Sometimes I feel like my community is so small

I realized that the reason why I was feeling like blogging was going out of style was because I don’t interact with the blogging community enough. I just went through the discovery feed on WordPress and I found tons of great blogs that I would love reading. I felt like I was only experiencing a tiny sliver of what WordPress has to offer. I heard that WordPress has millions of users, but I only followed a few. I am going to connect with the community more and continue to explore. The WordPress community is big! And I’m excited to read amazing blog posts!

How to manage your schedule as a teacher and entrepreneur

I’ve been struggling with finding time to complete all the tasks I have for the day. And I’ve found that I don’t have time to do everything I want for the day. So what do you do? Do you sacrifice sleep to get more done or do you sacrifice your free time? I’m not a fan of losing sleep, so I sacrifice my free time. I’ve been writing a lot for my blogs while also studying for school and working. It’s been busy, but that’s the kind of sacrifice you have to make if you want to have it all.

How do I find time during the day to accomplish everything I need to do? I find spurts of time scattered throughout the day to do something productive. When I get home, instead of laying on the bed watching YouTube videos on my phone, I clean. I just get started and I don’t think too much about it. I’ve adopted good habits during the morning and at night. I clean in the morning and I clean at night before I go to sleep. If I need to do anything, I make sure to do it first thing in the morning; this ensures that I utilize my free time wisely. I also write my blog posts when I’m in the gym or if I’m waiting in line. I make sure my time is always being used for something useful. I also listen to podcasts when I drive or clean.

In the morning, I’ve mentioned this before, but I always check my schedule in the morning and the night before. I keep my schedule on google calendar, and that’s the number one tool that keeps my life together. I also check it throughout the day. If I have a class that’s canceled, I mark it on my calendar. It’s so convenient to have your calendar on the google calendar app too. Having my calendar on my phone is the best decision I ever made.

Another way I can work while I’m not at home is by having the WordPress app on my phone. I can blog whenever and wherever I am. I’m always on the go, working six days a week, and I have to blog every day. I wouldn’t be able to accomplish all of this if I didn’t have the WordPress app. I’m glad that I can manage all of my blogs from one account too.

I’ve also mastered the art of working hard now and relaxing later. I’ll usually save my relaxing time at the end of the day and it’s the last thing I do before I go to sleep. I know this sounds monotonous and boring, but so much time is wasted when you aren’t doing anything. And hard working people don’t relax very often. You get used to the fast paced life.

I also manage my schedule by having multiple things being done at a time. For example, I’ll be air drying my clothes, listening to my podcasts, doing laundry, having my diffusers working, leaving the window open to let fresh air in, cleaning my room, and updating my phone. You have to be the master at accomplishing multiple tasks at once. Why only get one thing done when you can get five things done at a time? That’s how you save time!

When you have complete control of your schedule, you have to keep yourself accountable. No one is going to tell you to be productive. And you will have to do that for yourself. Think about what you want and what your goals are. What can you do right now to get closer to your goals? Where do you have time in your schedule to get things done? Take control of time and don’t let it fly by.

The last thing you need to do to completely be able to manage your own schedule is to have motivation. You need to wake up every day feeling energized and ready to work. You should also be accomplishing something every day. Think of your time as money, and you’ll learn not to squander it. Be conscious of where your time is going. I wake up every day ready to attack this new day. I won’t relax unless I know that I’m exhausted and I deserve to relax. Once you treat yourself like you’re worth it, you’ll start to see the changes. And managing your own schedule will become easier.

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Where do you find inspiration?

I’ve noticed a huge drop in blogging engagement and blog posts being made in the community lately. Blogging is not easy and I’m beginning to understand that. I’m finding my inspiration level very low after writing a lot of blog posts for the last two weeks. It’s not easy to think of topics to write about. And this is true especially if you have to write a lot of posts per week. Not everyone has something to say all the time. You also have to write long posts or else the google algorithm will not recommend your blog post.

When I was younger, I found inspiration by watching celebrities. I was obsessed with the Olsen twins. I liked their style and how they were always working. They wore professional, but stylish outfits. And I loved the color black because they wore it all the time. Now that I think about it, I might have liked them because they were young, professional business women. There’s something inspiring about people that have a good work ethic.

When I was older, I drew inspiration from YouTubers. YouTubers are not exactly celebrities, but they do have influence. I didn’t know how they made their money and I couldn’t understand how they could afford so many nice things. Even though I didn’t understand, I still watched their content.

My inspiration now is different. I’m drawing my inspiration from business executives. And these aren’t celebrities. They are real business owners that make their own money. Wow, I’ve changed a lot. I find strong work ethic and financial independence inspiring. Others my age find celebrities inspiring and I don’t fall into that category. I’m different, but I like being different.

I’ve been listening to The Blogging Millionaire. I like how the podcasts are straightforward and easy to understand. The information is also new and not the typical, stereotypical information people usually give about blogging. If you need to find inspiration, you can find it there. I listen to their podcasts on Spotify. They have helped me to be inspired to blog, and I owe much of my rewards to them.

I also find inspiration from a youtuber Names Sarah Rae Vargas. She’s a mom that started blogging. And she branched out to making videos on YouTube. She is completely financially independent and she can afford many things for herself. I want to be just like her.

Another person I find inspiration from is a youtuber named Dixie. Her YouTube name is Homemade Wonderlust. And she makes videos about thru-hiking. She was an engineer that quit her job to start hiking. And she created her own micro greens business while focusing on creating passive income. I want to enjoy life just like her.

Lastly, I am inspired by Meredith Grey from Grey’s Anatomy. I know she’s not a real person, but you can still be inspired from the show right? I like her ability to be strong even though she faced many hardships. She doesn’t allow herself to break down. I like how hard she works. She’ll go to work even when she’s sick. And she’s at work no matter what the circumstances are. Meredith knows her responsibilities and obligations, and that’s what I admire from her character.

I believe we all have people we are inspired by. And if you are ever in a rut or if you’re trying to find something to write about, look at the people who inspire you. Do they inspire you to work harder or do better every day? Become that person. I believe you can be whatever you set out to be.

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Daily Motivation #2 Stick With It

I think that I have a huge tendency not to commit to projects unless there’s an incentive. I’m not a big believer in trying to achieve many goals, but I do have goals in my life that I want to achieve. I also have a lifestyle that I want for my future self. And I’m very motivated now to work hard. I know that life is not easy. And I can see myself in the future living the life I imagined I would.

I want to ultimately become a mommy blogger. Right now, my blog is mostly about me and my day to day life. However, I want to have my blog in the future too. This is a long term commitment for me. And I can see myself blogging while at home in the future. It would be so much fun to still create and share my ideas on my blog. I hope I can manifest my dream and make it happen 💫

What’s been new with me

My birthday just recently passed and I’ve been working a lot. I have 21 piano and double bass students that I teach every week. They are quite a handful of young kids. And I’ve been noticing that some of the younger ones are not practicing. I’ve been thinking of implementing a check in on practicing every Thursday to see how their progress is going.

I dealt with some trials and tribulations yesterday, but I shared that with my other blog. I went out to buy my own shoes, so no one will steal them. And I hid my current ones away too 😁 They are my “teaching shoes” that I wear every day to go teach. Even my oldest sister, that I don’t live with anymore, knows that those shoes are mine. But somehow, they were taken when I needed to wear them… now that won’t happen! I’m also going camping today with friends. We’re camping in their backyard haha because we don’t want to tough out the actual wilderness. And bathroom breaks are a lot easier.

I have my first piano lesson of the day in 45 minutes. And I’ve been spending these last few minutes, as I always do, just relaxing and calming down. Yesterday was a good full day of lessons. My students definitely cheer me up when I feel down.

I hope everyone is having a great day 👍

How are my incentive programs going??

Incentive programs:

When you use incentives (candy, prizes, or small promises) to motivate your students to accomplish goals

Hi! Yes, I’m back again writing another blog post. And I have no shame posting multiple blog posts in a day. It’s my blog and I do what I want! In my opinion, incentive programs are definitely worth using. Some teachers are against it like, “they’re too expensive…” or “the motivation should be the music” or “I’m a good teacher and I don’t need that, haven’t used that ever in my 100 years of teaching.”

That’s good for you guys. There’s no right way of teaching, but each teacher has the freedom to customize their studio the way they want. As long as you are keeping up with everything each week, you do you!

For me, I use three different incentives. And I never really explain what they are unless I’m talking to my teaching friends. The reason I’m using three incentive programs is because it’s summer time. And I want to reward those students who are still taking lessons consistently over the summer 🙂 Summer should be fun also, so I like to spice it up and give them more fun things to do.

1. Star Page

The Great Sight-Reading Challenge2-The Plucky PianistaSight-Reading Challenge.jpg

The one I use above to the right is the first star page I give to my students. It has less stars so it’s easier for them to complete. Students earn a star when they work on a song, complete a song in the book, or work on a work page. They use a marker to color in a star. Once they color all the stars, they earn a prize! And it’s usually a very nice surprise when I come to their next lesson with their prize. It’s not too difficult for them to complete even the one on the left. I like it because they have to work hard for it and learn to try the songs that they don’t like. But I also like it because it takes them about 2-3 months to complete it. I don’t want to be spending money every single week giving out prizes consecutively. Here are what my prize bags look like. I’ve given out more prizes than this but I didn’t take a picture every single time. Oops!

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I like to decorate these a lot because it makes them look even more special! This incentive is very effective. If I had to choose, I would implement this one first and keep it. Students are also mucho motivated by this. Don’t tell them what surprise they’re getting! Leave them in suspense.

2. Small motivational erasers

smiles-wedge-erasersThese are not the exact ones I use. I didn’t take a picture of the ones I use, but these will do. I give one to each student per lesson. There are a lot of designs in mine, so I tell them that they can collect a new one each time. I haven’t shown them what they all look like, so it’s also a surprise to see what they are getting each week. This is a small token of my appreciation for them. They are helping me out by giving me business, and I really appreciate that. It’s something small, I get about 10 erasers for $1, but it has a huge meaning behind it. This incentive has been very effective so far. Students love it!

3. Gumball Machine
clipart-gumball-machine-picturesque-bubble-gum-learnfree-me-remarkable-emptyThis is my last incentive I recently added. I can’t take all the credit for this one because I got the idea from a teacher friend. Students will color one gumball each time as a practice chart. I am the judge on whether or not they practiced enough. The song has to be played better than last week. There are 100 gumballs, so this one also takes awhile to complete. As a joke, I like to tell them that the prize is… 5 cents! Haha it’s not, but it’s still funny to see their reactions. I know that this one is going to be difficult to implement, but it’s so new that I don’t have any results to share yet.

 

If you guys have any other ideas on incentives, please let me know 🙂 If you liked my ideas, please like and share this blog post!

Cheers!

My Work Bag Must Haves

I’ve found that if I don’t have my essentials with me every time I go to work, I feel like I’m completely unprepared. Sometimes I am away from home for 10 hours at a time. And if I don’t have gum or tissues, it feels like I’m not going to have a good work day. That may be dramatic, but that is honestly how I feel at times. If you’re anything like me, you have to always be prepared. It’s better to have more stuff than to have less stuff. And depending on your job, you will have different things in your bag. There are so many things that I carry, but I’m only going to list my MUST HAVES:

1. Gum

This might seem silly, but gum is an absolute must have. I never want to have bad breath. And most of the time, I’m drinking coffee to stay awake so coffee breath is a real thing. Coffee stained teeth is also a real thing. Gum will save you from having bad breath and embarrassing yourself. It will also help you get rid of whatever you ate for lunch.

2. Water

I’m not talking about coffee or soda. Plain water is absolutely essentialYou’re not going to feel completely satisfied by drinking soda all day. And soda isn’t good for you anyways. Coffee doesn’t really quench my thirst either. That’s why I keep water with me all the time. And when I’m talking all day, having water is a good call. There have been times where I haven’t had water with me and I was not happy.

3. Phone

Believe it or not, your phone is actually very important. I know it seems like it’s self-explanatory, but trust me. I don’t completely rely on it, but it is where my main source of communication is and where my schedule is.

4. Face wipes

I get really oily skin after a couple hours of working. And the only way I’ve been able to feel refreshed later in the day is by using face wipes. I recommend keeping one to two packets of face wipes with you.

5. Hand sanitizer

There’s nothing worse than feeling like your hands are dirty. I don’t always have the luxury of washing my hands all the time, so hand sanitizer has saved me on many occasions.

6. Glasses

This also seems pretty obvious, but I don’t wear contacts. If I happen to forget my glasses at home, I am almost guaranteed not to have a good day. I can see the road when I’m driving, but seeing music books and notes is a real challenge without my glasses.

7. Pencils

I know this might seem like an added luxury. Not everyone keeps pencils with them. However, have you ever had a situation where you needed a pencil and you didn’t have one?

8. Jacket

I use an extra jacket as a pillow. I sometimes have unexpected gaps in my schedule where I can take a break. And I use a jacket to nap with. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it!!

9. Phone Charger/Portable Charger

Self-explanatory!

If there’s anything else I might have forgotten, you can leave your suggestions in the comments below! I want to write more blogs about this in the future

Update: What Have I Been Up To?

Hi everyone, I’ve been diving full term into teaching lately. And it’s been something I’ve been doing since last December. My schedule has been hectic. Every day is a busy day filled with tasks, errands, lessons, and chores. It’s been nice to find the time to write this post for all of you. I haven’t had much time lately. For the past two months, I have been working with my best students in completing their level 1 musicianship exams. They have been studying and practicing their songs diligently. That also means we had to cram in multiple lessons before their testing days. On top of that, I hosted my third recital! This recital was split into two different days. Parents could pick which day they wanted their child to perform. I organized it this way because I have too many students. And I didn’t want my students to sit through a three hour long performance. (that would be a nightmare haha)

Ohh, and what else is new? I’ve been leveling many of my students up in their lesson books. They have also cashed in on their star pages. The star pages track their progress and helps motivate them to keep working hard. I’ve also been introducing some of my more musical students to singing. This is something new to them but it would really enrich their lessons. They have been working on singing This is Me from The Greatest Showman. Another thing that I’ve been doing is introducing my students to Hanon, and getting them back on track with working on technique exercises and sight reading again. I’ve been working on performing more and my next performance is tomorrow actually! My interest has shifted more into performance and overcoming my fear of playing in front of large groups. I’m getting better at it now!

It’s been great! I’ve been so busy and I wouldn’t trade all the work for anything. Being a teacher is tough. You are definitely pushed to your limits on some days. And I definitely have not shared all of the stuff I’ve been doing these past months, but I am still here. Blogging is something that I love, and expect more blog posts soon 🙂

Is Blogging Even Worth it??

Short answer: Yes, if you are using it to push other products out. Long answer: It’s not so easy to explain.

When you start a blog, you have this great dream of becoming a huge blogger. You’re so excited to choose the name of your blog, start creating blog posts, and you’re pushing out content all the time. A month goes by, and you still have your momentum, but it’s starting to wane. And you’re finding yourself upset because your viewership wasn’t as strong as before. A couple weeks go by and you haven’t posted a blog post in awhile. You’re unmotivated… You’re thinking, “it’s just not working!” What do people even want to read? Why aren’t they reading my posts?

And then you ask yourself: is blogging even worth it?

First of all, ask yourself what your goals are. Blogging is a tool, people. You use it to supplement your other stuff. It shouldn’t be considered a business even though it takes so much of your time like a business does. And you have to actually like blogging!

Blogging is not something that you pick up as a whim. It takes SOOOOO much time to build. And it takes patience, effort, and a passion for blogging. Eventually, you will build something successful. You have to keep telling yourself that. As for now, stay calm. Don’t overwork yourself. Keep going and keep a smile on your face 🙂