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Your 3 Step Reflection + Evaluation Guide for 2012

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Can you believe another year is drawing to a close? It's been a crazy and kinda rocky year (but sometimes rocky is good shakes things up!). But before you rush on to 2013, let's reflect back and grab the nuggets of wisdom from the year. You've probably heard that saying that hindsight is 20-20 well, it's pretty true. But the only way to get the lessons is to stop and reflect. Just as important as planning out the new year ahead is reflecting on the past one, which shows us how to course correct. Success is built on learning from our failures and believe me, the gold to mine is in the process of reviewing. I personally learn more from doing this than reading any book. It's life experiences that teach us how to move closer to what we want and further from what we don't want.

So I created this simple, 3-step guide for evaluating and reflecting because I've learned that it is not only success but failure that improves us. And I think it would be super cool if we share our responses so we can all learn from each other. Why go it alone trying to reinvent the wheel when we have this awesome community of artists and industry to learn from?

So, once you complete this quick 3-step process (it'll only take 10-15 minutes), I want you to email your responses to info@caricole.com and I'll publish your contribution on my blog (*see below). Let's make 2013 soar even higher!

Your 3 Step Reflection + Evaluation Guide for 2012

1. Make a List of what worked. As you look back over 2012, what were the standout moments? Hopefully you had several. Make yourself a list considering the following: Did you have a show that had a particularly good reception or rave reviews? Did you gain new fans and followers? Did you have a blog that got a ton of comments? Was there a song you wrote that was a smashing success? Did you get a song placed or licensed? Do a mini tour? Play some house concerts? What did you do differently this year that worked? This is the section where you celebrate all your wins no matter how small. Don't be afraid to give yourself some pats on the back.

2. Make a List of what didn't work. Now, here's the part that kinda sucks but wait! If you do this right, you're gonna learn something! By reflecting on what didn't work, it helps you delineate what you don't want to recreate in 2013. At the same time it gives you clues for what you need to work on. Keep in mind that while there is generic advice to follow, the art of a great career rests on your ability to observe what's not working and adjust your course continually. As you make your list, ask yourself questions like: What sucked this year? Was it pulling teeth to get people down to shows? Did you ramp up on Facebook and Twitter with little results or interaction? Did you get a less than favorable review from a critic? It's important to look at this stuff instead of sweeping it under the rug because you may not realize it but, success is built on a million tiny failures. So every stumble actually moves you CLOSER to your goal, rather than further away (despite how it may feel at the time). But only if you evaluate it. It's also important to remember that different brands grow differently and the only way to grow yours is to keep your ear to the ground. Some artist's brands grow most through Twitter some thrive most through blogging  some artists find that house concerts change their careers some artists do better on tour, some don't. You can use this process to cut back or eliminate a few areas that are tanking or are just plain time wasters.

3. What can I do differently in 2013? So now that you've got these 2 lists, the next question to ask yourself is, what can I do differently next year to improve the outcome? You want to learn from your mistakes, yes? So what can you do differently in 2013 to get closer to where you want to be? First, look at your what worked list and plan to do more of that. Look at your what didn't work list and make some course corrections don't unconsciously do the same things expecting different results (definition of insanity). Then consider that there are some things on your what didn't work list that, even if you suck at them, are things that need to be done. I call those the non-negotiables. For instance, and a lot of you aren't going to like this but Twitter is an absolute MUST for artists today. It's one of the fastest ways to grow your social proof once you learn how to use it. This would be a good example of an area to just keep plugging away at or get someone to help you with.

And now, let me know what jewels and nuggets you extracted from reflecting back and join the collective voice so we can all learn from each other.

* Answer these questions after you make your lists:

Now take your #1 answer in each of your 3 lists and answer the questions below:

  • What worked most in 2012?
  • What worked least in 2012?
  • What's one thing I am going to do differently in 2013?

Email the answers to info@caricole.com and stay tuned to see YOUR response along with everyone else's on my blog real soon. I won't post names so you can stay anonymous. Let's see if there are some themes and solutions to learn from so we can all make a difference and create a powerful year in 2013! Happy reflecting!

©2012 Cari Cole, Vocal Mag, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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