Greetings and Happy New Year!
Now that 2016 is here it’s time for me to take stock of what has happened in my personal & professional life in 2015.
The question is “Where did I rock it, and where did I fall short?”
In this post I will share the good, the bad and the ugly with you….and yep, there’s some ugly!
I teach & preach to students that goals should be:
- Written Down
Fewer goals are better than too many, and it’s ok if not all are met.
If I can I look over the past year and see that I accomplished my goals, it is very motivating. It’s important to celebrate and not only be self-critical.
“Fails” indicate where I fell short. These are areas I can correct, re-invent and adjust for the upcoming year.
Here is a summary of what you will see below in this post:
- Successes in 2015
- Fails in 2015
- Goals for 2016
- Lessons Learned
The Big Picture and Main Goal
I did not write goals for 2015 which could be considered a cardinal sin #1 of goal setting. BUSTED! I kept saying “I gotta write my goals” and then April somehow rolled around, but never got to it.
However, I knew I was clear on there was one MAIN goal for 2015…
My #1 goal was to launch my online lesson site StudyWithAdam.com.
The 2nd sub goal was to tour & play excellently while goal # 1 unfolded. That meant staying in practice while my brain and “push” were oriented to the website.
I chose not to pile more on, otherwise I’d be spread too thin.
2015 in Review – Successes:
Success #1 StudyWithAdam.com Site Launch
The biggest goal achieved was the launch of StudyWithAdam.com – this was a huge job, from the design, implementation, video sessions, customer service and most importantly – attention to my students.
I started building it in January 2014 and launched it in April 2015, so yep, while you saw “tour dates on Facebook” I was working on this site whenever I was not on tour.
Success #2 Ongoing Touring
I did a little over 50 concerts. Compared to guys with 200+ gigs it feels lame, but gosh, I was still constantly in airports & trains.
My touring would be smarter if I packed concerts more closely together.
I don’t actively “hunt” for gigs, but maybe I should, I just kind of let requests come in and often contact places where I have had a successful concert in the past. Booking would be something I would love to delegate to someone else.
New countries visited for touring – Spain, Australia and Estonia. Those were fun!
When I look at some other people’s tour schedules, I feel that I should be doing more than I do, but maybe that’s just my ego.
Success #3 Study With Adam Work – Breakdown & Summary
Now I see where most of my time was spent 🙂
It’s not possible to measure the hours of customer support & interaction
and maintenance no one ever sees (web server, billing, plugins failing, hosting issues etc.)
Thank goodness I have a tech support team.
Just to give you an idea – these are the running times of the videos I made. Multiply these times by 5 to get an idea of time spent (listening & watching student uploads, shoot, edit, upload and embed onto site.)
My estimate – 300 hours work on video & PDF production:
- PDF creation for lessons supplied – 40 hours approx.
- Student Responses – 228 videos (29 hours)
- Silent Night 6 vid (30 min)
- Fly Me To The Moon 15 vids (1:48)
- Imagine 7 vids (51:38)
- Groove Drum 9 vids (53:36)
- Billie Jean 20 vids (1:17:20)
- Ray Charles / Bluesy 1 vid (8:40)
- Technique 9 vids (37:53)
- Intro & Suport 2 vids (11:53)
- Improve Your Groove – 9 vids(53:04)
- Basic Techniques 9 vids (37:53)
- Harmony 7 vids (31:14)
- Vitamin E Blues 9 vids (40:48)
- Shelter Island 6 vids (32:09)
- Mas Que nada – 9 vids (54:21)
- Michelle – 6 vids (34:18)
- Yesterday – 4 vids (24:36)
- Killing Me Softly – 9 vids (36:44)
- Aint no Sunshine – 9 vids (56:44)
- In My Life – 5 vids (32:10)
- Promo videos under public version of Silent Night – 8 vids (25 min)
Success #4 Family, Health and Inner Life
After years of living like a gypsy I have settled with the love of my life (since 2012) and am a stepdad.
This can’t be measured as it is ongoing…it takes a lot of energy, but it’s essential to where I am in my life now. I have to give what I can to the next generation and be a loving partner.
Being 47 is different from being 27 🙂
I am running 3-4 days per week. On & off workouts, but overall good & consistent.
I went to an intense psychology seminar with 2 incredible leaders that has enabled me to have a conversation with my father that I have needed to have since age 7. Heavy stuff, and will change my life.
My father and I had the first of many important talks on Jan 1, 2016, and boy – I love that man so much. He is the best.
Success #5 Online Diet:
- Stopped reading junk & spending too much time online.
- Virtually no social media I am happy to say – just the minimum.
- I am often on the computer, but not with mindless stuff. I keep it project oriented.
Success #6 Ongoing Learning:
I have recently joined a paid membership to study techniques to run a better business with StudyWithAdam.com . The benefit of paying for info is that I am not bombarded with sales pitches and can get to the point much faster.
As well, I have read several interesting books this year on everything from mindfulness, spirituality and marketing.
I haven’t been perfect but I am now getting in 30 mins a day.
2015 in Review – Failures:
Fail #1 Musical, Video & Article Output
- New Youtube Videos: 9 – that’s way too few (fans posted live vids though, whew…)
- Blog Posts: 16 – that’s way too few (5 or 6 were promo, not content)
- Composed just 3 or 4 tunes – that’s way too few.
Blog Articles, Youtube, Composing – these are 3 areas I HAVE to step up. They really fell by the wayside because I was not measuring my output.
In all fairness..
I created a considerable amount of videos & materials for my Study With Adam online students, so I was very busy, but not with content for the general public.
Fail #2 My Perfectionism Hindered Creativity
I seriously need some new, worthwhile musical goals.
Not just videos to get views, do clever covers or trickery but music that means something to me.
Without real musical goals, I often spent way too much time on “polishing” technique in the practice room, and keeping old music in practice for concerts, but not inventing and exploring.
It was a case of spending 90% of my practice time getting a 10% result. I don’t know if I sound any better – I think I just spun my wheels practice-wise because there was no real “musical project.”
In all fairness..
It was more a year of solidifying my repertoire through repetition rather than one of intense exploration and growth.
Fail #3 Another Year with no CD, but that’s OK:
2016 will be the year I make my next CD. It’s been 5 years since the last one.
In case you are wondering…here’s why have I been so slow:
- I have been puzzled by the current musical economy, and that has slowed my motivation by filling my head with the idea “what’s the point of a CD – financially speaking?” I am not saying I’m right, I’m saying the dilemma slowed me up.
- With Spotify and similar services on the horizon I don’t want to give away my efforts for free.
- I made a serious choice to open Study With Adam as a “service” because musical products (books, mp3s, videos) seem to be thought of as items that should be free these days.
Regardless of all that, I WILL do a CD in 2016 for the music’s sake, to record many
of the arrangements I now play, so you & others can listen at home & in the car to high quality, well recorded versions.
Now that StudyWIthAdam.com is up, I have the mental space to do this type of project.
Fail #4 Overall delegation needed:
I still fall into the trap of doing too much myself, so I need to get a plan in place to have other people work for me.
In all fairness..
I credit myself for hiring the tech team on StudyWithAdam.com – without them, it would be impossible.
…but I need to delegate even more.
My 2016 Goal Commitments
Of course I will continue my good habits, but I am setting the goal of patching
the following weak areas.
Here are my minimum creative output requirements for 2016 (and this post counts as post #1).
If I don’t achieve these, then please make sure that I suffer public humiliation.
- Record New CD
- Write 2 blog articles per month (or more)
- Create 1 Youtube Video per month (or more)
- Create 1 Study With Adam lesson per month
- Write 1 tune per week, even if goes into the garbage can…
- Journaling – every day, even if it is short. I need to look up a process for this.
- Nightly 5 point plan for next day (I often do this, but on days that I don’t I end up hugging a cup of coffee until 10:30 am)
- Continue meditation 30 minutes daily.
- Listen to music actively – full albums, not just here and there online.
Take 1 measurable step in the advertising of Study With Adam each month
(mailing list broadcast, free lesson creation, or other…)
- I will continue what I have been doing. I love touring…LOVE IT.
- If I am invited, chances are I will play but I have no time to “pound the pavement” building a fuller tour. My creative output is more important to me, and the resources of my time and energy are limited. Anyone wanna be my booking agent? 🙂
Accountability Partner or Mastermind Team:
My old “accountability partner” and I became great friends and we lost our meeting structure so I need a group or individual or coach to help me measure my goals & keep me on track.
It’s been too long, gotta go for a complete physical exam. Also will start taking a Yoga class, and not just do it myself, rolling around in the living room. I commit!
Lessons Learned in 2015:
- Planning and executing a worthwhile goal takes time and lots of small steps.
- Anything worth doing takes time, AND it’s important to spend one’s time on the right activities.
- I need live performing in my life, and love it. It keeps me balanced.
- I must let go of perfectionism and “just do it” in more cases.
- Someone once said “don’t get it perfect, get it done!” – I need to remember that.
- Giving to the people around me is better than receiving. Cliche but true.
- Teaching my students has a lot of meaning, more than I expected.
- Family is more important to me than I realized. I love these people in my life so much.
Thanks for reading, I hope this in some way helps or inspires you.
How did YOU do in 2015? Please comment below and let me know.