Sunday, January 31, 2010

Here's What I Thought About the Grammys

Here's what I thought about the Grammys:

1.) I am a serious slob (clue: the drawers under my TV).
2.) I'm glad you don't have to be skinny anymore to be a pop star.
3.) Elton John's right earlobe must be considerably longer than his left.
3.) Lady Gaga is one gutsy chica.
4.) I'm not really one to cover my lady parts with glitter, but Pink's performance was amazing.
5.) Beyoncé wins everything, but she surely seems like a nice gal; never conceited and always grateful.
6.) Taylor Swift can't sing in tune, but there's something sort of endearing about that.

Care to contradict me? What did YOU think about the Grammys?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Week 4, Day 26: Social Butterfly

What have I been doing this week? I've totally been socializing - with the web. Yeah, me and Flickr hit it off really well today. I can tell we're going to get along fabulously. Yesterday I met www.musicalley.com for the first time. I can see the potential friendship there - especially if Music Alley's posse of podcasters dig the idea of accessing and casting my music for FREE. That's right. But we've ran into a few technical difficulties with our friendship. I do hope we can resolve those soon. Facebook has always been there for me. Right now he's working on pimping out my fan page. I love you Facebook. I also introduced Twitter to Facebook and now Twitter lets me share some of our secrets with Facebook through a little something she calls "Selective Tweeting." Ingenious. You can come hang with me and my social groups on the web anytime.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Successes for 1/28/10

1.) Woke up at 6:45 a.m. to take my oldest son to guitar lessons before school.


2.) Snuggled with a squirmy little boy on the couch in front of morning cartoons.


3.) Did some grocery shopping; squirmy little boy in tow.


4.) Took time to enjoy this stunning exhibit of 120,313 paper cranes.




5.) Had a lovely visit with the in-laws.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Successes for 1/26/10

Success number 1: This is not a hobo engineering my vocal session tonight. It's the Grammy nominated Finn Bjarnson, whom I have wanted to work with for a LONG time. Tonight was my second time recording with him and his work is so unbelievably FUN to record! Finn has had somewhere around thirty number one hits on the Billboard Dance music charts. No big deal.


Close behind at number 2: I wrote a song tonight that hit me like a bolt of lightening out of the sky; a gift from the Divine. (Thank you!)

Number 3 takes up the middle: Wrote a blog post about the basics of Twitter. Go check it out! It's the post right before this one.

Not quite last, number 4: Did P90X this morning. Plyometrics. If you know what I'm talking about, you are hurting just thinking about it. "I hate it, but I love it."

And last, but certainly not least, number 5: Signed my boys up for hip hop dance classes. F'rill.

You've been so shy lately. I want to know about your successes!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Week 4, Day 23: Twitterpated


Have you noticed that so much of the web nowadays is very interactive? Take this here blog for example. A blog is a perfect example of a site where the information is always changing. You can also add your own two cents about what is being published in the comments section, or play my latest song on the music player to the right and then link over to one of the bloggers I am following. Interactive websites that allow for your participation are defined by the term "Web 2.0." Before Web 2.0, there was (and still is) "Web 1.0." This is the kind of internet most of us were first introduced to. The information is static and brochure-like in nature.

One facet of Web 2.0 includes social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. These sites allow people all over the world to interact with each other and find common interests. They are important to me because I don't want to be an artist who just shows up on stage and sings to people just for the attention. I really love the relationships I make with people through music and I greatly appreciate the time that people take to send me a note on facebook or reply to one of my comments on Twitter (and I particularly love comments on my lil' ol' blog).

Most of you are probably already familiar with MySpace, YouTube and Facebook. Twitter is a little bit newer, but very progressive and I seem to use it more than any other social network these days. Here's why:

It's free and very easy to create an account.

According to Twitter, their purpose is "for staying in touch and keeping up with friends no matter where you are or what you're doing."

It only takes me a few seconds to jot down a thought or two or to see what the people I am following are thinking about. It's the most current form of news you can find anywhere. And there are no annoying "gifts," "pokes," and "hugs" apps.

I feel a more immediate connection with people on Twitter, perhaps because it feels like we're having a small conversation rather than leaving a message on a wall. Yet, at the same time, it feels less obligatory to respond. (Don't worry, Facebook. I still love you. You're just a different animal altogether.)

If you're still confused, you can watch these very brief videos on Twitter. Then, if you fancy, sign yourself up and start following me (@MindyGledhill). I'll follow you back and we can banter about the Grammys, the weather, shocking news, or whatever you wish!

Twitter in Plain English: http://www.commoncraft.com/twitter

Twitter Search in Plain English: http://www.commoncraft.com/twitter-search

Monday, January 25, 2010

Week 4, Day 22: Social Media for Musicians

Image by Dan Solo

so⋅cial: seeking or enjoying the companionship of others.

This is my word of the day. It all started out with a social gathering at my house this morning which was likewise spurred by a conversation about salami on the social media website, Twitter.

"Salami is delicious, in a disgusting sort of way," I posted.

Pretty soon, @haileyjs had commented, "Truly, salami does not get its fair shake. I love it. By itself."

Then before I know it, @Jet_Set chimes in, "I love salami. Let's have a party."

Back to me: "
I do secretly dream I have girlfriends. I fear @ times I'm too socially inept. Perhaps a salami log is what will cure me."

@Jet_Set: "Its what cured me."

And that is how I found myself in my living room this morning, having a delightful brunch with these fascinating women.

Social Media is powerful, whether for fun or for business or in my case, both. Week 4 is all about harnessing the power of social media. I thought I knew my basics, but I am learning all sorts of terms I wasn't familiar with before. I certainly know what blogs and podcasts are, but vlogs and vodcasts? How about "social bookmarking?" Come join me this week as I sort through it all and weave myself into an ever expanding web of social media connectedness.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

End of Week 3, Day 21: Progress in "Site"

The irony of this post is that I really do have an honest to goodness hole in my bathroom ceiling. Awesome.


The Good News: Some improvements have been made to my website, thanks to your awesome suggestions. (Yay!)

The Bad News: The kind person who created the site for me several years ago wasn't too experienced and created the whole thing in flash. There are a lot of problems with the coding of the site that would be costly and difficult to fix. Therefore, I am choosing to wait and put that money into my brand new site that will launch with the release of my upcoming album.

Isn't that just how life rolls sometimes? I remember hearing Lloyd Newell speak at a workshop one time. He told a story about how there was a hole in his bathroom ceiling due to a bad leak in the plumbing above. After a while, he got so accustomed to that hole that he just didn't notice it anymore, UNTIL guests would come over. If ever anyone used the bathroom, they would come out and say, "Wow! How did you get that big hole in your ceiling?"

Going through Chapter 3 of Music Success in Nine Weeks has reminded me of the proverbial "hole in the ceiling" that my website has been. After reading all of your suggestions, I feel so much better prepared to create my new website. For now, we did as much as we could to the current website including: updating the contact info, updating the album release on the bio, fixing the "Scrapbook Page," updating the "Events" page (go check out my upcoming concerts!), as well as updating my "Latest News" page with some exciting happenings and information on new recordings, exclusively found on my website.

I'm excited to create a new website that is very interactive, fluid in design, user friendly and one that has constant special offers and consistently new information that brings people back on a regular basis.

Thanks again for all your help this week. Come back by Monday night as I start into Chapter 4: Social Media for Musicians. Sweet.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Five Successes for 1/21/10


1.) Worked out.
2.) Cleaned out my sock drawer.
3.) Made a long list with my "webmaster" of things that needed to be changed on my site. (Many of your suggestions were on that list. Thank you SO much!)
4.) Went to class even though I would rather have suffered a mild heart attack.
5.) Refrained from buying a package of caramel filled Keebler Cookies at the corner store.

So, yeeeaah. Nothing here that will blow your mind, but honestly, it's been one of those days that I would normally frown upon if I were not making my list of successes. So three cheers for small successes!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Not 5, but 9! Successes for 1/20/10


1.) Woke up at 6:00 a.m. and did P90X.
2.) Showered before 7:30 a.m.
3.) Did homework by 9:30 a.m.
4.) Did homework with my son by 10:30 a.m.
5.) Braved a co-writing session.
6.) Learned new miking techniques.
7.) Wrote a blog post.
8.) Went to a school meeting.
9.) Now turning off my computer and phone for the rest of the night to be with my husband.

A seriously productive day today.

Week 3, Day 17: Optimizing Your Website


Off to a bit of a late start here on Chapter 3, but no big whoop. I am married to my webmaster which will make Chapter 3, "Optimizing Your Website" smooth sailing (so long as he complies and believe me, I have ways of making him do that). It is strange how one can be an expert at something but often that "something" is never well kept in their own life. You've heard all about how "the cobbler's children have no shoes." So it goes with my website. I sleep within arm's reach of a tech genius, yet my website sits wasting away because I haven't used that resource. I keep postponing any fixes to my site because I reason that I will have a completely new site when I release my upcoming album. But the album deadline has changed 55 times, and I don't want to let the weeds enshroud mindygledhill.com any longer. It's time to take action.

There are certain things I know I need to do with my website. But to start, I think it would be wise to take suggestions from the people whose opinions matter the most regarding the site: YOU. If you would be so kind, hop on over to http://www.mindygledhill.com for a moment, check it out, and leave me a comment here with your opinion on what is or is NOT working for you. Could you, would you visit my site? Could you, would you leave me feedback tonight?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ladies and Gents, We Have a Winner!

Hi there. I am back to normal today. I even sewed patches on my son's Cub Scout shirt and felt like the swellest mom on earth. Thank you for your understanding as well as your own personal stories about mental breakdowns, throwing pencils and punching holes in walls. But this post is not about mental breakdowns. It's about the fact that, ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner! I loved SO MANY of the entries and it was nearly impossible to pick just one. Congratulations to Carina Hoskisson, aka, Azúcar, who concocted this awesome pitch:



"Music that recalls the sweetness of Ingrid Michaelson and the quirk of Regina Spektor, Mindy Gledhill will leave you floating like a scoop of vanilla cream in a strawberry soda."




Other Favorites Include:

"Emotively carbonated." Jess Hammond

"
Playfully emotive, Mindy Gledhill will leave you in a breathless flutter." Krista Maurer

"Alison Sudol-flavored Pop Rocks." Jon

"Priscilla Ahn meets Leigh Nash at a sidewalk cafe." Jon

"Mindy Gledhill: Regina Spektor and Norah Jones transported to Alice's wonderland." Jenny

Funniest Entries Category:

"So, if Imogen Heap and Ingrid Michaelson could have a holy love child, and she looked a little like a young Faith Hill? Yeah, that's what Mindy Gledhill sounds like." Brooks Briggs

"Like sitting in front of a Wurlitzer 1015. Beautiful music, awesome bubbles, and gorgeous color changing lights." Ron

"Witty & oh so pretty, and doesn't sound like an old biddy! ;)" Anonymous

"Ingrid Michaelson's love meets Sarah McLachlan's dove." Jon

"Mindy Gledhill: a carbonated Sarah McLachlan." Jess Hammond

I love all of these comments so much that I want to marry them. In fact, please leave me a comment if you grant me permission to use them in any other possible write-ups I might need for the future.

And Amber, as for "ambrosia?" It is a cool word, but my mom use to wear this stinky perfume called "Ambrosia" and I'm afraid the association is permanent.

Thanks for all the stellar ideas!



Monday, January 18, 2010

Mental Breakdown

Announcement: I am currently having a mental breakdown. Yes. I just threw a very large container of crayons and colored pencils all over the floor in a fit of rage. I don't usually do this kind of thing. You see, my husband has been in bed for three days with a bad back and it seems I am quite the baby when it comes to handling my boys without help. What's more disturbing is the fact that he even hobbled upstairs to help me pick them all up when I am the one who should be showing compassion on HIM. How do you single parents do it? Anyway, I reached my limit tonight and when my "patient-parent meter" is surpassed, I apparently fling hoards of crayons across the room. Therefore would it be ok with you if I postpone the posting of the winner for the "pitch contest" until tomorrow? I need to simmer down. I hope there are at least a few of you out there who have had mental breakdowns before and will understand my plight.

Starting to smile a bit after observing that Ryan appears to have a webbed hand in this photo.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Thank You!


THANK YOU SO MUCH to all who submitted a pitch in my contest. Each one was a literary slice of genius and I wanted to kiss you all after reading them. Every single comment made me smile to myself and several made me laugh out loud. Over the next 24 hours I will be sifting through the lot and will let you know the winner by tomorrow night.

And to close the day I give you 5 Successes for 1/17/10:

1.) Sang and spoke for inmates at a worship service at the State Prison. Their choir learned one of my songs and sang with me. Filled me to the brim.
2.) Made dinner - a somewhat rare event.
3.) Made Peanut Butter Cookies sweetened with Agave Nectar instead of sugar.
4.) Gave my husband a back rub.
5.) Let my son stay up late just for kicks.

Night night.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Quest for My Perfect Pitch: Win $50 and a Free CD!


A chance to win $50 and a free CD! Read on.

Still formulating my perfect pitch here. Today I read over 3,000 adjectives in an attempt to reveal all the feelings and vibes that I want to create with this music. Here are a few favorites out of the fifty-some that I chose:
  • jovial
  • quirky
  • fizzy
  • aflutter
  • breathless
  • emotive
  • artful
  • lovely
  • goose bumpy
  • lovey dovey
  • dreamy
Now, let's recap on my other lists.

Singers I sound like. You said: Allison Sudol of A Fine Frenzy, Ingrid Michaelson, Regina Spektor, Norah Jones, Priscilla Ahn, Leigh Nash, Sarah McLachlan.

Influences:
  • Author and book: Willa Cather's, My Ántonia.
  • The French films, "Le Chateau de Ma Mère," and "La Gloire de Mon Père," based on the novels by Marcel Pagnol.
  • Composers: Debussy, Rachmoninov, Ravel.
  • Growing up: Alphaville, Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Depèche Mode, The Cure, The Cars, The Police, Sting, Tears for Fears and by the way, the soundtrack to Romeo and Juliet changed my life.
  • As a teen: The Sundays, Sarah McLachlan, Lisa Loeb.
  • Currently: Lenka, Ingrid Michaelson, Regina Spektor, Imogen Heap, A Fine Frenzy, Jess Penner and The Beatles.
  • Poets: Lorca, Neruda, Frost.
  • Painters: Velazquez (Las Meninas), Picasso, Van Gogh, Matisse, Bloch.
Using these lists only as a guide, I am inviting you to have a stab at writing my pitch. If I use yours, I will send you $50 and a free copy of my album, "Feather in the Wind." Remember, this is short and sweet. Your pitch must be posted by 10:00 p.m. MST, on Sunday night (Jan. 17th.) Some examples of artist pitches from the book are:

John Taglieri - "If Vertical Horizon and Third Eye Blind got hit by Train!"

Devil Doll - "Jessica Rabbit meets Joan Jett."

Leftover Salmon - "Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass." (I had to look up "slamgrass" too. It's a progressive form of Bluegrass).

Don't hold back. All ideas are welcome! Ready, set, GO.

(Sorry. You must live in the U.S. to participate.)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Successes for 1/14/10

Don't know who these people are, but I thought this kissing couple was sweet. Found in the Creative Commons section of Flckr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31061226@N00/567434372/

1.) Took a shower and put on some make up.

2.) Managed to exit the premises of Costco without spending my life savings.

3.) Wrote almost an entire song about paying debts with kisses. Seriously.

4.) Booked an appointment to have the world's stinkiest dog groomed.

5.) Started editing and mixing an orchestral piece for the first time in my life.

How about you?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Five Successes for 1/13/10

1.) Learned about miking techniques for drums.
2.) Scrubbed the kitchen floor.
3.) Started writing a song.
4.) Paid some bills.
5.) Bought take out for dinner.

ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Week 2, Day 10: Influences

Deep in thought on the couch here. First of all, I've been thinking about how pleased I was with your response to my last post. I thought it was going to be rather risky asking you which artists you thought I sounded similar to, but good news: almost all of you chose some of my very favorites. This will make my job of creating the perfect pitch a lot easier. A million thanks. The next step in formulating my pitch is to concoct a list of artists, authors, or other well known figures who have influenced me. After giving this some good thought, here is my list:
  • Author and book: Willa Cather's, My Ántonia.
  • The French films, "Le Chateau de Ma Mère," and "La Gloire de Mon Père," based on the novels by Marcel Pagnol.
  • Composers: Debussy, Rachmoninov, Ravel.
  • Growing up: Alphaville, Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Depèche Mode, The Cure, The Cars, The Police, Sting, Tears for Fears and by the way, the soundtrack to Romeo and Juliet changed my life.
  • As a teen: The Sundays, Sarah McLachlan, Lisa Loeb.
  • Currently: Lenka, Ingrid Michaelson, Regina Spektor, Imogen Heap, A Fine Frenzy, Jess Penner and The Beatles.
  • Poets: Lorca, Neruda, Frost.
  • Painters: Velazquez (Las Meninas), Picasso, Van Gogh, Matisse, Bloch.
Hmmm. This is a rather diverse list, but I think, with a few exceptions, the underlying theme is "dreamy."

Would love to hear about some of YOUR influences . . .

Monday, January 11, 2010

Week 2, Day 8: Perfect Pitch


This week is all about figuring out what defines me as an artist in the minds of my fans and potential fans, aka "my brand." I won't ignore the fact that I've made a bit of a mess at branding myself having started out my career singing faith-centered music, gathering a decent following, then switching my genre to "singer songwriter." But I do believe that messes can be cleaned up and I am hoping this chapter helps me accomplish just that.

So many artists (and people in general for that matter) are not specific enough about who they are and what people can expect from them. When people I meet learn that I am a recording artist, they almost always ask what genre I sing and who I sound like. Many artists (including me, at one time) want to believe that they don't sound like anyone else out there, but I have learned that potential fans lose interest if they can't walk away with a firm idea of what you stand for.

This concept is the same for any person in any place in life. Confession: I get so frustrated when I hear a woman say, "I'm just a stay-at-home mom," or perhaps someone else, "I'm just a student right now." JUST??? Last time I checked, those jobs were really hard and entail so much. I'm always so much more engaged when people spice up their job descriptions with more details and ditch the apologetic approach to who they are.

This week, I'll be digging into the nitty gritty of who I am as an artist by answering a series of questions that will help me come up with the perfect pitch. Having a pitch will help me define myself to fans and important people in the music industry. I think I'm going to need your help. Today's question to ask is this: What artist(s) do I most sound like? (If you'd be so kind as to leave your opinion in the comments below . . .)

Addendum-- Yup. Still listing 5 successes everyday. Here they be for 1/11/10:

1.) Did P90X this morning.
2.) Had a phone call with a life coach. Feeling more motivated to finish writing my album.
3.) Did my annual dusting.
4.) Cleaned out the car port.
5.) Bought my very first Pro Tools rig!
6.) (Look! I have six!) See, there's this bowl of rotten beans that has been on my back porch for about four months. FOUR MONTHS. I put it there because the beans started to stink in my fridge and I was too busy to take them all the way out to the garbage can. So there they stayed for 1/3 of a year. I finally got rid of the beans.



Saturday, January 9, 2010

Five Successes for 1/9/10


1.) Tested 30 combinations of microphones on guitar in a lab at school.  Found that if you don't have much of a budget, two SM-57 mics do a pretty darn good job.

2.) Hosted a birthday party in which I escaped in one piece.  I'm afraid I can't say the same for the Sponge Bob cake.

3.) Got booked to sing at a worship service for inmates at the State Prison.  Very excited for that.  Sorry, the price for tickets to that performance is quite high.

4.)  Finished painting the chalkboard wall in Thatcher's room.  (I know, I'm a little obsessed with chalkboards lately).

5.)  Made an appointment with Tony Litster, (a mentor I've worked with for several years) to help me get into the writing zone next week.

Thanks for following me this week on my journey through Chapter One of Music Success in Nine Weeks.  I hope you got some good ideas about the power of setting goals.  Tune in on Monday to see what Chapter Two is all about.  Night night.  ZZZzzzzz.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Successes for 1/8/10

1.)  Snuggled with this little gem dandy on the couch:



2.)  Turned his room into a giant chalk board and let him help.



3.)  Started freaking out when he spilled a gallon of paint, but caught myself and decided to scoop him up in my arms instead.  I could tell he already felt bad enough without me getting upset.  Isn't that usually the case with anyone who makes a mistake?


4.)  Did absolutely nothing concerning music.

5.)  Went on a date with my husband.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Successes for 1/7/10

1.) This drawer has haunted me for months.  It's supposed to house all the dish rags, but they wouldn't fit inside.  Check out the before and after.

BEFORE


AFTER

2.) Loaded the dishwasher.
3.) Worked on my dream board.
4.) Answered some emails.
5.) Ate less cheese (again).

I have LOVED reading your successes.  Keep 'em coming!

Week One, Day Four: I Have a Dream(board)


One of the most powerful forms of list making that I can think of is to write up about six tasks the night before the day you want to achieve those tasks.  I actually started doing this several months ago and just read about it again in Music Success in Nine Weeks.  If I wait and do it the morning of, then I ALWAYS forget things and get a late start on the day.  Doing it the night before prepares my mind to be ready to act and allows me to sort it all out in the most efficient order.  I also find that I have more energy to accomplish these things because I wake up with a purpose.

On my list for today was to put my goals up where I can see them and to display them in an artistic way that inspires me - a suggestion from Ariel Hyatt.  I loved the prospect of this idea and I thought you might like to get some creative ideas of how you can do this in your own home. 
 
Idea #1:  The Dream Board (aka Vision Board)
Create a collage of images that represent your goals and dreams.  This can be done on a bulletin board, magnet board, poster board or just right on the wall.  I chose a magnet board.  (Still a work in progress).


Idea #2:  Framed Goals
I have found some great vintage frames at my local thrift store.  Even if they're nothing to brag about, you can spray paint them and they look fantastic.  I painted this wall with magnetic paint, then another coat of chalkboard paint so that I could write directly on it (but really, I write on all of my walls in chalk, no matter the paint - just a quirk of mine).  Hang up your frames and write your goals or any kind of inspirational quote inside.  It looks awesome and makes a great focal point.







Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Five Successes for 1/6/10

Feel free to join my Facebook Fan Page for details on a benefit concert I'm doing with Sam Payne and Peter Breinholt for Bulgarian Orphanages!

Today's greatest successes in order of most victorious:

1.) Cleaned the toilet.  If you live with three males then you know the kind of feat that this is.
2.) Cleaned the bathroom vanity.  If you are a woman then you also know the difficulty if this task.
3.) Visited my Facebook Fan Page and discovered that it has not been updated since last June.  JUNE!  I did some housekeeping there and now invite you to join it (this is different from my regular facebook page with different content, updates, etc.)  I will be updating this page on a regular basis.
4.) Listened to songs in search of inspiration for these last few tunes I need to write for my album.
5.) Ate less cheese.

Check in tomorrow to see the Dream Board I'm creating for my goals . . .

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Five Successes for 1/5/10


Today's success stories might be scraping the barrel a bit.  Sometimes I just want to tell it like it is and would rather have you know that I woke up with a Nighttime TheraFlu Hangover and felt like a moody wreck with a head cold.  But that should be all the more reason to celebrate that I actually accomplished:
  • making homemade pizzas with Thatcher all morning (at his request)
  • spray painting these enormous stars I got for the boys' bedrooms a while back
  • registering for my Pro Tools and Recording Techniques classes this semester
  • unloading and loading the dishwasher
  • making an appointment to get my hair cut
Anytime I share these little successes, you are invited to share yours back with me.  It helps me feel like there are others out there who like me, sometimes feel triumph over just getting out of bed.  

Week One, Day Two: Be Unreasonable

(I set some pretty lofty goals the first year I released an album.  I believe that the very ability to be unreasonable while shaking off my fear of dreaming big helped me win a few awards that year.  Years later, my focus and goals are now  different, and more unreasonable than ever.)

It makes a lot of sense to me that when setting goals, writing them out with pen and paper could make them more meaningful than doing it on a computer.  I like this quote from Ariel Hyatt:

"Your intention manifests itself differently when it comes from a pen and not from a computer.  The act of writing it down accesses a different part of your brain and it makes a deal between your hand, your mind and your heart." 

Is this why I keep reverting back to an old fashioned planner over my iCal?  Perhaps.

Before writing down my goals, I'm going to hone in on some focus areas within my career which I can then set goals in.  Remember, my area is the music business, but yours might be sports related, family related, etc.  Why not write them down and put them on the fridge?  It's not like it could hurt anything.

My Focus Areas:
  • Branding
  • Marketing
  • Website design
  • Social Media
  • PR
  • Tour
  • Writing songs
  • Number of CDs/downloads I would like to sell
  • How much $ would I like to earn?
  • Film and TV placements (really excited for this area!)
  • Building fan base
  • Audience sizes at my shows
  • Finding a manager I mesh with
  • Personal health (to improve my performance)
  • Mental health (staying positive)
A few things to keep in mind: the more specific you can be with your goals, the better.  If your goals are vague then your outcome will be too.  Writing down dates, describing goals in detail and visualizing them as if they are already happening are all great techniques in bringing them to life.

One contradiction I found in this chapter was that regarding focus areas, it says to "think big, be unreasonable, and don't hold yourself back."  However, when suggesting techniques for writing down goals, the book also reads: "Make them so they are realistically achievable."  Personally I like the "be unreasonable" approach.  I think if you shoot big, you're more likely to get further than if you think "realistically."  There are good things about both, but I am a free-spirited dreamy kind of gal.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a date with a pen and some paper.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Week One. Day One: 3 %

Diving into Music Success in Nine Weeks today brought to my attention the astounding fact that only an estimated 3% of all people have their long term goals written down.  Here's an excerpt from a fascinating article by John Lloyd that I found on Ariel Hyatt's advice column, "Sound Advice:" 
What They Don’t Teach You At Harvard Business School (a bestselling book) talks about a research study that was conducted at Harvard between 1979 and 1989:

“In 1979, the MBA graduates were asked, “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?”

Only 3 percent had clear written goals and action plans to achieve them.

Thirteen percent of the graduates had goals, but they were not in writing.

The other 84 percent had no specific goals at all.

In 1989, a decade later, the researchers again interviewed the students of that class. Surprisingly, they discovered that the 13 percent, who had goals that were not in writing, were earning on average twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all.

The truly amazing finding was that the 3 percent of students, who had written, clear goals when they left Harvard, were earning over ten times as much, on average, as the other 97 percent together.

There are many other similar recorded research studies that seem to conclude with approximately the same results - that only 3 percent of people set clear, written goals and action plans for their achievement.

These people clearly achieve far more success and happiness in their lives and careers than others. Goal setting ability is the skill that separates these top performers from the rest.”

Here are a few tips from Ariel on Goal Setting:

1.) "THIS IS A GAME; YOU CAN CHANGE THE RULES AS YOU GO."  In other words, goals are not a bining contract.  They should be used as a guide and if you need to alter them as you go, feel free.

2.) "DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP!"  Be patient.  There may be days where you mess up or get frustrated, but self criticism gets in the way accomplishing your dreams.

3.) "FIVE SUCCESSES EACH DAY."  Write down five successes that you have each day.  According to T. Harv Eker, author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, writing down your successes trains your mind to focus on the positive, eliminating self criticism.

So my friends, without further ado, I'll conclude this post with my five successes for the first Monday of the Year:

1.) Got the oil changed and broken tail light fixed on my car.

2.) Made dinner early and stuck it in the crock pot.

3.) Wrote two blog posts!

4.) Opted to get my broken computer repaired instead of buying a new one.

5.) Read a story to my son's kindergarten class.

Pretty simple, I know.  But sometimes I forget about all the good things I do in a day and only see snapshots of failures.  I think I'm going to like this.  Feel free to share with me any of your small successes for today.  I would like to read those very much.  

Music Success in Nine Weeks


I've gone and done it. I've entered one of those online contests everyone else is doing and that I always find rather annoying. But please read on long enough for me to tell you that this one is different. There will be no annoying emails or requests for you to "Vote for me!!!" This contest is a nine week journey that you can tune into anytime and observe my progress.

Back in November I attended a conference for independent artists. Some of it was helpful, some not so much. There were a lot of speakers and a lot of books and CDs for sale making claims of success and increased revenue. But as I sat in a sea of musicians listening to a panel of professionals rattle off their secrets to success, one speaker in particular authentically piqued my interest. It was the way she carried herself, the helpful detail in her answers to questions and while up on the stand she gave no pretension that she was above anyone else in the room. I immediately bought Ariel Hyatt's book - the only one I purchased at the whole conference.

Now Ariel is offering a blogging contest to those up for the challenge of working their way through her book, "Music Success in Nine Weeks." The winner receives a really nice online PR package - something I could SO use for the release of my upcoming album. The timing couldn't be more perfect since I was already going to take you through the process of writing, and recording the album anyway. What's so great about this is that a lot of this journey will deal with principles that can apply to your lives as well, whether you are a stay-at-home mom, college student, writer, or gas station clerk. Who doesn't have dreams and goals they'd like to accomplish? Part of my commitment to this program is to record five successes that I have each day - not even necesessarily music related. So tune in to my first post later today all about week one: Getting Mentally Prepared. We'll talk about setting goals and focusing on the positive. This is going to rock. (and just between you and me, somebody needs to get her roots done.)