Do you see every new undertaking as something you’ll be working on indefinitely, or do you have a specific deadline and criteria for its completion?
I don’t believe that either of these mindsets is right or wrong. But something I’ve been giving more thought to lately is something I call The Project Capsule.
But, before I get to that, let me explain how my thinking led me here.
Whenever I start something new, I often see it as something that must have some kind of continuity. I think it’s easy to view a blog or a podcast as something that requires continual upkeep. It doesn’t necessarily have a start or an end by design.
So, when it comes to online projects, you almost have to set your own boundaries. Blogging and podcasting could be viewed as ongoing marketing activities rather than as the project itself.
In music, this is almost definitely true, because, for example, if you’re in the process of putting out a new single, the rest of the content on your website is just there to support the promotion of that new single.
In my line of work, I must say that writing and recording almost always seems like the work part of the equation rather than the marketing part. But when I really think about it, while a book could be a product, a blog post or a podcast episode probably isn’t.
What I’m driving at here is that you should distinguish between the product and the marketing. This doesn’t matter as much if you just want to blog for the sake of blogging, but it matters a lot if you see yourself as an entrepreneur.
The project capsule idea entered into my consciousness as I was having a conversation with Sean Harley a little while back. He talks about how setting rails for his projects helps him from getting into the trap of a never-ending undertaking. He describes how it takes the pressure off of the project, as it doesn’t need to be seen as a perpetual endeavor. Moreover, when he finishes something, he can move on to the next idea.
Then, I also heard the guys on The Fizzle Show talking about how Seth Godin only does projects (his blog is a project with considerable continuity, so again that differentiation between the product and the marketing counts). However, he views his books and businesses as ideas with definite ends.
I am starting to think about how I can incorporate more of this thinking into my own endeavors. As I continue to evaluate what I want my product to be and how I want to market it, I think this will become a lot clearer. I want you to start thinking about how a capsule approach could benefit your work as well.
An album or an EP or a single are all great examples of project capsules. It’s clear what the product is, and the marketing supports it when you know your central focus.
How do you approach projects? What has worked for you in the past? Why do you approach undertakings the way you do? Let us know in the comments section below!
Author: David Andrew Wiebe
David Andrew Wiebe has built an extensive career in songwriting, live performance, recording, session playing, production work, investing, and music instruction. In addition to helping musicians unlock their full potential, he also continues to maintain a touring schedule with multiple bands.