Trying to be Superman

Trying to be Superman

I believe I’m speaking directly to most creatives and creators when I say that I find it easy to get distracted. Not just that, but I’ve created so many loose ends and open loops that I sometimes forget the promises I have yet to keep and deliver on.

I’ve had a couple of realizations regarding this.

The first is relatively commonsense. Projects don’t always progress linearly. But it is possible to focus on one thing until it’s complete. And this is the progression I intend to follow more intentionally.

I thrive on variety, and let’s face it, a little bit of chaos. So, this is not me saying I will only be doing one thing (music, writing, building businesses, or otherwise) for the rest of my life. This is me saying “let’s see what it might look like to take a bit of a different approach – an approach that doesn’t revolve around working on half a dozen different things daily.”

The second is that I need a better structure to support my ongoing efforts. What I’m trying to do is too much for just one man, and even for my small team. To be able to do everything I want to do, and create the business I’m looking to create, I will need to work with more people.

I have been able to create a great deal without much support. But for me to be able to shine in my strengths, and bring energy and enthusiasm to everything I do, there are some things I should not be doing – things that should be handled by team members.

Trying to be Superman is getting old. I’ve lived in that space for too long, and I’m tired. If I want new results, which I do, I need a breakthrough in this area.

It’s providence that I will be taking a yearlong team and leadership course starting June. I’m sure there is a great deal to discover there – not just on how to delegate or hand off responsibilities – but things about myself and my relationship to others.

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5 Key Habits That Are Reversing My Burnout Rapidly

5 Key Habits That Are Reversing My Burnout Rapidly

A cloud of exhaustion has been creeping in on my world as of late.

I’m planning a break for early June, but in the meantime, I still have projects to work on, and my burnout has been getting to the point where I can’t remember meetings even if they’re written down in my calendar.

So, I thought it would be a good idea to be more proactive about curtailing the effects of the exhaustion that’s had the chance to build up over the course of months. Seems like a rather vital skill based on how often I find myself in this position.

To my surprise, a few key habits have started turning the tide of my well-being rather rapidly (I’ve experienced some results in a matter of days). They are as follows.

1. Walking 8,000 Steps Daily

For part of March and a good chunk of April, I had made it my goal to walk 8,000 steps per day, six days per week.

I was looking to cultivate healthy habits in my life, and I figured if I could sustain one for 30 days, I’d be able to begin adding in others.

I took a bit of a break from the 8,000 steps per day routine after April because of the velocity and volume of personal development and project work I’ve been engaging in. But I’ve been getting back into the habit again.

8,000 steps works out to roughly 115 to 120 minutes of walking per day, unless you’re speed walking or running.

This is quite a bit of walking, and it can be tiring when you already feel burnt out, but paired with other habits mentioned here, it can help to reverse burnout significantly.

2. 5 Minutes of Yoga

On a whim, I decided to add yoga back into my daily routine. It’s mostly been on hold because of the pandemic, especially since hot yoga is what I enjoy most.

But I thought, “Why not? Life just stays the same if you don’t try something new.”

To my surprise, five minutes of yoga is not only very doable; it stretches out your body and improves blood flow.

I’m looking to add some weightlifting into the routine as well, but in my experience, you don’t want to push yourself too hard when you’re recovering from burnout. So, for now, I’ve settled for some pushups to strengthen my wrists, among other things.

3. Drinking a Big Bottle of Green

My big bottle of green has consisted of different ingredients at different times, but the main ones I pour into an 800 mL bottle now are:

  • Collagen
  • Spirulina
  • Barley grass juice powder

I’m not a health expert, but the combined benefits of these powders include achieving a more youthful appearance, detoxing, and even improved eyesight.

I always feel more energized after drinking my bottle of green, even if it doesn’t taste amazing. In my experience, some plant protein powder can improve taste.

4. 20 Minutes+ of Meditation

These days, I’ve been getting into hypnosis audios via Inspire3.

But there are a lot of great meditation methods and audios out there. The trick would be to find something that works for you. As a reference point, Kyle Cease and Dr. Joe Dispenza have some excellent resources.

The health benefits of meditation are far reaching, and I’ve even had some success recovering from emotional burnout using meditation.

Of course, I also try to get eight hours of sleep per night.

But don’t be surprised if you have some trouble getting the sleep you need if you’re already feeling burnt out!

5. No Caffeine

This has been a tough one for me, because when I wake up feeling exhausted, I tend to go looking for instant cures automatically.

But over the years, it seems I’ve developed a bit of a sensitivity to iced tea (it’s one of my favorites), so I’ve been keeping off it. I suspect I will be able to enjoy it again in the future if I cut it out for long enough.

Other forms of caffeine are also out, including soda that contains caffeine and energy drinks, even if they are the healthy ones.

Caffeine might give you a short-term boost, but unfortunately, it has long-term consequences that are less than pleasant, as I found out for myself.

Final Thoughts

Just because I do the above doesn’t necessarily mean that I feel like doing it. But I have a sneaking suspicion it will become habit, because the cumulative effects of these actions seem to support more energy and health overall, which is key to my ongoing efforts. Who knows? I might change things up a bit, but for now, this is what has been working.

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What You Should Know About Me

What You Should Know About Me

It has come to my attention that even some of my best friends don’t know what I’m up to, or for that matter, have the faintest clue what level I do it at.

I could talk about how frustrating that feels, having done many things at a high level – many for over a decade.

But I’m choosing to talk about this in an empowering way.

So, any of what follows is not bragging in any shape or form. Consider it informational.

I Have Written 5 Books – Not 1

I did not stop at one book.

Yes, it was exciting releasing the Kindle and eBook version of The New Music Industry six years ago, and the paperback version five years ago.

But since then, I’ve gone onto release four additional books:

I have no way of knowing for how much longer this “writing gig” will prove viable, mostly because of developments in AI.

That said, there will be more books. The above will not be my last.

And this does not even begin to cover the substantial series of long form guides and eBooks I’ve written. We could be here all day.

I Have Been Podcasting for 11 Years

I guess it’s difficult for people to conceive that I might be any good at anything other than what they regularly see (which I assume is my blog posts, but at this point, I’m not even sure of that).

I have interviewed about 200 to 300 entrepreneurs, executives, musicians, marketers, and coaches at this point – 100 of which were from a variety of industries and niches – not just music.

I don’t ever want to take it for granted that I can conduct and give a great interview at a moment’s notice, but at this point, I could roll out of bed and pull it off no problem.

Again, this is not bragging. It’s letting you know that I’m confident in my abilities, and it is more than reflected in my work.

I Can Play Any Style on the Guitar

I have always been known as a versatile guitarist.

No, I’m not the best at everything. I can admit that.

And the bar is higher than it’s ever been, with players like Tosin Abasi, Guthrie Govan, and Mark Holcomb.

That said, I have 20 years of experience behind me now. Seriously.

If you’ve come looking for a great session guitarist, you’ve come to the right place.

You name it, I’ve done it – country, folk, pop, rock, blues, punk, jazz, classical, funk, metal, or otherwise.

I Have Over 10,000 Hours In Other Areas Too

I would never call myself the best in any of these areas, but I have put in my time.

Here are just a few other areas where I’ve got my 10,000 hours:

  • Web design
  • Graphic design
  • Music production
  • Songwriting
  • Blogging

Again, I could keep beating this horse, but the whip will probably break before this is over… let’s move on.

(If you wish to continue, there’s always the exhaustive self-indulgent history I put together for you.)

Final Thoughts

I can accept that not everyone will support me. But it would be nice if you peeked at my work before passing judgment. You might learn a thing or two.

I’m not lazy and I don’t spend all day doing nothing, pursuing nothing. Honestly, I have never worked harder in my life.

I don’t pay attention to my “passive” personality. That’s not a hindrance to what I want in life. It’s only a hindrance to the people who don’t take the time to get to know me. Their loss, not mine.

I don’t always know how to communicate that to you (I’m usually busy working on my next lucrative contract and a myriad of staff writing duties and products), but if you need me to be straight with you, as I’ve done here, then so be it.

I’m not interested in working with idiots who don’t value my time. While we’re here, let’s make that amply clear.

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How to Inspire Others

How to Inspire Others

A lot of people assume they know how to inspire others.

But just because you’ve read How to Win Friends and Influence People or been to a Tony Robbins seminar doesn’t mean you know how to inspire people.

Yet, if you want to motivate others to action, inspiration is a skill you must master.

Holding a paycheck over another’s head is a form of motivation. But it’s one of the lowest forms, and we certainly wouldn’t call it inspiration.

What we’re talking about here is the kind of motivation others can take hold of for themselves. A vision for their future that leaves them touched and moved and wanting to be in action. Something they can take ownership of. Anything less is not inspiration.

I have friends who know how to leave me inspired. But the vast majority don’t.

This is not a statement of judgment but rather of observation. At first, truth sounds like hate.

But we must realize for ourselves why we might want to inspire others in the first place. Only then can we take a step forward.

We all know what it feels like to be inspired. And it’s a magnificent feeling. If we could feel inspired all the time, we would achieve so much more, hesitate so much less, and by proximity, we might even uplift others around us. And that’s a start.

But to be effective in this, we can’t just be all about ourselves and our achievements. We’ve got to be committed to others more than we’re committed to ourselves. That’s the essence of effective communication.

For starters, we can’t just go out and achieve a bunch of things for ourselves and assume that this will inspire others.

Remember. People need to be able to see possibilities for themselves. Otherwise, you’re just going to leave them hanging.

Sharing your accomplishments might be a starting point. But it’s of little use unless others can see themselves in what you’ve done. And that’s tough even for the best motivational speakers in the world. Generally, they don’t lean too heavily on their own accomplishments – they rely on interaction with the audience so that everyone can see themselves in someone else’s story.

Which means this:

To inspire others, first, we need to get into their world.

Further, we can’t take everything they say at face value.

The people you’re talking to might mention something about being lonely in passing, as if it were inconsequential, so as the conversation advances, it might be quickly forgotten. And what that person might really be saying is, “I feel like a loser and a reject. I can’t believe I’m not in a relationship. I don’t know how to find someone.”

I’ve felt that way before, so I’m speaking from experience.

If you’re a good listener, and can listen without judgement, you will hear not just what’s being said, but also what matters to the person you’re talking to. And then you will be able to speak to what matters to them most. This means transforming your listening.

The person you’re talking to might be interested in building a big business, enjoying more freedom in their lives, traveling across the world, or something else. The point is, if you don’t listen, you won’t hear. Because people tend to keep their dreams close to their vests.

When you transform your communication, you can hear what matters to the person you’re talking to without having to pry.

You want to be able to get to the point where you can paint a vivid picture with your words. You want to share what you see as being possible for them – what you can see them creating for their own future using their unlimited potential. That will leave them inspired. It might even make them cry.

Authenticity is also key to inspiration. Being truthful about how you feel about a situation, event, or person. Not in a gossipy way. More in a “this is how I look at this situation/person, and I take responsibility for that” kind of way.

Authenticity is irresistible and it has a way of leaving others touched and moved, because they’re not sure whether they could be that vulnerable. They’re not sure they could be that honest with their own thoughts and feelings. But once someone around them is authentic, it gives them the freedom to be authentic as well.

So, if you want to inspire others, ask yourself:

Am I hearing them? Am I listening for what they really want in life? Am I painting a picture of a future they would love to live into? Am I presenting them with an opportunity they simply can’t resist?

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What Wants to Emerge

What Wants to Emerge

You can go with the flow or fight against it.

Which isn’t to say that one way is right and the other is wrong.

It’s just that one path has the potential for fast progress, while the other is sure to be an uphill battle.

See, the reality is that not everything we undertake needs to be a struggle. It’s just that we aren’t always sure what it might look like to lean into what’s naturally and organically occurring instead of stubbornly insisting on our own ways. When we insist on our way, that’s when we struggle.

I say, “what’s becoming obvious,” but when we’re focused on trying to reach a specific destination we’ve been planning for and envisioning in our minds, going with the flow can seem counter intuitive. It can even look like heading down the wrong road entirely.

The prime example in my life has been Music Entrepreneur HQ. I recently shared how the business has always grown at its own pace, doing what it wants to. It has rarely heeded my commands.

But that isn’t to say that it doesn’t have a future it wants to live into.

If I were to lean into what I see happening with the business, it might mean turning it into a content site. It might mean hiring a writer-editor whose job it would be to create and manage all the content. And I’m beginning to see possibilities for what that might look like.

I have no plans of making any big pivots at this exact moment. I will be spending some time reflecting on my break in June.

But because of the volume of guest post requests I get, what seems obvious is that Music Entrepreneur HQ wants to be a content site.

Similarly, you might be missing the obvious, if only because you want to control outcomes and see things pan out a certain way.

But what if the projects and ideas you’re so heavily invested in are already progressing in a direction you never planned for? And what if what appears to be the wrong path leads exactly where you’ve been trying to get to all along?

What would it look like to go with the flow? In what areas do you find yourself insisting on your way instead of seizing the opportunities available? How are you resisting what wants to emerge?

Can you allow what wants to emerge?

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