Everything is an Opportunity

Early on, finding success can seem like a total mystery. You hear about friends and colleagues winning competitions, recording a CD, or having a concert and you wonder how they got so lucky – “why can’t it be me?” And this is the problem. The competition or gig or CD was not their “success” – it was the manifestation of the fruits of their labor, the intersection of timing and preparation. It was the moment when their hard work paid off. Success is total commitment to the process of work and practice.

With that in mind and after working long and hard on your craft, only then will what seems like luck to the untrained eye will reveal itself as opportunity. Everybody you meet and everywhere you play has the possibility to lead you someplace new. You just need to keep your eyes opened.

A rather wealthy, older gentleman who comes to many of my performances took me to lunch one day. We ate and spoke and we tossed around the idea of putting together a CD release concert, with him playing Host and taking care of the audience. Over the course of lunch, I asked him what he was doing when he was my age and how he ended up in the position of being able to help young musicians. What he said has stuck with me ever since: “Instincts – I look at everything and everyone as an opportunity.”

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8 comments

    1. Hey Charlotte – good question! You want a bit of both sales and donation. What I did was set up a private “Pre-Release” event for about 25 people who donated and are involved in the classical music scene. This got the ball rolling & I performed the program and gave all guests a free CD at the house concert.

      This worked out well because a month or so later, a couple of the guests from the preview concert bought 10-20 CDs as gifts for friends… which then lead to another concert, this time at a small hall on the East Coast, and long story short half the audience bought a CD and it kept snowballing from there.

      I think with how popular your site is, you’d be crazy not to record a short program of songs you’re singing and offer a couple free downloads online before you start offering it for sale. Of course, then you will want to print hard copies to sell at concerts (US $10 is average) You should have no problem getting your music online with the fanbase you have.

      Let me know if this helps,
      – Matt

  1. Thanks Matt. I’ve been very fortunate and grateful to attract a lovely social media audience, whether that would translate to hard sales to make a cd print worthwhile I’m not sure. Did you do your own self promotion for your concerts?
    It would certainly help me if I could miss a few weeks working in the office this summer!
    Cheers Charlotte 😉

    1. No prob. Yes it was self promotion the first time around. Friends, family, word of mouth, facebook helped get the word out too and everything worked out great!
      – M

    1. Whoa that’s awesome! Tell me more about it. I’ve been busy with finals, and conveniently, my laptop broke so today is the first day in weeks I was even able to get online after re-installing all my programs. I’ll be back to blogging and stopping by yours in no time. – M

      1. Why does technology always break when you need it the most! I’ve all my second year finals too. I’ve been rehearsing a lot away from wifi spots and used up all my 3G mid-April so trying to find free wifi to latch on to has restricted me online too. Sometimes in rehearsals when you’ve got to be there but they don’t need you is the best time to catch up too 🙂

        The interview went well I think, it was a regional program BBC Radio Guernsey, all my friends and family at home got up early to listen and I’ve had some good feedback from a couple of my best friends at the Conservatoire. It was good practise, and listening back a good lesson for me, my brothers (and I always rely on,them for the most honest critique) one said I had my best lady Penelope voice on lol and the other told my Mum that he was proud of me but felt I wasn’t as warm and friendly as usual so I should work on that. My lovely Grandad said it wasn’t long enough and he wanted at least 30 minutes lol.

        Andy the presenter agreed to an interview by me for my blog I asked him all about how he got into radio presenting and his training yesterday, it was very interesting, just got to type up the post now.

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