Progress Update: April 26, 2021

Progress Update: April 26, 2021

Monday is designated Music Entrepreneur HQ Day, where I work exclusively on Music Entrepreneur HQ related tasks.

I have been doing this since last Monday, and so far, I’ve been getting quite a bit of mileage out of it.

Here I will share what I accomplished today and what’s next.

What I Accomplished Today:

  • Worked on an epic blog post (2,700 words in – still a way to go)
  • Processed some emails
  • Handled broken links
  • Prepared guest posts for publishing
  • Started writing a guest post
  • Added a transcript to episode 231 of the podcast and scheduled a tweet about it
  • Updated a contributor bio
  • Syndicated episode 233 of the podcast to YouTube

What’s Next for Music Entrepreneur HQ:

Most of this carried over from last week.

Some items were deleted because they were completed, or because I thought better of them.

  • Find a video editor
  • Put together a new authority homepage
  • Continue my content audit to completion
  • Reach out to guests I want to be on my podcast
  • Reach out to podcasts I’d like to be a guest on
  • Move all email marketing activity from Mailchimp to ConvertKit
  • Create a resource guide for my latest podcast series (in progress)
  • Write Life Updates for January, February, and March
  • Add The Music Entrepreneur Code video to the sidebar
  • Add Fiverr, The Indie Bible, and ConvertKit to the recommended tools list
  • Start new autoresponder series
  • Create a Medium publication for musicians
  • Finish guest post

Concluding Thoughts

For better or for worse, I felt a little tired, and a little scattered today.

So, I didn’t manage to pull off what I did last Monday, but altogether, it still felt like an effective day.

I’m hoping to write more articles (rather than just progress updates) this week, but it’s going to be a heavy writing week regardless, so I’ll be playing that by ear.

Thanks for joining me. See you again tomorrow.

For more inspiration, be sure to sign up for my email list.

#StrategySunday – April 25, 2021

#StrategySunday – April 25, 2021

Welcome to another #StrategySunday, champ!

I hope you had a great week. Although it was getting to be a bit of a grind for me, there were some key discoveries that helped me see things from a new perspective. So, I’m excited about the week ahead.

Here’s this week’s #StrategySunday breakdown.

Minutes

Here is what I went over during this planning session:

  • I began by planning out Music Entrepreneur HQ Monday where I focus exclusively on Music Entrepreneur HQ and push as many updates and changes as possible in one day.
  • I went over my content responsibilities for the week. I’ve got some big pieces to work on.
  • I reviewed my admin duties. I’ve got a few extra things to look at this week.
  • I went over my project queue.
  • I reviewed current musical projects. Making good progress with a song arrangement I’m developing.

Lessons

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

  • Focus on process, not on outcomes. Make something great and get lost in the creation of it. Refuse to play the comparison game, and don’t focus on the money. The inordinate focus on money has you cutting corners, launching products before they are ready, and making promises you can’t keep.
  • You are not required to identify with your thoughts. You can simply be aware of your thoughts, observe, and acknowledge them. When you separate your identity from your thoughts, you can begin to break harmful patterns.

Ideas

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

  • Begin creating videos that can apply to any audience that’s interested in my work – musicians, creatives, creators, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. Then, break these videos down into micro content I can share all over.

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!

For more inspiration, be sure to sign up for my email list.

Weekly Digest: April 24, 2021

Weekly Digest: April 24, 2021

David Andrew Wiebe, April 2021Clarity can come from unexpected places.

Whether you feel stuck or unsure of your next steps, it’s important to realize that the breakthrough you need likely isn’t going to come from well-worn creative wells.

The enemies of clarity are pervasive besides.

The first is what falls under the category of addictions. Shopping, drama, video games, movies, alcohol, food, or otherwise – we all have our vices.

Addictions are an escape, and they tend to cloud our intuition, mask our true feelings, and prevent clear thinking. Because of the instant dopamine rush they provide they can lull us into a false sense of accomplishment and success, even as fires are breaking out all around us.

The second is our routine. Sustaining a routine takes discipline, and while discipline is a virtue, if you have not time enough for spontaneity, a deviation from the norm, as well as prolonged thinking, reflecting, and journaling sessions, you are unlikely to recognize what might already be in front of your nose.

Finally, there’s busyness. Temporary busyness is fine. It can even be purposeful.

When I was a graphic and web designer, we used to have “blitz” days, where we’d commit to putting the finishing touches on projects that had been sitting for a while. A blitz day could last well into the night, but of course, we’d reward ourselves with a pizza or a night at the movies for our effort.

But when busyness becomes our default, we should not be surprised to find the waters grow murky. Long-term caffeine-fueled hustles almost always end the same way, with the hustler wishing they had been more sensible in their approach. Because after exhaustion comes burnout, and burnout can be a costly, ornery, long-term companion.

No one makes good decisions at 3 AM after days, weeks, months, or even years of overwork and fatigue. There’s no clarity to be found there.

In my recent live streaming efforts, I have found more clarity than ever expected. The newness of it is exciting, but oddly, it has almost become like a visit to the shrink. A chance to express myself and to be heard without judgment (though there is no audience more judgmental than the one hiding behind digital anonymity).

There’s much one could say about that, but the point is that I see my past with greater clarity. Which helps me see the present with increased clarity as well.

Leave some space in your life for something out of the ordinary. It could be an opportunity to capture the seemingly elusive omnipresence of your calling.

With that, here’s what I created 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

The Indie YYC

The Indie YYC is a creative community dedicated to inspiring local artists in pursuit of independent creativity, independent thought, and independent life.

I host a weekly series called Creative Entrepreneur where I share weekly podcast content to help you find new inspirations and pathways to achieve more creative and practical independence.

Here’s what went live this week:

>> Don’t forget to like our Facebook page

Random Things I Dig

Live streaming, of course. And StreamYard is my poison of choice.

Featured Product

You were born to make music. It’s a calling.

But some days you feel like giving it all up.

You see people who are more talented and more prolific. And they have a larger social media following than you.

Why try? The odds seem stacked against you.

You don’t need to quit. You don’t need to give up. You don’t even need to change your approach.

What you need is a mindset makeover.

Read The Renegade Musician and reclaim your uniqueness, creativity, and calling.

The Renegade Musician

Final Thoughts

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

For more inspiration, be sure to sign up for my email list.

I Live Streamed & Earned $5.55 – Here’s What I Learned

I Live Streamed & Earned $5.55 – Here’s What I Learned

Recently, I’ve been hooked on live streaming.

I’m not necessarily seeing it as a business opportunity, though I’m always happy to make a return on my efforts. But it’s something I look forward to, and at the end of the day, when I’ve completed my work, I often feel the urge to stream.

On a recent live stream, where I streamed a video game called Cyber Shadow, I ended up earning $5.55 in donations.

I recognize that this is not a lot of money. And yet, what I learned through that experience kind of surprised me. And, of course, once you’ve broken that barrier of $0 to any amount, there’s always the opportunity to scale.

So, I thought I would share what I discovered.

When Your Ask is Specific, You Increase Your Chances of Getting it

No, you did not read that subhead wrong. I’m taking some creative liberties here.

Anyway, on my live stream, I clearly stated that my goal for the night was to “raise $5.55 for the telethon.”

Basically, I made a joke out of it.

I did not use any flashy banners to get people to donate (although I did tell people where they could donate). I didn’t have a progress bar either. I just mentioned it a couple of times through the stream.

And what do you know? When I asked for $5.55, I got $5.55 on the dot.

Live streaming Cyber Shadow

It’s a simple thing, but it occurs to me that we often forget to ask for what we want. Or even when we do make an ask, we don’t ask for something specific.

We say, “I want to be famous,” or “I’d like to be super rich.” Those are not specific asks! They are completely open to interpretation.

Whatever you do for fun, just go with the flow. But if there’s intention behind the action, have a goal, and be specific.

If there’s intention behind the action, have a goal, and be specific. Click To Tweet

Also, not caring whether you reach that goal (I honestly didn’t expect to make any money), puts you in a power position.

Relationships Are Key – They Help You Start a Grassroots Movement

I only had two viewers on my live stream the whole night, and one of them did not engage once.

But it just so happened that the second viewer who popped on was a long-time friend. Not someone I’ve seen or even hung out with in years, but a friend, nonetheless.

I was live streaming a newer game called Cyber Shadow, and my friend is into gaming, so perhaps I should not be surprised that he showed up. But the stream was spontaneous (not scheduled in advance), and there was no promotion behind it, so I’m betting the only reason he was notified was because he was subscribed to my YouTube channel.

Oftentimes, we underestimate the value of a grassroots following – just a few well-placed advocates who already know, like, and trust you and are willing to support you.

A following is much easier to build when you have a few advocates who will show up when you do something crazy like host a spontaneous live stream. It gives you a bit of social proof and makes you “safe” in the eyes of those who might happen upon your stream.

I guess you might call these “plants,” but even well-known comedians and musicians use them. So, you might as well have a few plants for those times you publish articles, host a webinar, do a live stream, or otherwise.

You Can Earn Without Always Being in “Selling” Mode

I’ve done a few talking head style live streams as of late.

During these streams, I would share about my latest eBooks, read from one of my books, or let viewers know where they can subscribe to my podcast – stuff like that. Which is good to do.

But all that “selling” maybe resulted in one sale, sometimes none. Either way, I felt spent after a 60-to-120-minute live stream.

What I realized is that you’re better off just being yourself, putting the focus on the viewers, and entertaining them to the best of your ability.

There are plenty of publishers whose business model revolves around engaging an audience on an inspirational or informational basis. They make money on the backend with “unrelated” products like natural supplements.

Meaning – even if you’re in the health or supplement niche, you don’t need to live stream about health or supplements. You could talk about news, politics, or personal development – something you’re interested in and passionate about.

Or, in my case, just because I’m in the music business doesn’t mean I need to talk about the music business all the time – I could talk about travel, food, video games, other things I like.

Assuming it’s not a bait and switch, it’s something your audience is also interested in, and people know what you’re about, you’ve got free reign.

Final Thoughts

Sometimes, we can’t see the forest for the trees.

Occasionally taking a step back to gain clarity on what you’re trying to accomplish is critical. I’m beginning to see a clearing for the things I’m looking to create in life, and though it looks different than I thought I would, I can see that it could take me to goals much faster than the path I stubbornly insisted on.

Where do you need a mile-high view in your life?

Is the path you’ve chosen taking you to where you want to go? Or is it time for a course correction?

For more inspiration, be sure to sign up for my email list.

233 – The Renegade Musician eBook Overview

233 – The Renegade Musician eBook Overview

What can you expect to find inside The Renegade Musician? How can it help you on your music career journey?

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

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:26 – The Renegade Musician, a “harsh truth” eBook
  • 01:02 – Chapter 1: Music business
  • 01:19 – Chapter 2: Personal development
  • 01:42 – Chapter 3: Profit leverage
  • 01:59 – Chapter 4: Reinvesting
  • 02:20 – Chapter 5: Opportunity
  • 02:40 – Chapter 6: Prioritization
  • 03:02 – Chapter 7: Home base
  • 03:27 – Chapter 8: Paying the price
  • 03:55 – Chapter 9: Leadership
  • 04:14 – Chapter 10: Intuition
  • 04:32 – Chapter 11: Question everything
  • 04:54 – Chapter 12: Commitment
  • 05:17 – Chapter 13: Networking
  • 05:41 – Chapter 14: Planning
  • 06:02 – Conclusion
  • 06:31 – The Renegade Musician bundle

Transcription:

Hey, it’s David here.

Today I wanted to talk about my new eBook, The Renegade Musician: Stepping Out of the Shadow of the Old Music Career Model.

In a previous episode, I read the first two chapters of the book to give you a better idea of what’s on the inside.

In this episode, I’ll go through each remaining chapter and give you a brief overview of what’s inside the eBook, which you should pick up right away. I’ll share the links at the end of this episode.

This is a “harsh reality” kind of eBook. In this episode, I’ve softened the blow a little bit, but fair warning – you can expect these points to be harder hitting when you get to reading it.

Chapter 1: Music Business

The music business is 50% music and 50% business. The smartest musicians know this, so in addition to their creativity, they prioritize outreach, networking, marketing, and other high-level tasks that can bring the next breakthrough in their careers.

Chapter 2: Personal Development

Smart musicians understand the value of personal development and actively engage in reading, listening to podcasts, watching videos, signing up for seminars, going to conferences and events, seeking out mentorship, and more.

Even if it’s just to keep up with best practices in communication, email marketing, or release strategy, you will never find them resting on their laurels.

Chapter 3: Profit Leverage

Smart musicians are always looking for ways of turning their income into more income. They don’t blow their cash on alcohol and afterparties. They consider carefully how their financial resources can be leveraged, be it advertising, PR, saving up for their next release, or otherwise.

Chapter 4: Reinvesting

Smart musicians reinvest into their career. Their money goes towards better stage costumes, banners, lights, gear, websites or sales funnels, photos, branding, copy, and more.

If you’re the type to spend everything you’ve earned at a gig, there’s much you can learn from those who actively and aggressively reinvest in their careers.

Chapter 5: Opportunity

Most musicians tend to compete for the same festival and opening slots, as well as bar gigs and other opportunities. A smart musician might throw their hat in the ring, but they also create their own opportunities. They are always looking for opportunities to add value to people and places where their music fits in.

Chapter 6: Prioritization

A smart musician prioritizes what they work on day to day. They might spend some time on social media, but not before working on their website. They might work on their website, but not before sending an email to their list. And so on.

Smart musicians actively prioritize and ruthlessly triage. They put first things first in their day and set aside low-value tasks for later.

Chapter 7: Home Base

Most musicians tend to put all their eggs into the social media basket, not realizing that there are higher value tasks they could be engaged in.

Smart musicians know to prioritize home base. They build their website. They link up all their assets. They showcase their portfolio of work for others to see. They look for ways to take more ownership of their audience and work, instead of trying to minimize responsibility.

Chapter 8: Paying the Price

Many musicians look for ways to reduce costs. Haggle over price. Ask for a free lunch.

A smart musician isn’t afraid to invest. They might panic over having to spend $100 now, but will eventually grow into someone who drops $1,000 in a go, without thinking, when they see something worth investing in.

Smart musicians understand the value of quality goods and services and have a strong sense of self-worth.

Chapter 9: Leadership

Smart musicians know that they can make a difference in the lives of their fans, local communities, and even globally. They don’t shirk from responsibility or run from it. They actively seek out opportunities to grow, take on more responsibility, and fulfill on their commitments. As result, their bandwidth is always expanding.

Chapter 10: Intuition

Smart musicians are critical thinkers. That’s why they aren’t easily duped. They know how to listen to their intuition. They don’t just get their news from Google or mainstream media and take it for granted that they’re getting good information. They’re willing to dig deeper into the truth of every situation.

Chapter 11: Question Everything

Smart musicians always question everything. They realize that even the best-meaning coaches, experts, and gurus don’t necessarily know it all, no matter how qualified or experienced. They follow their intuition because they know their journey will be different from anyone else’s. They’re willing to experiment and try different strategies and tactics to verify their efficacy for themselves.

Chapter 12: Commitment

Once committed, smart musicians are unmovable. They are people of their word. They follow through and fulfill on their promises and create a Teflon reputation as result. They’re willing to make big financial commitments if they know there’s a payoff for them on the other end of it. They understand that everything will come back to them, so being cheap with others means someone else will be cheap towards them.

Chapter 13: Networking

Smart musicians understand that their best opportunities are going to come through people. Which is why they strive to be known, liked, and trusted, and find new people to connect with daily. They understand that it’s a numbers game, that they might be rejected, and they might not be able to make friends with everyone, but also know that breakthroughs in their career could be just two or three relationships and conversations away.

Chapter 14: Planning

A smart musician isn’t just thinking about tonight’s live stream. They’re always thinking ahead. Which is why they don’t settle for second best. They invest in quality goods and services. They set aside time for practice when they need it. They’re always thinking about how they can add value to others, because they know whatever they put out into the world is what’s going to come back to them.

Conclusion

And, of course, there’s a conclusion and links to some additional resources at the end of the eBook.

This is not a long eBook. I’m sure you could demolish it in one or two settings.

The eBook’s promise is artist empowerment. And while none of us are perfect, we will make mistakes, and our integrity will be broken at times, that just means we’re up to something in the world. And we don’t settle for second best.

I believe the eBook delivers on this promise by showing you what it would look like to grow, expand, and step up your game to meet and exceed your challenges.

So, if you’re ready to pick up your copy of The Renegade Musician eBook, which comes bundled with the digital magazine of the same name, you can either head on over to Gum.co/RenegadeMusician or davidandrewwiebe.com/Renegade.

This has been episode 233 of The New Music Industry Podcast. I’m David Andrew Wiebe, and I look forward to seeing you on the stages of the world.