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Push Through To Accomplish Your Dreams

accomplish-your-dreamsTo accomplish your dreams, you have to let go of your ego to reach the other side. To do that, you have to learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. Push your own limits to get to the top of the mountain. It’s very uncomfortable and very lonely sometimes when you push through barriers. It’s very unnerving to blaze an unbeaten path. Then you plateau and you start partying and enjoy your landing spot. GUESS WHAT? It’s time to do it again and again and again. WHY?

Because only the best rises to the top again and again. Stopping lets you off the hook. Then you start to hate everyone who blazes past you. You resent them because you have cut off your own power and severed your success.

STOP SETTLING

Passion doesn’t settle. Passion is the opposite of settling

What in your life are you not passionate about?

1. Get rid of everything that you are not passionate about. Clear your space until the only things left are those that you are crazy passionate about.

2. How do you spend your time? How much time do you spend doing things that you aren’t passionate about?

How many non passionate people are you around each day?

Do you love them? Or do you settle just to have someone around?

Are they passionate people living passionate lives?

stop-settlingAsk yourself:

  • What do you like to do?
  • What makes you happy?
  • What can you do that makes you forget that time exists?

Be willing to take the first step. Be willing to feel weird. Be willing to look silly.

Interaction, transformation and helping people is your passion. It’s the core of everyone’s passion.

3. Define your strengths

What are you good at?

4. Package it!

  • How will you offer it? A day long retreat, weekend retreat, monthly subscription, workbook, ebook?
  • What will you charge?
  • How many people will you allow?
  • Who are they?
  • What are the age groups?

5. Offer it!

Use everything available to you! Craigslist, facebook, meetup, google groups, relatives, friends. Let the world know what you are offering.

6. Tweak it!

No business stays the same. Expect changes. You can change course if you’re not getting the results you want. Keep moving. Keep shifting until you hit your mark. Once you hit your mark, dig deep. There’s lots of gold in each new success.

7. Dig Deep!

Once you hit your mark, dig deep. There’s a lot of gold in each new success. Think of apple…the ipod became the iphone, the iphone became the iPad, the iPad became the iwatch. And with each deeper level came more opportunity for growth and revenue. Dig deep into the soil of your ideas and you will discover gold time and time again.

20 Words To Remove From Your Vocabulary

20-Words-to-Remove-From-Your-Vocabulary1. Hope- contains doubt. Means you don’t expect it to happen. 

2. When I retire- victim mentality. Take charge of your life today, do what you love now, there are no victims here.

3. Maybe- if it’s not hell yes, then it’s hell no!

4. I can’t afford- victim mentality that brings down your vibration and keeps you from getting what it is that you want.

5. Hard- another victim statement. Nothing is hard, you just have to find a new way to get it done.

6. Need- this comes from lack consciousness.

7. Luck- takes you out of the equation instead of you taking ownership.

8. Problem- there are no problems only solutions.

9. Stress- you only experience stress when you are not living on purpose. 

10. Try- no such thing as try, you either do it or you don’t.

11. But- this negates everything that was said up to this point, is low vibrational and takes away your power.
You-know-what-I-mean_
12. Should- just delete this word. Either do it or don’t; this word has guilt and self abuse all over it.

13. Can’t- you can do anything that you want. This is a victim word. just banish it.

14. Some day/One day- oy, procrastination, victim consciousness!

15. Never/Always- Untrue. Let it go.

16. If- oy, let this one go too. Yes or no. There is no if.

17. Don’t get me wrong- you’re about to insult someone. Don’t go there. Karma’s a bitch.

18. You know what I mean- no I don’t because you don’t even know what you mean. 

19. Um- drains brain cells. You don’t need this word. Just pause. Silence is golden.

20. In my Opinion- you are about to insult someone, something or complain, just don’t do it. 

Has Your Passion Flamed Out?

Has your passion hit the road? Has it left you high and dry wondering what has happened?  It happens to the best of us. We get caught spending too much time doing things that aren’t our genius work and before you know it, you are burned out and your passion has left you holding the bag. Getting your passion back and keeping the muse happy can feel like a full-time gig but it doesn’t have to.

keeping the passion alive has a lot to do with learning to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. As you push your own limits and stretch to the next level, things start to feel a bit nutty. With each new level, you meet a new devil that requires you to learn or function differently than you have in the past.

It’s uncomfortable and sometimes lonely when you push through barriers. There is not always a fan section happily cheering you on when you meet your goal. With the accomplishment in your rear view mirror, you sigh that it’s time to start all over again on the next new thing.

Riding the wave of passion keeps you consistently cruising in the prolific zone. Prolific people have one thing in common and that is how they handle the ebbs and flows of a creative life. Today we are going to address some of the traffic jams that keep us being less than fluid.

What in your life are you not passionate about?

Because only the best rises to the top again and again. Stopping lets you off the hook. Then you start to hate everyone who blazes past you. You resent them because you have cut off your own power and severed your success.

STOP SETTLING
passion doesn’t settle
passion is the opposite of settling

What in your life are you not passionate about?
1. get rid of everything that you are not passionate about. Clear your space until the only things left are those that you are crazy passionate about

2. How do you spend your time? How much time do you spend doing things that you aren’t passionate about.

How many non passionate people are you around each day
Do you love them? Or do you just settle for them just to have someone around?
Are they passionate people living passionate lives?

Ask yourself
a. What do you like to do?
b. What makes you happy?
c. What can you do that makes you forget that time exists?

Be willing to take the first step
Be willing to feel weird
Be willing to look silly

Interaction, transformation, helping people is your passion. It’s the core of everyone’s passion

3. Define your strengths
What are you good at?

4. Package it!
How will you offer it? A day long retreat, weekend retreat, monthly subscription, backstage pass or an ebook?
What will you charge?
How many people will you allow?
Who are they?
What are the age groups?

5. Offer it!

Use everything available to you! Craigslist, facebook, meetup, google groups, relatives, friends. Let the world know what you are offering.

6. Tweak it!

No business stays the same. Expect changes. You can change course if you’re not getting the results you want. Keep moving. Keep shifting until you hit your mark. Once you hit your mark dig deep. There’s lots of gold in each new success.

7. Digg Deep!

8. Rinse and Repeat

Are You On Track With Your Goals?

I was just on a group coaching call and one of my clients  was struggling with birthing a new project asked when does the fear and discomfort go away?

I think that some believe that when you have “arrived” all fear and discomfort disappear and you begin to fly through your projects with ease and grace. On the contrary, with each new goal, the universe presents yet another set of first time challenges for us to face.

Sometimes it feels like you are going in circles and facing the same challenge from a different angle. The shame spiral sets in and all of a sudden you are feeling stuck and overwhelmed. What’s the shame spiral? That place you go to when your deadline has passed and you missed it. That seedy dive that you go to and kick yourself. Bleh.

To accomplish your dreams sometimes you have to go through the ego, pass the shame spiral to get to the other side. But what if we could leap frog that seedy dive and stay the course on our upward climb?

You get to the finish line when you learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. When you learn how to breathe through the uncomfortable steps. Break it down into teeny tiny steps. Just keep moving forward. Be kind to yourself and soon you will be standing on the top of the mountain.

Sometimes when I am working on a very big goal, I go into my “cave” to work it out. I turn off the phone, the computer and any distractions to journal about it. Sit with it. Sigh with it. Cry with it. Sometimes I even write a song about it. Its vitally important to work through the fear and uneasiness.

For some of you a massage, a walk on the beach, a hike, a run or a brisk walk may help. The important thing is to move through it. To work through it. It also helps if you are part of a mastermind group where you are safe to share your experience and ask for support. It’s very uncomfortable and very lonely sometimes when you push through barriers. It’s very unnerving to blaze an unbeaten path. Then you reach your goal, plateau and start partying and enjoying your landing spot. GUESS WHAT? The inner urge to do something else appears. And you guessed it, it’s time to do it again and again and again.

Does it ever get easier? Absolutely, the more you do, the more you grow. You then realize that this is the pattern of creation and you begin to embrace it instead of shun it. Tell yourself that this is part of it and know that you will nail it. So here are 10 steps to getting to the finish line.

1. Write down your goals

2.artistic-coach--write-down-your-goalsWe have all heard from several sources that if you write down your goal you have a greater chance of achieving it. In the book The Strangest Secret Earl Nightingale notes that when you write down a goal the neurotransmitters in your brain began to send signals out to the universe to help you achieve this goal. Write it on a 3×5 index card. On the front write your goal. On the back write

  • knock and the door will open
  • seek and you shall find
  • ask and it is given

Keep this card with you in your wallet or if you work from home in a place that you will see it often. Look at it and read it several times throughout the day.

2. Visualize It

2.artistic-coach-visualizeSit for 5 minutes or more each day and visualize your goal as complete already. Feel the feeling of having accomplished it. Revel in those feelings. What do you look like, feel like? If this is a piece of art, imagine what it feels like when it has been sold. If you are a book author, imagine what it feels like holding your finished book in your hands, signing it at your book signing. If you are a songwriter imagine someone singing your song. If you are a chef, imagine people smiling and enjoying your food or if you are a designer, imagine people happily strutting around in your clothes.

3. Vision Board It

2.artistic-coach-visionVision Boards work. I can’t tell you enough how badly I want you to get in this practice. They work. Get a poster board from your office supply store a stack of magazines and put together a collage of your goals. If a poster board seems too big, get a notebook and use the pages of the notebook.

Make sure that there is a photo of you surrounded by images of what your finish goal looks like. Some ask if they can do it electronically. Absolutely. Whatever works for you but make it and use it. Look at it everyday. It will amaze you how quickly things start coming your way. I made a vision board one day and two days later had to do it all over again because I had manifested half the board already.

4. Bullet Proof It!

2.artistic-coach-bulletproofDecide that your goal is bullet proof. Decide this right now. In your core. Decide that you will not allow any comments or actions of others deter you from your goal. There is a song called Bulletproof by La Roux that I sing in my head anytime something or someone comes at me with unwanted comments or concerns. I change the words in my head and I hum… This goal baby is…bulletproof.

5. Kick Doubt OUT!

2.artistic-coach-doubt-killsThere is no room for doubt in your goal. Doubt is the evil twin, the evil step sister, Freddy Krueger, Jason and Mike Meyers all rolled into one. Do not give doubt 1 minute of your time. He is there to do you harm.

The thing about doubt is, its so sneaky. It creeps in when you aren’t paying attention or when you are frustrated or angry about something else. So consciously watch yourself for frustration, anger, or any other feelings of ick. Doubt is always on the look out waiting for the perfect moment to attack. When you are on target and working towards your goal put doubt out of it’s misery early. Break it’s neck.

6. Focus

2.Focus-On-Your-Dreams-300x236Have you ever noticed that when you are working on a goal all hell starts breaking loose around you? You think oh it’s Murphy’s law or Mercury is in retrograde.

No it’s your fear running around and looking for any distraction it can find to prolong the start or completion of your goal. Your fear has sent out homing beacons saying hey I’m scared to death over here. Help me, Help me.

Then the universe says okay let me help this person that I love so much by slowing down the progress before they have a heart attack. When you do this, over and over again before your deadline the shame spiral kicks in.

When you are focussing keep a piece of paper next to you to write down the distractions and deal with them after your focus session is over. If its people in your home that are the distractors, have a talk with them and put some sign on your door that lets everyone know that you are in do not disturb mode.

7. Hire Out

2.artistic-coach-hiringStop doing things that give you stress and headaches. Stop being so stubborn. Hire/Barter/Trade out all of the things that you hate doing. I am not good at ironing. I suck at it, I do not iron. If something comes out of the dryer winkled, it goes right into the dry cleaning box. I also suck at editing. You will not find me editing any of my music, video or audio files.

I suck at bookkeeping, My bookkeeper is the best money I have ever spent in my life. I also don’t do admin work, you will find if you join any of our mastermind groups that someone on my team will send you the materials. Now I focus on only what I do best.

I spent years thinking that I should be great at everything and beating myself up mercilessly for failing to rock every role of being an entrepreneur. One day as I was sitting at my desk going through a pile of papers and an angel on my shoulder said…”you’re a horrible secretary”. I laughed, I hired a secretary and a bookkeeper poof! headache gone, papers sorted, bills paid. Bam! back on point.

8. Prepare Your Soundtrack

2.artistic-coach-danceOver the years I have had my share of ups and downs and on those days when I’m more down than up I play my success soundtrack. It’s a list of songs that inspire me and Pump me up. These songs put me right back in the frame of mind that I need to stay the course. Its amazing the healing property that music has on the soul. Prepare your soundtrack now so its ready when you need it. Here’s a song I wrote and recorded called Free to get you started.

9. Have Fun

2.artistic-coach-funThis is your Life’s Work. You love what you do. You love serving people. It was that love that brought you to create what you are creating. I do believe that if you do what you love the money will come. When you do what you love, you know in your heart that you would do it for free. You would do it for free because it gives you so much joy.

How fortunate are you that you get to do what you love for a living? You live in a an age of unlimited possibilities. What you love to do and would do for free, brings people happiness. What a life! It’s usually the little things that take the joy out of your goal. Hire out what gives you headaches and keep moving full steam ahead.

10. Have Faith

2.artistic-coach-AEA-FaithThere is no greater friend than faith. Faith will see you through to the end. When you have a connection with something greater than yourself it becomes your commanding officer when you are in the heat of battle with Doubt and the balm that soothes when the war is over. Faith gives you wings to fly higher than you have ever gone before and takes your dreams to places that you could never imagine. Faith is worthy of BFF status.

Lets Connect…Share Below how you stay on track with your goals

Swagger Without Ego

Swagger Without Ego
by Ezina LeBlanc

This week I have watched some of the American Idol auditions and I have often wondered, where are all of the music students that we see at local band nights?

Contestant after contestant stepped up and swung out and in between there were a few surprises.  Mainly in the  15 year old arena.  I have been impressed with the poise of the younger generation and most seemed to have grown up on American Idol.

I started wondering where all of this confidence and swagger come from?  At 15, I was of course performing and writing songs but I wasn’t on national TV singing duets with Steven Tyler.

As I work with countless artists, what I find that what’s missing isn’t always the talent.  It’s the Swagger.  When you know that you are good, keep your ego in check and flaunt the talent.  But what happens is once some are told that they are great, that evil little voice called the ego gets involved and starts to take over.

First you start to insult others whom you deem less than.  Then you start to show up late for appointments and then you start to be disrespectful to yourself and those around you.

What I am so enjoying about the younger set is that they are bringing the fun back.  They aren’t  jaded because they blew an audition or two.  They aren’t bitter because they spent years in music school and have yet to pay off those pesky student loans.  They aren’t reeling because they can’t get enough people to show up at their gigs.  They are taking it to a whole other level.

They are blogging and Youtubeing and Twittering and Facebooking their way into the hearts of millions.

For those of us who have been around, Swagger without ego is the recipe for success.  Harness that greatness and deliver and deliver and deliver. With age brings wisdom and wisdom says let your works open doors that your mouth locks shut.

See you on the stage!

9 Successful Strategies

9 Successful Strategies

by Ezina on April 11, 2012

I was speaking with a client the other day and she was feeling a bit overwhelmed about her place in life. We chatted a bit and I shared with her, that I too have had moments of doubt and definitely moments of fear around a new project. I have learned that it is important to take action right away towards your goal. It can be a small step but it must be in the step of that direction.Is analysis paralysis was doing a doozy on you? Try these 8 proven strategies to get you headed in the right direction.

1. Start Where You Are.

 

Sometimes starting a new project is ripe with anxiety about where you should be or where you could have been if you had only started sooner or younger. You begin to berate yourself and start letting the air of the tires and having a good old fashion pity party. It’s important to stop, take a deep breath and give yourself a pat on the back for beginning TODAY. Every expert once was a novice. Every time I start a new project, I have to congratulate myself everyday for having the courage to do the project at all.

2. Create A Clear Goal- Where do you want to go?

Marianne Williamson says, “we are more afraid of our light than our darkness.” Staying unclear about your goal means that you don’t think that you can make it. You are more brilliant than you give yourself credit for being.

Clear your your goal like a GPS. You need to be clear like water. When you enter your goal into your GPS, it will take you there. Your Goal Is your GPS. Once you have your goal make a list of action steps.

If your goal is to get money on the table write down…

Goal- To get money on the table. Ask yourself these questions

A. What small step can I take towards the goal?
B. What can I leverage from where I am?
C. For the highest return on investment, what is the next step?

3. Take Imperfect Action

What are those actions? Do them scared.

Susan Jeffers says “Feel the fear and do it anyway!”
There has never been a performance that I have done where I didn’t want to run out the door 5 minutes before showtime. It comes with the territory. If you ever hear interviews of performers, athletes or anyone who has to get in front of a crowd on a regular basis, they will tell you about the stage fright. They still go on. They lived another day. The most famous of these is Barbara Streisand. She has touched the lives of millions. We are all so blessed because of her courage and talent.

4. Lean into it. Lean up into it

I remember having a really big performance and thinking I just can’t do it. Millions of people are going to see me on TV and I feel fat, lol. As the music started, I remember just leaning into the curtains and feeling nauseous. But with each step onto the stage, I felt less scared and more powerful and with each note, I felt better and before I knew it, I was having fun!

You will feel a little bit of discomfort. Breathe through it. Each day allow yourself to feel a little more discomfort until you feel like hey, this is no big deal, I got this.

5. Fall in love with why you are different!

Know why you are the person that they should come to. Use that to position yourself. Use it in your marketing. Fall in love with you and everyone else will, too.

6. Break Your Own Rules!

 

My rule for many years was that I needed to live in New York City in order to be successful. After living there for several years, I decided that I was tired of the cold and Southern California was more my temperament. I didn’t need to live crammed in a 1200 square foot high rise apartment to be successful. When I broke that rule, stress left my life like a hot potato!

7. Simplify the Sale

Put together a sales package in less than an hour. Package who you are and what you’ve got. People are waiting to connect with you. Do it today.

8. Make Decisions based on where you want to be, not where you are right now.

Decide to be your essential self. You are enough right now. You are the perfect person to begin right now. You have plenty to offer and there are people waiting anxiously to receive it.

9. Celebrate

Every step along the way, celebrate your successes. I used to be so guilty of not doing this and it nearly destroyed me. I would write a book or do a performance and dive immediately into the next one without taking a second to celebrate the accomplishment of the goal. Trust me. This will WEAR YOU OUT! Take the time, smell the roses and celebrate every success no matter how small. Have Fun!

What Are You Creating?

I know that you are amazing in so many ways.  Yet you choose  subconsciously to hide your gifts from the world.  On some level you desire to take center stage but the inner fear keeps you locked inside and hiding.

Stage fright keeps some of us from propelling and going to the next step.  Do know that there is a cure for this.  Sometimes it’s meditation, sometimes it’s a mantra, sometimes in dire cases it’s homeopathy or medicinal remedies.

What’s important to know is that this is necessary and sharing your gifts are necessary to the advancement of the world.

Where would we be with out Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince or the Beatles?  No one really knows for sure but we all have to admit that their music aided in the development of the world.

Where would we be without Michelangelo, Picasso, Van Gogh or Beethoven? Art shapes the world and your contribution is important.

For every artist who thinks that the road is too tough, I say to you, we want to see your art.  For every artist that feels that they can’t go on, know that we all need you.

We can’t go on if you don’t go on.  We can’t grow if you don’t grow.  I can’t sing if you don’t sing and we can’t dance if you don’t give us the music to dance to.

What’s going on right now is a lack of inspiration.  People need inspiration.  People need to see others out there braving the storm and pushing through limits.

Right now we are bombarded with Reality television which really isn’t quite reality.  It’s fake scenarios designed to entertain you.  The issue is that people think that what they are seeing is real so they put themselves on a pedestal and say well at least my life isn’t that bad.  This dumbing down of society is a move backwards and not forward.

Yes it’s entertaining to watch someone else’s drama unfold on TV because it secretly gives others permission to not work on their own lives.  My famous saying is “stay in your own lane”.  Focus on you!  You are the most important person in this world.  No one can care for you the way that you can and should care for you.

We only have 24 hours in a day.  Use it to lift yourself up to the highest ring with love and grace.  Use it to grow and use it to inspire others.

There are people in the world who make 10 million dollars a day and there are people who make 10 cents per day.  We all need your art.

The infant learning to crawl needs your art, the cancer survivor needs your art, the struggling parent who can barely make ends meet needs your art.  The homeless person on the street needs your art.

Your art is the mechanism that beats your heart. Your art is a part of the collective heartbeat of the world.  Stay the course and get your art out there!

20 Alternative Ways To Create A Sustainable Career In Music

20 Alternative Ways To Create A Sustainable Career In Music
by Jonathan Ostrow

Jonathan Ostrow in Jonathan Ostrow, Realizing Your Goals, music career, professional musician, sustainability

As it becomes more evident that the new music industry will in no way resemble the construct of the past, many musicians are left trying to figure out how they can create a sustainable, or even lucrative career in music. Although album sales are on the decline, there is no decline in alternative jobs for musicians.

The idea that any emerging artist can become the next multi-platnum recording artist is null and void. Save for very rare instances, there is just not the level of demand in music that creates the necessary environment for a superstar to develop, and those who do break through at that level either had the connections or the marketing team that was smart enough to mold the musician to look and sound exactly how the labels want them to.  But this is nothing new.

As the DIY Musician movement strengthens, musicians are continually gaining more understanding as to how they can sustain a career in music without the need to sign to a record label and sell over 1 million copies. There is a seemingly limitless way for musicians to use their knowledge of any and all aspects of music to create a sustainable career doing what they love:

Music Licensing
Music licensing is a great opportunity for any aspiring musician to get paid for their recorded works to appear in TV and film. Helen Austin, a musician who has dedicated her career in music to licensing her works has put together a wonderful article on laying out the 4 Steps to Film and TV Placement.

Live Performance
The live performance sector is seen by many as the new focal point of the music industry. Although ticket giant Live Nation reported a drop in ticket sales for the summer of 2010, the live performance scene surrounding the emerging music scene has been flourishing. A new trend for musicians, especially in the upcoming hip-hop scene is to forgo signing with a record label, only to sign with a major booking agency who can effectively act as the liaison between the artist and other, well established artists and venues.

Studio/ Session Musician
There is always a demand for highly trained, highly qualified musicians to step in and add support on an album. This is not limited to any instrument or genre and can range from freelance work to working contractually for a major label. However, as the demand is high, so is the competition – in order to work as a studio/ session musician, you MUST be able to read music at a fluent rate and be able to adjust your playing to suit the needs of the client.

Band Manager
The negotiation skills and industry understanding gained from your own endeavors are the perfect skill set to get you started as a new band manager.

Music Teacher
Teaching music can be done at quite a few different levels of understanding and pay-grade, ranging from private in-home lessons up to collegiate-level music study. While it is certainly an attainable goal to establish a few clients and teach out of your own home without having a degree in music, it is almost guaranteed that you will need to have a degree in music and possibly even teaching in order to teach in any sort of professional setting.

Pit Band For Off-Broadway Productions
Although most broadway productions use classical music and orchestras, there are many off-broadway productions that contain much more contemporary forms of music. National Shows like Cirque De Sole and Blue Man Group, as well as many other smaller performances have scaled down from the orchestra to a smaller, Rock n’ Roll oriented music section.

Instrument Repair Technician
This can be done as either a part-time or full time job, and depending on your level of specialization, it can greatly range in pay-scale. Though you may be able to find work based on understand you’ve gain from your own research, this is one of those jobs that typically requires some sort of apprenticeship before you are fully hired as a professional technician. If this is something you are considering, there are quite a few resources out there, such as NAPBIRT that provide a free exchange of information for instrument repair technicians.

Book Bands For a Local Venue
Booking other music acts for a local venue is a great way to not only learn the inter-workings of the live music industry, but to gain some potentially valuable contacts should you ever decide to give it a go yourself.

Ghost Songwriter
Many musicians and artists have forged especially lucrative careers out of ghost songwriting for singers, performers and pop-stars. It is a fact that while Britney Spears was at the height of her fame, a woman named Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was writing the songs for her. More recently, Stefani has gone on to become one of the most successful pop stars of all time under the name Lady Gaga.

House Band/ Residency
There are clubs, bars, theaters, restaurants, hotels, resorts and even cruises all over the world that look for groups or solo musicians willing to act as the resident band. These residencies can range from nightly to weekly to monthly and offer a steady stream of income while you take the time needed to write and establish a fan base.

Page Turner
This one seems a little ridiculous, but there is actually a demand for ‘page turners’ who can literally sit and read along with musicians, turning the pages of sheet music at exactly the right moment. Check out this article from NPR that explains how it all works.

Music Transcriber
There are plenty of musicians and singer-songwriters who lack the understanding of music theory to be able to transcribe their music. Many musicians have found freelance work by charing an hourly rate to sit down with other musicians who play back what they’ve written while it is all transcribed on sheet music. Not a bad gig if you enjoy listening to music at an extremely slowed-down rate…

Film/ Video Game Scoring
Similar to music licensing, there is a plethora of major and indie film and/or video game makers looking for musicians to score their work.

Freelance Music Journalism
There is no one with more potential to become a freelance music journalist than a musician. The understanding of music theory and the music industry as whole can be just the qualifications needed to write insightful reviews of albums or live performances or maybe even essays for about the current trends or state of the music industry.

Music Production
Of course, with the DIY music movement becoming so contagious, many musicians have begun to take the many aspects of music production into their own hands. Ranging from recording to mixing to mastering, many musicians have created sustainable careers in the field of Music Production, allowing them to then later fund their own projects with their own money and experience.

These are just a few of the many, many ways to use your love for music to establish a sustainable career. While not all of the possibilities are glamorous or even all that lucrative, meaning it may take a few different revenue streams to make this music-filled lifestyle sustainable, you can at least rest assured knowing that your life is fueled by what you love… Music.

Written by Jonathan Ostrow (@miccontrol); he is the co-founder of MicControl, a music blogging network based on a social networking platform. This article originally appeared on the MicControl Blog on Sept. 21, 2010.

Criticism Diet

Today I caught myself, griping about one thing or another. Nothing important but important enough to complain about. I started laughing because I thought what if I never complained again? What would my life look like if I never complained? What would my life look like if I were able to see the light in every dark corner and find the joy in every moment.

I started thinking about my late aunt Brenda Hargrove Moore. She was a wonderful example of someone who never complained. She was a beautiful woman who was soft spoken and when she did speak it was as if sugar were coming out of her soul. Not that she was a pushover. She could be very firm when necessary but never without love or compassion.

I wanted to be like her but the ability to hold my tongue was weak. Over the years I have worked hard to exercise my tongue by speaking words of praise, joy and gratitude but sometimes my weak tongue doesn’t always work the way that I wish.

For example, earlier today I was faced with a situation that I felt was out of line. Instead of talking about it, I sent an email. As soon as I pressed the send button, I wanted to recall that email back to me. Not that I was nasty in the email, just that I could have been more kind and used a more compassionate tone. In my haste to empty my email…( I have 6779 emails in my inbox right now), I fired off a quick email without thinking it through. It was a request from a friend for a loan. I get these requests all the time. Usually starting in November and not ending until Tax Returns or vacation checks run out. Usually around the end of May. My heart aches because I really wish that I could help everyone but I can’t.

For whatever reason, I started thinking about why it happened today. Why am I getting this lesson AGAIN? Then it dawned on me that I needed to go on a criticism diet. No complaining about anything. No judgment about anyone or anything! This is the best way that I can honor my late Aunt’s legacy. To see the good in everything and everyone and no more complaining about anything including the weather. Because complaining is really about fear. Fear of loss. Fear of losing something or someone.

As some of you know I am writing a book about living a fearless life and you really have to be fearless to not complain or gossip. So in taking my own advice, I am putting myself on a criticism diet. I am going to start with one day, then one week, then one month and continue building until I am complete. I have already gone 1 hour. Let’s see if I can keep it up. It is sometimes challenging to go against the grain but I think that I am up for the challenge.

Join me on a 30 day journey of 30 days without criticism. Let’s see what positivity we can create with that energy.

The Case For Online Only Promotion

The case for online-only promotion
by Brian Hazard

I promote to establish and nurture a genuine relationship with my fans. I measure my success by the number of subscribers to my mailing list. Notice I said mailing list, not Twitter followers or MySpace “friends.” I’m talking about the people who grant me permission through a double opt-in process to email them directly on a regular and consistent basis. Right now there are just over a thousand, but there are plenty more out there who might love my music if they heard it. So how do we reach those potential fans?

In the pre-Web 2.0 days, you’d court a label, or if you were really adventurous, you’d hire a PR firm yourself. The PR firm would leverage their relationships with press and radio, which in turn maintain relationships with their audiences. That left you three degrees removed from your potential fans, the vast majority of whom you’d never hear from. Today, social networking allows us to cut out the middlemen and establish those relationships directly. Let’s dispel a couple of myths:

It’s all about exposure. My bullshit detector goes off whenever I hear the word “exposure.” It’s nebulous and generally worthless. I’ve spent a lot of time and money courting press and radio, resulting in bucketloads of “exposure” but few sales or follow-up contacts. While “you never know” who might be listening or reading, chances are good that nothing will come of it. The best promotions are targeted to as specific an audience as possible.

You need to impress the gatekeepers. No, you really don’t. You’re better off letting them come to you. Bloggers, DJs, music supervisors, labels, and the rest of the industry want to discover you for themselves. Grow your fanbase and the rest will follow. I know that may seem counterintuitive, but one small leap of faith could save you years of rejection and frustration. It is my sincere belief that lasting success comes from the bottom up.

While your goals may be different from mine, they probably involve more fans and more money. You already communicate with your fans and sell your music online, perhaps exclusively. It’s difficult and in some cases impossible to convert an offline fan into an online one, so why waste your energy? Promote where the action is: online.

Let me be clear – I’m not suggesting Dave Matthews stop touring and start blogging instead (he should do both). While you may consider your live show or your latest album to be the best promotion of all, performing and making records is what musicians do. For the purposes of this discussion, the term “promotion” refers to the many non-musical efforts you make to raise awareness of your music.

You might feel like you need to promote both offline and online to “cover your bases,” but there are an infinite number of bases to cover! You’ll never run out of things to do online: your web site, blog, podcast, remix competition, iPhone app, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace,YouTube, Flickr, iMixes, thesixtyone, Jango, Stereofame, Last.fm, OurStage, Pandora,Amazon, iLike, Podsafe Network, ccMixter, Blip.fm, Music Xray, Bandcamp, and a hundred others.

Of course, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. There’s no point in setting up profiles you aren’t going to maintain. A web presence is not enough – you have to actively promote. You’ll need to come up with your own promo combo platter and make it part of your regular diet. I’m busy recording a new album, so my bare bones routine consists of regular updates to my mailing list, blog, Facebook, and Twitter, plus a daily check-in at thesixtyone.

Brian Hazard is a recording artist with fifteen years of experience promoting his seven Color Theory albums. His Passive Promotion blog emphasizes “set it and forget it” methods of music promotion. Brian is also the head mastering engineer and owner of Resonance Mastering in Huntington Beach, California.