“Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don’t say it mean.”

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Hi friend! My name is Hannah Haefele (rhymes with “safely”), and I’m a flutist and music journalist from the Kansas City area. I’m currently 25 and finishing up my masters of music at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

I grew up in suburban KC and went to an artistic, diverse private high school in the heart of south KC. That high school was a better fit for me than traditional public high school, and it shaped many of my thoughts and experiences.

After earning my bachelors in music, I failed to get a job in the field so took…

“I don’t want to” and other reasons that may help you…

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Photo by Andrej Lišakov on Unsplash

Don’t get me wrong, working from a desk can be useful. You can spread out and have a solid surface for your computer and other tools.

But I’ve found that working from a desk all of the time can be limiting. In some ways, it can feel like my own little at-home cubicle.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, advice article after advice article has shared tips on how to work from home productively. And one of the most common tips is to work from a dedicated desk or table.

Sometimes, a desk or table can help you focus and…

Following them was toxic.

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Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

In any industry, you will have “gurus” or people who seem to be experts and know everything about that field. Be it music, writing, or anything else, there are always going to be people who appear successful and perfect.

At best, it’s annoying. At worst, it’s downright toxic.

After all, perfection is impossible, and success doesn’t come as easily as some gurus make it seem. Success takes work and time, and you can’t expect that following these experts will make you one, too.

Now, I’m not going to name names here. But I have stopped paying as much attention to…

At least, not entirely…

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Photo by Travis Essinger on Unsplash

In the online business world, you hear a lot about passive income. You don’t have to work for all of your money.

As an entrepreneur, passive income can be the equivalent to an employee’s paid time off. You can still earn money without having to work all day or all week.

It’s pretty cool, and it’s not something that really happens in a traditional business. But should you really build your career around passive income?

Consider why you may still want some “active” income.


Even as a freelancer, I believe it’s possible to have a stable work schedule and regular…

We’re just as frustrated as you are…

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Photo by Freddy G on Unsplash

I’ve always been “the picky one” in my family. Growing up, I didn’t like a lot of common foods, such as hamburgers, tacos, or meatballs. Instead, I preferred chicken nuggets, quesadillas, and pasta with red sauce.

I’m sure everyone knows a picky eater or is a picky eater. And if you aren’t picky, you’ve probably judged someone for being that way.

But here’s something to consider: imagine if that pickiness was some other dietary restrictions. Vegetarian/vegan, keto, or gluten-free.

Of course, some people would judge any of those diets. They aren’t “normal.” However, diet can be very personal.

I know…

I failed to reach my goal for getting a masters in flute performance

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Photo by Joshua Woroniecki on Unsplash

Throughout college, I knew I wanted to become a private flute teacher. I started playing the flute in high school, and I went to a small state university. So I knew there was almost no chance of landing an orchestral job.

Performing solo would be great, but I knew that would be difficult if not impossible. And I also knew that teaching public school band was not for me. Sure, I could teach at the college level, but that would mean getting a doctorate: not something I want.

That meant my most viable option for a music career was to…

I was a bad music student…or was I?

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Photo by Lacie Slezak on Unsplash

As a music major, I always heard about the importance of practicing your instrument. Or in my case, instruments: flute and piccolo.

Practicing is important for improving your skills in terms of technique, sound, and musicality. But there comes a limit when practicing can do one of two things.

First, you may not make any extra progress by practicing more in a given day. This is okay as long as you enjoy practicing and don’t have work or other commitments that need your attention.

The second one is a problem: pain/injury. If you practice too much and aren’t careful, you…

From stats to income, this is one tough pill to swallow

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Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

I’m a writer and musician, so I’ve had my fair share of competition and comparison. It can be inspiring to see musicians and writers of all backgrounds succeed, especially when they aren’t prodigies or from wealthy families.

But there is a problem that a lot of us don’t talk about. It’s one thing to use these stories as inspiration. And it’s another when they come off as bragging, even if that’s not the intent.

Instagram stopped showing like counts a long time ago, but there are still other ways to compare ourselves to others. …

Slow and steady wins the race.

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Graduation has come and gone, and with the chances of me pursuing a doctorate degree near zero, it’s time to join the full-time workforce. But I won’t be getting a job; I’m building up my business.

I’ve been freelancing since before I started grad school, and it helped me finish school debt-free. Of course, I could get a regular job. But as a trained musician, there aren’t a ton of those right now.

Instead, I’m going to take my business full-time. And I have a plan for exactly how to do it.

Whether you’re currently in school or haba a…

I may be a full-time freelancer, but I still take time for myself.

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Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

In the world of freelancing, a lot of people believe that you have to work from the minute you wake up until you go to sleep. If you don’t do that, are you a “real” freelancer?

Yes. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.

Of course, the more you hustle and work on your freelance career, the more money you will make. Even if you work for project rates, you do have to work to make money as a freelancer. But you don’t have to work all of the time.

I made the executive decision that, even at the start…

Hannah Haefele

Musician and writer with a passion for classical music and career development. I also compose a bit. https://hannahbflute.com

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