MONDAY BYTES — August 29, 2016
I recently read composer Dale Trumbore’s terrific article Sustainable Composing, in which she addresses how her idea of success has changed. She now takes a longer view of how to build a career over time, with relationships built on trust, to make a satisfying and sustainable life in music.
As Dale writes, “Maybe the business of being a musician isn’t a race to the top as quickly as possible, but a longer quest to find the people who are our people, the ones with whom we’ll collaborate to bring gorgeous new music into the world.”
I’m all for having goals with deadlines—they can keep us motivated and on track. (I’ve got a book deadline and a self-imposed article deadline gnawing at me now.) It works great for short and long term projects.
But not so much with whole careers, as Dale points out.
Too many of us early on create career limiting deadlines: that by a certain age we should have “made it” and be earning our living solely by performing or composing. That’s a zero sum game: you either make it or you’re a failure. And this produces stress, resentment, and short-sighted thinking that hurts careers in the long run.
I’m convinced that if each of us invested in thinking about our longterm careers for just 45 minutes each week, that we’d find ourselves making better choices—in how we use our time and money and in how we interact with others.
Take the challenge: invest 45 minutes this week in longterm thinking: assessing and planning about your future. Ask yourself the following questions and write down your answers and any specific and measurable actions you can this week to work more efficiently towards your desired future.
1. Relationships What are you doing each month to help cultivate and maintain long term relationships with colleagues, mentors, and fans? Anything you want to change or build as a new habit?
2. Finances How are you planning financially for the future? Which of your multiple income streams do you want to work on increasing? What can you do this week to get started on it?
4. Time Do you have scheduled and designated time for taking care of both immediate urgent projects and time for work on the longer term important projects?
Think of your career as a marathon, not a sprint.
OK, so I’m not a runner, but this metaphor still works because I know that running 26.2 miles means pacing, stamina, and mindset are key. Marathoners need to plan for the whole so they don’t exhaust themselves on the first incline.
Same with music careers, if you want success over the long haul, your mindset and plan of action need to help you focus and deal with one mile at a time while still keeping an eye on the horizon.
As always, I welcome your feedback: email me at Angela@BeyondTalentConsulting.com
And we’ve just scratched the surface. If you’d like to discuss this or perhaps receive coaching click here to find out what that might look like!
Dream Big, Plan Smart, Live Well