(That has to be the longest blog title ever…)
So, what did we learn from the first blog post in this series? 1) I have entered a challenge to work through Ariel Hyatt’s Music Success in Nine Weeks in nine actual weeks and blog about it along the way. 2) My storytelling may purport to be short, but really it’s not wrong to be long. 3) I like to rhyme and have the tendency to use lot’s of metaphors and parenthetical sidebars (In fact, I have retained the Irish firm of Figure O’ Speech to help with my metaphors) 4) I’m part Irish (Okay, I didn’t mention that in my last post. Just sayin’.)
This “week” I will ramble on about pulling out the stops and putting my irons in the fire. Step one is called “Getting Mentally Prepared” and it’s all about “focus areas” and goals and plans, all the stuff that gets me tied up in knots. Last fall when I had to face the reality of leaving my cozy day job, I went to see a life coach over a 4-month period at $120 a session. He started me down the trail of identifying dreams, objectives, and “S.M.A.R.T.” goals and I just about had a brain aneurism. I wound up stalling our visits out over longer periods of time until I just told him “I need to do a lot of research before I can work on any goals.”
It’s obvious to me now that my life coach and I just never really connected. I don’t think he understood how to guide someone in building a music business. I wish that I had picked up Music Success in Nine Weeks before I went to see him and spending all that money. Just a quick glance through Ariel’s book and I knew that this was exactly what I needed! (Blatant sucking up to Ariel for her most excellent book or just heartfelt gratitude? You decide.)
So after I bought the book in May, I dug into “Week 1 – Getting Mentally Prepared” with fire and determination–and I made some progress–but overall I sorta freaked out. Also life happened and I put the book down for awhile. Then this blog challenge pops up and I’m telling myself “Self, this is just the kick in ze arse you were looking for but didn’t know it.” The cool thing about having done some of the goal-setting beforehand is that since I got a late start on this blog challenge I will be able to catch up fairly quickly.
But I’m getting ahead of myself (like being beside myself yet different). Here I re-work through Week 1 and I notice these tips in big letters: “Tip #1: This is a game; You can change the rules as you go”, and “Tip #2: Don’t Beat Yourself Up”. It’s like I notice them for the first time. This is after I have already gone through the exercises in May and freaked out, running and screaming.
“Hey Kelly”, you may ask, “why were you running and screaming?” A few factors. First, what if I get my goals wrong? Second, what if I bite off more than I can chew? And Third, what if I make plans with actual dates and then I don’t get them done on time?…or at all? So it is with profound relief this time that I notice the aforementioned tips of “This is a game” and “Don’t beat yourself up” printed clearly in 16-point Helvetica Bold. It’s almost as if Ariel understands the minds of music artiste types. (Can you believe it? I know!)
It was also heartening to read that just by setting long term goals I am much more likely to achieve them. That and the tip about listing five successes each day. I started doing this for a while back in May, then dropped off. But here I am, once again on the wagon, listing my five successes from yesterday: 1) Stuck a bomb down a mole hole, 2) Took a shower, 3) Wrote my first blog post for this challenge, 4) Accompanied my mom and dad to dad’s doctor appointment, 5) Assisted my wife with getting her teaching certificate renewed. Yeah the shower thing was filler, but we can’t take good personal hygiene for granted, it must be acknowledged and celebrated: “Well done, happy and clean fellow!”
You can probably tell from all the freaking out that I can be plagued with self doubt. I know I am not alone. Being fond of metaphors, I have decided to refer to these self doubts as “moles”. As in those awful furry creatures that can ruin a perfectly nice lawn. I can refer to the “lawn” as the landscape of my dreams and aspirations. (Wow this is getting good.) I can refer to the holes created by the moles as the episodes of self-doubt that slow me down in pursuing my goals. I could even adopt a daily mantra of “Goals, not Holes!!”. Wow, amazing, the juices are flowing with rhyme scheme and all! Perhaps I should become a motivational speaker.
I realize now that there is no way I’m getting all this Week 1 stuff written in one blog post. So, I’m leaving you hangin’. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s episode.