Multiple Streams Step 8: BOP Positioning

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramThe final step of the Multiple Streams of Art / Music Income process, establishing your BOP (Bold, Outrageous, Provocative) Positioning, is bigger than your Branding, or your USP (Unique Selling Proposition).

Your BOP Position is about who you are and what you stand for as an artist, as a business and as a human being.

What is Your Purpose?

In this Class, we’ll discover:

  • What is a BOP?
  • How some artists are using their BOP to make a difference in the world
  • 3 Key questions to help you identify your BOP
  • How do you use your BOP to build your Multiple Streams of Art / Music Business?

Your BOP is your BOLD OUTRAGEOUS PROVOCATIVE statement of who you are and what you stand for.  What is your BOP?

Additional Resources for this Class:

Prerequisite Classes:

Listen to the Class:

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Enroll in the Artists Marketing & Business Academy Foundation Program
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Next Class:

Get the Learning – the 5th Key to Maintaining Focus in the Face of Chaos

As I teach in How to Use Feedback and Criticism Constructively, every experience is fodder for growth and development, if you are willing to get the learning. Assessing and adjusting as you go will make you more successful, because the ability to be flexible and adapt to changing conditions is a key success principle. So, the concept of “Get the Learning” is both useful in your immediate ability to function as well as ensuring your long-term success. The first step of this Key is to be asking yourself, as the Former New York Mayor, Ed Koch, was famous for asking, “How am I doing?” Here are a few questions you can use to evaluate how you’re doing:

  • What accomplishments and successes did I have today? (no accomplishment is too small)
  • What did I think I’d be able to accomplish, but didn’t, and what a) got in the way and/or b) did I choose to do instead?
  • What worked and didn’t work, today?
  • What were the choices I made and how do I feel about those choices?  What could I have done differently?
  • What resources did I use and what resources could I have used that might have enabled me to achieve more?
  • What obstacles did I overcome and how did I overcome them?
  • What am I proud of myself for and what I am I grateful for?

These questions can be asked on a daily basis and they can also be asked at the end of the period or project as you look back at what happened. Once you’ve answered these questions – and I think it’s useful to write your answers down – you must follow it up with these two critical questions:

  • What are the over-arcing lessons and principles I can take away from today? (These should be the larger concepts that can be applied to multiple areas of your life)
  • As a result of these learnings what adjustments or changes am I going to implement tomorrow?

If you approach each day and each challenge with the mind of a student, solidify the learnings and then apply those changes in the future, you will be able to rise to any challenge, adapt to any change and succeed in business and in life. What lessons did you learn today?

Manage Your Emotions – the 4th Key to Maintaining Focus in the Face of Chaos

Just to refresh your memory, in the 1st Key, we looked at the big list, and in the 2nd Key, took everything off the plate that we could.  In the 3rd Key we talked about getting help and delegating.  But one of the biggest problems in maintaining focus during times of chaos and stress are the emotions that overwhelm us.  Emotions like anxiousness, worry, and fear can muddle your thinking, sap your energy and at their worst, stop you dead in your tracks.  So, what do you do?

Well the best thing to do is to practice your skills for managing your emotions when you are NOT under stress.  Of course, that doesn’t help you much now, does it.  Here are a few things that might:

Name the Emotions

Sometimes just saying – I feel anxious right now – can actually reduce how anxious you feel.  Notice I didn’t say I “am” anxious.  The difference may seem subtle but it’s profound.  The first is identifying a feeling.  The second is defining yourself by the feeling.  You are not your feelings, right?  You have feelings, they don’t have you…

Here’s my theory.  Your emotions’ job is to get your attention and bring your attention to a particular belief or issue.  If you ignore, suppress, push away your emotions – well, they just have to shout louder to get your attention.  If you dive into them, use them to define who you are or in some other way wallow in them, they still aren’t really doing their job. And so they don’t dissipate then either.

See, it’s not about the emotions.  It’s about the underlying belief or issue that your emotions are calling your attention to.

Try this phrase:

“I’m feeling XXXX right now.  Huh, isn’t that interesting (said in a tone of wonder and curiosity).  I wonder what I’m thinking/believing right now that is having me feel XXX?

The first part of this statement is simply naming the emotion.

Identify the Belief

The second part of that statement is about allowing yourself to become aware of the thought/belief that is stimulating that emotion.

Now, if you’ve taken my Transform Your Belief – the Key to Success class, you already know that I subscribe to the belief that no beliefs are right, real or true.  (I know it disturbs the time/space continuum).  So, identifying the belief isn’t about deciding if it’s right, real or true – because I already know it’s not.  And it’s not about proving that it’s not true or even really engaging with the belief in any way that leads to taking any of this too seriously.

For example:

I’m sitting down to do some work and all of these other things float into my head and I start feeling really anxious.

“I’m feeling anxious right now.  Huh, isn’t that interesting?  I wonder what I’m thinking/believing?  Oh, that’s interesting.  I’m believing that I’ll never get it all done and as a result I can’t succeed.”

There.  I’ve said it – that’s the belief.  Now remember, I’m not taking it too seriously.  I’m not surrendering to that as “truth” and then wailing about the injustice of it all.  I’m just observing – that’s the belief.  Huh.

What you may notice at this point is that you already feel a bit better.  Just naming the emotion and naming the belief connected to it can relieve some of the emotion that is overwhelming you and give you the ability to set it aside and focus.

Going one step further, if you can name the emotion and the belief with both respect while maintaining the knowledge that no belief is right, real or true, that can give you the perspective and clarity to release both the emotion and your attachment to the belief.  And with practice that can become second nature.

What are you noticing about your emotions and beliefs?

Ask for Help – the 3rd Key to Maintaining Focus

In the 1st Key, we looked at the big list, and in the 2nd Key, took everything off the plate that we could using the first 3 of the 4 D’s from Julie Morgenstern’s Time Management from the Inside Out:

  1. Delete
  2. Delay
  3. Diminish
  4. Delegate

The 3rd Key is all about delegating.  It’s about taking the things that you’ve got left on the plate and asking the question – for which of these things is it critical that I do them personally and what can I give away?

In this society, we’re taught that it’s wrong to ask for help.  You should be able to do it yourself, right?  Just pick yourself up by your bootstraps and get to work.  But the truth is that the really successful people understand that no one gets there by themselves.  You have to be willing to ask for help.

“But Debra,” you say:

  • If I ask for help, don’t I look weak?
  • If I ask for help, aren’t I vulnerable to being taken advantage of (could also sound like, what if they steal my material?)
  • I can’t ask for help, everyone else is just as stressed and overwhelmed as I am!
  • What if they say “No?”

Regarding the first point – ask yourself this, if you don’t ask for help, and aren’t able to come through on your promises as a result – how will you look then?

Regarding the second point – I’m recommending delegation, NOT abdication.  Be smart in how you work with people -and set up accountability procedures.

Regarding the third and fourth point – whenever you ask, you must be OK with them saying, “No.”  If you don’t allow the “No”, then you’re not asking, you’re manipulating.

But let me ask you this – when someone you love and care about asks you for help, how do you feel?  I’m not talking about the person who always asks and never offers, always takes and never gives. I’m talking about the person who mostly does for themselves – when they ask for help, how do you feel?  If it’s someone you really care about – I bet you feel honored and grateful to be able to give to the people you love.  By not ever asking for help – you are holding out on the people you care about.  You’re cheating them of the opportunity to contribute to you and to express their love and caring for you.  So asking for help is being generous – isn’t it?

And if it’s OK for them to say “No.” because they just can’t this time, then they will also have the space to say, “Yes.” if and when they can.  And you need to trust people to take good care of themselves.  Support them in being honest with you – let them know that it’s OK if they say no.  And then accept their generosity graciously and with gratitude.  You could also look for ways to give back and help them out when they need it.

When it comes to asking for help from your fans and followers, as an artist, you are offering them an opportunity to play with you at a deeper level.  When fans volunteer for an artist they love, they become more committed and invested in your success.  And as a result, they are more likely to share you with others, buy from you, and commit to being your fan for the long term.

And isn’t that really what you want?  Committed, passionate lifetime fans?  The best way to create that relationship with your fans is to ASK FOR THEIR HELP!

So who are you going to ask for help?  Let me know how it goes!

How to Create Focus

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramAt any given moment, on any given day, the average person is thinking about 14 different things – Does that sound familiar? Between the Day Job (for many Artists), family, your personal needs (such as exercise), and your ambitions for creating your business as a professional in the Arts & Entertainment Industry, life can be overwhelming!

In the ArtistsMBA Classes on Time Management and Project Management, we look at how to prioritize and design your systems to choose what to accomplish when. But when you sit down to actually do what you have chosen to do …

How do you filter out all of the distractions, both internal and external?

“The shorter way to do many things is to do only one thing at a time.”
Mozart

Without focus, your efficiency and effectiveness suffers AND you have a lot less fun!

In this Class, you’ll learn:

  • The 3 biggest focus stealers
  • How to set clear internal and external focus boundaries
  • Simple and easy exercises to focus your mind

Whether you’re creating your art or music, marketing and promoting yourself or spending time with your family, improving your ability to focus will improve your success.

Additional Resources for this Class:

Prerequisite Class:

Listen to the Class:

Thank you for your interest. This content is visible to ArtistsMBA Professional, Mastery Program members only. Click here to access.

Enroll in the Artists Marketing & Business Academy Foundation Program
to access the following classes today ($5 for first 10 days/$27 per month Tuition):

Read the Class Transcript

(Transcript coming soon)
Thank you for your interest. This content is visible to ArtistsMBA Mastery Program members only. Click here to access.

Enroll in the Artists Marketing & Business Academy Mastery Lab to access the transcript of this class today


Thank you for your interest. This content is visible to ArtistsMBA foundation, professional Program members only. Click here to access.

Next Class:

Clear the Plate – the 2nd Key to Maintaining Focus

In the first installment of this series we created a big brainstorm list of all the stuff that makes up the chaos.  Just to remind you of the overview:

5 Keys to Manage Chaos

  1. Acknowledge the reality of your current circumstances
  2. Take everything off the plate that you can
  3. Ask for help
  4. Manage your emotions and thoughts through the experience
  5. Get the learning

And now for the second key:

Take it off the Plate!

Read more

Maintaining Focus in the Face of Chaos – 1st Key

The Holiday Season can be so joyfully chaotic, can’t it?  Parties and travel and family (with all the baggage that goes with that!).  For many performers there are also holiday gigs and holiday gift promotions to promote on top of that.  It can all be so overwhelming.  So many things to do, so many demands on your time.

Time management and project management systems are critical to your success at all times and I cover them elsewhere in the blog.  Very often, when faced with unusually busy times, all of our time management skills fly out the window. So, this series of 5 blog posts will answer the question – How do I maintain my focus and my sanity in the face of chaos?

5 Keys to Manage Chaos

  1. Read more