This is the first in a four-part series where I’ll be sharing my process for aligning our artistic and creative sides into our businesses so that we can become both financially empowered and creatively fulfilled.

As music students, we are taught to practice practice practice. The pursuit of artistic excellence becomes our central focus, rather than worrying about the business side of things.

When we graduate, we realize we have to get out of the practice room and learn the business side of music in order to make a living.

The rite of passage for musicians to learn how to make a living through their art is usually quite intense since without these skills it is difficult to survive.

Then, once we learn how to make a living as musicians, we eventually achieve relative financial stability. We get into a routine usually consisting of multiple income streams – many of which don’t necessarily involve active music-making.

While our economic situation is stabilized, we often become consumed by daily activities. As a result, we can forget why we started and lose sight of the driving artistic force and inspirational activity that made us become who we are.

Some mid-career musicians find financial stability with jobs that don’t necessarily involve active music-making, and they’re okay with letting their artistic side become dormant. They may find new creative avenues and sources of motivation and inspiration.

But for others, continuing without fueling their artistic and creative side can erode a hole in their souls. Without realizing, they’ve put away the main creative pursuit which made them who they are, the thing that made them practice for hours and hours, their musical passion.

Neglecting their artistic side can eventually take a toll on their sense of purpose, their enthusiasm for their work (even if they are financially successful in the process), and can leave them feeling stuck. I know this because I experienced this first hand and have also seen it while working with my clients.

Tomorrow I’ll share why acknowledging this artistic gap can be the first step in changing the course of our businesses and of our sense of creative fulfillment.

In the meantime, I’d love to know if you have ever felt this way. Let me know in the comments.