I am taking this online class on Udemy offered by author (and in my opinion, GENIUS) Seth Godin on how to be a better Freelancer. There are written assignments and we are encouraged to make those assignments public, so I will be posting them here on my blog. Enjoy. 🙂

What do you want to do?

On a larger scale, I want to compose, record and perform music that enriches the lives of those for whom my music is intended.
Very specifically, I want to create secular music and sacred music:

On the secular side, I want to develop a new sound that is a fusion of latin rhythms, latin and americana/folk instruments, and R&B/Soul melodies and delivery. I’d call this style “Latin-americana Soul”

On the sacred side, I feel called to develop modern, bilingual versions of psalms and antiphons, as well as other mass settings. I want to make them freely accessible to the greater Catholic church with by providing recordings and lead sheets online.

Another thing I want to do is help cultivate a unique arts scene in Phoenix. I am doing this by hosting a new YouTube show, Topkat Studios Sessions, where I interview local musicians and have them perform on the show live.

Who do you want to change, and how do you want to change them?

What I want to change is this: I believe that the music in the Catholic church in general (especially in the US) needs to be encultured, especially the psalms. So I’m developing The Modern Psalmist Project.

Who I want to change: I want that through my example, I am able to inspire other artists to make and follow their own path to what the themselves define as success. I also want to change the Phoenix area’s appreciation for their own local artists and original music.

How much risk? (from 1 [a little] to 10 [bet everything]), how much are you willing to put at stake to make the change you seek?

I would say an 8 on the risk factor. I am not willing to risk my close relationships (like working so much that my marriage falls apart), and I’m not fool enough to mortgage my assets to get capital to fund my projects, but I am willing to risk offending people who don’t agree with me. I’ll risk public ridicule and humiliation. I’m willing to risk my retirement by saving less so that I have more to invest in my projects. I believe that what I am trying to do is more important that living comfortably.

With regards to my artist promotion show, Topkat Studios Sessions, it is an expense up front – I provide food for the guests musicians and I pay for the video editing off site.

How much work are you willing to do to get there? Be specific about the tradeoffs.

What I’m trying to do is a ton of work. I am already scaling back my lifestyle (1st world problems) so that I don’t have to accept as much work from others so that I have TIME to work on these projects. I am also considering quitting drinking. Wow, that would save a lot of money because my tastes when it comes to wine and alcoholic beverages in general are expensive.

Does this project matter enough for the risk and the effort you’re putting into it?

Absolutely. I feel this is my calling in life.

Is it possible — has anyone with your resources ever pulled off anything like this?

Oh goodness gracious yes. Many secular artists have developed new sounds and sacred artists have written settings for the church liturgy that were considered contemporary at the time.

And there are plenty of people who started their own show, even if it’s not a local artist promotional show.

I have enough proof to know these projects are all possible.