Why You Should Work Multiple Jobs and Have Many Streams of Income

I’ve learned the hard way that having a backup or multiple streams of income is better than relying on one. I’m a piano teacher and I have many students that I teach weekly. Therefore, if one student quits, I have the safety of still having the rest of my students. I doubt that they would all leave me at the same time, so I think i’m pretty safe for now. And if one student quits, I would be on the lookout to fill that spot. I am also blogging on the side. I have four blogs that I’m currently building up. And they take almost all of my free time. I believe in having multiple streams of income. I remember the days where I only had one student and it was devastating when that one student quit. I also remember the days where I was flat out broke and had no money. It’s not that money is everything, but I can’t afford to have zero income right now. And I think it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Why do I have four blogs? Well, in the future, i’m hoping to monetize all of them. I know that blogging takes a long time, so i’m in no rush to do this. I think that it’s better to have lots of backups rather than relying on just one blog.

The reason why I brought this topic up was to discuss how it feels when one of my students decides to quit. It’s a horrible feeling, and the stress of having to fill that spot is even more horrible. And if I was solely relying on that student’s lesson fee for my income, I would be at a loss. Don’t do this. Make sure that if your boat sinks, you have another way of staying afloat.

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Can you learn the piano by yourself?

Yes, you can learn the piano by yourself. However, it is best to have a teacher by your side to guide you through the difficult stages of learning the piano. There are techniques such as fluid hand motion and technical issues that you can’t solve by yourself. Imagine if you tried to learn how to fix your sink and you spent hours googling how to do it. You could have just hired a plumber to come fix it and they could have done it in 30 minutes.

I know that this isn’t what people want to hear. It’s not what I would want to hear if I was a beginner, but I don’t want to lie to you. I don’t want to sell you a piano course that doesn’t guarantee that you will learn the piano. I don’t want to sell you a product that might work. I actually want to give you advice that will save you time and money. You can’t do everything yourself. I’ve seen many students fail at learning the piano by themselves. Please don’t listen to all the advertising gibberish online. You need to find a piano teacher that can physically be right next to you and to guide you through this process. Don’t waste your money on anything else. I’ve seen many instances where it doesn’t work.

I hope this helps you and let me know if there are anymore topics that you want me to discuss.

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!

How to afford multiple music lessons at a time

If you’re anything like me, you love music. And it’s something that you want to completely pursue. You think that it’s amazing and it makes you so happy. Oh wait, is that only me?? Lol I am such a music nerd. I’ll tell you a little about myself: I have been taking piano lessons for about 18 years and double bass lessons for 6 years. I have also been taking viola lessons for about 4 months now. And the kicker is that I’m thinking about adding singing lessons on top of that. Yeah, I’m such a nerd. I look forward to my lessons every week. And I’m constantly practicing and delving into more music literature. This is cool information and all, but the million dollar question is how do I justify spending this much money on myself? Notice how I changed it from “afford” to “justify.”

It’s not that I don’t think they are expensive because they definitely are. However, in my mind, I do it in addition to working. Therefore, it is my hobby. Music is something that I’ve invested a lot of time to. In my perspective, I don’t think of it as extra. I need to continue studying music. It’s become a necessity.

Think of it like traveling. To some people, traveling seems like a luxury, but there are people who absolutely need to travel. It makes them happy. This all may sound silly, and I hope you can understand. Those who study music don’t ever stop. They want to learn more. It’s not about learning a set of songs and being satisfied. Learning music is a constant journey. And that is how I justify having multiple music lessons!

Diversifying Your Income

What I’m about to introduce to you is something that you probably haven’t considered before: diversifying your income. When you are thinking about becoming financially stable, you have to consider the idea that you have to have multiple streams of income. For example, many youtubers have income coming from brand deals, regular video views, their blog, affiliate links, and etc. When one platform shuts down, such as youtube, they are not out of a job.

Now, consider how many streams of income you have… Most people only have one and that’s from their full time job. If you don’t show up for your job, they’re going to fire you and your main stream of income disappears. Then the panic comes in. However, if you plan ahead and make sure that you have a life boat in case of emergency, you will be better off than most. And think about it. When you are making two streams of income, your lifestyle will also change.

Wow, you must be thinking that this sounds great, but how do you even start? Of course, setting up a second stream of income takes time and work. And if you are already working a full time job, there’s almost no way that you can take on another one. I’ll give you a picture of how people make time for this: they have a job that is VERY flexible. They are able to work hours whenever they want and they can basically call in sick whenever. There’s no boss to tell them what to do, so they have ultimate freedom in their day. THAT is when you can add multiple streams of income. It’s when you work at a job that gives you extra time to live or work on other things.

I’m not trying to push you down, I’m trying to do the opposite. I want you to be inspired! I want you to reevaluate what you’re doing and to know that you are capable of working your own hours. And your lifeboat is in reach. You just have to grab onto it.

A Large In-Depth Guide on How to Start a Business

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I’m a huge believer in investing in yourself. For example, many people go to college and they invest in their education. When they graduate, I know people become envious of them. More often than not, women will invest in their clothes, makeup, and hair. And that is great because it builds you up. When you start to become valuable, people are going to turn their heads around to look. Starting a business is just like that… once you start it, people are not going to look at you. They automatically have this assumption in their heads that you are not successful yet. And if they hear that you’re investing tons of money into starting your business, they’re probably going to look down at you even more! My advice: who cares? They have no idea how to do it, but you know.

1. The first thing that you should do is create a business idea

When you’re thinking about what you want to do, choose something that inspires you and makes you happy. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with this, so why waste your time on something that you are not COMPLETELY passionate about? Original ideas are always better than the same ideas that people have come up with before. If I went to a store looking for shoes, there are hundreds of shoe stores that are ready to offer the same thing. If I am looking for content from Joey Graceffa, for example, there’s only one place where I can find it. If he designs his own t-shirts, mugs, or stationary, people are going to buy it. He built himself up with his own unique personality and videos. Be original. Think of an idea that only you can achieve.

2. Don’t invest any money yet

You don’t want to spend all of your money in one place. Of course, it’s cool to have all the business cards, flyers, and office space, but do you really need it? I’m not saying that those things are not important, but you have to look at the fact that you haven’t even made any money yet. There are tons of ways to advertise, design, and sell online/in-person. In my personal opinion, I think that spending tons of money on these things is not worth it. I know that there’s a debate on this, but that’s just what I believe.

Here are some great tools that you can use for free when you first start out:

3. Using the tools that you have

WordPress

I’ll talk about wordpress first. It’s my absolute favorite website creator that I’ve used so far. I’ve found that Wix is way too difficult to use and there’s not enough tools to create a blog on there. You don’t have to purchase any of the premium plans right away. I haven’t. And I’m completely satisfied with that. I’m able to publish and organize my website pretty well. That’s all I can really ask for. It’s also user-friendly to use, so it doesn’t take much to get started.

GIMP

I haven’t tried this editing program out yet, but I’ve heard it’s amazing. It allows you to create icons that you can link to different accounts. I’m not into computer design/graphics, but the amount of customization tools that they offer is worth it. AND it’s free 🙂

Facebook

This is my absolute favorite social media platform right now. It’s where I get 90% of my viewership. I can’t think of a better platform to expand your business than facebook. I don’t only use it for my websites, but I also use it for my piano studio business. For some reason, it does really well on facebook. I’m able to advertise everywhere and facebook marketplace is a fantastic tool for you if you are looking to sell/advertise.

I’m also a huge fan of making pages on facebook. Here is the link to my facebook page, if you needed an example. If you’re not using facebook, then I feel like you’re really missing out.

Picmonkey

I feel like all i’m recommending are things that I absolutely love! And yeah, that’s pretty much true. This editing software is also completely free. It helps you make your designs so pretty and professional.

Here’s a preview on the options that they give:

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Yeah, it’s amazing. I highly recommend getting very comfortable using these because it can save you tons of money in the long run.

3. The next step is to just jump into it

If you’re looking for advice on business stuff, you’re in the right place. I developed Pocketfuloflearning as a way to help other people manage their business. Even if you’re thriving right now, it doesn’t hurt to get more advice and to learn.

I would focus on advertising first. You’re not going to get much traffic without effective advertising. The best way to advertise is to create a good flyer and send it out everywhere. You want many people to find it, and they’re not going to if it’s only on one place. Choose one social media platform and stick with it. It’s not worth it to spend all your time developing on all the platforms. As always, I recommend using facebook.

4. Advertising

So, you’re pretty much on your way. It looks like you’re beginning to get the hang of it, but wait! Do you have customers/viewers yet? If you don’t, you need to think about advertising. I learned most of my information from Suzi. She explains things so well, I feel like I have gained so much knowledge from her. Youtube, in general, is an excellent way to learn about starting a business.

I use all of my advertising on facebook and instagram. I don’t have quite a large following on instagram because I rarely post anything. If I did, I feel like I would be pretty successful on there.

5. Spending valuable time resting v. working

You have to know when to take a break. I know when I started, I could barely sleep because I was so excited. And then I realized that nothing happens over night. Even with advertising, I was expecting a phone call right after I posted the ad. It doesn’t work like that. After I post a blog post, I’m always expecting a heap of people to start reading it. It never happens like that. The process is actually extremely slow. It takes time and probably even years to get to a point where you’re making a substantial amount. Therefore, why work on it 24/7? Of course you should be putting work into it, but you have to take care of yourself too. If you feel stressed, the kind of work that you give will translate into just that. If you are well-rested and happy, the kind of work that you put out will be better. Take your time. Relax, and breathe.

6. Consistently give and set a schedule

If you have time, don’t hesitate to work on some things for your business. Give what you can and be incredibly patient. If you have trouble being productive, set up a schedule and work at it. I recommend using Google calendar because you can also open it on your phone as an application. Know when your meetings are and take the time to schedule them in. Not everything is perfect. I really don’t expect them to be, but your business is going to miss you if you don’t consistently put the effort in.

7. And that’s it!

There’s a ton of more stuff that I want to talk about, but you can look at my other blogs if you need more information on that. I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about it before somewhere. If you have any questions, please let me know. There are tons of resources out there!

Let’s start learning!

I’m not charging more for my lessons

Piano teachers should not charge a ridiculous amount for their lessons. I’m not saying that $50-60 is not a good price, but I am saying that $80-100 is highly unreasonable. One lesson is not enough to advance a student right away. It takes many lessons for a student to start seeing improvement. I just don’t understand how charging that much for lessons is good. You see, it’s difficult for students to continue with lessons for many years. Most will stay for a year and then quit. I’m not really surprised by that statistic because I understand that it takes passion to keep lessons going.

Many families are just not willing to pay that much for lessons. I mean… are you really going to charge a student $100 to teach them A,B,C,D,E,F, and G? They teach that at school and it doesn’t cost the family any money. If you are living in an expensive neighborhood, then charging more will work in your favor. However, every state has its own economic standard.

Lessons are valuable. I think that my time teaching is very important. If I am not being given the kind of respect that I deserve, I’m not going to chase. Piano teachers have to be valued. And many parents have little knowledge of the value of lessons. It’s okay, but don’t try to find bargain lessons. Do not take advantage of free lessons and materials from teachers. Teachers are valuable. You wouldn’t treat other people with such disrespect. So please, make sure that everything is done the proper way.

Don’t forget to like, comment, and follow so you don’t miss future blogs!

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BLOG: https://pocketfuloflearning.wordpress.com/

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Should you travel or have students come to you?

If you are looking to start teaching, you have to ask yourself what kind of students you will be looking for. It’s difficult. There are days in which I wish my students would come to my studio and there are days in which I enjoy teaching in their home. Therefore, I prefer both. My studio caters to both kinds of students and that makes me happy 🙂 However, if you are looking to figure out which is best for you, please keep reading.

Teaching from home

I’m not going to say that this is my favorite method, but it definitely has its benefits. I don’t like driving all the time because driving from location to location can take some time. It is also beneficial to be able to stack many students into one day. I understand that we are all trying to make money and this would be the best way to do it. There are some downsides to teaching from home though. I’ve found that my students make the piano keys dirty or they pound on my piano. It might not bother you, but it can depreciate the quality of your personal piano. Therefore, it does take some cost and benefits analysis to determine if this is the right method for you.

Traveling to students’ homes

I know that I said this wasn’t one of my favorite methods either, but that is why I have a mix. When you travel to students’ homes, you have to think about the time you are using and how much gas it takes. It’s not ideal, but many families would rather have the teacher come to their home. And you have to understand that many parents can’t leave their other children at home by themselves. On the other hand, I think that these are the most rewarding kind of students. I am able to create a stronger student-teacher bond when I travel to my students. They are happier and a lot more comfortable. I also find it interesting to see what their piano looks like haha The other day, I had a student rip a piano key out of her piano. It was definitely something, but I would never have been able to see that if they were at my studio. I can also create a large vision board of their progress for them if I teach at their home. Whichever method you choose, I wouldn’t recommend one over the other. It’s up to you on how you want to structure your studio 🙂 Good luck and let me know how it goes!

Don’t forget to like, comment, and follow so you don’t miss future blogs!

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Find me on my other social media platforms:

INSTAGRAM: Pocketfuloflearn

FACE BOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pocketfuloflearning/

BLOG: https://pocketfuloflearning.wordpress.com/

TWITTER: Pocketfullearn

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Rant about online sheet music

OKAY, so this isn’t a regular blog post and I hope it’s okay if I rant just for today. I am so upset by some companies or other websites that are charging for sheet music. Sheet music IS public domain. Chopin didn’t intend for his music to be sold by these companies. He wrote tons of music and it’s wrong to make your own profit off of his work. These companies probably can’t even write their own music if they tried. They’re lucky that these composers are not around to sue all the money from them. Students, parents, and teachers are looking to find sheet music to develop their playing. How is it fair to charge $2 for a piece of sheet music? I understand everyone wants to make money, but this is not the right way. Unless you are making your own music or making your own content, then please don’t sell other people’s stuff. I am so frustrated that I have to heavily search the internet to find a Chopin etude. They can’t possibly think that this is the right thing to do. Scribd is also a culprit at this. All of this music should be public domain. I hate that people are trying to monetize over everything. If you are a parent, teacher, or student, please be aware of these websites. Sheet music should be completely FREE. It should be illegal to sell a copy of Beyonce’s sheet music for the piano on the internet. It takes no effort for these people to use the sheet music. And that gives them NO right to sell it. I’ll show you some examples:

Please be careful. You shouldn’t have to pay for sheet music. If you want my help finding any music, just comment below or subscribe. Thank you 🙂

Don’t forget to like, comment, and follow so you don’t miss future blogs!

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Find me on my other social media platforms:

INSTAGRAM: Pocketfuloflearn

FACE BOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pocketfuloflearning/

BLOG: https://pocketfuloflearning.wordpress.com/

TWITTER: Pocketfullearn

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