Bree Noble is an educator, author, singer, songwriter, and speaker. She is the CEO of Female Musician Academy and co-founder of Profitable Musician Summit. Noble is the author of the book The Musicians Profit Path.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I grew up in Northern California. I had a middle-class childhood, although I experienced the divorce of my parents (twice from each other) by age 16. I guess that’s pretty different!
I got extremely involved in choirs during high school and started doing some solo competitions. I scored well which gave me the confidence to audition for even more opportunities. One performance that stood out to me was performing a solo with my church high school choir in front of 700 rowdy Marines at Camp Pendleton. They were whooping and hollering, but once I started to sing…you could hear a pin drop. That’s when I really understood the power of music and felt my calling to move people through performing.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
I wish I’d realized that a music career can take many different forms. “Success” doesn’t have to take a certain path and doesn’t have to look like others’ journeys. Just as my talent is unique, my path needed to be unique. And it didn’t have to involve being famous, being signed to a label, or performing at traditional venues. It took me 10 years of false starts, trial and error, and utter confusion to reach this place of knowing that what I had to offer was valuable and I could pave my own way as a musician and still be a completely legitimate professional as an Indie.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
Indie musicians are often told they need to hustle, be everyone online, and keep producing music to stay on the radar of the industry. While consistency is important, the production of the content without a plan or strategy for why you’re producing it and how you can best take advantage of it to build your fan base is futile. Pick a few things, do them well and go “all in”.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
My music career as it is today was started during a very dark period of 13 days of hospitalization due to Crohn’s disease. I had a 1-year-old and giving birth had made the disease flare-up worse than it ever had before. I lost weight and was so weak. While in the hospital I had a “come to Jesus moment” (literally) where I felt a strong call to commit fully to my music career if I recovered. I even ended up writing the title track to my debut album, Healing Waters, while in the hospital. It was a huge turning point and I never looked back. I did eventually get well enough to perform and embarked on many tours to support the new album. But if that dark period had not happened, I may have never felt such a strong call to go “all in” on music. I may have just stayed in my day job and coasted along, hoping that someday I’d get my music career rolling.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
Maybe this sounds cheesy but, I never gave up. I had always heard that 80% of businesses fail in the first 2 years. I vowed to not be one of them. After that, I heard it was 90% fail in the first 5 years. Well, here I am at 13 years with Women of Substance and almost 6 years with the musician coaching side of my business. I always felt that if I was constantly making progress and I never gave up no matter how hard things got, I would win. There is a certain amount of knowledge, experience, momentum, and opportunity that only comes with time. It’s like the 20,000-hour rule of becoming an expert.
What is your morning routine?
Quite controversial with my students…but I do wake up at 4 AM. My body just tends to keep an early morning rhythm and I thrive as a creative and producer between 4:30 – 8:30 AM. So that’s basically my first work shift before going on my 45-minute walk.
When I first wake up I go downstairs and listen to a short inspiring podcast while making my coffee. Then I get right to work so I can take advantage of the time when my will and brain are most on fire.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
Walking EVERY DAY. It improves my creative flow, my idea generation, my circulation, my mental health, and physical health. When I can’t do it because of the weather it is a huge challenge for me. I usually listen to a podcast or an audiobook or I meditate on a question I’ve been trying to figure out in my business. It’s a very productive CEO time for me.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
I have really learned to let go and delegate a lot of things. I keep my phone in another room while working so I’m not distracted by tests and slack notifications. I know my brain is sharpest between 4:30 – 9 AM so I do all of my writing during that time (emails, articles, copy, etc). I try to keep meetings on only certain days a week and stack them if possible.
For my podcast, I try to keep all my interviews on one day per week so I can batch them out once or twice per month and get at least 30 – 60 days ahead.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
It got me in the habit of writing and being consistent with working on something daily even if I didn’t feel inspired.
You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero
This book helped me conquer some money blocks I was carrying from my past and gave me the confidence to value my work and charge accordingly.
The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
Reinforced the important concept of working on my business and not in my business. Helped me create a framework for building a team to help support my work so I didn’t feel overwhelmed and overworked.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want. – Zig Ziglar
I love this quote because I believe in mission-based business. I believe I have a higher calling to help musicians and in my experience when I really leaned into that calling with confidence I’ve been able to grow my business and impact even more lives with what I do.
Music can change the world because it can change people. – Bono
This quote is a big part of my mission behind the Women of Substance Radio Podcast. The music we play is powerful and the messages behind many of the songs I know can make an impact on the world. It’s also the reason I’m so passionate about helping musicians get their music out into the world so more ears can hear it and more lives can be changed, perspectives shifted and social change can happen. Art is so much more powerful than many people realize.