As I wrote long time ago in my second post ever, I like underlying principles—simple rules that apply to many circumstances. The principle I've been pondering most recently is the answer to this question: 'What's the secret to becoming a professionally-successful and valued artist?' Here's what I've got: learn.
When I graduated with a music degree, I thought my biggest challenge was playing the piano especially well. Wrong, my greatest improvement has been in my business skills. When I launched my concert series, I thought more people just needed to know about it. Wrong, they needed to know why they should host it.
Now I think I have a good formula to dramatically increase the frequency and value of my performing, but I'm still willing to be proven wrong. The key to my success so far has been my openness to implement new knowledge. It's not always pleasant and it's rarely easy, but the will to learn guarantees that you'll be better tomorrow than you are today.