You Are What You Believe You Are – You Become What You Believe You Will Become
"The problem with competition is that it takes away the requirement to set your own path, to invent your own method, to find a new way." - Seth Godin
How many times have you gotten serious about setting some goals but never quite found a method of taking action that actually worked for you? So, you either stop trying or do what you have always done, winged it by metaphorically throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if it would stick, or tried to follow someone else’s path to success! It can be frightening not to first, discover then recognize a plan that helps you specifically be able to methodically move forward. A workable process would be where there is an opportunity to measure your success probably weekly against your goal, so you know that you are moving in the right direction at a speed that works for you, because that is exactly what creating goals and then a plan of action to get there is all about; create – do - measure success – notice flaws – adjust and then do it all over again for the next week. This gives you confidence as you move toward one small goal that will perhaps then lead to a bigger one you have set for yourself, etc. I think most folks still believe in overnight success. There is no such thing. It takes doing just one small – medium – large thing each day the moves you forward.
Sure you can have a long range goal to check in with occasionally, as long as it is realistic and all encompassing. Singing at the Met is kind of limiting and only one part of your plan, but more to the point is perhaps something like, making a living as a professional singer. Do you want to become a “STAR”, or do you want a job that constantly improves your abilities, skills and tools which unleashes your talent, and your ability to make a living doing what you love? This kind of path might even propel you into what we call stardom? However, I’m sure you can see, hear and feel that these are two very different ideas – one is a romantic dream about spending time and performing with all the greats of our day, staying in wonderful hotels and traveling the world with an adoring audience waiting to get a glimpse of you or give you some small trinket they think you will treasure always.
The other is seen, heard and felt as a job. You continue to hone your craft, perfect your knowledge of the score, composers, librettists, and discover more about the world time lines that happened during a particular operas time frame. This creates a complete package as a performer and person. You get better at your vocal technique, speaking different languages, finding your emotional center as you improve your stage craft, you learn how to better work with others in a productive way, and the art of negotiation. It also permits you figure out how to stay in touch in a meaningful way with your significant other and family, and finding productive ways to quell the boredom, loneliness and sacrifices that often accompany this job.
"Nothing is more crucial than your contribution to the feedback loop: you are the one who colors everything that comes your way, using intention, belief, expectation, wishes, hopes, dreams and fears. No input is neutral, because you are emotionally invested in your experiences." - Deepka Chopra
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.
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.
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
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.