Musicians' story time: Is this you?

Heads up: this story contains the stalled project cure. It’s the story of a terrific musician I’ll call Kathy. She’s personable, positive, and accomplished. And prior to Covid, she was active: teaching and freelancing, taking auditions—she was busy and optimistic about her future.

But since Covid put a halt to her freelancing and performance projects, it’s been a different story. Kathy’s kept up with the teaching and puts on her most positive face for her students. But on her own, her motivation has gone AWOL.

Kathy’s practicing has become sporadic and she’s not been keeping in touch with friends and colleagues. If it weren’t for her dog, Kathy told me, she probably wouldn’t leave the house.

When the Pandemic started, Kathy had great intensions: she had four projects she wanted to make headway on and complete, including a a solo album she wanted to record, a serious upgrade of her promo materials, and planning for two new teaching artist programs.

Uh-oh, stalled projects ahead

Kathy made all kinds of resolutions but the projects are seriously stalled. Kathy says she’s not sure what kind of help she actually needs. All she knows for sure is that she’s overwhelmed. And that she wants clear action steps and to know that she’s on track and moving forward.

In other words, she wants the stalled project cure.

If any of this is resonating with you, here’s a resource I gave Kathy that I’m happy to share with you, too:

Musicians' story time: Is this you?

The Hero’s Journey is a concept you may be familiar with. It’s the common narrative pattern that animates all of our favorite books, movies, plays, and myths. The hero’s journey is the essential structure, the common plot line you’ll find in The Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, and The Odyssey, not to mention The Magic Flute and the Ring cycle.

But the Hero’s Journey is more than a plot line. It’s also a metaphor for how transformation works in projects, careers, and in life. And it’s a great metaphor for musicians because our careers are in fact made up of a series of journeys—quests in the form of the projects we take on.

The building blocks of music careers: projects

Whether it’s releasing an album, creating a new website, or launching a fundraising campaign, every project is a journey with challenges to overcome, insights to gain, and transformations to experience.

And each project builds on the last. Ultimately, it’s the sum of these projects, these journeys, that determines your career trajectory.

I’ve found that in helping musicians move ahead in their careers, the Hero’s Journey is a great mapping tool to reveal where you are now in a project and what will best help you move forward. That’s why I developed this quick, painless, and FREE assessment, so you can . . .

Find out where you are and where you’re headed

The Musician Hero’s Journey assessment is a quick quiz: 7 statements that you read and indicate whether you agree or disagree. You simply click on how well each statement reflects where you are now in a priority project.

The assessment then calculates your “score” and gives you details and context about each of the 7 stages of the Musician Hero’s Journey. This will give you a real sense of where you are now in your process plus tips on moving forward.

Once you take the assessment . . .

  1. Check your score to see which stage(s) you were ranked highest in.
  2. With the results you receive, notice what your biggest surprise is—that’s often a clue to where to direct more attention and energy.
  3. Based on the results you get, determine your next action steps to move your project and your career forward.

To take the quick 7 question Musician Hero’s Journey Assessment  . . .


Oh, and did this help Kathy?

Yep, with the assessment she learned she needed to make some strategic changes. That she needed to develop new habits to take action even when she didn’t feel like it. And that when she DID take consistent action, that’s when the motivation started to show up again. She’s now on her way to taking charge and becoming the hero of her own experience.

For more career insights and inspiration, join our supportive community, our FREE Musicians Making It Facebook group. We’d love to have you!

Here’s to your forward motion,

Dream Big, Plan Smart, Live Well


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