First of all, let me start out by saying that, as a musician, I work in a professional field that requires getting the word out. Music, like any business, requires that I pick up my boot straps (or whatever the old expression is) and get out there and let people know that I exist. To my credit, forays into this sort of thing have resulted in me doing some really cool things in my musical career, such as: playing a lot of piano shows, especially for parties, private events, and retirement homes; joining a cover band and having a lot of fun with them for two years; and doing a really cool Music at Noon concert here in Sacramento that is so popular it has a two-year waiting list… and doing it 3 times! On the piano teaching side, I have built a sustainable business with a healthy dose of students that I really enjoy working with… all by getting the word out (including delivering thousands and thousands of flyers to people’s homes over the past four years).
That being said….
At times I have struggled with marketing like a motherfucker!
It has been one of the hardest things for me to do consistently, and even the cases above each took courage and follow-through to FORCE myself to get out of my own frigging way and let someone know that YES, I exist. More often than not it has paid off, but somehow or another, the very act of putting the word out has often seemed to be anathema to my being. Like the perennial cliche of trying to give a bath to a cat, trying to get myself to market has often been…. really…. hard…. to… do. Maybe it’s my risk averse nature (at least about that kind of stuff). Maybe it’s my own negative beliefs (“It’s too hard,” “People will hate me,” “People will think I’m trying to take advantage of them”). Or maybe I’m just stupid.
I don’t know what it is, but Dammit!
So I’m just using this opportunity to be real, and to admit my struggles around this. Here’s how this problem is manifesting in my life right now:
- Talking myself out of sending out emails to my lists to get new business (including sending out an email about THIS blog).
- Procrastinating on getting current projects completed (although I did make progress on two of them last week, and a third one is one its way).
- Making no progress toward my album since it stalemated last year.
Needless to say, this condition is definitely frustrating. And I have no one but myself to blame. Because I know better. And I also know that this one teeny weeny little thing, this little marketing thing, is probably the one thing standing between me and a lot of great results I want in my life.
Which brings me to this blog. Because here I get to tell you the truth. No bullshit. No pretending. No suffering in silence and then wondering why in the hell the things I said I wanted aren’t happening. Here I get to suffer publicly and then point the finger squarely back on myself (Yeah I know… sounds fun, doesn’t it?). I’m not assuming this will magically make the problems go away. Yet I am assuming that it may help somehow. It at least opens up the dialogue, and it seems that I have been searching for a way to talk about this kind of thing for AT LEAST a year, and now I may have found it in this blog. Score!
In summary, I would like to say that I am immensely grateful for the fact that I get to express my own foibles candidly on this blog. It doesn’t make me feel like any less of an idiot, but at least I can see my own words, get them out of my head, and possibly engage with you and other readers about this issue. Because I am sure I am not the only who has this problem… Am I right? Am I right?
Damn, feeling lame about can feel like a lonely endeavor! However, I’m fairly positive that other people struggle with this issue, so I am glad to have a chance to bring it up: the pink elephant in the room, so to speak. All these marketers talk to us about sharing our business, letting the world know, plastering our message all over the place. But for some of us, that is basically like telling us to dunk our heads into water for five minutes at a time just to see what we look like after. It can just seem REALLY hard to overcome resistance to.
UPDATE: It is actually a couple of a days after I first wrote this post to this point. But instead of worrying about making these words fit with the words above or something, I’m just going to end this post right here. I have just posted my 2nd conversation with my higher self and am definitely in a very different mood than I was when I wrote this post. And yet, there’s still enough truth in it that I feel I want to post it. Also, it’s becoming my policy on this blog to trust my instincts, not overthink things (for the first time in my life perhaps), and just put the darn thing out. This whole blog experiment doesn’t really make sense to me, yet I really think I should just keep taking the journey… and not let the drains get clogged, so to speak, by keep unpublished posts sitting waiting on WordPress to get published or deleted. I have done that in the past, and believe me, it is NO FUCKING FUN.