Neiman Samuel from LaunchDon Shares About His New Music Career Guidance Platform

Neiman Samuel from LaunchDon Shares About His New Music Career Guidance Platform

What is a music career guidance platform?

Well, if you were to ask me, I would say it’s a little like Quora for the music industry. If you aren’t familiar with Quora, it’s a place where people go to ask questions on a variety of topics, and in some cases, get personalized answers.

And that’s what LaunchDon offers musicians – a platform they can utilize, not just to get generic answers on various music career challenges, but to receive responses that pertain directly to their career and present situation (it’s also why I offer personal coaching).

This is a business idea I’ve explored and thought about myself, which is why I’m excited about it. Here’s Neiman Samuel from LaunchDon to fill us in on what this new site is all about.

1. Tell us about who you are and what you do.

My name is Neiman Samuel, I am CEO and Co-Founder of Launchdon.com. I am a talent manager and music business consultant.

2. What is LaunchDon? Why do you think it’s important for today’s musician?

LaunchDon is a career guidance platform for the music industry. With the music industry being as jammed packed as it is, there are new acts popping up every day. The majority of these musicians know nothing about the music industry. LaunchDon is here to change that.

3. What inspired you to create LaunchDon?

I have been around the music industry my entire life, and was there when the digital wave took over the music industry. I saw a lot of lost artists not knowing what to do to have a chance at success – seeing artists work their tails off to go nowhere all because they did not have a sense of direction. I knew I could offer a compass to those struggling artists. That’s why we created LaunchDon.

LaunchDon is a compass for struggling musicians. Click To Tweet

4. How will LaunchDon solve the challenges typically encountered by musicians?

It all comes down to one word – knowledge. If more musicians knew what they should be doing to have a better chance at success, you would see more successful musicians, it’s as simple as that. Musicians can learn by talking one on one to a music industry insider, learning all there is to know about the music business with the LaunchDon Academy, or even reading through the LaunchDon blog to get some cool ideas. LaunchDon.com has everything someone looking to be successful in the music industry needs, that is why we claim to be “The #1 Resource In The Music Industry.”

If more musicians knew what to do, you would see more successful musicians. Click To Tweet

Final Thoughts

Thanks to Neiman and Rudy Sutherland from LaunchDon for helping me put this together and for answering my questions. I hope you enjoyed this quick interview, and got a good sense of what LaunchDon is about.

If you enjoyed this interview, please take a moment to thank LaunchDon on Twitter: @LaunchDon.

If you have any questions, please post them below.

If Happiness is Your Primary Music Career Goal, Read This Now

What is the goal of every musician? What are we working so hard for? Why do we sacrifice and put so much time and energy into building the career of our dreams?

It could be said that we all have different goals – creative expression, financial independence, fun and recreation…

But what about happiness? When’s the last time you thought about how happy you are doing what you’re doing?

Accomplishment vs. Fulfillment

I recently heard Tony Robbins talk about Robin Williams. Now here’s someone who, against all odds, accomplished monolithic, seemingly impossible goals in his life and career.

But was he happy? Well…

Maybe it wasn’t the depression that killed him, but it doesn’t change the fact that he took his own life.

Appearances are deceiving. Here’s someone who, in effect, had it all. But he wasn’t happy (even if it was because of a variety of factors).

Robbins’ point is that we shouldn’t mistake accomplishment for fulfillment. They are two very different things!

Sacrifice & Balance

At times, I know that I have sacrificed fulfillment for accomplishment. I’ve sacrificed recreation and social events for money. I’ve sacrificed my diet and fitness to build my business.

Contrary to popular belief, massive achievement and balance do not go together. Tiger Woods didn’t get to where he was as a professional golfer living a balanced life. Neither did Michael Jordan or Gary Vaynerchuk. They worked hard for what they’ve got!

But as I continue to gain experience and knowledge, I believe less and less in long-term compromise. Short-term sacrifice? Sure. But if you keep it up for too long, you’ll burn out, lose your momentum, and you may even lose relationships, your health, and other things that are important to you. Plus, if you’re always grinding and taking on the world by yourself, you’re not seeing the big picture – the fact that there are people around you willing to help!

Should you test your limits? Yes, so long as you do it in a healthy, productive manner. But don’t kill yourself seeing how hard you can push yourself.

Thinking About Your Goals

This is what it all comes down to. What are your goals?

If happiness is your goal, then you need to read this blog post by Derek Sivers now, follow his advice, and shut out all outside distractions.

The blog post is called How to do what you love and make good money. It’s one of the best things I’ve read recently. Sivers suggests splitting your time 50/50. He encourages us to use 50% of our time earning the funds we need to live, and the other 50% of our time doing the creative work we love to do without placing any financial obligations on it.

But what if your goal is connected to your future, your legacy, your kids and their kids? Well, that’s a different trajectory altogether, and you might have to sacrifice happiness, at least for a time, to get to where you want to go. But that must be a conscious choice, not a decision you make on autopilot.

Final Thoughts

How important is your happiness to you? What do you envision for your future? Where do you want your music career to take you?

Because, depending on what you’d like to accomplish, happiness might be a better goal than financial independence or massive commercial success.

What do you think?

026 – Top 10 The Music Entrepreneur HQ Posts of 2016

What are some of the most read and viewed posts on The Music Entrepreneur website? What keeps readers coming back for more?

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I look at the top 10 posts from 2016.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:14 – The results are in
  • 00:35 – The most popular posts
  • 00:40 – 10 Books Every Musician Should Read in Their Lifetime
  • 01:14 – Put Your Dreams to the Test
  • 01:54 –  How to Start & Run a Record Label
  • 02:20 – The Importance of Reading Books in Personal Development
  • 02:50 – Is Pro Tools the Unspoken Industry Standard?
  • 03:12 – How to Determine the Track Sequence or Playlist of An Album
  • 03:43 – How to Build Your Guitar Calluses
  • 04:06 – Facebook Marketing for Musicians
  • 04:31 – 5 Common Mistakes Made by Independent Musicians
  • 04:59 – 5 Warning Signs of Burnout
  • 05:22 – Conclusion

Transcription:

The most viewed content on The Music Entrepreneur HQThe tribe has spoken.

2016 is over, and the results are in. I’ve been keeping an eye on the stats, and have watched certain trends emerge.

But I thought you would also like to know which posts you’ve voted for with your attention. So, I’m going to share which content pieces you’ve played a part in elevating to the top of the following list.

Here are the most popular posts from The Music Entrepreneur for 2016.

1.10 Books Every Musician Should Read in Their Lifetime

10 Books Every Musician Should Read in Their LifetimeGuest contributor Hobbes S Sujith saw something that others may not have seen – that book reviews do well on my site. One of my most popular posts overall is in fact a book review I did of Joseph Murphy’s The Power of Your Subconscious Mind.

In 10 Books Every Musician Should Read in Their Lifetime, you can learn about the books Sujith boldly states “every musician should read”. I have never read any of these titles myself, but there are a few that interest me, and I will likely explore.

2. My Thoughts on Put Your Dream to the Test: 10 Questions that Will Help You See It and Seize It by John C. Maxwell

My Thoughts on Put Your Dream to the Test: 10 Questions that Will Help You See It and Seize It by John C. MaxwellAre we seeing a theme here? This is one of my own quick book reviews, and I do have a theory as to why it became one of the most popular posts of the year.

On the TME website, towards the bottom of every post, you’ll see links to “related” posts, and since my review of The Power of Your Subconscious Mind has become my most visited post, it’s quite likely that many of you found this post on John Maxwell’s book through the “related post” links.

Maxwell’s book, by the way, is a good one to start the year with.

3. How to Start & Run a Record Label

How to Start & Run a Record LabelContributed by the cool folks at Ditto Music, this post explains how you can get a record label off the ground with minimal effort.

I love tools that make starting and running a business more efficient, and here’s one that can help you make your dreams of building a record label a reality. This post also fits nicely with the topics often discussed here at TME.

4. 011 – The Importance of Reading Books in Personal Development

011 – The Importance of Reading Books in Personal DevelopmentThis podcast episode obviously hit a note with you. I have sometimes thought that personal development as a topic has been all but exhausted, but that’s clearly not the case. People are still discovering self-improvement every day, and they seem to resonate with the idea of reading books to grow themselves.

And, again, this is a popular post for obvious reasons – you guys love anything to do with books it seems. Keep checking back at the site for more book recommendations.

5. Is Pro Tools the Unspoken Industry Standard?

Is Pro Tools the Unspoken Industry Standard?Some say, “yes, obviously”, and use it daily, while others wonder whether it’s a good time to purchase a Pro Tools system for their home studio.

Personally, I prefer using software that makes my life easier, which by default means I don’t use Pro Tools at home. But you will find that most studios are equipped with Pro Tools.

6. Recording An Album, Part 8: How to Determine the Track Sequence or Playlist of An Album

Recording An Album, Part 8: How to Determine the Track Sequence or Playlist of An AlbumKnow it or not, my friend Goemon5 contributed some epic posts to the blog this last year, and I am eternally grateful to him for sharing what he did.

This all began when I asked him to write about the process of recording his album. But I wasn’t expecting a nine-part essay, discussing in detail how he made decisions, and what the overall process of recording was like. This is a great series for anyone that’s never recorded an album.

7. How to Build Your Guitar Calluses

How to Build Your Guitar CallusesThis appears to be a subject many people wonder about. My biggest tip is to play lots of guitar, because it seems many people give up before even getting started, but this post contains some other ideas that might help you get your calluses sooner as opposed to later.

There are some other great resources on the subject, but I thought I would offer my own perspective.

8. Facebook Marketing for Musicians

Facebook Marketing for MusiciansThis post was originally written in the TuneCity days, and was updated and re-posted to TME in 2016.

If you’re looking to learn the basics of how to get started on Facebook as a musician, have a read. This post will walk you through setting up a page, getting the word out about your Facebook page, and third-party applications you can use to build your email list and sell music.

9. 5 Common Mistakes Made by Independent Musicians

5 Common Mistakes Made by Independent MusiciansThis guest post was submitted by Nick Rubright of Dozmia.

Every musician should take the time to understand the basic principles outlined in this post, because you could end up wasting a lot of time doing things that don’t work. I think Nick really hit it on the head with the points covered in this post – becoming a better marketer, prioritizing email, building a following, and so on.

10. Are You Hustling & Grinding in Your Music Career? 5 Warning Signs of Burnout

Are Your Hustling & Grinding in Your Music Career? 5 Warning Signs of BurnoutBurnout should be avoided when and where possible. I’ve burned out at least once since beginning my career as a freelance writer, and I can’t say that it was pleasant.

In this post, I explain why your constant hustling and grinding might not be the best strategy for accomplishing your goals and getting what you want out of your music career.

Conclusion

Was your favorite post on this list? If it’s not on this list, what was it, and why?

What content would you like to see more of in 2017?

Let me know in the comments.

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025 – 6 Impacting Books I Read in 2016

There is a wealth of knowledge available in books you won’t find anywhere else. That’s why I continue to read 52 books per year.

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I look at the best books I read in 2016.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:15 – I read 52 books in 2016
  • 00:26 – There are only a few that are truly impacting
  • 00:39 – The six impacting books
  • 00:43 – The Compound Effect
  • 01:51 – Content Inc.
  • 03:04 – The 4-Hour Workweek
  • 04:07 – Show Your Work
  • 05:15 – Believe in Yourself
  • 05:59 – Hustle
  • 07:15 – What books will you be reading?

Transcription:

As with 2015, I ended up reading 52 books in 2016 – some short, some long, some about music, others about business, some valuable, others not so much.

And as with last time, there are only a few that I would consider impacting.

But a couple of the following books have made it onto my essential business bookshelf, so I’m glad I found and read those sooner rather than later.

Here are the six impacting books I read in 2016.

1. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

The Compound Effect by Darren HardyI first heard about The Compound Effect because of John Lee Dumas. I had already read The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, and I’ve even talked about that book here on the blog before, but John pointed out on several of his podcast episodes that this was essentially the spiritual cousin of The Slight Edge.

True, The Compound Effect does start off almost the same way. But the subsequent chapters on choices, habits, momentum, influences, and acceleration are based off what SUCCESS magazine Founding Editor Hardy himself found to be the most valuable principles for attaining success in life. This is where the meat of the book lies.

I felt this was the first personal development book I’d read in a while that had substance and value to impart. I’d gone through a bit of a dry spell prior to reading this book, but this got me inspired again, and was a good way to begin the year.

Whether you’re new to personal development, or you’re taking steps to grow yourself every single day, I think you’ll find value in The Compound Effect.

Purchase this book on Amazon (affiliate link)

2. Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses by Joe Pulizzi

Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses by Joe PulizziRead the title of the book again. Does it make you think of someone you know?

Well, hopefully you thought of me when you read it, because the Content Inc. model is what I’ve been building The Music Entrepreneur into. If you read Content Inc. and don’t get excited, then content marketing probably isn’t for you. The introduction alone, written by Brian Clark, Founder and CEO of Rainmaker Digital, got me fired up.

And if you think it’s just a book about enterprises growing their businesses using content, you’re wrong (although if you’re a true musicpreneur, you should be reading and learning about business and not just music). Pulizzi talks about several YouTube content creators that are building massive audiences and radically successful businesses.

On the path to creating the business of my dreams, I will admit to being somewhat discouraged at times. But it’s books like these that let me know I’m moving in the right direction, even though I may need to work out some of the kinks in my strategy along the way.

This is an essential read for entrepreneurs looking to build a content-based business.

Purchase this book on Amazon (affiliate link)

3. The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content by Timothy Ferriss

The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content by Timothy FerrissI’d heard about Timothy Ferriss and his book when everyone else did. But for some reason I didn’t get around to reading The 4-Hour Workweek until 2016.

Ushered on by other entrepreneurs, and my good friend James Moore, I couldn’t ignore it any longer. I bought the expanded and updated version (which is 411 pages by the way) and quickly devoured it.

How books influence meI found it to be an incredibly inspiring read, and it’s hard to put down once you get going. Lifestyle design is still very relevant in today’s world, and though setting up a business and putting it on autopilot isn’t exactly a walk in the park, there’s something here for everyone – from people who would love to work from home just one day per week, to people who want to travel the world and be in a different country every month.

This volume was quickly elevated to my must-read business book list, which also includes Book Yourself Solid and Content Inc.

Purchase this book on Amazon (affiliate link)

4. Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon

Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin KleonMy friend Chris Naish recommended this book to me, and I found it to have merit. As my sister pointed out (I bought her a copy) later, “it’s like all of your philosophy rolled into one cohesive whole.”

So, for me, Show Your Work! is an echo chamber of sorts. But I will openly admit that Kleon puts it all into terms that are more digestible and actionable for the reader. He makes it easy for you to follow processes that will help you get your creative work out in the world. He doesn’t ramble on and on, either – you can easily get through this book in a few sittings.

Authors of today should all take note. We need to be doing a better job of communicating our ideas in simpler and more memorable ways. For instance, if you want to drive home the importance of consistency in your articles or books, you need to find new and different ways of saying it, because everybody is talking about the importance of consistency.

Kleon’s written the book that I should have. If you’re just getting started in your creative work, and you don’t know where to start, read this right away.

Purchase this book on Amazon (affiliate link)

5. Believe in Yourself by Joseph Murphy

Believe in Yourself by Joseph MurphyYou may have heard of the concept of spaced repetition, the idea that a book changes with repeated readings.

It isn’t really the book that’s changed, it’s you. As you grow and develop as an individual, when you come back to a book you’ve read before, you take away new things from it.

While I haven’t found this to be the case with every book I’ve read, it certainly holds true for Joseph Murphy’s Believe in Yourself.

This little volume contains some amazingly deep thoughts on spirituality and success in life.

My first read-through of the book wasn’t as thrilling, but my second this year? Amazing.

This book should be on your shelf, and it’s one I will likely keep coming back to.

Purchase this book on Amazon (affiliate link)

6. Hustle: The Power to Change Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum by Neil Patel, Patrick Vlaskovits, and Jonas Koffler

Hustle: The Power to Change Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum by Neil Patel, Patrick Vlaskovits, and Jonas KofflerPeople are a bit confused about the concept of hustle, because of how it’s glorified in our culture. Entrepreneurship is trendier than ever, and long hours at the office is worn like a badge of honor.

If that’s your definition of hustle, then read this book. It tells us that it isn’t about the long hours and sacrifice – certainly not just about those things – it’s about discovering our gifts and choosing to pursue them.

Passion means to “suffer for.” Can you truly suffer for something you don’t care about, aren’t good at, and don’t want to do? No.

But will you be productive and effective at something you love? Will you stay the course when things get tough if you enjoy what you do? Yes.

Aside from that, Hustle is a bit of an echo chamber for me, because I already know about the way our society is set up and how it can work against us. But if you don’t know, you need to delve into this book right away and learn about the life you’re being shackled to.

Also, Hustle is a brilliantly written book. It seems Patel, Vlaskovits, and Koffler have gone out of their way to avoid clichéd expressions, examples, and case studies.

Purchase this book on Amazon (affiliate link)

Conclusion, Books I Read in 2016

Do you know what books you will be reading in 2017? I’ve started tracking my reading list over at my personal blog, and will be updating it as I complete books and figure out what I’ll be tackling next.

Please let me know if you have any books you’d like to recommend. I look forward to reading your comments.

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Reflecting on My 3 Theme Words from 2016

Goal setting can be a drag. New year’s resolutions are hum-drum.

But each year, like my friend Chris Brogan (he gave me a shout-out on one of his podcast episodes last year, so that’s enough for me to call him a friend), I choose three theme words to define the year to follow.

This is a practice that’s fast becoming a habit, as it’s something I started doing in 2015. And it certainly isn’t hard to do, but you might be amazed at the results if you try it for yourself.

Before I talk about my theme words for 2017, I’m going to take a moment to reflect on my words from 2016. Here we go!

Flow

If you don’t know anything about achieving flow state, have a look at this article via zen habits: 9 Steps to Achieving Flow (and Happiness) in Your Work.

“Flow” is a state you achieve when you are fully engrossed in the work you’re doing. I tend to experience it most when I’m feeling good (not tired), and when I have a bit of background noise (such as at a café). Sometimes, I find flow at the magazine racks as well (no, nothing weird).

I don’t necessarily know why, but at least I know my triggers. What are yours?

My goal was to spend more time in my flow state in 2016. Did I achieve this?

I’m not certain that I did, and this was mostly an issue of energy. I felt tired a lot of the time, especially coming off an intense year in 2015. And I didn’t really change my work life, routine and habits until the summer.

But the good news is this – I’m beginning to reclaim my energy. I will have to talk more about how in the future. 2017 could be a great year for more flow.

Create

I’m having flashbacks to 2009 as I think about everything I created in 2016. In 2009, I launched my original music industry podcast, a YouTube channel, and various other blogs and websites.

I’ve already shared about the many things I achieved in 2016 (as well as what my mistakes were), so there’s no need to recap here.

Create I did. Moving forward, I think my goal will be to create with purpose.

We’ve all heard it before – productivity isn’t just about efficiency. We tend to mistake the two. I know I do at times.

And part of making everything work will mean delegating more work and working with more contractors in 2017.

Helpfulness

My intention was to accept and appreciate my limitations, and to shift my thinking from what’s good for me to what’s good for others.

And it took a while to get there. But as you can see from posts like What is Bandcamp?, I’m beginning to cater more to the content you want.

So, on that level I feel like I succeeded.

But I also feel like I failed, because I’ve been doing less and less outreach work. Interacting with people on social media is part of how I’ve gotten to where I’m at today – I would have never built the connections I have, or have the work I have if not for what I did.

But going back to how I did things back in 2012/2013 probably isn’t realistic right now, despite how much I would love to be talking to more friends and industry people (as well as making new friends).

This is something for me to reflect on more.

Bonus: My 3 Words For 2017

I debated whether to define theme words for this year, because I didn’t refer to the ones I set last year very often. But ultimately, I decided it was a useful practice to continue. Here are my three theme words for 2017:

  1. Adventure. Life can be too much “business as usual.” I’ve got to do things that make me come alive, and that means doing some things that might scare me.
  2. Health. It’s time to get into a steady routine of eating well, exercising, and taking supplements to help me achieve optimal health.
  3. Collaboration. I’m looking forward to working with more people, even if it’s just in smaller capacities, whether it’s guest posts, three-question interviews, podcast discussions, or music.

I even put these words up on my wall so they would subconsciously influence my decisions throughout the year:

How to define your year with theme words

What are your three words for 2017? Do you think this would be a better process than making new year’s resolutions?

Let me know in the comments below.