My Small Business Story: Part 4

My Small Business Story

Last week, I shared Part 3 of this series, in which I’m giving you the full scoop on how I went from having a full-time day job and a small private practice on the side (headquartered in my car) to now co-owning a thriving business with a facility of our own and a team of 7.

In Part 3, I described what it was like working for myself full-time, experiencing burnout, bringing on an independent contractor, and adding a baby to the mix.

Part 4 picks up at the end of my first year of motherhood, and takes you through creating a business partnership, moving my practice out of my house, growing the business while growing a second baby, taking a huge leap into our own facility, and continuing to hustle with an infant and toddler at home.

You can read all four parts of my story, along with key takeaways and action items, over on Listen & Learn Plus, where you’ll also find a vast collection of over 200 songs (mp3, lead sheet, and instrumental track), videos, tutorials, and visual aides, plus ALL new releases from Listen & Learn Music.

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Fall is for Pumpkins and Coffee

Pumpkin patch

Parker is ob-sessed with all things Halloween. He carries around his pumpkin bucket and practices his trick-or-treat technique on a daily basis. His favorite show right now is the Halloween episode of Little Einsteins on Netflix. He talks nonstop about pumpkins, witches and ghosts.

It’s super cute how excited he is, even though I’m not a fan of Halloween. I can’t wait to take him out in his Olaf costume when it’s finally time to trick-or-treat for real. And then we’ll pack up all the Halloween stuff and move on to Frosty around the clock (he’s already made his appearance quite a few times so far this fall).

Parker at the Apple Barn

But for now, pumpkins. And more importantly, coffee. Mia is in the middle of a seemingly never-ending growth spurt, which means she has been waking up at least two times every night to eat. I get up at 5 am every day to do all the work I don’t have time for during normal-people hours, which doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for quality sleep.

So coffee it is. One cup in the morning while I pump and work on the computer, and another right before I go to work in the afternoon. At this point in Parker’s infancy I was drinking 3 per day, so I feel pretty good about limiting myself to 2.

Mia at the Apple Barn

Fall is also for working on lots of projects, continuing to grow my business, getting ready to attend the national music therapy conference, and trying not to get too overwhelmed by all of the above. All of it is good, it’s just a lot — which is pretty much the status quo of my life.

Five Orange Pumpkins

Five Orange Pumpkins

Between singing about them with my clients, admiring them with my two-year-old, and seeing them everywhere, it sort of feels like pumpkins have taken over my life…and I’m okay with that.

It’s fall, after all, and pumpkins are the orange ambassadors of this season. I’ve written many a song about them, and this one is the latest. I’ve been using it in my early childhood classes as well as music therapy sessions to work on counting, 1:1 correspondence, and attending skills.

I cut out and laminated five orange pumpkins so that my students would have a visual representation, and as we sing each verse, we take one away and count the remaining pumpkins. It would also be fun to grab some mini pumpkins for a more tactile experience.

What other pumpkin songs are you singing this fall? Here are a few more (along with some additional Halloween-themed tunes) on my Listen & Learn list.

Members of Listen & Learn Plus! have access to all of these songs (along with tons more) right inside the Dropbox folder I share with them — come over and join us!

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{Guitars & Granola Bars} Episode 39

GGB Episode 39: Morgan Sparks

I was feeling pretty good about myself when I went back to teaching early childhood music classes this summer, a mere 5 weeks after my daughter was born. And then I had my mind blown by this week’s podcast guest; suddenly my “quick” return didn’t feel quite as impressive.

It’s no secret that business owners are highly motivated when it comes to their work, but Morgan Sparks takes that term to the next level.

Morgan talks about her unconventional path to music therapy, teaching Kindermusik classes just 6 days postpartum, and the give-and-take that comes with raising a young child and owning a business Episode 39 of the Guitars & Granola Bars podcast.

Be sure to check out the show notes page for more information about Morgan, along with links to the resources she mentions in the episode.

This episode is sponsored by Music Teacher’s Helper, which is software for music teachers and therapists that helps manage your private music lesson studio and/or music therapy practice. I’ve used Music Teacher’s Helper every single day since 2011, and it is one of the best tools I have to keep my private practice running smoothly.

Sign up here for a 30-day no risk trial. If you choose to sign up after the trial using my link, you’ll save 20% off your first month!

iTunesClick here to subscribe on iTunes, or search “Guitars & Granola Bars” in the podcast app on your Apple device.
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My Small Business Story: Part 3

Home Studio

Last week, I shared Part 2 of this series, in which I’m giving you the full scoop on how I went from having a full-time day job and a small private practice on the side (headquartered in my car) to now co-owning a thriving business with a facility of our own and a team of 7.

In Part 2, I detailed the evolution from “side hustle” to “two full-time jobs” — including my thoughts on home-based private practice, preparing to quit my day job, and making changes to become a full-fledged business owner.

Part 3 picks up in June 2011, when I began working for myself full-time. In the full post, I talk about experiencing burnout, bringing on an independent contractor, and adding a baby to the mix.

You can read parts 1, 2, and 3 of my story, along with key takeaways and action items, over on Listen & Learn Plus, where you’ll also find a vast collection of over 200 songs (mp3, lead sheet, and instrumental track), videos, tutorials, and visual aides, plus ALL new releases from Listen & Learn Music.

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