Hi, my name is Jeffrey Nytch and I'm the instructor for the musicians professional toolbox. The toolbox consists of two specializations: managing your portfolio career, and the business side of music. Now, the first specialization is all of the strategies you need for professional success. This is including building your artistic brand, promotional materials that everyone needs, launching your career. The second specialization focuses on things like legal and financial issues that freelance musicians frequently encounter, producing performances and online content and supporting your career through crowdfunding patrons and grants. Now if you've signed up these courses, there's a good chance that you didn't learn any of this stuff when you were in school. Don't worry, you're not alone. Until about 10 years ago, very few music schools had any program at all for professional development and career skills. Even some that did may have been uneven or inconsistent, and it varies greatly from school to school. We're going to make sure that we take a comprehensive approach here and not just to give you tools, but to give you the strategies to use those tools effectively, because without the strategies, the toolbox is just a bunch of blending instruments. We want to be able to use those tools far more effectively. Now for completing this specialization, you will be able to accomplish the following things. First, you will be able to assemble a portfolio of professional materials. These include things like a well-written bio, good headshots or other promotional photographs, a resume and a CV, and of course, a website. We're going to talk a lot about developing your personal brand. What does that mean? How do you use social media to help build that brand and build connections with your audience? We're going to talk a lot about networking and also task and time management because these are the lifeblood of any portfolio career. We're going to talk about how to articulate your purpose in a professional mission statement, and the question of your purpose is an incredibly important question to ask and not an always an easy question to answer and so we're going to give you some tools to grapple with that incredibly important question. Lastly, we're going to talk about some ways to visualize your long-term goals to help you keep on track and hopefully have some fun with that project as well. Something that will help you keep your big goals in mind in a way that's upbeat and positive and affirming. Just by listing these things, you can get a sense of what we mean when we talk about a portfolio career. A portfolio career is a career that has many, many different facets to it and it's the way that the vast majority of professional musicians actually make their living. Now, we can talk about hitting it big. Everyone wants to dream about those things, and that's totally fine. If you're a classical musician, that may mean getting a job in a major orchestra or singing at a major Opera House. If you're a jazz or pop musician, it may be going on tour with a big band or your own band, big-name band I mean. Or being in the pit of a Broadway Show, a really top Broadway show and having a great job as a musician, maybe it means winning a Grammy. All of these things are great and I hope that many of you that are aspiring for those things, you will accomplish them. But even then, it's still likely that you're going to have a portfolio career to some degree. You're going to probably have some private students. You're going to be gigging, you may also have a longer-term contract relationship with an orchestra or group of some kind. You may have some musical things that are auxiliary. Like maybe you're a recording engineer, maybe you like to do arranging or engraving of scores for other musicians. There's lots and lots of different things that are part of your musical career and most of us are going to have a career that has at least several of those parts in it. Learning how to manage all those moving pieces can be a tremendous challenge. It's the proverbial juggling chainsaws and so we're going to start this specialization by talking about strategies for managing all of this, because that is not always an easy task. I would like to start by telling you a little bit about me. I'm a composer and before I retired from singing a few years back, I was also a countertenor and, and professional singer, but I like to say that I am the poster child for the non-linear career path. We'd like to think of our careers are going to unfold in a nice orderly fashion, that one thing will lead to the next. But it almost never happens that way and it's certainly didn't happen that way with me. I didn't even go to college thinking that I was going to major in music. I had been in music all my life. I was one of those boys sopranos with the crystal high voices. I'd studied piano for many years. But the message in my household growing up was that music was a great thing to have in your life. We certainly were musical household, but it's a lousy way to make a living. Perhaps some of you have heard similar kinds of messages when you were growing up. I went to school, I was interested in economics, and my goal was to go to Wall Street and be a millionaire by the time I was 30. That was my goal when I was 17 years old. I'd like to say that the mark of a good undergraduate education is that you don't leave the same person you were when you came in. That was certainly true for me because I started, on one hand, to study composition seriously for the first time. I dabbled a little bit in high school, but I really suddenly discovered that maybe I had some talent as a composer or maybe there was something there that I could pursue. At the same time, I took a geology course and fell in love with geology, and I couldn't decide which I wanted to do, so I double-majored in music and geology and actually, I went to grad school for a while in geology because I thought I could do it all. I thought I could major in geology and I could do my music on the side. I can compose on the side, a Charles Ives sort of model. If you don't know who Charles Ives is, go check him out. He's a fascinating American composer. I realized though, a year into grad school in geology, that sometimes you can't do it all and that I had to make some choices. When it really came down to, I realized music had to be the thing that would win out and it did. I left geology in grad school, went to music grad school, got my masters, got my doctorate. At that point, I think all of my teachers assumed that I was going to go and get a college station job. What else do you do when you have a DMA in music composition? You go and you get a university job somewhere. What else are you going to do? I said, "Well, I don't think I want to be a university teacher." In fact, I've come to eat those words now as an educator at University of Colorado, but at the time, I said, "I don't think I want to be a college teacher. I want to make my living as a working composer." They were like, "How do you intend to do that?" The truth was that I really didn't have any idea how to do that. I just jumped off a cliff. There's a couple of problems with jumping off a cliff. I'd like to say that there is only one thing worse than not knowing what you're doing. Think about if you've got an answer for that for a second. It's not knowing that you don't know what you're doing. That was me. I didn't even realize that I didn't know what I was doing. That is a very bad place to be because it means that you spent a lot of time falling on your face, making mistakes or not doing things that you should be doing or could be doing to build your career. I was just really floundered and was definitely a proverbial, starving artist. This went on for about seven years. Eventually, I hit a wall, head on. My network was tapped out. I didn't have any new opportunities. I didn't know how to create all those opportunities. I didn't think about how to build my network. It wasn't even really on my radar as being fundamentally important for my career. I was really at a complete loss. I was so frustrated and I was so discouraged that I decided that I was going to leave music. I decided that if I was going to be this miserable, I might as well be rich and go back to my interest in economics, and finances, and investments, which I had had since I was literally a kid. At least I could be wealthy. I went and I interviewed at a major financial advising firm, and went through a rigorous interview process, and got the job offered to me. I said, "Well, I'd like to go home and think about this overnight, I want to have my answer for you in the morning." I went home and I asked, "What am I doing?" What possibly makes me think that I can walk away from music, that I'm going to be happy if I do this? This is madness. I made a pact with myself and it was definitely a life-changing moment, but I told myself no matter what it took, I was going to figure out a way to make it in music. I was never going to, again, doubt whether or not I should be in music. I was finally laying that to rest. Now that was a great epiphany to have, but it didn't change the fact that I still didn't know what I was doing wrong or what I needed to change in order to begin to have a serious, sustainable career in music. At this point, I wasn't even aware that there were tools that I needed in my toolbox. My toolbox was basically empty and that I needed to fill it up with some tools. I realized over some time that there was something even deeper going on that I needed to address first and it was my attitude towards my career. For me I realized that I had been looking at my career like a vending machine. This idea that I would put in the right coins and get out the thing that I paid for. What are the right coins in our career? Going to a good school, having good teachers, winning some competitions, getting some recognition, I've made a couple of recordings. Those were the things that I'm putting in all the stuff and I worked hard. Sacrificed a lot personally to devote myself to music. I wanted to know where my snack was. I put in all the coins and the career was supposed to come out like a vending machine. But where's my snack? I didn't have my snack. I put everything in and I wasn't getting out what I thought I was supposed to, that I was earned or that I had deserved. The problem with this attitude is that, and I think many of us have this. We feel that if we work hard enough, we pay our dues, that that is enough to guarantee a certain degree of success with what we do, and the problem with this is that it doesn't work that way. Working hard is not enough. Going to a good school is not enough. Winning a competition is not enough. Maybe if you're at the absolute top, 0.00 percent of the musicians out there, maybe that's enough. But for the rest of us mortals, it's not. If we think that it is, we can become angry and resentful and that's a really toxic place to be. I know because I have been in that place and was in that place for quite a long time. I realized that I needed to change that. I needed to start looking at things in a different way. I needed to ask myself, what does the world need from me? I have these gifts and skills as a musician, how can I use those to serve the world? How can I use these things to make the world a better place, to help other people experience the world in a better way? Looking at my role as a musician as one of service and not one of the world serving me because I'm entitled to it. That was when I really began to think about music in an entrepreneurial sense. Now, I tell this story for a couple of reasons. One is I want you to know that I have been down in the trenches. I know what it is like. I have been the proverbial starving artist. I know what the frustrations and I know the struggles that come along with that. I also tell the story because maybe you have had a similar moment of reckoning where you've wondered whether or not staying in music makes any sense. Whether or not you've made some terrible mistake. Whether or not you have the chops for it or the grit for it or whatever it is you think you're lacking. I want you to know that I'm here for you with this. That hopefully we can work together through this course and as you begin to put some of those tools in your toolbox and you begin to develop some of these strategies that we're talking about, that maybe it will give you a renewed sense of hope, of purpose. Maybe give you just a little drop of optimism that you need in order to continue to forge ahead with your career. My hope is that when all of this is set and done, you're ready to go out there and give it your all with a new sense of purpose and focus. With that, let's get to work.