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ALAN JIN - MUSO


Who are you and what is your involvement in the arts industry?


My name is Alan and I am one of the co-founders of Muso, a live music booking platform that connects musicians with gigs. 


How has COVID-19 affected your work?


Muso is within the overlapping part of the hospitality & music industry venn-diagram. So COVID has had a big impact on our business and the work that we do. We went from booking a tonne of gigs every weekend to none at all. I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t tough. 


We are however, a glass half full team, so we’ve looked at the opportunity that this period has presented to us, and upon some positive reflection we identified a lot of it. We’ve been able to spend our newly found time on deep research, product development and real value driving activities for our users. Our goal is to make Muso as helpful as possible for when live music comes back. We’ve also developed some fantastic community initiatives designed to support our musicians during this ridiculously tough time. 


So in short, it’s negatively affected our standard operations. But, it’s allowed us to take a step back and work on bigger picture items whilst supporting our community. We’ve moved so quickly that this period has actually been busier than pre-COVID. 


How do you intend on spending your time during this period? What are you doing to stay active?


Professionally, we are super focused on making the product as best as it can be. So we have been deep in research and product development. I’m working from home, but that has made me focus more and my net output has increased tenfold. I attribute this mainly to the lack of energised Muso team members running around the office with wild ideas. 


Personally, I have a pretty tight daily routine that sees me fully making use of my ‘1 hour of exercise per day’, it will be interesting to see if that lasts post-iso. Routine during this period is important for me as it allows me to create some form of purpose to what would otherwise be a monotonous lifestyle. I make sure I am active before work, by almost simulating a commute in, I make a fresh juice, pretend that I’m rocking up to the office, then sit down at my dining table - it’s totally weird. 


Something you want to say to other people affected - some tips on how to cope with the situation?


Create structure in what you do, give meaning to small things, make time for the ones you love and be deliberate in your actions. It’s so easy for us to slip into a spot where we feel that we lack purpose. If the thing that gave you purpose is currently on hold, find something else to take its place. Try and be deliberate with your actions and transfer your energy to something new, something that will give you purpose. 


Purpose doesn't have to be a new course, a new skill or something productive. I make a big deal of making a juice every morning, I try new ingredients every day. I want to know how to make a juice like a boss when I come out of iso. It may seem trivial, but this gives my mornings deliberate purpose. A combination of these mini-purposes (or maybe a larger one) is a great way to get through this period. 


Do you have any words of wisdom for the readers, maybe something to inspire or reflect on?


I’m not really a wise person, I mostly just shout ‘One team one dream’ at people. But here is an attempt at advice to get us through - Without being too cliche, I think there is a rare sense of unity in this time. For once, the entire world is experiencing the same thing at the same time. It doesn't matter that I’m not out being productive, because no one else is. FOMO is literally non-existent. So I would just say, bathe in the calm that this period has brought us and create structures for yourself to get through it. For once we can slow down and look after ourselves, without the residual guilt of non-productivity. It’s total ME-time, so turn isolation into an opportunity to look after yourself. Things haven’t ended for good, so for now let’s just pretend that the world is just on one big hiatus or siesta. 


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