In 2016, I started working entirely from home.
And, from 2017 onward, I’ve had moments where I’ve felt semi-retired.
At no point have I felt like resting on my laurels, or like I’d fulfilled on all my goals and dreams. But I did feel as though I had achieved a modicum of freedom.
I started taking Mondays off and would get my grocery shopping done while everyone else was at work. If I woke up tired on a given day, and had no pressing deadlines, I would drive out to the mountains to enjoy a relaxing day in nature. And most nights, I would go out to enjoy local cuisine, in search of the next “hit” restaurant.
If I hadn’t taken the time to recognize the freedom available to me, though, I would not have stopped to enjoy the spoils. I would have blown past the milestone, frantically in pursuit of the next milestone or destination, never appreciating the journey.
See, whether you’re trying to grow your fan base, increase your streaming numbers, or establish yourself in a new market, no matter what stage you’re at in your career or business… You must recognize that, from day one, there are freedoms available to you. And, over time, as your career grows, you can increase those freedoms.
But if you don’t stop to enjoy what you have now, I can promise you the destination won’t be that much more satisfying or fulfilling.
In most cases, we’ll find ourselves working months, years, and even decades towards our goals, for but a few minutes, maybe a few hours, of joy and celebration. And then it will be right back to the grindstone. It’s not worth it if you’re not enjoying the journey.
How do you know when something needs to change? When you’ve been spending far too much time unhappy with where you’re at. If there’s no joy in the journey, there will only be a fleeting sense of joy at the destination, if that.
Refuse to actively pursue “means to an end” projects. If you must, keep them short. You will not thrive in those environments, and the one thing you can’t get back is time.
Quick reminder – you can now get The Music Entrepreneur Code – 2022 Edition, the second edition of the best-selling guide to getting paid for your passion and impacting more fans without wasting years of your life and thousands of dollars.
“Responsibility” and “accountability” can sound like dirty words.
“Responsibility” denotes duty and obligation. Things that will always feel like “work,” no matter how much you glitter them up.
Accountability just sounds like a gut punch. You don’t want to be the one who’s accountable for anything! If the initiative fails, it’s your fault.
And yet, this is where your true power lies.
Last quarter, in the yearlong leadership program I’m currently taking, I was responsible for booking Saturday empowerment events. I was to set up two hosts, set targets for attendee numbers, and work with other people on the team to ensure everything ran smoothly.
At first, I didn’t have the structure or the support I needed, and while the first event went well, the second event bombed. No one showed up, and the hosts weren’t happy about this. They gave me a piece of their mind!
Honestly, I was ready to throw in the towel.
But then I got some help. And I started to see the power in making new promises around attendance each week.
From that week forward, we had guests every single week.
We didn’t always meet our target. Sometimes we exceeded it. Sometimes we came in well under.
But each Saturday, there was an empowerment event, there were two hosts, and there were guests in attendance. And that made the entire initiative a success.
It’s amazing how much all of us have around getting things wrong, not meeting targets, making dubious claims or predictions. We lose faith in ourselves because of things not going as expected.
Do you realize that whatever realizations you’ve had today might just be for today, and not for tomorrow?
And the promises you made yesterday might be more a factor of not enough sleep, too much caffeine, and some distorted sense of how yesterday went?
Promises do matter. What doesn’t matter, as much, is whether you meet the promises, assuming you put an honest effort forward. And that goes contrary to the world of performance we were brought up in, where you’re either right or wrong.
- Your mind goes to work on problems you present it with (and it does this better when you’re intentional about the process – you summon creative energies you didn’t know you had!)
- You’ll be infinitely closer to reaching your goals by committing to a promise versus shrinking back and not putting anything on the line
- If you don’t reach your targets, you can still restore integrity, make a new promise, and make things right
The world insists that commitment is the enemy of choice. But commitment is the very essence of freedom. When you’re committed to something, all options outside of that project or outcome become completely irrelevant. Your decisions and actions become clearer, and laser targeted.
You got to be a kid in grade school. But you don’t get to be a kid anymore. The results you generate in your music career are 100% a function of what you did and didn’t do! And whatever results generated, they don’t matter, just like in a game of Monopoly. Someone won, the rest didn’t, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter.
The only thing you need to do with the results is to be clear on the results. You can do something with numbers you can see. You can’t do anything with numbers hidden from plain sight.
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In the last six months or so, I’ve proven to myself that you can you create a team from scratch and have them engaged and in action without pay.
This is not a guide on how to take advantage of people, though, so go elsewhere if that’s what you’re looking for.
As a leader, I make it my mission to know what’s important to my team, and to create opportunities where possible. And I’ve done just that. I’ve helped my team members book speaking engagements, get clients, and form new connections. I’ve given them opportunities to learn and to grow too.
Have all my team members been engaged and in action the whole time? No. Have any of them done way more than expected? No. But my sister is scheduling my tweets for crying out loud. I’m touched by my team’s participation, and I don’t minimize their contribution.
Where I used to get stuck was in trying to do everything perfectly. That is, until I learned that leadership isn’t about managing people. It’s about managing promises.
Like I said before, letting go of perfectionism is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Because you’ll be less constrained in thinking everything must be a certain way. That goes for your team, too.
I’m starting to discover for myself that letting go of the way things are “supposed to be” is access to freedom in choosing and enjoying all my work. Really, it applies to every area of life, not just work.
If I want to start something new, I can do that. If I want to delete or eliminate a project, I can do that. I don’t need to give my loyalty to unhealthy relationships, whether that’s relationships to people, food, projects, businesses, or otherwise!
Today, I am free.
And you are free to create your own team how you want. It doesn’t need to look a certain way. You can work with friends, freelancers, or employees. You can outsource your work, or you can find an agency. You can take a combination of approaches. Not all options are suitable to all people or all situations. But knowing there are options can be freeing.
You’re ready to start your team. And remember – it’s not about the people, but rather the actions they’ve committed to. That’s the only part that needs to be managed. Never manage character.
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It’s time to unify over what is good and right for humanity.
And to set aside petty differences.
It has often been said that if you want to conquer, you must divide.
Friends, we are being divided. And I assure you, we are not being divided over life-or-death matters.
Our hard-earned liberties and freedoms are being tossed around like a stinky gym bag, and that’s not right. Can you honestly say you don’t care about your ancestors and all they fought for? All their sacrifices will be for naught if we don’t stand up.
You and I aren’t that different. We all come from the same place. We were all born of our mothers, and we all eliminate bodily waste the same way. The color of our skin makes no difference. It’s just a narrative-driven device to pit one against another.
Evil is coming at you whether you like it or not. It’s going to take everything you’ve got if you don’t stand up. It came to steal, kill, and destroy. And it’s starting to take ground.
Now is the time to stand up.
“To this point, nothing has come with freedom and ease!” I exclaimed after a deep sigh.
In that moment, a connection was forged with my new friend over the phone. Because he could see himself in that conversation.
But… isn’t it supposed to come with freedom and ease?
The ideal body you want to create, that perfect person you want to meet, that business you want to build… On some level, shouldn’t it be easy? And if it isn’t, isn’t that a clear sign you should move on? Or try something different? Or go about it another way?
The answer is… I don’t know. In my own assessment, there hasn’t been much freedom and ease in creating what I want, and it appears to me as though this “freedom and ease” thing has a mind of its own.
So, where is freedom and ease, and what is it? How can I get it?
I want it desperately. It sounds amazing. I desire to create the life I want with freedom with ease.
I have no idea what that looks like or where to start.
I only have the faintest of notions that it has something to do with being authentic. And this blog post is my attempt at being authentic. But even authenticity seems elusive. What does it mean? What does it look like? How do others perceive authenticity? Does that even matter?
Questions lead to more questions.
I don’t know.