them. Finishing one thing at a time is the best way, because it clears mental space for the next thing.
So, the next step is to finish Flashes of Elation. Once that’s done, I can begin thinking about other books and courses I have in the works.
As for the website, I think you’ll continue to see me making changes to it, as I’m always experimenting. But I would love it if you’d have a look and let me know your thoughts. I want to know if it’s clear and easy to understand. If you go the homepage of the website, and you aren’t sure what I do, I want you to tell me.
Thanks for listening, and I hope you enjoyed this career update.
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