I will never forget the Summer of 1997. I had a just graduated high school, was working a summer job in an office at Hofstra University, the college in which I would be attending in the upcoming fall semester. I had a good amount of down time at this job. It gave me time to read, reflect, and plan. Despite what my parents, relatives, friends, and faculty advised, I knew in my heart that my future would lie in being self-employed.
Honestly, the first 7 years of self-employment were a real struggle. I worked as hard as I could to succeed, but teases of minor success only happened occasionally. Life changed for me in 2005. After experiencing some painful money struggles, I decided to change my strategy from “hard work” to “what worked for successful people.”
As I studied books about successful people, I learned that not a single one of them achieved success alone. They each had a team of advisors to consult with. It took me a while, but I finally built a team of advisors that has really helped me. In the past year, my business and career have experienced some serious momentum. Here is the team that has helped me succeed:
- Drum Teacher #1 – As a loyal student of the drummer, Joe Morello, Drori Mondlak has helped me develop a much more relaxed and fluid drum technique. He’s also taught me how to play from the heart and think of music as a conversation. Although he lives in Germany, I am fortunate to get lessons from him when he visits New York City twice a year.
- Drum Teacher #2 – When I visit Los Angeles, I take a lesson with Bruce Becker. Bruce studied with the late, Freddie Gruber. He’s taught me to be intentional about the placement of my limbs when drumming and opened my mind to new ways of approaching music.
- Percussionist – In my opinion, Kalani is the most relevant expert on the subject of drum circle facilitation. He’s mastered the art of researching, organizing, and explaining knowledge in a way that’s easily digestible.
- Accountant – I firmly believe that your relationship with your accountant is your most important business relationship. Becky Egan consistently helps me plan ways to grow my business and save money on taxes and expenses. She also taught me how to run a debt-free business.
- Sales Coach – John Klymshyn has taught me to look at selling differently. Adding both his sales techniques to my arsenal helped me get 2 gigs at $5,000 in 1 hour from cold calling. He’s also taught me the importance of being authentic, transparent, and unapologetic.
- Travel Agent – A few hours before I began writing this article, I sat with my AAA travel agent as she booked 7 flights for me over the course of two weeks. She took the time to research ways to save me money.
- Trainer – Maik Weidenbach has customized an exercise program to fit my busy lifestyle. He’s taught me simple ways to stay in shape and eat on a diet that I enjoy.
- Therapist – (Anonymous) She helps me work through my mental health issues. I’m learning to understand myself better, not take things personally, and see things from different perspectives.
- Wealthy Person – (Anonymous) He has been a client of mine for years. He’s taught me to invest my money wisely and has guided me on how to serve on a non-profit board effectively.
- Assistant – Ginger is the newest member of my team. She’s honest with me and constantly suggests more effective ways I could do things.
“Having a small team of advisers, that I can go to for advice or a casual chat over lunch is, as they say, priceless.”
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