I listened to the James Altuchers' podcast this morning and an idea struck me which was actually related to the organ world.
All of this happened during the time I prepared the bread to be baked in the oven with real fire-wood in our summer cottage.
45 minutes later I was done, washed my hands, ran to the computer and began typing frantically. This post was based on the idea of 3 steps to master organ improvisation. Yes, this idea came to me as I listened to the conversation with the stand-up comedian and actor Jim Norton.
You see, how ideas can come to you in all those strange places and times.
You don't need a special inspiration to write something worth reading. Just keep your ears open and very soon you'll hear a sentence or two which will seem vivid.
Maybe strangers passing by will say something to each other. Maybe your friend will say something crazy or even so mundane that will make you smile.
Make your mind's train of thoughts stop for just long enough so that you can notice what you notice.
You can draw a doodle too and post as illustration.
Write about that today.
My post today was based on something I've read in my email. It was sent to me by one of my Total Organist students.
This message prompted me to write an answer to her and later I thought it would benefit the readers of my blog.
So I expanded it a little into a post, added a picture I drew earlier and scheduled to be published in the future.
Could you do this too?
Could you look at the emails you've received lately which is related to the organ world and see if anything is vivid and worthy of re-posting? If you want, you can omit any personal stuff, such as name or a place to respect people's privacy.
Don't think for too long here because this will paralyze your ideas. Just do it and you'll see you have another post ready in no time.
This morning I opened my phone and found a message from my friend organist, Christopher Henley, who was earlier my guest on the Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. He thanked me one more time for inviting him.
He also mentioned that in 2019 he will be giving concerts in Japan and that he wanted to come to Europe with some recitals in 2020 or 2021. Christopher asked my help for recommending venues in Lithuania to play.
This is interesting, I thought. This podcast usually opens doors for me but here is Christopher asking for recital opportunities.
This is where selfish people will get stuck. The reflex is to hold back your information because it's you who also want to go for recitals to other countries, right?
But generosity is always the right thing to do. So I wrote him a lot of contacts. All of them. Not only in Lithuania but also in Latvia, Poland, Italy and Sweden.
Oh, and by the way, I did ask him for contact in Japan too. So we'll see...
And I said if Christopher would devise a compelling proposal that stands out, I could introduce him to these people.
Don't hold back, if somebody you trust approaches you asking for contacts.
It's the right thing to do. You never know where being generous will take you.
Certainly further than being selfish.
Are you wondering what to write about today for your organ blog?
Today I wrote about a funeral service I played at my church yesterday and shared a live-streamed video from FB.
It all was a surprise to me. I didn't expect this to happen.
Although I had a phone in my pocket to record with, before the service I didn't want to record a music from the state funeral.
But little by little my Prelude and Offertory went along fine and when the time approached for Communion, I felt compelled to record it. I thought people will miss it, if they didn't have a chance to see it.
Open your eyes today for anything you do that is organ world related. Maybe not even organ world related. Maybe just vivid.
Like my video from Communion. It sounded like angelic music to me. So maybe you'll also do something worth sharing during your day.
Actually, don't even think if this is worth sharing because you'll get paralyzed. Your lizard brain will stall your creative efforts in self-defense.
Writer's block. It doesn't exist, if you're in the mode of sharing what you did.
Write about that and let me know how it goes.
Are you wondering what live-streaming can do for your organist career?
It's not so apparent at first. But you'll understand in a moment.
You see, everything you do online has the potential of growing your fan base. Fans buy your CD's, support your charity etc. That's where blogging, live-streaming and everything else comes into play.
Even though your recording company doesn't allow you to give away your recordings, you can also talk about this music. Of course, recording companies will soon go under with this way of thinking which is based on scarcity.
But we live today in a world which is based on ideas. And ideas are abundant.
The more value you create, the more value comes back to you.
You only need 1000 true fans.
A true fan is a person who spends 100 dollars with you per year. 1000 fans x 100 dollars per year and you will get a 6 figure annual income.
But to do that, the first step is to have a way to reach your fans. And the best way is through email.
Build an email list of people who would want to hear from you.
One little connection at a time. People who would sign up to receive personal, anticipated and relevant messages. Seth Godin calls this Permission Marketing.
If you help your fans, they will become your best evangelists.
Service, like Mailchimp is free for up to 2000 subscribers. Once you have 2000 subscribers, the service can pay for itself easily.
I use a phone to live-stream. It's very powerful and the quality is good enough.
A lot of people still don't get it. They look at me as some kind of alien. A different species.
Maybe I am different. Different from people who hide their ideas.
I'm not like that. I give away my best ideas.
Because in an hour I'll get even more ideas.
So, what about you?
Are you ready to live in a world of abundance or are you clinging to the world of scarcity which slowly fading away?
Send your best work to 10 people and see what happens.
Create. Share. Repeat.
Are you searching for ideas to blog today?
How about looking at your upcoming organ recital and writing about what you're working on right now?
Today I did just that.
I needed to prepare for a number of recitals over the summer and started looking for an idea to write about for a post or two.
Immediately this one issue got my attention.
I'm working on it right now and solving this problem will be vital for the success of my recitals.
Could you do this too?
When you practice today, keep your eyes open for any ideas that come to your mind when you play.
Keep a notebook nearby and write down your ideas as they come.
Or you can write down a list of 10 ideas when you're done practicing.
It doesn't matter which method you choose. It doesn't matter if the ideas are good or bad. You don't know that. I don't know that. It's not for us to decide.
Your readers will decide if it's something worth reading.
What matters is that you're constantly on the lookout for ideas to blog about.
Let me know what you will be writing about today.
Yesterday late at night I finished editing my Op. 11a - Fantasia on the Themes by M.K. Ciurlionis which I arranged for organ duet. Ausra and I are going to play it over the summer.
Right after that I offered this score for sale to my subscribers.
How about you? Do you have anything to sell as an organist?
Maybe you have recorded a CD or two. Maybe you too have composed a piece of music that other organists would like to play. Maybe you can create a video, audio or PDF course or training. Maybe you can write a book and self-publish it on Kindle. Maybe you can play an organ recital for money. Or at the very least you can offer your one on one coaching over Skype.
And of course, you're always selling your ideas to the world.
If you are not selling, you're not making any money. If you're not making any money, you can't continue to do what you love and provide value to the organ world in the long run.
Always be selling.
1. Content. Create your daily entertaining, educating or elevating message online in the form of text, pictures, audio or video.
2. Traffic. Get your message in front of as many people as you can.
3. Emails. Write email sequences that builds relationships and trust with your subscribers.
4. Product/services. Work on something people will choose to spend money with you.
For me these 4 things today will be:
1. A couple of blog posts plus 2 podcast conversations with guests.
2. Sharing them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Tumblr.
3. Convert my earlier blog posts into emails for my mini course to supplement video series.
4. Writing fingering and pedaling for BWV 577, editing my Festive Processional, and practicing my 5 pieces I chose to master in the future.
What will the 4 things be for you today?
"Quick, let's spam an email inbox of 10 organists in the hope to be invited to play at organ festivals".
"Let's send our organ videos to the people who are not looking forward to receiving them."
"Let's ask our organist friends to perform our organ compositions in the hope of our music to be played far and wide in the world."
Fortunately, it doesn't work this way.
Lower your expectations of how fast you can achieve success as an organist.
Raise your bar of what you can contribute to the organ world by delivering anticipated, personal, and relevant messages instead.
It takes 7 years to be an overnight success.
A good friend of mine from the US reached out to me for help in getting opportunities to play recitals in the Baltic countries. He's a fabulous organist and I don't doubt the success of his performances. Really, one of a kind. In fact, he played in my church last year and it was a big success. And of course, he was a guest on my podcast too.
You see, that by now we have a strong personal connection. Something like if he called me on the phone, I would be glad to hear his voice.
So because I wanted to help him, I wrote some emails and messages to my colleagues in my area asking for concert opportunities for him. I was successful in a couple of places, the initial interest was high and I transferred the follow up messaging with more details to my friend.
My job here was done. I introduced two people to each other who in some way could do business together.
This got me thinking. What if I only sent contact information to my organist friend and told him to reach out to them directly? Would he be equally successful?
I doubt it.
You see, I know these people well. They already trust me. If I first introduce my friend to them via personal recommendation, I'm sure they would start to trust my friend too.
Just think about it for a second. If you were in a similar situation, how would you behave?
If somebody you don't know reached out to you and asked for an opportunity to play recital in your church or area, how would you react? Most people would view this as spam.
But if this unknown person found an influencer whom you trust and respect, I can guarantee you would at least consider helping this organist.
Try this approach yourself. Help out your organist friend by introducing them to concert organizers that you know well. You'll soon find out what kind of impact you will be making in your network.
Do the opposite too. Investigate, who is the gatekeeper for your desired organ recital venue and find out who is an influencer in their circle.
Earn trust of this influencer by helping them first at least several times. Then you will earn the privilege to ask.