Chris Smith Learning Journal Assignment 1:

What is your unique gift? – Do you believe in it enough to invest everything you have in it?

My unique gift is my craftmanship. I would like to invest everything I have in my gift, but I’d like to also diversify my skills. I do not currently have all the skills necessary to run a fully functioning business in which I could utilize my craftmanship, but I’d like to do so in the future.

What difference are you trying to make in the world? – How passionate are you about doing this?

I would like to see a greater variety of instrument options offered to consumers in music stores. When visiting local music stores I found the number of percussion and drum products disappointing. This issue is something that has frustrated me for almost the entirety of my career as a musician.

How do you define success for yourself? – What challenges do you face in order to create success?

I define success based off my personal growth. The challenges I would face are my own thoughts and insecurities and other people’s opinions towards my goals.

What is career vision and a mission?

My career vision is to open a business that offers the aforementioned diversity in instrumennts so many of the music stores lack.

Can you innovate and create value and successfully communicate that value to intended audiences?

I can communicate value through my marketing, pricing, and mission statement. I would like value to be a primary focus for my business model.

Do you have a positive attitude?

I strive to have a positive attitude especially when surrounded by others.

Have you set your goals? What is your road map to success? Can you set inspiring and realistic goals?

I have set many short term goals for my business but would like to come up with a solid road map for the future. I believe I have the capacity to set these goals and pursue them to completion.

Do you have and/or acquire the necessary expertise to actualize your vision?

I have many of the necessary skills I need to create my instruments, but I want to constantly evolve and network with others that have the skills I am looking to acquire in the future.

What are your priorities? Can you set priorities?

My priority is to share my creative vision with others. I can set my priorities easily when they pertain to my passion but I would like to get better at prioritizing things that do not directly correlate with what I am pursuing.

What opportunities are you looking for? What opportunities are you creating or intend to create?

I’m looking to grow my marketing and sales experience. I’m currently looking for a job in sales that would prepare me for owning my own business.

How comfortable are you with uncertainty? What risks are you willing to take?

I struggle with uncertainty but believe I will become more comfortable with it the more time I spend in the realm of uncertainty. Part of this process is taking risks so I plan on trying new design ideas out and collaborating with other artists.

When facing challenges, do you persevere or do you walk away?

I would like to develop greater perseverance. I am guilty of walking away when faced with challenges but I try to always come back and hit them with greater tenacity the second time around.

What experience have you learned the most from?

I learned the most from my internship at Coe Percussion in Tallahassee, FL.

What actions are you taking to realize your vision? Are you consistently taking action?

I’m constantly seeking out new inspiration for instruments and projects. I try to devote at least an hour each day to research and development. I also consistently search for networking opportunities.

How well do you put things in context? Are you able to easily respond to changes in your environment? What’s your best example?

I sometimes struggle to put things into context but almost always grasp the concept after some time. I have always prided myself on adapting to whatever scenario I find myself in. I relocated to Tallahassee, FL over the summer of 2018 and was quickly able to surround myself with a group of people interested in my work and had skills that complimented my own.

What is your plan to continually grow and evolve? How have you grown or evolved in the past year or three?

I plan to continue educating myself through additional sources once I’m out of college. I believe I have learned how to properly accept criticism and apply it to my work.

How easy is it for you to reach out to others to ask for support and to offer help?

I typically do not struggle with getting help. I have realized there is nothing more important than admitting you need help when you are all out of ideas.

Published by Chris Smith

Christopher Smith is a musician and entrepreneur based out of Jacksonville, Florida. As the owner of CJS Percussion, he crafts innovative percussive art pieces that have been described as organic and cutting edge. He is currently pursuing a degree in Music Business at Jacksonville University under the guidance of Mark Snyder and is studying percussion with Tony Steve. Christopher performs in the Jacksonville University Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Combo, and is the principal percussionist for the JU Wind Ensemble. He is involved with Dolphinium Records, where he is the head of manufacturing and licensing.

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