How I stumbled into creative consulting...
You know, that person with a perpetual obsession about a new "thing" or project? I'm one of those entrepreneurs. I've never had a full-time job as a traditional employee. Successfully too! At this point, I'm pretty proud of that badge of honor.
Maybe this is because I grew up sitting around a kitchen table with a marketing professor at one end and a music teacher at the other. In college, majoring in music was close in competition, thanks to winning several scholarships for cello performance. But majoring in business was the obvious choice, thanks to parental pressure and a fear of never making enough money in life with just a music degree to my name. (Don't even get me started on how wrong that thinking was...)
Most of my classmates in the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech had a "number" -- the age by which they wanted to become a millionaire. I didn't. I knew from the get-go that I wanted to use my business knowledge to help creatives, musicians, artists, and other intuitive-types put some serious legs on those big dreams.
The dollar signs weren't the reason I was writing essays on the USP (unique selling propositions) and MVP (minimum viable product) of an artist in the music industry.
I was interested in business (and have stayed passionate about it) because I see the whole-person and global changes taking place when a creative visionary is able to find "that magic combination" for their customers.
For as long as I can remember, I've been doling out (un)solicited business and marketing advice to my creative friends and community. To this day, in between musical adventures, you can find me consulting with Fortune500 companies, tech startups, and other small business owners on things like audience strategy, bravery in the workplace, and even copywriting.
Together, my clients and I talk a lot about bravery because as it turns out, I've also been a student of bravery for a VERY long time... more on that in a second...
How I stumbled into songwriting...
Evidently, music remained near and dear to my heart, even after getting that business degree. A love for music dies hard. I spent almost 10 years living and loving in the Seattle music scene. Joining bands. Co-writing new songs with them. Recording and performing all around the NW and catching a few regional tours in the US.
Best job in the world? Being a musician.
But I was diagnosed with an essential tremor in my right hand in late 2013. At the time, I was a full-time musician, cellist and cello teacher. This diagnosis was tragic news and more than devastating. Ask any surgeon how they'd like it if their life's purpose vanished, that was how it felt. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to spend some time in the mountains at an artist residency soon after this diagnosis. So I spent 6-weeks "creatively sulking" and not playing the cello, a BIG f***ing deal.
That sacred time of grief brought several truths to my attention: 1) I could write some pretty decent songs on the piano. 2) This meant that I was not one-dimensional as merely a broken cellist. 3) Even more, I was an artist who had something to say.
Like a beardless Moses, I descended from the mountains of Leavenworth, WA with an armful of songs. Later in the Fall of 2014, I called up my friend Chris Mathews Jr. to help me do a live audio and video recording of my first solo album, fittingly a self-titled EP.
The following year, I spent a month turning into a nocturnal musician. The studio/office space I was renting at the time had a ton of sonic interruptions during the day, so I got my best recording done super late into the evening. Since I love Christmas so much, those recordings turned into my first Christmas album: Midwinter Midnights, Vol. 1
How I stumbled into Bravery...
All the while I was getting super curious about this idea of "bravery." I knew that if I was to "do this singer-songwriter thing" that I would have to get really brave, but what the hell was it actually?! Why was everyone talking about it? What was bravery made of? So in an effort to understand it further, I began to write my thoughts about it. (Logical next step, huh?) Those thoughts and written stories soon began to look like a book manuscript.
So if I was gonna publish a book, I needed to do my research. This prompted hundreds of intense and really valuable conversations with people I admired about the subject. Those conversations were so good, I started a podcast - so everyone could listen in! It's available in your favorite podcast app, including Spotify.
All my research revealed the 12 ingredients of bravery, the 3 reasons why people do brave things, and 4 of my favorite tools for building bravery. Tah Dah! The manuscript was now a book!
Bare Naked Bravery: How to Be Creatively Courageous is the result of blood, sweat, and literal tears I've shed during my own "seasons of bravery." Here's one of my favorite reviews from Lauren Frontiera...
"Emily Ann Peterson has soulfully brought to life her own real, raw, honest journey to Bare Naked Bravery. Reading this book is not only inspiring as hell, but the stories she shares are giant reminders that you're not alone. It'll make you laugh, cry, and pour yourself a glass of wine while you pretend you're sitting across from her ugly sobbing during the best soul chat of your life."
That's the super quick 3-minute background on how all this beautiful stuff came to be! I'm really excited for what's to come in the future and again, I am so glad to have you along for this crazy-awesome ride we're all on!
(If you haven't yet, you should join my Inner Circle. It's free and you get all sorts of fun stuff!)