Health into 2020!

Costron Coaching. Health. Self Care. Entrepreneur. Business. Coaching. Music Therapists. Health Professionals. Musicians. Blog Day with Mackenzie.

As an entrepreneur and business owner I look for natural moments in my schedule to review and reset for the next period ahead.  In December, it’s often about implementing practices so I am able to enter the New Year with clarity and inspiration. 

1. 2019 Reflection

For me its important to review the year- the good, the bad, the ugly.  To carve out space for what was working in 2019 and what was not working.  From there I consider how I can change my schedule to remove or gently alter my mindset with the unpleasant aspects.  As well as implementing aspects in my schedule that are grounding and exciting. 

When I feel overwhelmed, out of control, stressed as a music therapist/ counsellor/ business owner/ entrepreneur it leads to me having a negative mindset.  Which is absolutely not how I want to serve my team, clients, and community!  They don’t deserve that.  

Everyday I strive to commit myself to positivity and love when serving my community.  I believe that we all want to lead this way in life and it’s absolutely possible for all of us to get there with gentleness, love, support, and time. 

If it’s useful for you, here are some self-reflection questions from our friends at Miya Music Therapy that can support this process at the end of the year.  https://www.miyamusictherapy.com/post/10-sets-of-self-reflection-questions-to-ask-yourself-as-a-music-therapist-at-the-end-of-the-year

2. Client Satisfaction Surveys 

At this time of year I connect with our Find Your Voice Music Therapy clients for feedback on our services.  We use an online survey to check in with what is meaningful to them when working with us and also for information on any opportunities of growth in the New Year.  We are doing the music therapy work for the people in our communities and they deserve the best care possible!  This feedback is of utmost importance to us. 

3. 2020 Growth Implementation Plans 

Between connecting with my Find Your Voice Music Therapy team and self reflection I consider quarterly company growth and development projects for the New Year.  This is important to me and my team as we are passionate about increasing our scope and offering of our services in our community.  I am very excited to share Find Your Voice Music Therapy and Costron Coaching’s new developments in 2020! 

Do you have any end of year business wrap up practices that work with your company?  Would love to connect entrepreneur to entrepreneur and hear your story! 

With light and love,

Mackenzie Costron, BMT, MTA, RCT
Owner and Founder of Costron Coaching and Find Your Voice Music Therapy 
1-800-827-3120 ext. 101
mackenzie@costroncoaching.com 

Holidays Preferred State of Being

Holidays. Preferred State of Being. Self Care. Entrepreneur. Business. Coaching Coaching. Music Therapists. Blog Day with Mackenzie.

With the holidays nearing it could bring a complex amount of emotions.  Feelings of joy, gratitude, excitement, peace, sadness, grief, loss, loneliness.  No matter if the holidays naturally nurture your preferred state of being, or not I invite you to think about how you would like to feel this holiday season.  

What words come up for your preferred feeling states?  

For me I think about the following… Celebration. Love. Light. Trust. Flow.  Pick 3 – 5 words that resonate with you!  

What word feels authentic to focus on this holiday season? 

I crave the stillness, quiet, and simplicity when I start my holiday vacation.  I believe that this is often due to the demands of running and developing my businesses.  It can be exhausting some days, weeks, or months for that matters.  If I have learned anything through these years it’s that a state of flow is necessary for me to balance the “entrepreneur grind” with refilling my well.  This is personally what I need to recharge and be able to show up in full heart and mind for my team and the people we serve.

When does this feeling naturally come up in your life?  What patterns do you notice? 

I notice that I am cultivating flow when I am connected to my body through movement,  creating art in community,  choosing present connection with loved ones, reading or listening to positive and grounding messages of affirmation, breathing with nature.  

Now that you’ve thought about how you want to feel and the events that naturally cultivate these feelings.  Let’s create an action plan for the holiday season!  Every day carve out the space to slot these events in.  I often schedule them in as a morning ritual, post work transition, or perhaps as a break in my work day.  This practice is conscious work that will support the importance of you!  For years, I believed that I didn’t have the time, or that it wouldn’t work when I was having low days.  But as I slowly integrated “me time” practices into my schedule I felt more grounded and able to provide service/ care to others.  

Difficult life events, someone else’s opinion, negative thoughts governed by stories of past trauma can easily sway how we actually want to feel through the holidays, and in life.  It’s a conscious choice to choose how we want to feel.  Where to authentically focus our energy.  With practice and ease I believe that we’ll have movement together towards a more loving, joyful and peaceful state of being. 

With light and love
Mackenzie Costron, BMT, MTA, RCT
Owner and Founder of Costron Coaching and Find Your Voice Music Therapy 
1-800-827-3120 ext. 101
mackenzie@costroncoaching.com 

Too Much. Too Soon. – Business Systems Strategies

Costron Coaching. Business Systems. Strategies. Success. Music Therapy. Certified Music Therapist. Coaching. Business. Music Therapy

All entrepreneurs start with a dream.  With motives to create lasting community impact.  

The passion for the work and working for yourself often drives the launch phases of owning a business.  Then like all honeymoon phases, the high can come crashing down when one recognizing all the elements involved with running a company.  From conversation systems, appraisal systems, cash flow systems, bookkeeping systems, payroll systems, measurement systems… it’s a lot to process!  You launched this business with the passion to do the work.  But along with it comes endless administration, management and development that your training as a music therapist did not prepare you for.  

All healthy organizations have business systems, processes/ procedures, and strategic plans to ensure their company can function at its best capacity.  Not only will these systems impact the health of your business they will also, more importantly, impact YOUR health!  A well developed business system will keep you grounded in the present, moving forward to the future.  

Without a business system its easy to feel overwhelmed.  I’ve absolutely been there!!  Many times it’s left me in tears or wanting to quit.  I was not functioning at my best self and this not only impacts my work as a business owner, therapist, and coach but it also impacts my home life with my husband, family and friends. 

It wasn’t until after the first year development with Find Your Voice Music Therapy that I was encouraged by my business coach to develop a sharply-focused and inspiring business system.  Disclaimer: It so happens that I truly love organizing.  It’s one of my favourite things!  My family and close friends can vouch for the joy and satisfaction I get from this.  

Not sure where to begin?  Together we can figure out what your optimal day, month, year looks like.  Including the essential business tasks and responsibilities, where and when we can delegate so you get more space, how to create your ideal schedule so you continue to thrive at work and in life.  After all you work for yourself, and have the power to make changes to keep your business and owner heart at the centre of the process.  

With love and deep gratitude, 
Mackenzie Costron, BMT, MTA, RCT
Owner and Founder of Costron Coaching and Find Your Voice Music Therapy 
1-800-827-3120 ext. 101
mackenzie@costroncoaching.com 

Happy 1st Birthday Costron Coaching!

Costron Coaching. Business. Music Therapy. Entrepreneur. Coaching. Turtle Island. Canada

I feel deeply blessed to be celebrating Costron Coaching’s 1st Anniversary. 

My passion for business in music therapy developed through insight on how business could impact music therapy awareness and advocacy.  There is great capacity for growth and development by launching additional music therapy practices, increasing job opportunities and enriching community knowledge so they can make informed choices about their healthcare. 

Although the path of private practice did seem like a lot of work, it also seemed incredibly rewarding.  An opportunity to connect in a meaningful way with my community and contribute to the development of music therapy in Canada.  In June 2014, I launched Find Your Voice Music Therapy in Katarokwi/ Kingston, ON as I knew there wasn’t an Accredited Music Therapist serving this area.  I quickly discovered through the launch phases that there weren’t many resources for music therapy entrepreneurs.  Those days were filled with many tears, a lot doubt, and uncertainly with how I was going to have the energy to sustain a music therapy practice.  Many people didn’t know what music therapy was and I had to keep explaining.  The beginning stages of finding work felt incredibly slow.  I had financial security stress with have low business revenue.  It felt hopeless and exhausting.  

I turned to business professionals including my own music therapy business mentor, as well as the internet for articles and videos.  This helped a great deal in shifting my perspective and shining light on my path.  The vulnerability of creating a sustainable brand, connected to your heart is deeply intense, and reflecting back I wouldn’t have it any other way.  The past years in business has taught me a lot both personally and professionally, and I am beyond grateful for these lessons.  

Costron Coaching was created so I could support aspiring entrepreneurs in creating their dream music therapy practice.  Just as my mentors did for me when I thought I couldn’t do it anymore.  It’s invited me to look back on my journey- the celebrations and the struggles- and create a coaching framework that not only provides practical resources in business but defines those resource for your authentic story and unique business objectives.  

My hope is that this brand will inspire, give courage, and shed light on one another.   I believe that as we lift each other up the profession of music therapy will flourish.  Here’s to another year of learning and connection with Costron Coaching! 

With love and deep gratitude, 
Mackenzie Costron, BMT, MTA, RCT
Owner and Founder of Costron Coaching and Find Your Voice Music Therapy 
1-800-827-3120 ext. 101
mackenzie@costroncoaching.com 

Community Engagement & Networking

Costron Coaching. Music Therapy. Community. Engagement. Networking. Mackenzie Costron. Business. Coaching.

The fall season is nearing.  Often a busy time for entrepreneurs as they reconnect with their community after slowing down in the summer months. 

By focusing on meaningful connections from colleagues in your field, to other entrepreneurs, to mentors, to your target market, you create sustainable resources for your company.  People talk/ share and through your network connections “word of mouth” buzz will begin.  Word of mouth referrals across professions is the most effective way to grow your business.  

At the beginning of launch operations this phase is tough and slow.  I wish you all the patience and determination in this process!  I hope that some of these ideas will spark some creativity on your journey.  If you would like to chat through other options I would be honoured to connect with you to hear your story!

1. Developing Engaging Music Therapy Programs

It is important that your community wants and needs your service.  Tune in to what you’re hearing in your community.  What can music therapy do to address their needs?  What does your target market want to hear about the services you’re offering?  What is unique to your music therapy brand from others in the area?

2. Connecting with Your Network

With the world of technology being so engrained in our routines it’s important as an entrepreneur to step back from the computer and find opportunities to make authentic, in-person connections.  Although technology can still be a very meaningful tool in business having that emotional, interpersonal connection goes beyond any other type of communication.  

This also gives you the opportunity to connect at a personal, individualized level with the community you would like to work with.  Giving your target market the customer service they look for. 

3.  Communicating Services to Community

There are countless marketing and advertising techniques to communicate your services to your potential customers.  From press releases, presentations, consultations, blogging, social media, newsletters, ads, direct mailing campaigns and many more.  

My business mentor Jennifer Buchanan has stated in the past, “where do your customers hang out?”  This question has helped to frame how I move forward with many of Find Your Voice Music Therapy’s marketing and advertising initiatives. 

Where focus goes, energy flows – Tony Robbins

With love and deep gratitude, 
Mackenzie Costron, BMT, MTA, RCT
Owner and Founder of Costron Coaching and Find Your Voice Music Therapy 
1-800-827-3120 ext. 101
mackenzie@costroncoaching.com 

Summer Wind Down: Future Growth Plans

Summer Wind Down. Reset. Recharge. Rejuvenate. Self Care. Wellness. Summer Vibes. Costron Coaching. Business. Entrepreneurs. Leaders. Turtle Island. Canada.

When it’s been a full and demanding winter a practice that has resonated with me through the years is to slow down in the summer months.  Often when you’re working in service professions, and your clients are on summer vacation, the summer wind down period is a perfect time to follow this flow!

I find it useful to connect with myself during this time after being pulled into the needs of my community and outer world.  I love this work deeply yet I have noticed that I am stronger and more centred when I nurture and put focus towards my needs too! 

1) Morning Routine

I’ve realized through the years that a soft, gentle morning routine, prior to work, serves me well.  For me his often includes my favourite tea and reading a book or doing course work for 15 minutes to 1 hour with leaders, teachers, healers etc. that resonate.  This practice sets me up for the way I want to feel by tapping into my preferred internal space.  

For years my morning practice involved the hustle hard for success modo.  Which by all means is still a strong value of mine!  But I was noticing that this mindset first thing in the morning often got me into trouble with putting a lot of pressure on myself to perform and achieve.  

Its been interesting that as I give myself morning love and self-compassion (while previously in my head I was losing valuable work time) that I am actually more focused, productive and connected.  Who knew?!

2) Intentionally Carving Out Space

Boundaries.  Boundaries.  Boundaries.

There will always be work.  Always.  Let’s intentionally breathe and tell ourselves that we’ll get there one step at a time!  We have the option to choose to carve out space that works for us!  The power to indicate the hours you want to work in a day.  The power to respond to emails when it works for you.  The power to take weekends and evenings off.  To power to give areas in you life the amount of energy you decide it deserves. 

Brené Brown says it well, “No matter how much I get done, or is left undone, at the end of the day I am enough.”  We are often hard on ourselves if we don’t get that work “to do list” completed.  Yet we know in our heart and soul that this does not define our identity and essence!  It’s amazing what will happen when we dive into this headspace and give ourselves some love and compassion. 

3) Plan Personal Invigorating Projects

A full work schedule can simply be exhausting.  We’ve all been there!  

Part of my summer routine when my schedule naturally winds down is that I plan my fall – winter 2019 projects.  Projects for me.  Projects that light me up, give me energy, fuel my purpose.  This allows for my personal projects to just naturally just run alongside my clinical, coaching, team and management work objectives during a busy season.  It keeps me connected! 

These growth areas take practice and I am absolutely there with you!   We are all on this journey together. Trying to be the best version of ourselves for each other, our community, and our world. 

With love and deep gratitude, 
Mackenzie Costron, BMT, MTA, RCT
Owner and Founder of Costron Coaching and Find Your Voice Music Therapy 
1-800-827-3120 ext. 101
mackenzie@costroncoaching.com 

Music Therapy Students & Interns: What Now?

What Now. Music Therapy. Student. Interns. Costron Coaching. Business. Private Practice. Entrepreneur. Learning. Growth. Journey.

Congratulations to all of the students and interns who’ve recently completed the next chapter of their music therapy training!  I welcome you to the music therapy family and wish you well on your future endeavours.

You may be feeling lost not knowing what adventure to take next.  There are many paths to choose from and these career decisions are absolutely challenging.  With Costron Coaching, my hope is to provide practical, motivational, and heart centred tools that give you clarity and confidence with the path that feels authentic to you.  With everyone’s unique story comes a personalized journey and my aim is to facilitate personalized guidance so you receive information that is meaningful and resonates deeply.

At Costron Coaching we strive to facilitate accessible services so we’ve created a specific rates for students, interns, and Accredited Music Therapists 1 year post Accreditation.  Please visit our services information page for more information in addition to topics that could be addressed within your coaching sessions.  You can also save on HST with Costron Coaching services.

The next phase of one’s music therapy career can be intimidating and overwhelming.  What do I do next?  I am afraid of the next steps. I feel uncomfortable and insecure with if I am going to make the right choice.  If there’s anything I have learned from running my own company is that my mentors have got me through those difficult questions, and more.  We can’t do this alone, and leaning on someone in your vulnerability may be exactly what you need to move forward.

Always, happy to connect for a complementary consultation or getting to know each other chat!  Community is everything amidst the joy and struggles of life.

“Choose courage over comfort.  Choose whole hearts over armour. Choose the great adventure of being brave and afraid at the exact same time” – Brene Brown

In song,
Mackenzie Costron, BMT, MTA, RCT
Owner and Founder of Costron Coaching and Find Your Voice Music Therapy
1-800-827-3120 ext. 101
mackenzie@costroncoaching.com

Financial Fears

Financial. Fear. Money. Success. Growth. Costron Coaching. Turtle Island. Canada

Money. 

In our society it’s not proper to speak about it publicly and transparently. Many find it uncomfortable to talk about.  It’s referred to as the most common reason couples fight.  As an entrepreneur and business owner it’s often used for a measure of success with how valuable a company is.  Forbes, indicates in a study that 66% of people stated their fear of money was more profound then a fear of spiders, snakes, crime, and even death

When launching a business one of the most anxiety provoking areas is the financial fears.  Rightfully so!  We realistically all need to make money to live and when don’t have enough to support our lifestyle that naturally causes stress.  One considers the financial risks of launching a business opposed to staying employed within the financial safety of a steady pay check. 

In the context of a music therapy practice we have to consider; how do we set rates that are accessible to our clients, realistic according to economic and industry trends, as well as lucrative for us as the entrepreneur? How do you create a positive cash flow system for your company?  What kind of systems should you have in place for tracking financial analytics?  What projects or investments should you move forward with to create growth with your company?

Navigating these types of questions can be difficult to consider on your own.  Let’s begin the conversation with how we as entrepreneurs can channel this energy for motivation and create a space where we can be comfortable in our financial fears.

In song,
Mackenzie Costron, BMT, MTA, RCT
Owner and Founder of Costron Coaching and Find Your Voice Music Therapy
1-800-827-3120 ext. 101
mackenzie@costroncoaching.com

Turning Dreams into Actions: Building Your Brand

Costron Coaching. Branding. Logo. Creative Design. Business. Entrepreneur. Music Therapy. Coaching. Turtle Island. Canada.

Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business.  Your brand clearly defines the services you provide to your audience/ community and helps to create, and position a positive perception about your business. 

A well designed brand:

  • grabs the attention of the company’s targeted audience
  • addresses the problems that this audience/ community is facing
  • indicates how this company is going to fix the audience/ community’s problems
  • defines sales features that differentiates their company for other comparable businesses in the community

A detailed, thoughtful brand provides another means for the Owner and Founder to focus in deeply and structure the services they are providing the community accordingly.  With focus there is clarity in direction for your business endeavours.  What messages do you want conveyed through your brand?  What is are the natural words, phrases or language that resonate with your dream company?

I have designed two reputable brands through Find Your Voice Music Therapy and Costron Coaching and would be honoured to support you through what I have learned in consultation with Brand Specialist and Business Leaders across Canada.  Looking forward to starting the conversation!

In song,
Mackenzie Costron, BMT, MTA, RCT
Owner and Founder of Costron Coaching and Find Your Voice Music Therapy
1-800-827-3120 ext. 101
mackenzie@costroncoaching.com