012 – What the Music Industry Can Learn from Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go is all the rage, and its success has added $7.5 billion to Nintendo’s market value. What can the music industry learn from this success?

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:14 – I decided to cover a current event in this episode
  • 00:24 – George Howard recently shared about Pokémon Go
  • 01:01 – Mobile apps aren’t dead
  • 02:34 – Engagement
  • 03:56 – Coopetition
  • 05:36 – Unity
  • 06:56 – Questions to ponder
  • 07:38 – The first run of The New Music Industry Podcast
  • 08:14 – I’ve decided to take a month off
  • 09:05 – This will give time to think about what you’ve learned

Tweet These Quotes:

  • When the offer is right, people respond. – Tweet This
  • Go anywhere, and people are talking about Pokémon Go. – Tweet This
  • Two people working together can accomplish more than two people working independently. – Tweet This

Transcription:

I decided to do something a little different for this episode.

Every once in a while I thought it might be fun and even worthwhile to cover current events.

Fellow industry spokesperson George Howard recently shared about the value of Pokémon Go as applied to the music industry, so I thought I would add my own two cents to the discussion. By the way, I’ll be sure to add a link to his article in the show notes.

But where George focuses on how a competitive social formula could be applied to products within the music industry, I wanted to take a broader view of what we can learn from the success of Pokémon Go as musicians, professionals and business owners.

So here are four things we can all learn from this new mobile game.

#1 Mobile apps aren’t dead. The alternative title for this section is “innovation isn’t dead.”

According to the website Recode, the average American smartphone user downloads zero apps per month. Yes, zero, zip, nada.

Even those who do use apps, only use about five of them heavily. That’s a stat from TechCrunch.

The supposed “app boom” is now over.

But according to The Verge, Pokémon Go broke app store records for most first-week downloads in the entire history of apps.

What this tells us is that – when the offer is right – people respond, and in this case, the medium is not as important as the product, which is simultaneously new and exciting, and nostalgic and familiar. One thing we can say about the medium is that smartphone adoption is huge, so they certainly picked the right one.

Now, I will say this: I don’t really see a bright future ahead for mobile apps. But that doesn’t mean that people won’t go after what they want, as the example of Pokémon Go clearly illustrates.

Augmented reality and virtual reality could still sway things in favor of apps, so we can’t be too quick to write them off.

But in my opinion, HTML5 is the way forward, as it can transform any website into an interactive application. In a strange way, the past is actually the future – websites are the future of apps.

So let’s get cracking – let’s create some great music industry websites using augmented reality.

#2 Engagement matters.

I’ve been talking about the importance of engagement since 2012, and I even listed it as one of the 11 components of the new music industry. Go back and have a listen to episode six of the podcast if you’d like to learn more about that.

I’ve actually had arguments over this, because there are musicians that feel engagement won’t translate into anything. They ask, pointedly, “how does a Facebook ‘like’ translate into real value?” Fair question.

But again, according to The Verge, Pokémon Go added $7.5 billion to Nintendo’s market value. That’s billion, not million with an “m”.

Let’s not forget – we are talking about a free app here. Well, I guess freemium is really the correct term, so it isn’t as though there isn’t a way for Nintendo to monetize. The point is that anybody can access the app without having to pay for it.

Isn’t it mind-blowing to realize that a single app restored confidence in a company that has been struggling lately?

Go anywhere, and people are talking about Pokémon Go. So are you still going to argue that engagement doesn’t matter, to the tune of $7.5 billion? I beg to differ.

So whether you’re a musician or a music business owner, it’s important not to forget the value of fostering engagement with your followers and your community.

#3 The value of coopetition.

Coopetition is the collaboration that can happen between two business competitors. The idea is to work together to attain a mutually beneficial result.

I went to look for an example of coopetition in action, and discovered that Samsung and Sony actually initiated a joint venture in 2006 in which they produced LCD screens together. You can read more about this on E-media. The link will be in the show notes.

Pokémon Go has an element of coopetition to it too. Individually, everybody is looking to catch as many Pokémon as they can and level up their characters. But once you reach level five, you can join a team and start competing with other teams for gym locations. This is also the point at which you can start benefitting from the territory other team members have already captured.

On the whole, the game offers an individual experience. But as you join a team and start fighting over gyms, it starts to feel more like a collective experience.

Many musicians continue to fight over who gets what. They aren’t working together and supporting each other to take their careers to the next level. They see every other musician as direct competition. This is something Ross Barber and I also talked about in an earlier episode. You can hear my interview with him in episode three of the podcast.

But I think we can all agree that two people working together can accomplish more than two people working independently. Eight people working together can accomplish immeasurably more than four.

Whether it’s establishing a scene or trading gigs, I think it’s really important to create partnerships with your colleagues.

#4 Unity.

There are both some upsides and downsides to Pokémon Go. I won’t talk too much about the downsides, but I can say that I’ve personally witnessed some of the upsides.

Pokémon Go has brought a lot of people out of their homes. It has also brought a lot of people together. Everywhere you go, you can see groups of people walking around with their smartphones out in front of them.

When I was still new to the game, I actually went out on a PokéWalk (as they call it) with my friend Jonathan Ferguson so he could show me how the game worked.

We walked over to a grocery store in the community, which also happened to be a PokéStop.

After catching a few Pokémon in the parking lot, a car pulled up next to us. There were a couple of young ladies inside, and they asked us if we were out catching Pokémon, and of course, we were. Then they admitted that they were doing the same.

The game has really brought people together in an unexpected way. At first, it may appear to be antisocial, zombie-like behavior to be walking around with a phone stuck to your face. But as it turns out, a lot of people are bonding over this new phenomenon.

And this is also the type of unity that we need in the music industry to bring about positive and meaningful change. We need to have open discussions about what’s happening, and we all need to become a part of the solution and agree on what that means. We need mass movement.

In closing, I’m going to ask a few questions.

But don’t go anywhere after I’m done asking these questions, because I have an important announcement to share with you, okay?

So here are some prompts to get you thinking:

  • What have you learned from the phenomenon that is Pokémon Go? What do you think the music industry can learn from it?
  • What are you doing to innovate in your career?
  • How are you engaging your followers and community?
  • Are you collaborating with other musicians or business owners? What kind of projects could you work on together for mutual benefit?
  • Do you believe the music industry needs to change? If so, what are you willing to do to see it happen, and who are you building alliances with?

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed the first run of The New Music Industry Podcast.

I wanted to take a moment to talk about the publishing schedule, because so far it isn’t something I’ve addressed at any length.

During launch week, I published five episodes. Ever since then, I’ve been releasing two new episodes per week. Most podcasters publish just once per week, so this isn’t something you’ll find with most other podcasts, but it felt right to me, so I went ahead and did it.

And most likely, this is exactly how I will release episodes in the future – two per week on Tuesdays and on Thursdays.

But in the meantime, I’ve decided to take a month off before publishing the next series of episodes.

This means that there won’t be any new episodes until September.

This isn’t because the podcast isn’t a priority for me – in fact, it’s quite the opposite. I’ve really enjoyed working on this project, and I feel like I’ve been able to bring a lot of myself to it.

But when you’re constantly in the grind of scheduling interviews and creating fresh content, you don’t really have an opportunity to stop and reflect. I would like to be able to reflect at regular intervals to make sure I’m on the right track and creating the best content I possibly can.

This buffer would also give me time to schedule more interviews, prepare more content, and think about what I would like to share with you next.

I won’t lie – I’ve been feeling a little worn down throughout July too, so I could also use the rest.

But I already have another interview in the can, and I know you’re going to love it.

I also thought that this buffer might give you some time to think about what you’ve learned so far.

I’ve published four really great interviews. I’ve shared with you some insights from my book. I’ve asked a lot of questions. This would be as good a time as any to go back, have another listen, take notes, think about what the major takeaways have been for you, and then apply them to your career.

So I will be back with series two in September, and if you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, you’re more than welcome to reach out. Send me an email to: david@dawcast.com.

I look forward to sharing series two with you.

Upgrade to Members Only Audios for more exciting, exclusive training.

Career Update: City Lights, Losing An Investor, Single Distribution, Podcast Launch & 1 Lie That’s Been Holding Me Back

It’s time again for my monthly career update. Since the last one was so well received, I felt that warranted a fresh installation.

A month doesn’t necessarily feel like a long time, but a lot can happen in 30 days, as you’re about to find out.

Summer has been moving by quickly, but every time it’s here I’m reminded of how much I enjoy and thrive in the warm weather. And God knows we only get a limited amount of that here in Calgary, Alberta.

Let’s move right into this update so we can all get back outside.

What’s New Since Last Month?

I lost the interest of an investor/partner last month. That’s one of the reasons why I decided to issue my first career update. I wanted to clarify any lingering confusion that might exist around what it is that I do here at TME.

If I have projected an image of being “bigger” than I am, it’s because I believe in having a strong brand and website, as well as in creating and sharing high-quality content. That doesn’t automatically make me as “big” as I might appear.

It’s clear that the prospective investor didn’t really take the time to research and gain a proper understanding of what I’m up to. In the end, I don’t think he was a good fit for TME. Personally, I’m looking for people with integrity and passion that put relationship first. I have no doubt that the “right fit” will present itself at the right time.

It’s like forming a band, getting married, or any relationship that requires a long-term commitment. You don’t commit to everyone you date – that’s all kinds of bad.

I’m still learning, just like you are. And all I’ve been doing – and all I’ll continue to do – is share with you what I’ve been learning through ongoing conversations, experience and research. I will reinforce that point as often as needed.

If, at any time, you think I’m BS-ing you, feel free to call me out. If you have any questions or feedback, please ask. I want to help in any way I can, and I want my blog and podcast to be the best resources I can possibly make them. And that’s only possible with your ongoing support.

How Are Things Coming Along With Your Music?

As you know, I came out with “Fragments” in May, and “City Lights” in June. I’ve been working on a new single for July as well, though it’s possible that it may not see the light of day until August, as I had a cold for about a week in July.

David Andrew Wiebe Releases New Single, City Lights

My latest single, “City Lights.”

For the most part, I’ve been focusing on distributing – more so than promoting – my singles.

My process looks like this (this might help you). First, I will get my single out to all major online sellers using CD Baby. It’s low-cost and convenient, which I appreciate. Then, I manually upload my music to:

I have also been working on a PR/content syndication strategy, and it is documented, but hasn’t been fully implemented yet.

Overall, the tracks have been getting a decent number of purchases and plays, but they haven’t yielded any extraordinary results. If and when they do, you’ll be the first to know.

Building up a catalog, re-engaging fans and promoting new releases will all take time, so I don’t actually have any major expectations around what these singles will do. The main thing is to follow my desire and keep motivation levels high.

What I hope is that I will learn new things to share with you, and that my creative process will inspire you in some way, shape or form. I actually shared about the making of “Fragments” and got some good feedback on that. Perhaps I should do the same for “City Lights.”

What About Adrenalize & Long Jon Lev?

Right now there are a couple of bands I play in regularly, and I’m certain I’ve mentioned them before – Adrenalize and Long Jon Lev. A new, separate project might be on the horizon, but I can’t say for sure. I’m just going on intuition here.

I’m not at liberty to disclose too many details, but Adrenalize has been on hiatus for a few months, and we’ve been reconfiguring and readying ourselves for gigs in the fall.

Long Jon Lev has been very active, both online at Concert Window and live, in-person. We’ve been performing every weekend in July, and we have some bigger shows in the works too.

Again, I’m not at liberty to say too much about this, but there might be new material in the works for Long Jon Lev.

The Stampede and the rodeo are prevalent throughout the summer here in Alberta. This can be a lucrative time for musicians, as I’ve experienced on occasion.

This year, I only played at one Stampede breakfast, but it still ended up being profitable.

One thing you should know is that country and western music tend to be the main attraction this time of year. I’m totally capable of playing country, and I’ve played with a few different bands through the years, but it isn’t my main passion. It’s still a nice gig to have though.

How Are Things Coming Along With Your Podcast?

The new podcast officially launched on June 27, 2016. I have enjoyed conducting interviews and creating new content for the show, and so far the response has been good.

The New Music Industry Podcast

The New Music Industry Podcast.

If I were a listener and not the host, I think it’s exactly the kind of podcast I’d like to listen to. I’m proud of the content.

Again, I think a long-term mindset is important, so while I did invest significant time and effort into the launch, I have no false notions about what that did or what it’s going to do.

I published several press releases over at Music Industry News Network during launch week, shared about the show on social media, and asked my email subscribers to take a listen.

I’ve given a lot of thought to how I’m going to promote the show on an ongoing basis. I’ve already started filling a whiteboard with sites I’m either going to guest post for or comment on. This will help me promote the show and build links in the process (without being overly promotional). Sounds awfully business-oriented I know.

What Is Your Publishing Schedule For The Podcast?

I’ve already had people ask me about the publishing schedule, so let me fill you in.

As with most things I choose to undertake, I don’t like doing anything half-reared. That’s why I’ve opted for somewhat of an unusual release schedule.

First, I launched with five episodes. Since then, I’ve been releasing two episodes per week, on Tuesday and Thursday. In all likelihood, this is the same pattern I will follow in the future.

I will be rounding out the month of July with thirteen episodes in total, including episode 0, which explains the scope and intent of the podcast.

But I’ve also decided to leave a month in between the release of the next series of episodes. In other words, I won’t be publishing any new episodes in August.

The next series of eight to 12 episodes (I haven’t decided on the exact number yet), will be in September.

I’ve decided that:

  1. Taking some time in between a series of episodes will help me return to the project with a fresh perspective. It will also give me time to promote, to book more interviews and create additional resources.
  2. It will also give you a chance to reflect on what you’ve learned and get caught up on all of your listening.

This schedule isn’t set in stone, but I think it could work out for the good of all involved – at least for the time being.

How Are Things Coming Along With Your Book(s)?

The New Music Industry remains an entity all to itself, and is a steady seller. But I need to keep sharing the message with the world, which is one of the reasons why I started the new podcast.

I’ve been thinking about initiating a book or speaking tour, and I’ve considered the idea of working with a literary agent. I’m still open to the idea, but based on my research, there are very few of them in Canada, and it seems their primary role is pitching manuscripts. I’m not certain they help with promotion.

David Andrew Wiebe - The New Music Industry

I’m looking for more practical ways to promote the book on an ongoing basis.

So it could be that it’s not an agency I’m looking for, but a promoter. Or maybe a book promotion service. I’ll have to do more research to figure out what’s right for me.

I know that it’s possible to do a DIY tour as well. This is a little challenging for me due to ongoing time constraints, but I’m letting the idea stew in my mind.

It may also be that I need to keep growing my social media and email subscriber numbers, but fortunately this is already happening, little by little.

As for my upcoming book, it’s about 25% done. I need to make sure I’m carving out some time to work on it every single week, but it’s been coming along.

What Are You Learning Right Now?

I’m learning that there are no shortcuts to success, no hidden secrets, no strategies or hacks that were hidden from plain sight.

It was a long-held belief of mine that I was missing something, that I had failed to take certain steps, that there were holes in my knowledge, that I must be off-track in some way to not have built a huge following and achieved “success” yet. I kept finding sources to verify that perspective. This is actually one of the reasons I’ve been consuming information so voraciously.

I’ve been reading and listening to the likes of Internet Business Mastery, Smart Passive Income, SuperFastBusiness, Neil Patel, Jeff Bullas, and others, some of them for years. I’ve also talked about how I’m a Fizzle member.

Undeniably, I don’t know everything there is to know. But I’ve also talked to enough business owners to know that you don’t have to know everything to be successful on your own terms.

I’m an avid reader, and the number of eBooks I’ve been reading has recently gone up, partly because they’re more digestible than books (but are still meaty), and partly because they help me stay up to date on best practices. I will still continue to read books, but eBooks have been good for reinforcing much of what I already know.

It was a recent reading that confirmed this truth for me. I’m not really missing anything. Some people reach their goals faster than others. But success, however you define it, is not a race.

If there’s anything I’ve failed at, it’s defining my audience, but my audience is slowly growing, which tells me that I am doing something right, and I just need to amplify it.

What’s Next?

I’m the kind of person that sticks to things they’ve chosen to do. So even though my thought process is constantly evolving, I’m merely looking for ways to do what I do better.

I guess that’s kind of a roundabout way of saying that I’m not looking to make any major changes at this exact moment. I’m going to continue to blog, podcast, perform and make music. And I’m definitely going to keep learning.

What are you working on right now? What are you learning? Where do you see things going in your career?

I hope you got something out of this, and if you did, leave a comment below and let me know.

011 – The Importance of Reading Books in Personal Development

011 – The Importance of Reading Books in Personal Development

It has been said that leaders are always readers. If there’s one activity that most people don’t do much of it, it’s reading books. But books contain lots of valuable information, so it’s a waste not to tap into the wellspring of knowledge that can be found in books. In this episode, I talk about the importance of reading books in connection with personal development.

Download the PDF Transcription

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:13 – There are only a few ways to engage in personal development
  • 00:24 – Reading books is one way to encourage ongoing personal growth
  • 01:14 – Reading books or listening to books
  • 02:06 – The benefits of reading
  • 02:30 – Reading educates you
  • 03:01 – Reading energizes you
  • 03:29 – Reading inspires you
  • 04:02 – Reading helps you stay sharp
  • 04:33 – What to read
  • 05:45 – Book recommendations
  • 06:38 – Questions to ponder

Transcription:

There are really only a few different ways to engage in personal development.

In the previous episode of the podcast, I talked about the importance of having mentorship in your life.

Reading books is another way to encourage ongoing personal growth.

But according to a study conducted by The Jenkins Group in 2003:

  • 42% of college graduates never read another book after college.
  • 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.
  • 57% of new books are not read to completion.

You can also read more about these stats over at a website called Mental Floss. The link will be in the show notes.

To me, those are some pretty terrifying stats. But at the same time, this would also suggest that those who make reading a priority are at a distinct advantage. If you’re a music entrepreneur, then reading is probably already a part of your regular routine.

Those who prioritize reading are at a distinct advantage. Click To Tweet

But you might be wondering whether you should read books or listen to books.

If possible, I would encourage you to do both. But I understand how busy a musician can get, and if you’re constantly on the road, and you have no one to share your driving duties with, reading a book may not even be a logistical possibility.

If you’re finding it difficult to find the time or space to read, then it may be worth investing in audiobooks. But you should know that listening is a very different activity than reading, and it’s something I’ll be talking more about in a future episode.

Even if you’re someone that has trouble reading, because of dyslexia or lack of practice, I would still encourage you to read. It’s not the speed or quantity of reading that matters – it’s the quality of reading and absorbing of information that’s really going to change your life and career.

It's not about the quantity of reading - it's about the quality of reading. Click To Tweet

So what is the benefit of reading?

The example I gave in my book was that by reading about a specific topic for 30 minutes every single day, you could become an expert in your field. I know that there’s a bit of controversy around this idea, but based on the stats I mentioned a little earlier, I don’t think it’s an unreasonable statement.

Here are some additional benefits to reading:

#1 Reading can educate you.

Naturally, one of the primary benefits of reading is that you can learn about a variety of different subjects. Personally, I try to read a book per week, but depending on the book, it might take me longer to get through. It might be because I want to really take my time and absorb the information, or it could be because the book is really long. But like I said earlier, it’s not about quantity of reading – it’s about the quality of reading. Ongoing learning is important for a number of reasons I’m going to get into.

#2 Reading can energize you.

A good book can fire you up. I’ve read at least three books this year that have had a huge impact on me. How about you? Not every book I read is inspirational or motivational. Not every book I read is exciting or inspiring. But it’s worth going through the pile to discover the gems. Great books may challenge you in one way or another, but that’s just a pull to be better, and that’s what personal development is all about.

A good book can fire you up. Click To Tweet

#3 Reading can inspire you.

Whether you’re a composer, songwriter or business owner, you need fresh input to stay inspired. If you rely too heavily on the creative wells you’ve been drawing from for years or even decades, eventually they will dry up. And then you’ll start to feel like you’re just rehashing old ideas over and over again, which you probably are. If you want to avoid creative stagnation, you need to read material that challenges your point of view and doesn’t just affirm it.

#4 Reading can help you stay sharp.

Many people have accepted the idea that your mental faculties deteriorate with age. But I don’t believe that this has to be the case. In fact, I think it’s a tragedy when our elders don’t have the opportunity to pass on their wisdom from a life well lived. I, for one, would love to hear their thoughts – their regrets, their victories, their life lessons, and so on. Regardless, reading is one of many activities that can help you stay sharp.

But you might still be wondering exactly what to read.

All reading is beneficial, but not all reading is geared towards personal or career growth. So while plunging into your favorite novel is not a bad thing, you’re not necessarily going to find principles and ideas that you can apply to your life.

In my book, I give a few different examples of authors and books that would be good choices. I’ll recap them here, and I’ll also throw in a few extras:

  1. The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz
  2. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  3. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  4. How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet by David Nevue
  5. All You Need to Know About the Music Business by Donald S. Passman
  6. And here’s one I’m reading right now – Guerrilla Music Marketing, Encore Edition: 201 More Self-promotion Ideas, Tips and Tactics for Do-it-yourself Artists by Bob Baker

You might recall that I had Bob Baker on the show in episode one. If not, you might want to go back and take a listen to that episode – not to pat myself on the back, but I think it’s a great interview.

All the books mentioned here are mere starting points. If you’re interested in finding more great books…

I’ve prepared a couple of links you can go to find more recommendations.

One is at musicent.info/books. That link will take you to my book list on The Music Entrepreneur website. It’s not a comprehensive list of books that I think are great, but there are still quite a few to explore there.

The other is at musicent.info/sivers. This link will take you over to Derek Sivers’ book notes. He’s reviewed a ton of books and has even given ratings for all of them. I don’t necessarily agree with all of his choices, but I still find that it’s a really good place to discover some good reads.

As always, I’d like to wrap up this episode with a few questions:

  • What are you reading right now?
  • Have you read any books that have really inspired you? If so, what were they?
  • Do you feel inspired to start reading again? If so, what commitment have you made to reading more? What kind of reading schedule will you put yourself on?

Upgrade to Members Only Audios for more exciting, exclusive training.

010 – Do You Have Mentorship in Your Life?

What is mentorship? If you’re looking to grow as an individual, then you need to find a worthy mentor – someone that has accomplished a result you also want out of life. A mentor can show you what you need to do to take your life to the next level. But we do have to be careful in the mentors we choose.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:12 – What a mentor is
  • 00:47 – Example – Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid
  • 01:04 –  If you have a mentor, be grateful
  • 01:15 – A mentor can be anyone you respect and admire
  • 01:55 – In an ideal world, we would all have mentors
  • 02:13 – Self-education
  • 02:28 – Questions to ponder

Tweet These Quotes:

  • Anybody that has a mentor in their life should be grateful. – Tweet This
  • If you want to make your life count, you have to put time and effort into self-education. – Tweet This

Transcription:

Do you have a mentor in your life?

Do you know what a mentor is?

A mentor is someone that shows you the way. They’ve accomplished some result you also want out of life, and they can teach you how to shortcut your way to the same end result.

And “shortcut” is maybe not the best word here. I like Shane Snow’s word for this, which is Smartcuts (get it on Amazon).

Another good term for it might be “growth hacks” or “life hacks”, though these terms have certain connotations attached to them that may not be entirely positive.

Regardless, a mentor can help you work through your challenges and determine what you need to focus on right now.

A great example is Mr. Miyagi in the 1984 movie, The Karate Kid, in which Daniel learns the ways of karate from Mr. Miyagi. Daniel goes from getting pushed around by bullies to winning a local karate tournament by the end of the movie.

Anybody that has a mentor in their life should be grateful. Not all of us have the luxury of talking to someone on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis that can guide and lead us to the treasures.

But – and this is very important – you don’t need to think of mentorship in such concrete terms. It can literally be anyone that you respect or admire, and has some result you want out of life.

You could ask a rich friend to go for coffee and ask them how they built their wealth. You could take your pastor to lunch after church and ask him how to have a great spiritual life.

And today, thanks to technology, you can listen to podcasts by the likes of Tim Ferriss, Pat Flynn, James Schramko, and many others, and be mentored by them. You can read books, watch TED Talks, or find a course that teaches you some aspect of music, business or life you want to know more about.

In an ideal world, we would all have mentors assigned to us the moment we entered grade school. To me, that seems like a far better model for formal education than what’s currently available.

Then, as your interests, passions and strengths shift, you’d be assigned new mentors to show you what you need to do.

But we live in a world where formal education simply isn’t enough. If you want to make your life count, you have to put considerable time and effort into self-education, and that’s why personal development and mentorship are such an important topics.

So I want you to think carefully about the mentors or potential mentors that are now in your life.

You should be asking yourself:

  • Whether or not the people you’re talking to have certain results you also want out of life. If not, why do you see them as mentor figures?
  • Is there anyone you’re not talking to right now that could be planting valuable seeds in your life, and offering you nuggets of wisdom?
  • Who are you taking tips and advice from? If their life is no different than yours, then you should be taking what they say with a grain of salt.
  • Do you know what to focus on at this exact moment in time, in your life and in your career? If not, who could guide you in the direction you want to go?

Upgrade to Members Only Audios for more exciting, exclusive training.

Ukulele Communities Are Popping Up Around The World

We have been hit with a ukulele wave!

Ukuleles are quickly gaining in popularity beyond their native origin of Hawaii. Beginner and experienced musicians are coming out of the woodwork across the globe.

Now, you can find specific ukulele communities, or entire festivals dedicated to ukes! There have been many waves of ukulele popularity, but the latest has been among the biggest.

The History of the Ukulele

This miniature four stringed instrument was first introduced to Hawaii in the late 1800’s by Portuguese immigrants. The Hawaiians fell in love with the instrument and named it ukulele (pronounced oo-ku-lay-lay), which means “jumping flea.”

In 1915, the ukulele craze hit San Francisco at the Panama Pacific International Exposition. Here, 17 million visitors were lured by the relaxed and carefree sounds of the ukulele.

One of the most popular songs, “On the Beach in Waikiki,” promoted the instrument, which exudes the carefree island life to ukulele fans across the nation.

Another wave of popularity hit in the 1950s when uke sales soared and big names started playing the instrument. We saw Elvis Presley with a uke in the box-office hit, Blue Hawaii. The ukulele was also strummed by television host Arthur Godfrey, who gave lessons to millions of viewers on his program.

Now, in the digital age, people are searching for a more acoustic feel to life, and as a way to “un-plug.”

Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam won a Grammy for Ukulele Songs, where he accompanies himself on a sole ukulele.

Singer, songwriter, and actress, Zooey Deschanel plays a uke on screen and off. Deschanel says, “There’s something about guitars, they’re just so big, you know what I mean? You’re just like, ‘Ugh!’ It just seems so overwhelming. And the ukulele is, like, the opposite of overwhelming.”

We even see Ryan Gosling’s character in the movie, Blue Valentine, toting a ukulele on a date.

The Portability of Ukuleles

While the ukulele is growing in popularity, the size is smaller than ever. Ukes are known for being incredibly portable instruments, which makes them easy to travel with, or bring along when you want to jam along with friends.

The ukulele is less daunting to pick up in comparison to the guitar. With only four strings, instead of the guitar’s six, it’s easy to learn a few chords and start plucking away.

The New Wave of Ukulele

The latest wave in ukulele popularity has brought with it a number of ukulele specific communities and festivals around the world, from Las Vegas to Glastonbury, to Madrid to Malaysia, and Shanghai to Tasmania, you can join other likeminded uke players with the same passion and varying degrees of skill.

One of the best ways to improve is to push yourself to practice with other uke-sters. Here, you can learn new strumming techniques or new songs to master. It’s always a good idea to surround yourself with players that are just a little bit better than you. This will challenge you to keep up, plus make some new ukulele friends!

When you’re ready to take your ukulele playing to the next level, check out the many ukulele festivals that are coming up. Here, ukulele fans can strum together, listen to some of the best virtuosos in the world, and enjoy the relaxing, carefree music of a ukulele.

If you need a little ukulele inspiration, take a look at the ukulele virtuoso, Taimane Gardner. She has been taking ukulele fans by storm with her alluring dance moves and fast finger plucking. If you happen to be in Queensland, Australia, Taimane will be performing at the 2016 Cairns Ukulele Festival in August!

Sources & Further Reading: