You need to be able to put yourself in the path of oncoming opportunities.
I’m here to confess: I originally wrote this post for my last go-round of 29 Days to Diva. I like it so much, I’m bringing it back for this year. This micro action is one of my absolutely favorites and I share it every chance I get. One could say that I’m setting an example of how to re-harvest a previous project…. Plus, I can’t be the only one who doesn’t remember *everything* from right before the world shut down.
Don’t wait for the miracle to happen to you, divas. Be in the business of generating miracle material. There’s truth to the fact that you make your own luck or make your own opportunities when pursuing music as your profession. It’s also true that the necessity of creating your own opportunities increases the farther you move away from traditional legacy organization models.
I bet that you’ve heard “create your own opportunities” before. But, did they tell you how?
Your 29 Days To Diva – Day 14 Assignment: Set Your Pitch/Submit/Apply/Ask Reminder
This is a micro action in its purest form. All I want you to do is set a trigger for yourself. Take out your phone and create a recurring event or reminder. Call it Pitch/Submit/Apply/Ask. Make the event about fifteen to thirty minutes long. Set it for a time in your day in which you have some flexibility to do the associated task. I like to set my reminder for every 12 days. I know others who do it everyday. You know how often you need to be reminded. Or, try one version for a month and then reevaluate.
You can set this up in a paper planner/calendar too. I simply want you to put a trigger into your regular schedule so that every time you see it, you will take action. If you’re like me, you have a thousand “to-do” list items or even “someday I’ll contact that person…” thoughts running around in your mind. Perhaps your idea vault is starting to get a little stale. Without the trigger, they’ll continue to clutter up your thinking processes because they won’t be acted upon. Then, the shame sets in. “I should have gotten in touch with that person… now it’s probably too late.” Don’t let your contacts or leads grow cold.
How Do I Create My Own Opportunities?
What do you mean, “pitch/submit/apply/ask”? I mean that you need to ask for good things to come your direction by putting yourself out there to receive them. You need to shine your light. You need to wave your flag. You need to let people know what you do. (Quick reminder to focus on making a good first impression. Don’t only tell people about you. Be deeply, fervently interested in them. Discover whether or not you’re the right person to meet their needs.)
I named the trigger this way because I wanted to focus on the active verb. Every time it shows up, I take one of those actions. Like in yoga, remember, it’s your practice. Give yourself permission to let go of expectations and find your own way. Modifications aren’t for timid folks. They are ways to smooth out the places that might be more difficult due to your unique circumstances.
When your reminder trigger shows up, take those fifteen to thirty minutes and pitch [a project of yours to a decision-maker]. Submit [an application to a festival]. Apply [for a grant]. Ask [to be heard by a conductor]. The text in those brackets are just placeholders. You will fill it in with the tasks and actions that are the most impactful to your life.
Pitch/Submit/Apply/Ask Bonus Level
Okay, okay, so I did say that this was a micro action in its truest form because all you had to do was set up the recurring event/reminder. However, there is a bonus level. If you’re ready to unlock the full potential of this trigger, I encourage you to keep a note in your phone/journal (whatever you keep with you 24/7) called “Pitch/Submit/Apply/Ask.” Make an addition to your note every time you cross paths with a
- Recording Studio/Engineer
- Grant/Funding Opportunity
- Potential Collaborative Artist/Ensemble
- Recital Series
- Booking Agent/Artist Management Company
- Local/Regional/National Arts Council or Commission
- PR Consultant
- Professional Association
- Record Label
- Tour Manager
- Business Coach
Honestly, the list could and should be endless. The point is that you’ll start creating a list of people, places, and things to focus on when your Pitch/Submit/Apply/Ask trigger shows up.
No matter whether you’re taking the active verbs literally—submitting that application, applying for that residency, or asking for that audition or coffee meeting—or modifying to do the prep work—writing your artist statement for an application, researching a grant deadline, or writing a pitch template—you’ll be taking inspired action and moving confidently toward your desired outcomes.
Get Ready for Rejection
Divas, please notice that I wrote, “be in the business of generating miracle material.” When you take more swings, you’re likely to see a greater number of misses. You can count your rejections or simply acknowledge them and let them go because you’ve got more pitches, submissions, application, and asks to make. You’re upping your averages, darling. This is how we create our own opportunities.
Enjoying 29 Days to Diva so far?
You might also enjoy this post → 10 Savage Questions That Will Give You The Edge This Year
I called these “savage questions” because they aren’t designed to be “feel-good questions.” Savage questions differ from those saccharine “questions for couples” in that these kinds of questions should elicit a nagging feeling once you’ve answered them. You shouldn’t be able to comfortably shove the information you’ve gleaned to the back of your mind. It should feel like you’ve unearthed a treasure map that you must immediately begin to follow.