The Summerglen Files

Music, Creativity, and Everyday Life at Summerglen Music in Raleigh, NC

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Reading Your Way to Independence

July 2nd, 2008 · No Comments

This is the first post in this week’s series celebrating the one year anniversary of Summerglen Music, Raleigh’s home for beautiful performances and empowering musical learning experiences. In the series, I’ll share things that helped me make the leap from working for someone else to living my dream of being a full-time trombonist. Today, books!

Making the transition away from being an employee can be confusing and a little scary–after all, you’re stepping out and taking a risk. But I knew from years of taking auditions that preparation is one of the best ways to minimize risk and be successful. So, the first action I took was to get prepared, by reading tons of business books. I wanted to see if I had the right stuff to go solo, and to figure out what I needed to do to be successful. Here are 3 books that helped me do just that:

Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton – This book showed me that some of my habits I thought were annoying were actually unique strengths that I could use to be successful. After reading the book and doing the online quiz, I was able to use my newfound strengths to create the foundation of Summerglen Music.

Before You Quit Your Job by Robert Kiyosaki – Describes how to think like an
entrepreneur, gives many details on how to build a business from the ground up, and empowers you to learn from your mistakes. Priceless.

Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port – This book makes you sit down and figure out who might want your services, where they might be, and how you can best reach them. It also teaches you how to promote yourself in a credible, trustworthy way.

I also subscribed to lots of e-zines and read a number of blogs about business, and then tried out the things I learned. All this research helped me understand how to promote musical services in a businesslike way. And once I understood that, I could balance business with artistry, making ends meet while making music!

Until next time, enjoy! :-)

Tags: music business

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