Skip to Content


Quotes on motivation to help musicians stay positive and keep creating great music and live shows.

Build and destroy. Do it like a kid.

Today at the playground with my kids. They build sandcastles like maniacs, with total devotion, not noticing anything that goes on around them. After they’re done, what do they do? They destroy everything.

“Why do you do that?” I hear someone say.

Here’s why. Because it’s not about having the castle. It’s about building it. Kids learn by building things. They then destroy everything so they can build (=learn) some more.

When do we get trained to think that it’s better to have things instead of creating things?

Create and learn. Start now.

Who’s holding you back?

Steven Pressfield tells us that “a professional acts in the face of fear” and that amateurs think they must first overcome their fears to do great work. He goes on to say that “fear can never be overcome” and the professional knows it. He knows it and acts on it, not letting fear intervene with the work that has to be done.

Musicians have work to do. Make music, compose, write lyrics, arrange, practice etc. You let fear (or anyone and anything for that matter) intervene you loose. And everytime you let fear win and hold you back from creating your art, it will be more likely to win again and again.

So, what’s your fear?

Who’s holding you back?

You knwo the answer.

You are!

Act in the face of fear.  Start creating your art TODAY!

Outsourcing for Musicians

You need more time to create your art? Create more time to make art!

Outsourcing has become somewhat of a sport for companies and managers. But I don’t know many musicians who make use of it because the majority of them doesn’t know it exists.

What can you outcource, how does it work and how do you succesfully apply it to your life?

I use two services. and

While Elance offers great access to freelancers of all trades all over the world, Getfriday is an outsourcing service specializing in VA work. Virtual Assistants.

You can use them both for different services. For example, I use elance to find graphic designers for my album covers and promotional material. I found experts researchers (I researched film production companies world wide a while ago for my publishing operation.) There are tons of professionals there who can help you with almost any request. Post your job, choose a freelancer and get it done.

The other service, Getfriday, provides personal VA’s. Ideally it’s the same person working for you over a long period of time. I use my VA to make travel arrangements, tasks regarding my social networking sites etc. People like Tim Ferris even went as far as outsourcing their email, banking and even dating arrangements.

To outsource sucessfully you have to know some things. Getfriday is a great service, no doubt. But it’s a big firm and as in any big firm, people get hired, fired, promoted and some quit to pursue other jobs. Over the last 2 years I had 4 or 5 different VA’s assigned to me. After the first switch I had to teach the new guy everything from scratch. When he finally got everything from me, he got promoted to a different department and I again had to teach a new guy. It took a lot of time and energy, and I almost quit the VA business until someone told me to use templates. What?

Here’s the deal. You want to outsource tasks that steal your time or that are too boring to do or that you can’t do because you don’t have the skills. Lack of skills: use elance. For timewasters: use getfriday. Make sure you get a VA that you don’t have to manage! You want someone who takes charge and does things their own way. You don’t want to manage your VA, that would only put more to-do’s on your schedule instead of freeing you up.

So what do you do if the VA changes or quits? You have to teach the new VA everything again? NO!

Build templates.

Templates are clear and easy for your VA to follow and should they quit their job, the new VA can easily jump in without you having to teach them everything from scratch.

Let’s say you travel a lot as a musician:

Create a template that includes the most common aspects of your travels.

1.  For airtravel: What airline do you prefer? If that airline is not available, which one should your VA book you on?

2.  Travelling with an instrument? Include size, weight, instrument type etc. Do you take the instrument into the cabin or do you check it? Are there any restrictions or special regulations for your type of instrument? (For example, if you travel with an upright bass, the aircraft has to be a certain minimum size or the flight case of your bass won’t fit with the other luggage. I was once turned down by Lufthansa because the bass wouldn’t fit into the small city hopper. Although I had paid the fare and all they didn’t let me fly. I ended up taking a car and drove 9 hours from Amsterdam to Munich. Barely made it to the gig that night.)

3.  Seat preferences (Aisle or window)

4.  Food preferences

5.  Do you want only direct flights or are stop overs ok?

6.  Do you need transportation to/from the airport? If yes, what kind? Any preferred companies (limo services etc.)

7.  Time preferences (morning, evening)

8.  Do you need a rental car. If yes, what are your preferences? Which company, car category etc.

Tell your VA everything you usually need when you travel. You can include specifications for train, car, bus, ship or any kind of travel category you can think of. The goal is to give your VA as much information as possible to let them handle the booking without having to ask you anything.

Now all it takes is a simple email: “I’ll be going to (place) on (date). Please book a flight for me. I need a rental car there. The return date is (date).

That’s it. They now know all your details and can go ahead, book the flight and let you know when it’s done. Even a new VA can handle that without you having to manage them.

Create more time to make art today.


Photography by ToniVC on a Creative Commons License