Drawing on lessons learned while losing at pool, Ryan shares what it means to have an entrepreneurial mindset as a choir director. You will hear strategies about how to win at pool, how to lose at pool, and how to embarrassingly injure a friend during pool (with a step by step guide in the show notes). You will also hear why it is so important that we mindfully choose which kind of game we are going to play, which entrepreneurial super-skills you already posses, and how to avoid the traps that prevent you from being the real thing.
Highlight to Tweet: “If your win is a standing ovation, you need a bigger win” – Ryan Guth
- You are already functioning as an entrepreneur in 2 WAYS:
Recruitment = Sales
Concert Programs = Graphic Design
Press releases = PR
Concerts = Event planning
Working one-on-one with a student who’s more invested than the others = Coaching
Talking to parents = Counseling/Negotiation
Sending detailed emails so your students do what you need them to do = Copywriting
Making resources for students like practice tracks = content marketing
Updating your “teacher page” = web design
Creating and upholding the rules in your choir handbook = Contracts
Making an itinerary for your choir’s trip to Disney World = Travel planning
Budgeting = Budgeting
Picking the uniforms = fashion design
Knows his/her own “why”
Stands for something
Focused on personal growth and learning.
Places the greatest value on helping others before themselves.
Knows other people’s “Why”
Takes ego out of the equation
Confident in his/her unique value proposition to the world.
- What’s holding you back from being great?
Listening to haters and critics.
It’s a long game, and a numbers game. You have to get through your “no’s.”
“Good” concerts are part of the process. They aren’t all great.
Worrying about things outside your control.
Comparing yourself to others
When you get close to success, imposter syndrome tries to shut you down.
The biggest pitfall is sometimes the smallest one: small goals that produce small wins
- Construct a big “win”…not one based solely on applause, scores, or the admiration of others.
Having spent most of his middle and high school career in detention, Ryan Guth loves to speak to audiences about ways for choral directors to engage the seemingly un-engageable. Ryan learned fearlessness and indomitable spirit from a young age through many years studying the martial arts while also pursuing music – especially the time in middle school when he tried to break a board with his head in front his entire ninth grade class and failed spectacularly.
He believes the best choir directors face challenges head-on (no pun intended), are solutions-oriented, and take full responsibility forall aspects of their program. Ryan’s most popular and surprisingly positive article “Your Choir Sucks Because You Suck” was shared over 2,200 times in 48 hours, and has since become his manifesto, mantra, and the platform that his work was built upon.
Through his first podcast, Find Your Forte, Ryan connected thousands of weekly listeners with some of the most brilliant minds in choral music such as Helmuth Rilling, Patrick Quigley, Joseph Flummerfelt, James Bass, and 80-plus others. He recognizes the fact we become the best when we learn from the best.
Ryan Guth recently created the Choir Ninja podcast to share solutions with middle and high school choral directors so they learn to work smarter – not harder. That’s why he focuses on sharing what works in choral programs across Choir Nation in a way that makes running a great choral program approachable, fun, and rewarding.
When not dressing up in his ninja jammies or buffing his diploma from Westminster Choir College, Ryan is a high school choir director in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Before that, he spent a decade building a large middle school program and six-figure-choral-ensemble-based-for-profit-business in central New Jersey. He is also the founder and sole member of the Hyphenation Club of America.
Ryan will be the keynote speaker at the Iowa Choral Directors Association Annual Summer Symposium, a presenter at the Chorus America Convention in the Summer of 2017, and a guest speaker at various other conferences and workshops throughout the year.
Ryan enjoys getting lost outdoors with his beautiful fiancé, Amanda, and pitbull-lab Sasha. He also dislikes socks and only wears them when absolutely necessary. This bio was sponsored by Gold Bond Powder.
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- Instructions for setting up a nut-shot in a game of pool:
1. Tell the unsuspecting victim you know a cool trickshot, but that you’ll need him to be your assistant.
2. Place the quarter about 8 inches from the end of the table, right down the center line.
3. Have your victim position himself behind the quarter.
4. Hand him the two balls and, whilst patting him on the back, tell him “Now you have 4!”
5. Ask the victim to place one ball at each of the corner pockets, hanging over the edge, just about to fall in.
6. Direct your victim to place his pointer fingers on each ball to prevent them from accidentally falling into the pocket.
7. He will need to brace himself, so remind him to take a step back and balance on both feet.
8. Now, walk to the other end of the table, and explain that through magic and complex feats of 9th grade geometry, in one shot, you will hit the two balls into each pocket. 😉
9. Place the cue ball on the dot, aim for the quarter, and… if you hit the quarter just right… it’ll jump off the table directly into the victim’s unsuspecting “huevos rancheros”.
10. Lastly, point at your victim and have a good laugh at his expense.
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