Isabelle | From consultant to singer / songwriter

By Eleni Meraki

I am not focusing on the finish line. every day feels like a present to me.

INTRODUCING ISABELLE

My life felt like it had been externally imposed on me. Not forcefully, just because that’s how this society works.
 

I chose to study law at university, mainly because I didn’t know what else to choose. My love for language and writing helped me stay interested enough to graduate but to say I was passionate about law...not really. As a student I worked as a singing waitress in a well-known Italian restaurant. Music and writing were always passions of mine. I never told anyone about the writing though, I thought I wasn’t talented enough.


5 THINGS ABOUT

 

HOUSE CONVERTED INTO MUSIC STUDIO  |  JUST TURNED 30  |  LAW GRADUATE  |  SINGING WAITRESS  |  CAT CALLED FIEN

Isabelle

LEAP OF FAITH

A large chunk of my degree was boring. I couldn’t imagine myself practicing that for the rest of my life.
 

I wanted to feel like I was somehow contributing to a better world, so I applied as a strategic consultant at a sustainable energy consulting firm. 

Within my first year of working, at age 26, I had a stroke. After six months of tests I underwent surgery to the narrow arteries in my brain. Luckily it was curable. Then, almost a month after my surgery, my sister was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor. While I was rehabilitating, I spent a lot of time with her during her final months. She passed away 11 months after her diagnosis. 

Just after my sister had passed away was a a national holiday. I saw thousands of people partying in the streets and I had a sudden realisation of how small I was in this big world. And that I might as well do that what made me the happiest, life's too short.


Isabelle
Isabelle

WRITING AND SINGING

I believe acting from the heart will lead me where I need to be.
 

During this rollercoaster I had also broken up with my boyfriend and my best friend had walked out of my life. I needed to find and put back the pieces of myself after all that I had lost in the past two years. I wanted to get as far away as possible, so I flew to Hawaii for a month. 

In Hawaii I wrote every day, writing was my therapy. Dialogues, conversations with the people I had lost and with myself.

At the time I didn't realise these were the start of my autobiographical book…


Isabelle
Isabelle
Isabelle

GETTING STARTED

For me making music is living in the moment, writing is also reflection on the past.
 

Back home I switched jobs and started working part-time for a small company as a marketing/copy writer. I sent the 15 pages I had written in Hawaii to a friend of mine, a writer and editor-in-chief at a publishing house. He was blown away and encouraged me to approach publishing houses with my work.

Unbelievable but true, several publishers wanted to publish my story and I had the luxury of choice. I went with the publisher that offered me the time I needed to process my emotions and get them on paper, and wasn’t primarily interested in numbers and time frames. After signing my book deal, I started writing like a maniac and a few months later sat staring at a blank page; writer's block. After all that had happened over the past two years, I wanted to live life, not just write about it. I paused my book for a year, with my publisher's full support.

I started writing lyrics and picked up singing again.


Isabelle
Isabelle
Isabelle

THE TOUGH TIMES

Making art is often based on experiences. Exposing these can affect people  in your life but it’s my experience, and no experience holds objective truth.
 
  • o find your own path and discover your own talents you need to detach from the opinions and voices around you. Start asking yourself why you do the things you do. This sounds easier than it actually is.
  • Life is a bumpy road and I believe that all the tough times are part of your journey too. So embrace them, because these things shape you.

  • Sometimes, when I am frustrated or things don’t go my way, I have to relax. You can control a lot, but not everything.


FINANCIALS

Now I am doing what I love, materialistic things don’t interest me as much. I already have everything I want.
 

In order to be able to focus seriously on writing my book and recording music, I saved up for a year and a half while working as a marketeer. When I had enough to live off for a year, I quit my job and now live from my savings while I focus fully on writing and music.

A year is a lot but I would definitely advise a financial buffer for 3 to 6 months. Or find a part-time job for 3 days a week to finance whatever you are pursuing.

Isabelle
Isabelle
Isabelle

THE ALBUM RELEASE

If you truly believe in yourself, you will collect the right people around you to encourage and help you on your journey.
 

Recording an album would cost me somewhere between €15.000 and €20.000. I don’t have those kind of resources, so I'm sharing the rights of my music in order to produce an album. This is a system my producer uses for more upcoming artists.


5 INSIDER TIPS

 
  1. Be vulnerable and open. Realise that you don’t know anything and that's OK. 

  2. Fear and doubt are part of the journey, accepting that means you learn and connect much faster.

  3. Don’t think too much about the future. Worry and fear stifle optimism and creativity.

  4. Never give up. Focus on what is working.

  5. Remember to unwind and relax, that’s how the best ideas pop up and the most amazing contacts originate.

GET IN TOUCH WITH ISABELLE

WEBSITE   FACEBOOK 


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Eleni Meraki.jpg
 

Written by Eleni Meraki

Eleni is the founder of Guts & Tales. She lives in Athens and enjoys roaming the world as much as she can. She is a multi-passionate entrepreneur with big dreams and a big mission; to empower you to live a life you truly enjoy living.
Click on the About Eleni tab to read her full story.