The Story Behind 170 Music Career Tips

The Story Behind 170 Music Career Tips

In this guide, I look at the story behind the 170 Music Career Tips eBook.

I’m smack dab in the middle of promoting The Music Entrepreneur Code (which, by the way, is a killer book you should add to your library – true story).

So, why in the world would I be launching another eBook? What’s with the weird timing?

That seems like a good a place to start as any.

In February, I Started an Experiment

I read this article by Glen Allsopp, and I thought to myself, “Rock on. I would love to start my own six-figure newsletter.”

So, I did exactly what he said to test its viability. Music Career Tips Weekly was born.

Music Career Tips Weekly

I created a landing page and linked it up in the menu over at Music Entrepreneur HQ (which generates a lot of traffic).

Newsletter landing page

This must have made an impression with my audience, because before long, I had a couple of subscribers. I knew what that meant.

I would need to start delivering on the promise of the newsletter by creating content for my subscribers.

The List Started Growing Every Week

Although growth wasn’t ultra-fast, it wasn’t half bad. I saw about 10 new subscribers per week.

And, as I started delivering the content, I kept an eye on the open and click rates, which were surprisingly good.

Newsletter open rates

So, I figured I had something worth pursuing further, even knowing I wouldn’t be making any money from the newsletter until I hit critical mass. I chose to be patient with that process.

Plus, I began to see that it was a solid way to build a relationship with new, top of funnel visitors who didn’t know a thing about me or Music Entrepreneur HQ.

So, I Kept Going

The newsletter was called Music Career Tips Weekly, so as you might have guessed, I was delivering new content every week.

Some weeks, I was exceedingly busy (especially with the launch of The Music Entrepreneur Code).

One week, I had a pressure headache that made writing a real annoyance.

Nevertheless, I didn’t miss a week. I kept showing up for my subscribers.

And, the content I delivered was damn good if I must say so myself.

I even got multiple “thank you” notes from my subscribers along the way.

But After 18 Weeks, I Had to Call it Quits

Open and click rates started declining after the 15th issue. I also wasn’t seeing as many new subscribers, so growth was slowing. That was demotivating.

The fact that it coincided with the launch of The Music Entrepreneur Code didn’t help. My focus and energies were shifting in that direction.

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The Music Entrepreneur Code

The Music Entrepreneur Code

Modesty aside, my latest book is kick-ass. And, you need it. It doesn’t matter whether you’re just getting started in your music career and need some serious direction, or you’re a seasoned pro making six-figures. The landing page bears this out. So, go and get the best-selling Kindle or paperback on Amazon, or the special PDF version with bonuses on Music Entrepreneur HQ.

I wanted to give the initiative a fair chance, so I kept going for a few more weeks.

Unfortunately, engagement did not reach its former glory. So, I decided to call it quits.

I’m Not a Quitter

“You quit? Why!?”

I’m sure some of you are asking that question as you read this.

After all, perseverance is a virtue, yes?

Someone even emailed me this quote via James Allen:

There are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result. Chance is not. Gifts, powers, material, intellectual, and spiritual possessions are the fruits of effort; they are thoughts completed, objects accomplished, visions realized.

I agree with the quote, and I like James Allen’s works, but in this case it kind of makes me look like the bad guy.

If you only saw the sheer volume of things I haven’t quit on for the better part of 10 years (like my podcast), you’d probably rethink your stance.

If you’re having trouble with this, have a listen to this podcast episode on Space. It comes directly from my business coach.

Or, to quote a meme trope:

There’s a difference between giving up and knowing when to stop.

This is What I Learned

Here’s what I learned:

There’s a difference between a challenge and an uphill climb.

There’s a difference between a challenge and an uphill climb. Click To Tweet

A challenge requires your active focus, participation, and problem-solving skills. If a challenge is what you’re dealing with, rethinking the problem and coming at it from a new vantage point can get you results.

For example:

If you didn’t have the time, but it was still worth doing, you’d find a way. If you ran out of topical ideas, you’d let your audience know and return with something better the following week. Or, if you stumbled across a question you couldn’t answer, you’d ask around for a solution.

But I wasn’t encountering anything of the sort. I knew I had launched headlong into a long, uphill climb when engagement dropped.

An uphill climb is not a challenge, though it often masquerades as one. It’s the very definition of a project requiring endless hustle and grind to make work.

An uphill climb is not a challenge, though it often masquerades as one. It’s the very definition of a project requiring endless hustle and grind to make work. Click To Tweet

“Work your face off,” say the loud-mouthed “experts.” And, I say you’ve got to work smarter, not just harder.

David Andrew Wiebe quote

One Grind Session at a Time

The newsletter format was set in stone (people like things they can count on every week, like TV shows), and it was working early on, so there was no reason to change it.

I was showing up with some of my best work every single week. As much as possible, I was choosing topics I knew my audience would enjoy and relate to.

Perhaps with a vat full of patience and effort, I’d be able to keep growing the list and drive up engagement rates. One grind session at a time.

But there was no telling how long that would take. And, the tactics I was using to grow the list were no longer working, suggesting I’d need to rethink that bit too. I even made a video while looking for new ways to promote the newsletter:

With several initiatives already on my plate, producing results, it just didn’t make sense to dedicate all this mind space to growing another.

This year, I’m keeping the winners and cutting the losers. And, I’m not going to be spending a lot of time staring in the rear-view mirror.

Newsletters Don’t Work?

This is a bit of a tangent, I suppose, but it’s worth touching on, if only briefly.

If you happen to read the Glen Allsopp article already mentioned, you’ll likely see for yourself that newsletters can be a very viable business model, and failing that, relationship building tool.

Recently, I interviewed Cheryl B. Engelhardt on my podcast, and she shared that newsletters are a bad idea for artists.

I happen to agree with this. I’ve seen some popular local artists who were sending their audience newsletters instead of singularly focused call to actions, and I’m sure this negatively affected their ability to reach their various goals.

But I wouldn’t be too quick to make that judgment call for all businesses.

Author Dan Kennedy, in fact, talks quite extensively about the use of newsletters in his books, even if they aren’t always used to monetize audiences.

So, I get that newsletters aren’t always what audiences are looking for, but as Kennedy contends, they can be leveraged as competitive advantages.

Newsletters aren’t always what audiences are looking for, but as Kennedy contends, they can be leveraged as competitive advantages. Click To Tweet

But I Couldn’t Help but Sense an Opportunity

Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. – Victor Kiam

Getting back to Music Career Tips Weekly, the 18 weeks I invested into the project didn’t go to waste (this is where perseverance should apply – I haven’t given up!).

I learned quite a bit from this initiative, and I plan to take those lessons and apply them to another newsletter project in the future (trust me, I’m going to make this work one way or another).

Further, I decided to take all the content and turn it into an eBook.

I had already thought about offering back issues for a small fee. I hadn’t originally thought about compiling the content and putting it all into an eBook, but given the self-contained nature of the newsletter, it felt right.

So, This is What Happened Next

In the latest episode of my podcast, I announced the release of 170 Music Career Tips to Help You Grow Your Following, Promote Your Music & Increase Your Income.

By the way, I’m looking for people like you (that’s right, people just like you) to become patrons of my podcast. The podcast inspires much of the content I write here, too, so basically you would be supporting the ongoing creation of boss edutainment just like this. If you think it’s worthwhile, you can support me on Patreon.

I built a landing page and added it to the products page on Music Entrepreneur HQ. I’ll be adding it to the product page on this site too.

And, it wasn’t just about creating a product. It was also about the relationships I had built with fellow musicians for 18 weeks.

The content was important. The memories are what gave it weight.

Introducing the 170 Music Career Tips eBook

I did not form a strategy for this launch. I merely wanted to give my subscribers (and anyone else who might be interested in the content) a way to keep growing in their careers and preserve the memories.

So, I’m not going to be cryptic here in any way. Let me lay it all out for you, blow by blow.

Since I was delivering 10 tips to subscribers of Music Career Tips Weekly every single week, I ended up with 170 music career tips. That’s where the number comes from.

The topics covered in the newsletters were:

  • Websites
  • Reputation
  • Alternative performance opportunities
  • Music marketing basics
  • Recession proofing
  • Derek Sivers
  • Tommy Tallarico
  • Gene Simmons
  • Hedging against uncertainty
  • Live streaming
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Mastery
  • Niche
  • Sales
  • Systems
  • Email marketing

The eBook also features book reviews and resources recommendations. So, you can easily go beyond the eBook and tap into other relevant career growing tools.

When creating it, I made sure the content was broken up into small chunks. The eBook is also colorful, nicely designed and professionally laid out.

Normally, I sell my eBooks for $35.

As I’ve shared so many times before, when it comes to pricing products, the economics have got to make sense.

I see it as a value creation cycle. I generally have a new product every three months, but in the meantime, I pump out numerous fresh videos, podcast episodes and blog posts anyone can access and benefit from for free.

So, when it comes time to launch, it’s an opportunity to complete that value cycle. The completion comes in the form of sales.

Having said that, I chose to price this eBook a little differently. I priced it at $17 (basically, $1 for every 10 tips).

Again, I just want the people who want this to have 170 Music Career Tips.

Because I have a launch schedule for 2020 already, I probably won’t be doing any major promotion for this eBook. But it was at least worth the space I’ve dedicated to it here (which is significant to say the least).

Are You Ready to Complete the Value Cycle? Buy 170 Music Career Tips

170 Music Career Tips

If you made it this far into the blog post, it’s obviously for a reason.

No matter how you got here, spirit led you, and it wants you to notice this post. It wants you to benefit from it.

The ultimate way to benefit from this content is to act on it. And, you can easily act on it by buying the eBook. It’s the next logical step.

I realize not everyone reading this is going to choose themselves, which makes me a little sad. Not because of the money, but because of the difference I know it can make.

If you’re being stopped by something now, I guarantee you’ve been stopped by something before, and if you leave here taking the same action you’ve always taken (no action), you’re just going to repeat the process all over again.

Don’t you consider yourself an action-taker? Don’t you think of yourself as someone in pursuit of their dreams? Do you believe you can achieve whatever you’ve set out to do?

You’ve got to validate this for yourself. Even if no one else knows, you will know whether you’ve acted on your goals, dreams and desires.

This eBook is my love letter to all musicians in pursuit of something greater. It’s for every musician who knows they’ve got more in them and don’t want to die with their best song in them.

So, please. Complete the value cycle. This is for you as much as it is for me. It’s a beautiful exchange.

Alternative to Bandcamp, Nimbit & Gumroad?

Alternative to Bandcamp, Nimbit & Gumroad?

Are you looking for an alternative to Bandcamp, Nimbit and/or Gumroad?

Note: this page contains links to affiliate offers. If you buy through our links, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support.

If you’re making music, you need a way to sell it.

For most musicians, it’s a foregone conclusion that one can distribute their music through services like CD Baby and Ditto Music, and get up and running on all the popular platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon, Deezer and so forth.

And, if you didn’t know you could do that, well, that might be another blog post for another time.

Distribution, however, shouldn’t be equated with marketing, or for that matter, sales.

A sale is where a transaction takes place. It’s where a customer exchanges their money for a desired product or service, like music.

A stream is not a sale. It’s just a stream.

By the way, the condensed, video version of this post is right here:

Enter Bandcamp, Nimbit, Gumroad & Other Services

We certainly aren’t in the dark ages anymore.

When Derek Sivers started CD Baby in 1998, selling online was a serious endeavor. You needed a merchant account, which wasn’t easy to get. In Derek’s case, hand coding a software solution was part of the process, too.

22 years isn’t that long ago, but since then, plenty of eCommerce platforms, scripts, apps, widgets and plugins have been introduced, giving us the ability to release and sell our music through a variety of means.

With these tools, we didn’t always have complete control over pricing, or what the buyer saw, but it was better than not being able to sell our music at all.

These days, we’ve got some great tools like Bandcamp, Nimbit, Gumroad and others.

These platforms offer a great deal of customization in terms of layout, design and even pricing. They give you the ability to get your music in front of your audience and drive sales in a way that leaves you feeling empowered.

Hold the Phone – is Selling Music Even a Thing Anymore?

Conventional wisdom has it that music sales are dead. This is untrue.

Conventional wisdom has it that music sales are dead. This is untrue. Click To Tweet

And, I’m not just talking about the occasional fluke music sale that comes from iTunes, or the support you get from superfans on Bandcamp, either.

Last year, I interviewed John Oszajca from Music Marketing Manifesto, and off air, after we had finished recording, he shared with me that there’s still money in selling music.

John Oszajca, Music Marketing Manifesto

These days, even musicians are jumping on the digital sales funnel trend and are guiding their audiences through lead magnets, tripwires and upsells where music is a part of the product set.

Again, if you don’t know what a sales funnel is or how it works, it will be the topic of another blog post, though you’re certainly welcome to check out my sales funnel for an example (Note: you can’t get through the entire funnel without giving away your email address and spending some money).

So, selling music is still very much a possibility, even if it requires you getting creative with the process and methodology.

As Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell Is Human says:

To sell well is to convince someone else to part with resources – not to deprive that person, but to leave him better off in the end.

I’ve often encouraged my students to bundle up their music products to maximize their earnings.

After all, the economics do matter.

The economics do matter. Click To Tweet

If you wanted to make $3,000 and only had a $1 single to sell, you’d need to sell 3,000 singles to reach your goal.

But if you bundled up your entire catalog and sold it for $100, you’d only need to sell 30 units to get to your financial goal. What a difference!

Getting Back to the Topic of Tools (Like Bandcamp)…

In the latest episode of my podcast, I introduced a new affiliate partner.

By the way, I’m looking for amazing people like you to become patrons of my podcast. To be clear, you would be supporting the creation of all the content I make, not just the podcast, because my blog posts are generally inspired by the podcast. So, if you like what I’m up to, you can support my work on Patreon.

At Music Entrepreneur HQ, we don’t just promote things willy-nilly. We only recommend products and services we understand, use and like.

The possible exception might be products we’ve had the opportunity to audit and would recommend to a specific subset of our audience but wouldn’t have any use for ourselves.

Our latest affiliate partner is Sellfy.

Sellfy

When I think of Sellfy, I generally group it in with the platforms already mentioned – Bandcamp, Nimbit and Gumroad. They are all kind of similar, though there certainly are some differences.

But when it comes to economics, the tool you use to sell your music or related products also matters.

If you want to be effective:

  • You must be able to sell both digital and physical goods.
  • You must be able to bundle products together to sell them at a higher price point.
  • And, you must be able to sell subscriptions (for the ongoing delivery of a product or membership).

Further, built-in marketing tools certainly can’t hurt when it comes to getting attention for your offer.

Sellfy offers all this and more.

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The New Music Industry paperbackThe New Music Industry

Earlier, I mentioned that distribution shouldn’t be equated with marketing. This is because merely getting your music on virtual and physical store shelves is not going to get it sold. You must have a strong brand and be able to get your message in front of your target audience. You need a strategy. This guide touches on practically every marketing channel available to you. Click on the link to get your copy.

Here’s What You Get with Sellfy

By comparing it to apps or sites you might already be using (like Bandcamp), I believe I’ve been able to paint a picture of what Sellfy is and how you can use it.

Sellfy has been made specifically with creators like you and me in mind.

We want to be able to spend most of our time creating rather than worrying about the litany of technical details that generally plague the creative life these days, don’t we?

Your eCommerce store

I’m frankly amazed at all the hoops musicians jump through these days to try to sell their music.

Writing ad copy? Building landing pages? Developing sales funnels?

Yuck.

I’m not saying these things don’t have value. If you’ve got the technical skills, go ahead, do your worst.

But if it’s going to take away from you creating, publishing and promoting your work, it’s important to recognize it’s time you’re simply not going to get back.

So, a tool like Sellfy can help you get up and running fast. They even have a 14-day free trial, so you can test drive the platform before you commit.

What I Like About Sellfy

In the past, one of my favorite things about Sellfy was the Sellfy Market. Best to my knowledge, this no longer exists.

The way this used to work was that every user’s products were visible on Sellfy’s online marketplace.

So, this helped you get a bit of extra exposure, and if you were lucky, additional sales.

But maintaining such a vast eCommerce site would prove challenging in terms of resources, servers and personnel. So, I can’t fault them for taking the knife to that part of their business.

Anyway, the best part of Sellfy now is just how easy it is to use. You can create a beautiful storefront in minutes and start selling right away.

We take it for granted now, but this is kind of a big deal. It saves you a ton of time.

There are so many other great features I could mention, whether it’s the ability to connect your own domain, accept payments from PayPal and Stripe (this instantly makes you look pro), or embed individual products and even your entire store on your website.

Payment options

The analytics are incredibly helpful too, since you can see how many visits you’re getting, what your conversion rate is, where your traffic is coming from, where your buyers are located and more.

Sellfy analytics

So, is Sellfy right for you? You won’t know unless you try. Again, they’ve got a 14-day free trial, so you’ve got everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Final Thoughts on Bandcamp, Nimbit, Gumroad, Sellfy & Other Services

While you could use Sellfy as a Bandcamp alternative, the reality is you could also add it to your existing tool stack.

I’ve often done this myself. Recognizing that most if not all music distributors don’t upload my music to sites like SoundCloud, Bandcamp, Nimbit, Gumroad, Sellfy and others, I would often go and do this manually, simply so that I could increase my chances of getting in front of a larger audience.

This is somewhat of an advanced strategy, and generally it’s better to send all your buyers to one place, but there’s nothing wrong with giving your buyers more options, as sometimes this can help you get sales from places you wouldn’t be able to otherwise.

On that note, if you’re struggling with any of this, or need help with any aspect of your music career, I want to encourage you to pick up your exclusive report and begin building the career of your dreams. Just click the link to get started.

How to Create Systems as a Creative

How to Create Systems as a Creative

Is it time for you to create systems?

Regardless of what business you’re in, standard operating procedures are vital.

The same can certainly be said for careers in music or creativity, since a high level of self-direction is required.

Systems define the scope of every task. They help you focus on what needs to be accomplished. They help you achieve consistent results. And, because they are finite in focus, ultimately, they help you save time in your day. That’s the foundation of productivity and effectiveness.

Moreover, as author Dan Kennedy said:

All wealth is based upon systems.

In the latest episode of my podcast, I shared a little bit about the importance of systems, so I thought I would expand on the topic here.

By the way, I’m looking for amazing people like you to become patrons of my podcast. So, if you like what I’m up to here, please consider supporting my work on Patreon.

Why it Took Me So Long to Create Systems

Having talked to over 100 business owners specifically about systems and operations, I had a good handle on how important systems are. I knew they would prove crucial to my projects and businesses too.

I knew about all the books (The E-Myth, Checklist Manifesto, The 4-Hour Workweek, etc.), all the tools (Basecamp, Atlassian, Process Street, etc.) and all the methods. Basically, I had all the answers. Yet, I struggled.

I would create systems, but most of the time they would end up sitting in some forgotten folder I would rarely access. I wasn’t great at updating them or with the ongoing creation of new systems either.

And, they were all over the place. I had systems in Word docs, Google Docs, Evernote, Asana, SweetProcess and elsewhere.

But no matter what I tried knowledge didn’t turn into breakthrough.

Knowledge alone doesn't turn into breakthrough. Click To Tweet

Isn’t that what it’s like being human? You can know how to lose weight, but unless you action those steps, you’re not going to shed unwanted pounds.

Breakthrough Was Created in Language

In my personal development work, I discovered that if it doesn’t exist in the realm of language, it simply doesn’t exist.

This is a bit of an advanced concept, and it usually takes laying some serious groundwork before it “lands” for people.

But the basic idea is this. What lives, lives in language. And, each of us have different feelings associated with different words.

Last year, I was watching a video with Taki Moore, and he was talking about frameworks. Finally, something clicked for me.

Up until that point, I had been using the same terms everyone else was using to describe their systems. Terms like:

  • Standard Operating Procedures
  • Processes
  • Process maps
  • Procedures
  • Policies
  • Checklists
  • Workflows
  • Systems

Again, I’m a creative person. When approaching business, I always try to think in terms of business (what’s going to generate sales) instead of showing up in my “default” mode (which is an artist).

If you’ve been showing up to your business as an artist to this point, recognize that you may have a lot of fun on the creative side, but you’re unlikely to make a lot of money.

If you’ve been showing up to your business as an artist to this point, recognize that you may have a lot of fun on the creative side, but you’re unlikely to make a lot of money. Click To Tweet

But these terms – the ones you see in the list above – just felt too constraining to me. They made me slightly queasy, to be honest.

When I heard that term “frameworks,” my eyes opened wide and I started to find the motivation to get back into creating systems.

So, for me, there was a bit of a breakthrough in language.

I also shared about this in a video:

The key point here is to find terminology that works for you.

One More Piece of the Puzzle

I would love to say from that day forward things have been smooth sailing, but that would be a lie.

I knew I would be creating “frameworks” not “systems”, but that still didn’t get me to where I needed to go.

Since having that realization, I only ever created one framework, and it was specifically for a training course I’d been putting together:

What a framework looks like

Then, the other day, I was reading this post on how to start a podcast (mostly because my coach wrote it).

I don’t know anyone as knowledgeable as James Schramko when it comes to these kinds of things, and I respect him besides.

The previously mentioned post features multiple checklists that look like this:

James Schramko checklists

That’s all I needed to see. Now I was confident I had a format that would work for me.

Technically, the above would be considered a minimum viable procedure because it does not feature a detailed explanation of each step, but hell, I’m a CEO, okay? I will get my assistant to handle the rest (I’m being tongue in cheek here).

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The Essential Guide to Creative Entrepreneurship

For more tactics on how to brand your art, identify your audience, build your platform and monetize your creativity, here’s your guide to side hustles, freelancing and creative entrepreneurship.

Anyway, the point is that if there’s someone you admire and respect, ask them how they’re creating their systems and get them to show you. You’re more likely to adopt a process you feel confident about.

If there’s someone you admire and respect, ask them how they’re creating their systems and get them to show you. You’re more likely to adopt a process you feel confident about. Click To Tweet

So, This is What I Did (This is How to Create Systems, Step by Step)

Are you still with me? Good. Because this is where I show a step by step process you can use for your projects and business. This is how to create systems.

First, I created a new folder on my desktop and called it “SOPs”.

SOPs folder

I know this kind of goes contrary to what I said earlier about frameworks. I don’t know why I went with “SOPs.” Maybe it’s a bit of a mind hack or just the fact that it would make the folder easier to find. Ultimately, I still call them “frameworks.”

Then, I created a folder specifically for Music Entrepreneur HQ (as you can see, I have other projects requiring frameworks):

Frameworks folder

Then, I started making folders for different areas of the business (still very much a work in progress):

Areas of business

And, of course, within those folders exist multiple Word docs containing the systems (because let’s face it – there’s never just one thing to do in any area of your career or business):

Word doc frameworks

Finally, here’s what my podcast promotion checklist looks like (I feel like I’m giving away a bit of the secret sauce here):

Podcast promotion checklist

And, that’s it! How simple was that?

Pro tip: One day, all my systems will live in the cloud and yours should too. Why? Because eventually you will be handing off certain tasks to your team!

I know it can be easy to let your perfectionist tendencies get in the way of making frameworks (aren’t we all perfectionist as creatives?) but if you just start getting things out of your head and onto paper, not only will you feel a lot better, your productivity will begin to soar.

And, don’t forget – if you aren’t happy with anything, you can always tweak. There are no mistakes. You will add and subtract to your checklists as needed. System creation is an ongoing process (I just saw something to add to one of my checklists while writing this post!).

Remember – put away the artist hat when you’re working on the business side of things.

Remember – put away the artist hat when you’re working on the business side of things. Click To Tweet

Do You Struggle with System Creation as a Creative?

Boring, tedious, unpleasant things are a part of life and business. That doesn’t mean they don’t need to be tended to.

Systems are usually one of those things. They aren’t exactly sexy or fun.

But as I explained at the outset, having them makes you far more productive. Honestly, I prefer the term “effective” to “productive”, but I know more people readily understand the term “productive,” which is why I use it (another great example of how certain language lands with different people).

So, do you struggle with systems? You’re literally not alone. You just read my story and saw all my flaws and analysis paralysis on display. Plus, no exaggeration, what I just shared with you represents about five to six years of struggle.

You will never have to struggle same way I did if you use the above process and get started today.

Either way, I don’t want you to leave here without making a commitment to yourself. It’s time to create systems.

I’m going to encourage you to pick up your exclusive report. It’s waiting for you right here. I look forward to helping you find your breakthrough.

Whatever Happened to the Post-Modern Age?

Whatever Happened to the Post-Modern Age?

A friend recently shared some thoughts with me about how everybody tries to solve their problems logically.

If you don’t know something, it can be learned. So, for instance, if you’re struggling with parenting, you could take a course and discover some helpful techniques.

Yet, at different times, we all shut down. Instead of seeking help, we begin to rely on our own brains – the same brains that got us into the mess we’re in. Typically, that only leads to more frustration. It gets us stuck in a rut.

As I see it, there are a couple of things going on here.

First is the battle between traditional education and ongoing self-education. Inevitably, it seems most people value the former more.

Yet, when I think back on my personal development journey to this point, my greatest lessons have come from life itself, business and ongoing self-education. Traditional education only barely makes it into the picture at fourth place.

I’ve investigated the roots of the education system, and in my estimation, it wasn’t exactly started with kind or benevolent intentions. It was invented more to straighten up “unruly” children than anything else.

Google it for yourself if you don’t believe me.

Despite the fast-changing world we’re in, the education system hasn’t evolved a whole lot since its inception, and there is more than a preponderance of evidence to back up this notion.

Meaning – we basically haven’t been presented with new ways of solving problems in the last 150 to 200 years. As school curriculums tighten and extracurricular options dwindle, we are being given fewer opportunities to tap into our innate creativity.

Many assume that if it isn’t in school, it doesn’t exist, but that simply isn’t true.

If that were the case, my friends wouldn’t constantly come to me saying, “wow, I wish they taught this stuff [course, book, etc.] in school!” after I’ve shared a resource with them.

Literacy rates, for example, are disastrously low, if we were to measure based on who can and cannot read (I don’t understand why we feel it important to measure based on who has gone to school or has finished a class – that doesn’t tell you whether someone can read).

On my journey, I’ve had to undo some of the traditional education system’s programming to find my way.

Second is the staying power of the modern age, which was obsessed with facts, figures, stats, steps.

Odd. I feel like I’m describing how things are right now. It doesn’t seem as though our focus has changed a whole lot, despite the beckoning of a new, promising paradigm.

So, whatever happened to the post-modern age?

Whatever happened to combining, fusing, and integrating logic, facts and knowledge with spirituality, creativity, and innovation?

Here, too, we encounter the same issue, namely that as a culture we feel more comfortable with facts, figures, and stats than with woo-woo, intuition, the abstract and so forth.

The merciless cutting of arts programs seems proof enough.

Remember – the post-modern age is supposed to be a fusion of science and spirituality. Not the exception of one or the other.

Quantum physics comes close to integrating the two, but unless it’s coming from Gregg Braden, it’s still basically trying to deny spirituality while propping up science as the answer.

So, we have effectively been split into two opposing camps. I point this out, because, not everyone reading this is going to agree with me.

Whatever happened to, “science doesn’t have all the answers?” We don’t often hear that phrase anymore (if at all), despite its prevailing wisdom. Instead, we have people like Neil deGrasse Tyson claiming that:

The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.

With all due respect to Mr. Tyson, I disagree. The only thing true whether you believe in it is what is so. And, what is so can be described in eight billion ways. I think most are uncomfortable with that kind of abstraction, however, which is why we gravitate to Tyson’s simple, closed-loop claim.

But you may be asking yourself:

“What does the modern age have to do with solving our problems?”

Everything!

We are emotional creatures. Yes, when it comes to solving problems, it can help to detach from our emotions sometimes. Not seeing the forest for the trees may prove ineffectual.

But when all is said and done, most of the time, we go with our gut only to intellectualize the process later. This is how most decisions are made.

Again, you may Google it if you don’t believe me.

If we were honest with ourselves, we’d see that we are often more reliant on intuition than our linear and logical approach to solving problems.

And, “linear” is the most troubling part here. Because of how rapidly the world is changing, we’re encountering new problems that “tried-and-true” industrial age linear approaches simply cannot solve.

The post-modern age is here. But science wants to hold even more tightly to its rightness. Again, we are two minds about this.

I may not change anyone’s mind. But what I can say is this:

Out of this exploration can come more meaningful solutions to your problems. It may require moving into uncomfortable intellectual territory, however, and not everyone is willing.

You Were Only Ever Meant to be You

You Were Only Ever Meant to be You

It’s funny how we refer to the process of becoming our fully expressed, authentic selves as “personal growth.”

The truth of the matter is that it’s closer to peeling back the layers.

You were perfect the moment you were born. Nothing ever needed to be added to you. There was never any need to fix anything about you.

Regardless of anyone’s expectations – society, family, friends, coaches, mentors or otherwise – you were only ever meant to do and to be one thing. Yourself.

The universe doesn’t require anything else of you. It only desires that you be exactly who you are in every moment, nothing more, nothing less.

You don’t need to earn anything. You were always worthy.

Only you can be you and you are at the height of success and a magnet for your desires when you are fully, authentically, relentlessly you.