In business, there’s a term called “systems.” Many other terms describe, in effect, the same thing – Standard Operating Procedures, checklists, processes, workflows, and more. These are documents or videos showing the exact step-by-step process of how to complete a task. The benefit of systems is that they help you do things more efficiently, save your precious willpower, and save your money too.

Businesses have found systems so valuable that there’s a catchy acronym – S.Y.S.T.E.M. stands for Saves YourSelf Time, Energy, and Money. In this guide, you will learn how to create systems for your music career – specifically, how to create frameworks.

This post originally appeared on David Andrew Wiebe. There are no alterations except to enhance clarity, cite more resources, or offer more up-to-date information.

Is it time for you to create systems for your artistic career?

No matter your discipline, Standard Operating Procedures are vital.

Systems define the scope of every task. They help you focus on what needs to be accomplished. They help you achieve consistent results. And, because they are finite in focus, they help you save time. That’s the foundation of productivity and effectiveness.

Moreover, as the author, Dan Kennedy said:

All wealth is based upon systems.

So, let’s talk about how you can use systems to build your wealth. First, I wanted to share a little about my journey…

How to create artist frameworks for increased efficiency

Why it Took Me So Long to Create Systems

Having talked to over 100 business owners specifically about systems and operations, I had a good handle on how important systems are. I knew they would prove crucial to my projects and businesses too.

I knew about all the books (The E-Myth, Checklist Manifesto, The 4-Hour Workweek, etc.), all the tools (Basecamp, Atlassian, Process Street, etc.), and all the methods. I had all the answers. Yet, I struggled.

I would create systems, but most of the time they would end up sitting in some forgotten folder I would rarely access. I wasn’t great at creating new systems or updating them.

And, they were all over the place. I had systems in Word docs, Google Docs, Evernote, Asana, SweetProcess, and elsewhere.

But no matter what I tried knowledge didn’t turn into breakthrough.

Knowledge alone doesn't turn into a breakthrough. Click To Tweet

Isn’t that what it’s like to be human? To draw a comparison, you can know how to lose weight, but unless you do what you know to do, you’re not going to shed unwanted pounds.

Breakthrough Was Created in Language

In my personal development work, I discovered that if it doesn’t exist in the realm of language, it simply doesn’t exist.

This is a bit of an advanced concept, and it usually takes laying some serious groundwork before it “lands” for people.

But the basic idea is this. What lives, lives in language. And, each of us has different feelings associated with different words.

Last year, I was watching a video with Taki Moore, and he was talking about frameworks. When I heard the word, “frameworks,” something finally clicked for me.

Up until that point, I had been using the same terms everyone else was using to describe their systems. Terms like:

  • Standard Operating Procedures
  • Processes
  • Process maps
  • Procedures
  • Policies
  • Checklists
  • Workflows
  • Systems

Again, I’m creative. When approaching business, I always try to think in terms of business (what’s going to generate sales) instead of showing up in my “default” mode (which is as an artist, and artists either don’t like to or don’t want to, sell).

Your artist hat helps you create. Your business hat helps you market and sell.

Your artist hat helps you create. Your business hat helps you market and sell. Click To Tweet

But these terms – the ones you see in the list above – just felt too constraining to me. They made me slightly queasy, to be honest.

When I heard the term “frameworks,” my eyes opened wide and I found the motivation I needed to create processes that would work for me.

I had a breakthrough in language.

I also shared this in a video:

One More Piece of the Puzzle

I would love to say things have been smooth sailing from that day forward, but that would be a lie.

I knew I would be creating “frameworks” and not “systems”, but that wasn’t enough.

Since having that realization, I only ever created one framework, and it was specifically for a training course (The Code Breaker Course – it’s awesome) I’d been putting together:

What a framework looks like

Then, the other day, I was reading this post on how to start a podcast (mostly because my coach wrote it).

In that post, I found multiple checklists that looked like this:

James Schramko checklists

That’s all I needed to see. Now I was confident I had a format that would work for me.

Technically, the above would be considered a minimum viable procedure because it does not feature a detailed explanation of each step, but hell, I’m a CEO. I will get my assistant to handle the rest (I’m being tongue-in-cheek here).

If there’s someone you admire and respect, ask them how they’re creating their systems and get them to show you. You’re more likely to adopt a process you feel confident about. Click To Tweet

So, This is What I Did (This is How to Create Frameworks, Step by Step)

Are you still with me? Good. Because this is where I show a step-by-step process you can use for creating frameworks

First, I created a new folder on my desktop and called it “SOPs” (Standard Operating Procedures).

SOPs folder

I know this kind of goes contrary to what I said earlier about frameworks. I don’t know why I went with “SOPs.” Maybe it’s a bit of a mind hack or just the fact that it would make the folder easier to find. Ultimately, I still call the documents inside “frameworks.”

Then, I created a folder specifically for Music Entrepreneur HQ (as you can see, I have other projects requiring frameworks):

Frameworks folder

Then, inside the “Music Entrepreneur HQ” folder, I started making folders for different areas of the business (still very much a work in progress):

Areas of business

And, of course, within those folders exist multiple Word docs containing the frameworks (because let’s face it – there’s never just one thing to do in any area of your career or business):

Word doc frameworks

Finally, here’s what my frameworks look like:

Podcast promotion checklist

And, that’s it! How simple was that?

Pro tip: One day, all my systems will live in the cloud and yours should too. Why? Because one of the reasons to create frameworks in the first place is so you can hand off tasks to your team.

Don’t let perfectionism get in the way of making your frameworks. These are powerful tools for increasing your productivity.

And, don’t forget – if you aren’t happy with anything, you can always tweak it. There are no mistakes. You will add and subtract from your checklists as needed. System creation is an ongoing process (I just saw something to add to one of my checklists while writing this post!).

Remember – put away the artist hat when you’re working on the business side of things.

Remember – put away the artist hat when you’re working on the business side of things. Click To Tweet

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