There’s something that I have been failing to acknowledge.
Something that has been obvious for quite a while.
Something that has been staring me square in the face, while I refuse to acknowledge it, or try to avoid it while I deny it and make it wrong.
That something is this:
I am a writerpreneur.
For a long time, I identified as Music Entrepreneur HQ (my business).
That was the possibility I saw myself back in 2011, when I got into network marketing and I saw an opportunity to combine what I was doing in music with entrepreneurship.
This is exactly what I proceeded to do. I even invested in a music tech startup that, unfortunately, went belly up at the end of 2015.
But that was the same year my first book, The New Music Industry, came out. And at that point, loss aversion had settled in. I had put so much time and effort into being Music Entrepreneur HQ that doing anything else seemed like a waste of time and effort. Especially since it was more successful than any other blog I’d started.
So, in the ensuing years, I got back into podcasting, and I launched four more books. Talk about loss aversion.
The only problem was that it was a constant roller-coaster ride. And no matter how hard I’d tried, no matter how much time or money I invested, no matter how many emails I sent out or how many launches and campaigns I initiated, the business went at its own pace, did its own thing, paying no heed to the owner’s commands and wishes.
Which went contrary to how others thought my business should be progressing, and that led to some arguments about how effort should always lead to results.
But there was a clear discrepancy between the effort invested and the results gotten. I had laid all the groundwork to be successful, but I wasn’t. And that’s the way it was.
Still, it’s not like there weren’t clues along the way.
I had friends who urged me to consider another path. “Stop being selfish,” they would say, “your talents, skills, and knowledge can benefit so many more – not just musicians.”
I’d had a moment, just seven or eight years ago, when I was sitting at a Starbucks reading a book, thinking to myself, “I want to become a successful author.” As if that wasn’t a tell-tale sign, even though I didn’t know where the thought came from.
It showed up in other ways too, whether it was starting other projects (like the Using Your Power personal development podcast), writing about self-employment on Medium, or just dreaming up new ideas for blogs and businesses.
It was only in the last couple of days that I was even able to (and maybe ready to) decouple David Andrew Wiebe from Music Entrepreneur HQ.
And this identity shift came as relief.
At last, I could let go of all the guilt I had about not spending enough time making music, not actively building my own music career, or finishing products faster.
And for once, I can focus on what matters with a sense of purpose and joy rather than with a sense of guilt for putting my time and energy into the “wrong things,” when some of my projects linger in indefinite hiatus.
This does not mean I’m quitting Music Entrepreneur HQ or that I’m not planning to finish what I started. This is not my resignation latter.
But it doesn’t need to be my main thing anymore. It can do as it pleases, as it always has. It will never do otherwise. This crazy, unruly animal has rarely if ever been obedient to me.
Music Entrepreneur HQ can stay my passion, my hobby, maybe even my side hustle. But it doesn’t need to be me, and I don’t need to be it anymore. That’s freeing.
I don’t know how much longer writers will be in demand. It could be three to five years, especially as GPT-3 continues to develop. But at least for those three to five years, I will have a focus. And maybe that’s enough right now.
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