029 – 6 Things I Learned From Believe in Yourself by Joseph Murphy

029 – 6 Things I Learned From Believe in Yourself by Joseph Murphy

Summary: Dr. Joseph Murphy is an expert on the topic of the subconscious mind. In this podcast episode, I explore what several valuable ideas I took away from reading his book, Believe in Yourself.

Believe in Yourself is a shorter volume containing great wisdom. Dr. Joseph Murphy, one of the foremost experts on the New Thought movement and accessing your subconscious mind succinctly explains how to achieve spiritual health and external success.

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I look at one of Murphy’s great works.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:14 – Believe in Yourself vs. The Power of Your Subconscious Mind
  • 00:40 – Feeling is the fountainhead of power
  • 01:31 – Imagination control the conceptive realm
  • 02:37 – Your concept of God determines your attitude towards life
  • 03:47 – If you are in rapport with your subconscious mind, you unlock your genius zone
  • 04:22 – What your subconscious mind accepts is reality in the outer world
  • 05:24 – You are the master of the circumstances you find yourself in
  • 06:26 – Concluding thoughts

Transcription:

Compared to The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, Believe in Yourself is one of Dr. Joseph Murphy’s shorter works.

But every sentence contains valuable insights into spirituality and personal success. I have read this book from start to finish twice, and each time I’ve gotten something new from it.

There is no way for me to summarize the entirety of the wisdom contained within, but I did want to share with you what I learned from this book.

1. Feeling Is The Fountainhead Of Power

When personal development authors talk about goal-setting and visualization, they often add the phrase, “add emotion to it!”

I think Murphy is essentially saying the same thing here. He’s pointing out that feelings and emotions have power, and that we can learn to channel them into achieving and obtaining our desires.

If you’re setting goals that don’t motivate you, you’ll find it challenging to add feeling to them. But if you become obsessed with bringing about a result, you’ll naturally take actions and move in the direction of your wishes and longings.

You must become aware of what your true desires are. And the only way to make that happen is to build rapport with your subconscious mind (also see point #4 on this list).

2. Imagination Controls The Whole Conceptive Realm

Life in the digital age is frantic. Few people take time to think, reflect, and ask questions.

“Visualization? I have no time for that!”

But you must make time for it, because most people don’t. They aren’t thinking about the desired result, the end goal, what their hearts yearn for. Many have forgotten the power of imagination.

Disney came to be because it was first conceived in the mind of Walt Disney. There are endless examples of technological breakthroughs, attractions, movies, books, and other works that would not exist if they weren’t first conceived in someone’s mind.

If you want to control the conceptive realm, start imagining once again. If you don’t know where to start, daydream. Remember what it was like to be a child sitting in a classroom thinking about what else you wanted to be doing, or what you were going to do when you got home.

3. Your Concept Of God Determines Your Attitude Towards Life

Maveen Kaura and I spent an entire episode of Using Your Power discussing this concept. As of this writing, the episode has yet to be released, but it will be out soon.

“But I don’t believe in God,” you might say.

The surprising conclusion I came to was that whether you’re an agnostic, atheist or Christian, you believe in something. And that something is your god, whether it’s belief in self, belief in aliens, or belief in an autonomous divine being.

What I’m saying is that this statement is impossible to refute.

You could replace the word “God” with the word “you”, and it becomes “Your concept of you determines your attitude towards life.” You could replace the word “God” with “aliens”, and it becomes “Your concept of aliens determines your attitude towards life.”

Basically, your beliefs affect your attitude. So, if you want to change your attitude, you need to examine what you believe in, regardless of what it is.

4. A Genius Is A Man In Rapport With His Subconscious Mind

Dr. Joseph Murphy book reviewWhat this means is that if you are well-acquainted with your subconscious mind and its inherent power, you are a genius.

Knowing how to unlock its power, and accessing God (which could be equated with building a rapport with your subconscious mind) leads to fresh inspiration, ideas, and insights.

Murphy furnishes us with practical steps on how to tap into this capacity throughout the book. See points #1, 2, and 5 on this list for how this works.

5. According To The Image Impressed On The Subconscious Mind, So It Is On The Objective Screen Of Life

Again, what are you constantly thinking about? What are you regularly visualizing? What are you picturing in your mind’s eye? How are you using your imagination?

Whether you’re aware of it or not, there are thoughts and images you are always meditating on. And in this context, I mean things you’re repeating to yourself, not the act of meditating (which is beneficial).

And whether you’re aware of it or not, your life is slowly but surely becoming what you’re repeating in your mind.

Classic personal development writer, speaker, and author Earl Nightingale said:

We become what we think about most of the time, and that’s the strangest secret.

Nightingale’s most significant discovery about life had to do with this statement. So, what images are you impressing on your subconscious mind? Your life will move in the direction of your thoughts.

6. You Are A Master Of Conditions

You are where you are because of actions taken and not taken.

This is a difficult idea for the mind to accept. Throughout our lives, most of us haven’t been taught to take responsibility for everything that’s happened. Instead, we play the blame game.

Taking full responsibility for who and where you are is empowering. Maybe we aren’t encouraged to do so because of this fact. If we all “woke up” and freed ourselves from “The Matrix”, we’d be dangerous – maybe not to people, but to the system of control we’re under.

You are a master of your conditions. But if you haven’t taken ownership over yourself, you haven’t mastered mastering your conditions yet.

The reason taking ownership is powerful is because it means you can change your circumstances. The moment you realize you can change your life situation is the moment you bestow yourself with the keys to life.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed my insights into another Joseph Murphy book.

The ideas I’ve shared with you here aren’t necessarily what the author intended, but through my own filters, these are the conclusions I’ve come to.

Ultimately, each of us are possessors of tremendous power. But many of us have also forgotten how to harness it. When we learn how to access our subconscious mind, it links us with God, the wellspring of all knowledge and wisdom.

Thanks for reading! If you feel inclined to check out Believe in Yourself, you can go to Amazon, where you can learn more about the book, and see what others have had to say about it. Should you choose to buy the book through the provided link, I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

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025 – 6 Impacting Books I Read in 2016

There is a wealth of knowledge available in books you won’t find anywhere else. That’s why I continue to read 52 books per year.

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I look at the best books I read in 2016.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:15 – I read 52 books in 2016
  • 00:26 – There are only a few that are truly impacting
  • 00:39 – The six impacting books
  • 00:43 – The Compound Effect
  • 01:51 – Content Inc.
  • 03:04 – The 4-Hour Workweek
  • 04:07 – Show Your Work
  • 05:15 – Believe in Yourself
  • 05:59 – Hustle
  • 07:15 – What books will you be reading?

Transcription:

As with 2015, I ended up reading 52 books in 2016 – some short, some long, some about music, others about business, some valuable, others not so much.

And as with last time, there are only a few that I would consider impacting.

But a couple of the following books have made it onto my essential business bookshelf, so I’m glad I found and read those sooner rather than later.

Here are the six impacting books I read in 2016.

1. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

The Compound Effect by Darren HardyI first heard about The Compound Effect because of John Lee Dumas. I had already read The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, and I’ve even talked about that book here on the blog before, but John pointed out on several of his podcast episodes that this was essentially the spiritual cousin of The Slight Edge.

True, The Compound Effect does start off almost the same way. But the subsequent chapters on choices, habits, momentum, influences, and acceleration are based off what SUCCESS magazine Founding Editor Hardy himself found to be the most valuable principles for attaining success in life. This is where the meat of the book lies.

I felt this was the first personal development book I’d read in a while that had substance and value to impart. I’d gone through a bit of a dry spell prior to reading this book, but this got me inspired again, and was a good way to begin the year.

Whether you’re new to personal development, or you’re taking steps to grow yourself every single day, I think you’ll find value in The Compound Effect.

Purchase this book on Amazon (affiliate link)

2. Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses by Joe Pulizzi

Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses by Joe PulizziRead the title of the book again. Does it make you think of someone you know?

Well, hopefully you thought of me when you read it, because the Content Inc. model is what I’ve been building The Music Entrepreneur into. If you read Content Inc. and don’t get excited, then content marketing probably isn’t for you. The introduction alone, written by Brian Clark, Founder and CEO of Rainmaker Digital, got me fired up.

And if you think it’s just a book about enterprises growing their businesses using content, you’re wrong (although if you’re a true musicpreneur, you should be reading and learning about business and not just music). Pulizzi talks about several YouTube content creators that are building massive audiences and radically successful businesses.

On the path to creating the business of my dreams, I will admit to being somewhat discouraged at times. But it’s books like these that let me know I’m moving in the right direction, even though I may need to work out some of the kinks in my strategy along the way.

This is an essential read for entrepreneurs looking to build a content-based business.

Purchase this book on Amazon (affiliate link)

3. The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content by Timothy Ferriss

The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content by Timothy FerrissI’d heard about Timothy Ferriss and his book when everyone else did. But for some reason I didn’t get around to reading The 4-Hour Workweek until 2016.

Ushered on by other entrepreneurs, and my good friend James Moore, I couldn’t ignore it any longer. I bought the expanded and updated version (which is 411 pages by the way) and quickly devoured it.

How books influence meI found it to be an incredibly inspiring read, and it’s hard to put down once you get going. Lifestyle design is still very relevant in today’s world, and though setting up a business and putting it on autopilot isn’t exactly a walk in the park, there’s something here for everyone – from people who would love to work from home just one day per week, to people who want to travel the world and be in a different country every month.

This volume was quickly elevated to my must-read business book list, which also includes Book Yourself Solid and Content Inc.

Purchase this book on Amazon (affiliate link)

4. Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon

Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin KleonMy friend Chris Naish recommended this book to me, and I found it to have merit. As my sister pointed out (I bought her a copy) later, “it’s like all of your philosophy rolled into one cohesive whole.”

So, for me, Show Your Work! is an echo chamber of sorts. But I will openly admit that Kleon puts it all into terms that are more digestible and actionable for the reader. He makes it easy for you to follow processes that will help you get your creative work out in the world. He doesn’t ramble on and on, either – you can easily get through this book in a few sittings.

Authors of today should all take note. We need to be doing a better job of communicating our ideas in simpler and more memorable ways. For instance, if you want to drive home the importance of consistency in your articles or books, you need to find new and different ways of saying it, because everybody is talking about the importance of consistency.

Kleon’s written the book that I should have. If you’re just getting started in your creative work, and you don’t know where to start, read this right away.

Purchase this book on Amazon (affiliate link)

5. Believe in Yourself by Joseph Murphy

Believe in Yourself by Joseph MurphyYou may have heard of the concept of spaced repetition, the idea that a book changes with repeated readings.

It isn’t really the book that’s changed, it’s you. As you grow and develop as an individual, when you come back to a book you’ve read before, you take away new things from it.

While I haven’t found this to be the case with every book I’ve read, it certainly holds true for Joseph Murphy’s Believe in Yourself.

This little volume contains some amazingly deep thoughts on spirituality and success in life.

My first read-through of the book wasn’t as thrilling, but my second this year? Amazing.

This book should be on your shelf, and it’s one I will likely keep coming back to.

Purchase this book on Amazon (affiliate link)

6. Hustle: The Power to Change Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum by Neil Patel, Patrick Vlaskovits, and Jonas Koffler

Hustle: The Power to Change Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum by Neil Patel, Patrick Vlaskovits, and Jonas KofflerPeople are a bit confused about the concept of hustle, because of how it’s glorified in our culture. Entrepreneurship is trendier than ever, and long hours at the office is worn like a badge of honor.

If that’s your definition of hustle, then read this book. It tells us that it isn’t about the long hours and sacrifice – certainly not just about those things – it’s about discovering our gifts and choosing to pursue them.

Passion means to “suffer for.” Can you truly suffer for something you don’t care about, aren’t good at, and don’t want to do? No.

But will you be productive and effective at something you love? Will you stay the course when things get tough if you enjoy what you do? Yes.

Aside from that, Hustle is a bit of an echo chamber for me, because I already know about the way our society is set up and how it can work against us. But if you don’t know, you need to delve into this book right away and learn about the life you’re being shackled to.

Also, Hustle is a brilliantly written book. It seems Patel, Vlaskovits, and Koffler have gone out of their way to avoid clichéd expressions, examples, and case studies.

Purchase this book on Amazon (affiliate link)

Conclusion, Books I Read in 2016

Do you know what books you will be reading in 2017? I’ve started tracking my reading list over at my personal blog, and will be updating it as I complete books and figure out what I’ll be tackling next.

Please let me know if you have any books you’d like to recommend. I look forward to reading your comments.

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10 Books Every Musician Should Read in Their Lifetime

10 Books Every Musician Should Read in Their Lifetime

Hey, friend. What follows is a guest post by Hobbes S Sujith, senior analyst at OfficeRock.com.

I have no doubt that Sujith’s picks are good reads, however I have not read them for myself (with the exception of Bringing Out the Best in People), and cannot speak to their quality (but let’s be honest – any book by Victor Wooten and Dave Kusek are bound to be good). You’re welcome to check them out, I’m just saying that I can’t in good conscience recommend what I haven’t read. Note: I have included affiliate links to Amazon just in case. If you click on them, I will receive a commission at no additional charge to you.

With that out of the way, here’s Hobbes!

There are many ways a musician can hone their skills and get inspired, and reading books can stimulate a creative mind, and lead to creative breakthroughs.

Here are some amazing books (in no particular order), that a musician must read in their lifetime.

Book #1: Bringing Out the Best in People: How to Enjoy Helping Others Excel by Alan Loy McGinnis

Bringing Out the Best in People: How to Enjoy Helping Others Excel by Alan Loy McGinnis

This is the perfect book to start with. The idea is to adopt 12 principles within in your collaborations. The author has studied many famous personalities and has come up with amazing ways to bring out the best in his readers. Even though it is a general read in the motivational genre, musicians can apply what they learn to their creative teams.

Purchase this book on Amazon (affiliate link)

Book #2: Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel, D.T. Suzuki

Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel, D.T. Suzuki

Essentially based on the Japanese Zen philosophy, this book has been translated by R.F.C. Hull. The Zen philosophy is quite old and the book was released in 1953. The fact that it still is considered relevant today speaks volumes about the content.

Now you may ask what archery has to do with music. The author considers archery an art, heritage and a meticulously followed tradition as opposed to just a sport. It is much more spiritual than physical. This book can open up new levels of thinking in terms of spirituality for the reader.

With the promptings in this literary work, musicians can explore their own inner desires and talents.

Purchase this book on Amazon (affiliate link)

Book #3: Chronicles by Bob Dylan

Chronicles by Bob Dylan

Chronicles, written by the famous musician Bob Dylan, is a journey through his losses and discoveries. The book records his initial days as a budding musician in the glittering New York City through his successful years topping the charts.

His story may not be as inspiring to you at time, but can be a great eye-opener to those who expect a glittery industry to welcome them with open arms. There’s a lot of grey behind all those glitters, so you must be ready to embrace them and swim through the strong currents to attain success. It’s a must-read for a musician.

Purchase this book on Amazon (affiliate link)

Book #4: Kill Your Friends by John Niven

Kill Your Friends by John Niven

This is a killer book for budding artists planning to launch into the big bad music industry. It tells you how some people deal with competition and competitors. Even though it is funny and satirical, at times it makes us all think about the kind of competition that exists to get to the top. Fact or fiction, Kill Your Friends is an eye-opener into the way competition is – or can be dealt with.

Purchase this book on Amazon (affiliate link)

Book #5: The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music by Victor L Wooten

The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music by Victor L Wooten

Coming back to getting serious about music, The Music Lesson is surely something every musician should read. It opens up new ways of thinking and delves into the spiritual side of creating music.

What makes it an interesting read is the way it has been presented – as a novel! It is definitely a great way to make reading interesting for a music enthusiast and music interesting for an avid reader. The book is a winner both ways. If you fall into one of these categories and have not yet read it, go grab a copy now.

Purchase this book on Amazon (affiliate link)

Book #6: The Art of Practicing: A Guide to Making Music from the Heart by Madeline Bruser, Deline Bruser

The Art of Practicing: A Guide to Making Music from the Heart by Madeline Bruser, Deline Bruser

Art comes from the heart. The true artists are those who feel what they create and create what they feel.

The Art of Practicing: A Guide to Making Music from the Heart helps you discover how to do just that. It talks about how you can hone your skills to get more creative from the heart. It talks about how to cultivate better listening and performance skills to communicate exactly what you intend to.

If you are not into chart-busting, and want to create more soulful music, this is the book for you.

Purchase this book on Amazon (affiliate link)

Book #7: Beyond Talent: Creating a Successful Career in Music by Angela Myles Beeching

Beyond Talent: Creating a Successful Career in Music by Angela Myles Beeching

This book is a guide to mentoring yourself into a successful career in music. Talent is something you can nurture through constant practice. Success is a totally different game and requires much more than talent and practice.

This book by Angela Myles takes you through the different aspects of how you can make a successful career in music without losing the soul and heart of your creativity. An interactive presentation makes this book more interesting and easier to understand. Musicians can use this book as a step-by-step guide to succeeding in establishing a music career.

Purchase this book on Amazon (affiliate link)

Book #8: Hack the Music Business: Build Your Own Career by Dave Kusek

Hack the Music Business: Build Your Own Career by Dave Kusek

This is the perfect read for the new generation musician. It talks about the latest music industry and how you can handle it like a pro. It is a great read if you are in the process of revamping your music career, or starting off and want to hit it right the first time.

The book is all about treating your career as a start-up and handling it professionally. It is the practical side of handling a career professionally.

Purchase this book on Amazon (affiliate link)

Book #9: Audio Effects, Mixing and Mastering by Metin Bektas

Audio Effects, Mixing and Mastering by Metin Bektas

This book is all about the technicalities of audio mixing and mastering. Those new to the technicalities of recording music will find it quite informative and simple to understand. Delve in to learn the basics of sound mixing and recording in a studio.

Purchase this book on Amazon (affiliate link)

Book #10: Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick

Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick

This book is about Elvis Presley, the king of Rock and Roll. Peter Guralnick, a die-hard Elvis fan himself, has portrayed the life of his idol from his early days through to his successful musical career.

In The Rise of Elvis Presley, you’ll learn about Elvis’ popular albums, and about the people who were close to the legendary singer during this course of his life and career.

Purchase this book on Amazon (affiliate link)

Conclusion

There are many other amazing books on the topic of music and the music industry at large.

There is so much more for you to explore, but the above 10 books will teach you about creativity, how to manage a team, the competitive aspect of the industry, and how to establish yourself in modern times.

What books have you read on the music industry? Are there any that really inspired you?

Let us know in the comments below.

If you want to find more amazing books we recommend, sign up for access to the PDF Vault now.

016 – 5 Things I Learned From Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don & Alex Tapscott

There’s some talk in the industry about the blockchain and what it can do for the music industry. Have you ever wondered what all the fuss is about? Have you found it challenging to understand what’s actually being discussed? In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I share with you what I learned from reading Don and Alex Tapscott’s Blockchain Revolution.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:13 – Terms used to describe the blockchain
  • 00:32 – The blockchain isn’t just for bitcoin
  • 01:07 – The parallel between pickups and the blockchain
  • 02:19 – Why I decided to buy Blockchain Revolution
  • 03:04 – How the blockchain applies to musicians and the music industry
  • 03:44 – What I learned from the book
  • 03:49 – Blockchain – a prosperity platform?
  • 04:35 – If the positive aspects of the blockchain are true…
  • 04:52 – Where the word “prosperity” is used, caution is necessary
  • 05:28 – Where monopolies fail
  • 06:01 – To not innovate could mean to stagnate
  • 06:12 – If we’re not growing, we’re shrinking
  • 06:29 – What the blockchain allows for in an organization
  • 08:02 – People create opportunity – not technology
  • 08:10 – A tool does not have the ability to make you a success
  • 09:28 – Focus is an art form
  • 09:52 – We all benefit when creative industries thrive
  • 10:15 – Imogen Heap and the blockchain
  • 10:35 – The state of the music industry
  • 11:21 – The implications for artists
  • 11:38 – What the blockchain means for the little guy
  • 12:46 – Concluding thoughts
  • 13:57 – Explore the book for yourself

Transcription:

Smart contracts. Decentralization. Disintermediation. Cryptocurrencies.

These are some of the terms being used in connection with the blockchain, a platform that enables transactions to take place in a secure, transparent, and efficient digital environment.

But it’s a bit confusing.

If you thought that the “blockchain” was merely a reference to the platform governing bitcoin and cryptocurrencies – which are considered a digital asset – then prepare to be surprised.

If we can overcome certain obstacles and reduce the challenges associated with widespread adoption, it’s entirely possible that all financial transactions – and possibly even other types of transactions – will all be done through the blockchain in the future. But that time isn’t now, and it may be several years, if not decades, until we see the “revolution” unfold in full.

All financial transactions may be done through the blockchain in the future. Click To Tweet

When I think of the blockchain, I can’t help but be reminded of a discussion I once had with an experienced guitar tech who was also a friend of mine. He asked me, “Have you ever read about guitar pickups and had trouble understanding what was being described?”

I readily answered, “Yes, I have.”

He replied, “That’s because we don’t know 100% how the technology works yet.”

Blockchain Revolution bookIn the last few years, a lot of the mysteries surrounding guitar pickups have been revealed, which in theory should enable us to create even better guitar pickups in present day than we were able to in the past.

Pickups actually have a long history, and in the 1910s, telephone transmitters were adapted and placed inside violins and banjos to amplify their sound. It’s fair to say that the invention of the pickup was rooted in this early innovation.

To me, the blockchain right now is kind of like the guitar pickup when it was still shrouded in mystery. And the reason I say that is because we can’t really describe it without using many of the terms I started this conversation with – terms that aren’t necessarily in common usage, unless you belong to particular industries.

And that’s why I bought Blockchain Revolution – to better understand what this technology is, and how it will affect our future. And if you’re a businessperson or someone in the financial industry, I would suggest getting a head start on this now instead of putting it off.

Prior to buying this book, I watched multiple videos that described what the blockchain is or how it could benefit the music industry. Those didn’t give me a complete picture of what it is, and left me puzzled. And even after reading this 300-page tome, I still wouldn’t say I completely understand what it is or how it works. But I will say that there is huge potential, and like the guitar pickup, our understanding should grow with time and experience. And that will likely happen at a much faster rate than it did with pickups.

But I’m sure you have some doubt, and I’m sure you’re wondering how this applies to you, so let me quote a brief passage from the book. This should explain, at least in part, why the blockchain is relevant to musicians and the music industry at large:

The whole [Napster] incident turned a huge hot spotlight on the music industry, exposing its outdated marketing practices, gross distribution inefficiencies, and what some interpreted as antimusician policies.

The Tapscotts suggest that the blockchain could lead the way for positive change in the music industry. We’ll be taking a look at that in a little more detail later on.

For now, let’s get into what I learned from reading Blockchain Revolution.

1. The Blackchain Will Allow Us To Move From The Industrial Age Money Machine To A Prosperity Platform

If this is true, I’m excited for what’s ahead. Seth Godin constantly reminds us that the industrial age is coming to an end if not already over, and its tenets do more harm than good as we look to become more valuable, more capable people in the information age and beyond.

But if this statement evokes some cynicism and skepticism within you, you’re certainly not alone – I also thought the same thing. And to be fair, the Tapscotts did dedicate the entire third part of their book to describing the challenges that are facing the widespread implementation and adoption of blockchain technology.

But if we assume that all of the positive aspects of the blockchain are true, that it allows for more transparent, efficient, and secure transactions, then to conclude that it could encourage the distribution of wealth on a global scale is not too audacious an assumption.

But where the word “prosperity” is used, some caution is necessary. After all, how many of us have been promised prosperity by TV evangelists, preachers, pastors, internet marketers, network marketers, authors, and so on? If your mind never changes, does your circumstance ever truly change? The human condition is such that while we have no control over outcomes, we are more responsible for our personal outcomes than anyone else.

I will say this – that a “prosperity platform” does sound a lot more attractive than an “industrial age money machine.”

2. Monopolies Have Resources For Research & Development But Not The Culture Required For Innovation

Not all things I learn from a book are necessarily connected to the primary subject at hand.

I picked out this statement because it intrigued me. And it makes perfect sense, too. If you are a monopoly in your industry, you might have the resources necessary to put time into market research, and to develop products and services that meet your customer’s needs. But you don’t have the culture to innovate, and that leaves room for disruption to occur.

And in the world we’re now in, to not innovate could mean to stagnate. Technology is changing much too fast, and you could easily be blindsided by seismic shifts.

To not innovate could mean to stagnate. Click To Tweet

Tony Robbins always likes to say that if we’re not growing in a particular area of life, we’re shrinking. In business and in music, we can’t afford not to grow, and when we dominate a market, we have to remember that we put ourselves at risk of being usurped by hungry, trailblazing competitors.

3. The Blockchain Allows People To Function With The Stability Of The Organization, But Without The Hierarchy

This is a wonderful insight into what the blockchain can do for business. Big businesses are often ruled by red tape. An adherence to the strictest of standards, rules, and formalities has the benefit of encouraging projects and tasks to be completed in a consistent, standardized, and regulated way, but also slows the way to fresh approaches and innovation.

This is partly why the blockchain has the potential to be a major disruptor in many industries, if it hasn’t been already. It’s a stable, secure, and transparent online ledger that can record transactions in seconds rather than days, because the transactions themselves don’t have to go through multiple intermediaries to be completed.

This would have considerable impact on the way things are done within an enterprise, particularly one that’s used to excessive bureaucratic force that can impede fast decision making. Going up the chain of command for a decision that should have been made months ago is an all-too-common reality in a public company. The lag between when a problem is identified to the time the issue is formally addressed by leadership is much too long.

I can’t imagine that there won’t be pushback in this area, if and when blockchain technology becomes in the norm in corporate environments – it’s virtually assured. But for those who see the disadvantages of red tape, and those who want to lead the way in new methodologies in business are going to be heartened by the opportunities the blockchain can afford them.

4. Technology Does Not Create Opportunity; People Do

I love this statement, and it’s very applicable as we consider this issue of the blockchain.

Looking back, I remember sharing about how a tool in and of itself does not have the ability to make you successful as a musician. I wrote about this when I was still contracting with TuneCity. This is why I do not encourage musicians to use every social media platform under the sun to market their music.

A tool does not have the ability to make you successful as a musician. Click To Tweet

A tool can help you amplify your message, and a specific platform might prove to be the right fit for your particular situation. This doesn’t change the fact that Facebook and Twitter represent the vast majority of traffic and attention I’ve ever received from social media for my music or content, making up roughly 80% of my organic traffic on any given day. This has been true across all of the sites and businesses I’ve ever created.

I’ll never stop you from experimenting, as this is something I do myself. As I already shared, it’s important to push the boundaries and to innovate. Just color me skeptical when it comes to every new thing that comes along.

I recently heard Seth Godin ask, “what’s the smallest footprint you can get away with?”

There are many marketers and entrepreneurs urging you to hop on this site and jump on that app, but the reality is that some are lying to you, and others simply aren’t in touch with what’s best for your career and business moving forward. You’re the one leading the way, so you know what to do better than anyone else!

Focus is an art form – of that I have no doubt. I believe I have achieved more consistency in my life in the last couple of years than in years past, but I’m just as susceptible to the shiny object syndrome as anyone else.

But if you bear in mind that people are responsible for opportunities – and not technology – you’ll keep a level head in a time when everybody is running around like headless chickens.

5. We All Benefit When Creative Industries Thrive

In chapter nine of their book, which is titled “Freeing Culture on the Blockchain: Music to Our Ears”, the Tapscotts explore what blockchain technology could mean for artists and musicians moving forward. This is, undoubtedly, one of the most relevant sections in the book for you and for me, if a bit difficult to understand.

It’s more than likely you’ve heard of Imogen Heap, English composer and singer-songwriter. She has been leading the way in advocacy for the blockchain in the music industry, and has even teamed up with the likes of Pacifico and Vinay Gupta to develop a new ecosystem for an industry that’s very fragmented and subject to negativity and constant fluctuation.

As the Tapscotts explain, the industry has gone from thousands of labels to three majors – Sony, Universal, and Warner. They own 15% in Spotify, and if it goes public, the labels will stand to benefit in a major way. With 360-degree deals, artists are the last to be paid, and label take a substantial cut from – well – everything you make! Arguably, they even stick their fingers in where they don’t belong. And in the music industry, labels aren’t the only intermediaries – we also have tech companies like YouTube and Spotify jumping in and raising their hands.

Basically, the business is just too complex, and the cost of policing royalties has gone up, making it all the more difficult to tilt the scale in favor of the artist.

If you’ve picked up just the basics of what the blockchain is and how it works to this point, I think you’re starting to see why it has the potential to be a game-changer for the industry at large. And it’s not hard to see why it would make sense for signed artists to start pushing for it too.

But what about the little guy? Would this really make any difference for us – independent musicians, music business owners, trailblazers, music entrepreneurs? It’s all well and good to talk about big artists keeping a larger cut of what they make, and record labels playing a different role in the industry, but what exactly would the blockchain do for independents, whether this career path is a matter of necessity, or function?

If what the Tapscotts have documented in this book is any indication, then it’s safe to say that the blockchain is just as much for the small guy – if not more than – the big guy.

Here’s one example of the shift that we could expect to take place. Right now, as an artist, whenever you look at your digital sales and accounting reports, you’ll probably notice that they’re several months behind, especially with regards to plays on streaming sites.

But with the blockchain, these virtual transactions could be recorded more or less instantaneously. This would effectively mean that your statements would be up-to-date, and that you’d get paid faster too.

We’d all like to keep more of what we’re owed, and I think that’s the opportunity that the blockchain represents for the music business.

Final Thoughts

I’d like to close with some thoughts from the Tapscotts themselves, and I only think it’s fitting that we do. Here’s another quote from their expertly written book, concluding their chapter on freeing culture on the blockchain:

Through the lens of blockchain technologies, musicians, artists, journalists, and educators are seeing the contours of a world that protects, cherishes, and rewards their efforts fairly. All of us should care. We are a species that survives by its ideas, not by its instincts. We all benefit when creative industries thrive and when the creatives themselves can make a living. Moreover, these are the bellwethers of our economy – they reveal faster than nearly any other industry how both producers and consumers will adopt and then adapt a technology to their lives. Musicians have long been among the first to exploit innovations for the benefit of a great many others, too often at their own expense. These dedicated members of our society inspire us, and every business executive, government official, and other organizational leader has much to learn from them about the new era of the digital age.

As always, I’ve shared my thoughts on this book in my own words and from my personal perspective. The authors may or may not agree with what I’ve had to share with you, but hopefully I’ve done a good job of extracting ideas that you’ll find valuable.

There’s no way to unpack a 300-page document on the various facets of blockchain technology in such a limited amount of time. If I’ve piqued your curiosity, I would suggest that you pick up the book for yourself and have a read.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this book review, and I look forward to sharing more with you in the future.

Thanks for reading! If you feel inclined to check out Blockchain Revolution, you can go to Amazon, where you can learn more about the book, and see what others have had to say about it. Should you choose to buy the book through the provided link, I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

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015 – 5 Things I Learned From The Warren Buffett Way: Investment Strategies of the World’s Greatest Investor by Robert G. Hagstrom, Jr.

A lot of people talk about investments. But what most people aren’t willing to admit is that they know very little about how they work, why they’re important, and how much money they’re paying to have their portfolios managed. In this episode of the podcast, I share five insights from the book, The Warren Buffett Way, in an effort to clarify the sometimes confusing and scary world of investing.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:12 – Investments are confusing
  • 00:41 – Why most of us will need to invest in something for our future
  • 01:37 – The Warren Buffett Way doesn’t demystify investing
  • 02:03 – Five things I learned from this book
  • 02:12 – Invest in businesses that you understand and believe in
  • 03:17 – The better the investor you are, the better the business owner you will be
  • 03:57 – Economic strength is often found in franchises
  • 05:07 – Don’t worry needlessly about the economy
  • 06:30 – Purchase businesses when they’re at a significant discount of their value
  • 07:25 – I can’t give you investment advice
  • 07:55 – The author may not agree with my viewpoint on this book
  • 08:10 – If you enjoyed this review, check out the book
  • 08:34 – I hope you enjoyed this review

Tweet These Quotes:

  • Most of us won’t have enough money to retire on. – Tweet This
  • Buy a business, not a stock. – Tweet This
  • Don’t let the economy dictate your actions. – Tweet This

Transcription:

Investments.

As Tony Robbins so eloquently expressed in his book, MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom (get it on Amazon), investments are confusing.

Once you get passed the terminology, it’s not as bad as it may first appear, but building that kind of comfort level can take time.

And let’s face it – it’s not necessarily an exciting topic unless you’re already making money from your investments. Only then is it actually fun!

The reality is that most of us will need to invest in something – in our own business, in the stock market, or elsewhere.

Why do I say that? Because most of us won’t have enough money to retire on. Or, we simply won’t have the means to live the lifestyle we want once we’re ready to retire.

Investment strategies and ideasUnless you’re someone with extraordinary talent, skill, or knowledge with the ability to make a lot of money, or you’re extremely savvy and good at saving, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to live off of pensions and retirement savings alone.

Taxes cost money, utilities cost money, travel costs money, and eating costs money. Even if you pay off your mortgage, there are still some things you will have to pay for after you’ve left the working world.

Scary to think about isn’t it? But that’s exactly why we have to talk about this. You need a plan for your future.

Unfortunately, The Warren Buffett Way doesn’t exactly demystify investing. It doesn’t lay out the meaning behind industry terms either. What it does do is offer a few practical insights into Buffett’s investing strategy. That’s about five to 10% of the book. The other 90% is about Buffett’s investing history, something most people won’t find terribly entertaining, including me.

But nevertheless, I read this lengthy tome from start to finish, and I wanted to share with you a few insights I took away from it. Let’s get started, shall we?

1. Invest In Businesses That You Understand & Thoroughly Believe In The Management

This point is hammered home in various parts of the book, and in different ways.

Another way of saying this is:

Buy a business, not a stock.

Do you believe in the business? Do you believe the management is competent? Does the management know how to allocate financial resources in a smart, strategic way? Are you convinced that the right pieces are in place, and that the future of the business is secure?

If you answered “no”, then it doesn’t matter whether or not you feel you’re staring at a “good deal”. Buffett doesn’t invest in stock – he invests in businesses.

And despite the fact that he is one of the wealthiest men on the planet, he has made some mistakes along the way. This is inevitable. You can’t bat 1,000 in investing.

But the next time you hear someone tell you about this investment deal they heard about, your first reaction should not be, “I’m in!” It should be, “do you believe in the management?”

2. The Better The Investor You Are, The Better The Business Owner You Will Be & Vice-Versa

I thought that this was a really great takeaway.

The idea is that the better investor you are, the better the business owner you could potentially be. Or the better the business owner you are, the more readily you’ll be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a business when you’re looking to invest. The two disciplines are complementary, and a strength in one of them will help you to succeed in the other.

So if you’re interested in investing and securing your future, then you should get into business, because it will teach you a lot about investing also.

3. Economic Strength Is Most Often Found In Franchises

When you hear the word “franchise”, what immediately comes to mind? McDonald’s? Walmart? Subway? Starbucks?

The thing about franchises is that they are systematized. I think this is an important insight missing from the book.

What I mean is that you can walk into any franchise, and typically you’ll get a very consistent experience across all of them, whether you’re ordering a coffee, some French fries, or a sandwich.

And another aspect is employee conduct, and how they greet customers, how they up-sell, how they prepare your meal, how they check out at the end of the day. Most if not all franchises have all of these steps documented and written down so that consistency is preserved at all locations.

But in context of investing, the point here is that franchises are often good investments. Why? Because they don’t require competent management. Most other business models are heavily reliant on strong management, but with a franchise, an adequate manager will do just fine.

4. Don’t Worry Needlessly About The Economy

The book even points out that Buffett himself spends no time or energy analyzing the economy.

If you’ve been around me for any length of time, you know why I think this is a valuable insight.

Again, if we were to apply it to the world of investing, the idea here is not to watch the stock market and let it tell you what to do, but rather to act independently of movement in the market and to make solid choices that will benefit you and your portfolio. It’s the difference between acting on the best information available to you, and reacting emotionally to the ups and downs in the market, which are inevitable.

But I think this is good advice when it comes to building your music career or music business as well. If you let the economy dictate your actions, you’ll always be on the reactionary side of the equation.

This does not mean that the economy won’t affect you. If you’re a music teacher, you might lose some clients as a recession hits. If you’re a gigging musician, you might not be able to access the same quality of gigs as before, resulting in reduced pay.

But this is where the entrepreneurial spirit rises up and finds new opportunities. And if they can’t find them, they make them.

So stop worrying about the economy, and start developing yourself so you can become a more resourceful person.

5. Purchase Businesses Only When They’re At A Significant Discount Of Their Real Value

Whether you know it or not, even big businesses have ups and downs. As an investor, this means that you might have the opportunity to invest in a business for much less than it is actually worth. The key here is that you would have to keep an eye on how the business is doing over time, and this is not something you would do unless you were interested in the business in the first place.

As I reflect on the contents of this book, it is clear that this tenet has definitely been a part of Buffett’s investing strategy over the years.

And it makes a lot of sense. If you can buy a business for less than its actual value, you’ve bought it at a bargain. So long as the investment itself was sound, you’d be able to enjoy the benefits of the company’s recovery and growth over time.

Final Thoughts

At this point, I’m obligated to say that I can’t in good conscience give you investment advice. I’ve had some successes and some failures in this regard, but I only play with money I’ve specifically set aside in my “aggressive growth fund”, which is a separate fund from my emergency fund as well as my dream fund. I’m not an accountant, broker, lawyer, or a millionaire investor. Please consider consulting a professional if you’re interested in finding an investment that’s right for you.

As always, I have shared my insights and ideas from the book in my own language and from my own perspective. The author may or may not agree with what I’ve had to share with you. But hopefully I’ve done a reasonably good job of extracting some things that you’ll find valuable.

And, of course, I can’t unpack a tome of this length and boil all of its wisdom down into a few minutes of audio or a 1,500 blog post, so I would recommend going straight to the source if I’ve piqued your interest. But as I said at the beginning, you’re in for a long read unless you love “geeking out” over investing and investment strategies.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this book review, and I look forward to sharing more with you in the future.

Thanks for reading! If you feel inclined to check out The Warren Buffett Way, you can go to Amazon, where you can learn more about the book, and see what others have had to say about it. Should you choose to buy the book through the provided link, I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Upgrade to Members Only Audios for more exciting, exclusive training.

Put Your Dream to the Test by John C. Maxwell

Put Your Dream to the Test by John C. Maxwell

Summary: John C. Maxwell’s Put Your Dream to the Test is an inspiring book that will help you get motivated. But it also offers a doze of realism so you don’t get lost in lofty ideals you can never achieve.

I recently read Put Your Dream to the Test by John Maxwell. I’ve read many Maxwell books to this point, and I’ve certainly taken away a variety of useful tips. This book was no exception.

In this review, I’ll share what I learned and what I thought about the book.

What This Book is About

Put Your Dream to the Test is a practical – if intimidating – guide to determining the viability of your dreams. Author John Maxwell will guide you through the 10 questions you need to ask yourself if you’re to have any hope of achieving your goals in life.

Maxwell suggests that your dream is only realistic if you’re able to answer “yes” to most – if not all – of the primary questions within the book. Every chapter also ends with several more questions that prompt you to think about whether:

  • Your dream is your own.
  • You have a clear vision for your dream.
  • You are depending on factors within your control.
  • You are passionate about your dream.
  • You have a strategy.
  • You have the right relationships and connections.
  • You are willing to pay the price for your dream.
  • You have the tenacity and persistence to follow through.
  • You are fulfilled by the work you have to do.
  • Your work will benefit others.

Overall Impressions

A great book to start the year with. If you’ve ever wondered when you’ll be given the permission to start pursuing your dreams, and you have no idea what it’s going to take to get to where you want to go, then this is a must-read.

But no sooner do you open it when you realize this book requires real work. You must think, reflect, examine yourself, journal and answer questions (the 10 primary ones as well as the many others at the end of each chapter).

If you’ve read a number of Maxwell books in the past, you know exactly what to expect from this, but it’s still a great read with many good quotes and tips for those who are earnest about their goals and dreams.

What I Was Thinking About As I Was Reading It

Here are some things that came to me as I was reading this book:

  • At this moment in time, I only know what I want to accomplish in the next year or two. But this is better than not having any idea, and it’s the furthest I’ve been able to see ahead in a while.
  • Maxwell talks about people with predispositions similar to mine – relaxed and laid back, but steady and consistent. I’m glad he mentioned how people like me can use our nature to our advantage, as many success books blow right by this.
  • Do I really need people to help me achieve my dreams? Yes, I do, but I need to give this more thought. I’ve already identified several areas where I need help – masterminding and collaboration, marketing, administration, bookkeeping, and general tasks that eat up too much of my time.
  • How many times does a person need to pay the price for their dreams? Maxwell says you will need to keep paying as long as you have bigger goals.
  • One of my theme words for the year is helpfulness. So when I ask myself the Significance Question, I am alerted to the fact that I need to remain focused on serving others. My work is most effective when I’m offering something people want.

Final Thoughts

For obvious reasons, I can’t talk about everything you’ll learn about in this book, but I hope what I’ve shared is helpful.

If you want to delve deeper, then you’re going to want to purchase the book for yourself (get it on Amazon – this is an affiliate link).

This is a worthwhile read, though it’s not a book I would read every year. I think it would be ideal for when you’re changing course in life, or when have new goals and dreams that must be examined in light of your strengths and capacity.

Any thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!