New (School) Year Resolutions

Although I have thoroughly enjoyed my month off and benefited greatly from the time to re-organize and plan another year, I am looking forward to seeing all my students again! We have our September Surprise! kickoff tomorrow and then lessons resume next week. I’ve been doing lots of thinking, evaluating, and mapping out goals for the year. In the midst of working on goals for my students, though, I was especially grateful for this article that was included in David Cutler’s most recent issue of The Savvy Musician Newsletter (you can sign up to receive this wonderful, free newsletter on the home page of The Savvy Musician website!).

New (School) Year Resolutions
by David Cutler

Believe it or not, it’s back to school time again!  Before things get too hectic, here’s a question for music students (and professors, and the rest of us): What specific actions will you take this academic year to advance your career?  Sure, you’ll improve playing and other artistic specialties.  But from a professional point of view, how will you be closer to life goals next May than now?

Take a moment to ponder resolutions, and WRITE THEM DOWN.  Notated aspirations are significantly more likely to be realized than those that aren’t.  Here are 10 possibilities:

  1. Project. Bring a sellable passion project to fruition: recording, book, concert program, teaching studio, etc.
  2. Branding. Build your brand so others immediately identify you with a unique and compelling artistic disposition.
  3. Internet presence. Create a website, start a blog, boost social media efforts and web footprint.
  4. Portfolio. Compile a professional portfolio consisting of bio, photo, musical samples, testimonials, programs, brochures, and other materials.
  5. Internship. Obtain an internship within an entrepreneurial environment.
  6. Mentor.  Engage a career mentor (in addition to your musical mentor) who can help you focus priorities and move towards success.
  7. Network. Meet and build strategic relationships with 5-20 new people who have the potential to be pivotal in your career.
  8. Contact list. Build your contact list of people who care about what you do to at least 300-500 people (either through a site like Facebook or–better yet–your own newsletter mailing list).
  9. Books. Read at least 5 books focusing on business, marketing, and career issues.
  10. Blogs. Regularly follow at least 3 blogs that focus on career and industry related issues.

I don’t know about you, but I’m inspired just reading the above list! I’ve printed it out and am hoping to spend some time in the next few weeks jotting down my specific goals and ideas. Maybe I’ll even post some of the things I come up with here on the blog! How about you? Are you working toward any specific goals this year? Maybe we can inspire and encourage each other in our endeavors!

Also, remember to enter the drawing to win a free autographed copy of The Savvy Musician!

Share and enjoy!

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