Why I love Janet Jackson & why some performing artists thrive while others spend years struggling to breakthrough

Sing! Dance! Act! Thrive! Podcast Episode 031

Today’s episode is about why do some performing artists thrive while others spend years struggling to breakthrough. I’ve worked with hundreds of performing artists and the competitive edge for many has been that they have a clear message of who they are and what they stand for. And they know how to communicate that to connect with people. Talent is not enough. If you think about your favorite musicians, actors, dancers, I’m sure that you love them for more than just their talent. You are attracted to their image or personality, or you connect to the personal stories and experiences that they’ve shared.


Hello, and welcome to episode number 31 of Sing! Dance! Act! Thrive!

Today’s episode is about why do some performing artists thrive while others spend years struggling to breakthrough. I’ve worked with hundreds of performing artists and the competitive edge for many has been that they have a clear message of who they are and what they stand for. And they know how to communicate that to connect with people. Talent is not enough. If you think about your favorite musicians, actors, dancers, I’m sure that you love them for more than just their talent. You are attracted to their image or personality, or you connect to the personal stories and experiences that they’ve shared.

For example, I have been a fan of Janet Jackson for as long as I can remember. I watched her acting on Good Times, Different Strokes and Fame, all before her recording career took off with Control. Even when she was too shy to express herself through words. She told us who she was with every song and performance. She’s a strong, independent woman who gives the best “Don’t mess with me attitude” in many of her songs and performances.

I admire her for being open about struggling with self-esteem issues, her weight and experiencing depression and domestic abuse. And whenever people started to count her out, she would come back stronger than ever. She gives an incredible acting performance in Why Did I Get Married Too? where she was open about the fact that she was filming that movie. When Michael Jackson died. She said that when she returned to set that she still hadn’t really had the complete breakdown about losing her brother. But she brought all of that built up anger and emotion out in that scene. And again, she told us who she was through her art.

And look at her now. In the last few years, she’s won every Legend and Icon Award out there, including being inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. All while becoming a mother at age 50! And touring the world was sold-out arenas.

Of course, I love listening to her music, watching her sing, dance and act. And I’ve been known to study and attempt to dance the choreography from “Nasty,” “If,” “All For You,” “Feedback,” “Made For Now” and more. Recently I commissioned an oil painting of her to have on my wall for inspiration. It is a strong beautiful image of her in a simple white t-shirt, sparkling diamond choker necklace and long leather gloves with the word power on them.

That is Janet to me. Strong, beautiful and powerful. I look at it and say, “You’re right Janet, I’m going to go kick ass in my T-shirt and Swarovski jewelry. [Okay, I don’t have the diamonds yet whatever,] and nothing’s gonna stop me.” She gives me strength.

As a performer, I’m sure you desire to have an audience that feels that way about you. But how will you express all of that? How will you express all that you are to attract loyal fans and industry supporters. There are many books, courses, consultants and resources available on the entertainment industry. However, most skip the foundation work of connecting to your true identity and life’s purpose. In my 15 years as an entertainment publicist, I saw countless artists and performers struggling to build a career in the arts. I was inspired to become a certified life entrepreneur and creativity coach so that I could walk artists through the process that I knew was the missing link in their plans.

So now, through coaching, I help musicians, actors, and dancers create and grow and authentic personal brand in order to attract loyal fans and industry supporters, without feeling overwhelmed or doubting themselves. If you want to generate bigger opportunities, I can guide you and communicating your skills, values, and personality to propel you to the next level.

I’ve developed a three-phase 12 step process that I utilize to coach artists and performers to thrive in the arts. I’m going to tell you about the 12 steps and explain the benefits of each and if you’re interested in having a free coaching session with me to see if we’re a fit to work together, I have an offer for you at the end.


1. Vision (10-5-1-year vision)

We talk about your vision. Where do you see yourself in 10, five, one year? You will get crystal clear on the life and career that you want to have, so that you can determine the steps required to make it happen. This allows you to set a timeline for achieving your goals and helps you stay focused and on track.

2. Goal Setting (1 year, 60 days, 30-day goals)

Setting goals helps break down your future vision into achievable steps to get there. Without goal setting, you tend to drift aimlessly. I know I did it for years. I was all “I go with the flow. I go where my creativity takes me” and because I’m multi-passionate, it took me in a lot of different directions. And I went with it. But I didn’t really get anywhere on any of them. I’ve learned to focus. And I don’t have to give up anything. That was my thing when people would say, “Oh, you have to, you know, pick one thing and focus on it and put all your energy into that.” I don’t believe that, because we’re creative people. And if you’re multi-passionate like I am, it’s like, I don’t want to give it up. But it helps to kind of pick a few things that you can focus on. And give it all you got. make it successful. And when it’s running smoothly, then you can kind of pick up some of your other interests. So with goal setting, you have more control over your life, and what you can achieve. It provides motivation. As you accomplish short term goals, you’ll begin to believe that your long term vision is achievable.

3. Motivation (Find Your Why?)

Simon Sinek says “people don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.” And that applies to artists more than anyone I think. When you can articulate why you do what you do, why you want what you want, your life’s purpose becomes clear. Your purpose then becomes the driving force that motivates you to achieve your goals and helps you keep going when the inevitable obstacles and setbacks come up. While many others give up, you will have the drive to get back on track no matter what happens. Your “Why” also becomes part of your story that you share to connect with your audience.

4. Artist Identity (Core Beliefs & Values)

In artist identity, we go through core beliefs and values, identifying the limiting beliefs that are been holding you back from achieving your dreams and replacing them with empowering beliefs. It will open up endless possibilities. Your core values will become the guiding principles on which you base all your decisions. You will gain the confidence to know which activities are worth your time and which ones to ignore.

A mission statement summarizes who you are, what you stand for, and what you intend to achieve. Your mission will guide your strategies and actions so that you can achieve your goals.


5. Skills, Strengths & Weaknesses

We will go over your skills, your strengths, your weaknesses. Discovering, appreciating and cultivating your strengths gives you the confidence to push yourself Make the impact you want to make and receive the rewards you desire. If you wish to grow and improve, it’s important to identify your weaknesses that may be holding you back. This knowledge will empower you to learn something new or move past your comfort zone. It can also help you identify the skills and strengths you may want in a future collaborator or team member.

6. Image (fashion, grooming, photographs, auditions)

We will talk about your image, fashion grooming photographs, auditions. Often your image is the first impression anyone has of you and is the deciding factor on if someone even presses play on your acting reel or your music. An investment in your appearance can improve your self-confidence and attract your ideal fans and industry supporters. Expressing your personality through your image gives you a unique edge in a crowded marketplace,

7. Personality (The Big Five, OCEAN)

Understanding your personality type can help you set boundaries for self-care and know which situations allow you to perform your best. Once you understand the ocean model, you can then evaluate people in your life to better understand their behavior. This will go a long way and improving your relationships.

8. Your Story

We will explore your life experiences for facts, inspiration, vulnerability, and meaning. By sharing your dreams, goals, motivation, personality, and experiences, you can attract and connect with an engaged audience. Your story can be shared on your website in your About Me section as an introduction, in your videos, through blogs, and other places where you connecting with your audience.


9. What makes you unique?

As a performer, you’re an entrepreneur. So it’s important to be clear on your offerings. What products or services do you offer? Where will you offer those products and services? At what price or rate? How will you promote yourself? With this information, you will know how to establish and communicate what makes you special or unique to attract loyal fans for your talent.

10. Research

Next up is research. It’s time for research, identifying other actors, musicians, dancers, that your ideal audience or industry Supporters may see a similar to you, or possibly that are where you want to be in a few years. Analyze their strengths and weaknesses and find a competitive advantage that is both aligned with your vision and relevant to your target audience. You will research the industry supporters you want to attract. Is it a casting director, an agent, producer, director? Or is it media? You’ll do some research to get to know the players and what they are looking for with their projects. You’ll begin to see where you fit in the industry and marketplace, and how you can promote yourself and your talents.

11. Who is your tribe?

As much as you want to appeal to everyone with your talents, the more specific you are in who your audience is, the more successful you will be at attracting them. Who is most likely to value what you have to offer? This focus will lead you to do what you are passionate about, with people you enjoy working with, and for an audience that appreciates your talents.

12. Review & Celebration

Finally, we will review and celebrate. Celebrate how far you’ve come in such a short time. You will have so much to celebrate feeling more confident in yourself, your work and the future.

We’ll talk about next steps. As every artist is at a different place when they succeed in conquering the 12 steps and three phases. What comes next won’t be the same for everyone. You may wish to continue with coaching to have further education and support on topics such as social media, photography, videos, press kits, media training and other promotional activities. Along with the invaluable accountability that having a coach provides. And or you may be ready to launch a publicity campaign and maybe we’ll talk about that. No matter where you are, you will have the support to figure out your next steps.

So to my offer, I have given myself the challenge to give away 30 free coaching sessions in 30 days to be of service to as many artists as possible. It’s a chance for you to pick my brain on any questions that you may have. And we’ll do a little exploration of what you really want. So if you’re interested, visit Diane foy.com/booking and grab one of the spots.

My challenge ends on December 12. So if you are listening to this at a later date, you can always contact me to be on the waiting list for the next time I have openings.

and There you have it. I really believe that this is an important foundation work to do. And I’ve experienced it myself. As I was saying that I spent a lot of years drifting aimlessly goalless. You know, I would make goals and vision but nothing would come true because I didn’t know how to get there. It’s hard figuring it all out for yourself. And other people’s advice sometimes doesn’t fit with who you are, and how you work. So the thing about coaching is I don’t tell you what to do or what you should do. I help you figure it out for yourself.

You know, with my experience, I share, all my knowledge and experience with you. And I have ways of coaching you to find your own answers. And that’s the strength of coaching.

So that’s all I have for you today. I just wanted to give you a little insight into what I do when I coach artists and performers. And if I’m not the coach for you, or you’re not at this position, I hope it inspired you in some way. Because there’s always, even if you’re crazy successful, there are always areas where it’s important to revisit. December is a good time to reflect on how far you’ve come and re-evaluate your goals. Are they the same as they were last year? What can we do differently? and kind of map out the next year. Anyways, until next time, I will be back with another interview. And I hope you enjoyed this episode.