All posts filed under: Latest Posts

Career planning for artists: Why a three year plan of action is the new ten.

What do you see yourself doing in five to ten years? That’s a big, important, overwhelming question. In my experience, five to ten years is too long of a runway to come up with a concrete plan of action. Think about all of the things you’ve done over the last five to ten years. You’ve likely had some major life changes in that time. Planning that far into the future isn’t really a productive exercise in our fast paced world. When I advise artists, instead of asking them to map out the next ten years, I ask them to picture their ideal career in three years. Three years gives my clients enough time and space to think about what they want to do, come up with a plan, and act on it. Here are some steps you can take to come up with a strategic plan for your life and career: Forget the pathways that have been prescribed to you — To start any strategic planning process, I always encourage artists to consider the variety of …

Launching a new ensemble, organization, or business? Read this, Part IV.

This is step 4 of a series of posts designed to help you launch a new ensemble, organization, or business. Before you read this post, make sure you start with this post, followed by this post, and this post. Here are some steps to help you research and identify the resources necessary to launch your idea. One of the most important aspects of launching a new venture is to think deeply about the resources you will need to launch your idea. There are three recommended steps to this part of the process: Research—Seek out online resources, books, and interviews with successful individuals who have experience doing similar work to the new venture you’d like to launch. Tip: When conducting research, focus on the over arching conceptual of what is being said instead of specific venture being covered; you will discover that knowledge, in any form, can be applicable if applied correctly—even from a seemingly unrelated subject matter. Recommended Resources: Pat Flynn The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses Business Model …

The reason why higher education values time served rather than competency.

I remember vividly, my undergraduate degree. Semester after semester, I took 20+ credits, balancing private lessons with ensemble work, education courses, and my general studies. On top of that, I worked as an RA and held a few odd jobs over my time in school in order to make ends meet. The accumulation of work often buried me so deeply that I remember finishing each semester feeling like I had made it through the race but didn’t really have anything of quality to show for the work. One of the biggest reasons many of us are over stretched during college is that higher education values the amount of time we are physically in a classroom, rather than our ability to show competency. In Cracking The Credit Hour, Amy Laitinen takes an objective look at the state of higher education. This is a must read for all and here are a few takeaways from the report: The Credit Hour—the unit of measurement that determines competency for college students—was developed in 1906 by Andrew Carnegie. The reason for this …

The Frustration of Personal Budgeting.

It can be incredibly frustrating to hear someone give you advice on your finances. Although well intentioned, the solution often floated is that you simply need to live within your means in order to find financial stability. Of course this makes sense, however, the problem is that many of us don’t have enough working cash flow in order to make ends meet. In this scenario, this advice becomes frustrating at best, insulting at worst. To be clear, I do believe that budgeting is the best strategy to finding financial freedom, however, it’s not as simple as someone waving a magic “manage your finances and all will be well,” wand. Here are some strategies to help you figure out the steps to finding financial stability. Set a budget: Knowledge is power and a well thought out budget will help you think about how much you’re spending each months. The more important aspect of your budget is how much you’re making. Understanding your income and where it comes from is incredibly important. Tip: I highly recommend You Need A Budget. Check …

What is an hour of your time actually worth from a Work Life Balance Perspective?

It’s a funny thing, time. We never seem to have enough of it, especially when pursuing an art form that is defined by a fleeting moment in our lives. One minute we’re on stage pouring our heart out for an audience, the next, we’re on the way home, thinking about the next performance. Our work leading to that intensive moment of artistic output causes us to value the time we have even more deeply. Hours and hours of work for a performance, and then it’s over as quickly as it began. Earlier this week, I wrote about strategies to determine the value of an hour of your time, but thinking about your work from a financial prospective is only one part of defining that value. Part of the reason so many artists face burn out in their playing is that, often, they wind up in situations that are not artistically satisfying. Compound that with the fact that it takes them away from family, friends and time for themselves, and the work becomes infinitely more frustrating. …