• Lee Ann Emery

Ukulele Lessons 101: How to Effectively Run a Business



Wait, what?


Yes.


Ukulele lessons can make a positive impact on running a business. Any instrument, really, or learning a language, reading, doing a crossword, sudoku - it’s all the same. You’re just working your brain in a new way and it’s so good for you!


Coming from a psychological background, I love, love, LOVE geeking out over neurological and behavioural patterns and theories that can be used to benefit the masses and improve the lives of people. As a small business owner, I like to focus on the specific qualities of the brain that can be enhanced to help master the complex world that is running a business.


Being the head of a business is HARD, especially in the beginning phases of networking, systems, and growth. You need to be motivated and driven while keeping the passions alive and staying ahead of the pack with innovation and creativity. Even if you outsource tasks that are outside of your expertise, you still need to be skilled in delegation and multitasking.


That’s where learning the ukulele comes in.


You may be wondering what neuroscience has to do with the ukulele?


Well, one of the topics studied in the field of neuroscience is neurogenesis. Neurogenesis is the growth and development of nervous tissue. "Nervous tissue" refers to the nerves in your body leading up through your spinal cord and into your brain. Neurogenesis is most active in prenatal development and continues strong through youth and adolescence but slows considerably after your 20th birthday. Without regular stimulation, neurogenesis slows and your chances of developing age-related neurological disorders - such as stroke, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's disease - increase exponentially.


Here’s the good news!


Learning an instrument, like the ukulele, is one way to stimulate neurogenesis and keep your brain healthy!


You could also:

  • learn a new language

  • do crossword puzzles and/or sudokus

  • exercise

  • read


People in business can experience many benefits by taking part in tasks that increase neurogenesis. Making sure you set time aside to learn something new and make your brain work in a way that it hasn't before (or in a while) is a great way to reap the benefits and see your business running more smoothly than ever.


Some of these benefits include improved skills in:

  • Multitasking

  • Finding calm/relaxation

  • Focus

  • Confidence

  • Memory

  • Discipline

  • Time management

  • Innovation


Not to mention, performing these brain activities is FUN! That’s why I chose the Ukulele. It’s a portable little instrument that is not hard to learn and everyone seems to be enamored when they hear it. Not only does it improve MY mood but the moods of everyone around me.


There’s something about the ukulele that just makes you smile. It makes you let your guard down. It brings out the child in all of us.

– Jake Shimabukuro


When people hear the ukulele they often have images of palm trees and warm breezes, island drinks and Over the rainbow by Israël Kamakawiwo’ole playing in their heads. I know I do! We relax into ourselves and join in: singing, laughing and creating. We become a community of innovation, switching up notes, playing with rhythms, and inventing lyrics to songs never heard!


This is the vacation spirit of relaxation and the other half of running a business.


Training your mind to be an efficient, well-oiled machine by stimulating neurogenesis in the brain is absolutely fabulous and keeps things chugging along smoothly but taking the time to relax and refresh is what excites innovation and growth!


If you want a booming business, take a vacation.


No, I’m not crazy. Just like the science behind how playing an instrument can keep you on your toes in business, taking a vacation can really level-up your game and advance your career. Innovation is the pinnacle of forwarding momentum in all fields. Innovation takes creativity and a willingness to step back from the hubbub. In the case of running a business, this is when an owner can work ON their business instead of just IN it.


The physical, mental, and emotional health benefits of taking a vacation can have enormously positive effects on the progress in your business. This not only decreases burnout but also promotes better familial ties and encourages mutual support in all aspirations - like your business!


What’s interesting, especially for those whose circumstances may prevent them from taking an actual vacation at this time, is that studies have shown that simply planning a vacation can have similar positive effects on the mind and body. By refreshing your perspective during these breaks in working, you are better able to see what hiccups are holding you back and where advancements can be made. This allows you to be far more productive when you get back into the swing of things and you will have preserved the passions you started with when heading your enterprise in the first place.


So why not amp-up your Business with a Well-Deserved Vacation and a little strum on the ukulele to boot!


~~~


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