Happy Tax Day (or, there’s always more where that came from…)!

Happy Tax Day, America!

Or, otherwise known by all small business owners as, “I owe HOW MUCH!?” Day.

Many of you Smarty McSmarty Pants out there already filed your taxes back in January.  And, with the average refund to US taxpayers coming in at around a whopping $2,000, you *smartly* put that fat check right back into your savings account.  Or paid down your credit card bill.  Or FINALLY invested in your emergency preparedness kit for both car AND home.  God bless you, you financial wizard, you.

Well, this year we got our business taxes in early (*patting self on back*) only to receive the kick-in-the-not-so-smart-pants last Friday (seriously…this past FRIDAY!) that we owe a weeeeeeee bit more than anticipated.

Oh, who am I kidding.  I (Annie) got off the phone with my accountant and had a mini meltdown a la Clark Griswold finding out his bonus check is a one year supply of jelly.

Sufficed to say, we were in a bit of dark place.  Moody.  Sour.  Irritated.  And, that same weekend, we were set to film our next installment of #TuneTuesday.

We tried a happy love song.  And it sucked.  It was late night.  And we were starting to turn on each other when Damien Rice’s song Volcano popped into my head.  A moody, somber, dark song about heartbreaking love.  Peeeerrrrrfect.  And the film noir stage was set for this week’s video:

Filming really helped us.  The creativity and working together pulled us out of our funk.  And, soon after my initial freak out, Curtis and I were heads together brainstorming how to be in integrity with our taxes while keeping the doors of our business open.  All while keeping our hearts open to possibility.

Honestly, a year ago this news would have slayed us.  Laid us bare.  There would have crazy, dramatic fights.

But we feel confident in one universal truth: money is simply just an energetic exchange.

For instance, your work is probably to provide some form of a set of completed tasks to someone else who will then provide you money in exchange.  You pay taxes as an exchange for the benefits that come from living within our democratic government.  Seen a slightly different way – by cultivating relationships, you provide loving energy to someone in exchange for their energy of love, support, comfort, and community.

There’s no need for any attachment to money.  Because money comes.  And money goes.

As my favorite biz coach Marie Forleo says, “Anytime you part with money, bless it and say – There’s always more where that came from.”

Always with aloha, joy and music ~ Annie + Curtis

Want to hear us cover your favorite tune?  Let us know!

#TuneTuesday Request Made Possible By:

Our love for Film Noir.  And Damien Rice.

 


A heartfelt shoutout to our fans

As a business owner and a work-from-home-in-your-yoga-pants-kind-of-CEO (I talk more about yoga pants and doing business over at this post), I scour the inter webs daily for advice from entrepreneurs who’ve “been there, done that” so I can get effective, real-time guidance on how to run my business.

What are the best social media accounts to use for business and why?  

How do you know when it’s time to hire staff?

What happens when you feel like a fraud, stuck, completely useless or all of the above?

This last question was answered with beauty and heart by one of my favorite online business coaches, Marie Forleo.  Her awesome Q&A Tuesday Videos feature questions from her readers and today she answered: What do you do when you feel completely useless and alone?  You can check out her splendid video here.

One of her suggestions?  Connect more deeply with someone by sharing 5 great things you appreciate about them.

Which leads me to you.  If we haven’t said so before, you are awesome sauce.  You are the cream in our coffee.  The whipped cream on our sundae.  The kosher pickle nestled with our pastrami on rye.

Here are 5 great things we adore about you:

  • You show up.  Sounds easier said than done.  But you are a fan that truly shows up.  You come to our shows.  You tune in when we are playing live on the morning news.  You watch our #TuneTuesday series.  You even comment on silly things we say on Facebook.  We want you to know – most people don’t show up in their lives.  Most people say they’re going to do something.  And then have a gazillion excuses why they can’t commit.  You are a unique unicorn.
  • You are supportive.  You pledge money for us to make an album.  You repost our gig updates.  You champion us to other musicians and venue owners.  You translate songs for us.  Seriously, the support is amazing.
  • You are incredibly loving.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sent out a newsletter, Facebook post, or blog post and received immediate congratulations, love, kudos, and “Hurrahs!” back from you.  It’s a vulnerable thing to make music.  And then to share it with the world in the hopes that it resonates.  Your love gets us through the down times.
  • You give great suggestions.  You’ve are always quick with great suggestions of music you would love to hear us cover, and you think long and hard about it.  We now have submissions for music covers from all around the world, and some of you are even covering our music in different languages.  How cool is that?
  • You are authentic and passionate.  When you don’t like something, you speak up.  When you love something, you are quick to give an enthusiastic thumbs-up.  You are incredibly passionate about music and it shows in all of our interactions.

For you this #TuneTuesday, we would chase a rainbow:

Aloha, joy and music ~ Annie + Curtis

Want to hear us cover your favorite tune?  Let us know!

#TuneTuesday Request Made Possible By:

Our fans!

Fans

 


 

Follow your arrow, wherever it points

I’m not gonna lie to you.

Since becoming a business owner, I (Annie) spend most of my days dressed in my version of the “business mullet”: yoga pants on the bottom, fancy shirt on top.

Business up front, party in the…well, you get the picture. (by the by, this outfit is GREAT for that Skype call with your client that you forgot is coming up in 10 minutes.  Curl an eyelash, slap on a coat of lip gloss, and go to TOWN!).

It’s one of the many awesome perks you get when your workplace is the guest bedroom in your apartment.

But, these type of perks are not why I wanted to become an entrepreneur.  Or be my own boss.  Or be the boss of Curtis (snicker, that’s a whole ‘nuther blog post…).

I never felt satisfied in any of my previous jobs.  Oh, I would hunker down – nose to the grindstone, 160z Americano never far from my grasp.  I am still a FANTASTIC worker bee.   And, in my humble opinion, I was an excellent employee.  But there was this painful longing that constantly drilled into me like a bad headache.  Or more like heartache.

I wanted to follow my passion.  I wanted to make music my livelihood.  And I wanted to do all of this while I transforming the lives of others.

But my mindset was seriously warped, and I was so used to closing off from my passion that I believed only losers, drop-outs or wannabes made life decisions that seemed, well, frivolous.

Then I unexpectedly lost my job.  I was forced to make an immediate decision – do what’s expected of me or do what I’ve always dreamed.  The dream won (even if there were many “oh shit!” moments after and countless mornings waking up paralyzed that I had no idea how to take the first step).

And when my friend Trever suggested I listen to Kacey Musgraves’ hit Follow Your Arrow, I wasn’t prepared for the epiphany that followed.  She writes, “When the straight and narrow gets a little too straight..follow your arrow, wherever it points.  Just follow your arrow wherever it points.”

Her message is wonderfully simple and straightforward but it resonated with me like I was reading the Ten Commandments for the first time.

Because when you follow your arrow, you tap into that goldmine of unique knowledge and resources that naturally lives within you, within each of us.  Your arrow always points you in the right direction.  The only obstacle standing in your way is whether or not you will follow it.

Sound cheesy?  Maybe.  Doesn’t work for someone like you?  Maybe.

But what if you just said F-IT and took a chance anyway?

This spring, we are launching our first ever online program built specifically to support, inspire, and mentor professional musicians in building their own sustainable and successful music business.  We’ve been hard at work over the last month erecting new websites, writing new copy, crafting curriculum – we even hired a marketing guru to help us thread all the pieces together and launch this program with integrity and heart.  It’s a terrifying leap for me and for Curtis to stand in our power as both artists and as coaches.  But we are taking a chance on living a bigger game and being our word.  To building a vision that is bigger than us and can transform the lives of others.

If you are a professional musician or know a musician who would love to join a supportive community of like-minded individuals who desire building a livelihood and a business out of their music, head on over here to learn more.

~~ Aloha, joy and music ~~

Annie + Curtis

WE’D LOVE TO KNOW!

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Want to hear us cover your favorite tune?  Let us know!

#TuneTuesday Request Made Possible By:

Trever & The Asam Family