Developing Your Groove

As this subject comes up a lot during music business seminars, I thought I’d blog on it. So let’s take a look at this:

First it takes some courage! Yes courage to choose a profession notorious for its up and downs, rejections and long road and with no guarantees! I remember when I came to my crossroads – get a regular steady job or go for it as a pro musician. For me it was easy as my passion for music and dislike for most everything else made it a simple decision. But I had many around me, family and friends, constantly warning me about this choice and that I needed to have something to fall back on. But the more they warned me, the more I knew this was my choice.

The next ingredient is persistence; persistence to study and practice as much as it takes to become proficient on your instrument of choice in order to compete in the marketplace because after all……it’s all about your word of mouth. It also takes persistence to keep on going no matter what. Giving up is not an option. The goal is the top of Mt Everest and the conviction is the summit or die in the assault!

Next would be personal integrity which translates to being willing to be yourself, to play the notes YOU want to play and play them well and with confidence and intention. Sounds simple but not so easy to do yet therein lies the way for you to communicate YOUR inner self and that’s what people really want you to do, trust me. Don’t ever deny yourself; only YOU can deliver your message. Once you achieve this ability – to play honest notes – you are already successful! The rest will follow and simply takes competence and persistence!

The next and probably most important of all is the giving of more than expected! Yes that’s right – ALWAYS give more than expected and what was paid for as that’s what gives you great word of mouth, great PR. That’s how you get “call backs” and references. Success in the entertainment industry is a) being referred to a gig and than b) delivering the goods way beyond what was expected – home run! You’re on your way!

Re: Delivering the goods: This demands competence on your instrument and your ability to communicate effortlessly to an audience. You should spend a considerable amount of quality time practicing the fundamentals of your instrument whether it’s a music school, private instruction or self study or all of the above. In this stressful economy it’s even more important that you have the competitive edge so don’t skimp on your training. There’s still plenty of work for those who can really play and are willing to communicate.

Here are some tips for your success:

1. Always envision the ideal scene – your dream as accomplished. This means whatever you want to achieve, imagine it as already done and achieved in your universe until it is actually done in the physical universe.

2. Make sure you’re on purpose as an artist meaning you’re doing what YOU want to do. Passion is everything and if you’re not doing exactly what you want, how can you expect to have any passion? Audiences aren’t stupid; they know sincerity and passion. Example: if your passion is progressive jazz fusion than that’s what you practice and play and promote for. Never consult with anyone regarding YOUR purpose other than yourself! Anybody or anything that gets in your way should be politely ignored and/or removed as the case may warrant. Once you achieve what you wanted in an area, keep doing those things that got you there and/or move on to a new game or area.

3. Be very product and service oriented meaning finish to professional competitive industry standards all products – CD’s, videos, DVD’s, music instruction manuals, performances etc. The key thing here is finish so it can be released and exchanged with the public. (A CD idea in one’s head is not a valuable final product. You must confront the time and money and production barriers and finish the bloody thing! Waiting for that illusive record deal is totally being a victim. Wait for no one and depend on no one!) Professional industry standards mean how does it stand up to the standard that’s currently selling or has been exchanged in the past? One has to be brutally honest here, doesn’t one? If one is a singer and sings a little out of tune, then one handles this; if one is a drummer and one’s time is weak, well get it handled. Promoting a weak product and/or service doesn’t work. When and if it does, it eventually fails anyway and besides, pride and accomplishment and work ethic apply here – that’s what a pro is.

4. Always try and make your products and services a knock out so they produce an incredible effect on your audience and thus get great word of mouth. Always try and go that extra mile and give way more than what might be expected.

5. Do lots of personal research in order to develop the correct business relationships to promote your products and services to. Personal research means – contacting those who might be able to help in some way, surfing the internet, reading the trade magazines, going to concerts/clubs, jamming with others; in other words pay attention to your particular zone. Hoping someone will contact you doesn’t work. You must flow inordinate amounts of energy outwards for that to occur. Also, you must do it because you want to… not only for the money and/or fame. That’s why number two above is so so important.

6. There should be no such thing as giving up! Just keep on delivering your products and services until the tea kettle whistles. If it doesn’t whistle (rejection), never let it affect you for very long; never stop practicing and creating, never. Simply get even more determined and refine your products and services even further until it does.

7. Always keep in communication with your developed personal and business relationships and flow them back the energy they flowed you when they need it… this includes your fans!!!

Acting ‘As If’ Will Transform Your Business

Although great strategies, systems and plans are essential for success I know that unless you have a positive mindset business can be a struggle.

And a big obstacle to achieving your business goals is constricted thinking which results from a scarcity consciousness.

There is NEVER enough – time, money, clients, ideas, resources…

When our minds get into this groove we start to shrink, stay small and look for ways to stay safe.

The problem with this approach is that energy levels go down, results get smaller and it’s likely that you’ll end up feeling very stuck.

There is a way forward though! One of the quickest ways to get to where you want to be, is to start acting ‘as if’ you are there already!

The actor Daniel Day-Lewis, who won a Golden Globe award for his role as Lincoln, becomes his characters on and off the set while the films are being made. For The Last of the Mohicans, he went to live in a teepee in the North American wilds for six months, building himself a canoe, and surviving on food he trapped or hunted! He truly lives and experiences his roles.

This might work for Day-Lewis but you may be wondering what this means for you and your business or you might be worried that it involves spending lots of money.

Well here are a few suggestions to help you start exploring this a bit more…

Example # 1: You want a full client practice. Imagine for a moment then that this is the case now and you have a waiting list! Instead of feeling worried, anxious and fearful you’d probably be confident, relaxed and enjoying your work. When you embrace these qualities you immediately send out a signal of being in demand and you become much more attractive to prospective clients. Because who wants to work with someone who is needy and desperate?

Example # 2 You want a six figure business. To achieve this you would have in place multiple revenue streams, you would charge what you’re worth and you’d attract higher end clients by offering exclusive products or services. You may also be attending different types of events, being seen and heard more and your image would probably reflect someone who is operating at this level. Take a look at what you are doing at the moment and think about ways you could increase the value of what you offer. Also reflect on where and with whom you spend your time. Are these the right environments for your level of business? Perhaps you need to invest in that one fabulous outfit which will take you to important events and help you feel like that successful business owner.

Example #3 You want to be a sought after speaker for conferences and events.In demand speakers have great expertise, information and stories to share so if you’re just starting out get practicing at every opportunity. Have your speaker profile, your unique story and your outline talk ready to go. You can include this information on your bio or your website as well. Ensure you have some training and preparation for that big opportunity but in the meantime attend live events to learn/network with established speakers and make connections with event organisers.

Acting ‘as if’does not mean being inauthentic or without integrity, rather it is about taking action from where you want to be. When you do your thinking and decision making will be different and your mindset and perspective will shift. As you continue to make these changes you’ll start to see how your business will transform around you.

LeapFrog Learn and Groove Table: An Incredible Musical Table For Your Little One

A good children’s toy should be both entertaining and educational. Nowadays, you can easily find numerous toys created to both entertain and educate your child; one of them is the LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Table. This toy is produced by LeapFrog, a notable children’s toy manufacturer. It comes with songs and real instrument sounds to stimulate your baby’s hearing. In addition, this product also has many things that your baby can slide, spin, open and close. By switching the pages of the book in the middle of the table, your baby can switch between the Learning Mode and the Music Mode. It is suitable for babies older than 6 months.

The dimensions of the table are 5.5 x 15.4 x 22.9 inches and it weighs about 8.5 pounds. The table legs are adjustable so that your child can play with it while sitting down or standing up. As your baby grows, the adjustable legs also make it easy for your child to play with the musical table. The games and songs are available in two languages: English and Spanish. The dual language option is a great feature to introduce your baby to different languages. This musical table is a toy that is specifically designed to stimulate the sensory, auditory, and motor senses of your child. It features 15 activities and 40 songs to keep your little one busy for hours.

Nowadays, children’s toys are more sophisticated than the ones we had back in our childhood days and LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Table is no exception. This musical toy offers numerous features that will both entertain and educate your children. The plastic-molded table is also very sturdy and durable.

With this attractive toy, your baby can get fun 15 activities. The ABC song will be played as your baby spins the maraca. To educate your little one about different colors, let him play with the colored piano. You can also teach your baby to count until ten by moving the trombone’s slides. Then, you can play the 40 songs and melodies to your baby by switching from the Learning Mode to the Music Mode.

There are many things to learn with this musical table. With all of the attractive activities, it helps your baby to exercise his memory and problem-solving skills. This toy requires 3 AA batteries which can be purchased separately. LeapFrog Learn and Groove Table is totally the perfect gift for your precious child. You can purchase this product online and get discounted shipping rate from major online retailers.