Welcome to Being Fearless!

Season 1 - Episode 1


Michelle Lynne: Hi there and welcome to The Fearless Artist Podcast where we empower classical musicians to build their own thriving careers. I’m your host, Michelle Lynne and together with Deanna Petre, we teach artists to conquer the entrepreneurial side of their careers and create the futures they want.

Deanna Petre: We are two freelance classical musicians who have lived and worked in Europe for a decade. And together, we started The Fearless Artist Mastermind, a coaching company created to teach classical musicians how to overcome fear and take action on building their dream careers.

Michelle Lynne: In each episode, we will explore the intersection of artistry and entrepreneurship, teaching you the Fearless Mindset with practical steps and strategies to build a sustainable career.

Deanna Petre: Get ready to build your own artistic brand, find a supportive community of musicians so that you don’t have to figure out everything alone and earn a living that you deserve.

Michelle Lynne: We believe that you could be a thriving artist and not a starving one, and we are redefining what it means to be a classical musician in the modern era. 

Michelle Lynne: Hi and welcome. This is The Fearless Artist Podcast. My name is Michelle Lynne and I’m one of the co founders here, along with Deanna Petre. And together we want to welcome you warmly to our brand new podcast, where we are going to be talking about all things freelance, classical musicians, and how we can build our own careers. Deanna and I started a company called The Fearless Artist Mastermind and together we run masterminds for musicians around the world. What a mastermind is when people get together and they problem solve. It’s a beautiful concept. It is very rewarding and enriching. You learn a lot from each other and you also surround yourself with high achievers, with like minded people. You surround yourself with a lot of wisdom, a lot of insight, a lot of people who have experience in ways that you may not. And ultimately, it, compels you to get very clear on what it is that you want and taking action steps towards making it happen. 

Deanna and I have been best friends for a while now. We began by performing together. I’m a classical pianist and she is a violist. She now resides in Minnesota, Minneapolis. But for the last 10 years she’s been in Paris and I am coming from the Netherlands , although I am Canadian. We are expats who moved over to Europe and we did the whole build your career in Europe exciting thing that a lot of musicians do.

And, very quickly we realized that we were not equipped in school to handle the challenges that it takes to build a career in the real world… things like how to get concerts, how to self promote, how to put yourself out there, how to overcome the fear of what people are thinking about you, how to build a network, how to talk to people.

Being in foreign countries, both of us, we also had additional challenges like languages, fitting in with different cultures… we’ve had to grow and learn and adapt. And luckily we found each other, in 2016. And began performing together in Paris, most of all. And then, from there, we started touring together, with the Juilliard Alumni Program, as Deanna studied at Juilliard. And we recognized quickly that we had a very good partnership.

And then, right before the lockdown happened in 2020, we took part in a mastermind ourselves with some of her Juilliard colleagues. And we just absolutely loved the concept. of getting together with other musicians and discussing challenges that we all face. Because, you know, ultimately you are your own ceiling.

And if you don’t find a way to overcome fear, if you don’t find a way to overcome your own excuses, or your own lack of knowledge about a certain area… you’re just gonna be able to hold yourself back. And that’s not what we wanted. So we did this mastermind, we absolutely loved the concept. And we felt like we could offer this as well to other people in our friend groups.

So, just the story of how we started, put up an Instagram post said… hey, everybody, we want to start this mastermind. If you’re interested, just drop us a message. And we had 10 people immediately sign up. And then we thought like… okay, we might be on to something. From there, we’ve built our company over the last three years.

And we now offer two different mastermind programs – one is a three month and one is a six week, accelerated version…. which I’ll talk about in the future. And as well we have a monthly membership where we have a built a beautiful community of musicians. So that’s a little intro of who we are and why we started. It was really to teach ourselves. First of all, like, okay, what did we not learn in school? And then how can we talk about this with our fellow colleagues and just help one another, you know, and things like content creation…. things like getting visible, things like marketing strategies… and sales strategies, organizing concerts, project management, administration skills, building a teaching studio, dealing with admin, and studio policies, and protecting yourself as a musician…. and the core fundament of The Fearless Artist is helping artists understand that you don’t need to be starving. You don’t need to have the starving artist mindset where you just are like hungry for table scraps and you get whatever comes to you. We really want to encourage you that it is possible to build the career of your dreams. That is what we think is the entrepreneurial mindset is looking at what opportunities you have in front of you and taking advantage of them and really going for it.

I personally teach entrepreneurship now at two faculties in the Netherlands where I reside. At the Conservatory of Maastricht, I teach your art as a business… and additionally at Codarts in Rotterdam, I teach professional development for Classical Musicians Entrepreneurship. So thanks to this, as well as our work with our clients at The Fearless Artist, I have seen a wide range of careers and ages and struggles. I can honestly say that primarily, I think that fear is the number one thing that holds so many people back from going after whatever it is that they want.

So, we really view our work as helping people unlock what it is that they really want, and then having the the action plan and the steps to go get it. 

One of the memories that I have from a few years ago was when I really felt like I was lost and stuck with my career. I was extremely busy. I was running around gig to gig. I was teaching a lot of piano, which I did love and I absolutely loved my students but I noticed that it maybe wasn’t my zone of genius. It maybe wasn’t what made me light up inside and come alive. Although we did beautiful things and I loved seeing them play and I loved having recitals and things.

I just knew I’m not sure that this is exactly the right fit for me. But I don’t know what else to do at this point. Especially when you have to pay your bills. So I remember just feeling so lost and stuck and saying yes to everything that came my way and I recognized that I was so busy and I was not actually making steps towards the ultimate career that I wanted.

I began learning how to put myself out there and I had this little key that I wore. It’s from a company called The Giving Keys. And I wore this key for I think three years and the word that I chose was fearless. I wore it under my clothes and it was just to remind myself like I am going to be brave and I’m going to go after this. And try to stop worry about what people think about me. I made a website, I made a professional Facebook page and I started an Instagram for my piano career. I started basically taking myself seriously. And that was a huge shift for me… maybe not immediately, but internally it was like, okay, I’m actually going to go for this.

And from there things have built into a beautiful career that I have had the privilege of building. And now together with Deanna that we’re building The Fearless Artist. 

When we work with our clients, again, we’re really coming down to what lights you up inside. What gives you joy? Where do you feel like your place is in the musician world? You know, we really feel like everyone has a gift and that everyone has a place. We don’t need to fight for a place at the table, We don’t need to fight and compete with everybody else. But you know, we grew up in a really toxic environment. We grew up in a competitive mindset, we grew up in an environment where like people are literally counting your mistakes and comparing you to the next six year old child beside you. And talking about who’s better who played better.

I mean, it’s just it’s just um… very, very unhealthy. I think to put kids through that rather than celebrating creativity, celebrating progress, celebrating development, encouragement. And like I had wonderful teachers, of course, but I think that when you’re in that festival competition mindset, it just can do something to you, especially if you’re a highly sensitive person, which, I personally am. And I think a lot of artists are… it’s just kind of, you know, part of, part of why we are artists, right. Because we’re very sensitive. So, there you go. we are going to be doing, podcast episodes, probably monthly at this point. And what you can expect is they are going to be action packed.

They’re going to be on the shorter side. We know that a lot of you are very busy and if you are just listening along as you’re at the gym or in the car or whatever it is that you’re doing, walking the dog. We want you to walk away feeling empowered, inspired, taking tools to help you build the career of your dreams.

We have a motto at The Fearless Artist and that’s – we don’t wait for the phone to ring, we pick up the phone and we make it ring ourselves. So that’s something you’re going to be hearing on repeat from us that. We are going to encourage you to go after what you want. We’re going to encourage you to put yourself out there. We’re going to encourage you to let yourself be seen, let yourself be heard. You know, you are a performing musician. Most likely, if you’re listening to this, or you have experience performing, you know what it means to be on stage. And something like this, coming onto a digital platform… is just another stage. It’s just another version of you being visible. And that’s something that I think that you can learn how to get comfortable with. And that’s going to help you a lot. 

What else you can expect? You’re going to meet Deanna. Unfortunately, she won’t be sitting beside me because she lives in the States. But we’re going to be doing episodes together and we’re also going to have lots of guests. I have a wonderful network of highly educated, intelligent, wise friends and I’m going to be thrilled to be bringing them on… and interviewing them about how did they build their careers? What are some of the stories and challenges and things that they have learned and how can we learn from them?

You’re also going to know that we’re going to motivate you and push you to get unstuck and build the career that you want. So, we are just thrilled to be here. We’re thrilled to have the privilege to speak into your life. We want to encourage you that if you’re looking for accountability and support… we have a membership called fast forward and that’s where people get together on monthly zoom calls talk about what’s going on. And share their goals and their challenges with each other. It is life giving. It is inspiring. It’s a wonderful, wonderful community. 

And that’s going to be our introduction episode. If you liked this, please go ahead and we are going to need all the help we can get to spread the word. You can start by liking and subscribing to this podcast. And please share it with a few of your friends, your musician friends, people who are going to want to hear this message.

And we really look forward to connecting with many of you over the coming year. And to share our experience and our advice and our wisdom to help you build the career of your dreams. So we look forward to it. Thanks for being here. And we’re going to say – be fearless.

Deanna Petre: Thank you for listening to The Fearless Artist Podcast. If you found today’s episode inspiring, hit that subscribe button and don’t forget to share this podcast with a friend. To join our membership or one of our coaching programs, visit our website at the fearless artist mastermind.com.

Michelle Lynne: This episode was produced by Pokie Huang at PH Media Studio in New York City. We’re Deanna and Michelle encouraging you to create your own opportunities and to go after what you want. You have what it takes to build the career of your dreams. Until next time, be fearless!