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Posts Tagged ‘Piano Lessons’

Have you ever heard this phrase?  I used to hear it a lot from people as I was growing up.  In those days, I never stopped to think about what it’s really saying.  I think it could be better phrased as “God blesses those who put forth some effort to accomplish things.” 

I know that sometimes, we have to be patient and wait for God to do things, but there are other times that I see people who complain about things and don’t try to do anything to fix their situation.  I once had a co-worker (single) who was always complaining that she didn’t have any money, but I also observed that she ate out a lot, didn’t spend her money wisely, and she didn’t want to WORK (Heaven forbid) for the money, she wanted God to drop it in her lap (or someone to give it to her.)

Now I know that God could, if He saw fit “drop” the money in her lap, but on the other hand, when God looks down and sees people making unwise decisions about their money and not wanting to work to earn their money, I really doubt that He’s going to “drop” some more down to that person for them to spend frivolously and then want more.

On the other hand, God blesses those who put forth effort to accomplish things.  When she came to me telling me that she didn’t have the money for her car payment, instead of loaning her the money for her car payment (as I knew she wanted me to do) I talked to her about ways that she could save money in her current budget and ways to earn more money so that she wouldn’t be in this spot again.  She didn’t really like it that I wouldn’t give her the money for her car payment, but I don’t think that anyone else she knew gave her the money for it either, because within a couple of weeks, she started working a 2nd job………wow, do you see how God provides? : )

I think you need a balance of praying to God about your needs and using some common sense and hard work to obtain what you need.  I’ve never found a time in my life that God hasn’t provided for me or for Grace and I if I’m doing what I’m supposed to do.  Even now that I’m self employed.  Before I quit my job, I was SCARED that I wouldn’t make it being self employed, but I knew I needed to obey God and that He would take care of the rest.  Then the economy started falling apart, and for 1 minute, I thought…..oh no, maybe I made a wrong decision when I quit my job, but then I knew that God is in control and He knew what would happen with our economy before I quit my job, so He will handle it for me.  (That’s one of the best things of having a Heavenly Father, He knows things ahead of time and He takes care of the details for me.)

In the last 7 weeks, I’ve started 7 new students.  I’ve set a goal to start 3 students a month until I get the number of students I need.  Then, I pray about that goal and ask God specifically to provide me with 3 new students for that month.  I also pray about ideas for ways to get new students.  I got  the students I asked for in September and October (plus 1 extra!) and now I’m working on November. 

Last night I was praying and I said “God, please provide 3 new students for me for November, and Lord, I don’t know where those 3 students are going to come from (I don’t have any leads right now or people who have called me recently.) but I know that you can provide them for me.  I posted an ad on our community website stating that I have openings for piano students and this morning when I woke up, there were 2 emails from people inquiring about piano lessons!  I don’t know yet if both of them will start, but I know that God will provide the 3 students I’ve asked Him for this month.

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First of all, I would like to say “thanks” to all of you who have been reading and emailing me….you are all such a blessing to me, and I pray that I am a blessing to you.

Good News!  I turned in my notice at work today, just a few more weeks, and I will be on my way to teaching Piano Lessons FULL TIME!!!!!  I can’t wait.

Prayer Request: #1 I need a studio to teach in, right now I teach at my student’s houses, but with the price of gas and to be more efficient, I need a central place to teach (at a reasonable price.)

#2, more students.  I’m almost half way to my student goal, but I still need more to be able to earn a living when i quit working.  Please pray that I will have the students I need by October.

What prayer requests do you have?  Please share!

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It’s almost 11:00pm here in Cali, it’s been quite the day, Grace and I just finished having a “camp out” in her room before putting her in bed, but I’ve wanted to write this post for quite some time, so here we go…….

I am big on goals.  For a long time, I’ve set New Year’s Goals instead of resolutions.  I feel like when you set a resolution, you break it a few days (or a few hours) later and you give up on them…..when you set a goal, it gives you something to work toward.

I’ve set New Year’s Goals for several years now, but a few years ago, I started setting my New Year’s Goals as long term goals for the year, and then I set goals at the beginning of the month for that month.  The first year I did this, my goals each month were PATHETIC.  I was SOOOOO busy at the time I barely had time to breathe, so everything was getting pushed aside into a “Someday I want to….” list.  I decided to make “someday” now, so I started working on my goals.  Some of my pathetic goals were things like “research how much it will cost to touch up the paint on the front end of my car”  (I know….what does that take….3 Phone calls?  But I was so busy, and if it’s something I’ve never done before, I put it off forever, which is why these things kept piling up.) or “figure out how to ebay.”  My rule was that whatever my goal for the month was, I had to have it done by the LAST DAY of that month.  If I got done earlier, I could set another goal, but I counted it successful if the goal was accomplished by the end of the month….well, let’s just say that the majority of that year, I finished my goal in the last couple of days of the month. 

I learned SO much that year by setting my goals and working on them.  That was the year I learned how to do my taxes myself, how to weave baskets, how to ebay, and lots more.  I was so excited and I felt like I was accomplishing SO much (I was).  The next year, I was so excited about setting goals and working on them, again I got a LOT accomplished that year.

This year, I’m getting so good at setting and accomplishing goals that I usually set goals for the WEEK. (and it’s usually more than one goal a week……compared to the one goal a MONTH that I was setting previously.)  It feels so good to get things accomplished and to be making progress in my life!

So, this is the story of how I used goals so I can quit my job and teach piano lessons for a living.  (Something that a couple of years ago I thought was impossible….it was on my “Someday” list.)

First of all, goals have to be SMART.  That is Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Reasonable, and Timely, in order for them to work.  For example, I am not a person who likes to exercise, and I currently don’t exercise more than a couple of times a month, so if I set a goal to go to the gym and work out an hour a day for 5 days, that’s not going to work……Just the thought of that goal overwhelms me and it will NEVER get done.  A SMART goal would be to say that my goal is to Swim 30 minutes once a week.  Once I reach that goal, I can say that my goal is to swim for 45 minutes twice a week, etc.  The point is that if I just say I will “exercise” it’s not going to happen, I have to be specific and say that I will swim.  If I don’t exercise now and my goal is to exercise an hour a day 5 days a week, that’s not reasonable, and it’s not attainable.  I’m defeating myself before I even get started, but by breaking my goals up into small action steps they are SMART for me, and I can work up to the bigger goals.

This is how I did it for teaching piano.  I did the math and I know that at my current rate, I need 30 students to make what I’m making at my job.  30 students is a lot when you only have 2 students.  So I told myself, work toward 10 students.  Then you can work toward 15 students, when you get 15 students, you can quit your job and work toward 20 students.  Do you see how this works?  Small steps.  The other things that I did during the last year to get ready to quit my job and teach for a living were:

  • Pay off my car (and lower my insurance premium.)
  • Put money in savings.
  • Talk to other Piano teachers to figure out the details.
  • Work on marketing ideas.
  • Talk to the Small Business Association for advice.
  • A LOT of prayer went into this too.

  As far as weekly goals, I split them into goals for the week and goals for the weekend.  My goal may be something as simple as getting to the music store, or it maybe something big like building Grace a swingset, either way by breaking it into attainable action steps, I get them done.  To do lists help a lot with this too.

It’s not that I don’t have time for fun, but by setting my goals and working toward them, I am not only accomplishing things on a daily basis, but I am able to look at the priorities in my life and work on my personal goals.  SMART goals have helped me move from wishing that I could stay home with Grace and teach piano, to making it a reality.

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