KNOTEWORTHY: Lauren Bateman, LB Music School

Lauren Bateman is the Founder of LB Music School in Medford & Wakefield—an Entrepreneur who took a massive risk in 2010 to leave her secure 9-5 position in the pharmaceutical industry behind to pursue her passion for music. Today, The LB Music School aspires to inspire. They foster creativity and confidence through fun and supportive music instruction, with the goal to help students of all ages develop both life-long discipline and happiness. 

We asked Lauren to share some of her best practices for productivity, and here's what she said...

What's your productivity secret?

I use something called the 5-priority rule. Which is setting 5 things you are committed to completing that day. 3 of those priorities are business related and 2 of them are personal. These tasks can be big or small, but they must be completed by the end of the day. 

A big thing entrepreneurs fall into the trap of, and something I fell into the trap of, is working so much and neglecting some of the personal things in that bring us a lot of joy and pleasure. For me, that’s getting outside and walking by the ocean or hiking in the forest. I love being outside. So once a day, as long as the weather is nice, I will go outside for anywhere from 15 minutes to and hour. Whatever my day calls for. I also like to workout and play videogames. So I throw that into the mix too.

By keeping to the 5 priorities, I ensure that I am moving my business forward every day. At the same time, I am also maintaining my sanity and the elusive work-life balance. And the great thing about the 5 priorities rule is that once those 3 business tasks are out of the way, the rest of the day is yours. If you want to work more, you can. We all know that the work never ends. If you want don’t to work more, you don’t have to but you don’t have to feel guilty about not getting any work done.

How do you define success?

Success is different for everyone. We all have our own definition of what makes us successful. For me, it’s building a life that allows you to get everything you want from it so that you can wake up every morning excited to start the day.

I did that by building a business that allows me the freedom to take time off for my family and myself when I want to. It’s something that grows even if I’m not there every second of the day. Success is inspiring those around me and encouraging them to reach for their goals by being myself and sharing my life them via social media. It’s about leaving people better than when I found them and trying to impact everyone I meet in a positive way. Those are some of my ideas on success.

How did you get to where you are today?

People think it’s weird that I teach music and own a music school but don’t have a degree in music. I used to work for a pharmaceutical company and my background is in Biology and Archaeology. I know, totally makes sense, right? 

In my 20s, I decided that working an 8 hour a day job wasn’t for me. I loved science but it really wasn’t my passion and I was feeling bogged down and unhappy. I really loved performing music and writing songs. So I quit my job (which was about $65,000 at the time with great benefits and a possible yearend bonus) to pursue a career in music. My first month in business I made only $400. 
I know. Totally rolling in it.

The first few years were not easy. I would get up at 5am on Sunday mornings to go flyer cars and I would get to Porter Square at 5:30am during the week to busk in the Subways for money. Whatever I needed to do to get myself out there, promote my business and earn money. I built my business up all by myself until I become overbooked and had to hire someone to help me take on the surplus. Then I had to hire another teacher and decided I should probably move the business out of the house. I moved into a commercial location in November of 2012 and haven’t looked back. 

The biggest people to help me on my journey was my parents. They never said no to me or that I couldn’t do anything. I know they had their worries and concerns, but they know I’m determined when I set my mind to something and that I’m persistent. They taught me about hard work and sweat equity and both of the them own or had owned business at one point. So I kind of learned the benefits of owning your own business from them.

I have to thank my sister who bought me a guitar when I was in high school. My mom told her not to because I wouldn’t do anything with it. I don’t blame her because I wasted my piano lessons when I was younger. I’m really glad she didn’t listen and I’m glad I loved the instrument enough to teach myself how to play it. 

Of course, no business is amazing unless you have the support of wonderful staff. My employees have been through some highs and lows with me and I am forever grateful for their hard work and dedication. They really make the music school the success it is because they are in the school day in and day out making our customers happy.

Last, but not least, I have to thank my fiancé who has supported me the entire way. We had only dated for many 3-4 months when I announced to her that I was quitting my job to pursue my passion. I think most people would have run away. Somehow, she just knew everything was going to be alright and instead of discouraging me, she always encourages me to think bigger and aim higher. When I wanted to get a small commercial space to play it safe, she encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone and go big. She has been my sounding board and my biggest support. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her input, love, dedication and advice.