050 – The Golden Rule & Throwing Pearls to Swine

050 – The Golden Rule & Throwing Pearls to Swine

Life is unfortunately full of unequal exchanges. You give more than you get. Or you get more than you give. Over the long haul, these types of exchanges always tend to balance out. But the process the universe uses to balance things can occur as chaotic.

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David shares his experience with unequal exchanges.

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Highlights:

00:17 – Treat others as you would like to be treated
01:36 – Enduring hell
02:46 – You can control what you say, not what others feel

Transcript:

The golden rule is “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” So, for as long as I can remember, I’ve always treated others with kindness and respect and understanding and given them plenty of space. Even if they get angry, even if they’re weird people, they’d usually get a second and maybe even a third or fourth chance with me.

As things went on and I got taken advantage of and didn’t want to be a doormat anymore, I decided that I couldn’t be that kind or that giving. I couldn’t be that respectful of everyone.

Because the reality is a lot of people just don’t deserve it. But those seeds were planted.

And I’m still a kind person. I try to treat people with respect and treat them the way that I would like to be treated as much as possible. So, I’m not just thinking about me and my convenience.

If it’s about me and my safety, that’s a whole other fucking matter. I will get out of a situation as quickly as I possibly can if it’s about my safety, and I’ve had to do that.

But if it’s not a matter of safety, I’m the gentlest giant you’re going to find. And I’m not that big. 6’1”, 6’2” is tall, but I’m not huge. I’m not Michael Jordan. I’m not an NBA star.

And so, when I think about the way that I’ve been treated – and I’m not referring to my friends – but when I think about the way I’ve been treated in the last year plus… In a situation where I can’t find a fucking home or I’m having to go from place to place, at times paying for exorbitant Airbnb fees, trying to figure out what the fuck I’m going to do next, working my ass off every single week to make sure that an income comes in so I can sustain some kind of lifestyle.

Have I been treated all that well? I mean, it’s human to look at the situation and evidence for all the reasons why people didn’t treat you with respect. I could do that, and I’m sure I could find a bunch. But the reality is I haven’t been treated badly by everyone.

But some of the most disappointing ones are the ones that should know better, in my opinion. But they do say that when crimes occur, it’s usually someone you know. It’s more likely to be someone you know stealing from you, taking from you, or doing things to your property than someone you don’t know.

And it’s just like, “I may have made you feel a certain way, but you have to take responsibility for how you feel.” It doesn’t work the other way. You can’t put that on me. I can control what I say, but I can’t control how you interpret it and how you feel about it as much as I might want to.

So, if something is going on, man, come to me first, and let’s have a conversation. Seriously. Don’t just go assuming things. Don’t just go and make plans of your own. I’m a safe guy. I’m not going to do anything to you.

But if it’s something concerning my living situation or my lifestyle, come and talk to me first. Jesus Christ.

Advice for The Desperate Should Read This Way

Advice for The Desperate Should Read This Way

Monthly sailings into Vancouver have by now become routine. But there are two key differences this time around. First, I’m meeting the bustling Queen of Oak Bay for the first time (on an early morning sailing no less), and while first impressions can be deceiving, so far, I’m inclined to say she is very agreeable.

Second, the cloudy, rainy weather of the former months almost seems like a dream staring out across clear horizons. Of course, we may yet experience a shorter wet season before finally embracing long summer days.

This weekend’s mission isn’t that much different from former trips into Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. But besides attending a monthly gathering of the success-minded, I am Abbotsford-bound to clear out my storage unit.

There is no way I could have known that I would end up a nomad for 22 months and would therefore pay monthly dues for that duration on largely unusable clutter. Oh, there are more than a few guitars, electronics, valuables (with real value), and keepsakes stored in there too.

But the larger objects, what do we call them again…? Right, furniture. Sadly, these seem to hold close to no value in these “enlightened” times, and there is little point in me storing them at personal expense any longer.

If I had found a home within a few months of leaving Abbotsford, it wouldn’t have been any bother. But now it seems the objects have fashioned themselves into a weighty boat anchor drowning me in past regrets. It’s time to let go.

***

It took a while. But when I stopped to notice who I’ve become, the intention with which I now speak, and the determination with which I now act, I am truly beyond recognition. Especially compared to who I was pre-pandemic.

I may never be acknowledged for this. Very rarely have I found public recognition for private victories. But as I’ve said many times before, if you aren’t your greatest cheerleader and can show others what that means, how can you expect anyone else to do the same for you? And even if others shower you with praise, will you even be able to lap it up if you don’t first see yourself as worthy of the accolades?

In the last couple of months, the message has come across loud and clear – “Very soon, you won’t even remember what this moment felt like.” Of course, I considered such notions foolish, especially as I didn’t see much of anything changing around me.

Lottery spoils and deus ex machina are ponderings of the delusional, though we do fervently pray for them when things are looking dire.

Privately, I was suffering. It wasn’t a long stretch, but I spent a few days unable to buy fuel or food. I’ve learned to be peaceful and optimistic even in such scenarios, but failure, exhaustion, and circumstances were all conspiring to get the best of me. Only a saint or god would be able to maintain composure under such pressure.

Somehow, though, I’ve emerged the other end better. I can’t say that it was a surprise because this has happened before. Current circumstances mirror the events of 2014, another trying time that, in retrospect, resolved rather miraculously all on its own.

It has been said that if you change how you look at things, the things you look at change. This shift in mindset, attitude, perspective, whatever you want to call it… It seems to have more power to shift our lives than I have often given it credit for.

***

As I shared in a previous letter, there have been some important lessons in resiliency. Yet, this turned out to be how my mind was pigeonholing the situation, versus where spirit was wanting to lead me.

I have been reading Karmic Management, and it reminded me of something I had intuitively known and acted upon but could not have put into words 15 years ago. Within that short volume are treasures too many to expand upon here.

One such gem, however, is that our purpose in business is to make our partners successful. The book defines “partners” as our employees, vendors, customers, and ultimately the world.

When all your choices are guided by making others successful, says Karmic Management, you will never need to make another decision about anything. You will simply know, intuitively, what to do, how, and when.

The principle holds up well beyond the realm of business. For me, 2011 represents both the worst and best of times. But when I look back, I can see that I was attuned to this principle, especially as life was starting to get exciting again. I took friends out to lunch. I booked fun birthday parties for the family. I shared business opportunities with my connections. And boy oh boy did I reap the rewards.

***

With mounting challenges, it’s easy to think we’re supposed to figure out everything by our lonesome. After all, by now haven’t we become smarter, more resourceful, and better-connected individuals? Shouldn’t we know how to manifest a couple of thousand dollars out of thin air when we desperately need it? It should be easy!

Ask yourself this, and really ponder it – how many times has a famous author, expert, or “guru” attributed their escape from looming financial collapse to their smarts and cunning? How many times have they claimed to “get out of jail free” thanks to their brilliance?

Beware. When you’re hungry, tired, and sad, most of the inner strengths you think you possess will seem to fly right out the window. Even entrepreneurs will take a job at Tim Horton’s if they’re hungry enough.

I have no doubt Russell Brunson or Dan Kennedy has managed to surmount such challenges by launching a sales funnel or by writing a brilliant sales letter, at least once or twice. But so far, I cannot attest to the real-life applicability of such strategies.

Advice for desperate times should probably read more like this:

Do whatever you can. Call and email all your friends asking for money. Sell your car, guitars, and electronics. Downgrade your lifestyle. Move to a bachelor suite. Explore loans and credit. Sell off investments. Dig in couch crevices. Collect cans and bottles. Pick up gigs, contracts, or employment opportunities you think are below you and thought you would never return to (it’s okay, it’s temporary).

These actions are not the solution, and they may not get you out of the tunnel, but the universe, it seems, honors your actions anyway. Spirit will assist you and show you to the light if you hang in there long enough. It’s not about the actions. It’s about the willingness to take them.

And if you’ve still got time and energy left over after all that, and only then, take a gamble on your “bigger, better plan” – a business venture that might work, a YouTube channel that could go viral, an investment that could pay off, whatever.

049 – They Won’t Play It Unless It’s a Hit

049 – They Won’t Play It Unless It’s a Hit

The entertainment industry isn’t interested in taking any chances. They only want to work with entertainers who have a proven track record. They only want to bank on ideas that have already enjoyed success.

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David considers the future of the music business.

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Highlights:

00:17 – Disappointing meal at Barcelos
00:34 – Covers of Top 40 songs
01:02 – It’s not a crime to record covers
01:22 – Where things have been going in the film industry
01:40 – Gambling on the unproven
01:50 – How sad would it be?
02:04 – Adding insult to injury

Transcript:

So, I was at Barcello’s having a mediocre dinner. It wasn’t terrible, I guess, but it wasn’t the best either. I’ve had very good meals there before, so by contrast, I was a little disappointed. I had a chicken sandwich. I guess it was okay.

Anyway, on their sound system, they have this music playing and it’s covers of very popular tunes from the last 10, 20 years or so, and it’s this female singer. It’s just one cover after another of Maroon 5, Linkin Park, Katy Perry, and who knows what else? I couldn’t even identify all of them, but I recognize the songs because they’re all Top 40.

I’m sitting there thinking to myself, “Is this the direction the music business is going in?”

Recording covers is not a crime. Many of us were inspired by different artists and when we pay tribute to them, I think most of us are very sincere.

But with the business side of things, it could move in that direction. Think of movies. In recent movies, they don’t take chances. It’s like, “Let’s make a sequel” or “Let’s make something with the same storyline from so and so or a very similar plotline from this other movie.”

And very rarely do they take risks on anything else that’s not proven. Of course, the music industry has kind of been that way for a long time, as far as the artists that they sign go. Unless it’s a proven concept, they’re not going to work with them.

But I mean, how sad would that be? Like, do you want to be listening to the hits of the 2020s, 2010s, 2000s, and the 90s for the rest of your life? Yeah. I don’t know. It wouldn’t be much fun.

To add insult to injury, these are pop songs being covered in a pop genre. Like there’s no change. Maybe there’s a little bit of an electronic or atmospheric, vocal trance-type quality to it. But aside from that, it’s the same thing we’ve heard just with a female voice.

There was one song, I think it happened in recent history where a song took the hook of, “Blue (Da Ba Dee),” which was never a great song to begin with, but whatever. And they’re covering that.

So, I’m sitting here going, “You’re covering a derivative work, a hook from a song from the 90s that was taken and put into a modern song, which you’re now covering.” I just thought like, “Wow, the level of meta here has reached a new level.”

And then the most hilarious thing was listening to her rendition of Linkin Park’s “In the End.”

She’s singing just Chester’s parts. In other words, Mike Shinoda’s rap is completely absent. And I’m like, “This may as well be a karaoke track.” This is so cheesy. You forgot to put the rap in, or you just decided it didn’t need to go there. You could have vocalized it. You could have come up with some creative way. Instead, you just ignored it completely and only sang Chester’s part.

048 – “You Have to Leave”

048 – “You Have to Leave”

Things don’t always work out with significant others, landlords, partners, investors, bandmates, or otherwise. It can be devastating, and figuring out your next move can be tough.

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David vulnerably shares about a rental situation gone wrong.

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Highlights:

00:17 – Raw emotions
01:00 – “You’ve got two weeks”
01:28 – Trying to find a place in Vancouver
02:38 – Taking responsibility for the role you played in dysfunction
03:40 – Somehow, it will all work out

Transcript:

All right, so I’m going to talk about this while my emotions are still raw. And this is not something I used to do, but I think nowadays I’m realizing it’s okay to complain. It’s okay to react to life. It’s okay to vent and rant sometimes.

Assuming you come back to that place of understanding or realizing that everything’s going to be okay, something’s going to come up, it’s all going to work out, and an opportunity will show up. If you believe that it must happen, right?

But in the meantime, I’m like, this is bullshit. That’s why I’m going to share while I’m still raw because I know that’s going to be more relatable than me waiting for later to collect my head and think about what I’m saying.

So, I’ve been staying with this lady now for about six weeks in her basement and it’s been fine. I stayed with her last year too, so like, obviously that generosity has been super appreciated, and I’ve communicated that to her, and I’m paying rent. Pretty normal rates to stay there.

So, it’s not like there’s no benefit in it for her, but she came down and told me today that, I’ve got two weeks to stay there. It’s not like I was going to stay there forever, and I knew I’d have to move on and find something else.

And at the same time, it’s like, “Could you give me more than two weeks to figure out where I might be going?” It’s September, we’re almost in October here. I think October starts tomorrow or Monday, but Vancouver is nuts. The rental market, the housing market in general, is insane.

So, in September, people have just settled in, and there is nothing. I guess you can find the occasional apartment for a bazillion bucks or whatever, but what in the world? Why would you think that there’s still something out there right now?

I probably need to wait until after December, the way that things have been filling up this year, to have any chance of finding anything that’s within my price range. And I wouldn’t even say price range. Moreso what I think is reasonable.

Some people might be okay renting a closet for $2,000 and a police check. And I’m not willing to do that, right? You’re going to have to do a little bit better than that for me.

I understand. It’s maybe not a buyer’s market as much as it is a renter’s market, but give me something here, please.

Anyway, the message is delivered, and I’ve got to be out of there. Of course, I can take responsibility for the part that I played in this whole thing, which is that I agreed to stay there in the first place.

Could I have explored other options before staying at her place? Yes. Could I have maybe communicated some things about my life, what I’m up to, and the things that are going on in my life before staying there? Yes.

So, there hasn’t been a lot of communication, and I can take responsibility for that part. But I don’t know, I think she just wants to be buddy-buddy or something like that. She has a whole world going on that I don’t know anything about and I have a whole world that she knows nothing about, and no part of that’s been communicated.

Leaders take responsibility for the lack of communication. Share on X

So, it’s one of those things where it’s a two-way street, right? There’s no power in thinking of it in terms of a two-way street, but neither of us has taken many steps to interact and communicate with each other on this whole matter.

And even though she said, “This whole space is yours,” sometimes I don’t feel like it is.

So, whatever the case, it’s not the place to be, and I know it’s going to work out for me, but the whole situation is just stupid. Like, if she wanted me out by the second week of October to begin with, then why not just tell me that, so I can adjust and make plans? Now I’ve got two weeks to try to figure something out. It’s just nuts.

047 – What to do if You’re Starting from Scratch on Social Media

047 – What to do if You’re Starting from Scratch on Social Media

So, you’re looking to climb your social media mountain. But you’re not sure where to start. What should you do?

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David shares the exact steps you can take to get started, stay started, and find your footing on social networks.

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Highlights:

00:17 – Figuring out the social media landscape for the first time
00:50 – Determining the right course of action
01:39 – Pick a channel you like
02:52 – Make a daily video
03:37 – Share your stories
04:01 – Covering off the technical details
04:42 – The benefits of posting daily
07:03 – Social media strategy summary

Transcript:

I was talking with someone who was trying to figure out the social media landscape for the first time. She’s in the skincare business, and she wanted to attract people from all over the world to her content because she was convinced, or rather she knew, that she could make a difference for people.

This is one of those questions where… What do you say to someone completely new to all this? Someone who wants to attract attention and knows that there’s a way to do it but hasn’t gotten started with the process?

And I thought about that for a moment, and my mind immediately turned to all these great tools and content distribution and taking advantage of Fiverr. And I’m like, “I don’t think that’s what a beginner needs to know.” That’s just too much. It’s overwhelming.

People make this mistake all the time. They try hard to create a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, and on and on. And that’s where people get scattered.

That’s usually the first mistake. Down the line, yeah, try to post everywhere. But when you’re first getting started, when you don’t even have a team helping you, it just doesn’t work. It’s a tremendous amount of effort. Plus you always tend to find more resonance on one or two channels versus all of them.

The first mistake in social media is trying to be everywhere at once. Share on X

The advice that I gave was “Pick a channel. The one that you like.”

And the reason I say that is because beginners aren’t knowledgeable about secondary channels. They don’t know about Rumble and Odysee. They’ve heard of YouTube and TikTok. Those are the ones they know. And those are the safe ones. They have a significant user base.

And people sometimes go “I need to grow my audiences” and I say, “Yeah, true, but if you pick one of those, you’re safe. For example, you can’t go wrong with YouTube or Facebook.

I get that Facebook is not the cool kid on the block anymore. And some kids are like, “Yeah, it’s only for old people.”

Yeah. Sorry to tell you though, Facebook still has the largest user base of any social network out there. And as other countries come online that haven’t already, sorry to say, I think that’s the first place people are going to be crowding. So, Facebook is not out of the game in any way, shape, or form yet. I’m not a big fan of it or anything, but let’s face facts.

Secondly, I said, “Commit to posting a video on one channel, just one, choose one, every single day.” And I think it took her a while to get this, but eventually, she was like, “Okay, so that’s like brushing your teeth every day. I don’t necessarily feel like it, but it’s a good idea and it’s a discipline and I do it every day anyway.”

Publishing daily is like brushing your teeth. It's a good habit to get into. Share on X

And I said, “Yeah, it’s kind of like that.” Not that you want to make it hard on yourself. Like, you don’t want to hate posting to social media every day.

But there are days when you might hate yourself, right? Especially when you’re like, “I’ve got to make a video again, and I’m going to talk about something again.” By and large, you don’t want to make it difficult on yourself.

This is why the next thing I said was, “What you want to do is show up and share stories”.

Notice how I’m sharing a story right now. I’m talking about something that just happened moments ago. I was on a phone call with this lady.

You want to tell stories in your videos, and you want to keep it to about a minute or two minutes, and you want to film it all on your iPhone or your Android phone. That is good enough nowadays.

That also minimizes the time you spend in editing, which will help you. Minimize time spent posting and coming up with captions for social media and stuff like that, too.

Of course, you could spend an infinite amount of time looking at hashtags and headlines and all that kind of stuff. But the quickest way is to set aside a few minutes in your day to grab your phone, film a video for a minute or two, and transfer it over to your computer.

Or if you prefer to edit it on your phone or mobile device, I know there are apps out there nowadays that can do that. Spend a couple of minutes editing it, and then post, and then do that daily.

What do you get out of this process? Well, you’re going to find your voice. You may not quite have that down yet. There might be a certain tone, there might be a certain style about you that you haven’t quite uncovered yet, and so if you posted every day for a full year and made videos and published them every day for a full year, do you think you would start to find your voice, even if you don’t know what you’re doing at first? Yes, you would.

And then your audience is going to find you. Now, that doesn’t mean that finding your audience must take a full year. Some people do this for 11 days and suddenly blow up. But it’s an ongoing thing. One day you blow up, but in the meantime, you keep testing.

It’s like, “Oh, this didn’t do as well. This didn’t do as well. Oh, but this one blew up and this one didn’t do as well. And this one didn’t do as well. And this one didn’t do as well.” And that’s the way it works.

The other reason that this is so important is that it’s sometimes missed… you can grow a social media account without content. But at the same time, you’re going to pay for followers who don’t care about you, who aren’t going to regularly interact with your new posts, who don’t care about the specific type of content that you’re publishing, who aren’t likely to come back and aren’t likely to become buyers.

So, at the end of the day, like if you have a YouTube channel sitting at over 1,000 subscribers who never watch your videos, you have no engagement. That doesn’t do you any good.

The problem is content. First, you’ve got to have something to share with people. Publishing every day for a full year or even beyond is not necessarily about the content at that point because you probably hit upon at least a few things that your audience would be interested in by that point.

But you’ve got to have something in your library. It’s not even worth advertising before you have content. It’s not worth sharing your profile with other people. Unless they’re friends and family who are amenable to following you, it’s not worth going and doing that. Unless you have content, it’s not worth promoting your link in description, or any kind of link outside of the platform.

Think about content first, and then we can build an audience, but it’s not likely to work the other way around.

So, that recipe again, for beginners is to pick a platform. Film a video on your iPhone, Android, or other smartphone, whatever you’ve got. Edit it, post it, repeat, do that every day.

And content-wise, tell stories. Always tell stories. Tell stories that help people connect with who you are and why. Like, why did you choose this business? Or why do you do what you do? Create bridges so people understand where you’re coming from.

Tell stories that help people connect with who you are and why. Share on X

People don’t always remember “How to’s.” But they almost always remember stories.

People don't always remember tutorials. But they always remember stories. Share on X