Last week was a whirlwind—I had a blast connecting with so many inspiring musicians in our 4-day training. Here’s a recap of some of the surprising What’s Next Roadmap take-aways. And I’d love to hear what hit home for you!
Even though 2020 beat us up, I found that . . .
1. Musicians are resilient and are focused on creating a better tomorrow.
Over the fours days it was clear that the energy level musicians have for taking on creative projects is high. Your spirit, your love of music and of connecting with people—along with your determination—all fill me with hope for our collective future.
2. We know how to be the heroes of our own journeys.
In the training, we took a look at our past projects and saw that the most challenging ones always had the most to teach us. Yes, we’ve survived difficult “hero’s journey” projects. We’ve suffered through the “all is lost” periods and came very close to giving up. But we persevered, saw these projects through, and grew because of it. With the hero’s journey, we have a model for how to move forward through difficulties and be transformed by them.
Sounds good, but the take-aways weren’t all rainbows and puppy dogs. For many musicians . . .
3. Committing to just ONE priority project is painful.
Saying “yes” to one priority project can feel like we’re saying “no” to all the other bright and shiny projects on our list. We may feel torn and end up flitting among a number projects—but never accomplishing much with any of them.
To make substantial progress on a project you need to be able to dedicate consistent, focused time on it. Saying yes to one priority project doesn’t mean that’s ALL you do—we all have long to-do lists. But when it comes to your career, I’d suggest you choose ONE project to focus on first in this new year.
The What’s Next Roadmap take-aways also included some tough love . . .
4. Commitment—it’s only real when it becomes a consistent habit.
Commitment means you’re “all in,” you designate specific time for the project in your calendar, week in and week out. You treat this like a vow, like a commitment made to your closest friend or family member.
Why designate specific times in your calendar? Because without a commitment of scheduled time, your project will always come last, after all your other obligations.
If that’s how you’re treating your project, your dream can quickly become a “woulda, coulda, shoulda,” instead of a real accomplishment.
Weekend hobbyist and dabblers work on projects when they can fit them in and when they’re in the mood. But when you’re serious, when you turn pro, you make a commitment and honor it.
And the toughest truth of the training was this . . .
5. The enemy—Resistance—will always be there.
The biggest “A-Ha” of the What’s Next Roadmap take-aways was how much people resonated with Day 3, when we dove into the dark side to unpack Resistance—the demons and dragons of our Hero’s Journeys.
Resistance is the force that seeks to keep us “safe” in our comfort zones, playing small in our careers and in our lives. It shows up in all the varieties of negative self-talk. It’s the “Who do you think you are?” and the “You don’t have what it takes.”
Our negative self-talk in turn can provoke a range of behaviors: procrastination, distraction, self-sabotage, overwhelm, compare and despair, isolation, hiding, and a dependence on external validation. This is how Resistance manifests in our lives.
There’s some relief in recognizing that you’re not alone in dealing with negative self-talk and self-defeating behavior. But unfortunately, there’s no vanquishing Resistance—it’s part of life. The issue is how we respond to it.
Is there a What’s Next Roadmap solution to Resistance?
The good news is that there are real ways to move past Resistance and to—as Seth Godin says—learn to “dance with the fear.”
It starts with being able to notice your negative self-talk in action and spot the resulting self-defeating behavior. This is the first step because after all, if you can’t identify the enemy, you can’t make any kind of change.
Once you start spotting your Resistance, you stand a chance of being able to choose something other than the self-defeating behavior. Yes, it’s possible to change and to develop new healthier habits. But I’m not going to lie to you—it takes real work.
If you’d like to get support with this, I have two options for you:
1. Book a Private Roadmap session with me: a deep dive 90 minute Zoom session to clarify your best next steps with your project so you can stop spinning your wheels and get down to doing your most important work and getting it out into the world.
OR, if you already know you need and want ongoing help in a supportive small group setting . . .
2. Sign up for my Power Group program and get a personalized roadmap and a support structure to help you get and stay on track with your career—so you can finally become the artist you are meant to be. Get out of your comfort zone and into forward motion—let’s turn your inspiring dream project into reality.
And, as always, I look forward to seeing you in our FREE Musicians Making It Facebook group where you can connect with many other talented, accomplished musicians.
Dream Big, Plan Smart, Live Well