You’ve Got a Friend In Me
For as long as I can remember, I’ve made lists. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with juggling, and after school I’d practice for hours. Every. Single. Day. I taught myself various patterns and tricks, and made lists of those I had mastered, and those that I had yet to learn. Before I began juggling I collected orchids. I would list all the plants I owned, their soil type, light requirement, etc. I did the same with soccer tricks and drills, then traveling adventures, and now, music. However, at this point, I have graduated from the basic list format and am more interested in macro organization (calendar, and plan oriented). Instead of to do lists, I’m beginning to learn how to plan out weeks, and get the things I need done in order of importance each day.
Toilet paper was the hardest 😂
I love learning about how people use their time. Some interesting people to read about regarding time management are; Warren Buffett, Benjamin Franklin, and Elon Musk. Often the books I recommend most highly to friends are books about individuals who use their time, personality, and outlook to better their lives. The Good Among the Great by Donald Van De Mark is an awesome read about how ultra-successful people in their fields often share the same personal characteristics. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a great one for general to advanced time management.
Some of the basic foundations of my happiness are music, nature, exercise, human connection (with friends, loved ones, or strangers), and adventure. I don’t need every one of these elements each day, but I’m learning how to balance them so that I feel more content with how I use my time.
Cool abandoned house I found skiing in the nearby state park
For me, most “good days” consist of working hard on something meaningful to me. This I have no doubt about. Although recently I’ve realized that often I am missing measurable goals. Earlier this week I met with a friend of mine, Arthur, who is a regular at the coffee shop I work at. He is about 50 years my senior and wisdom seems to float off his tongue with every thought he brings forward. He told me to pretend that he was a prospective business partner interested in my startup company (my music career). He said “give me the numbers!” and my reply was “which numbers”? What Arthur was looking for was a list of goals that I would like to reach and the numbers associated with growth in those areas to prove to him I was serious about my business. Here are a few questions I’m now working towards answering after meeting with Arthur.
- How many folks show up to my gigs on average now, and how many would I like to have in 6 months?
- How can I go about increasing the number of subscribers to the newsletter and how many will I have in 3 months?
- What is my step by step plan for letting music magazines, online arts organizations, local papers etc, know about the album once it is finished?
- How will I continually increase my likes/follows/fans on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, and what are my target numbers?
I’ve always known that I’d like a continually growing online presence, and for more and more people to come out to shows. All artists want these things. But I’m not sure how often real measurable goals are established with plans to back them up. That’s my new goal.
I always imagined that once I was touring and booking loads of shows THEN I could think about marketing, and networking. But now that seems so backwards to me. I should be connecting and growing a community of listeners as much as possible while I am starting out as a post grad, solo act fresh in the local performing scene. This way once I do become more established, I have a core support group already interested.
So…I guess I’m starting to REALLY realize that I need to function as a business, I am the musician, content creator, marketer, writer, and all the other jobs involved in creating a brand. Along with putting in a full day of work, just as if I was “going to the office” I also must fill all the jobs required in the current state of the music industry.
Here’s a video about how I feel about all you spending time reading this, coming to shows, or just taking a listen to my music.
What’s a good day to you, and how do you stay organized/productive? Let me know!