Plan your music journey for 2023

Happy new year 2023! I wish this new beginning brings you a lot of energy to continue with your projects, and also the motivation to start those others that you've been storing as dreams in the backburner.

As I've mentioned before, I tend to write my yearly music business plan around this time. While planning an entire year sounds daunting, I've found that doing it helps me achieve more without compromising my health or wellbeing. It allows me to distinguish between the urgent and the important, and know which actions take time because they need to and which do because I'm not being efficient. With a plan, I can also tell what opportunities align with my goals, which prevents distractions.

If you don't know where to start with your own yearly plan, have a quick model I use to write mine: 

  1. Find the time:  We often think there is not enough time in our day to plan, but there is when we decide something is a priority. Time will present...
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You Can Earn From Your Music!

We have the firm belief that every musician should be paid their worth. Even if you do music as a hobby, your effort, dedication, skill and passion deserve recognition. Now, it is easier said than done, right? When it comes to the business side of music, many artists get lost in calculations, transactions, invoices, and the uncertainty of how to communicate fees and conditions to potential clients.

Don't get overwhelmed, though, there is a way out! In the e-course "Maye Your Music Pay", Millicent will teach you how to:

- Set your fee and get paid regularly.
- Build your confidence to say your price without anxiety.
- Negotiate a win-win for your fee.
- Collect your fee with no drama.
- Set up a money management system.
- Prepare for your tax return.
- Grow a fans mailing list.

With this, you'll understand the steps you can take now to work out your gig fee, collect your payment and manage your music money. Sounds good? Click here to watch the introductory video, get more information...

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Do You Struggle With Stage Fright?

When talking about going on stage, there is a fine line between excitement and anxiety. The thrill of being able to share what we have with the audience fights against the fear of freezing under the spotlight and forget everything. We want to prove ourselves and we are afraid of failing ourselves at the same time. There is a bunch of butterflies in our stomach, and we are not sure what they are doing.

Every person feels this differently, but we all feel it. Some have developed strategies, little rituals to do right before the show starts. Others have taught themselves to disregard anxiety's insideous comments by actively turning all their thoughts into positive ones. Some more throw themselves to the heat of the moment and trust that the sight of the audience will shatter the insecurities right away. Whatever the case, you are not alone, and by communicating with your peers, you can learn, advise, and gain the confidence to face an audience eager to hear you.

How do you deal...

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There's Still A Lot To Take From 'Success Beyond The Score' Season 1

The brand name “Success Beyond The Score” started as a podcast back in 2019. Since then, it grew into the this website full of different resources for emerging musicians. The podcast itself has two seasons with 50 episodes in total, covering all kind of relevant topics for artists who want to achieve their goals in the music industry.

Usually, people stick to the latest content of shows that have been airing for a while. In the case of the podcast "Success Beyond The Score", doing so would not be advantageous. Have you never listened to it? Or maybe you did so long ago and don't remember much? Go to episode one of the first season and start, or restart, your journey into the secrets of the industry.

If you want all the episodes with their respective info, so you can choose what to listen and in what order, you can do it in this link. Share and discuss with your colleagues, and of course, be sure to contact Millicent if you have topic...

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Why You Should Take A Break.

We live in a busy world.  Our phones keep us active, the internet cries for our attention, and then there is the demands of family, friends, work and even our music.  There are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. You might even find you feel stressed.  

There are many tips, videos and blogs on the internet giving advice on how to cope with stress. I learnt the hard way how much my health was affected by working maximum hours with limited sleep, so three years ago I started to realign myself and it’s paying off. One of the things I did was to consciously plan breaks in my day and week.

A break can be a few minutes each day where you mentally come away from work. This could be looking at nature, the sky, having a short sleep, doing something creative, but not music. These things will help your brain, which in this regard is like a muscle, to rest, relax and recover, renewing you to do your next job. 

A break can be moments taken to...

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Last Call To Join T4MM, Third Cycle!

Time For My Music, the online project to empower women in the music industry, is currently open for subscriptions, but not for too long! In fact, there’s only a few hours left, the system will close at 11:59pm today, UK time.

If you are a female musician who wants to step up your game and advance in your career, this is the perfect chance to join a community of like-minded women and receive all the tools and support that you need.

In this cycle, we are going to focus on how to grow your brand online and build a loyal fanbase. On top of that, you will have access to all the materials of our previous cycles and to live forums with the other women. You will also be able to participate in the next T4MM concert and have your photo and bio exhibited in Birmingham City Centre.

Sounds good? Then head to the T4MM website before midnight and join us! We can’t wait to meet you.

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Is It Time To Get Help?

Last time, I mentioned that we get work through our connections. I hope my words helped you identify the people who do that for you.  But how do you maintain the work you get through your connections? Today, I want to discuss one aspect of that.  

In the early days of my music, I was on my own. I arrived to gigs on my own, I set up and pulled down on my own, I handled my gig enquiries on my own and sorted out my tax return on my own. I did everything myself, making decisions and only seeking advice when needed. Does that sound familiar?

This way of working was fine for some time, but as my music grew, it became unwieldy. I couldn’t keep up with everything. I worked long days and into the night to balance family commitments and work. I felt stressed with missed deadlines, keeping up with admin requirements was a nightmare and personal practise on my instrument was deteriorating. I felt like I was on burnout.  It dawned on me that, in order to advance, I...

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Success Beyond The Score, season 2, episode 20

The season 2 finale of the podcast Success Beyond The Score is available now! Listen to Millicent Stephenson highlight the best from the interviews she held during the season, comment and add on the advice by the guests and thank every one of them for their fantastic advice and contributions.

Click here to watch the episode on YouTube.

Click here to find your podcast platform of choice to listen to the episode in audio format.

Don't forget to leave comments and to share with friends that are also working their way into the music business.

Also, let's take this chance to confirm there will be a season 3 of the podcast. Stay tunned!

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Are you a Planner?

What do you think about this word, ‘Plan’? What does it conjure in your mind?  Hard work that you don’t want to do, or glee because you relish identifying parts and their connections, and seeing if they work?

I’m a planner, but not everybody is.  Don’t get me wrong.  Some people are more holistic, top-down, see the bigger picture.  I’m the opposite. I see the big picture but I get down to the detail of how to make it happen. Actually, it doesn’t really matter too much which approach you prefer, as long as things are achieved.   

How does this relate to your music? 

Well, when you move forward, you are moving forward to something: your targets. How you move forward has to be decided. This is planning, deciding what, when, why, how, etc.  

Most of my music life, pre-42 years old, I just ambled along. I performed when invited. I had dreams of what I wanted to become, but no plans on how to get there. At...

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What is the number one thing you should do to move forward?

Recently, I’ve been binge watching ‘Race To The Center of the Earth’.  It has adventure, dizzy heights even from my sofa, a little drama, great scenery and of course teams competing for the prize of one million dollars. I love shows like these because  I find them inspiring, a little scary (when someone gets hurt or they have to climb up a super high cliff face) but also interesting.

How does this relate to music? Last time, I mentioned I would share with you one of the things I still do now to keep me moving and growing as a musician.  On reflection, there are 3 things, but today I’ll illustrate the first one through the Race.

Each of the racers in the Team have a goal.  A goal to win the million-dollar prize.  They are focused on that goal and all roads lead to that goal.  They train for that goal; they strategize towards that goal and at the end they will know if they achieve the goal.

This is something I do.  No,...

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