If Ya Scared Go to Church

What’s going on, everybody?

Its been over a week since I last posted, reason being that I was in Minnesota and now, my internet went out.  Ok, it didn’t just go out, the cable line to the house snapped due to the cold.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking A LOT about peoples reasons for not being go-getters, for not being grinders, for not chasing their dreams, for not taking their music seriously enough to make a business out of it.  Here is the conclusion that I’ve come to for why some people just get lazy:

THEY’RE SCARED!

Yep, simple as that.  People are afraid of having to pull the trigger on things.  Despite all of that tough talking a lot of artists do, they’re terrified.  I’m not saying that they’re terrified of the risk of going the entrepreneurial route, because too many people have talked about that, and entrepreneurship is a scary leap to take.  What I am talking about is the fact that many artists are afraid to talk to the big guys, they’re afraid to network.

Networking is scary if you don’t know who you are.  Thats why you should always know who you are and what you do.  Know what kind of music you play, what kind of audience you appeal to, and what makes you unique.  For example, if I am meeting someone new who I am trying to build a business relationship with here is how I’m going to start the initial conversation.

Me: Eric Phillipson, nice to meet you (hand shake)
Them: (insert name)
Me: What projects are you currently working on? (this keeps you from asking awkward questions like “so uhhh what do you do)
Them: Oh, I have such and such going on, getting ready to do so and so.  (This is where you look for something you can relate to)
Me: Nice nice,  I have a buddy getting into that, I’ll have to connect you sometime, let me get your contact info.
Them: Definitely, (insert contact info), so, what is it you do?

Boom, now depending on what that person said they have going on depends on how I pitch myself.  If they were an artist I’d tell them about the Speak Your Music side of me.  If they were a manager or DJ I might tell them about the branding side of what I do.

Here is a key about networking…

DON’T BE FAKE, LISTEN TO WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING!

In that above example, before I contacted that person about anything that I do, I would make sure I plug them up with my contact who has similar interests.  You have to keep your word and stay true to your word.

Once you know who you are, dealing with the business people in the industry will not be scary, because you will have all of the answers to all of their questions.  People who are about business do not like to have their time wasted by others who don’t know what they’re talking about.  Be genuine, be true to your word, and you will be fine.

However, if you’re afraid of taking the leap, maybe this isn’t the industry for you.  Music business is very detail oriented if you’re doing it right.

Quick little side note, there is no such thing as “fashionably” late.  Being late is irritating, and I have seen many a artists lose out because they thought being late or not showing up was the right thing to do.

As always, appreciate ya, hit me up if you have any questions and I will do my best to address them!

-Eric Phillipson

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Procrastination & Writers Block

I’m not even going to lie.  Today…my brain is not functioning.  I guess you could call it writers block.

Earlier today I sat at the computer trying to figure out what I was going to post, and I honestly could not think of one thing to write.  I also have an archive of articles I’ve written for use on here, but none of those really appealed for use today.  They’re all great articles, but I like to have a reason for using them.

Anyway, as I was sitting here organizing some things, I remembered how many times musicians or writers get in a rutt when it comes to writing or creating in general.  I would say I am pretty good about getting out of writers block, or avoiding procrastination.  But, I wasn’t always. I used to procrastinate like (insert similie here).

Today, I wanted to share tips on how to avoid writers block and procrastination.  Because, honestly, the two go hand-in-hand.

A lot of times during writers block we can’t put our thoughts together the way we need to.  What I will generally do is take an hour break and go work on something else.  As musicians there is always something you can be doing to focus on your career.  If you are having trouble writing a song, take an hour break and focus on some of the business aspects of your career.  Then come back to your song,  a lot of times putting in the work for business will get your mind moving and your creative juices flowing.  The key here is to make sure you are staying active.

Speaking of staying active, besides business, working out is another way to get your brain in motion.  Its amazing how the ideas just start flowing in after a good workout.  Its a wake-up to your entire body, plus a great way to motivate yourself into a yes-I-can attitude.

Now here is something that I might get flammed for when it comes to procrastination.  A lot of people say you should start with the most difficult task first (eat the frog), this is great if you are not a true procrastinator.  Here is what works for me:

When I wake up, I find the quickest task that requires some work.  Notice I’m not saying easiest.  I’m saying if I need to get a hold of someone for business as part of my tasks, I will make sure that I start by trying to get a hold of that person.  Or say I need to do some quick research, I will do that.  If you do the hardest/toughest task first, as a procrastinator you may get discouraged or bored for you ADD folks out there.  By starting with a task that is quick, you build yourself up for the long haul.  Eating the frog should be second in my opinion, you need appetizers before any large meal 😉

Then again, I’m also a very energetic person who has a hard-time focusing on one thing for too long.  So how do I combat that?  Chunks.  I’m not talking 50 minute time chunks (though this is a GREAT method for getting things done), I’m talking task chunks.  Say you’re working on a business plan.  Break that down. Something like “Once I complete my summary page, I will take a 10 minute break”.  Be reasonable though with breaking things down.  If you start doing things like “Once I write a paragraph, I will take a 10 minute break”, you’ll fall right back into a procrastination hole.  Generally, in order to be more effective, I will create a breakdown of my tasks the night before, that way I am not wasting time in the morning working on them.

Now, have you ever woken up and just written the five things that come to  mind?  If you’re a songwriter, I suggest you try it.  If I had a bad day before (as far as ideas), waking up the next day and jotting ten things down that come to mind usually puts me on the “write” foot 😉 to getting things done.  Ok, Ok, bad pun, sorry.

Hope you have a great and productive day!

-Eric

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