#StrategySunday – March 28, 2021

#StrategySunday – March 28, 2021

Welcome to another #StrategySunday, champ!

This week’s theme has been “dissatisfaction.” It’s not something I wanted to focus on or give too much attention to. But when emotions surface in your life, I think it’s best to sit with them, and allow them to play out as they will.

As we move into a new week, my focus is already shifting to ideas. Keep reading and you’ll see what I mean.

So, here’s this week’s #StrategySunday breakdown.

Minutes

Here is what I went over during this planning session:

  • I went over my content responsibilities for the week.
  • I reviewed current products in development. Two products are inching closer to completion.
  • I went over my admin duties for the week.
  • I looked at what I’m looking to accomplish musically. One project is nearing completion.
  • I reviewed my project queue. I’m a little behind on one project and I’m looking to wrap it up this week.

Lessons

Was there anything that came out of this week’s reflection and planning session?

  • I shared about how it’s easy to get caught up in stats and outcomes this past week. What I’m thinking now is that perhaps the only number worth worrying about is how many blog posts and products I publish.
  • I am finding that dedicating some time to personal development and reading grounds and balances me. It’s also relaxing. Although I’m not affirming anything new here, it’s a good reminder.

Ideas

Were there any ideas that came out of this week’s session?

  • If the only number I pay attention to is the number of stories and products published, it might mean doing less overall. Although syndicating and distributing content only takes 10 to 15 minutes per day, I’m not sure if this time well spent (though it does give me something to talk about in future stories). Still evaluating.
  • I’m thinking about moving some money into crypto and gold. Investing into crypto is basically like gambling, so I’m just looking to put a bit of surplus into it, not using money that I’m unwilling to lose.
  • Although I’ve gone back and forth on this, I’ve started thinking about turning Music Entrepreneur HQ into a content site again, especially considering a new podcast idea I’ve been working on, as well as some of the things I’d like to do with Content Marketing Musician. I will need to put more thought into this.
  • Although this is not something I would or even could action now, I’ve been thinking about a 100-day music publishing experiment to see how many songs I could launch in that time and how much I could grow my overall listenership and revenue. Again, I’ll want to deliberate further before committing.

Final Thoughts

Thanks for joining me, champ!

If you need more inspiration, refer to yesterday’s weekly digest.

That’s it for this week’s #StrategySunday. Wishing you the best of weeks!

Pay what you want for the first issue of my digital magazine, The Renegade Musician.

The Renegade Musician

Weekly Digest: March 27, 2021

Weekly Digest: March 27, 2021

David Andrew Wiebe, March 2021Is a worthy endeavor always supposed to be simple, easy, or fun?

Does it bring you joy to run a marathon? It’s a relief when you finally make it to the finish line, sure. But isn’t the training grueling? Isn’t the run to the finish line a battle of the mind?

Follow your passion. Follow your bliss. Do what makes you happy. Keep only what gives you joy.

Yes, I agree. But if you go into every project thinking it’s not going to require some grit and determination, you’re headed straight for a wake-up call.

Starting a project is exciting. But finishing it is a battle of the mind.

It’s no secret that I have been on a slight downswing as of late. But that was prompted by an increased sense of self-worth, which always seems to be followed by dissatisfaction. They go hand in hand.

So, I find it kind of funny that everyone finds my dissatisfaction so alarming. “Maybe you should try something else,” they say. “Success or failure is a matter of how you look at it,” they declare.

Of course, these are statements worth examining. And I have.

But when you know you were made for more, should you ever be satisfied with where you’re at? Content, perhaps. But never complacent.

The next challenge is bound to be even greater than the current one. So, if you don’t prepare and build resilience now, will you even be ready for the next boss you’ll be facing?

My dissatisfaction is well-earned. Not because I’ve been doing this “publishing thing” for a while, but rather because I have poured myself into a variety of projects that have mostly turned out to be disappointments over the course of 10 and in some cases 20 years.

I seek to shed such notions, and that time will come. My perspective will shift. I will see things anew.

That moment is not now. Now is the time to prepare and to develop resiliency for the next boss I must face.

And with that, here’s what I made for you this week.

David Andrew Wiebe

I publish daily to inspire creatives and creators just like you.

Here are the posts that went live this week:

>> Subscribe to the daily blog for creators and creatives

>> Follow me on Medium

Music Entrepreneur HQ

At Music Entrepreneur HQ, I give modern music makers the tools and mental models they need to create the life they love through music, something I’ve been up to since 2009.

Here are the posts that went live on Music Entrepreneur HQ this week:

>> Grab a free guide to grow your fan base and music career

News Break

I publish at least once per week on the topic of self-discovery.

Here’s what I shared on News Break this week:

As always, I appreciate the read, share, and follow.

>> Get the News Break app

>> Write for News Break

Community Spotlight

This week, I’d like to recognize @IAmRyanStepp, as he’s been connecting with me ongoingly. Thanks, friend!

>> Be sure to follow me on Twitter and join in on the action

Random Things I Dig

This is quite random… But I like to stare at Dan Kennedy’s collection of books at No B.S. Books. I always feel inspired looking at what he’s been able to achieve.

Featured Product

Only a few days before The Renegade Musician disappears completely. Be sure to get your copy before it’s gone. It’s pay what you want.

Final Thoughts

Thank you for your creativity and generosity. I’m rooting for you.

Pay what you want for the first issue of my digital magazine, The Renegade Musician.

The Renegade Musician

What Are You Putting off Because it’s “Boring?”

What Are You Putting off Because it’s “Boring?”

There’s work that needs to be completely urgently.

And then there’s work that we can put off, seemingly indefinitely.

The life of the creative is paved with scenarios like that.

But what we don’t acknowledge is that the work we put off might hold the key to our next breakthrough.

The “boring” is worth giving some attention to. It’s where you have the potential to see the greatest growth.

Where I Feel Like I’ve Fallen Short

What strikes me as sexy, at least in my world, is content, traffic, and product development.

Content tends to come first in my day, if only because I’ve made a commitment to publishing daily and because I have staff writing duties to carry out.

I’ve been trying to put product development first in my day because I know that’s where the greatest return is going to come from. Some days I’m successful, some days I’m not.

To be honest, there are times when product development can seem boring to me. But that’s because it’s time-consuming and intensive work.

But what I’ve recently come to realize is that I find the following business tasks the most boring. Things like:

  • Understanding my target audience better
  • Keyword research
  • Competitive research
  • SEO
  • Content audit

I’m knowledgeable and well-versed in every one of these areas but have had trouble bringing myself to work on them consistently.

Which isn’t to say I should be doing it all myself. But since I haven’t experienced any breakthroughs by focusing on content, traffic, and products, maybe the step forward I’m looking for is in engaging the boring.

I’ve Already Started the Grind

This realization about the “boring” occurred to me last week.

I was watching my business coach in action from a 2009 presentation, and what I saw was just how diligent and thorough he was in research and gathering information to determine whether a business had the potential to be profitable.

Let me restate. This was in 2009! Holy.

We’re in 2021 now, and no matter the niche, no matter the audience, things are more competitive than they’ve ever been! You’ve got to bring your A-game, bro.

I’ve never claimed to win a high school popularity contest (which is pretty much how social media, online business, and even music has occurred to me at times), and I don’t think I’m about to. So, that means I’ve got to build a tribe that resonates with me specifically, even if it’s a small one.

(By the way, I do feel I could change my context around this “high school popularity contest” business and would even benefit from doing so.)

Anyway, waffle as I do, the grind has already begun for me. As we speak, I’ve started dedicating some time to pruning and optimizing my content at Music Entrepreneur HQ, my lovechild (over 800 pages…).

And this means combing through Google Analytics for pages that haven’t gotten much traffic in the past year and figuring out why that’s the case (oftentimes it’s just because of a missing or broken image, though there are some low-quality posts that I’m upgrading or pruning).

Content audit

I already know that this is nowhere near as important as creating an offer that converts and developing a sales process for it. That said, I have multiple products just waiting to be launched, and that makes no difference if there isn’t an audience there to buy them.

I’ve spent 12 years building an audience. What’s funny is that I’ve changed a lot in those 12 years, and whoever is still with me has had to endure that roller-coaster ride.

Maybe it’s too much to expect that they’d still be with me. Only a small number still are…

Like I said, I’m not winning any popularity contests.

What Have You Been Avoiding?

Again, I drone on.

But this post is about you and what you’ve been avoiding.

What is something that has been showing up as boring in your world?

What is something that deep down you know you haven’t been giving the attention it deserves?

It might even be something that occurs to you as a total mess (just as Music Entrepreneur HQ does to me).

We are all in a dance with how things occur to us…

But maybe there’s a breakthrough waiting for you in that very area.

Like a to-do list with tasks, you never seem to get around to or even want to touch…

It’s human to move towards the comfortable. Move away from the uncomfortable.

But there’s something magical about the uncomfortable.

When you finally tend to it, you may find that it isn’t a big deal after all. You may find that it only takes a few seconds to do. Even if it takes longer, you may find that it’s not as hard as you thought it would be.

Some suspense may follow your actions (e.g., like if you were cold calling an influencer), but the task itself might not be the mountain you’ve made of it.

In my coaching efforts, I like to poke and prod in this area, just as I did on The Unstarving Musician podcast a couple years back.

Because maybe the next breakthrough you’re looking for isn’t going to come from doing more of the same.

Like if you were a writer and thought that one more article was going to make all the difference (in my experience, it’s not…).

Your next breakthrough may come from seemingly unrelated areas in your life that you haven’t addressed. Things like:

  • Having that difficult conversation with your significant other you’ve been putting off
  • Owning up to that money you didn’t mean to keep but did anyway
  • Clearing up a white lie you told to a friend because you just didn’t want to be around them
  • Following through on a commitment you’ve made (to yourself, your child, friend, boss, or otherwise)
Your next breakthrough may come from seemingly unrelated areas in your life that you haven’t addressed. Click To Tweet

Whatever you’ve been avoiding, chances are, there’s something there.

Final Thoughts

You’ve been avoiding the “boring” work for a reason.

Some part of it strikes you as tedious, cumbersome, repetitive…

But it might just be where your next breakthrough comes from.

After all, insanity is doing the same things expecting different results, right?

So, maybe if you went and did something that’s outside of your ordinary routine, you’d begin to produce different results. Maybe it’s exactly where you should be putting some of your attention.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Pay what you want for the first issue of my digital magazine, The Renegade Musician.

The Renegade Musician

229 – What to do with Your Music in 2021 Part 5

229 – What to do with Your Music in 2021 Part 5

What did we learn in the series on what to do with your music in 2021? What new opportunities did we discover? And most importantly, what actions will you we be taking as result?

That’s what we’re going to be looking at in this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:31 – Bringing the series on what to do with your music in 2021 to a close
  • 00:54 – Experimentation and opportunities in music
  • 02:21 – Part 1: Being fully self-expressed, making music, artist website
  • 02:36 – Part 2: Musician tools
  • 02:57 – Special offer
  • 03:50 – Part 3: Actionable data, cryptocurrency, email list
  • 04:10 – Part 4: Fan engagement, networking, sync licensing and placements
  • 04:36 – Episode summary

Transcription:

Hey, it’s David Andrew Wiebe.

Well, I think we’re finally ready to bring this series on what to do with your music in 2021 to a close.

I’ve touched on all the points I wanted to, which isn’t to say that I’ve laid out a comprehensive strategy from top to bottom.

But those who understand the opportunities represented will be quick to jump on them, while plenty of others will sit by the sidelines doing nothing, trying nothing, changing nothing.

If it were me, I would go out there and give everything my best shot, and this is not “do as I say, not as I do.”

I’ve been publishing daily on Medium since July 28, 2020 and I’ve also been sharing my content far and wide – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Odysee, Mix, Pinterest, LinkedIn, VK, Brighteon.Social, Minds, MeWe, Gab, Parler, Telegram, Revue, and more.

I’m also in my third month of publishing weekly on News Break.

Maybe all this experimentation will go nowhere, but how will I know without even trying?

As a musician and creative coach my daily life may look a little different than yours, and there might be a gap between some of the activities we engage in. But the point is that you’ve got to take the initiative and be willing to try.

And I’m an independent musician just like you. Yes, I have other pursuits. But that doesn’t mean I care any less about music and don’t dedicate my share of thought, time, and energy to it. I play my guitar every single day, and I’m coming up with arrangements for songs I’ll be recording. I was recently asked to compose music for a short as well.

Like I always say, there are plenty of opportunities out there.

So, let’s review the main points covered in this series, and as I mentioned before, if you’d like me to turn this into a more detailed course, showing you the step-by-step of each part, just let me know.

Part 1

In part 1 or episode 219 of the show, I talked about a way of thinking. And that way of thinking is to be fully self-expressed. Don’t hold back. Make the music you’ve always wanted to make.

I also talked about making more music in general and making sure you’ve got your artist website set up.

Part 2

In part 2 or episode 220 of the show, we looked at a mix of tools that can help you grow your online presence, share your music, get connected with other musicians and people in the industry, do competitive analysis, and more.

There are a lot of great tools out there, and if you aren’t taking advantage of the latest tech, you could be missing out big time.

I’ll be back to finish this reflection in just a moment, but first, here’s a special offer for you.

Sellfy

Setting up a website can be time-consuming. And the whole point of building a site is to get your music heard, appreciated, and hopefully, sold.

Have you heard about Sellfy? This platform has been built with creatives in mind. It allows you to set up your own eCommerce store in minutes. It lets you sell digital products, physical goods like merch, and even subscriptions, all from just one place.

If you’re tired of messing around with complicated website builders, this is the solution you need. Go to davidandrewwiebe.com/Sellfy that’s s-e-l-l-f-y to start your free trial. That’s davidandrewwiebe.com/Sellfy.

We are an affiliate of Sellfy and if you purchase anything through our link, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Part 3

In part 3 or episode 225 of the show, I shared about actionable data and insights, earning cryptocurrency, growing and engaging your email list, and more.

Again, these are timely and relevant topics, especially if you know what’s going on in the world right now. Be proactive. Be an action taker and start preparing yourself for worst case scenarios.

Part 4

In part 4 or episode 226 of the podcast, I covered what I would consider the crux of the matter. If you follow through and action parts one through three, what you’re left with are high-level opportunities – connecting with fans, networking, pursuing sync licensing and placements, or setting up a fan club or membership site.

If you want to growth hack your way to the top, you could almost just pick one opportunity and go all in on it.

Episode Summary

With that, here’s today’s episode summary.

We’ve already looked back on parts one through four of the series, so the main thing I want to leave you with is this:

Even if you have the best ideas in the world, it makes no difference whatsoever unless you do something with them.

And, this year, if all you do is sit back and watch as things unfold, you’re going to miss out.

Now, I can’t motivate you. I can only inspire you. And I dedicate myself to that cause daily.

If you’re not inspired after listening to this series, or if you have no idea what you’re going to be implementing in your music career, then go to my blog at DavidAndrewWiebe.com and find something that piques your interest. If you’re still not inspired after reading, then you and I probably aren’t the best match.

So, if you’re ready to make the most of the opportunities available this year, but you’re not sure where to get started, head on over to davidandrewwiebe.com/Special to sign up for your heavily discounted personalized coaching session with yours truly. There’s no commitment. Nothing scary about it. If you go to the link, you’ll be asked to enter your email, which unlocks a quick video. You can either purchase your coaching session then and there or come back to it later. Either way, I’ll follow up with you. So, go to davidandrewwiebe.com/Special to get started.

This has been episode 229 of The New Music Industry Podcast. I’m David Andrew Wiebe and I look forward to seeing you on the stages of the world.

The Power of Deadlines (Backed by Quotes, Examples & Science)

The Power of Deadlines (Backed by Quotes, Examples & Science)

In trying to motivate ourselves, we constantly undervalue deadlines.

When it comes to working with clients, we see it as a necessary evil. But when it comes to our own work and projects, we tend to think of it as a jail sentence.

True, deadlines might be what some call “negative motivation.” Yet, they move us to action and inspire innovation.

Special effects designer Adam Savage said:

Deadlines refine the mind. They remove variables like exotic materials and processes that take too long. The closer the deadline, the more likely you’ll start thinking way outside the box.

How Deadlines Have Benefited Me

A few years ago, I released my second book, The Essential Guide to Music Entrepreneurship.

The Essential Guide to Music Entrepreneurship

Then, I decided I wanted to create a three-tier offer based on the book. So, I developed bonus content and started putting together what I called Pro Packs.

I wanted the offer to have some urgency, so I put a hard deadline on it. The sales page had a countdown timer too.

But this deadline wasn’t just for my prospects and buyers. It was also for me.

This deadline quickly moved me to action because it meant I would need to create the bonus content, set up the sales page and offers, and promote it in the timeframe I’d set for myself. After that date, the offer was going to go away. So, I needed to act with urgency.

This constraint helped me come up with a lot of great marketing ideas.

Screenwriter Martin Villeneuve said:

Problems are hidden opportunities, and constraints can actually boost creativity.

In total, there weren’t many takers for the most expensive tier in my offer. But because of these efforts, my book ended up having one of its best months.

Why Are Deadlines Effective?

Effectiviology says “deadlines can help reduce the likelihood that you will procrastinate both when they are self-imposed as well as when they are external.”

Basically, deadlines work just as well for personal projects and product creation as they do for client work or work in general.

Further, deadlines are effective because:

  • They can make your goals feel more concrete. When you don’t have deadlines, you don’t have to show up or do something by a specific date. But if you know you’re going to be running a marathon next month, you’ll spend time preparing because you must.
  • They can help you throw your hat over the fence. Which means to make a commitment in advance of the action or result. You’ll be less likely to procrastinate, because now you’ve got to chase that hat down.
  • They can inspire structure. As seen in the personal example I shared earlier, deadlines can inspire innovation and action. When you don’t have deadlines, your next actions can be murky and uncertain. Basically, without a deadline, you let yourself off the hook and allow yourself to be wishy-washy in its completion.

Are Deadlines Always Beneficial?

No, not always.

What matters most is that you use them to your advantage. Not try to create a reality distortion field a la Steve Jobs (unless you want to work yourself to the bone…).

Research has already shown that deadlines don’t always work. And to be honest, no one likes to live in deadline hell. You can set too many deadlines.

So, how can we avoid these pitfalls?

Herbert Lui’s article on The Freelance Creative offers some clues. These are my main takeaways:

  • Set aside adequate time to work on the deadline. Ensure that you aren’t scrambling to meet a deadline at the last minute. Allocate time to the project in your schedule. And if necessary, set aside the entire week leading up to the deadline just to work on it.
  • Set tighter deadlines. It’s altogether too easy to let yourself off the hook, work extra buffer time into your deadline, and make it too easy on yourself so there’s no need to innovate. Moving up deadlines can force inspired action.
  • Minimize unrealistic deadlines. Finishing too soon can end up creating a problem, especially for freelancers. Because if you meet one unrealistic deadline, you will often be rewarded with another unrealistic deadline. You can only pull so many all-nighters, so this is unsustainable. Know when to say “uncle.” Too much can be too much.
  • Experiment and have fun. You can set deadlines just for fun. See how it feels to set deadlines. Notice how it sharpens your thinking and how it has a way of clarifying your purpose and eliminating distractions.

Final Thoughts

My mentors often said:

Commitment is freedom.

This tends to fly in the face of the general cultural norm that says options are freedom. But it has been shown, scientifically, that an increase in choices decreases our happiness.

As human beings, we are much happier when we’ve committed to our partners, friends, businesses, projects, and so forth.

In terms of productivity, deadlines help us focus. They eliminate choices by default, including those that have a tendency to distract us in our daily lives.

What has your experience with deadlines been like?

Do you have too many deadlines? Do you live in deadline hell?

Or do you often let yourself off the hook and work as the spirit moves you?

Let me know in the comments.

Pay what you want for the first issue of my digital magazine, The Renegade Musician.

The Renegade Musician