The first thing you need to remember is that business first and foremost is not emotional or personal; it’s about creating and maintaining healthy relationships including the one with yourself. And it’s having the courage to implement every step of your plan at each and every level of growth, from being a student to stepping out into the professional world of singing that is important. The quicker you understand the business aspects of a career and apply them through your own personalized plan of action, the quicker this process will become “the habit”. It doesn’t have to be difficult or over thought. It’s simply small steps that need to be done daily or weekly to keep you up to date and on schedule with your objective for that week. Don’t try to create some unrealistic plan that you know you can never keep up with. It needs to be a simple plan that works just for you. You can have a simple end goal, like finding the right summer program, or learning a role for your summer program and then each week you do something that takes you closer to making that happen. It helps keep that process from piling up so you dread the thought of doing it or just take whatever shows up because you don’t want to be left behind. Just think of doing one small action spread out over a week that will lead to the next step instead of procrastinating. Repetition is what makes it easier over time and then it will become your habit. The action you take has to make sense to you, be functional, constructive, and effective. In order for you to feel good about your action, the process has to be done on your own ballpark estimation of how much time you honestly need to get it accomplished one small piece at a time.
“Although at the moment they may be equal in their lack of a real answer, the man who replies “I’ll find out,” is much more valuable to his employer, his neighbor, and to himself than the man who replies, l don’t know. ” – Anonymous
Knowing what has to be done and how to best execute the routine you put in place, and recognizing what works and what doesn’t will be learned by trial and error. It’s about getting that job done with more efficiency and confidence each time you go through the routine. And by doing so, you continue to strengthen your own Personal Brand, the product you are selling. This practice allows you to remain flexible, curious and willing to consider “failure & mistakes” as part of this process. All successful business people embrace these ideas. They know that learning something about your business or you personally often involves figuring out the lesson within the “failure or mistake” and then moving on as you adjust your thinking to include this empowering new concept. You might consider that this in turn may spark a whole new additional sense of reasoning as you grow and change giving you an opportunity to analyze and gain the understanding that you have been waiting for. Others will notice and you might perhaps even start getting some really good feedback. Singing is only part of the equation of getting that role or into a particular summer program. On the casting end of our industry, they want to have a performer that is confident with their performance, their product and their business. They are no longer looking for someone with great potential. You have to have more than a beautiful voice and intrinsic performance skills. You have to be able to do business, your new job without making it emotional and personal. You have to represent and present your Personal Brand every moment and in all circumstances. That is how you grow and change into the product you can be proud of.
Each successive time they meet you, even if it is unconscious on their part, they want to see how you have grown as a person. I’ll say it again, these three elements, professionalism in your Personal Brand, performance and business practices, have to be synchronized and in balance so your total presentation is congruent and in harmony with one another. In other words you can’t be at a level with just one of these elements and expect to get that role or into that summer program. You need the depth and strength of these three elements, these three strands woven together into one strong representation.
“When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” – Anonymous
So, no more time, energy or excuses for floundering around in the ocean of not knowing how to handle the business aspects of the performance industry. There is no down time for you as an entrepreneur running your own professional business. You do have tools and skills to use. However, they are only available and consistent in proportion to the time and energy you put into practicing them. And as I just said and it bears repeating, there is almost never down time for an emerging artist or young professional. So, go get’um!
Avanti!! Ciao until next time. Carol
PS – Remember that if you run into trouble or get stuck, I am just an email away.