Teacher’s Analogy | Team and Boss

Not giving speeches, instead asking them their goal (like a consultant).

Seeing where they are and the next percent improvement. Doesn’t matter if they are beginner or advanced beginner or intermediate.

No making this mistake – I don’t ask for talent.

My job is: where she is, where she has to be based on the question of interest, how will I solve and plan it to be clear detailed ‘steppable’ steps, while keeping the ignition on, letting her comfortably stay in the border of mistakes and learning.

When I needed help, I asked those who were in touch through email and otherwise, what they were interested in!

I asked if they would like to do something for me within their interest. 

One of the first people was a friend programmer, who possibly benefited by showing the work he did – he self started and did with my minimal help – in job interviews.

The pattern has continued. Someone wants to do more Ads. When she comes to me, I let her know the cycle is completed when she knows retargeting and sales through email. She gets to learn what she doesn’t know. Since she has interest, there is no complaints, no extrinsic motivation needs… Plus the huge advantage of getting to learn while practising, being able to show the work for the future – recos and portfolios.

Playing the game + learning while playing the game. Motivation abundant.

I tell them my story – like a student tells me their needs on the guitar.

I let them know this is what I want. Can you learn and solve it? But no need to reinvent the wheel – what I know I will document and give to you. Add your ideas, make decisions, follow timelines… 

No micro managing – but knowledge procedures, clear needs from my side (they have taken the Teacher role or consutlant side).

The advantage is: no expectations from my side either. They can work in their interest. I don’t expect everyone will. But doesn’t matter. There are always people who are able to find time and interest. No hurry.

They benefit. I benefit. Without micro managing. While bringing in new ideas I would never have thought of (there is only so much I can juggle and when more comes, I block out and mark as undoable – unconsciously!).

I love the lack of micro managing – how they come up with all sorts of ideas and readiness. While, making sure that the ‘songs’ I want to play are played! 🙂 

Tab work and videos – priority. What else? X Y and Z. Long and mid term. The person does it own their own. Tab work… we keep it priority.

As a teacher, I do have words for the steps to proficiency.

Words like: note collection, producers mind, delay reduction, industrial engineering, resource management, +4/5, future memory, planning and phrasing, 

Apparently high performing cultures have that.

Respect the other + clarity in my side of the story. I don’t have to make a plant and flower by hand. Plant the right seed, do the needed, to match my garden – the plant is unique on its own.

SEM’s creativity inducing properties

SEM or search engine marketing gives a divergent content creator permission to create unending content relevant to our audience and business.

Writer’s block is an old thing when one gets a suggestion tool for one or two of the main keywords and see what other relevant searches are being made.

Then one goes on to working with a SEO plugin like Yoast, to enter the focus keyword, the slugs.
Make topical clusters around the keywords using the long tail words…

as you can imagine… absolute feast.

When we know a topic, we can talk about any of those long tail keywords.

Two things which seemed to block the writing or creation seemed to be:

  1. not sure which topics to write about although we knew enough – like knowing to cook a 1000 recipes very well and feeling frozen when it comes to make a meal for the evening or plan for the week? also, which one is priority and makes sense from an audience point of view
  2. Am I doing the right thing? Is this what is recommended – the getting permission part.

The topic plan – where we can diverge further and make cluster of topics related to our main niche then expands our “wow so much to make” even further.

For example, a language site may write about history, life in different countries, travel, learning methods etc (mentioned by DMarketer Lab in its courses). This is apparently particularly useful for social media influencing or content that you can use in social media. Attract all those tangential audience in, and also helps networking with these tangential topic experts.

A music teacher may write about music in his niche of course, maybe topics of specific interest to him? definitely learning related science, recording and performance… you get the idea… especially if you have some audience, you will be able to see the commonalities of the best of the audience and bring in tangential topics.

It is beautiful.

Fiding the long tail keywords,

making the pillar posts,

connecting them all to clusters,

making it all useful for the audience…

oh… satisfaction.. oh… ! 🙂

The ALA solution (pun) as payment plan

One of the main things about ALA was smaller packages, affordable on a daily basis.

(ALa is this Unilever product aimed at manual washing of clothes with improved perfume and whitening, removing features that are mainly attractive to machine washers.)

Isn’ that what a payment plan does in an online course pricing?

Nothing new, EMIs have existed for ever.

Just a bit more of clarity and clear support that yes, for a developing country and lower parts of pyramid (as they are usually talked about), we do the planning for the buyer – we split it and help them pay over time.

That way they can still benefit from the same product that others are using, but pay at their convenience.

From personal experience, I need to mention that whether someone takes a payment plan or one time has NOTHING to do with the income or region! Guess we need to just let them decide for themselves, based on many other non-price related factors.

After all, at the end, let it benefit well, for a long term relationship…

Adam Grant, Daniel Coyle and Vulnerability

Adam Grant talks about how the no-show-of -power characters win over the other versions.

The stammering lawyer who wins the case, and many other introvert examples.

He also seems to like works like Quiet, which clears up a lot of problems for introverts.

Daniel Coyle in his Culture code, clearly tells us that vulnerability is a necessity for trust and great teams.

In one of Digital marketers social media courses, self exposure is mentioned as a necessity and a milestone for communities.

How foolish I would be to try look perfect and distant! Much better, is consciously giving permission to go beyond inhibitions and fear of rejections and be there the way I would with my exact right people giving them a chance to find the real me and be my people. That could be you 🙂

But, this Rapport being a necessity thing has been known very clearly for a long time, right?

Milton Erikson or Bandler or others have clearly talked about how without rapport, nothing is going to work.

AND… how in therapy sessions, when the psycho-logist (:)) talks about his own experience and how he is not perfect, connection is made, strong and continue to help healing.

So, vulnerability, rapport… has been known. Maybe not so clearly seen in other places like in office?

Makes me think – when I made a cover which people thought no one would make a guitar cover for, were they rooting for me for my vulnerability, or readiness to vulnerability or guts?

On the rapport side… I remember the story of a psychologist who had exceptionally sad personal loss. He would apparently tell his own story to the patient who comes to him telling about her depression.

With a bit of humour included, it was said that after hearing the losses of the psychologist, the patient would end up realizing her problems are nothing, trying to console the psychologist, healed… 🙂

Pricing for teachers/experts/creative entrepreneurs

Coursera has a course by BCG and Garden School, which reminded me of an aspect of pricing for musicians or music teachers or any experts or small or almost solo entrepreneurs, especially on the creative side.
As an online teacher or video course maker or as an expert and small business, the economics side of price is the minimum need to sustain.

But the minimum is not just a the cost of tools or Internet etc, but since time is taken to make the content and courses and for selling them…

…time is taken away from any other source of livelihood and therefore, the maintenance and sustenance of the teacher, the human itself is the minimum pricing, based on economics.

2) customer value based pricing: how much are they ready to pay? accurate, detailed. actionable courses that saves them money, time and frustration. based on that, by testing prices, coming to a particular price + a payment plan.

This is a good part – value provided is naturally to be the determinant of what they want to pay. I wouldn’t want them to make a payment based on anything else other than value they get.

3) competitors – because of the quality and uniqueness, entry barrier to the skill level at which I play, premium pricing is seen as appropriate – specialist, vs commodity.

not impulse buying, but wanting to be part of the high quality and uniqueness of the brand and teaching.

often I hear someone telling how they are trying to get the impulse buyers. as if that is the only way anyone would by their product.

Tripwire is a term that digitalmarketer.com uses a lot and maybe even started using in this context – a low value impluse buyable first sales, to convert a lead into a customer, to whom later higher dollar products are sold.

in that context, in their system, they have a plan for the impulse buying – it is not for bringing in profits, but to get a customer to go beyond the inertia and even maybe cover original ad costs.

without these details and subtlety when one is thinking only about impulse buyers, well, they really have a lot to learn about business, how value based selling works, who they are etc! If he doesn’t think his product is worth anything more than an impulse buy, well…

That is one thing. Then, the next is how involvement seems to be the word used in more business circles to talk and discuss about the behaviour with respect to price thresholds, how long someone thinks to make the decision – because of complexity or visibility or price etc

Let us not be reductionistic and think only of impulse buyers, which is the lower form of selling attempt or the very initial form. not knowing anything beyond need to be remedied with studying what is already being taught so well in different courses.

think how you are uniquely solving the problem, how you are making new products in your realm having to pass your threshold and how you make that threshold higher… instead of being such a generic and not know about product benefits, values, who we are etc…

the final price, and your profits is not the minimum you can get. it is about the number of people you can reach with high value.

the chess model is applicable to musicians too

most books on practice and learning talk about the convergent performer as musician…

… ignoring the arranger, the composer, the singer song writer, who dwells in fact in the better overview of the field.

the midfield player than the one who shoots.

carpenter, cook, language learner… nurse, surgeon… of course convergent skills are so important and beautiful. so nothing less about the violinist who tries again and again to play the centuries old music better and get the fame for it, but…

… that is just a very small part of music and musicianship…

although for some reason even very good researchers seem to just address that part when they talk about music as practice.

pattern recognition is naturally the way that a person gets better at identifying chords for melodies.

then based on those patterns one tries to see what modifications can be made.

like with chess, the pattern recognition gets better and better/

also like with learning chess, one really is trying to see, what the previous composers did and modeling to ones own composition.

so it is not just the chess model.

it is the creative arrangers and composers model too.

adam Grant in his book originals gives the example of the lion King as a movie which almost didn’t get made.

then when someone was able to show the similarity with Odhello, they got the money.

start with known patterns to practice and get better with chord melody connections, but then…

dont start with chord progression when making the new arrangement.

start with the melody and keeping patterns as a library to comply or to deviate, one makes better reharmonizations

why else do we musicians love it so much, to be an arranger, to be a composer, if not for the divergent part of it?

Imperfect connection

“You need to still practice a lot! Watch my playing.” some fairly well known player wanted to tell me.

What is the use? who should care? and why should they care?

Who benefits? HOw do you contribute to anyone’s enjoyment or growth?

In the culture code, Daniel Coyle reminds us that vulnerability is essential to build trust, community feelings, team…

People like Pat Flynn, by being open, self exposing, built communities around their work, that feel them as humans and are very loyal.

yet, still there seem to be players (not using the term musician), who want audience to see them as perfect and worship them etc… somehow they believe perfection is the key to what they want…

should there be perfect playing? yes… to serve the music and the connection in the useful way. without transcribing, practising long and deliberate, without skill to express the details and complexity, the musician limits herself… so yes… all those are needed.

but machine like perfection makes one the same as the other and replaceable. one can go to the extend of saying, the mistakes is the personality. the continuation of music inspite of the mistakes, the grace, the connection… knowing what is the priority. wanting to look all perfect and separate from the audience is so far away from reality.

The obsessed editor equivalent in guitar playing, the obsessed player, perfecting with no practical sense of reality in mind…

The divergent player is happy with one good performance. He knows it’s not about the notes. 10 times more mistakes, but when he plays, there is something transfered to the listener.

the dance between the player and the guitar. the honesty of the player rather than the tension and I am great attitude.

Take the copywriter analogy. One of the first things a good copywriter will tell us is to go for write like you talk. Grammar comes second – no don’t ignore grammar for the sake of it, but when conversation is affected, go for conversation than strict grammar and sentence structure.

Isn’t this true about music playing too? who set the rules that some kind of a cleaned up set of notes is what music is about?

Personal experience: one of the earlier videos that brought me a lot of supporters, had a very very obvious lyrics mistake – the mistake changed the meaning from ‘swing’ to ‘cow fodder’. yes, that level.

someone told me that was the video that attracted the most, since I continued singing keeping the flow, being in the space, inspite of the obvious mistake.

see, performance is not about music alone. it is how the person connects with the music enough to ignore other things. the silent guts. the commitment to the priorities.

I don’t want to be a convergent fault finding player who dwells in the negative and has lost touch with the world.

Egoistic and telling that the world is wrong in not noting their perfection is all fine… it is up to them. But then, the world may not know that!

The divergent arranger, the author who has good content, love stories and tales of beautiful sadness to tell, connects with the audience.

Instead of wasting time on matters that don’t connect, he invests in the audience and him. he becomes the audience, who himself feels the emotional, the song in the playing.

the intangibe rather than the tangible. which is of course always more difficult – the tangible is easy. the intangible is a way of being… a trance to be gifted to the one who listens.

inspite of mistakes, when the other sees the player, safe behind the guitar, being who he really is and always will be in the beginning and ending of the world and time and space, one in oneness, the other is no more. included, safe and loved.

Musician’s analogy – profit first and deliberate practice

Squandering time on what is already known, vs deliberate portioning that takes care of the important part (profit and tax money) in the very beginning, so that whatever may happen with the remaining precious practice time, we are safe with the parts that matter.

Business is for profit instead of fire putting. Practice is for improvement and not meandering through without progress.

Musician’s analogy – Business and acoustic guitar

Why not play the slides on an electric guitar? why use the acoustic?

the acoustic nylon string for Indian Raga slides is a personal choice. The reasons can be similar to choice of Windows vs OS – Simon Sinek and others will remind us that the reasons come second, the real why’s being in spaces below language.

A business with more than enough funding can neglect problems and bottle necks, developing less than optimal, posing possible future problems – for example, the pumpkin plan writer will remind us.

similarly, using the acoustic guitar forces one to better techniques, phrase division to hammer on and pull off, beyond just somehow muscling through with slides. The semi boost of a pull off or a hammer on sustain is necessary when using an acoustic guitar, while on an amplified electric guitar, sustain is taken for granted.

Again, it is a personal choice. I have videos on electric, nylon and Steel string acoustics. in fact most of the years between 13 and 26 were played on the electric.

Kodavari could also be a matter. Just the doing for doing sake – the minimal acoustic guitar, wanting perfection beyond what comes natural on this medium. beyond reasons. just the person’s eccentric need to break through and beyond limitations, self imposed or other.

The pursuit of it on its own sake, although played down by businesses, have always been brought to memory even by greats like Peter Drucker.

Drive, story driven, small giants all talk about motivation and business being about contribution and being the best in the field and not about competition and yearly returns. VW vs Tesla, they say.

Pursuit of mastery, the asymptote. A little bit more, beyond comfort – Flow, says the difficulty to pronounce six cent mihaly.

Practice. Practice. Deliberate practice. and the art of happiness.

Grant’s procrastination, sequencer pause, glucose and creativity

Adam Grant in his book Originals talks about how certain exceptionally successful people including Martin Luther King have been procrastinating till the last moment for exceptional results.

Sitting before the sequencer to arrange and compose, one pauses, takes time without touching the keyboard instead preparing the work in ones mind.

Just going with the flow without taking the path and repairing inside one’s mind can cause one’s natural habits to make the creative process just a repetition of what the body knows the automatic mind knows from before.

Ego depletion apparently stops ones ability to pause and consider if the interior team suggestions and Solutions from the automatic systems of the mind are indeed real. Apparently drinking glucose immediately restores that spent energy and helps the brain start using it’s will power and deliberate mind.

At at the same time one of those that at least in the case of creating for example while composing or arranging one also wants to get away from the inhibitions including even thought of what is expected. According to Daniel Pinks when this kind of activities are better done buy a morning person during the evening. The reason being that then the more conscious parts of the mind want to rest while the less inhibited parts can be active.

Maybe being tired is anyway not a good thing. At the same time for creative activities to pass to reconsider to allow oneself to come up with a different path, the best time maybe the time when the analytical parts want to rest.

I guess to pass we still need the will Power, which means we need all the energy that the brain needs.

The pauses although different from the kind of procrastination which Grant describes. Is still a kind of taking the time by knowing what is expected and then editing to go beyond what one may have automatically done. Do not go with the excessive push of habit but instead of allow the pieces and to take newer parts consciously.

We could combine the when and take care to supply the brain with enough energy to make our creative times better.