It’s Just a Job! It’s Not Emotional or Personal
"The road to success is lined with many tempting parking spaces." - Source Unknown
There are many, many programs and services out there for singers today, but too much of a good thing can also be overwhelming. I've heard from my own students that they can often feel confused and unsure which programs are worth their resources of time, energy and money. As is the case with my students, most aspiring artists are supplementing their income with either a full or part time job, and they feel that adding something else to their plate is a real financial challenge. Yet there is a sense that you have to try to do everything right now or be left behind. Here's a newsflash - just because it is there, doesn't mean that you need to partake!
Stop!!! Stop thinking more is better! Stop throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if it will stick! Stop this stressful spinning of your wheels and wasting your time, energy and money. Breathe. Stop and take the time you need to truly evaluate where you are right now on your career path, and what you really need to help you move forward. Give yourself a sense of direction unique to your needs.
If this career thing is really just a job, what tools and skills would be useful for you right now? Start by reviewing what you feel is missing from your “performance package”. Be cold and calculating in your analysis of what you need to get to the next step of your plan. It’s like looking at yourself and what you are doing in the 3rd person. This kind of work allows you to be disassociated, honest and unemotional as you figure out exactly where you are right now, where you want to go, what you need in the way of tools and skills to get there, and then make an actual, doable individualized plan that get’s this job done.
Do you know who you are? Conduct an honest evaluation of yourself because your plan should fit in with your life style and your schedule. Once you have that in place you need to stay the course and not become seduced with something new until you have completed your present plan. Then you can reevaluate, once again, where you are right now and what your needs are right now to get the job done. It then becomes one positive step at a time.
And remember, as you travel along your individualized path that you are not competing against any other singer. You are authentic and unique in what you have to offer. There is no competition. Singing is a matter of allowing the words, music and emotion to come through the sound of your voice. Then it's up to those hiring to make a choice on whether you are a “fit” for their company at that time. You simply go, do your job, leave and move on to whatever comes next on your agenda.
"Focus on competition has always been a formula for mediocrity." - Daniel Burrus
The world of opera and classical singing has given me over 45 years of living the dream—world travel, meeting and working with some of the most famous singers, conductors and stage directors of yesterday, today and tomorrow. It’s been a successful and very satisfying journey for me.
Success means something different to everyone…..so let me ask you, what does success mean to you? It is different for everyone. Most people are afraid of both success and failure. What are you afraid of and why? Once you know the reality of what a singing career demands, are you still interested in pursuing this dream and why? And last but not least, how is your current career plan working out for you? Need some help? You’ve come to the right spot.
Here are my four key cornerstones, the necessary foundation upon which to build and support your career:
- First and foremost, having a solid and consistently dependable vocal technique.
- Knowing who you are, from the inside out.
- Having a destination and a solid plan to get there.
- Maintaining personal accountability in all areas of your life.
If you already have these things in place, then you probably don’t need me. But if any one of them is not stable, remember—the higher you go, the further you can fall, so call me, Skype me, email me—right now, while you are feeling the passion of possibility stir within yourself.
Let me help you review where you are in your career, confirm what you already have in place and honestly works well for you. Together we can define any areas that might need some adjusting. Let’s set up a plan to make your career foundation whole and solid knowing there is no progress without change.
Before you leave this website, make sure you check out my Newsletter Archive. If you find one that really resonates with you, let me know about it. Or if you have an idea for a subject that you would like me to discuss, let me know that as well. And don’t forget to sign up for my FREE Aria Ready Monthly Newsletter to help keep you on track and inspired.
Check out the completely revised and updated 2nd edition of my book, “Aria Ready, The Business of Singing”. There are many books out there about singing and many books out there about business, but this is the only one available that explains the Personal & Business Aspects of building a singing career. I not only tell you what to do, but how to do it by giving you the tools and skills to create your very own personalized path to successful career building. It’s a great resource and reminder of how to do what needs to be done. To have an achievable purpose, creates motivation to get you where you want to go, even if and when you stumble and fall or just don’t have the vision for a while. You will be able to actually go into the book to read some of the materials to see if this might be a good resource for you.
Thanks for stopping by. Bookmark this site so that it will be easy to use as a resource, as well as a place to discuss and digest subjects that you are interested in. Let me hear from you.
What Does Your Brand Say About You?
"Google yourself and see what you find. While very unscientific, this sort of early approach will give you an immediate - and inexpensive - idea of what issues are attached to your name." - Abram Sauer
Everything in life today is branded. It’s a way for you to understand and determine a product’s value, quality, consistency and emotional appeal for you. Notice how you react to these brands: Starbucks, Nike, Apple, Facebook. You have an immediate visceral and emotional response to these names and products. And it happens in an unconscious manner.
And most companies that produce these brands are backed by a Vision or Mission Statement that tells the world what they support and why they stand behind their commitment. This statement tells you of the companies promise and commitment to you, the costumer. And often it goes well beyond the actual product. For example, in addition to Starbucks product mission statement, it also has an environmental mission statement that is very explicit in its values, commitments concerning this subject that affect the world.
You too have a product and/or service to sell that has value, quality and above all must be consistent. And whether you are conscious of it or not, you also have a personal mission statement. Your missions statement let's everyone know what to expect from your Brand and lets you know what you can expect from yourself as well.
Discovering, writing down and making a commitment to your own Product, Brand and Mission Statement has to be a conscious choice about how you want to be perceived not only by others but by you within yourself.
Take Back Your Power in 2014
"Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it." - Bob Moawad
How often do you feel out of control, overwhelmed with all that has to be accomplished to pursue your career? And that is only part of the equation - you still have to do well at school and at your job so you can pay the bills, and have time for loved ones and friends. What get’s short changed? Probably each of these items get’s a turn at this. Want some tools to help you take your power back – help you manage your time better - be more productive at each activity and feel like you are in control? It can be done, but first you have to actually practice using these tools on purpose so they become the habit. And you already know that practice makes permanent so it’s your choice, it’s up to you to make this happen or not. You have to not only talk the talk but walk the walk.
Let’s get started.
First I want to introduce to you a phrase I have learned to apply to my activities every day. It is from Eckart Tolle's book “The Power of Now”. It’s a very simple, a very powerful statement of how to deal with each moment of time. He says, “Offer no resistance to what is, take action or not, and don’t become attached to the outcome.” So that means take the time to look at every situation, or task for exactly what it is, just the facts. It’s not personal or emotional, just a collection of facts. That allows you to understand if it’s necessary take action or not. Once that is done, don’t just jump into your mind already planning how it’s all going to work out. There is no presupposing where a conversation is going or what your action might trigger. You simply intently listen to the other person as they speak, or wait until you can once again look at situation or task for exactly what it is and do this over and over again. It sounds easy, doesn’t it?
Drafting Your Own Contract
"A real decision is measured by the fact that you've taken a new action. If there's no action, you haven't truly decided." - Tony Robbins
As I said last month, December can be an opportune time to expand your performance/business experience. This requires not only ferreting out your own performance venues but also experimenting with building 2-3 different programs to suit differing venues, to creating a contract once the details have been settled on like price, time and place of the performance. It’s a wonderful opportunity to hone your business confidence as you continue to gain performance experience.
Creating a contract is not complex or difficult. What I would suggest is to either list or mind map all the items that need to be covered in this contract. Ask friends and those in your family, especially if they are involved in the business world to help you with this.
Here are some of the items you might want to consider:
Some Ideas to Help You Get & Stay Motivated
"Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.” - Bob Moawad
Being involved in a summer program whether it’s one that someone else has created or one you put together for yourself or even if you are just hanging out, becoming motivated sometimes seems beyond impossible. I recently ran across these 4 short and sweet points from Omar Periu, one of the world's top motivational speakers that I thought made a lot of sense. I took the liberty of putting them into context with my own comments on each topic. Hope you take them to heart.
- 1. Always act with a purpose. - If you don't know why you're doing something, you're making that part of your life utterly meaningless. Think about practicing. Are you simply putting it all on auto pilot without being mindful as you sing? Take the time to set up what you want to accomplish in your mind, then, do it without trying to fix it as you go. You can always observe what’s going on but if your mind is engaged in thinking about something else or your Brat starts up with its negative talk and you let that happen by not being in that moment, you’re not accomplishing your goal. If it goes wrong, stop, reset and do it again. Starting every action with a review of your purpose, however, puts everything you do into context. Having a purpose for every act keeps you aimed at your life goals rather than letting life happen to you. If you string together enough meaningless acts in your life, your entire life will be literally pointless--without a point. So…wake up and do everything on purpose.
- 2. Take responsibility for your own results. - Most people misinterpret this concept. They think it means taking the credit when things go well and taking the blame when things go wrong. But taking responsibility is not about blame or credit; it's about what you do next. If you're responsible for your own results, you take ownership for whatever future emerges from those results. Expect failure and mistakes along the way. That’s part of life and is simply feedback. If you don’t learn the lesson within the failure and mistakes, but simply feel sorry for yourself, you become a “victim” and start seeing yourself as a looser and often interpret what others are saying from that mode when that is often not the truth. Taking responsibility makes you a winner because you get to choose what you are going to do when things appear to go wrong. It’s about your choice. Simply continue to move forward towards your goals, even when you encounter setbacks.
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