I Am Finally Living My Dream! (How I left the corporate world at age 44 to pursue a career as a musician.)

Written by Jim Hudak

Continued from page 1

By 1996, I was on my last legs as a music business executive. I'd lostrepparttar fire and couldn't let go ofrepparttar 124033 urge to follow my dream. Finally in late 1996, I left my position as Vice President of SESAC to get back to being a musician. The 15 - 20 hours a week I spent as a traffic and news reporter bridgedrepparttar 124034 financial gap.

Inrepparttar 124035 meantime, I began rounding up gigs, hustling, and learning allrepparttar 124036 new songs onrepparttar 124037 piano that I possibly could. I knew I was getting about a 20-year late start compared to allrepparttar 124038 hot young players out there. But I figured I could make up for at least some of that through sheer hard work and determination. Because of my previous work experience, I was comfortable telephoning and meeting with people of all levels of business. I began working with hotel, restaurant and country club managers, wedding planners, and any venue that might be open to having piano music.

Systematically going throughrepparttar 124039 yellow pages, I would keep meticulous notes about which businesses had a piano, who I'd spoken with and when to follow-up. Soon enough I was performing regularly - an average of three times per week…and earning decent money. Often I would find performing opportunities in unexpected places: libraries, museums, senior citizen facilities, and lots of corporate parties. Eventually, I was fortunate to land a four day a week steady job playing piano at a couple of Nordstrom stores…low paying, but great exposure and experience. I was on my way!

Now with two CDs available on Brainstorm Records, MY independent record label,repparttar 124040 dream is being realized...the dream is being lived! The CD sales combined with my constant gigging six or more times per week nearly equalrepparttar 124041 income I earned during my peak years as a music executive. Meanwhile, I am putting a new emphasis on generating songwriting royalty revenue, with a three-year plan underway designed to round out that third source of income I have planned on since grade school.

It hasn't been easy...but it has been worth it in every way! My little musical empire, now five years old, has seen steadily increasing in revenues each year. I have felt surges of joy andrepparttar 124042 ultimate in frustration. I am always eager for new challenges…and sometimes ready to quit. But, awhile back I came across a sentence that sums it all up perfectly. The statement comes from John Madden,repparttar 124043 highly successful former football coach ofrepparttar 124044 Oakland Raiders (who has become an even more successful football broadcaster). He was talking aboutrepparttar 124045 insecure, volatile occupation of being a National Football League Coach, a profession where one can almost guarantee they will be fired - often more than once. In determining whether or not someone is suited for that difficult profession, Madden said: "You shouldn't be doing it unless you can't live without it.”

I would sayrepparttar 124046 same applies to one's pursuit of music, or whatever their particular dream may be. If you can't live without it you simply have no choice but to pursue it.

For me, pursuing my dream wasrepparttar 124047 best and most rewarding thing I have ever done.

If you've got a dream, I say, LIVE IT!!

Jim Hudak is a pianist, singer, guitarist, and songwriter who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. His latest CD, Gratefully Yours, is currently receiving international acclaim. For more information, you can contact Jim through his website, www.jhudak.com, or by phoning Brainstorm Records at (925) 673-7293.

How To Make New Year's Resolutions That Work

Written by David Brewster

Continued from page 1

All goals need to be REALISTIC. This can be a hard aspect to pin down because it is easy to underestimate ourselves and therefore aim for less than our potential. I know thatrepparttar Victorian Bike Ride is a realistic goal because thousands of people like me do it every year. Onrepparttar 124032 other hand, if I were to set myselfrepparttar 124033 goal of riding inrepparttar 124034 Tour de France, atrepparttar 124035 age of 37 and with no prior training, that would be unrealistic!

Having set a 'big' goal that meetsrepparttar 124036 four criteria above, it is critical that we apply a TIME FRAME to our goal. Our day-to-day goals usually have pre-set time frames or deadlines. Ever known a family to eat Christmas dinner on Boxing Day because they missedrepparttar 124037 deadline? Business goals are often set byrepparttar 124038 boss or by clients. This is where 'big' goals often fall down. Because they are OUR goals, it is very easy to find reasons to put them off, or not to set time limits at all. A goal without a time frame is no goal at all because (a) we can't monitor progress and (b) something else will always be more important.

There is one more important aspect to setting 'big' goals: WRITE THEM DOWN.

Writing goals down has numerous benefits: -Writing somehow makesrepparttar 124039 goal 'real'. It acquires a weight that cannot be achieved ifrepparttar 124040 goal is kept in your head.

Putting a goal into words on paper forces you to think it through. It gives you an opportunity to testrepparttar 124041 goal for 'SMARTness'. Writing facilitates 'going public' - telling business associates, friends or family what you are trying to achieve. This in itself increasesrepparttar 124042 chances of achievingrepparttar 124043 goal. Importantly, writing gives yourepparttar 124044 starting point for planningrepparttar 124045 achievement of your goal. Having written downrepparttar 124046 'big' goal, you can now write downrepparttar 124047 intermediate goals you will need to achieve to get there. If each of these intermediate goals is also SMART, you have a solid basis for monitoring your progress. So there you have it. Sure, plenty more can be written - at least 113 books attest to that. Butrepparttar 124048 biggest challenge is not HOW to set goals. It is actually DOING IT - without overlookingrepparttar 124049 basics.

And if you've had time to read this far, you have time to write down at least one 'big', SMART goal for 2002 right now. Get to it!

*********** © David Brewster, December 2001

After 10 years as a line manager in manufacturing, and four years as a consultant, my goal is now to fight the constant war against the complexity which too often hampers business progress.

In my consulting and coaching work, I perform business analysis, design and facilitate business process improvement and educate people at all levels about how they could do their jobs more simply.

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