Progress Update: June 17, 2021

Progress Update: June 17, 2021

I just started a yearlong leadership and management program last weekend, and I’m already staring to look at everything I’ve been creating in the world a little differently.

Now, I want to be clear that, this week, my priorities have basically been:

  • Fulfilling my program responsibilities and coursework
  • Being in communication with my coaches, collaborators, classmates, and friends
  • Cleaning up and getting organized
  • Doing my income taxes
  • Carrying out my staff writing duties
  • Publishing daily

Beyond that, I haven’t had much time or energy to tackle much of anything.

If I’m inside my email, it’s only to answer and delete a few emails. There’s no way I could possibly 100 per day right now. If you’ve been waiting for a response from me, I promise I will get back to you, but it may take me a week or two to figure out what my expanded life looks like. Thanks in advance for your patience.

I have not scheduled tweets either. This has obviously made its way down the priority list, along with a lot of things I now see as being not as important as the key responsibilities articulated above.

I also haven’t even touched anything Music Entrepreneur HQ related in a while. It has been on my mind, but it just hasn’t been feasible for me to tackle content and product development in the capacity I used to. I have at least two – maybe three – podcast episodes forthcoming, but as noted, it’s very much dependent on the space and time available after tackling key priorities.

The good news is, next week, I won’t have to spend as much time on sorting files or working on my taxes. That’ll free up quite a bit more time.

I’m not making any of this wrong, nor do I see it as a permanent condition. If anything, I can see new, exciting possibilities for partnership and collaboration, and some of this has already started forming around me.

For the next quarter, though, I am planning to work on a membership at Content Marketing Musician. I’ve developed a lot of resources for musicians over the years, and our catalog has grown to the point where we feel we can offer greater support through a centralized space where committed, growing musicians gather for coaching and training.

Most importantly, I’m planning to do this in honor of my father and grandparents (my dad’s parents), who were all passionate about education. My dad passed when I was 13, my grandfather a little under 10 years ago, and my grandmother earlier this year.

The general plan is to give 50% of proceeds from the new membership to an organization supporting education for underprivileged children.

I am actively looking for leaders and team members in making this a reality by August 27. If you’re reading this now, and you’d like to participate in any capacity (even if it’s just to offer input and ideas), I would love to welcome you to the team. Get in touch right away and I’d be happy to have a conversation with you about the project.

That is mainly what I wanted to articulate for today. Thanks for reading!

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Doing Your Taxes is Just Data Entry & Patience

Doing Your Taxes is Just Data Entry & Patience

Care to take a wild guess at what I’ve been doing today?

Yep.

Sorting documents. Filing them away. Throwing out receipts no one with a 20/20 vision could possibly read. Putting all relevant and applicable information into spreadsheets.

It’s not glamorous. It’s not fun. And with the government consistently overpromising, underdelivering, and stumbling into disaster after disaster – like they were Greg Focker (Ben Stiller’s character in Meet the Parents) – you honestly wonder why you would even hand over a percentage of your hard-earned money to incompetent goons.

But this is not a political comment.

No, there are a couple of things I see about this “doing taxes” business.

There Are Opportunities in Numbers

I don’t think I would be going out on a limb to say most creatives are right-brained and either hate math, aren’t good at it, just tolerate it, or only got better at it as they exercised their creative muscle.

That’s how it was for me. I got slightly better at math in relation to my growth as a musician.

But what I see now is that there are opportunities in numbers.

Sometimes there are unauthorized charges on your credit cards – good idea to dig into those.

Sometimes there are expenses you can cut – subscriptions you’re still paying for that have no bearing on your creativity or business whatsoever.

And, although we don’t always think this way as creatives, there are times to increase your expenses too – such as when goods and services are available at a discount.

I get that staring at numbers probably isn’t your idea of a double cheeseburger picnic at the park on a sunny day.

But perhaps it would be worth checking in with those numbers more than once per year – maybe monthly, quarterly at minimum.

You’ll become present to more opportunities.

You’ve Got More Time Than You Realize

I don’t see the need to regurgitate all the points I covered in a previous blog post.

But what I’ve started seeing for myself is that time is available in abundance.

Despite being on multiple Zoom and phone calls today, I was still able to put together the most extensive of ledgers (income, expenses, auto), create a to-do list for the near term and immediate future, log worthy ideas into my freshly created master documents (might have to blog about this at some point), and even sort my documents and receipts.

Having more in your schedule forces you to triage – consider what matters most on your to-do list and prioritize. When you have less to do, the tendency might be to slack off or allow work to expand the time available (Parkinson’s law).

What I’m also starting to see is that some tasks just don’t matter that much. They might matter to the extent that I’ve insisted on being consistent with them over the long haul, but I would probably have better results in other channels if I approached them more experimentally. I was quick to jump into long-term commitments (as with my podcast, for example).

To take it a step further, I’m seeing that I’ve already reached my limits as a solopreneur in my specific niche(s). Taking it to the next level would mean letting others contribute to my projects.

Final Thoughts

All this from taxes?

Hell, even I was impressed.

A lot of my assumptions are being challenged in the leadership and management program I’m currently taking, and the lessons are showing up in my experience. It’s magical.

But I do need my rest. Good night, kids. See you tomorrow.

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