Do Musicians Still Need a WordPress Site?

Do Musicians Still Need a WordPress Site?

So, do musicians still need a WordPress site?

Having interacted with you rock gods for a while, I know some of you are going to give a knee-jerk response to this question before reading anything I etch into my blog.

But if there’s anything I could say to convince you to read even a little further, it would be this:

This is a more nuanced question than you might be inclined to believe. And understanding the ins and outs will better set you up for success. I wouldn’t recommend leaving your mind in a fishbowl.

So, if you’re ready, give me a chance to explain what I’m starting to see (and I’m not presenting this in “I’m your master” kind of way – I’m merely documenting my journey and my latest findings).

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The Music Entrepreneur Code

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First Things First – Your Central Repository

I had graphic designer Ross Barber on episode three of The New Music Industry Podcast.

I think he said it incredibly well:

You always need to be trying to send people back to where they can find everything, which is your website.

This would be the main reason to ensure you knock it out of the park with your central repository.

Yes, people are going to get lost and get stuck on your website, unable to find what they’re looking for. No matter how much time and effort you put into organizing, simplifying, and optimizing your website.

Some visitors are going to bounce off. Others are going to miss the super obvious call to action in your sidebar. Still others are going to nitpick the badly worded disclaimer in your footer.

Oh well… Who cares?

Your website is for your hardcore, “I’ve got to have it all” fans, and once they’ve stumbled upon it, they’ll have found their personal version of heaven.

Your website is for your hardcore, “I’ve got to have it all” fans, and once they’ve stumbled upon it, they’ll have found their personal version of heaven. Click To Tweet

They’ll read your extensive catalog of blog posts, listen to your podcasts, watch all your videos, and ultimately end up on your merch page buying your latest thing… because it’s shiny.

That’s who you’re building your website for. Don’t worry about the others – we’ll find a solution for them (more on this in a moment).

Even Russell Brunson, creator of ClickFunnels (the “website killer”) has a central repository for his content at Marketing Secrets. Gee, I wonder why?

Further, without naming names, noted music coaches and educators (who everyone goes gaga over), who relied heavily on ads for traffic are starting to publish more frequently. Yeah, they’re getting into content too.

Does it Have to be a WordPress Site?

No.

I’ve talked to the good folks at Bandzoogle. I had director of artist and industry outreach Dave Cool on my old podcast (DAWCast: Music Entrepreneurship), and even met him in person last year at DIY Musician Conference in Austin, TX.

Bandzoogle is great. It’s so simple to use.

I once set up a client website on Bandzoogle. Once she realized just how simple it was, she couldn’t have been more thrilled!

(It still took her a while to feel comfortable with it though).

If I were to offer any kind of support to anyone (not saying I will – certainly not for free), I could offer support for WordPress and Bandzoogle. I wouldn’t offer it for another platform.

I still feel a stronger sense of control with WordPress myself, but that doesn’t make Bandzoogle bad. Not at all.

What do You Recommend for Building a WordPress Site?

So, over the years, I’ve promoted different web hosting services and some of the ones I previously used got bought out and suddenly turned from solid to godawful.

I have a couple of recommendations, but for 80% of people, I would say SiteGround (affiliate link – hey, don’t look at me like that, I’m trying to be helpful) is the right option.

It’s fast, easy to use, and you can get WordPress up and running with the click of a mouse.

Yes, buying and setting up a domain as well as hosting can be kind of technical, but once it’s done, it’s done.

I don’t have space to cover the process in detail here, but I’m happy to put together a video tutorial if you’d like (let me know in the comments below!).

Is That All?

No.

So, earlier I mentioned that you should have a central repository for everything you.

But it’s unmistakable that websites are changing.

Like I said, your central space is for people who are warm to you. People who like you and want to check out everything you’ve got.

Many others are cold to you, and are basically going to get stuck, get lost, and bounce off your website. Sad but true.

But there is a way to capture them too.

WordPress is great. But the main issue is, to unlock its full potential, you’ve got to install plugins. And plugins don’t always play nicely with each other. They can even cost a pretty penny and be hard to use.

So, if you’re interested in setting up a fan club, membership, or sales funnel (and I would argue these are good things to set up in these weird times), you’re basically going to end up having to become a technical expert in the process.

You can use your central space to direct people to your offers (and you should), but your offers should perhaps live somewhere other than WordPress. Somewhere distraction free, where people get to learn about your story, your product, and not be presented with links to a million other options.

So, I’ll share a few solutions with you as well as their pros and cons.

10XPro

10XPro

So, right off the bat, I’ve got to tell you 10XPro (affiliate link) is my favorite option.

It’s got all the tools you’d possibly need to set up your membership site, course platform, fan club or otherwise.

It’s incredibly easy to use.

If you wanted to, you could even use 10XPro as your all-in-one platform. Yes, you can even use it for publishing. Most other solutions make that difficult or just don’t have the option.

And here’s a biggie:

It doesn’t just have a shiny coat of paint on the front end. You can create a great customer experience on the back end (or on the inside) too. That’s the biggest factor, so far as I’m concerned.

The catch? 10XPro is likely the costliest of solutions available. Considering what it offers, the cost is more than fair, though.

The key for most artists considering 10XPro will be getting to breakeven as quickly as possible, at which point it becomes self-sustaining.

ClickFunnels

ClickFunnels

ClickFunnels is great. It truly is. I got to see it all up and close earlier this summer when I took the One Funnel Away Challenge (affiliate link – this training is super intensive and highly recommended, especially at the price point).

The best thing about ClickFunnels is you can use it to build any type of funnel you want (although you can do that with 10XPro as well), and the templates they’ve got are all attractive and customizable.

What I don’t like is this:

The front end experience is awesome. It’s designed to sell. But the back end experience, for me, leaves something to be desired. Almost like it’s good for the seller, but not great for the customer, which is a red flag for me.

I may end up using ClickFunnels for some of my funnels, especially joint ventures. So, in no way am I saying don’t use it. But you should be aware of its strengths and weaknesses.

ClickFunnels is more affordable than some of the alternatives, which is an aspect that goes in its plus column.

Leadpages

Leadpages

Finally, we come to Leadpages (affiliate link).

I love Leadpages. It’s my secret weapon for building an email list!

In no way is it cheap, but the Standard and Pro plans are still more affordable than 10XPro or ClickFunnels.

Still, I think Leadpages works better as a plug-and-play list grower than it does as a website or selling platform.

Don’t get me wrong – you can use Leadpages to build your sales funnels, and it would even work quite well. As with 10XPro and ClickFunnels, you’d just need to connect Stripe, and you could start taking payments.

Customizability is where you’d probably struggle bit. Leadpages has lots of proven, high-converting templates already, so not like you’d need to go in and change everything.

But in my attempts to build my dream funnel and present everything the way I wanted it to look, I just couldn’t see Leadpages being my go-to solution.

I would suggest using Leadpages to grow your list, especially if you’re building WordPress to build your site.

You don’t need Leadpages if you’re building entirely on 10XPro or ClickFunnels though. They have list building features built-in, and they are awesome.

Others

They suck. I’m sorry, they just do.

I’ve looked at what else is out there, and there are cheaper solutions, but I just can’t recommend them.

The above tools all look and function similarly, with some differences. I find the ClickFunnels building platform to be the buggiest of all, but that’s just my experience.

Anyway, the moment you start paying less for your solution, you end up sacrificing your experience as a user, and your customer’s experience of your product as well. That reflects badly on you.

I’m an entrepreneur, so I like the idea of ownership and control. WordPress gives me that. 10XPro gives me that. To an extent, ClickFunnels gives me that. To a much lesser extent, Leadpages gives me that (but if they went away, there would be other tools I could replace it with).

Worst

Building your website on Blogger, Facebook, YouTube, Bandcamp, SoundCloud, or otherwise.

Your following on these platforms is owned by the platform, not you.

So, begin creating your ownership strategy now. Get people on your email list at all costs.

I also talked about this in episode 203 of my podcast:

Final Thoughts, Building a WordPress Site

No, you don’t still need a WordPress site, though I argue there’s value in building your central repository on the web. In most cases, this should be a WordPress site, but Bandzoogle is great too.

Solutions like 10XPro and ClickFunnels can be used as your all-in-one platforms. But all things being equal, I think 10XPro is the better all-in-one solution.

Leadpages is awesome, and it can even be used to build sales funnels. But its chief strength is in helping you build a list, not in building a website or funnel.

Is there anything I missed? Anything else I should have covered? Let me know in the comments below.

The Music Entrepreneur Code paperback

Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Only the cool kids are talking about it.

The Music Entrepreneur Code is my latest best-selling book, and it’s available here as well as on Amazon.

Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass

Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass

Today, I’m going to be pulling back the curtain to talk about the thing I’m working on right now – the Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass/Course.

If the name sounds familiar, or you feel like you’ve heard it before, it’s because I created the presentation and shared it with Musical U’s (affiliate link) audience two years ago.

Over the last three or four years, Musical U has been quite generous in featuring me on their blog, on their podcast, as well as inside their membership.

I’ve reciprocated by mentioning them on my blog, podcast, and even books, every chance I get.

Their generosity even extended into letting me use the masterclass inside my membership.

Your Membership?

This is what I’m working on right now.

Technically, The Music Entrepreneur Code Companion Course already lives there…

And I even did a launch last month to test out a product idea (it bombed).

But even the bombing was a positive experience because I saw an opportunity to pivot.

I figured, maybe for now, I could launch more of a course-oriented platform instead of a membership or exclusive program.

If I still want to add a membership component to it later, I can. The platform I’m building on allows me to do this no problem.

And I was inspired by a little membership I’m a part of called SuperFastResults.

With my course platform, I also determined that I wanted to price everything out of the $5 to $35 range, which is what my Music Entrepreneur HQ audience is trained to expect at this point.

With my course platform, I want to begin selling products in the $45 to $197 range instead (and maybe I’ll have a bundle of all the courses, which could add up to considerably more, depending on the number of courses available).

Your New Platform?

I’m building it on 10XPro (affiliate link), and I couldn’t be happier about that decision.

10XPro

Certainly, it’s a little pricey by artist standards (that includes me).

But because I do a lot of reviews for my staff writing duties, I’ve had the opportunity to see what else is out there in terms of courses aimed at musicians.

And while some of the course building platforms (or LMS apps) have an outward sheen that makes them seem like the right choice…

When it came to customer experience, they were just lacking. Oftentimes, the way they housed the content was lackluster.

I also found these platforms ultimately cost around the same as 10XPro. So, for all the added functionality and premium experience the platform provides (not just for the creator but also for the user), it just feels right.

10XPro is super easy to use, too.

And Your New Platform Will be Called…?

Content Marketing Musician.

And, of course, that means I will need to create a course on content marketing and turn it into the “high ticket” premium course.

But even at $197, it would probably be right in line with market value, if not a little lower.

Again, I’ve seen what’s out there, and there are music coaches and educators charging $1,000 to $2,000 for their courses (that challenged my mindset in a big way).

Either way, Content Marketing Musician will be home to a few things you may have seen already, including:

  • Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass (mentioned earlier – I’m adding an introduction, conclusion, and three bonus lessons to sweeten the deal)
  • My Top 10 Lessons in Music Entrepreneurship (I plan to make this course free to get new users hooked and I might even add a lesson to make it 11)
  • The Music Entrepreneur Code Companion Course (mentioned earlier)
  • How to Set Up Your Music Career Like a Business (my original audio course, which I plan to update and add a video component to)
  • And more

And, of course, I plan to add new courses during Q4 when I’m looking to launch.

Q4 Launch?

I plan to go live with the Content Marketing Musician platform in October 2020. But there’s a good chance it will be ready before then.

About the only thing I need to do with the Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass is film the conclusion, which should be a simple affair (in reality, I’m re-filming it because I had issues with the first take).

I still need to build the front end of the website too.

Either way, I always want to be a little ahead of schedule. I want to be working on the next thing before launching the current thing.

Plus, I will likely begin promoting the platform in my email footers without telling anyone…

Email footer

Just add “get the training you need” in there with a link to Content Marketing Musician, and we’re good to go (yes, I did model this layout from someone else I’ll mention a little later…)

Why Spend an Entire Quarter on This?

Making courses isn’t exactly a walk in the park.

Now, it is 100% true you can get an entire course out of your head, onto paper, into a slide deck, and even have the entire thing recorded in a weekend.

But if you’re basically a one-man show with a few part-time helpers (as I am), the process takes a little longer.

Once you’ve got your raw video, you’ve still got to edit, break it up into modules and lessons, create transcripts, put the transcripts inside the lessons and format them, add links and resources, create a funnel or sales process for the entire course… you get the idea.

You can skip some of these steps to be fair, but I like the idea of over-delivering.

Like I said, I’ve got a lot of content I can re-purpose, so that makes it a little easier for me to prepare more courses in less time.

But based on the amount of time and energy the Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass has been taking, I wouldn’t be surprised if each course took up a good chunk of man hours.

The other reason I think it makes sense to spend an entire quarter on this is because that’s what I learned from James Schramko (owner of SuperFastResults, SuperFastBusiness, and Silver Circle).

I’m a big believer in doing things in 90-day chunks, and even talk about it in my book, The Music Entrepreneur Code.

I want to get all the pieces in place in September, so that I can make a lot of noise during Q4, and then begin to put it on autopilot as I move on to the next thing.

The Pieces?

By that I mean the pieces of the masterclass campaign.

So, here’s basically what I’ve been thinking based on everything I’ve been learning as of late.

I’ve talked about the return of the campaign already, so what I’m about to share basically coincides with that.

What I’m looking to do is create a basic framework for my 90-day campaigns, such that I can execute at a high level and maximize results.

I don’t expect everything to work. I’ve done a TON of things that didn’t work to this point (no joke).

But one thing I do know is I will get better at this if I keep doing it.

And there are always some unknowns with every campaign. Basically, this would be the theme or personality of the campaign. The way in which it’s presented, or the brand of it if you will.

In the case of another campaign I’m planning to do (I will talk more about this in a separate blog post), I already know what the personality of it is going to be – quirky, fun, weird, humorous.

In the case of Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass, I haven’t determined the esthetics of it yet. But I also have a little over a month to think it through (not saying it’s going to be easy).

Besides that, this is basically what I have in mind for the campaign:

The Insane Giveaway

While a lot of people are giving away eBooks, checklists, cheat sheets, and so forth (and this CAN work), I’m beginning to see the value in insane, irresistible giveaways. I learned this from Russell Brunson.

So, for Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass, I’m planning to give away a few dozen audios.

I’ve done dozens of interviews with music entrepreneurs already, most of whom answered these two questions:

  • What is the greatest challenge you’ve overcome?
  • What is the greatest victory you’ve experienced?

So, the giveaway (I like that term better than lead magnet) would be something along the lines of 31 Music Entrepreneurs Reveal Their Darkest Struggles & Insane Triumphs or something like that.

The insane giveaway would be promoted prominently on my various website platforms, and it’s the main thing I would be promoting with my ads too.

The Sales Page

Obviously, every course needs a solid sales page.

Here are the components I’m looking to implement:

  • Film reel. This is what I’m calling it at this point. Basically, it would be four or five images shown together to help the user imagine what the course is going to be like on the inside.
  • Compelling headline. Probably don’t need to expand on this.
  • Video. The video should relay the story or the emotion of the course. I’m a stoic, logically minded guy, so the sales page should be all emotion.
  • Copy and hooks. I’m going to see what hooks others are using to promote their courses. I will model them (not plagiarize!).
  • Your teacher. In this case, me. I think I should be framed as “the teacher.” I feel like this will build trust.
  • Your host. There won’t always be a host, but in this instance, Christopher Sutton of Musical U.
  • Free lesson. I’m planning to share a free lesson. In this case, it will be the bonus lesson Cashflow Quadrant Decoded, because it’s full of emotion. I might edit it down to only include the emotion. I’ll also be publishing the free lesson to YouTube for additional traffic.

Emails

Every campaign requires emails. I plan to create multiple emails based on Brunson’s framework of Emotion, Logic, and Fear also seen in his Traffic Secrets book (affiliate link – I’m about a third of the way through and enjoying it a great deal).

I will share these emails with people who get my insane giveaway as well as my main list.

Brunson says people who don’t buy after 30 to 60 days are unlikely to pick up what you’re putting down, so at that point I will be putting subscribers into a new funnel or back on a healthy serving of my regular blog and podcast updates.

Publishing

I’m already publishing every day (in some cases twice per day), so during the 90-day campaigns, it would make a lot of sense to highlight my new offer in my posts.

Notice how I’ve been sharing my book, The Music Entrepreneur Code, at the end of every blog post as of late? It’s because I’m in the middle of a 90-day campaign promoting that product.

Social Media

Again, I’ll be modeling what I see working out there, mostly based on my Dream 100.

My focus will be Facebook, Instagram, Medium, Twitter, and YouTube, though my posts will probably reach LinkedIn and Tumblr too. We’ll see about others like Blogger, Pinterest, Mix, and so on (not sure if there’s much point).

Dream 100

Originally created by Chet Holmes, this is another marketing strategy I learned from Brunson.

It basically involves making a list of all the influencers, experts, gatekeepers, group and forum moderators, bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, and building a relationship with them over time (with an emphasis on over time).

This list should have access to your target audience or ideal customer. In my case, I’ve also chosen experts who make great content and have helped me on my journey, but at least half of my list has access to my audience.

I’m also planning for when I might launch products into different markets.

My list is bigger than 100, and I’ve already started building a relationship with them. This being a long-term strategy, however, I’m not expecting any payoff, even during the campaign to come.

The main payoff, so far, has been what I’ve been learning from my Dream 100.

If you’re curious who’s on my Dream 100, you have but to pay attention to who I regularly mention in my blog posts (this one included!).

Outreach

I’m thinking I should probably have a separate outreach campaign for the masterclass (besides the Dream 100). This would likely be to bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, and group owners.

I’ve been thinking maybe I could reach out to anyone who’s been featured on my blog or podcast and ask for their help…

And I’ve also been learning some great things about YouTube collaborations from Noah Kagan, and I’m liking that angle a lot…

The one thing I will likely do is reach out to some of my contacts (maybe even people on my email list), and give 10 lucky people access to the course for free in exchange for testimonials.

Still need to give this one some thought though.

Advertising

I want to keep this as simple as possible and basically plan to spend a small budget remarketing to Dream 100 audiences.

Crowdsourcing/Outsourcing

I’d like to incorporate some aspect of crowdsourcing or outsourcing in all my campaigns.

Not sure how I might integrate this with the Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass campaign yet.

I was basically thinking I could hire a few freelancers on Fiverr to create unique sales videos for the course.

We’ll see.

So, Those are the Pieces of the Masterclass Campaign

Phew. Sounds like quite a bit of work doesn’t it? That’s because it is!

I’m still working on bits and pieces, as you can see. And that’s another reason it makes sense to start going full force in October, though I see myself doing some light marketing in September.

Comments on the Masterclass/Course & Campaign?

Am I on the right track…

Or completely insane?

Is there something I’m missing, or something you see I could be doing?

Are there any questions you need answering on this subject (so I can include my answers in the course content)?

Can you see yourself being involved in some way? Want to help out?

Then what are you waiting for? Let me know in the comments below!

The Music Entrepreneur Code paperback

Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Only the cool kids are talking about it.

The Music Entrepreneur Code is my latest best-selling book, and it’s available here as well as on Amazon.

The 4 Pillars of Success

The 4 Pillars of Success

A few nights ago, I had a conversation with Spirit.

I was expressing some dissatisfaction with where I was in life.

I was expressing how badly I wanted the dream. The same dream I’ve been chasing for years and years. Only to be met with disappointment.

I find I want it more and more each day. The desire grows and I spend all my time and energy on it. It consumes me.

And I want it more and more, not because I want it for me, because of the things it would allow me to do for others.

Spirit responded with the four pillars of success. They are simple. Perhaps nothing you haven’t heard before. But they are nuanced. And no success is built without each pillar firmly in place.

I’ll share what these pillars are as well as what they mean to me.

Pillar #1: Hard Work

Every success is built on hard work.

What this means to me: There are no flukes. You can’t be successful without putting in the work.

People are quick to point to “exceptions.” Yet, these so-called exceptions, if you observe them closely, have an insane work ethic.

A trust fund baby isn’t a success by default. They may have certain advantages their parents worked to earn. But some of these kids end up living in the shadows of their parents.

If there’s something you want, you’ve got to put in the work to earn it. No exceptions.

Pillar #2: Persistence

Every success is built on persistence.

What this means to me: You’ve got to get going and keep going.

This doesn’t mean you won’t need to readjust and pivot from time to time. If what you’re doing isn’t working, keep adapting and iterating!

Your audience is already giving you feedback. Listen.

But you can’t give up on yourself and expect to get anywhere. Keep your vision (see next pillar) and persist.

You will encounter challenges. You will be rejected. You will feel like giving up.

Instead, knock and keep on knocking.

Pillar #3: Commitment to a Vision

Every success is built on a commitment to a vision.

What this means to me: See in your mind’s eye what you want to achieve – not just what you’d like to do in your career or business, but also how you’d like your life to be.

I recommend the following meditation:

Focus on the people you want to impact. The amazing life you want with your friends, family, and soulmate as well as all the people who will benefit from the difference you make in the world.

What’s the legacy you’ll leave behind?

If you can visualize it, it’s already a reality.

Pillar #4: Belief in Self & Your Product

Every success is built on a strong belief in yourself and your product.

What this means to me:  If you believe in yourself and your product (doesn’t need to be a literal product – could be art, a service you offer, volunteering, etc.), you will do more, be more, invest more, and take more chances on your dream.

If you’re lacking belief, you will do less, be less, invest less, and take fewer chances to get to where you want to go. Disappointment will follow.

Observe your actions. Are you doing everything in your power? Having conversations you don’t want to have? Making financial investments you’re scared to make? Taking daily actions even when you’re tired, exhausted, and overworked?

Or, are you holding back?

Conclusion

If any of these pillars are out of balance, you can’t achieve at the level you desire. Even the success you’ve built will seem to crumble rather quickly.

But now that you know what the pillars are, you can identify where you need to reinforce and fortify.

For me, pillars #1 and #2 were not a problem. I needed to closely examine pillars #3 and #4 and get in alignment with those.

The Music Entrepreneur Code paperback

Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Only the cool kids are talking about it.

The Music Entrepreneur Code is my latest best-selling book, and it’s available here as well as on Amazon.

The Paradigm Shift from Musician to Music Entrepreneur

The Paradigm Shift from Musician to Music Entrepreneur

When I came across this material, I was a musician just like you. I was not an entrepreneur.

All I wanted to do was play guitar all day, write songs, tour from town to town, and record.

I had done a bit of graphic and web design work on the side. I started a home studio. I had even gotten into personal development. But ultimately, I didn’t go into any of it thinking I was going to get excited about business.

I mean, sure, I always thought it would be great to make loads of money doing things I loved to do. But I figured that was inevitable. It would happen if I just kept at it.

I thought the good life would be making music, throwing around a basketball with my bandmates, writing some blog posts… that’s about it.

I Wasn’t Looking for a Business

So, I wasn’t looking for a business. Let me underscore this part.

Because I think this is the part many people don’t understand about my story. I didn’t just one day wake up and say, “hey guys, I’m the music entrepreneur!”

NO WAY.

I WAS going through a major financial crunch, and that DID impact my decision. But if there was a way for me to take my music career from zero to hero without having to get into business, I would have done it!

I was all out of options and it was crushing.

I had no money, and as result, I had no time. I was working five terrible jobs, and sometimes found myself fighting for safe working conditions and even the money I was owed!

The occasional open mic, rehearsal, or gig was the only music in my life. I couldn’t dedicate any of my time or energy towards the thing I loved most.

Up until that point, I had plenty of time to sit, ponder, and discuss my future with my roommates. It wasn’t always easy trying to interpret life and my identity. But it was fun. Those were good times.

Suddenly and forcefully, this kid was confronted with a very adult problem. Ready or not. I was sledgehammered into a new world. I did NOT choose it!

But there IS a reason I got excited. And that’s what I wish to relay here.

You’re Not Supposed to do This

In 2011, I ended up joining two network marketing companies, right around the same time. You’re not supposed to do that!

This is largely what your upline mentors would consider a conflict of interest. And their greatest worry would be that you destroy their business by courting their downline and getting them to join your organization.

This would basically be the equivalent of agreeing to teach guitar at a studio, only to take the studio’s entire client base with you after quitting. This is frowned upon.

Fortunately for my upline, I wasn’t interested in that.

I was much more interested in the possibilities I was beginning to see because of some things Rich Dad Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki had said.

The Business of the 21st Century

Now, just so there’s no misunderstanding, Kiyosaki did not visit my home and share his message with me. Nor did I see him speak at a conference.

See, every network marketing organization (well, the good ones anyway) have training materials. And when you’re going through the evaluation process (no, your upline won’t just let you join because you’re excited – you’ve got to prove yourself), you’ll work your way through some of that material.

So, the audio that got me fired up was The Business of the 21st Century, named after the book of the same title. But it wasn’t anything like the book. It was more so Kiyosaki just sharing his mindset.

Most importantly, what resonated with me was the cashflow quadrant.

The Cashflow Quadrant

The cashflow quadrant is easy to understand.

The cashflow quadrant

On the left-hand side of the quadrant, you’ll see an E and an S. And on the right-hand side, you’ll find a B and an I.

E is for Employee.

S is for Self-Employed, Specialist or Solo.

B is for Business Owner.

And I for Investor.

We need this context for what I’m about to share.

My Experience with the Quadrant

Personally, I had only ever spent a few months as an E. But I was well-acquainted with being an S, as most musicians are.

As a self-employed, you’d probably engage in some of the things I’ve already talked about. Maybe you’d get into graphic or web design. Maybe you’d start a home studio. If you were good at writing, you hunted around for freelancing gigs.

This is what many of us associate with starting a business. And while a freelancing career can feel like a business and even grow into one, because it’s so reliant on you and your time, it’s basically like creating your own job.

But let’s get back to that breakthrough…

The Difference is Mindset

In the audio I mentioned earlier, Kiyosaki says a safe, secure, high-paying job for life is an obsolete idea.

As I watched my friends and extended social circle jump from job to job and spend enormous sums of money for a paper on the wall, I had no choice but to agree.

Kiyosaki goes onto explain that the mentality of a self-employed (S) is “If you want it done right, do it yourself.” I talked about why this can hold you back yesterday.

A business owner (B) is someone with 500 employees or $10 million in revenue. And as a B, your job is to spread the wealth to as many people as possible. Business owners also tend to pay less in taxes.

For those on the left-hand side of the quadrant, the more money you make, the more you pay in taxes. I have seen this firsthand. It’s not a pretty sight.

Employees and self-employed also tend to be bought into “conventional” wisdom.

Ever had someone tell you that a house is the best thing to invest in? And then the banks tell you to buy mutual funds. Am I right? Well, if you’re thinking in terms of wealth, Kiyosaki says this couldn’t be more wrong.

Inflation is another major factor affecting your income as an E or S. If you’re invested in the right things, you make money when inflation hits. Otherwise, you end up paying more for commodities.

Again, “conventional” wisdom says there’s no such thing as inflation, but I’m calling B.S. on that. Gas, groceries, and utilities seem to go up in price every few months, never mind every year!

E and S conundrum

I could go on, but to summarize, the biggest difference between the four quadrants is mindset. That means you can move from the left side of the quadrant to the right side of the quadrant by changing the way you look at the world.

Paradigm Shift, Conclusion

When you’re on the left side of the quadrant, you work for money and other people.

When you’re on the right side of the quadrant, you have money and people work for you.

As a musician, you’re obviously never going to be handing over the creative process. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have money and people work for you, especially when it comes to tasks you don’t enjoy, aren’t good at, and pull you away from working in your strengths.

Success is 80% psychology. So, by shifting our mindset, we can create expanded outcomes in our music careers.

It’s not about getting into business. That’s boring. Dumb. Stupid. Risky.

That’s not the opportunity I saw and it’s not what I got excited about!

What I got excited about was the possibility of creating the life I wanted through music. And that’s the vision I share with others every single day.

The Music Entrepreneur Code paperback

The Music Entrepreneur Code is my latest best-selling book, and it’s available here as well as on Amazon.

4 Myths That Stop Musicians from Building Their Team

4 Myths That Stop Musicians from Building Their Team

People frequently ask me:

“How in the world do you do it all?”

“You wouldn’t expect a musician to do all of THIS, would you?”

The blunt answer is “yes”, especially if you’re serious about making your musical dreams a reality.

But what I realized is there’s a bit of a mindset gap…

And once you’ve bridged this gap, you’ll be able to see this problem from a different angle, which will make it easier to solve.

Here’s what you need to know:

Myth #1: You’ve Got to Know it All

False.

I think it’s easy to feel that way as an artist. Because when you think about it, even if you’re just the drummer in a band, you end up taking on a lot.

From personal practice and rehearsals, to shows and load-in/load-out, your responsibilities are more extensive than you might be inclined to think about.

And then, of course, there’s the whole issue of recording in the studio, playing to a click, keeping the beat tight, and so forth.

There’s nothing wrong with learning, and I’m a big believer in ongoing self-education.

I even covered it in episode 55 of my podcast:

But trying to gain competency in every area of your career – be it booking, marketing, publicity, admin, business, or otherwise – is a long road, and it’s probably not the best use of your time.

If you’re a drummer, you should be spending most of your time drumming.

If you’re a songwriter, you should be pumping out song ideas.

You want to be spending most of your time in your genius zone, even if you’re occasionally pulled away to handle whatever tasks you’ve agreed to take on.

You want to be spending most of your time in your genius zone, even if you’re occasionally pulled away to handle whatever tasks you’ve agreed to take on. Click To Tweet

And, by the way, if you’re in a band, you should be divvying up tasks based on the strengths of each member.

Myth #2: You’ve Got to do it All

Wrong.

You should never get too good at what you hate, because then you’ll be stuck with the task.

You should never get too good at what you hate because you’ll get stuck with the task. Click To Tweet

I’m not saying it’s always going to be smooth sailing. There are going to be days you don’t want to get up to do what you need to do.

But that doesn’t mean you need to shoulder all the responsibility.

There’s an African proverb you may have heard:

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

What it means is that while you can achieve big results quickly working all by your lonesome, you can ultimately achieve more with the help of a team.

Entrepreneurs have many early regrets. Some say they wished they had started building their email list sooner.

Others say they wish they had known about X book, Y system, or Z resource.

But the overwhelming majority say their number one regret was not hiring sooner.

You don’t need to be the one completing all the tasks, especially if the tasks are low impact, low priority, and tedious grunt work you’re not even good at and don’t enjoy.

Myth #3: You’ve Got to Spend a Fortune on Your Team

By now you should be starting to see how all these myths are interconnected. And by un-collapsing the pieces, you can begin to see the forest for the trees.

So, the insane part about this most musicians don’t realize is…

If they sign to a label, in many cases, they will instantly give up 70 to 95% of their gross revenue.

We’ll say the ratio is 80/20 just to make it easier to understand – the label keeps 80%, you keep 20%.

But you can easily flip these numbers upside down by taking ownership of your career and doing your own hiring, firing, outsourcing and so on.

And there are some incredible tools that make this process simple. Sites like:

Are all great examples.

Whether you’re looking to get some graphic design work done, or you want your next lyric video created, guaranteed you can find someone with the skills, knowledge, and experience to be able to help you in the capacity you need.

Sure, it might take some digging. You might make a few mistakes.

But when you consider the alternative, of handing over 80% of your career versus keeping 80% of it,  you can begin to shift your mindset around your spending, such that you’re actively reinvesting in your career instead of holding tightly onto your financial resources, which will just sit there and do nothing for you.

You can actively invest or reinvest in your career and grow faster. Or you can sit on your financial resources and stay stagnant. Click To Tweet

Myth #4: You’ve Got to be the Smartest Person in the Room

Not so.

An entrepreneur typically wants to be the dumbest person in the room, so they can be a sponge, learn from others and allow the people around them to shine in their strengths.

Again, this goes back to knowing it all and doing it all, which is incredibly inefficient.

You do want to be a good leader. But being a good leader begins with self. If you lead yourself well, and ask good questions, you can lead a team no problem.

One of my mentors is an expert at this. When there’s a project he wants to bring to life, he gathers like-minded people who are committed to the cause.

And slowly, over time, he begins to move the team in the right direction. Remember the African proverb from earlier? He might not get anywhere fast using this approach, but he will go far.

Although he leads his people, he never tells them what to do!

He asks questions, guides the discussion, and helps his team arrive at the answer that makes the most sense for all involved.

Now, he’s willing to have as many conversations as necessary, getting to know the people around him, assessing their suitability to the project, understanding their motivations and desires, ensuring their level of commitment…

But besides teaching his team how to think, having conversations and sending emails, he doesn’t lift a finger. Incredible!

You may not have the same level of patience to lead people in this manner. That’s okay – you’re going to have your own way of going about things.

But the example is certainly one worth learning from.

Building Your Team, Summary

When you’ve got big goals and dreams for your career and your life, you’re going to be tempted to ask “how?”

This question, unfortunately, stops us dead in our tracks. The question we should train ourselves to ask instead is “who?”

There is always someone that can help us build a bridge from one canyon to the next. They might be a freelancer or a full-time assistant. They might offer short-term help, or they might become a permanent member of the team. That part will basically sort itself out, and you need not worry about it.

So, whenever you’re stuck, don’t ask yourself “how?”

Instead ask:

“What conversation am I NOT having?”

Because THAT conversation is the one you need to have next.

The Music Entrepreneur Code paperback

The Music Entrepreneur Code is my latest best-selling book, and it’s available here as well as on Amazon.