Thoughts for a prosperous New Year

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go. They merely determine where you start.”       – Nido Qubein

Happy New Year to you!

For me and perhaps you, a brand new year is a marker impressing upon us  to continue making positive changes in our lives.

With the craziness of the pandemic continuing to rage, it may be especially difficult to see 2022 as some sort of refreshing start, but for all of our sakes, let’s make 2022 better than 2021.

For me, 2022 will see the selling of my house now that my oldest is on his own and my younger son is soon to be. I haven’t quite decided exactly where I’ll be next but I’m looking forward to the adventure.

The new year will also provide an the oppoprtunity to expand my online business beyond music. I’ll never stop writing and producing interesting music and video. As a matter of fact, Richie Beirach and I are crafting something new right now and I’m producing new music-related video content almost daily, making that available to both new subscribers and my growing TikTok followers.

But I want to reach a broader audience. I really enjoy certain aspects of business, so I’m branching out with some interesting new projects making good use of my business skills learned through decades in the trechnes of New York corporate life.

One example is my Musicians Money Mastery course that recently launched. Last month I wrote an add-on to the course which is a 15-page eBook called simply, How to Negotiate.

I wrote this specifically for people who are uncomfortable with the idea of negotiating. They run that perfect justification in their head that tells them it’s okay that they didn’t ask for more or ask to pay less. In the back of their mind, however, they secretly wish they were comfortable and skilled negotiators!

Grab a copy of this for free. I’m interested in hearing how it helps you. Click here or the book image below for your download link.

Negotiating standing book copy

Maybe it is a new start for you to feel empowered and comfortable with negotiatiation so that life starts costing you less and getting you more! Download the book while it’s still available for free.

I’ll leave you with three thoughts that I hope will inspire some of your decisions as you procede into 2022:

  • Find the courage to venture outside of your current comfort zone. Pick those opportunities well.
  • Declare the end of doing the same things over and over expecting different results. And that includes how you practice and play your instrument!
  • Consider the valuable energy wasted over resisting change. What are you missing while you spend time and energy fighting change rather than being open to embracing the opportunities it may bring to you?


Mike Lake

5 thoughts on “Thoughts for a prosperous New Year”

  1. Nice article. When you mention a desire to reach a broader audience, using TikTok as a sole platform may not be the most effective. As a 55 year old guy, I dont even HAVE the TikTok app on my iPhone, and I have three teenage daughters! My kids have shown me TikTok, and I want no part of it. I am not technologically challenged either… my day job is in data. For video content my go to platform is YouTube, as is the case with most of my contemporaries.

    1. David, my experiment with TikTok is not necessarily to find a broader audience although I am seeing some new interest from it for what I am doing.

      I posted a bit about my experience with TikTok a week ago.

      I mentioned that the main thing motivating me to produce TikTok content right now is the resulting short videos that I am repurposing for other uses. Given the length of average attention spans these days, I think it’s a useful discipline for me to explain in a more entertaining way certain aspects of improvisation within 1 to 3 minutes, and formatted for phone. In fact, I could see building an online course consisting exclusively of these very short pieces. In an interesting way, TikTok is my accountability buddy for cranking out frequent content.

      If you’ve followed much of my work, you know I’m a fan of the book “A Beautiful Constraint.” Constraining certain elements of an activity often forces a more creative solution. TikTok forces me to constrain the length of time I have to explore a particular topic. No waste, no distractions, and right to the point.

      While much of TikTok is juvenile nonsense, I have come across some very interesting content. If you have the patience to wade through it and train the platform on what you like, it can become a very interesting experience.

      Imagine if I had the same constraint on word count for this comment reply!!

  2. Hi Mike,
    Best wishes for continued success as you explore new avenues in the new year. I have followed your posts and admire you for your deep interest in seeing jazz musicians grow in their craft. Your advice and overall approach is spot on. In my own case, after spending 30 years conducting and overseeing basic engineering research for a major automobile company, I retired and pledged to explore new activities, which included playing a saxophone and learning how to improvise. My technical background had me focus on a very analytic approach which emphasized the use of the left side on my brain. Your approach of using the creative, right side set me off in a new direction bringing good results. Thanks for your help. I also believe that your interest in applying your experience and successful approach to jazz growth will serve you very well as you expand into other areas. Your logical thought processes are too valuable to confine to the jazz arena.

    1. Thanks Jim. My approach is especially challenging for analytical-focused people like you. I get similar comments from doctors, physicists, and others who find the approach challenging to their professional identity, yet satisfying to their inner artist.

      It’s interesting to consider my logical thought process teaching people not to use their logical thought process!

  3. Hi Mike,

    Happy New Year!

    You mentioned the chronic issue of splitting musical creativity from analytical thinking while improvising (I am the physicist). My 2022 goal is to “loosen it up” and let the muse fly more freely. I just started on Music Savvy (basic level) and hope to send you some progress tracks on my timing & rhythm studies during the year, perhaps one a month.

    Have a great year in your new empty-nest home. It will be a new experience. Future visits from the “kids” will be a special event every time – I guarantee it.

    London, Canada

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Michael Lake

Michael Lake

Trombonist, author, composer, marketer

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This is just a fake book example for the type of website I can build for you. Just trying to use a little humor here!