#StrategySunday – January 31, 2021

#StrategySunday – January 31, 2021

This week’s #StrategySunday may seem more subdued than last week’s.

This is true in the sense that the number of items covered are fewer.

But what’s false about this is that, behind the scenes, I’ve got some big things in the works and some important work to share with you in the coming weeks.

So, let’s dive right in to this week’s #StrategySunday, because I’ve got more than my share to work on this week, and I’m sure you’d like to get to the goods yourself!

Minutes

Here is what I went over during this planning session:

  • I reviewed last week’s notes.
  • I went over my content duties for the week. I’m starting to pick up the slack with content over at Music Entrepreneur HQ, with definite payoff.
  • I identified admin tasks that need to be completed. I’ve been more on top of this lately, which means I’m not overloaded with admin tasks.
  • I reviewed client work. This is an area not previously considered, but now that I have multiple projects on the go, I felt it important to cover and prioritize in my week. This shall be added to future planning sessions.
  • I am handing off podcast editing duties (long overdue), so I speculated on what processes I would need to create for my editor.
  • I went over what I’m looking to accomplish in terms of product development this week. My new course is already live, and I plan to spend as much time as possible promoting it in February. But I’m also looking to work on a new product (planning for a late March launch) while I’m promoting the course.

Lessons

Was there anything interesting that came out of this week’s reflection and planning session?

  • Launching courses is fun. I want to do more of that.
  • I’m a human being with limited time and energy. There are people around me willing and able to help, and it’s just a matter of setting them up for success.
  • I am getting better at taking my own advice. But there are some things I need to do, that I usually do around the new year, that I haven’t gotten around to yet. I’ve identified these items and plan to find time for them.
  • Engaging in reading and coursework daily is awesome and I have more of a structure for it now. This has a greater long-term benefit on my work than I even realized.

Ideas

Were there any ideas that came out of this week’s session?

  • I continue to speculate on automation and what I could do with IFTTT or Zapier.
  • I need to create some canned responses within Gmail. I didn’t even know you could do that, and I know for sure it could save me some time.

Final Thoughts

Thanks for joining me, champ!

If you need more inspiration, refer to yesterday’s weekly digest.

That’s it for this week’s #StrategySunday. Wishing you the best of weeks!

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Weekly Digest: January 30, 2021

Weekly Digest: January 30, 2021

David Andrew Wiebe: January 2021Your creative life can take many turns, and it can lead to places never anticipated.

I am the prime example. I simply would not have expected that after years of slogging and toughing it out, that I would begin to connect with people like you in 2021.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the more homed in you are on your purpose (the macro), and the clearer you are on the actions that are aligned to your purpose (the micro), the more likely you are to find an audience that connects with your creative work.

No matter how long you’ve been at it, no matter how many mistakes you’ve made to this point, no matter how many false starts you’ve had, just know one thing…

If I can do it, you can do it too.

And with that, I’d like to share with you what’s new this week.

David Andrew Wiebe

I write to inspire creatives and creators just like you. And I’m always open to content suggestions.

Here are the posts that went live this week:

>> Subscribe to the daily blog for creators and creatives

>> Follow me on Medium

Music Entrepreneur HQ

I give modern music makers the tools and mental models they need to create the life they love through music. And I’ve been doing it since 2009.

Here are the posts that went live on Music Entrepreneur HQ this week:

>> Grab a free guide to grow your fan base and music career

The Indie YYC

The Indie YYC is a creative community dedicated to inspiring local artists in pursuit of independent creativity, independent thought, and independent life.

I host a weekly series called Creative Entrepreneur where I share weekly podcast content. No installment this week, though, as I was running into technical problems.

But if you’re a creative, be sure to join The Indie YYC community, as there are always new opportunities available.

>> Don’t forget to like our Facebook page

News Break

I have officially begun publishing on News Break, an exciting new local news app.

Here’s what I shared on News Break this week:

As always, I appreciate the read, share, and follow.

Community Spotlight

@Luckyclassy has been highly engaged and supportive as well. Thank you for being a part of the community.

>> Be sure to follow me on Twitter and join in on the action

Random Things I Dig

The Chirr App is awesome for crafting Twitter threads quickly and easily.

Final Thoughts

Thank you for your creativity and generosity. I’m rooting for you.

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What I’m Working on in 2021

What I’m Working on in 2021

Hey, it’s David Andrew Wiebe.

If you’ve been following me for a while, then you already know who I am. Otherwise, this is our first “e-meeting.” Either way, thanks for your interest.

Here I’d like to share a little bit about what I’ll be working on in 2021 and what I’m looking to accomplish.

Content Marketing Musician

Content Marketing Musician is a new website/course platform/business unit I’m adding to my portfolio.

Although I’ve talked about it briefly in another post, you may not be aware that I’ve been building it silently in the background.

I’ve also shared about the Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass, which is the first course I plan to launch.

Likewise, I’ve been working on a multi-step funnel for The Music Entrepreneur Code, my latest best-selling book. And my plan is to add this to Content Marketing Musician as well.

Will more courses and content be added to Content Marketing Musician in 2021? That is the plan, but I tend to get a little overambitious sometimes, and I’m trying to be practical while thinking big. I’m happy to report that I’m ready to go live with Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass any day, though, and the Digital Marketing Essentials for Musicians course also isn’t too far off from the finish line.

I am certainly excited about what’s to come, and I hope you are too.

If you have any thoughts on courses I should make, be sure to let me know. I’m always open to suggestions.

Books

Right now, I have at least three books at various stages of completion. Which means it’s entirely possible I’ll have multiple books to share with you in 2021.

But truthfully, there is only one book I’d like to ensure the completion of. I originally started working on it four years ago. And it haunts me to this day that it hasn’t been completed.

What book am I talking about? If you’ve been following me for any length of time, then you will know that I’m referring to Flashes of Elation: Navigating the World as a Sensitive, Creative Soul.

From all the positive feedback and pre-sales received, I do not underestimate the importance of this book, which is in the final stages of editing.

As with any undertaking of this scale, I have had an on again off again relationship with this work, but I would absolutely regret not finishing it.

And every breath we take is a gift, which is something I don’t want to take for granted.

So, god willing, 2021 will be the year – the year of Flashes of Elation.

Music

I have three music projects planned for 2021, and that’s still fewer than I’d like to take on. Like I said, I have a tendency to get a little overambitious!

Anyway, here’s what’s on the docket:

  • Myrtle. My grandma passed at the top of the year, and I wrote a song in her honor. I kind of thought of it as an electric “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” But then I thought to myself, “why don’t I record a version of ‘Great Is Thy Faithfulness’ as well?” Seems appropriate based on my grandmother’s faith. So, the plan now is to make this a two-song release.
  • Back on Solid Ground. As with Flashes of Elation, the incompletion of Back on Solid Ground has haunted me for years. The music is all written, so it’s mostly a matter of tracking the thing. The temptation will be to let perfectionism get in the way, but my listeners seem to appreciate lo-fi basement demos versus slick production anyway, so that might be the direction this takes.
  • Comedic tribute to the 80s. I have yet to reference this project by name, but I have mentioned it more than a few times on my podcast. I may reveal more closer to the end of the year.

Is That it?

Well, sort of.

You will see me publishing daily on my website and on Medium. I’m also creating content for Music Entrepreneur HQ and News Break. I’m still a staff writer with Music Industry How To as well.

I have a plan for how I intend to fulfill on these content responsibilities while developing products, but I’m trying to be as pragmatic as possible too.

I’m Staying Open to Possibilities

While many people have shown interest in the projects mentioned above (and some have even voted with their wallets), there’s always the possibility that there are others worthy of my attention.

I’d like to practice flexibility where it makes sense, and rigidity where it should be applied.

But either way, there will be great fulfillment in completing the above, especially since some of the projects have been in the works for a long time.

Final Thoughts

Feel free to follow up with me and see how I’m doing with these projects this year. I spend quite a bit of time on Twitter, and always like hearing from readers just like you.

I’m not asking for accountability, as I believe in holding myself accountable to my goals. I also have a mastermind group for that. But a little nudge never hurt.

What projects are you working on in 2021? What are you looking to accomplish?

Let me know in the comments.

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So, What Exactly is it That You do Again?

So, What Exactly is it That You do Again?

I was recently asked this question, and it’s an interesting one.

People see that I do many things and am also good at more than one.

So, how do I describe what I do? How do I choose what to focus on? What exactly is it that I’m out to accomplish?

Although there are no concrete, hard and fast answers, here is my perspective on the matter.

What’s in a Title?

I have used more than a few titles to describe what I do over the years – multimedia designer, new media designer, content creator, author/entrepreneur/musician, and so on.

And depending on what I was working on at the time, these titles may have been accurate, to lesser and greater degrees.

But if you’re asking this question, you probably understand my struggle. I haven’t found a definitive umbrella term for what I do, and there are many terms that logically ring true, but don’t entirely sit right. Like the following:

  • Generalist. A generalist is generally a Jack or Jill of all, but a master of none. I have 10,000 hours in at least a couple of disciplines, and though I’m good at many things, I am not a master of none.
  • Polymath. It’s a beautiful, elegant term, but to me it sounds snobby and elitist.
  • Multipotentialite. Another beautiful term. But at some point, you cease to be a potentialite and grow into a full-fledged expert.
  • Renaissance man. Describes geniuses like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and their ilk. I can’t compare to them.
  • Entrepreneur. It’s true that I’m always looking for opportunities and I’m usually aware of the many available to me. That said, I am not strictly about the pursuit of money.

But for now, I’ve settled on Creative Alchemist. I sort of coined the term, and it accurately describes what I do.

I’m aware that there is a book of the same title, but it is more in the context of spirituality, which I deem separate from the message I share, and others have resonated with (the term “creative alchemy” has been received well by several creatives I know).

Okay, but That Still Doesn’t Tell Me What You do

For me, what I do is not my identity nor is it a make-or-break thing.

For many people, it is their status, their impact, their legacy.

I love my work, and I dedicate my share of time and effort to it. That said, I don’t think of my work and my being as one and the same.

Which is going to sound like a cop out to some, so here’s what I’ll offer, in point form:

  • I make the bulk of my living as a staff writer, ghostwriter, and/or content creator.
  • I take on the occasional graphic or web design contract.
  • I publish daily on my blog and Medium. My mission is to inspire creatives and creators. You can also read my 31 reasons for blogging. I see growing a following or making money as a byproduct.
  • I publish on Music Entrepreneur HQ and News Break on a less frequent, but somewhat predictable basis. In addition to blog posts, I have published podcast episodes and videos on Music Entrepreneur HQ. The HQ has been set up as a business unit, and I have always been upfront about that. It makes money from books, eBooks, courses, affiliate products, and advertising. Music Entrepreneur HQ is tied in closely with Content Marketing Musician, which is where my courses are (or will be) hosted.
  • I am the co-founder of The Indie YYC community – a community dedicated to inspiring local artists in pursuit of independent creativity, independent thought, and independent life. I host a weekly series called Creative Entrepreneur.
  • I make music. This is mostly for fun. Plus, I have written many songs over the years that I would like to share with the world. People tell me I’m not too shabby on the guitar.
  • And I have other projects, some of which are active, some of which are on hiatus, and some of which are defunct.

I foresee some changes in the above in the near future, but I think you will always see me writing, editing, podcasting, presenting, producing, making music, drawing, painting, and engaging in other creative efforts. That is my wont and it isn’t about to change.

Final Thoughts

So, there is no easy answer to this question, but I like to think of what I do as fluid. Some things I do for pragmatic purposes, others I do because I simply want to see them exist. And that is often what I have found the most joy in.

Either way, I hope you saw yourself in the above. I hope it inspired you and left you with some ideas for what you can do in your own creative efforts.

How would you describe what you do? How do you like to think about it?

I would love to know! Leave a comment.

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For Increased Productivity, Embrace Organization

For Increased Productivity, Embrace Organization

If you want to be productive, you must embrace organization.

If you want to be productive, you must embrace organization. Click To Tweet

Some of the most successful people I know are also the most organized, and they have specific systems they use vigilantly and depend on to ensure they can get more done in less time.

Here I will share a few ways I stay organized. But there is no need to emulate what I do. You should do whatever works for you. You’re welcome to take inspiration from what follows though.

#StrategySunday Planning Sessions

Every Sunday, I plan for the week ahead and publish my minutes.

This gives me a bird’s eye view of the week ahead and what needs to be completed.

When you’ve got a lot to do, and your energy is starting to wane, things can easily slip through the cracks.

The part that eludes many is that if they’d planned well, not only would they safeguard against forgetting important appointments, but they would also be able to make more time for meditation, rest, recreation, and sleep, which would ultimately make them more effective.

Yes, it sounds counterintuitive. Because planning feels like work. That’s because it is. But it’s an important work. Just like reading. And it helps you prioritize, create more time, and approach every week with a sense of peace and confidence.

Planning is work – an important work. Click To Tweet

LifeSheet

My 2021 LifeSheet

I did not come up with the LifeSheet system. I first learned about it from James Schramko, who has a great training on it.

Schramko suggests setting up your LifeSheet within Google Drive, using Google Sheets, because of how searchable they are. This is my preference too.

I think it best to create a new LifeSheet every year and label them appropriately. This way, you can learn from each year past and avoid clutter.

Within Google Sheets, you can create tabs for anything you wish. I currently have tabs for Mission, Ideas, Concepts, Rules, Projects, Content Distribution, Post Ideas, Courses, and Medium Posts.

I could talk about each of these and share in detail what is stored in them. But suffice it to say, this is what has worked for me. And while I have taken certain ideas from Schramko, I have made my LifeSheet my own.

If you’re thinking about making your own, I would suggest doing the same. Customize your LifeSheet to serve you. That said, I’ll still offer some ideas and tips on how you can use your LifeSheet to stay organized. You can:

  • Store your login information
  • Track your affiliate partnerships
  • Track your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Log ideas you come up with that you can’t action now (“later” file)
  • Link to Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) documents
  • Make it your quick link dashboard
  • Sort your priorities
  • Log and track your Dream 100
  • Document travel plans
  • And more

Desktop Calendar Pad

Staples desktop calendar pad

I have been using the same, physical, desktop calendar pad from Staples since 2016. Now I feel naked without it.

This is where I keep track of meetings (mostly virtual these days), appointments, important deadlines, and so forth.

I have never gone completely digital with my scheduling, though I certainly take advantage of digital calendar and scheduling tools as well.

Sometimes I will also log content I’ve completed in my physical calendar, so I know when to put together the next piece by.

Other Tools

There are other tools I use that help me stay organized to varying degrees. Here’s what they are:

  • Yellow legal pad. Perfect for tracking to-do items, especially admin related tasks.
  • Calendly. For scheduling appointments. I simply don’t have time for the typical back and forth on email. So, I use Calendly. I make Wednesdays and Thursdays available for ad hoc meetings and those booking can choose a time that’s convenient for them. I get notifications in my email and they are converted to local time.
  • iPad. This is where I keep my #StrategySunday minutes. I use my Apple Pencil to handwrite notes.

Helpful Resources

There are a few books that have shaped my organization habits and have made a tangible difference in my work life. They are as follows:

  • The 4-Hour Workweek (affiliate link) by Tim Ferriss. I blame Tim Ferriss for the de-prioritization of email in my life. I jest, but it’s kind of true. From him I learned that most communication is not life or death, make or break. It’s not urgent if it’s not urgent to you.
  • Getting Things Done (affiliate link) by David Allen. Allen advocates a paper-based system for organization and productivity. As he states in his book, you can take his system piecemeal and apply it to your own efforts, which is exactly what I have done. I don’t follow GTD to the letter. I just took the parts that made sense to me and left the rest alone. As noted earlier, I utilize both a desktop calendar pad and a yellow legal pad for the paper-based part of my system.
  • No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs (affiliate link) by Dan S. Kennedy. I have never come across anyone who better understands or values time as much as Kennedy does. if you want to know how to manage your time like a pro, this book is it. Kennedy’s book will also help you determine your value and exactly how much you would need to charge per hour to earn what you’re worth. The main thing I’ve done because of this book is ensure I have long blocks of “busy” time where no one can contact or distract me from my work.

Final Thoughts

The better organized you are, the more productive you will be. You will capture more ideas, prioritize better, make better use of your time, and more. As result, you will also make more.

How you organize is up to you. But I point to multiple methods and resources above that could be of tremendous help. I also publish on productivity every Wednesday, so for more tips, you can keep an eye on the blog too.

How do you stay organized? What methods have worked for you?

Let me know in the comments.

The Music Entrepreneur Code paperback

Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Only the cool kids are talking about it.

Get your copy of The Music Entrepreneur Code.