Creating New Holiday Traditions
Posted by Francesca de Valence on Wednesday, December 16, 2020
So from my Airbnb in Paris, I offered out to the universe (really, just my mailing list) 10 conversations with people via Zoom. That was all. It was the simplest way I felt that I could experience that - to have rich experiences and expansive conversations.
I remember sitting in my Airbnb on a few bright blue and chilly winter mornings in Paris, drinking coffee and having conversations with musicians, and people who longed to be creative but struggled with that, and songwriters, and it was awesome and uplifting. Some of those people, I could offer some guidance to, some next steps on what they might do next, and some of them, we just had great conversations. But one common theme to all, they felt that they weren’t yet living into their true potential.
People tell me that they ‘want what I have’ (or at least how people see that) and what I believe they mean is my sense of ‘freedom’ to create, to travel where I desire, and quite literally, to live my wildest creative dreams. It’s a joy to be an inspiration to those people.
(Side question: Who you are attracting in your life based on who you are and what you’re putting out into the world?)
Some of those people who I spoke to that first year, I could really help. And continued to. That first year, there was Jeremy. When Jeremy and I spoke in that conversation, he told me that he dreamed of writing finished songs, but struggled to do that. 12 months later, he had launched himself as an artist with his first single, and since then has recorded and released 3 singles. I was helping him do this behind the scenes as his mentor. That conversation from my apartment in Paris, on Zoom, sparked some of the biggest, most exciting life changes that Jeremy experienced. He still thanks me to this day for helping him overcome some of the biggest personal barriers that stopped him from living his wildest creative dreams. (PS. Jeremy is about to launch a new single before 2020 is out!!)
I loved those 10 conversations so much, that the next year I put it out there again. Again, with no attachment or filter around where those conversations might go.
One of the 10 people I spoke to last Christmas was Shirley-Ann from The Jazzuleles - a really cool ukulele duo from Cairns that play original music. Shirley-Ann knew that she was put here to make music, but didn’t have a path to move forward and take action on that dream. She was writing songs each week in I Heart Songwriting Club but she was stuck with what steps to take next. She didn’t want to keep going round in circles, so I joined Shirley-Ann’s team as her mentor. Within 10 months, The Jazzuleles recorded and released 5 singles and an EP, plus lots of incredible shows, both online (it was 2020, after all) and in-person where possible.
So this year, I want to offer this again. Over the next month, I am offering 10 conversations with 10 people via Zoom. I don’t know how I can help these people, but I know I would love to be able to help and inspire them in some way if I can. So I thought I might list out some of the ways that I can help people:
So if that intrigues you. If you’re thinking, that sounds awesome and I want that. I want to start living my wildest creative dreams, then, let’s do it! Hop on my mailing list or send me an email and I'll share with you more about that.
And if you don’t want to have a 1-1 conversation with me over a cuppa, you might instead want to listen to this very cool podcast episode where I have a conversation with my good friend, Sam Buckingham on her new “Song Baker” Podcast. Listen here.
Finally, I want to thank you for your support and love. It is pure joy to be able to do what I’m really here to do on this planet.
**Edit and addition
I want to share one common question that came up in response to this, and that was around how I have started helping established artists build new models of online businesses for themselves. “Francesca, what is that, tell me more??” YES, I can! I’d love to share more about that.
This all came about as a result of seeing all my friends lose all their work and livelihood over the last year, due to COVID - their main source of income being ticket sales from touring. And whilst my touring schedule had been cancelled, I had another core business that was already established - one that was online, location independent, and clearly pandemic-proof - and was only enhanced by when I was on the road.
This year exposed that the existing and ‘current’ business model for many established artists and songwriters is based on the success of other businesses - mainly bars, clubs and festivals. Which is kind of ludicrous, because all they really want to do is write and share their music, right?
In my exploration of how else that could look for them, how they could reclaim their financial independence… something that I’ve been doing for myself for years… I had this vision:
What if artists and songwriters who were already established could create a sustainable and unshakeable core to their business that is not dependent on touring, on their release cycle, but could be completely enhanced by that? One that would empower themselves financially, and beyond?
What would that look like for them? What would that make possible for them?
So I took a small group of established artists on a journey to build their own online business as the new sustainable core to their music business. The point being, when touring goes back, instead of relying just on the ticket sales (and maybe merch) as their only income source, there is another, more sustainable core business that they can count on - online, location-independent, sustainable and pandemic-proof. One that would allow them to really make an impact on the lives of others and live out their big and colourful versions of themselves. Whilst really being their own bosses and paying themselves a salary!
I have loved seeing that develop for those creators. Some have already launched their core businesses and with her permission, one of my clients Elska has shared some words about her experience.
“I had a big-hearted, colourful creative business idea that I dreamed about for over 2 years but lacked the belief, knowledge and skills to make it a reality. In just 8 months of working with Francesca, I have successfully launched my fully fledged business 'Creative Queens' with my first paying clients!
Francesca’s real-world knowledge, game-changing resources, honest guidance, and ongoing motivation and support has allowed me to build a creative career that will not only give me financial abundance, but will make a huge difference to the people I work with and impact the lives of others - including my own family. I can now say I am truly creating the creative life I crave and living my wildest creative dreams!”- Elska (music artist, podcaster & founder of 'Creative Queens')
“Financial abundance”. How rare are those words heard with ‘artist’ in the same sentence??
Well, it’s completely possible. And completely excites me!
Each person I’m working with is creating that core business that is completely unique to who they are. Elska’s is a complete embodiment of her incredible, unique self.
This is something else that super lights me up, helping people discover their uniqueness and supporting them to do something exciting and unique with that.
How would it really feel to get a handle on what your uniqueness really is and start empowering your life from the inside out? I can tell it feels like ‘really living’!!
So that is one of the conversations I’m open to having as part of my 10 conversations… I need to give this a name don’t I? Maybe if I do it again next year, I’ll have a name for it.
These are some of my Christmas 2019 pictures, from Paris, Nice - France
"Francesca is a true visionary, she is someone that is not afraid to challenge the status quo and has a lot of really wise things to say about creating, and about the music industry. She is showing up every single day to make a difference for songwriters and music consumers all around the world." - Sam Buckingham, Songwriter, Musician and Podcaster