Re-Open for Business: Adjusting to Your Post-Pandemic Creative Life

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band setting up

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For the last 15 months, we’ve swam in confusion, frustration, and procrastination paralysis as we grieved our 2020 plans and pivoted (whether by choice or by force) our careers to adapt to the “new music industry.”

The truth is, while this past year was particularly cluster-f*ck-tastic, the music industry will always be evolving. Even now, as the world re-opens, we’re still pivoting, adjusting, and experimenting with how to make money and how to meet fans where they’re at with what they need.

And when we get used to a “new normal,” there will inevitably be another outside force, be it natural disaster or game-changing technology, challenging us to stay nimble with our plans.

Welcome to entrepreneurship…

Much like music, it’s fluid and reflective of the world around it. Plans are not meant to be etched into stone; they are meant to be guidelines for reaching our goals, based on the information we have in the moment. When new information is gathered, plans need to change in order to stay relevant.

This is not a post about being a post-pandemic rockstar. Instead, consider this your roadmap to follow anytime the world requires you to alter your plans and/or start over. Life will ask this of you time and time again to different degrees — and the more flexible you are, the better your chances are of achieving sustainability.

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To that end, below are three ways you can train yourself to be able to shift your priorities at a moment’s notice without the typical overwhelm, confusion, and paralysis:

1. Always know the intention behind your goal(s).

A goal may be to book and complete a summer tour. In 2020, that goal was completely D.O.A. However, the intention behind that goal may have been to sell more merch, or grow your email list, or entertain and engage with your fans.

For musicians who focused more on the intention and less on the goal, they were able to pivot more quickly to livestreaming in creative ways, or building their email lists through a compelling digital download, or creating unique ways to market their merch online.

Never get too attached to your goals, it’s like getting attached to the how of your journey. Stay connected to your intention, or your “why,” and you’ll realize there’s more than one way to make it happen.

2. Get used to picking out your top three priorities at any given moment.

Between your career, your personal life, and any other commitments you may have, you should take time to get clear on your top three priorities at the moment. Be aware that these priorities will change, especially when your goals change, but if you can improve your ability to identify the most important things on your plate at any given time, pivoting will come much more easily to you.

Think of it like triage in the ER. Sometimes certain tasks or projects will have to wait. Your time, energy and resources are limited so use them wisely. Which will best serve your intention in this moment?

3. Make reflecting on your plan a weekly habit.

Whether you use The Rock/Star Life Planner, or another tool for staying organized and focused on your tasks, get use to reviewing your task list and overall plan on a weekly basis. Not only will it help you improve identifying your priorities at any given moment, checking in on your plan will also allow you to clean your To Do List, and take tasks off that no longer serve you as you move forward.

It will also help you hit pause and observe changes that may be coming down the pike, allowing you to pivot with more ease. Set aside one hour each week on the same day and time to get into a routine of review and reflection.

Remember, as the world re-opens and more opportunities you lost last year are coming back into your life, ask yourself — do these opportunities still serve me?

Don’t try to get back the year you lost, keep looking forward and stay true to the intentions you’ve set for your career. Using the three steps above, pivoting can begin to feel less paralyzing and more empowering.

Let us know in the comments a recent pivot you’ve made in your career and how it’s working out for you!

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