Interview with Clare Kennedy – Songwriter and Musician

Interview with Clare KennedyTell us a little bit about yourself and your entrepreneurial journey.

Songwriting and singing are the only things I have consistently done since I was a child. It’s also the only thing I’ve ever passionately dreamed about… the hopes and ambitions I had way back in childhood are still exactly the same today and I think I always knew I’d never be anywhere else in life but here.

I didn’t like or fit well with school and left at the first opportunity, despite having academic ‘potential’. I saw things very differently for myself and knew that I was never going to bloom in that sort of environment.

What did you do before launching your own business?

I studied Philosophy and Psychology at Edinburgh University, later specializing in Moral Philosophy in my final years. It was the only subject that resonated with me. I knew it was in alignment with my desire to connect and understand people and the world around me. I just didn’t plan on how challenging the academic rigor of the subject would be. I remember in my first year having to pass a Logic exam without which I wouldn’t have been fit for the next three years of study. It took every ounce of brain power to get the grade and there after the challenge and intense joy of tackling all of life’s big unknowns filled me with a very deep sense of purpose.

How did you fund your business?

I have always kept my costs very low by being really selective about the way I write my music. I don’t need a state of the art studio or fancy production to get my point across. If anything, the simplicity of what I do means minimal expenditure. It also helps that I get an immense sense of satisfaction from the intrinsic value of the songs I write.

Since the birth of my daughter, and crystallizing my resolve to make music that makes a difference, I did invest in some better home studio equipment, so my husband and I used some of our savings to buy the essentials.

How many hours do you work a week and how much is spent is your home office?

My home studio/come office is my little den. Because I am at home full time with my 18 month old daughter it can be difficult to carve out the head space required for me to access more fully my creative flow. My husband and I have worked it so that I can usually get an hour or two in the mornings (a few days per week), between Robin waking and her next nap. Usually they’ll go out and I have the luxury of a quiet house to do some song- writing/recording and reply to emails.

After Robin is down for the night, at 7pm, I get to work on the music marketing side of things and sometimes I’ll work solidly until 11pm…but the time flies!!

How would you rate your success?

I have always based my ‘here and now’ on how happy I feel. I am unconcerned with the outward appearance of success, it often belies the truth. I hope to instill in my children the importance of the internal guidance system that each and every one of us is blessed with. We should all be guided by our intuition and gut instinct, we must nurture our ability to truly love and trust ourselves; that surely must be the true mark of success!

What has been your biggest business struggle as an entrepreneur?

Staying motivated and on track with my goals is always more challenging when I only have myself to answer to. I have reframed that scenario in my mind by acknowledging that no matter what we do in life, even if we have a boss and deadlines, we all have to answer to ourselves, none of us are off the hook, nobody else is responsible for the life we choose to live.

What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur?

Never be afraid of yourself or what you are capable of.  I have always loved the quote by Marianne Williamson about us being more afraid of our light than our dark. The reality is that we can create and achieve unlimited abundance in our lives. Many become fearful of that fact and of courageously and intentionally living and fully unleashing our personal power, so many opt to live small.

How do you manage all of your personal and business activities?

It’s quite a natural balance for me. It’s all overspill. My creative/business life is enmeshed with my personal life…both are aspects of me that cannot be separated. That is why being a stay-at-home mum was totally non-negotiable. I would have been wildly out of sync with myself had I had to leave Robin in someone else’s care. That in itself would have impacted greatly on my ability to stay true to myself as an artist. Motherhood is the most meaningful and joyful aspect of my life. Music is an extension of the love and gratitude that comes from the very many blessings, and at times, challenges, of being alive!

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