Happy 1st Birthday! And How To Use FEAR To Your Advantage

Happy 1st birthday, Music Therapy Ed!

We’re taking a look into our archives…back to 1st birthday! We hope you enjoy this story of perseverance and CONQUERING fear!

And here we are a year later! Wow!

This is a story about taking risks, following your gut, and saying YES. I believe that we can use FEAR to our advantage. Allow me to explain:

It was exactly a year ago that we released Music Therapy Ed with an email subject line: “It’s here! =)” The vision was to create a place online where music therapists and healthcare professionals could find a bottomless pit of continuing education opportunities.

The root of the vision was planted in the belief that a healthy community depends on the health and wellness of our individual community members. So, if we want our entire field to thrive, then we have to all stay very healthy!

That motivated me to start this website – the bundles of FUN that go with helping people stay healthy and happy. Can there be a better job in the world? I think not.

So, from all of my surveys and communications, I found out that the biggest struggles of music therapists included: not enough money and not enough time when juggling around kids, family, recreational, work.

One solution to music therapists’ struggles that was a perfect fit for my skill set and interests was to offer a VAULT of accessible, easy-to-watch-and-learn, online continuing education courses.

Enter: Music Therapy Ed

I had spent months in my “Kat Cave” working with my web designer and developer, editing videos, recruiting instructors, devising the editorial calendar and launch timeline. I financed the venture with about $10,000 from my own pocket. I had worked my brain and my fingers to the bone. In fact, I was editing videos so much that I felt pains in my hands and arms.

The fear creeps in…

Music Therapy FearNone of this was done fearlessly. Some fears that cropped up for me included: “I’m going to lose my entire investment if this doesn’t work.” “I’m going to get carpal tunnel and never play music again.” “All of these instructors are trusting me, and if this fails, they will never trust me again.”

Don’t get me wrong. I was totally hopeful and happy to be involved in this exciting project. But when I felt the power of my fears, I realized how much mental and emotional energy I actually had inside of me. This sounds crazy, but when I felt the strength of my fearful energy, then I was able to fully realize my ability to convert the massive amounts of energy into focusing on the VISION. Make sense?

That’s one of the reasons that it’s SO important to acknowledge and validate our own fears. They are real and they exist! They may not define who we are, but they contain great amounts of transferable energy – mental, emotional, spiritual, even physical.

Ready, Set, Launch!

Back to the story: A year ago, I was $10,000 in debt, my arms were hurting, my entire life was wrapped up in this crazy amazing new website, I was weary, tired, fearful, but hopeful and excited…. and we LAUNCHED finally on July 17, 2012! We sent out emails and social media blasts! Everything we had worked so hard for came down to this very day. Nothing else mattered except for that one special “Come check out our site” email!

The instructors and I leaned in for a listen…

We perked up our ears…

We quieted everyone around us…

We tuned in carefully…

And we heard crickets. No one registered for any courses.

After Day 2 of the launch, I got worried. “Oh my nerves, oh my nerves,” is what I kept telling my fiance. I couldn’t figure out why no one had registered for any of our super sweet awesome courses that we had all worked so long and hard on. I went through the checklist: The descriptions were up, the preview videos were up, the beautiful photos of the instructors’ beautiful faces were up, the sales process had been tested a million times already, the site was tested on multiple browsers, operating systems, devices…

The site was technically perfect.

Day 3 passed, no one signed up. Day 4 passed, no one signed up.

I almost threw in the towel –

On Day 5, I consider all my options: I could take the website down, and just call a loss to my $10,000, blood, sweat, and tears. I could keep it up and pray. OR I could keep it up and figure out how to move music therapists out of procrastination and into taking inspired action.

Here’s how I used my fears to realize my power

I put 100% of my fear energy into my vision energy. At this point I *really* understood how powerful my fears were. It was scary. I remember walking to my car to see clients in the morning just shaking from head to toe with uncertainty. I remember speaking quickly and nervously when anyone from my family asked me how I was doing. But I wasn’t quite ready to throw in the towel. There was too much value that the instructors had packed into their courses. I decided to actively tap into all that super-powered fear energy and redirect it to the VISION. Here was my question: Working backwards, what does the world look like if my vision came true?

I started to think about all the music therapists who would be billing insurance for their clients. I thought about all the clients out there who would have access to music therapy through their insurance companies without even knowing about it previously. I thought about all the music therapists who were suffering burnout, and who would benefit from our burnout course. Music therapy business owners ran through my mind – I knew that there were some MTBO’s out there stuck on how/when/where to market their services. We had solutions to all of these problems on the site, available 24/7, anytime, anywhere.

Furthermore, I thought about all the music therapists who would save money and time, not having to travel around just to scrape up a few CMTEs. I thought about the online presence of music therapy, and how our instructors would be world-renowned leaders in our field.

Moving from vision to execution –

I had done the homework for the site – I had sent out surveys, conducted phone interviews, made presentations and received feedback, communicated with hundreds of music therapists about their deepest professional needs. I thought I knew what everyone needed. But I couldn’t figure out why no one had registered for any of our courses.

On Day 5, I called Jamie George in a panic. (I think I was pretty good at staying outwardly calm however.) I said “We need to figure out how to uplift music therapists, and we need to inspire them into taking action to elevate their practices.” Jamie was generous and said that she was game for anything. How could we move music therapists from Point A to Point B?

Jamie George’s Reimbursement movement –

That’s when I got an idea. We added value to the reimbursement course and on July 24, and announced the Reimbursement Revolution! After so many days of NOTHING, music therapists signed up for the course in what seemed like DROVES. We had about 30 people sign up for the first edition.

As the first edition Reimbursement Revolution closed up on July 27th, I knew I had made the right decision. And I decided to keep the website up 😉

7 Days of ZERO sign-ups: That was then, this is now –

Since then, Holy Moly! Our ever-expanding library has grown to 16 courses. Close to 700 professionals have taken our courses. (That’s not a typo – SEVEN hundred! Woweee!) 98% of our participants say, “YES I would recommend this course!” We’ve had an endless number of success stories on topics of Reimbursement, Marketing, Technology, Songwriting, Specific Populations, Wellness, and more.

It’s hard to believe that I was shaking in my boots just a year ago! It hasn’t been easy, but it has been an amazingly wild ride. I can’t imagine life without Music Therapy Ed, with all the ups and downs, the certainties and uncertainties. More importantly, I can’t imagine life without YOUR support, encouragement, and active engagement in our courses! From the deepest place in my heart, I thank YOU, music therapists and MT-fanatics around the world.

Happy birthday Music Therapy Ed, instructors, course participants, VIPers, and team!

=) Kat

PS Do YOU have fear energy that you can convert? Perhaps you have fears around asking for a raise, starting a new business, trying a new intervention with your clients, setting up a meeting with your professor — Tell us about it in a comment below!

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  1. I just want to say, you are AMAZING.
    I am just beginning my long journey towards someday becoming a music therapist, but it’s people like you who inspire me and give me hope… That I can do this!
    I am grateful for your hard work in what you have created, and the resources I will no doubt turn to in my continuing music therapy education. I wish you nothing but continued success as your good intentions ripple outward and touch others like me.
    Thank you, Kat!

    • Hi Marianne – Thanks for your well wishes and wow! Welcome to the journey of becoming a music therapist! This is a great field, and yes you can do this!! =)

  2. CONGRATS, KAT!!! I’m so happy for you, for our field. You have contributed an unfathomable amount of time, energy, and personal self into this project and it is a much-needed, much-valued resource for our profession. THANK YOU.

    Kudos and happy BERFDAY, Music Therapy Ed!

    • Ha ha – Happy berfday indeed! Thanks for jumping in early and sharing YOUR expertise online, Rachel. I could never have done it without you!

  3. Being an active participant with Music Therapy Ed as helped me greatly with earning CMTE credits that I thought would be challenging financially to earn. I have also learned so much from taking some of the courses. Not only has this website become successful, you helped me and probably so many others be successful too. Thanks, Kat!!

    • Yayyy! That lets me know that we are accomplishing the goals. Thanks for sharing this, Jennifer, and let’s keep elevating each other along the way!

  4. Well, Ms, Kat, you have done it again. Put words to exactly what I am going through at the moment…I have a post-it on my screen that says:
    I think it may have come from Dave Ramsey, but it reminds me to keep following the plan and don’t give up.

    Thanks for all you do to serve our profession!
    Happy Birthday MT Ed!

    • Woo hoo Debi!! You go girl – It’s amazing to see what’s going on in Arizona thanks to you and your clan out there! Thanks for all YOU do, too!

    • Thanks Michelle! Likewise! It’s fun to watch you and your new mama ways! I appreciate your help along the way of my crazy journeys =)

  5. Happy Birthday! Thank you for persevering. Thank you for gather such a great collection of educators. Thank you for gathering a wonderful support team. Here’s to the next 700 folks that find all the goodness offered here!

      • I’ll second that as well!
        I’m also really encouraged by what you shared Kat. I find myself in a similar situation. I’ve got some big deadlines and big opportunities on the horizon… turning fear into power is key!

  6. Congratulations, Kat!

    It is soooo wonderful to read your story. You really have created your own miracle:)! …AND all to uplift others. You.Inspire.Me.

    Thank you, Kat:)

  7. Happy Birthday to MusicTherapyEd!

    Thank you Kat, for all your hard work and dedication towards making your vision for this website a reality. I have gained so much from becoming a VIP member and so far all the course I have taken have been RIGHT ON with what I needed to learn to take my career to the next level. I feel empowered and inspired to continue down the path of the music therapist, all thanks to your site.

    I admit to having fears with creating a private practice, investing in a masters degree, and finally launching a website. This post is so great, because it inspires me to face my fears and create a vision towards success. MusicTherapyEd is a valuable resource!

  8. Dear Kat,
    Thank you for facing your fear!! I love every bit of what you have done here. You have made a difference in my life-no doubt about it!! Thank you and Happy 1st Birthday .Here’s to many many more!! With lots of love

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