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My Father Gave Me

DadToday is my Father’s 87th birthday.  He almost made it.  He died on July 15th. I post today, my first post since his passing, in honor of his birthday.

My father was a tremendous influence on my life. I can’t even begin to detail all the gifts he gave me. I was honored to give the Eulogy at his funeral.  Here are the words I spoke:

My father gave me:

  • A deep knowing that I am valuable and I am loved.
  • A love of language and communication – but most specifically puns.
  • An understanding of the glory of humans in all of our complexity, our uniqueness, our foibles and our fragility – that will inspire both laughter and tears, but most importantly compassion and empathy.
  • A sense of a world that is both glorious and terrible and that is always filled with hope and possibility.
  • A nose for the ridiculous and an abundance of laughter and humor. That all things can be made better with laughter.
  • A deep valuing of beauty as expressed in music, in art, in theatre and the value of emotions expressed and inspired by art.
  • The importance of equity, fairness and truth and that there are no problems that thinking differently cannot solve.
  • The absolute of family – that our family is everything and his definition of family was ever expanding and inclusive.
  • A foundation of ambition – to always do the best that I am capable of in all circumstances, to never quit and never surrender and to leave every situation I touch better than I found it.

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Khalil Gibran

If you wish to make a donation in my Father’s memory, Dr. Robert Irwin Rosenthal, PhD, please consider Temple Beth Or, 200 Van Zile Road, Brick, NJ; any Parkinson’s Disease organization or the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra, P.O. Box 8218, Red Bank, NJ 07701. (My father was concert master, board member and played violin with them for years).

Acknowledgements can be sent to his widow (Mom):
Rita Rosenthal
c/o Artist’s EDGE
561 Atlantic City Boulevard, Suite 4
Bayville, NJ 08755

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Workshops and Events

Live and Virtual

If you would like to have Debra speak for your group or deliver a workshop at your conference, please contact her directly.  She is happy to travel and her prices are very reasonable!  Click here for more information about Debra Russell, Professional Speaker



 Business Management for the Creative Mind

(How to run your art business without losing your mind or your soul)

April 2, 2016, 1:00PM-5:00PM

“I’m an Artist.  I’m no good at business!”
In this dynamic, interactive workshop, Debra Russell will dispel this myth, so you can apply your unique talents to create a successful business without sacrificing your art or your integrity.
In this Workshop you can expect to learn:

  • 5 Hats of the Business Owner
  • Overcome the 5 Biggest Challenges
  • Systems Fundamentals
  • Time Management Basics
  • 3 Keys to Your Success

Embracing that you are a small business owner is fundamental.  See yourself at home in the business side of your Art and use your innate skills to conquer the challenges that now seem overwhelming to you.

Workshop is FREE to Art Works Downtown Members
General Public: $25



Discounted Private Consultations with Debra Russell

Get Support!
Sunday, April 31–5:30pm

Art Works Downtown
San Rafael, CA
Consultations are either 25 minutes or 55 minutes in length.
While in San Rafael, I’ll be offering discounted private consultations to members of Art Works Downtown, workshop participants and the general public.

Normal fees for consultations begin at $200/hour. Art Works Downtown will receive a 50% discount (use your Art Works Downtown discount code)!  Workshop participants and the general public will receive a 25% discount.

A portion of all proceeds will go to benefit Art Works Downtown.



Upcoming events will be announced soon! To have Debra come speak for your Conference/Tradeshow, Organization or University, send your inquiry here.



View past events to see where Debra has been!

Past Events

Here is a partial list of events and groups Debra Russell has presented workshops for or given Key Note talks.

SXSW Interactive 2011
Business Management for the Creative Mind – A Core Conversation
Austin, TX, March 12, 2011


CMC Productions Presents
Multiple Streams of Music Income
Melbourne, Australia, November 13, 2010
Sydney, Australia, November 14, 2010


TAXI Road Rally – Los Angeles, California (November 4-7, 2010)
Drivers Ed Course: How to Run Your Music Business (Fri. 11/5/10)
Drivers Ed Course: How to Use Feedback and Criticism Constructively (Sat. 11/6/10)


NSAI Songposium – Nashville, TN (September 20-24, 2010)
Multiple Streams of Music Income
How to Run Your Music Business – without losing your mind and your soul


NSAI Advance Songcamp – Nashville, TN (June 4-6, 2010)
Event is by audition only


CyberPR and Ariel Hyatt – Brooklyn, NY (June 2, 2010)
Multiple Streams of Music Income


Connecticut Songwriters Association – Mystic, CT (May 25, 2010)
Multiple Streams of Music Income


Hudson Valley Songfest & Music Expo – Hudson, NY (May 21-23, 2010)
How to Transition to Full-Time with Your Music

How to Use Feedback and Criticism Constructively


Savvy Business Women Meetup Group – Burlingame, CA (March 25, 2010)
Create Systems – Working Smarter Not Harder


Music Talks Education Network – (March 4, 2010)
Multiple Streams of Music Income


Entrepreneurial Mindset – (January 12, 2010)
Develop your success mindset
Recognize opportunities and capitalize on them
Leverage your time for dramatic income growth
Recover from mistakes and early failures (everybody has them)

Find mentors and learn from them


TAXI Road Rally – Los Angeles, California (November 5-9, 2009)
Drivers Ed Course: Business Management for the Creative Mind (Fri. 11/6/09)
Drivers Ed Course: Transforming Your Inner Critic Into Your Staunchest Ally (Sat. 11/7/09)
Panel: Marketing Your Music Online – Grand Ballroom (Sun. 11/8/09)


The 29th Annual Northwest Booking Conference – Boise, Idaho (October 12-15, 2009)
Create a Powerful 5-Year Plan and Implement it with Right Now Action! (Mon.  10/12/09)
Running and Marketing a Successful Business (Mon. 10/12/09)
Money Management for the Creative Mind (Tues. 10/13/09)


Durango Songwriters Expo – Colorado Springs, CO (October 8-10, 2009)
Multiple Streams of Music Income (Sat.  10/10/09)


NSAI Songposium – Nashville, TN (September 21-25, 2009)
Time Management 101 – The Art of Juggling (Tues.  9/22/09)
Business Management for the Creative Mind (Wed. 9/23/09)
Transform Your Beliefs – They Key to Success (Thurs. 9/24/09)


West Coast Songwriters (Sat. 9/12/09)
Turning Your Inner Critic Into Your Staunchest Ally


The Entrepreneur & Small Business Academy (Wed. 7/8/09)
Project Management – How to Get Stuff DONE!


San Francisco Entrepreneurs for Coworking Meetup (Tues. 6/30/09)
Niche Marketing – How Thinking Small Can Payoff BIG!


San Francisco Film Society (Mon. 6/15/09)
“Business Management for the Creative Mind”


Debra Russell Speaking in the NY Area – (Thurs. 5/28/09)
Multiple Streams of Art Income


Produced by Columbia Arts Team – Hudson, NY (May 30-31, 2009)
4th Annual SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL


New York City (Tues. 6/2/09)
Artist’s SUCCESS Salon
With Ariel Hyatt


Taxi Road Ralley – Los Angeles, CA (November 6-9 2008)
“Transform Your Beliefs-Today!” (Fri. 11/7/08)
“Business Management for the Creative Mind” (Sat. 11/8/08)


Arts Northwest Booking Conference – Eugene, OR (October 13-16 2008)
“Transform Your Beliefs-The Key to Success” (Tue. 10/14/08)
“Business Management for the Creative Mind” (Wed. 10/15/08)


Expo for the Artist and Musician – San Francisco, CA (Sat. 09/27/08)
Exhibitor Table


Expo for the Artist and Musician – San Francisco, CA (Thu. 09/25/08)
Multiple Streams of Art Income


Pacific Rim Sculpture Group – Oakland, CA (Wed. 08/13/08)
“Business Management for the Creative Mind”


San Francisco Women’s Film Festival – San Francisco, CA (Sun. 04/13/08)
Marketing 101 for Filmmakers, Artists, and Musicians


Romance Writers of America – San Francisco, CA (Sat. 02/09/08)
“Road Maps to Success — Create Your Vision”


The Bay Area Music Business Success Meetup Group – Freemont, CA (Sat. 12/08/07)


MesArt – San Francisco, CA (Wed. 12/05/07)
“Systems Creation – Working Smarter, Not Harder”


East Bay Entrepreneur and Small Business Meetup – Emeryville, CA (Mon. 12/03/07)
“Accounting, Bookkeeping and Taxes”


TAXI Road Rally – Los Angeles, CA (Fri. 11/09/07 – Sat. 11/10/07)
“Build Your Belief – The Key to Success”
“Multiple Streams of Music Income”


MesArt – San Francisco, CA (Wed. 10/24/07)
“Multiple Streams of Art Income”


The Bay Area Music Business Success Meetup Group – Berkeley, CA (Mon. 10/15/07)


MesArt – San Francisco, CA (Wed. 9/26/07)
“Business Management for the Creative Mind”


The Bay Area Music Business Success Meetup Group – Berkeley, CA (Tues. 9/18/07)


Western Arts Alliance Conference – Los Angeles, CA (Thurs. 8/30/07)
“Time Management 101 – The Art of Juggling”


Songsalive Orange County Chapter – Westminster, CA (Sun. 8/26/07)
“Business Management for the Creative Mind”


The Los Angeles Women’s Music Festival – Encino, CA (Sat. 8/25/07)
“Time Management 101 – The Art of Juggling”


The Bay Area Music Business Success Meetup Group – Berkeley, CA (Tues. 8/14/07)


The Bay Area Music Business Success Meetup Group – Berkeley, CA (Wed. 7/18/07)


East Bay Entrepreneur and Small Business Meetup – Walnut Creek, CA (Mon. 7/16/07)
“Become a Recognized Expert in Your Field”


MesArt – San Francisco, CA (Mon. 6/25/07)
“Time Management 101″
Purchase mp3 file recording:
MesArt members: $15
Non-members: $20
Buy Now


The Bay Area Music Business Success Meetup Group – Berkeley, CA (Wed. 6/20/07)
Music Business Success Kick-Off


ArtSFest 2007– San Francisco, CA (Wed. 5/23/07)
“Business Management for the Creative Mind”


MesArt – San Francisco, CA (Mon. 3/19/07)
“Marketing 101″


Capital Region Writers Bloc – Sacramento, CA (Mon. 3/5/07)
“Time Management 101 for Writers”


The Woolman Semester at Sierra Friends Center – Nevada City, CA (Sat. 3/3/07)
“Build Your Belief – The Key to Success”


North American Folk Alliance International Conference – Memphis, TN
(Wed. 2/21/07 – Sun. 2/25/07)
Debra participated in “Sighs Matters” Women in Music panel
“Build Your Belief – The Key to Success”


MesArt – San Francisco, CA (Thurs. 1/25/07)
“Build Your Belief – The Key to Success”


MesArt – San Francisco, CA (Wed. 12/6/06)
“Business Management for the Creative Mind”


TAXI Road Rally – Los Angeles, CA (Wed. 11/8/06 – Sat. 11/11/06)
“Build Your Belief – The Key to Success”
“Business Management for the Creative Mind”


SWRFA – Austin, TX (Thurs. 9/28/06 – Sun. 10/1/06)
“Business Management for the Creative Mind”


Expo for the Artist & Musician – San Francisco, CA (Sat. 9/16/06)
“Business Management for the Creative Mind”


West Coast Songwriters Annual Conference – Los Altos Hills, Northern California (Sat. 9/9/06 – Sun. 09/10/06)
“Build Your Belief – The Key to Success”


Cutting Edge Music Business Conference – New Orleans (Thurs. 8/24/06 – Sun. 8/27/06)
“Business Management for the Creative Mind”
And Debra participated in the following panel:
“Developing a Winning Image for your Artist – From Branding to Delivery”

 

Private Client Resources

Welcome to Coaching!

Here are your Resources for Coaching.

Scheduling your Monthly Coaching Sessions with Debra

If you are ready to schedule your session go here:

Schedule My Sessions with Debra Russell

New Client Coaching Information and Resources

Actions Before Your Next Session

If you are creating your own coaching binder, I recommend using a View Binder, like this one from Amazon:

For Use During Your Coaching

Before each session, in addition to any written action items, please send me an update.  I’ve created a worksheet to help you with this process (with thanks to clients who developed some of this for themselves!)

If you’re doing a written action for me, please make use of these templates for word or spreadsheet documents – you will obviously need to replace YOUR NAME with your actual name in the header in the appropriate place.

Time Management Resources

Finance Resources

Build Your Financial Foundation – Thank You!

Congratulations on your purchase of the Build Your Financial Foundation Workbook.

If you purchased the hard copy, you will receive it by mail in 4-6 weeks.  If you purchased the download, you will receive a link to download the PDF via email.  This link will only be active for 24 hours – so take action now!

By purchasing this Workbook, you have made a commitment to transform your relationship with Money. In that moment you saw the results you could have. You felt the relief, the ease, the joy you could have in your life, once Money was handled.

Don’t give up on that Vision. Instead, invest in it. Not once (when you save the PDF to your computer), but for a few hours a week, every week. Make a schedule. Set aside a few hours to work through the steps in this workbook. I promise you that your results will far outweigh the sacrifice of those few hours.

Don’t skip around in the Workbook.

Work through the steps in order. It was written as a process in a very specific order for very specific reasons. This is a process that has been tested over and over again with my private clients. This Workbook is the result of those experiences, both what worked and what didn’t work. Trust me and trust the process.

If you find that you just can’t seem to make yourself do this work – you may benefit from working one-to-one with a coach on this issue.  The money stuff can be challenging to handle on your own.  If that’s the case – feel free to contact me for private coaching.

I welcome your feedback. Let me know your results.

Artist’s EDGE Download Product – Thank You!

You will be receiving your receipt by email.  In addition, you will receive your download link by email.  That unique link will only be active for 24 hours, so take action immediately!

Please don’t hesitate to contact Artist’s EDGE if you have any questions or concerns!  Your satisfaction is the most important thing.

Developing your success and business skills are critical to creating a prosperous living doing what you love.  And nowhere else will you find more training on these skills than through the Artists Marketing & Business Academy.

With over 100 hours of training available to develop both your inner game and your success skills with more added every month, this is an incredible value.

Check out the Artists MBA

Artist’s EDGE Product – Thank You!

You will be receiving your receipt by email.  Please don’t hesitate to contact Artist’s EDGE if you have any questions or concerns!  Your satisfaction is the most important thing.

Developing your success and business skills are critical to creating a prosperous living doing what you love.  And nowhere else will you find more training on these skills than through the Artists Marketing & Business Academy.

With over 100 hours of training available to develop both your inner game and your success skills with more added every month, this is an incredible value.

And through the “Ask Coach Debra” calls, you get priority access to ask your questions, and listen to the answers to your peer’s questions and questions you didn’t even know you had!  And as an Academy Member, you get free access to the recording of these calls.

Check out the Artists Marketing & Business Academy.

Teleclass Etiquette

  1. Call in right on time, but not more than a few minutes early. Only call the bridge number at class time, not before or after the class. No one is ‘there’ at that number except during the scheduled class time. If you need admin help, contact Debra.
  2. The system will instruct you to announce yourself. However, if you are late calling in, please DON’T announce yourself until there is a natural break in the conversation or you are invited to speak.
  3. This is a conference call and it is being recorded for others to listen. You are giving your permission to be recorded by participating in the call. Keep in mind that this is not a private conversation.
  4. Whenever possible call from a land line and use a phone with a cord. No speakerphones please – they add LOTS of noise to the call and annoy everyone. Some cell phones and cordless phones can also cause problems on the line, so please use them only if necessary. If your cordless phone adds noise to the call, try moving closer to the base unit. Using skype can create a lot of problems, including a voice delay and feedback. Please don’t use skype.
  5. Disable call waiting before dialing in (dial *70, wait for a brief tone, then dial the bridge number).
    If this doesn’t work and you have call waiting, check with your local phone company for disabling instructions. If you haven’t used this feature before, please test it prior to the call so you know how it works. Your call waiting will be automatically restored when you hang up.
  6. Mute your phone whenever you’re not speaking. If your phone does not have a mute button, you can mute by pressing *6 on your phone and you can un-mute to speak by pressing *6 again.  It takes a moment to un-mute.
  7. Don’t breathe into your mouthpiece; it sounds obscene.
  8. Minimize background noise and distraction. Every side comment, dog barking or background noise is broadcast to the group, so please be considerate.  If background noise is unavoidable, please mute your phone.
  9. Never put a bridge line on hold – you will subject the entire class to your hold music!
  10. Tell us your name when you join the call (unless the class is already in session) and always say your name again when you speak (e.g. This is Jane, my question is…).
  11. When the class is over, feel free to say goodbye to everyone and just hang up.

You will incur ordinary long-distance charges when calling the bridge line. There’s no other charge for the call. An inexpensive long-distance service I have used and liked (less than 3 cents a minute) is www.onesuite.com. If you haven’t used this service before and choose to use it for the call, please test it beforehand so you’re prepared to call in at class time.

I look forward to meeting you on the call.

Client Testimonials

Let me … give you a brief go-over. At the time I met Debra, I was working 12-14 hours a day on music production, writing, engineering, producing, going to conferences, designing websites, writing newsletters, etc. I worked until I felt sick, I worked until my eyes were going bad but nothing really changed. I was getting nowhere fast. I began consulting with Debra twice a month, I believe. We started very structured. I created excel sheets and tracked every bit of time I spent on activities. We began breaking activities out, was it marketing? was it creative? was it production? was it budget? Debra also had me work intensively on goals, internalizing goals and breaking them into doable chunks. What became obvious over time is that I was spending 90% of my time on the least important aspects of my business. I had no balance. Through work and feedback with Debra I was able to work less, accomplish more and most importantly to set up systems that I didn’t have to reinvent over and over the way I was doing before when I problem solved.

A second major block presented itself. My introversion and overwhelming feelings of guilt and shame made it extremely difficult to network and build a successful business. I was unassertive, apologetic and unwilling to really pitch my skills or my work. Debra did one NLP/hypnosis session using some fairly modern psychological techniques (I’ve since researched them) and it was like someone turning a switch. I ceased to feel guilty, I no longer felt the need to be apologetic about my craft.

To make a long story short. As of this moment, I have 20 songs signed to publishers and libraries. I have produced other artists and I facilitate a monthly songwriters group at a local studio where I give feedback and encouragement to other artists and songwriters. I’m also in a graduate program at Pepperdine University for licensing in MFT (psychology) and lead a men’s support group for Alzheimer’s patients. I continue to use Debra’s techniques, I continue to manage our finances with the tools she gave me. Essentially she helped change my relationship to business, money, success and other people.
Jon Sorensen

‘When I began working with Debra, I was in the dark with regard to our finances.  I had dreams of going to France, but never thought we could afford it.  All I knew was that our credit card debt was growing and I didn’t know what to do about it!  Debra enabled me to gain solid control over my finances. With systems in place, we’re paying off our debt and saving for the things we want.  And no more money drama!  Gone is my anxiety over money.  I thought a budget meant deprivation!  Instead I discovered tremendous relief, power and freedom.  And I’m going to France without creating more debt!  A big thanks to Debra for helping me to replace my head-in-the-sand money habits with easy, practical and sensible routines.  And I’m teaching my children healthy money management so they grow up with the same power and freedom.”
Cynthia Lait

“The artistic path can get overwhelmingly complicated, and the issues we encounter often feel unique and therefore isolating. Debra is a great listener. She helps you take a deep breath and start to see solutions rather than just problems. She emphasizes that we create what we focus on and got me envisioning a healthier professional team from the first few minutes of our conversation. It was a liberating experience and helped me gain the courage needed to make some important changes. I’d recommend Debra to any artist trying to untangle the threads of the professional and personal lives.”
David Berkeley, Singer-Songwriter

Working with Debra has been more than important for my music — it’s been essential. Having just completed production of my first solo CD, “Lucky,” I see now that our work together is directly responsible for my having made a top-drawer recording that matches the vision I’d been carrying around in my head for a year. The tools Debra gave me provoked me into doing my absolute best work and surrounding myself with the players and engineers who would do the same. Had I not been working with Debra, I’m quite certain I would have settled for a good deal less — from myself and others. Debra helps me “rise to the occasion,” and I believe in the value of this process completely.
Jean Synodinos, Singer-Songwriter

I would like to thank Debra Russell for being my coach.  I set 3 very lofty goals and all of them were achieved to my satisfaction.  One of my biggest struggles is with time management as a way of developing a balanced lifestyle — through Debra’s guidance, recommended activities, and reading/resources I have been able to develop a system that works for me rather than against me.  Additionally, I went from not understanding how to start a business to creating a business plan and identifying expert mentors to aid in my business designs.  Without Debra, I would still be floundering in my unemployed and undirected state rather than making progress toward the goals that are based upon my values.
Roy Rasera, Owner – Second Sunset, Photographer, Musician, Coach

“As a business, personal and life coach all in one, Debra has helped and guided me to reach three challenging goals that we established together during our first session. Her vision and intuitive powers along with her creativity, energy and patience, made me feel safe to explore all avenues and to move forward during the difficult times. Debra’s diligence, understanding and non-judgmental approach are welcomed attributes. Her well-rounded background, intelligence and varied experience enable her to problem solve in our complex world. I highly recommend her services to anyone who wants to improve their lives in any manner. I have signed up for my next session with Debra with eager enthusiasm.”
Laraine Schwartz, Esq.

I have really been left with a glow from our work together. I am stepping into a bigger self and into magic and miracles. It is taking something – my pettiness and humanity are wrestling with me constantly it seems, but I really feel that this is the most beautiful place to be and I feel so joyful and blessed with my life. I love who I am being and where I am. Thank you for your part in this, which was huge. What you did for me around boundaries was so powerful and a completely new way of being for me that is the opening for the power I always wanted. So know what you have provided in the world and know that you made a difference in how the rest of my life will go and what I will in turn be able to provide for the world.
Risa Schulman

“Working with Debra Russell has been an absolutely incredible experience. Debra is a great listener and a powerful motivator. She has the wonderful talent of getting you to stretch your boundaries, to expand beyond your limits, to get you to become comfortable with the uncomfortable areas or weaknesses in your life and/or career. She has truly taught me how to look at myself from all angles, revealing sometimes the things you may not initially like of yourself, and to be able to embrace and learn from those discoveries. I look forward to working with Debra for many years to come.”
Steven Kelly, drummer