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  • Writer's pictureSusan Dosier

"PRIORITIES" and Piano Teachers

Setting priorities is one of the most important thing I do, yet I HATE it. Something almost always takes a back seat. I'm learning that's okay.

Whoever says we’re back to “normal” isn’t a small business owner, hiring manager, budget maker, planner, or marketer. And that person is definitely not working in the hospitality industry. The skill I need most right now is one I dislike using: Setting priorities. I want to do it nail every media pitch, to have mind-bending digital ads and social media, to volunteer, etc. You have your list, too. The way you accomplish your goals (perhaps with less staff, these days) has likely changed a lot in the last year and a half. Prioritizing means I often grieve what I give up. The words of my high school piano teacher, Mr. Thorn, ring in my head. Distressed that my senior year’s recital piece was not progressing properly, my earnest teacher looked at me and said, “Susan, you’ve got to make this a priority.”

I’d arranged the activities of my high school career to land college scholarships, and I’d done it. In this last month of high school, I wanted to have fun. Piano practice wasn’t at the top of my list. I didn't make that decision intentionally, however. A wiser version of me knows intentional decision-making is the key to success.

What I’ve learned so far:

1. If you don’t prioritize, someone else will.

2. What single activity yields the most ROI? Think hard about how you approach this prize activity. Are you doing it daily?

3. Pick a word to help guide your decisions and keep focus. My current word is “reality.” It embraces change and gives me permission to make tough decisions. offers help in finding your "word." (I didn't buy any wristbands, but you might.)

4. Stepping back from the roar to organize and focus yourself is essential. For some, this is a daily activity; others, weekly. What rhythm works for you?

5. Health and mental well-being must be on the list. If not, those closest to you bear the burden later. As annoyed as I was at Mr. Thorn’s admonishment, I practiced in all my spare time the three days before the event. At the recital, I banged out a rather choppy version of the theme from “Romeo & Juliet.” After playing, I got up from that piano stool, took a bow, and hurried off that stage. Sometimes, getting through to the end counts for the win.

Take care out there.

--by Susan Dosier, President, DK Communications Group

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