When there is a dream placed in your heart, you have to follow it…no matter what.
I joke that I’ve had every part time job in New York City. From dog walking, to nannying, to teaching kids cooking classes, to being a waitress…I have quite a collection of name tags, aprons and stories from my six years of working these jobs. But as I would show up for part time work everyday, there was a full-time job placed in my heart that I was working on accomplishing. I wanted to be a successful singer/songwriter, to bring happiness to people through my music. I would save up the cash I was making at all my jobs in NYC and take trips to Nashville to record demos and come back to New York broke.
Little did I know, those songs would become the blueprint to getting a record deal with Warehouse Records and creating my first album Paper Heart produced by Marshall Altman who has worked with amazing artists like Natasha Beddingfield, Matt Nathanson and Ingrid Michaelson.
I built a band and got bold by pitching my music to festivals, which led me to opening for the incredible James Taylor. Crazy and amazing! Leaving the stage that night really confirmed to me that you have the power to accomplish whatever you set your mind to – you just have to get specific about it! Now, through some specific planning and bold risk-taking, I’m ecstatic to say that I am a full-time singer/songwriter. But it wasn’t easy – remember it took me SIX YEARS of working other odd jobs to get to where I am now!
No matter what your dream is, you CAN accomplish it, and I wanted to give you all a few fun ways to get on the road to making YOUR dream a reality.
Get Specific: Write it down. Write your goals and dreams on note cards as if you’ve already accomplished them. For example, “I am celebrating getting signed to a record label,” then visualize that specific occurrence happening. It’s a fun way to get your brain focused on making it a reality. Then leave the cards by your bed so you can read them when you wake up and when you to go sleep.
Make Lists: Breakdown your dream into smaller doable tasks. I love to-do lists, so I find when I create and follow through on three tasks a day that are in alignment with my dreams, I am able to see my small victories, and they make me feel physically closer to accomplishing my bigger dream.
BE BOLD/Take action: Whatever your dream is…I’m sure there are people out there or events that exist where you can go and network with people in the field of your desired dream. Just show up! Go to these events and be respectful and bold. Take the leap and introduce yourself to the speakers at these events. Start creating solid relationships with people who can help you and encourage you.
I wish you all the success in the world as you make your journey towards accomplishing your dreams.
Risa Binder is a Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter. Risa has been spotlighted recently for her debut album Paper Heart by the Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Tonight, Billboard, American Songwriter and more.