‘Just in Case’ or ‘Just in Time’?
‘Just in case’ learning happens at schools, colleges and universities all over the world and for most people, I don't believe it works.
Once the class is over, even the most focused students find it hard to retain all the information… especially when there is no immediately clear reason, to know what’s being taught.
When I was teaching music at university in London, I always found it ludicrous that my 'songwriting' students would arrive at 4pm on a Wednesday afternoon, listen to a few words and be left to write a song until 6pm.
Sure, some people can do that, but I’m fairly certain most of the music we enjoy today, wasn’t inspired by someone sitting in a plastic chair in a room full of iMacs at a specified time each week. And yet… most people accept that this is the environment in which we should learn.
‘Just in time’ learning happens when you need to know something NOW!
What do you do in your hour of need?
Maybe you phone a friend, or like so many of us, you search online for a solution to a challenge your having.
I was on a gig last weekend with a guitarist called Tony, who told me how he'd recently used YouTube to search a fix for his dishwasher. He found a clear tutorial by the manufacturer that saved not only his machine but also his bank balance and kitchen floor.
What about specific business advice for professional musicians?
The danger of asking successful fellow pros for advice is, they will be happy to tell you what worked for them, but it’s more than likely what works for them, is unique to who they are and a moment in time. “I did this… and you can do it too” rarely cuts the mustard.
YouTube and the internet are great, but for the kind of help self-employed professional creatives need, it can, at best leave you more confused than when you started. At worst, it could do some damage.
If you have an idea or an opportunity this week and you need help ‘framing’ it, (…so what you do/produce/write can be profitable), the answer is not, signing up to a 3 year-long course, or even a 1-week course that starts in 3 weeks time.
If you need to know how to deal with someone who is trying to get a ‘deal’ out of you because you (unlike them) enjoy what you do… Where do you go for specific help?
I help professional musicians and music businesses.
I created ‘The Business of Music’ after working as a musician for over 15 years, but that’s not what qualifies me to help people.
Over the last 5 years I have run a live music/event production company and after some beginners luck, myself and my business partner almost run it into the ground.
Then came a grant for some business coaching. A completely life changing experience. Working with a business coach was a fantastic experience and we learned lots of valuable business stuff… However, our experience was and infuriating one, because the coach we had been assigned to, had no experience of any sort of creative industry, let alone music.
How My Coaching Work Started.
Every so often I’d speak to my muso mates about what I was up to, and they would often tell me how useful our chats were.
It all came to a head when I found myself unable to catch up with a few people due to my paid work commitments. Apologising, with no time to catch up, one day, back came a message…
“Can I pay you to help me?”.
And so, a little over 2 years ago the concept of ‘The Business of Music’ was born, and I have been lucky enough to help some of the best musicians in the UK and USA!
Since then, I have invested lots of time and money into personal development and marketing courses to help me continue to help my clients.
Turns out, as with music... The learning never stops.
“What got you here, won’t get you there”
— M. Goldsmith
But here's what else I found out... The reality of the traditional franchised ‘coaching’ model is that is completely reactive. There’s no accountability (on the coach) and there is some incredibly unethical things going on behind lots of smoke and mirrors.
I’ve experienced that first hand and paid the price (time and money).
That’s why (thanks to Todd Herman) when I work with anyone, we agree a 90-day theme and we stick to it.
From there, we review and decide if I am worth investing in again. Happily, I have retained all of the clients I’d hoped.
What I do is not purely reactive. I always get my hands dirty and will help to implement strategies and tactics with my clients during our sessions.
Calls get canceled, because last minute sessions, gigs or childcare emergencies arise. That’s life.
To combat ‘life’, using a very simple feedback system, I use a private 'Slack' team to post videos, ensuring I deliver. When time (and state of mind) allows, my people, can do the work. Not always at 4pm on a Wednesday afternoon.
In so many ways routine and regular time slots are crucial but, I’d be foolish to think my coaching slot is the most important thing in my clients' lives.
At the end of 2016, I realised how many of the same issues were cropping up, so I started reflecting on how I could best help musicians who had invested in me.
So in 2017 not only can you apply to work with me 1-2-1 on a plan that suits where you are right now… If you do become my client, I'll give you your own ‘log in’ to my private website, full of very short and very specific ‘How To’ videos, so you can get the work done... Just In Time.