This week's community spotlight is on Sharman Nittoli, founder of Live Your Bloom. Sharman is committed to helping Late Bloomers of any age discover renewed purpose and fulfillment through the sharing of life skills, stories and songs.
Sharman developed a program called Live Your Bloom. It is a collection of original songs and stories for late bloomers who also have unfulfilled dreams. Sharman heard a common thread of, “I know I should be happy, but something’s tugging at me to do more." She felt called to help and developed her program from there. Read more about her journey below.
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I have been a musician/composer for most of my life. I also worked intermittently as a school teacher in both private and public schools. Last year, I co-wrote, produced and edited a film about the music business Does the Band Eat, which can be seen on Amazon Prime. First film for me, and I jumped into the experience, grateful to Youtube for all the tutorials!
How did you get your start?
Though classically trained, I joined my first band right after graduation and realized I needed a whole new set of skills so I studied everything from arranging to jazz theory and improvisation. My partner (now husband) and I worked in many bands together, from big rock and show bands to jazz trios. We also worked the nostalgia concert circuit with the Duprees band for several years and had fun meeting a lots of legendary artists. My first break as a composer was co-writing lyrics to Here’s to the Band, recorded by Frank Sinatra. Truth, I was not even a fan at the time, but became one afterwards.
I also served several artist in residency positions at the historic Lowe House in Tubac, Arizona, where I wrote historical musicals performed by the local Montessori School. An ideal teaching opportunity!
Last year, I co-wrote, produced and edited a film about the music business Does the Band Eat, which can be seen on Amazon Prime. First film for me, and a massive amount of work but I jumped into the experience, grateful to You Tube for all the tutorials!
What is a "late bloomer"?
A Bloomer is someone who is in the state of expanding and blossoming.
A Late Bloomer is someone who has postponed becoming the person they always wanted to be, but has found renewed purpose and confidence to pursue and achieve hidden dream seeds, regardless of age
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
I waited so long to nurture several wonderful creative seeds I planted long ago, some 20 years or more due to insecurity and fear. I am totally inspired to help others do the same. We need more happier, optimistic people in this world to be receptive and open minded, to listen to other viewpoints, be truthful and engage in respectful dialogue. When someone is in Bloom, their joy will allow this to happen and it will have a synergistic effect on others.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced, personally or professionally? How have you overcome it?
Overcoming extreme shyness was a challenge for me in every way, especially in the field of show business. I was content to constantly study and improve my skills to be an asset to any job or group with whom I was involved, but fearful of stepping out as an artist, always staying in the background as keyboard player, musical director or arranger. One thing that really helped stepping out of my comfort zone and pursuing acting. I studied in NY, took several courses in Improv that helped me grow and gain confidence, got an agent and booked a few gigs. Fun, but not really my thing and when I returned to my performing, I was much stronger, freer and more creative. That enabled me to record my first CD, Unconditionally, dedicated to my beloved dog, Gaetano, and my second duets CD with my husband, Double Standards.
Another step I took was choosing to invest in myself by working with a private coach, Deborah Hurwitz, with whom I credit helping me understand and overcome my fears. My work with her resulted in the development of Live Your Bloom, a collection of original songs and stories about my journey that I conceived of over 20 years ago. I knew there were other people like myself and wanted to share what I had learned with them. Up until the Pandemic, I was performing a one-woman show and building community of people who related to my story. Now, I perform it online Monday nights at 7 ET on Sharman Nittoli Music on Youtube. I’m currently preparing to record a collection called Jazz in Bloom.
I also enrolled in the Amplify Community, a music mastermind for indie musicians run by Cheryl B. Englehardt, where I have learned a great deal about marketing for the indie musician, and, most importantly, really learned to believe it is not too late!
If you could talk to yourself 5 years ago, what advice would you give yourself?
“Shash, challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone to find your voice as a person, as an artist, and as someone who has the potential to help other people do the same and bloom. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and to connect and go for your vision in the future. Your voice needs to be heard. Let go of old grudges and wounds that waste time and energy. Find your freedom from the tar pits in your mind, or you will end up like a dinosaur in one of them.”
What are some key books/learning experiences that helped shape you/your business?
Breathing into Life, Bija Bennett War of Art, Steven Pressfield, Steel Like an Artist, Austin Kleon, Get Rich Lucky Bitch, Denise Duffiel-Thomas, Educated - Tara Westover, Abundance, the Future is Better Than You Think, Peter Diamandis
What are your favorite bloom products, and why?
Absolutely love the bloom planners and calendars! I start each day by checking in with my Daily Planner to see what I have planned, which I’ve mapped out on Sunday night. My planner keeps me on track and I could not function nor move ahead without it. I credit them with being a major part of my development and success in accomplishing long procrastinated goals. When I accomplish the day’s tasks, I give myself one of the many varieties of your bloom stickers. Being a retired teacher, I use the power of the stickers the same way I did with my kids, and when I scroll through my planner, I pat myself on the back for learning how to get things done. I always put book bands on all my books and love the fact that they have magnetic bookmarks and planner bands! So useful!
What is the purpose of your Live Your Bloom program and community?
I support and encourage people to identify their hidden dreams and achieve their goals, regardless of age. Life can get complicated and require constant adjustment and time to manage. On our list of daily and weekly tasks, we often put ourselves last, if at all. In a blink, weeks turn to months to years. As a senior, I understand the challenges, but in many ways, for me, it is the best time of my life. I’m in the process of writing a book about how to get things done and prioritize time, especially when we can get totally absorbed in helping loved ones, and I developed a course called It’s Your Time to Bloom, because it is!
Do you know someone doing something amazing in your community? Nominate them for a bloom community spotlight!