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Embracing the "You" and Giving It Away

I want to talk about music history for a second, and I promise I will try not to bore you.

See, it has always been a passion of mine to teach music history and lessons about the composers that make up that history. I’ve been developing a series called “Composer Cafe” on-and-off for years, and I produced a number of episodes back in 2012/13 that were short biographies of notable composers. This idea has since become its own YouTube channel, and has been in the slow planning stages for months.

Earlier this week, I watched a free business course online about how to grow your own business, and I realized I was sitting on a gold mine of an idea! I have taken time to appreciate what a great idea teaching music history online is before, but I never understood how important it was to really capitalize on this aspect of my life until now!

Lately, trying to figure out how to “start my business” has taken me in so many directions. I should be composing! No, I should be arranging! No, I should be performing! No, I should be teaching! No, I should be doing all of it! No, I should be…. the list goes on and on.

Learning how to run your own business rests heavily on using your unique skills and traits to make the business profitable. Too often, I find that it isn’t my skills that I discover but rather my lack thereof in a certain area. How can I build a business without this resource or that talent? How can I hope to succeed when I only have this network?

Well, it occurred to me earlier this week that not only do I have the passion, the resources, the audience, and the energy to teach music history online, but I also have the drive to make it into a business! I have already incorporated it into my makeup tutorials to stand out a bit from the beauty community, and it has been received very well among my viewers. I need to invest more time and energy into this!

But what about my music channel? Or performing? Or my vlogs? Or my other aspects of my career?

I think as I hone my focus into something that can actually earn (and sustain) revenue, the interest and the demand for my personal work will increase. Of course I love composing, but studying the scores of the composers before me is what gives me inspiration! Of course I love vlogging, but what better content to vlog than more behind the scenes into my lessons!

Over the last year, I have really discovered my passion lies in making media. This includes music, film, blogs, vlogs, photography, and anything else I can get my hands on and wrap my head around! I have loved this period of self exploration and personal growth, and it is really showing me what I desire to do with my life. I think the scariest part is just deciding what to do with that knowledge while battling the extremely competitive atmosphere that each of those artistic practices are surrounded by. How will I stand out?

By being me, of course!

It is so important to embrace the “you” in you; to go out into the world sharing what you have to offer and making sure people see it and appreciate it. This doesn’t mean forcing yourself on people, it just means that you have to not be afraid to show yourself and be a little (or very) vulnerable.

In the spirit of showing myself to the world, I’ll end this blog by stating some things I discovered about myself this week:

  1. Although it is incredibly terrifying, I am willing to dress up like someone half my age and bare it to the internet all by clumsily dancing through a piece of art that I’m obsessed with, even thought I can’t really dance.

  2. I really, really enjoy feeling beautiful. When I get my hair done and my makeup done or I do my own makeup and hair, it makes me incredibly happy. Perhaps this is vain or self-centered, but I think instead of tossing it aside, I should embrace this about myself and make an effort every day to do what makes me feel beautiful. I do it for myself, not for others.

  3. I will sacrifice my health for my work when I want to. If this means not going to the gym and not eating in an effort to finish something, I don’t even think twice. It just gets done. Occasionally, I don’t see this as being harmful, but when I’m done with the project, I need to remember to get my life back together.

  4. I am a fantastic planner and a terrible novelist. I need to learn to just write it down.

  5. I need to be careful with my voice. If I constantly use vocal fry for characters and belt my face off in my car and then proceed to sing myself hoarse for videos and for auditions, I won’t have any voice left for when it matters.

  6. I really, really enjoy working by myself. It’s probably my favorite thing in the world to just be by myself doing work. I also really love being in front of the camera and I don’t know if I honestly can live my life just doing work behind the scenes.

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