Is it time to move? Are you looking to relocate, either for the sake of your music career, or for the sake of your own well-being?
In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I share some thoughts on my last three moves.
- 00:14 – Reasons for moving as a musician
- 00:41 – Moving may not be fun, but at times it’s necessary
- 00:51 – What I’ve learned from three separate moves
- 00:57 – My latest move
- 02:20 – Moving can improve your quality of life
- 03:30 – Sometimes hard decisions are only made on a deadline
- 05:04 – Moving can shake up your habits and routine
- 06;18 – Moving may force you to innovate
- 07:59 – Summary and final thoughts
I haven’t heard anyone say moving is their favorite activity.
And yet, for a musician, the need to move can arise for a variety of reasons.
You may find yourself:
- Wanting to leave an unhealthy situation.
- Able to afford a better living space, and therefore a better quality of life.
- Needing to relocate due to new career opportunities.
- Wanting to move in with your significant other.
- On the hunt for a more affordable place, because you want to streamline your lifestyle.
- Or otherwise.
Moving may not be fun, but at times it is necessary. It’s surprising how many music blogs talk about the importance of location, and yet leave the topic of moving entirely unaddressed.
So, here are some of my thoughts on moving, and what I’ve learned from three separate moves since 2012.
My Latest Move
Things have been anything but the same old, same old for me since returning from Japan in November 2017.
There were several minor setbacks, as well as some major ones. The biggest of all was my car breaking down. I ended up replacing it urgently.
Little did I know there was another challenge waiting for me on the heels of the last.
Things started changing at home when a longtime roommate moved out. A new roommate moved in shortly after, and let’s just say he wasn’t entirely stable.
This quickly prompted the need and desire to find a new place to live. In some ways, I had been putting it off anyway, and had been putting up with a lot of nonsense where I was living in the interim.
As I write this, I’m not fully moved in to the new home. We just took possession of the place today.
And when I say we, I mean I decided to find a place with a fellow entrepreneur and friend. We knew that splitting the costs would allow us to afford more house. We also felt it would save us from winding up in the same situation again.
Moving to a safer, healthier, and cleaner environment quickly became a major priority, especially considering my goals and life as an entrepreneur.
A stable, peaceful, and consistent environment is what an entrepreneur requires to do their best work, because we’re always trying to solve huge problems with our businesses. Unfortunately, this sometimes leaves us with little time and energy to deal with the smaller problems that arise in our home lives.
Here are several other things I’ve learned from my recent moves.
#1 – Moving Can Improve Your Mood & Quality of Life
With my latest move, my spirits were lifted, almost instantaneously, as I left an unhealthy environment and found myself in an entirely new one.
This is the only time this has happened in the last three moves. When I sold my house in 2012, I was having to move an entire house into a basement suite. So, while this did relieve a lot of financial pressure, my quality of life didn’t exactly get better. I found myself on the far eastern outskirts of town, which wasn’t exactly known to be the safest.
With the next move, I was simply moving from one basement to another. My parents referred to my new room as “the dungeon”, if you’re wondering exactly how much of an upgrade that was.
But with the latest move, I feel like I’m getting a fresh start. After spending a bit of time in our new home, my friend could see right away that there was a shift with my mood and energy. A big weight was lifted from my shoulders after leaving the last house behind.
Though I never advise anyone to increase their lifestyle too fast, if you find yourself in a position where it makes sense financially to upgrade, then it’s good to know that moving might open new channels of creativity for you.
#2 – Sometimes You Only Make Hard Decisions on a Deadline
One of my favorite Japanese pop duos is CHAGE&ASKA. In the liner notes of one of their albums, they noted the fact that it seems projects can only be completed within the strict confines of a deadline.Projects can only be completed within the strict confines of a deadline. Click To Tweet
It’s easy to daydream about what it would be like to have unlimited time to work on your creative projects as an artist. But as fun as that might sound, if you didn’t have clear guidelines for your projects and you weren’t disciplined, you would probably end up starting way more projects than you could realistically finish.
With the latest move, there was limited time for me to plan and pack. Realistically, I knew I couldn’t bring all of my stuff with me, because I knew I would be moving into a smaller home. I’m not a packrat per se, but I do have a bad habit of holding onto a lot of things, mostly because it’s easy for me to create an emotional attachment to them.
For this move, I forced myself to think in terms of just the essentials, and the most valuable items I possess. I decided everything else could be put into storage, sold, given away, taken to the trash, or simply left behind.
I’ve had the desire to be a minimalist – or at the very least an essentialist – for a while. Since there wasn’t much time to figure everything out, and I needed to act fast, I simply took the opportunity to triage and streamline, and I know my life will be better for it.
I’ve talked about being a channel and not a dam before. I think that philosophy applies here too. Create outflow in your life, and you’ll begin to see new inflow. The act of giving, selling, or eliminating things you no longer need, in my experience, can lead to some incredible blessings.
#3 – It Could Lead to Changes in Your Habits & Routine
Let’s say you move from a closed-in apartment complex to a suburban house where scenic walking paths are plentiful. Would that inspire you to take more walks to clear your head, stimulate your creative thinking, and improve your health?
Even if you only end up moving 15 minutes from your previous home, which is what I did, you will probably find yourself frequenting different stores, and potentially utilizing businesses and service you never did before.
That gets you out of your regular routine. Maybe you like your routine, and you tend to avoid change. But sometimes without change and new stimuli, your creativity can suffer, and you can end up becoming too comfortable.
Perhaps moving to a cleaner, nicer house would inspire you to spend more time organizing and cleaning. Maybe it would cause you to wake up and go to bed earlier so you could get more done during the day.
Moving can shake you out of your regular routine and cause you to evaluate how you’re doing things right now. Routines need to change based on how your goals evolve. Sometimes people forget to adapt based on what’s important to them right now, blindly living out the same routine without questioning it.
If the definition of insanity is trying the same things expecting different results, then we are all insane at times.
#4 – You may be Forced to Innovate
You pack all your boxes, carefully move them out of your old home one by one, and then into your new home. But what’s this? You can’t seem to find what you’re looking for! You could have sworn the item you’re searching for is in one of three boxes you already checked.
This happens all the time. Moving is generally a process, and not a one-and-done activity. It can take time to settle into a new place, and when you first move in, there’s a good chance you don’t have everything set up the way you want it to be.
Maybe your agenda goes missing and you end up having to reconstruct it from memory. Maybe the internet guy can’t make it out to your house to set up your router for a full week. Perhaps you threw out your old desk and ordered a new one to be delivered later.
Whatever the case, the temptation is generally to get frustrated and not do anything when things aren’t going the way you want them to go. I would argue that this is an opportunity to innovate and rethink your approach, even if you only apply it to your situation temporarily.
Entrepreneurs are problem-solvers. And even if you don’t consider yourself an entrepreneur, you’re likely a creative, so here’s an opportunity to put that creative brain of yours to good use.
Innovating can boost your self-confidence and can even lead to new creative ideas. If you feel like you’re stuck, begin thinking of alternative solutions to your problems. I find most people don’t, and just make excuses for their lack of imagination.
Try James Altucher’s idea generation method. He says he doesn’t go to sleep without coming up with and writing down 10 ideas (typically, 10 ways to improve something, such as a business). Not every idea you come up with will be any good, but imagine all the options you’ll create for yourself over time. In just 10 days, you’ll have 100 fresh ideas to work with.
Sometimes, moving can improve the quality of your life. This may be a pressing necessity rather than just a decision to live “the good life”, as it was in my situation.
When you make that transition, you may find yourself performing at a higher level, accomplishing more in less time, and taking hold of newfound inspiration.
If you find yourself unable to make up your mind about what to purge, give away, sell, or keep, putting a hard deadline on your move can help you triage and make quicker decisions about what’s essential to living your life.
There often are hard deadlines connected to moving anyway, but it’s far too easy to give yourself too much time and space to decide on every little thing. If the need to move is urgent, and you’re not thrilled about the prospect of moving all your belongings to begin with, you’re more likely to make clearheaded decisions about what and what not to take with you.
You may find yourself doing things a little differently after your move. Getting out of your routine is a good thing, especially if you’ve become a slave to it instead of using it as a tool to achieve your goals. It might give your creativity a boost as well, as it has for me.
Moving may also force you to innovate and find ways of coping with deficiencies. You may end up finding better, more efficient ways of doing things. Or, you might find yourself purchasing new tools.
Moving isn’t all bad, and it can be exciting at times, too, especially if you’re moving for opportunity.