For me, I’ve found that the best time to do business is when I’ve gone to Starbucks, I’ve sat there reading for an hour – could be a little less, could be a little more – I’ve gotten into flow, and I’m inspired with new ideas. That, for me, is a formula for inspired action.
I can’t necessarily explain why that works for me. I do remember that when I was a kid in Japan, after church, I would go to the bookstore. It was one of my favorite places to go to. And I would stand around looking at magazines and manga. I’d learn about the latest video games, and I’d check out to see if there was a new volume of my favorite manga series.
And in that process, I would phase out everything around me. I’d be so engrossed in what I was discovering and what I was looking at and what I was reading, that the surroundings started to fade into the background.
I’ve been finding that, even in adulthood, the written word can captivate and engross me. And it probably has something to do with the brain making new connections. Because when you learn something new, a new connection is formed.
When I start to see those connections happen, new ideas show up in my space. And because I’m in flow, I start to feel excited about those ideas. And then I get to act on those ideas.
We often think about doing business in a regimented way. We have our schedule, and we have certain time blocks allocated to certain tasks. Now, if that works for you, if that gets you into flow, if that gives you inspired ideas and moves you to inspired action, then what you’re doing is perfect. But if it’s not stimulating inspired action, there might be a better time for you to do business.
So, what is the best time to do business for you? The secret may be hidden in your childhood. What did you get engrossed in? What were you doing when things faded into the background?
And if you can identify what that activity is, could you spend 30 to 90 minutes doing it before you get into action with your business? Because inspired action is going to produce far greater results than actions that are tired or uninspired.
I think you’ll agree that the best time to do business is when you’re in flow and when you’re feeling good, and when the gears are turning in your mind. Begin to find that in your routine because that’s where you’re going to see breakthrough results.
I’ve sometimes told the story of how I booked an artist showcase at Starbucks and several artists came up to me later wondering exactly how I did it.
And the truth is, when I was working for that music industry startup, I ended up booking multiple showcases at multiple coffeehouse locations – it wasn’t just Starbucks.
But the novelty of it was something that obviously intrigued other artists. Because they probably hadn’t seen alternative venues as an opportunity for themselves or hadn’t even considered that music and live performance might belong in a venue other than the established ones. Plus, Starbucks is a big brand carrying a certain amount of prestige.
Now, the process wasn’t hard.
When I was working for the startup, we had business cards printed up for the key people and I had my own. When I approached a local Starbucks with the idea of an artist showcase, I let them know that I was “so and so” from “such and such” company, and that I was looking to partner with them to create an opportunity. And they were all for it!
The trick, if there is one, is to take care of all the details. A Starbucks manager isn’t necessarily going to know much about booking artists, organizing seating, electrical requirements, and other technical details. So, it would be your job to handle all that.
You also want to be respectful, right? So, you probably shouldn’t book a death metal act to play at Starbucks. That’s a mismatch. You’d want to book singer-songwriter or acoustic solo acts and maybe duos and keep a close watch on volume levels.
The opportunity is obviously that you could book a show for yourself and maybe some friends at a local coffeehouse, and thereby create more opportunities to be seen and heard.
The idea, though, isn’t just to show up with a business card in hand and say, “hey, I’m Mike, bassist from Atomik Penguins.” It’s to show up with your card and say, “I’m Mike, and I work with XYZ Music Collective. And I wanted to discuss a collaborative opportunity with you.” Get the appropriate permissions, to put up posters or whatever, and you’re off to the races.
Sometimes, you’ll get rejected, but that’s okay. Because this lesson goes quite a bit deeper than just venues. It applies to all businesses. And businesses do business with other businesses. So, how can you create and market yourself as a business?
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.
Some days, I don’t feel like I’m the one at the steering wheel. I feel like god, the universe, or some other unnamed force is.
I met a friend for a quick chat at Starbucks today. When I showed up, he was there with another friend, who shared:
God can bring you exactly where you need to go. You don’t need a phone. You just need to pay attention to signs and promptings. It’s the same thing with rest. Rest is an essential part of life, and when you are prompted to rest, the best idea is to rest.
I, in turn, shared when I was prompted to go on sabbatical back in summer 2013. A podcast had planted the idea in my mind, and I followed through, because a season was ending in my life.
It would seem, the universe’s message to me today, is to rest.
Because today, I have mostly been unfolding conversations instead of just sitting at a desk typing out words. Which has been amazing.
Who’s at the steering wheel? I don’t know. But you would do well to follow promptings to rest.
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