Andrew's Blog

This Shit Is Hard 

I'm four months into this year, where I planned to refocus my life around music and performing. So far, I've accomplished almost nothing. This shit is hard. 

I thought I had my life in a place where money and bills and work had all taken their places down my priority list. They haven't. My life has been overrun since the very beginning of the year with setback after setback. Every time I overcome one, another one takes its place. I keep getting back up, then getting knocked down again. But I won't stop getting up. 

I'm convinced that there's a way to do this. To start building out a meaningful life focused on my passion in the midst of my current one. I'm going to find a way, even if it kicks my ass. I'm going to do it, and I'm going to show you that it can be done. 

This might take some time. Its going to be harder than I thought. I refuse to back down. 

Studio 

I've had a few people ask why I decided to lease a studio rather than just working out of my house. It definitely wasn't a decision I took lightly. In fact, I've wanted to write music for years, and one of the things that held me back the most was thinking that I could do this from home. But if that was going to work for me, it would have worked by now. I started really thinking about the specific reasons, and decided to share them here. 

Privacy

First of all, I need privacy for creative work. If people are listening to me when I'm singing, I just can't fully put myself into it. I'm always so tuned in to other people that I end up performing for them rather than putting the effort into getting better. I have to be isolated to practice, then interact with people to stimulate new ideas. I have lots of interaction with people in my life, but not enough isolation to allow the mental space for creativity. 

Carl Jung had a house in the woods where he would study and write for weeks or months on end. Charles Dickens walked over 12 miles a day by himself. Thoreau would go on aimless wanders in the woods. An endless number of authors have done their best work in little cabins in the woods. 

The noises at home are enough to keep me from really immersing myself into the task of writing music. But the noises in my head are ten times stronger. So I decided to build a studio. 

Leverage

A good friend of mine introduced me to the concept of getting leverage on yourself. I hadn't ever heard the term, but I'd definitely experienced it. 

When I started my current business, I went all in. I leased a big office. Hired employees. Bought furniture. I had bills to pay, and I had to produce. And produce I did. 

I have a tendency to have lots of big ideas and very little follow through. I blame extraverted intuition. As I've come to understand myself better, I've realized that I'm much more motivated to think about concepts than I am to take action. I've also learned that it takes pressure to get me to take action. 

So when I made the commitment to myself to pursue music full-throttle, I knew I needed to get leverage on myself. The studio is leverage. So is creating this website and blog, and telling everyone I know about my plans. Having people ask me daily about my progress and my music is definitely a motivator. I want to create something great to share with everyone I know. 

Connections

I also understand the value of connections. Music is a business and an art. Collaboration is important on both sides of that equation. 

Having a studio will give me a place to meet with other musicians and rehearse and co-write music. To make noise at midnight laughing and playing guitars. It'll also give me a place to work on the business side of my music. 

Home is where all of the bills get paid, the dinner gets cooked, and the hard conversations about life get had. My studio will be free of all of those things. When I am there, it will be all about the music, and the people that make the music happen. 

 

Self awareness is such an important part of everything in life, and I know enough about myself to understand how to make myself move, in spite of my tendency towards inaction. I need to be all in on something. I need to be committed and make it hard on myself to quit. 

So, I'm leasing a studio. I'll be sharing some pictures soon, so make sure to follow me on instagram or facebook! 

Telling My Friends 

Every decision to follow a dream involves a "coming out" moment of its own kind, where the dreamer reveals his intentions to his friends and family. On March 3, 2018, I made my plans known through Facebook. The content of that post is below. 


Hi friends! So yes, I'm back on Facebook, and I have some news that I'm excited to share. Music has been a huge passion of mine for most of my life, and one that has been relegated to the status of a hobby for too long. I'm changing that.   

I've done a lot of thinking over the past several years to try to understand myself better. As I've gotten older, I've started to think more about how short and precious life is. How we only get so long here, and how it can be over at any minute. When you get to your late 30s, you start to see friends going through some really scary shit, and it makes a man think.  

So many times in my past, when I've been faced with the decision to follow my heart or to choose the safe option, I've chosen the safe option. Almost every time, actually.   

But safe really isn't safe at all. In seeking security, I ended up living a life that left me discontented and lacking depth and meaning. A life well lived is more than just being able to pay your bills without checking the balance in your checking account first.   

We've all heard statements like this before. I've even shared them and written about them myself. But when it comes to living them, its difficult. So what has changed for me?   

In short, I looked at what my life would look like 5, 10, and 20 years down the road if I kept doing what I was doing. I didn't like what it looked like for my health or my happiness. I was overweight, drinking too much, and too busy with things that weren't important to pursue the things that were.   

And then, one line of one book really hit me between the eyes. Who are you NOT to do it?   

Music, and singing specifically, is a gift I was given. I didn't do anything to deserve to be able to sing, it just happened. But if I have a gift that can make an impact on the world, who am I not to use it. Why would I die with it inside of me?   

So, I am making a change, and I'm putting it to use, and I'm doing it by my own rules. I've had great support from my wife and close friends, and some incredibly valuable conversations with the inimitable Jenn Bostic Ernst that have me more excited than I can possibly express. 

So in the short term, here's what I'm up to. I'm building out a studio where I can write music and host co-writing sessions, and where I can rehearse daily in a private space outside of home. I'm working on writing music now and getting my voice back into shape. 

Later this year, I'll go into a studio and record some of it. And along the way, I'll start looking for opportunities to play my original music in front of live audiences, which is what I love to do more than anything.   

If you'd like to follow along and see how this goes for me, all I can ask for now is that you go to andrewschultz.com and subscribe with your email on the home page. There will be a lot to come, and that will be the best way to make sure you don't miss something that might be on Facebook.   

And, what would be even more valuable to me at this point would be if you would go to https://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/jenn-bostic-revival-album-2018-tour and preorder Jenn's new album that she is releasing in April. 

Help her make her release a smashing success. The more preorders she has, the better publicity she will get when her album releases, so go get it today. Her support has been incredible, and the best way I can think of to thank her is to ask all of you to get behind her new music! You won't be sorry!   

Lastly, no, I'm not giving up my day job! I'm very fortunate to have the help of my great team at the office that gives me the ability to do this the way that I want to. Thanks a million times to Ashley Olson and Amy Tatge for everything they do!!! 

Thanks for reading!  

Andrew Schultz

Undoing a long walk down the safe road 

Flash back to a couple years ago. I was burned out to the max. I had done everything I was supposed to do, and I had the life that I was supposed to want. A great wife, a beautiful home, a successful business, and plenty of money. 

But I was miserable, had no motivation, and I couldn't figure out why. All I knew was that what I was doing wasn't working, and that something had to change. 

But I've never been the type who is content with just putting my head down and grinding on. I want the truth, at any cost. And off I went in search of it. 

Did I need a different career? That just seemed like another path to a dead end. A vacation? That might help for a little while, but it didn't address the core issue. More money wouldn't get me anything but more problems, right Biggie? 

What I needed was to reconnect with myself, and to start living for myself. So after much reflection, I finally realized what had gone wrong. 

The Decision

It was my first semester of college. Away from my small town home for the first time, I took in the world and wanted all of it. At least I wanted all of the materialistic parts of it. Really, I wanted girls, and I saw the rich kids at school picking up more girls. 

But my passion was music. I discovered music in high school and in many ways, it rescued me. I grew up in a small town and never really fit in until I found music. Singing was the first thing I was ever really good at, and through it, I felt like I belonged to something for the first time in my life.

I had offers for scholarships from some pretty prestigious music schools, but opted to pursue a music degree at a liberal arts school a few hours from home instead. I wasn't ready to go from the farm to Boston. 

And a couple of weeks into college, I changed my major from music to business. I dropped my theory classes and enrolled in accounting. 

Twenty years later, I found myself discontented and searching back through my memories, looking for where I went wrong. And I found my answer. It was there, talking to a friend about my decision on the sidewalk outside of Hvidsten Hall on the Concordia College campus. 

I realized that in that moment I changed the entire path of my life, and it led me down a long road in the wrong direction. And so, I committed to do what it took to get back to a place where I could make music. This website is a manifestation of that day. And so is the music that I'm writing. 

Taking Back My Passion

I don't know where this all will end up. I'm not trying to control the outcome. But I know that music will take a central role in my life going forward, and that I'm going to work at it like its my job. I'm going to put in the same effort I put into taking the "safe" path, and I'm going to see where it takes me. 

I hope you'll come along on the journey with me.