ArtistsMBA Track 3 – Nuts & Bolts

Procrastination as Information

When clients admit to procrastinating on an action in session, they are usually shrouded in shame and embarrassment. As if somehow they are a failure, because they’ve been procrastinating.

Does this sound familiar:

procrastination, resistance, action

I DON’T WANNA!

It feels like there’s a part of you that knows you “should” be doing this action and that part even wants to be doing it.  But there’s another part of you that’s like a whiny 3 year old, stomping your foot, saying, “I don’t WANNA!”  You beg and plead with that 3 year old inside of you, but you just can’t get into action.  And the more you push against it, the stronger the resistance.

Some of my clients think that, as their coach, I can fix them, force them, make them take action.  But here’s the thing – they’re not broken and neither are you. And the more you push against resistance the stronger and more powerful it becomes.

Procrastination is a symptom of something.  It’s not evidence that you’re broken.  It’s evidence that your unconscious is staging a rebellion.  And in order to bring your unconscious back into alignment with your conscious mind – you have to understand what is causing the rebellion.

Why shaming doesn’t work

Imagine if you went to a doctor and told him you have a sore throat.  And instead of the doctor examining you and running tests and prescribing treatment, instead, he told you that you were bad and wrong for having a sore throat.

Would that fix your sore throat?

Wouldn’t you just feel bad about yourself and still have a sore throat?  And yet, that’s exactly what you’re doing every time you beat up on yourself for procrastinating.  It doesn’t work.  Cut it out!

Procrastination is a symptom

Procrastination is the key to finding out what your unconscious is trying to tell you.  So instead of shaming yourself – start investigating. Become Dr. House and investigate what is causing your procrastination.  Get curious.

What is the root cause of your procrastination?

What Causes Procrastination?

There are many different reasons for procrastination.  And if you tend to procrastinate on a lot of different things – you may have different reasons for each thing.  Here is a list of common causes and some suggestions to counter them:

  • Your goals are unclear – you’re not sure why you should be doing this thing

Get clear on your goals – what specific goal does this action serve?

  • There is a learning curve for this action and you don’t know how to do it

Find someone who can show you how.  Take a class to learn how.  Google it!  Take the action and be willing to do it badly while you’re learning.

  • The action is too big, too vague or too general (overwhelming)

Break it down and get specific.

  • You have a lot of different actions you need to take and they all seem of equal priority or importance

Make a list and knock them out one at a time – if they are truly of equal priority, just pick ANY one.  Learn how to manage conflicting priorities.

  • No matter what you do, it’s never enough.  And you’re not allowed to play until you finish your homework!

Celebrate each accomplishment, each baby step.  Make sure you take breaks to play, exercise, just breathe. Not allowing yourself to celebrate is a recipe for burnout. This is critical!

  • The action feels like a big risk and you’re afraid to take that risk

First ask yourself, “Is this true?” In other words, is it really the risk you think it is? You may find that your fear of the risk is making it seem bigger. Get support or coaching around overcoming your fear.

  • When you imagine taking the action, you anticipate that it will be difficult or frustrating or even just boring

Just do it for 15 minutes – you can stop after 15 minutes.  Put on some really great music. Reward yourself for having done it by doing something really fun next.

  • When this action is complete, the next obvious action is either invisible (if I do this, then what?) or really scary (if I do this, then I’ll have to do THAT!)

Very often the next step will become clear when this step is done.  And you don’t have to do it alone.  Work with a coach to help you through the scary stuff and figure out what’s next. And remember – just focus on the action in front of you – the next action will be dealt with when it’s time to deal with it!

Diagnosing Your Procrastination

Do some of the above suggestions ring true for you? Here are a few more questions that might help you uncover the underlying cause of your hesitation and/or resistance.  First, don’t ask “why”!  “Why” just gives you reasons to procrastinate more!

  • When I think about taking this action, I feel ______________ (fill in the emotion word – anxious, sad, angry, etc.).  What am I thinking/believing that has me feeling ______________?
  • When I imagine taking this action, I think it is going to be _______________ (easy, hard, frustrating, boring, overwhelming, etc.)
  • How long will this action take me?
  • What are the specific steps to accomplishing this action?
  • What fear, concern or consideration is stopping me from taking this action?
  • What will taking this action do for me?  What outcome do I desire from taking this step?
  • What outcome am I afraid of, if I take this action?  What’s the worse case scenario? What if I do nothing?  Is that worse?
  • If I break this action down into its smallest component steps and just contemplate the first of those steps – how does that feel?  Can I take that baby step now?
  • Am I celebrating each baby step or am I only allowed to celebrate when I have the big goal and I’ve done it perfectly?

Sometimes simply asking some of these questions can actually clear you enough to get into action.

Procrastination can fundamentally undermine all of your time management systems.  So figuring out what is causing you to procrastinate is a critical first step in managing your time well.

What are you procrastinating? Share what you discover about your own procrastination in the comments, or ask for help figuring it out!

 

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How to Prepare for a Successful Crowd Funding Campaign, an Interview with Ariel Hyatt

artists-marketing-business-academy-interview-with-expertsIn today’s DIY Music Business, many artists are looking to crowd funding to replace the financing that a record deal used to provide. But the success rates of crowd funding efforts in the music industry are not all Amanda F. Palmer stories. It’s not the get rich quick solution to your financial woes.

Luckily for us, Ariel Hyatt of Cyber PR has studied this question and is going to share a few of her Crowd Funding Success Secrets with the members of the Artists Marketing & Business Academy Professional Program.

In this Interview with an Expert you will learn:

  • The 3 biggest Crowd Funding mistakes
  • What you must have in place before you begin your Crowd Funding Campaign
  • How to choose which Crowd Funding site to use for your campaign – Kickstarter, Indiegogo, where to start?

Is Crowd Funding the right method at the right time for your next project? In this interview Ariel will give you the criteria for making a sound business decision for your career.

Additional Resources for this Interview:

Additional ArtistsMBA Classes on this Topic

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How to Manage Your Marketing – The Contact Management System

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramMarketing is creating an environment in which people feel comfortable enough to buy from you,  over and over again.

Sounds like a great idea, right? But what exactly does that mean in terms of day to day actions?  And how do you systematize creating that environment?

Does this sound familiar?

  • You’ve got a pile of business cards on your desk, but you don’t really know what to do with them.
  • Picking up the phone to make marketing calls is terrifying because you don’t really know who to call or what to say when you get them on the phone
  • You know you promised somebody something, but don’t remember who or what or when
  • A prospective customer/client/fan tells you to call back in three months and you promise to, but you know you won’t remember

These are all symptoms of a poor contact management system (or CRM – Customer Relations Management System)!  There’s nothing wrong with you, it’s the system that is lacking!

In this class you’ll learn:

  • Why you need a Contact Management System (and why your memory isn’t enough!)
  • The Key Components of an effective Contact Management System
  • How your Contact Management System feeds into and energizes your larger Marketing Plan
  • A review of some of the 3rd party apps out there and how to choose the right one for you

Additional Resources for this Class:

Prerequisite Class:

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

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Procrastination is Keeping Me Waiting

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramOne of the most frequently asked question in my Ask Coach Debra calls is how to deal with procrastination. Very often we know what we need to do.  And yet somehow, we can’t get ourselves to sit down and do it!

All of the Time Management structures and systems you’ve learned to create in the Time Management and Project Management Classes will be impossible to implement if you don’t figure out how to overcome procrastination.

Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.  ~Victor Kiam

In this class you’ll discover:

  • What is procrastination, really, and what causes it?
  • Three techniques to get yourself moving when you’re stuck
  • An NLP process that you can use over and over to create momentum with ease

At the ArtistsMBA, you are learning a lot about how to create a successful, sustainable and profitable business doing what you love.  But until you put this knowledge into action your dreams are fantasies.  This class will help you move past your internal blocks and into action.

Additional Resources for this Class:

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Enroll in the Artists Marketing & Business Academy Foundation Program
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How to Manage Cash Flow for Your Art Business

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramDo you know the number 1 reason businesses fail?  Cash Flow. Or to use business terminology, insufficient capital or operating funds.

Knowing how to manage your finances (business and personal), manage your cash flow and plan your cash flow management is critical to your success.

In this class Debra will show you how to take your business beyond the gig-to-gig, sale-to-sale mentality and build a financial foundation that generates prosperity and a sustainable career. Are you ready for the big time?

You’ll learn:

  • How to break out of the time for money trap
  • How to plan for the cyclical nature of your cash flow
  • The difference between good debt and bad debt
  • The benefits of separating your personal and business finances
  • How to make the most of your tax deductions
  • Getting your financial house ready for the big time!

Additional Resources for this Class:

Prerequisite Class:

Listen to the Class:

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Enroll in the Artists Marketing & Business Academy Foundation Program
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Time Management Bookends – A Framework for Success

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramTime Management is the Number One System that will enable you to achieve sustainable success in your business and your life.

If your Time Management isn’t working – nothing else will.

I have worked with literally hundreds of clients on the issues that a poor time management system creates

They include:

  • Procrastination
  • Difficulties with prioritization
  • Boundary issues with family and friends
  • Feelings of overwhelm and fear
  • Burnout

And what I’ve found is that when you start the day well and end the day well, very often the middle works so much better!

In this class you’ll learn:

  • What are Time Management Bookends and why do we use them
  • How to design your unique morning and evening Bookends?
  • The three most important components of successful Bookends
  • How to install your bookends into your daily life

Additional Resources for this Class:

Prerequisite Class:

Listen to the Class:

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Enroll in the Artists Marketing & Business Academy Foundation Program
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Time Management 101 – The Art of Juggling

Artists MBA, Foundation Program“If only I had more time! Then I could do all that I want to do!”

There are 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. That won’t change. So how do you use what you have to create the life that you want?

The solution isn’t by figuring out how to do more stuff.  It’s figuring out how to adjust your choices and decisions so that you’re doing the right stuff at the right time.

Time Management is a skill and as a skill, you can learn it.  The problem for most people is that they were never taught.  Instead you’ve been shamed for not already knowing how to manage your time.

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
H. Jackson Brown, Jr. quote

Don’t you think it’s time for you to get a handle on your time?

In this Class, you’ll learn:

  • How to figure out what you’re doing right so you can do more of that
  • How to set up a system that really works with who you are
  • Several tools to help you make the most of your time
  • What to do with that To Do list!

Additional Resources for this Class:

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Listen to the Class:

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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):

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(Transcript coming soon)
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Copyright and Trademark Basics an Interview with Jeff Fabian

artists-marketing-business-academy-interview-with-expertsTrademark and copyright protection are fundamental components of a sound business strategy for all artists and professionals in the Music Business, Visual Arts or Film and Television Industry. But do we have to be lawyers to understand the basics? Jeff Fabian says “NO!” and he is going to going to prove it to us in this month’s Interview with an Expert!

 

In this class you will learn:

  • The difference between Copyright and Trademark and how it pertains to you as an Artist
  • How to protect your rights as an Artist
  • How to avoid costly errors when using other people’s intellectual property (e.g. covering a song)

Protecting your work and your brand identity is critically important to your success.

Additional Resources for this Interview:

Listen to the Interview:

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Read the Interview Transcript

(Transcript coming soon)
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Enroll in the Artists Marketing & Business Academy Professional Program to access this advanced class today ($39/month):


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Jeff Fabian

Jeff Fabian is the owner of Fabian, LLC, a boutique law firm that assists musicians, creative industry professionals and entrepreneurs in trademark, copyright and contract matters. His experience includes copyright registration maintenance and licensing, trademark protection and enforcement, and contract drafting and negotiation for record deals, music licensing agreements, online music distribution, and more. Visit fabianwrites.com for more information, or follow Jeff on Twitter: @fabianwrites.

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Money Management: Building Your Financial Foundation

Artists MBA, Foundation ProgramMany of us think our trouble with money is that we just don’t have enough.

If we had more money, our problems would disappear. But the vast majority of lottery winners are broke within 3 years.

The problem isn’t the money – it’s how we think about, manage, and use this essential resource.

“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” – Ayn Rand

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Shift your internal beliefs to become a money magnet
  • Apply the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. action plan to your unique goals to achieve financial freedom and success
  • Build systems to streamline your money management
  • Design a game plan that produces and sustains financial freedom

Additional Resources for this Class:

Prerequisite Class:

Listen to the Class:

Thank you for your interest. This content is visible to ArtistsMBA Foundation, 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.

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Next Class: