There’s no value in a story never told. But there’s always value in stories shared, even if they only ever touch, move, or inspire one person.
Stories can be instructive, insightful, entertaining, educational, and more.
My story may never be told to large audiences. But if some aspect of it resonates with a few people, that’s more than enough. And if it can make their lives better, nothing could possibly make me happier.
I’m Putting What I Know into Practice
Author of Show Your Work! Austin Kleon suggests artists set up a website with a custom domain and blog every day about their creativity.
Author Seth Godin talks about showing up. And true to his word, he shows up daily. Publishing daily is not a decision for him (more on that later).
Marketer Russell Brunson claims publishing daily will solve all your business problems. I don’t know whether that’s true, but I do like the sound of it.
So, I’m putting something I know to do into practice. Because I’m an artist. And love creating. And I can’t imagine not creating.
I need a portal where I can share everything I create. That’s what this is.
I’m Documenting My Journey & Answering Questions
Hopefully, by documenting my journey and answering your questions, I’m adding value to you. That’s the idea, know it or not.
I can gather that you’re not going to read everything I publish. That’s a given.
But publishing daily gives me a presence. So, you’re less likely to forget about me completely.
And if I’ve added value to you, you’re likely to return for more.
It’s not strictly about building traffic or a following, though that might be a desirable byproduct of publishing daily.
It’s just a way of saying “this is what I’m doing – if you want to, you can do it too.”
I have a vague sense of my purpose in this world, and that’s to inspire people. But you can’t be inspiring without being inspirational. And that means showing up and doing the work.
Being prolific or not isn’t the point. Because I’ve written a few garbage stories since I started publishing daily.
It’s about being available. Being a source of information. Helping people see new possibilities.
These things are worth sharing. Not in a “look at me – I’m awesome” kind of way. Not even in a “buy all my stuff” kind of way. More in a “here’s something you might enjoy” kind of way.
Publishing Daily, Final Thoughts
Seth Godin often talks about the fact that certain aspects of his life are “not a decision.”
Each of us have limited willpower and it continually diminishes throughout the day. So, when he says it’s not a decision, he’s saying he doesn’t have to think about certain decisions in his daily life. He just goes and does what he’s chosen to do. This keeps his life optimized.
That’s why publishing daily is not a decision to me. I’m going to do it. And it might seem crazy, or irresponsible, or unreasonable, or unnecessary. The great news is I will enjoy myself either way! And I hope you will too.
Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Only the cool kids are talking about it.
I know I went AWOL for three weeks, but I’m finally back to deliver another batch of killer podcast episodes.
So, at the beginning of November, I went on break. This happened a little later than expected, but it was still very timely, as I wrapped up my trip to Vernon just before local lockdowns started up again.
And I wasn’t ready to get back into the swing of things the moment I came back, so three weeks went by without a new episode or for that matter, any new content on the website.
I needed time to recharge the batteries, and as you may already know, I worked myself to exhaustion at the beginning of September, which is nowhere near as fun as it sounds. Yes, it has taken nearly three months to recover in full, and I know for a fact I’m much better now, but I’m not at 100% yet.
But here’s the funny part. Have you ever noticed how sometimes when you leave something alone, it starts working better?
If you ever find yourself in a frustration cycle, then taking more actions isn’t the solution. In that space, your actions just lead to more frustration, and even if something is working, you tend not to notice it. Sheep come out in wolves’ clothing as it were.
So, the best thing you can often do to release all that pent-up energy is to stop.
And that sounds completely counter-intuitive in our hustle culture obsessed with working hard, 16-hour days, fake it until you make it, “take my free webinar now” crowd.
Here’s the goofy thing about it – I tried all that. I tried the 16-hour per day hustle. And it didn’t work for me. It just got me caught in a frustration cycle, like I said.
These cycles are also known as pendulums. When a pendulum gains momentum, it keeps swinging and rotating harder and faster, until you find yourself caught in its grips, unable to escape.
It’s still possible to interrupt that pendulum, but not without taking different actions.
If you stop for long enough, and don’t resist, though, the pendulum will begin to dissolve, and you can start over from a fresh space.
And by the way, I’m not comparing myself to any of these guys. I’m not in the same niche, and I’m not the same type of marketer either.
I’ve always been a little more on the side of a transparent marketer, sharing my blunders and stories, my numbers, and I’ve even touched on my personal matters several times.
I know you’re supposed to bring your best self to your content, which is what I strive to do. And my delivery of the content has changed considerably over time.
But I think we can easily oversell ourselves too. No one’s really talking about that. They just keep talking about the fact that you’re not posting enough, you’re not showing up enough, you’re not selling enough.
Again, this hasn’t been my experience. My experience has been that the harder I try to prop myself up, the less things work. Because I’m trying to say, “look at me, look at what I’ve done, I’m amazing.” And it produces the opposite result. All it does is further envelope me in the shadows of obscurity.
When I think about all the times, I’ve tried to prop myself up, I’ve come from a space of wanting something. And when you want something, you just attract more of the same. Wanting leads to more wanting.
Maybe others are able to come from a different space when they’re selling themselves. Maybe they genuinely see it as giving. There’s nothing wrong with that.
What works for others may not work for you.
But you’ve got to know what space you’re coming from. Because whatever that is, you’re going to attract more of it.
To me, giving and being generous is showing up and recording a podcast episode. It’s showing up and writing a blog post. It’s giving away free, high-quality guides that can help you in various areas of your music career.
It’s all about creating the life you love through music.
My story has always been one of progression. I went from working five jobs to working completely from home in 2016. Then I created my location independence last year in 2019 and moved from Calgary to Abbotsford. And now I travel and explore as I’m able, which isn’t much, and I mostly spend time writing content for music industry websites, but the point is that it was all created gradually.
And that’s where I am. But I can see further now. And I want to give generously and profit generously. And I believe I have been able to do that. I’ve been doing that all along. There isn’t necessarily more to give, just that I keep showing up to give, which I don’t need to do. I do it because I know what’s possible for others.
So, as you look to restart your engines for 2021, you might consider taking a break. Stopping and reflecting. Thinking about any pendulums that might have you caught in their grips. Finding a new space to move into mentally and emotionally.
The world, sadly, isn’t going back to any sense of normalcy for a while. So, pivoting, rethinking your direction and strategy, and making the most of the time and resources available would be wise.
Every time you stop, even if it’s only a day or two, you will come away with more clarity. Your vision will expand. You’ll see some things you never saw before, and then you’ll be able to act on what matters to you.
Your purpose will not come to you in a flash. It will unfold gradually. And sometimes we need to stop for it to unfold, so we can see further.
If you’re ready to figure out what to focus on in 2021 and beyond…
If you’re looking to expand your music income…
If marketing is something you struggle with and need to develop…
Then head on over to davidandrewwiebe.com/Join and grab your free guide.
This has been episode 213 of The New Music Industry Podcast. I’m David Andrew Wiebe, and I look forward to seeing you on the stages of the world.
But I know that we all get a little wrapped up in our own worlds, and don’t necessarily follow or even remember what others are up to. So, I thought I would address this issue head on.
Okay, so What’s the Deal?
The deal is yes, I’m still making music.
I’m not pumping it out like I’m pumping out blog posts right now (daily) and I’ll probably talk more about that tomorrow.
Either way, I continue to play quite a bit of guitar, and since moving to Abbotsford, I’ve been writing and preparing quite a bit of material.
A little something I was working on earlier this year.
And since June I’ve been working on a separate project (full album’s worth of material), some of which will see the light of day soon. Getting this project done is priority right now.
But All You Ever Talk About is Your Books
First and foremost, I’m quite proud of my books. And based on all the great feedback I’ve gotten I know they can make a big difference for music makers out there.
I’m not going to shut up about my books, and it’s not really a thing of how many sales I can get. It’s about how much of a dent in the universe I can make. It’s about how much of an impact I can make.
Maybe this wasn’t totally obvious either, so let me put it as clearly as I can: I’m also a musician coach, and have been for many, many years now! That’s why I created Music Entrepreneur HQ and all associated products. Not so that I could self-promote better, strange as that may sound.
But the reality is I talk about a lot more than just my books.
I realize I haven’t released anything since Spirit Searcher, Vol. 1. But I’m creating the possibility that 2021 will be a better year.
I could release a few remastered tracks, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.
To top it all off, I’ve also got a substantial backlog of live performance videos to share. I haven’t nailed down a release schedule yet, but I thought you might like to know.
In closing, thank you for asking. No, I haven’t given up on music. Yes, I’m still working on quite a few things. And I look forward to sharing them with you.
I’m more heavily invested in doing things I love and enjoy versus trying to find commercial success. So, I might be a little all over the map in what I create (just as I have always been). But I’m having fun. And that counts for more than making huge sums of money.
I’m looking forward to sharing more with you.
Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Only the cool kids are talking about it.
Towards the beginning of November, I went on a two-week break.
Because I burned myself out at the top of September, resting and sleeping were my top priorities.
I also wanted to spend some time reading, journaling, and reflecting. I asked my mastermind and mentors for their thoughts as well.
While I was on break, I wanted to keep publishing daily. But I didn’t want to keep publishing on the music business. I wanted a break from that too.
So, I dreamed up the Life Transitions series. It’s something that came to me as I was driving between Abbotsford and Vernon. My thinking was also guided by the podcasts I was listening to on that journey.
Although I have certainly published on topics outside of music regardless, especially here on my personal blog, I needed to distance myself completely from my frustrations. And on some level, my frustrations were probably becoming apparent, because let’s face it – you can’t hide anything.
All that to say, thanks for indulging me.
I’m starting to home in on a publishing plan for my respective projects. I’m also looking more closely at how to integrate and make time for my various interests and passions each week.
Since I got into network marketing in 2011, I had always been taught to focus. And I couldn’t. Try as I might, it just didn’t work. I had both good moments and not so good moments, but inevitably I would revert to my old way of being. I’d keep generating new ideas, become excited about them, and end up wanting to pursue them.
Still, I always wondered what it would look like to be fully focused on one thing.
I guess I got a bit of a taste of that this year.
And all I can say is that I don’t think it’s in my DNA to have a singular focus. And even if it was in DNA, who’s to say I’d be any further along in any of my endeavors?
I think it’s even simpler than that. Others have certain gifts I don’t. I have certain gifts others don’t.
To paint either as right or wrong is to create a black and white world that simply doesn’t exist.
The fact that I have felt wrong for it, though, is on me. And I’m left to process that.
So, that’s what I mean when I say I’m refining my plan – my publishing plan, as well as my weekly plan.
Because I want the freedom of being able to work on a variety of projects. This is something I’ve done with or without deliberate intent anyway. So, maybe it’s true what one of my friends once said – “an elastic band always snaps back into place.”
But if any part of this series has caught your attention, please follow me. There’s always more where that came from.
I hope you enjoyed this series on life transitions. I hope it has helped you. I hope you’re starting to see how to handle difficult transitions, and how you can turn them into advantage, opportunity, or at the very least, become complete with them.
Completion is all you can ask for. And the good news is you can create it for yourself.
Whatever feeling you’ve been experiencing, whatever story has been going on in your head, it’s with you and no one else. This doesn’t mean you can’t have conversations with others to cause completion, because that may well be part of it!
But it does mean that you’re the only one responsible and capable of causing completion for yourself. Choose it and pursue it, especially if transitions have left you feeling beaten down. It’s worth the fight.
Thanks again for joining me and keep an eye out for a future series.
Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Only the cool kids are talking about it.
And death-related transitions occur when someone you know – typically a loved one – passes.
The “ultimate” transition is when you expire. And while I will give that some space a little later, it’s clearly a different kind of transition. One where “life” is no longer. Thus, it’s not a life transition at all.
An expiry related life transitions occurs when someone you know passes.
When your pet, friend, family member, or loved one expires, it’s normal to go through a range of reactions and emotions – shock, grief, numbness, sadness, anger, and more.
I don’t think there is a right or wrong in terms of how you react to, or how you process, death. Only, I do feel it’s important to feel whatever you’re feeling to the fullest without trying to numb and medicate it (more on that later).
Generally, in western cultures, when someone expires, we mourn. But in eastern cultures, it’s not unusual to celebrate.
Both are entirely valid ways of honoring a person or pet you dearly loved.
Although I’ve addressed this issue in an earlier story, some even say “I will never get over this.”
Death can be challenging to fathom. Maybe even impossible. Because it challenges the very thing we are – which is alive.
How to Handle Expiry Related Life Transitions
They say there are five stages of grief (which are 1) denial and isolation, 2) anger, 3) bargaining 4) depression, 5) acceptance), which can play out in any order, and move between one another.
Some say there are additional stages to grief. Some even say it’s a lifelong process.
Gaining an understanding of the various emotions you’re feeling as you’re feeling them is the most important part. Getting caught up in stages, or the “process” as it’s supposed to unfold, so far as I’m concerned, is less important.
And let’s be honest – grief doesn’t just rear its head when someone you know has passed. Sometimes, you can grieve over other events too, be it a breakup or the loss of a job.
What I find most useful is to sit with your emotions, allow them to play out, and to make it okay that you’re feeling whatever you’re feeling.
I have lost several friends and family members through the years – one of the most notable being my father.
And I know, all too well, the impact this had on my family. I felt it important to move forward, and though it was difficult, I began to find the strength to walk through a deep, dark valley of emotions to get to the other side.
But some of us never do. Because it’s too difficult. Too painful. And we don’t want to be reminded or to acknowledge what happened.
I don’t have easy answers. All I have are some thoughts.
If anyone has ever said to you “don’t cry”, or “be strong”, then they are robbing you of an important opportunity to grieve and to mourn fully.
What happens when you don’t mourn in the moment?
The energy gets stored in your body. And then it’s liable to arise in the least expected moments.
This isn’t to suggest you should force yourself to cry if you can’t cry. Don’t try to feel something if you’re feeling numb. There’s nothing wrong with you if you don’t react the same way others react.
So, the only thing to do is feel whatever it is you’re feeling fully. Instead of running from it, acknowledge it, and love it.
Because whatever you’re feeling can’t be found anywhere else. It can only be found in you. It’s not someone else’s to deal with. It’s your own.
Identify What You Have Yet to Process
Think about all the “I wish I would have said…” thoughts running around in your mind.
First, recognize that it’s not too late to express these thoughts. Because these thoughts are your own. They are not with the deceased. Which means there is always an opportunity to express yourself and to become complete with whatever happened.
For instance, you can write a letter. By doing so, you can process all your feelings and emotions, and say all the things you wished you would have said when your loved one was still alive.
I have done this exercise myself.
You can also imagine the loved one in your mind and see yourself talking to them. Sharing all the things that have been on your mind. All the things you wish you would have said.
You can’t find completion with anyone else. You can only create it for yourself. And it’s possible to do intentionally.
The Ultimate Transition
The ultimate transition is when each of us move on from this world to… whatever lies beyond death.
Although I’m sure I will find those who disagree, there is more than a preponderance of evidence to suggest that something indeed lies beyond this physical realm.
There are few (if any) religious or spiritual beliefs that don’t hold to the idea of an afterlife of some kind.
Remembering that many of these traditions and belief systems have been passed down through millennia, we can either throw the baby out with the bathwater or begin to embrace the wisdom of the ages.
Ask anyone who has recalled a near-death or clinical death experience, and inevitably they report moving towards a “bright light.”
We also know that there are those who claim to communicate with spirits, and have a massive following because of their ability to communicate spiritual truths.
Some even say they remember their past lives.
All I have done here is offer a surface level view of the evidence. You can easily go much deeper into the points mentioned, and even identify more.
Either way, this is the transition that’s waiting for us at the end of our time. But it’s not a life transition, at least not in the sense that we call our bodies life. It’s something else. Something more.
Expiry, Final Thoughts
Expiration can happen at a micro and macro level. The micro is you shedding a piece of yourself, moving into a new season, or embracing new life circumstances. Macro is when a pet or loved one passes.
Death can be challenging. We can mourn. We can celebrate. We can even do both. Whatever feelings arise, it’s only our job to acknowledge and love them. No need to try to fix or survive them.
I didn’t want this to sound like a how-to guide, which is why I haven’t offered a huge list of suggestions on how to handle expiry. We will handle it as we will. But if we can resolve it in the moment, we carry less of the burden with us.
I don’t know whether time is the great healer. But we always recover from transitions to varying degrees. The question is – how much of it are you willing to face?
Unless you have questions that need answering, the Life Transitions series is about to reach a conclusion. Let me know if there’s anything I missed.
Leave a comment below.
Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Only the cool kids are talking about it.