Hired Gun

Hired Gun

A few years ago, a friend said to me:

“If you’re working your ass off to earn $50,000 per year as an independent, why not go and get a job earning $50,000. You can earn that amount easy, and you won’t have to work your ass off.”

Just the other night, another friend called me a “hired gun” and shared his story around why that was an undesirable thing to be.

No perspective is invalid, even I can see that.

But I’m seeing something else. An acorn doesn’t just turn into a tree. Give it enough time, and it will turn into a forest, and then a jungle.

(There’s a term for that – it’s called depth of vision.)

You may not see the hard work that goes on beneath the surface of the pond, but trust me, that duck is swimming. HARD.

No Self-Awareness

No Self-Awareness

I show up every day to produce the best possible work I can.

I am aware that, at times, I am not doing my best work. I rarely think what I produce is total hogwash, but on my off days, I can see that what I’m creating is “great adjacent.”

As I gather feedback on what I think has the potential to change people’s lives, I’m seeing that it’s not quite doing what I hoped it would. At least, not yet.

I can accept that I’m still developing it. I haven’t published it in an official capacity. But it’s disappointing to see that it isn’t quite finding resonance yet.

And this is where I’ve landed on this:

I feel like others possess a superpower I don’t, which is self-awareness. Maybe there’s a separate term for what I’m thinking of – I’m not quite sure what it is right now – but I’m not just talking about the psychological definition of self-awareness, which is your actions, thoughts, and emotions relative to your own standards. I’m talking about how you show up in the world.

I feel like others are far more aware of how they’re showing up. Meanwhile, I don’t know if I’m coming across energetic or tired in a video until I’ve filmed myself and watched the footage.

I might need you to tell me when what I’m sharing is showing up as authentic or inauthentic. I honestly can’t tell. I might need you to tell me when my content sucks and when it doesn’t. I can’t tell.

And if there’s a secret to self-awareness, I would love to know. I have very little if any of it.

2023 Wish List

2023 Wish List

The first quarter of 2023 is almost over.

It has been a very productive year for me so far, but I know I can always challenge myself to go bigger.

So, I’ve put together the following 2023 wish list. These are the items that, if they were fully completed this year, I would be thrilled.

There’s almost nothing I’m starting from scratch, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my work cut out for me!

I will be crossing off items as they are completed, and I may even be adding to the list as we go.


  • The Renegade Musician
  • Digital NO-Mad (working title)
  • Surprise, Uplift (working title)
  • Life Transitions (working title)
  • Flashes of Elation
  • The Essential Guide to Creative Entrepreneurship, 2nd Edition (working title)
  • Champion of Artistic Success, Vol. 1
  • Physical copies of Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook
  • Hardcover version of The Music Entrepreneur Companion Guide


  • Productivity, Performance & Profits Newsletter


  • The Renegade Musician

Members Only Audios

  • Bring the 2021 archives fully up to date
  • Bring the 2022 archives fully up to date
  • Bring the 2023 archives fully up to date

Music Entrepreneur HQ Website

  • Merchandise page


An Apple Pie with Your Name on it

An Apple Pie with Your Name on it

I went to the drive-thru last night, something I rarely do.

It was clear from the moment I got to the kiosk that the cashier was making the most of what many would consider a very boring Joe job.

I ordered my burger, my fries, my drink, and then he said:

“Would you like extra ketchup, salt, pepper, and vinegar for your fries?”

Hell yeah.

Then, before I started driving over to the window, he asked:

“I don’t know your name, but I’ve got an apple pie with your name on it. Would you like me to add it to your bag?”

I thought for a moment, then humored him and told him to throw it in the bag.

I never met the guy, and I may never see him again, but the man deserves a raise.

Music Industry News for March 20, 2023

Music Industry News for March 20, 2023

We know that many of you come to Music Entrepreneur HQ to learn about what’s new in the music business. Moving forward, we’re looking to cover key news items (from select sources) on a weekly basis.

Here’s what caught my attention this week.

▶️ Winger Releases New Single, “Proud Desperado”

Hard rock band Winger has been quiet on the studio album front since their stellar 2014 release, Better Days Comin’. It’s not unusual for the band to put three to four years between their releases, sometimes more. There were approximately 13 years between 1993’s Pull and 2006’s IV, for instance.

The band has gone on a couple of hiatuses, and its members also keep busy with composing symphonies (Kip Winger) and performing with Whitesnake (Reb Beach), so they have license to give every excuse under the sun.

Despite being slammed by Beavis and Butt-Head, and never reaching the mainstream notoriety of a Van Halen, the band has always been one of the best live bands in the genre, and their performances on the Monsters of Rock Cruise live on in infamy.

Frontiers Music has a habit of bringing back some of my favorite acts (including Dan Reed Network, Harem Scarem, Def Leppard, and others) though, and on March 10, they released Winger’s new single, “Proud Desperado.” Their full-length seventh album, Seven, is slated for release on May 5, 2023.

The Song

The highly produced music video to “Proud Desperado” hasn’t quite caught up with Extreme’s incredible one million views on “Rise” yet, but it has gotten a commendable 430,000+ views to date.

Guitarist Reb Beach’s assessment of vocalist and bassist Kip Winger is that he’s a musical genius, and we can certainly hear his brilliance as an arranger at work on “Proud Desperado” as well.

The song begins with a very aggressive, minor key riff and a modal vocal melody. It modulates into the explosive pre-chorus section, which also acts as a false chorus. This all builds to a very satisfying, soaring, melodic chorus. Yep, Kip knows what he’s doing.

I love Beach’s guitar solo as well, but I can’t help but think it’s a mere prelude of things to come.

Can’t wait for the full-length album, Seven!

▶️ Marty Friedman Reunites with Megadeth at the Nippon Budokan

After a hiatus lasting several months, the ROCK FUJIYAMA channel returns with news about Marty Friedman joining Megadeth onstage for a long-hoped-for live performance at the Nippon Budokan. If Megadeth were ever to return to the Budokan, it was Marty’s hope that he’d be able to jam with them live, even if just on a few songs.

There are other official channels you can explore to get the scoop and even see Marty performing with Megadeth, but we rather like the bite-sized chunks FUJIYAMA delivers to us each week as it shows a lot of behind the scenes leading up to the event.

▶️ The Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook

Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook

I haven’t had much of an opportunity to share this in more of an official capacity on Music Entrepreneur HQ yet, but my first ever premium book, the Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook is now available for purchase.

On February 20, buyers were treated to an early version of the book, simply called v0.7. As I continue to contemplate what it means to develop and promote a “premium” book, I thought it might be fun to gather some early feedback, which is already shaping the future of the project.

I started out thinking this would be more of an anthological (“greatest hits”) book, but now I’m hard at work adding brand-new sections, so it isn’t merely a rehash of the past.

The book also includes 14 bonus videos. You’re welcome to watch them or not, the point is I’m working hard to over-deliver and turn this into something great!

▶️ Music Entrepreneur HQ MerchandiseThe New Music Industry Podcast Unisex T-Shirt

Again, this is something I haven’t really had the opportunity to share in an official capacity yet. But last quarter, I developed several new merchandise items for Music Entrepreneur HQ.

I will be setting up a page to showcase these items soon (well, I have set up a page on my personal blog already), but for now, you can find them at these links:

I look forward to creating more of these as time allows.

▶️ New Episode of Adrenalize Def Leppard Fan Podcast

New Episode of Adrenalize Def Leppard Fan Podcast

On March 19, we published episode 003 of the Adrenalize Def Leppard Fan Podcast exploring the band’s recent hit, “Take What You Want.”

If you’re not in the know, this is something I started last quarter and am excited to continue to develop in the coming months. Expect to see more content from me talking about hard rock (which you’ve already seen in this post, as well as an earlier one on Extreme’s new single).

▶️ What We Listen to at the HQ

If you’ve ever asked yourself what “those crazy people” at Music Entrepreneur HQ listen to, here’s the much rumored, but obscure Spotify playlist simply titled Addicted, which includes hard rock, of course, but also alt-rock, metal, pop, funk, R&B, electronic, synthwave, and much more. We’re always adding and removing tracks in case you’re worried about our mental state listening to what we do. 😉

You will need to go to Spotify to see the 600+ songs that are currently on this playlist.

Final Thoughts

And that’s what jumped out at us this week, but if there’s anything else you think we should be covering, leave a comment below and let us know!