This past Sunday, I completed my two-year intensive leadership program. I must admit it was a little anti-climactic, but I’m happy to be done and I’m starting to settle in for a couple of low-production weeks (most of my time will be – and already has been – dedicated to laying in bed).
As I’m starting to find my personal equilibrium again (though gradually), I thought a productive use of this space might be to share some of the “inspiring, uplifting, or informative” videos I’ve been watching and what I’ve been getting from them.
If I have any massive breakthroughs or “aha” moments I will be sure to share those with you too, of course, though I’m embracing more and more that healing (healing of the mind, the body, past trauma, etc.) can be a gradual thing.
I’m all for miracles, and I’ve already experienced many in the last 23 days, but I am also surrendered to the sometimes-necessary journey to recovery.
Habits of the Rich
This was bar none the best video I watched recently:
In it, Ralph Smart shares five (six) habits of the rich, which are as follows:
The rich create twice as much as they consume. They focus on service and giving back, not on the money. This was my favorite insight, but that probably doesn’t surprise you. After all, I love making things.
The rich don’t keep all their money in the bank. They invest in themselves, in tools, in real estate, and so on. I continue to invest heavily in myself, but after watching this video, I also feel like I have permission to invest more in my passions.
The rich prioritize their health. They prioritize their health so they can spend more time creating wealth. This has literally been my top priority in the last month or more.
The rich associate with movers and shakers. They surround themselves with people who can help them, especially mentors and teachers. Thanks to the previously leadership program, more than ever, I am surrounded by successful people, willing collaborators, and loving mentors.
The rich are lifelong learners. They always want to learn more. They realize that one insight can take them to the next level. And wouldn’t you know it, I learned something from this video!
The rich work smart. And they even work on the weekends. They are willing to put in the time to become masters of their craft. I have not yet found a way to do this in a healthy, sustainable way, but I’m open to learning.
I know there are circumstances outside of your control. Things happen in life.
But there are things you can do today to prepare for a rainy day. You can set aside 10% of your income. You can store up some extra food. You can seek out services that might come in handy down the line. Just because they aren’t needed today doesn’t mean they won’t be needed down the line.
Right habits don’t start tomorrow. They start today. So, even if you are in a crisis, make it your priority to adopt a long-term mindset. Speculate on what could happen and plan for it. Even if you don’t have all the steps figured out, you will be better prepared for the day something unexpected happens.
“I know that I should be writing something new each week, but I’m not sure what to write about,” my entrepreneur friend shared with me.
She wanted to connect with her email list weekly, but within a week or two of sending emails, she found herself running out of ideas.
Whether it’s songwriting ideas, marketing ideas, email campaign ideas, or otherwise, you can’t have too many ideas. I would advise creating and maintaining an idea repository (I have multiple because I’ve been a little scattered through the years, but my main one is inside Evernote).
And this comes with the caveat that, most of our ideas suck. We need to be reminded of this. We should never get too high off our own supply because that’s how we get ourselves into trouble. There’s an opportunity to practice idea generation to build our idea muscle, and that’s a healthy way of looking at it.
But more to the point, if you aren’t regularly generating new ideas, it’s either because a) you’re not paying attention, or b) you don’t have practices that support you in coming up with fresh ideas.
For instance, I don’t flip through Instagram to see what people are bragging about anymore. I look for “pattern interrupts.” When I see something that forces me to pay attention and stop dead in my tracks, I take note of that, and model the content to create my own. If it worked on me, it’s going to work on others too, right?
Ideas are literally everywhere. Whether you’re watching the news (I’m not a big advocate of this these days), reading blog articles, listening to podcast episodes, or cruising Facebook, if you’re paying attention, you can find ideas.
Now that we’ve established that, let’s talk about practices. What practices can support the ongoing generation of ideas?
Here are the three activities I’ve found most worthwhile:
Reading. Reading books stimulates all kinds of ideas. It takes my mind in a lot of interesting directions, and if I’m not ready with a pen and paper, I’m going to miss capturing a lot of great thoughts. Reading more broadly and generally can be worthwhile too – magazines, newsletters, and blog articles, while paying attention to headlines, call to actions, copy, and anything else that piques your interest.
Walking. We all need a break from familiar environments – the home, the office, the rehearsal space… Even the most impeccable, most beautiful spaces can start to feel mundane after a while, and as humans, we crave novelty. Getting out in nature and walking or hiking is a great way to get a break from the same old, same old. It’s also great for your health.
Speculating on possibilities. I covered this earlier. Speculating on possibilities is something that should be done with your band, your team, or people who are invested in helping you get to where you want to go in music and life. And making that micro-adjustment from “brainstorming” to “speculating on possibilities” makes a big difference.
This isn’t to say there aren’t other worthwhile activities – driving, showering, journaling, and more. But I’ve found the above to be the best use of my time.
So, again, it comes down to two things:
Paying attention to what’s already around you. Ideas are everywhere. Walt Disney didn’t reinvent the wheel – he took what already had a proven track record, implemented it, and then iterated on it. You don’t need to be an innovator either.
Developing practices that stimulate ideas. Do what works for you. For me, reading, walking, and speculating on possibilities are among the highest value activities.
And don’t forget to capture your ideas. Your brain is not a reliable storage device.
For a proven, step-by-step framework in cracking the code to independent music career success, and additional in-depth insights into making your passion sustainable and profitable, be sure to pick up my best-selling guide, The Music Entrepreneur Code.
The Leading Musician Coach
Hey! I’m author, entrepreneur, and musician David Andrew Wiebe. Learn more >