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Artists, Craftspeople, Musicians, Festivals, & Others that exhibit, perform or work in the music, art, craft, festival biz and special events industry, will find these past Newsletters of interest.

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July 2015 Newsletters - Artists & Crafters | Musicians | Food Vendors | Promoters | MarketPlace | Affiliates

Artists and Crafters News:

Dealing with Fear and Uncertainty

by Quinn McDonald

When you own your business, you have freedom to set your schedule and choose your clients. You also have freedom from a regular paycheck, reduced healthcare costs, and shoving the blame for bad decisions somewhere else. Not all freedoms are equal.

Looking at my schedule, I see it's not as full as last month's. I immediately feel fear, financial stress, and worry. That's how I face most problems. Trouble is, those emotions don't solve problems. So I sit down to a meeting with my fear and stress. This is actually a great form of meditation. Instead of pushing all thoughts out of my head, as many ways of meditation instruct, I invite fear, uncertainty, and stress in. I sit with them, and ask them what they have to contribute.

"If you don't get work soon, you will lose the house," Fear said, getting right to the bottom line.

"But you only know training and writing and journaling, and that isn't being used in this economy," said Uncertainty, "and you don't know anything about wielding a shovel for all those shovel-ready projects," Uncertainty added.

"You are too old to get back to school, and that would take too long to retrain you, so you better stop eating or driving, because you are in bad trouble," Stress said.

"Thanks for letting me know, " I said, "but once we've established all that, what comes next? You've told me what isn't working, but what can I do that will work?"

Fear, Uncertainty and Stress were quiet. Fear spoke up first. "Well, if you don't do something, you will be in big trouble."

"OK," I said, "But that's the same thing you already said. I want to hear something I can do, undertake, think about." Again, Fear, Uncertainty and Stress were quiet. They had not been quiet for a long time. Every time I sat down to meditate, they would clamor so loudly that I could not meditate. I spent all my time chasing them out of my head.

By inviting them in, listening to them, and asking for specifics, they had exhausted their efforts in the shortest of time. So we sat there, in silence, until I said, "Well, I teach several courses on journaling. I could write a workbook on one of them, and that would reach a bigger audience. And my friend Helen has some really good art ideas, maybe we could put a class together that neither one of us could teach separately.

Read more!

Musicians News:

Musical Frustration

by Tom Hess

Are you musically frustrated with yourself? Are you not the musician that you want to be? Or not as good as you could be or should be? Do you look with envy at other musicians who are doing what you wish you could be doing? Does reaching your greatest musical goals seem out of reach?

I think just about everyone has had these thoughts go through their mind from time to time. Fortunately, you are not alone and there are things you can do to combat the negativity of frustration. Many of the great masters of music have been frustrated at times with their own musical abilities. I've provided four (4) examples from famous classical composers:

1. Ludwig von Beethoven (1770-1827) worked for long periods of time on his compositions before completing them. He revised his pieces over and over again, reworking them, doubting his original efforts. This was almost unheard of in Beethoven's time. Many of you may already know that Beethoven gradually became deaf later in his life. Because of this, Beethoven quit performing as a pianist in 1814 (13 years before his death).

2. Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was so frustrated with his songwriting abilities that he spent twenty-one (21) years composing his first symphony! He felt as if he could never compose a symphony as well as Beethoven. Brahms kept starting over with his symphony, revising it, abandoning it, starting over, reworking it, etc.

3. Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) (master of symphonies), revised his symphonies and other works after having doubts about what he had composed originally. Mahler kept revising his works until his death. It must have been frustrating to keep revising pieces that were already published.

4. Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) actually stopped composing for about 30 years because he felt that he had run out of new musical ideas. He doubted his abilities to compose anything worthwhile at the height of his popularity. He worked on writing new songs for those 30 or so years, sketching his ideas during the day and throwing them away every time. That is some very serious frustration!

Read more here!

Promoters News:

9 Tips for Event Venue Selection

by The Writing Team of eventeducation.com

Keep following things in mind while selecting a venue for your event:

1) Target Audience/Guest Size

This means the number of people you are expecting to attend your event.

Make sure that your venue can easily accommodate your expected target audience. Your venue should not be too small or too large for your guests. If too small, then your guests will feel discomfort. If it is too large then you will unnecessarily end up paying more for the venue.

Get firm indications whether guests plan to attend your event by sending R.S.V.P clearly printed on the invitation.

The term R.S.V.P is a French acronym. Its meaning in English is 'Please Respond'. If R.S.V.P is printed on the invitation then the invited guest is expected to tell the host whether or not he/she is attending the event. Since many people don't understand the meaning of this term or don't bother to reply back, it is advisable to individually call and ask your guests about there plan to attend the event. In this way you can get quite accurate idea of the guest size which will help you in deciding food and beverage quantities also.

2) Target Audience Status

If you target audience are rich people then your venue must be a five star hotel or resort and all the services provided during the event must be of very high quality.

3) Target Audience Convenience

Select venue according to target audience convenience. Your venue should not be very far from the place where majority of your target audience live. Your venue should have proper lighting and ventilation. It should not be in a noisy or polluted area. It should be absolutely neat and clean and free from any type of infestation.

Read more here!

Food Vendor News:

Is That Long Line Helping or Hurting You?

by Chris Ford of stitchesanddishes.com

The hallmark of a successful food truck is typically its ability to consistently maintain long lines of customers at the order window. Long lines play a significant role in the psychology behind a food truck.

They validate the chef’s incredible culinary talents, they're a beacon to other potential customers, hailing "try this amazing food," and they usually mean money in the food truck operator's bank… Usually.

Long lines can say something else, and this truth can sometimes hurt. They can be a testament of under-staffing, disorganization, complicated menus, and poor preparation. Most of these paint a picture of a lack of experience.

While a group of people, standing around the order window is an essential "window display" in attracting customers, unreasonable wait times can result in lower sales and increased waste.

Customers are willing to wait for something they see a value in. In most cases, gourmet food trucks are known for their elevated food experience with fresh, organic or locally grown ingredients, and their unique menus.

"It better be worth the wait."

The key is first developing an efficient and profitable menu, then focusing on execution. Sounds simple, doesn't it? If customers are complaining that they're waiting too long for a meal, or if you're not selling as many covers you think you should, then it's obviously not as simple as you may have thought.

Bottom line, keep the menu simple, easy to prep, and efficient, and design an organized kitchen with a well-trained staff to maintain a consistent crowd of customers that turns over frequently.

Is it worth the wait?

It's all about logistics. Operating a food truck limits the number of menu items that can be served. This is actually a food truck's greatest strength. Fewer menu items means fewer items to prepare, and manageable food costs.

Read more here!

MarketPlace News:

Record Keeping for Crafters

by James Dillehay

There is one aspect of being self-employed which seems to be universally dreaded, record keeping. But it's important because keeping good records shows you how to make a profit selling handmade crafts.

Keeping up with your business records is like craftswork. Only the grade may be more important now than it was then. The grade is whether you have enough money to pay your bills and feed your family.

The key activity is to record and analyze your expenses and sales on a regular basis.

You should start keeping records from the day you start planning your crafts business. Begin by gathering all business related receipts and enter them into a software program or write them down in a general accounting journal purchased at an office supply store.

The important point is to have a system you can follow up with regular entries. You can then extract meaningful reports from the information. Since Uncle Sam requires accurate records, you are legally responsible to do so anyway.

Should you hire an accountant or C.P.A.?

For most self-employed, the expense of hiring an in-house bookkeeper or accountant can only be justified when the business becomes so large that the owner can’t handle it alone anymore.

Whether you hire an accountant or not, you should know basic bookkeeping skills. You don’t have to have a degree or even formal training to learn accounting.

Read more!

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