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Balancing Your Art and Your Entrepreneurship

One of the most difficult parts about being a musician entrepreneur is the balancing act that one has to engage in. How do you continue to develop as an artist when your days are filled with meetings and administrative duties? How do you continue to find artistic inspiration, the flow of practice when you’re active in a different part of your brain (or at least that’s how it feels)!

This is a continual challenge for many creative people and certainly for me.

When I’m busy with business I try and make sure that I practice first, before I start to answer emails, make phone calls or attend meetings. I set aside the first few hours of the day and sometimes if I’m lucky during my practice a miracle occurs. The very act of practicing, the physical exercise, listening to sounds, concentrating and breathing makes my mind more creative. Not just my artistic self but my entrepreneurial self as well. My ideas become clearer, spiritual connections are made and I generally become more awake! The muse comes to visit when I practice, just the very act of playing flute wakes the muse up and convinces her to give me ideas: musical, creative and business ideas. If I take a little break I make sure to write all these new ideas down, they are jewels from the creative muse!!

But let’s leave this discussion of the “muse” and be practical. How can I schedule myself? How can I squeeze in practice and music making on busy entrepreneurial days?

I recently asked Lady Jeanne Galway how does she handle this problem? Sir James suggested to her that when she has 10 minutes she should just play for those 10 minutes!! So, on incredibly busy days you might consider taking the flute out for even 5 minutes!!!

I’ve heard rumor that flutist Greg Patillo leaves several flutes put together around his home and picks them up to play whenever inspired. I’ve recently tried the 5 and 10 minute approach and find that it gives me peace of mind on busy days- I’m still in touch with my flute, music and artistry and I become more able to focus on the task at hand. Practicing can even feel like a mini meditation.

So to summarize, try and practice first if possible and add a few 10 minute flute breaks during your day. If you miss that morning session then try a few 5 and 10 minute flute breaks. You really never know when that musical or technical insight will show up, maybe in that exciting and fresh 10 minutes that you managed today!!

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