A Time for Change

A Time for Change

I recently shared about how I’ve been experiencing more flow in life.

But intuitively, I knew things were about to change in a major way.

No sooner did my weekend training session begin (for the yearlong leadership program I’m in) when my landlord texted me to announce that they would be selling the house.

After I shared the news with my mom, she said:

Always a challenge but there seems to be a right time for everything.

True, finding a new place to live and carrying through with a move isn’t my idea of fun.

But I immediately saw this as an opportunity.

An opportunity to be in conversation. To share with my friends what’s going on. To begin the search for a new place to call home, even if it is temporary.

I am a digital nomad, and I am set up to live a nomadic life. Sure, I’ve gotten a little fat in the last couple of years (not literally – I’ve been getting in much better shape in the last few months), but trimming the fat as a nomad is par for the course. Here we go again!

Too much comfort can grow stale, even the good kind of comfort. And when there’s no change in life, not only do I get bored, but I can also feel quite sad. I’m not inspired by that kind of life.

Ready or not, change is coming.

But it’s always what you make of it.

There’s No Such Thing as “Remote Work”

There’s No Such Thing as “Remote Work”

Work has been, and always will be, done wherever you are. And you are not remote. Your team members may be, but wherever you are is local to you. You may be video conferencing instead of working together in the same office now, but for everyone on your team, wherever they are working is local to them. They are only “remote” to you. And you are only “remote” to them.

I get that you may not be commuting to the same office or workplace anymore. But it’s funny how we never called that “remote” work, because everyone had to gather in the same place to do their work.

Currently, I live in Abbotsford. But if I took off to New Zealand and did my work from New Zealand, I would not say that I was working remotely. I would be working locally in New Zealand. And because I live nomadically, I would continue to journey on, exploring different countries (like that’s ever going to be a possibility again). Regardless of where I journeyed, I would say that I was working locally.

I find it fascinating how we attempt to adopt different paradigms for the changing dynamics of work. I completely understand that phone calls and video conferencing are no substitute for in-person meetings. I have also felt the disconnect.

I attended an online conference a while back (while working, I might add), and no matter the sound effects, or digital “claps,” it just didn’t do it for me. It will never replace the connection, excitement, and directness of an in-person conference.

And we call these “virtual conferences.” I don’t get that terminology either. If it’s virtual, isn’t some part of it fake? It’s not virtual, it’s just not happening at a hotel, theater, or conference center. It’s happening online. It’s just a glorified video conference.

Getting back to the point, how effective were your meetings in the first place? If your office was like most, the answer is not very.

And, again, even though I understand well the challenges of communication that come with the heavy reliance on devices rather than direct communication, the fact of the matter is, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between where you used to work, and where you work now.

You’re still staring at a screen (or multiple screens). You’re still using email to communicate (which is funny, because it’s more useful now than it used to be – it probably shouldn’t have been abused in the office). And you’re still pulling the same hours if not more.

This is just the perspective of a digital nomad, so take what you will. But to me, there is no such thing as “remote work.” Work happens where you are. And for your team, work happens where they are. It’s helpful to adopt that paradigm, because otherwise you might tend to think work is happening elsewhere. That’s not quite true. For everyone in your circle, work is happening where they are. And part of the separation you feel is because of that unnecessary distinction.

Lifestyle Design in Music

Lifestyle Design in Music

I can’t speak for anyone else.

But when I first became a musician, my mind immediately turned to touring.

I wanted to get out there, share my music with the world, meet people, and go from town to town on a grand adventure.

And I was willing to do whatever it took (well, within the confines of my incredibly narrow comfort zone…).

I put a band together, started practicing, and before long, we felt we had enough material to start getting ourselves out there.

The band even released an amateurish EP towards the end of its lifespan:

But the dream was built on the back of a sandcastle, and unsurprisingly, it started crumbling relatively quickly.

I’ve shared the story of how my band did a bit of a misguided postal mail campaign in The New Music Industry.

The campaign itself wasn’t a bad idea. It was more an issue with strategy than anything.

And the total lack of strategy speaks volumes of the outcomes we produced (or didn’t produce).

We got three responses (one negative, one neutral, and one positive). But ultimately it didn’t get us any bookings.

The band went onto perform once or twice per month, but it was always at the same coffeehouse or pub.

Eventually, the band broke up. It started falling apart the moment we attempted to bring a lead singer onboard (Lead Signer Disease is alive and well).

It stung quite a bit, but I always figured there would be more opportunities.

In ensuing years, I would perform 300 shows across western Canada, and would even go on a couple of mini tours. It was a far cry from what I had in mind, but I was able to fulfill on some of my initial goals and dreams.

I’m jumping ahead quite a bit, but fast forward to today, I’ve been able to create the life of my dreams through music.

Not to be down on any of my accomplishments, but the reality is I’m no one special. I haven’t won any awards. I haven’t appeared on any noteworthy releases. I haven’t been able to earn six-figures in music (not yet – but I will).

But I can get up when I want, set my own schedule, take on projects I want to work on, and travel the world. All because of music.

What an amazing life!

If you’re wondering how I got to where I am, it was by engrossing myself in entrepreneurship and business.

And before you run the other way, you’ve got to read this: 4 Insidious Music Entrepreneur Myths Debunked.

Artists make a lot of assumptions about music entrepreneurship because they sat in a boring session once… It makes people like me look horrible. I wish those people would resign from their positions and admit they were giving music entrepreneurship a bad name. There’s probably as much chance at that happening as a politician stepping down for telling a blatant lie.

But the short version of the previously mentioned post is this:

  • Music entrepreneurship isn’t boring.
  • It isn’t irrelevant to the average musician (if you’ve got big dreams and aspirations, that makes it even more important!).
  • It will benefit you if you take the time to understand a few simple principles and action a few simple habits.
  • It doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult if you’ve got the right teacher!

I admit…

It took me a long time (a decade or more) to learn what I now know. I wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.

I spent well over $100,000 on my business education. They say in a business situation where one person has money and the other has experience, the person with experience will end up with the money. I was robbed blind by people with more experience than me!

The great news is you can bypass most if not all that struggle.

You don’t need to waste years of your life or thousands of dollars trying to get to where you want to go.

I don’t even think this is the toughest part about building a music career. The toughest part is bringing your creative ideas to life. Once you’ve done that, it’s all marketing and business. Those are the only two things that will move a needle on your career once your music is out there.

You can get started down that path now and be miles ahead of your “competition”…

Because I wrote the ultimate guide to music entrepreneurship called The Music Entrepreneur Code, and I’m practically giving it away. Click on the link to learn more.