How Peggy Still Johnson Manages Many Careers (Artist, Producer, Fundraiser)

by | Feb 22, 2021

Meet Peggy. She wears many hats: producer, composer, performer, fundraiser. And she manages to do all of them well. What’s more, she’s my friend who also lives in Georgia. I’ve long admired how Peggy is able to envision and materialize her remarkable projects into the world. She has a deep intellectual curiosity which she brings to her many professions. I know you’ll enjoy her comments below.

Peggy’s careers

On her motivations to have many careers

I enjoy working in fundraising and in production. I am passionate about working in nonprofits and working in the arts. As a pianist, keyboard player, and vocalist, my degree is in film composing. As a producer, I love developing projects with Pendulum-Productions and GO Media Productions. I also love working with my team at Pendulum-Productions to provide music and sound design for film and television projects. I enjoy working in ALL of the above and LOVE having multiple careers.

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On what she’s passionate about

I am very passionate about workforce development. It gives me great joy to help employ those in the arts and help nonprofits make a difference in our community. I am thrilled to be working with Women In Technology (WIT) whose mission is to support women and girls in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) from the classroom to the boardroom. As a female artist who also works with music technology, I appreciate what WIT is doing for women in STEAM. Though I grew up in the San Diego area, I also love living in Georgia and have made it my home. I find it fulfilling to help create and keep jobs in film and television in Georgia.

On how long she’s had these careers

I began working in the arts over 30 years ago by founding and owning a music school for 24 years which grew to 3 locations, 50 instructors and 600 students enrolled. I successfully sold the business in 2011, worked on a production in 2012, and then ran a nonprofit as the Executive Director (Callanwolde Fine Arts Center) for 5 years. Today I work with Women In Technology as their Chief Development Officer and for the past 30+ years, I have also performed as a solo artist and in bands and have worked in various roles in productions such as Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Bessie, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, Parental Guidance, Requiem for Herstory, Hello World to name a few and have worked with artists such as Mickey Thomas, John Mellencamp, MoNique, Stephen King, T Bone Burnett, Larkin Poe, Starbenders, Tuk Smith and more.

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Advice to those aspiring to have many careers

Having multiple careers can be rewarding and financially lucrative. It requires discipline, organization, reliability and deciding what and who to say yes and no to. I surround myself around people who are a positive influence in my life and am blessed to have a husband, family and friends who are supportive of my careers and interests.

On overcoming obstacles

Early in my career I had failed relationships. I have learned that with every failure, lessons are learned and I become better, stronger, wiser, more forgiving and more compassionate. Today I don’t dwell on setbacks, I see them as stepping-stones to the new and better me.

On how careers are mutually beneficial

My arts career and relationships have always helped my nonprofit work. When fundraising in nonprofit, it helps to have relationships in the arts. As far as the path I have taken, my A career of owning a successful music business definitely helped brand my name and led to relationships that helped me with opportunities, employment and gigs. Each job led to more relationships and my relationships led to more jobs. The people in my life have been amazing and have absolutely helped me get to where I am today. I truly believe the two things that have led to my success has been hard work and supportive relationships along with strategy on how to best reinvent myself from careers A to B to C etc.

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On managing personal time

I try to set aside a couple of hours each day for myself and for my family and some days I take the entire day off. Managing time is critical, learning which projects, events, and meetings to accept and which ones to decline. Balance is the key which is always a struggle. I remind myself that I love what I do, what I have and those in my life. I try not to stress if I have weeks that are not balanced. I also try to remind myself daily to take time for family, friends and for myself.



On something she wishes she had learned earlier

I wish I had realized that it is okay to not be perfect. It is okay if my house is a mess, if I am a mess and if I need others to help me. I used to try and do everything perfect and by myself. I have since learned the benefits of asking for help and hiring interns, assistants and others to help me. I have learned the value of working in teams and that it is okay that I don’t know everything and can’t do everything. I just make sure I work with people that are reliable, supportive, and better than me which helps me and the projects to be better.

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On overcoming the stigma of having multiple careers

When in leadership roles, people can cast you into that role only and tend to not see you in your creative roles. I have had to learn how to brand myself with messaging that makes it clear to myself and to others what I do and remind myself that I do multiple things well. It has been helpful for me to create vision boards and messaging around me to keep balance so that I am achieving in both of my careers. The vision boards remind me daily to stop working in one and continue working in the other otherwise, since I have great focus, I would fail to get to the creative tasks.

A Day in the Life

  • 7 am – Wake Up, walk my dog, meditate, read, pray, drink a smoothie, take care of chores
  • 8 am – Answer emails and catch up on work assignments
  • 9 am til 5 pm – Meetings, lunch and work on assignments
  • 5 pm – Eat dinner and walk my dog
  • 6 pm til 10 p.m. – Work on music and film projects, spend time with my husband, read and pray
  • Saturdays – Spend time with family and friends, work on music and film projects
  • Sunday – worship and rest

Where to find Peggy


Kabir Sehgal is a Multi Grammy & Latin Grammy Award winner, as well as New York Times bestselling author of sixteen books. His debut feature film production Fandango at the Wall is streaming on HBO Max. Follow: LinkedInInstagramFacebookTwitterSpotifyYouTube