171 – How to Plan Your Year as a Musicain

by | Dec 25, 2019 | Podcast

How The holidays are the perfect time to reflect on the year past and think about what you want to achieve in the year ahead.

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I share about a practice Bill Gates himself adopted to review and consider suggestions Microsoft employees gave him.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:34 – Continuing the reflection series
  • 00:52 – I want 2020 to be a breakthrough year
  • 01:08 – Think Week
  • 02:08 – One thing I’m going to be thinking about
  • 02:33 – One thing I’ll be learning about
  • 02:59 – One thing I’ll be analyzing
  • 03:29 – One thing I’ll be creating
  • 04:30 – Will you be engaging in Think Week?
  • 04:37 – Questions to ask yourself
  • 05:19 – Resource to help you in the New Year


Happy holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.

I trust you’re enjoying yourself this holiday season.

As with last episode, I wanted to give you some thoughts to meditate on as we move into 2020.

If you can’t tell, I’ve never thought longer or harder on my leadership, growth, strengths and shortcomings than now.

That’s because I want 2020 to be a breakthrough year.

I want 2020 to be a breakthrough year. Share on X

I’m tired of the same old, same old.

If I want 2020 to be different, that means I will need to create new habits.

If I want to create new habits, I will need to take new actions.

If I want to take new actions, I will need to think new thoughts.

Something that has made its way into the Music Entrepreneur HQ culture is “Think Week.”

I’ve been wanting to do this for several years now but didn’t necessarily have the proper structure or even time to do it.

This year, I managed to take a week off between December 25 and January 1, so I though to myself, “what better time?”

If you don’t already know, this practice has its roots in a regime Bill Gates himself adopted, and he was the one to coin the term Think Week.

Basically, twice per year, for an entire week, he would retreat into a remote cabin, read through all the suggestions and proposals Microsoft employees gave him and decide which to implement.

My Think Week will take a similar form, though I only have so much to review in terms of feedback or suggestions.

With that in mind, I’ve been making note of everything I want to think about, study and learn about, analyze and create.

I’ll give you a few examples of what I’m talking about, so you can structure your own Think Week if you choose to implement this practice for yourself.

First, let’s look at one thing I’m going to be thinking about.

Something I’m going to be thinking about is turning podcast episodes into shorter video clips.

Some questions connected to this item include:

  • Is this something worth doing?
  • What kind of return can I expect from doing this?
  • How long will it take?
  • Can it be outsourced?
  • If so, how much will it cost?
  • How many clips do I want to create?

And so on.

Second, here’s one thing I’ll be learning about.

In an episode of SuperFastBussiness, my coach, James Schramko, talked about a German notetaking method he started using.

There are many ways of taking notes, none of them wrong, but it sounded compelling enough that I wanted to explore it in more detail.

Notetaking and journaling are kind of hot topics right now, and to that extent, I don’t want to get sucked in, but if there’s an easy system I can implement and get results from, I’m all for it.

Third, here’s something I’m looking to analyze.

I’m going to be analyzing the top performing blog posts, podcast episodes, videos, emails and products of Music Entrepreneur HQ.

My basic thesis for 2020 is that things that aren’t going to get results aren’t worth creating, and that’s going to require a bit of a mindset switch.

But if I have a list of high performing content ideas, topics, headlines and keywords I can work with, I’m more likely to create things that help me achieve desired results.

Fourth, here’s something I’m looking to create.

Several weeks ago, I ended up creating something I call a Takeover Plan.

It’s a framework that helps me identify opportunities in any niche.

Within the framework I create a big list of products, keywords, questions, podcasts that apply to the niche I’m looking to get into.

There was a niche I was thinking about getting into outside of the music industry, which is how I stumbled upon the idea to begin with.

I may not be getting into that niche after all, because I have established goals for 2020, but I had some thoughts of templatizing the Takeover Plan, which I will give more thought to over Think Week.

So, now you know a few areas where I’m going to be poking around a bit.

My list obviously includes other items.

I just wanted to give you a sense of the kinds of things I will be spending an entire week looking at.

It’s entirely possible that I’ll be looking at other items as I get into Think Week, so in that sense, it’s okay to think of the process as being fluid.

While you’re thinking and studying, it’s more than likely that you’ll come across a few other topics worth exploring.

So, if you choose to engage in Think Week, what will you be thinking about?

What will you be reviewing?

What will you be learning?

Here are some questions to help you come up with your own list:

  • What ideas have you come up with that you’re thinking about implementing in 2020?
  • What are some things that caught your attention in 2019 that you’d like to learn more about?
  • What was working well in 2019? Conversely, what didn’t work?
  • What are some things you’d like to do more of? What are some things you’d like to spend less time doing?
  • What are some frameworks or structures you could create that would make you more productive in the year ahead?

Don’t forget to carve some time out of your schedule to think on these questions before you dive into Think Week.

After all, you want to make the most of the week and not lose sight of the purpose, which is to get clear on your next steps.

Speaking of getting clear on your next action steps, there’s a resource I’d like to share with you.

I’m not going to be doing any special holiday offers this year, because I already have the perfect product for goal setting and achieving big in your music career.

It’s called Start Your Year the Right Way, and it’s both a book and a workbook, and it achieves three key things:

  1. It helps you get inspired again.
  2. It helps you set goals for the year ahead.
  3. It helps you create a strategy, so you’ll take actions that are consistent with your goals and achieve them.

Will you be buying a copy?

Go to davidandrewwiebe.com/Year to get your copy now.

This is David Andrew Wiebe and I will see you on the stages of the world.