4 Platforms That Piqued My Interest

4 Platforms That Piqued My Interest

As a content creator and entrepreneur, I’m keen to keep up with the various opportunities available.

With the growth of blockchain powered technology and free speech platforms, there has been a significant influx in opportunity – especially over the course of the last 17 months or so.

Here are a few platforms that have piqued my interest.

1. Odysee

This decentralized video sharing website is powered by LBRY, a blockchain-based file-sharing and payment network.

Crying over your meager YouTube earnings? On Odysee, your channel is monetized the moment you create it, and you can earn LBC (LBRY Credits) by completing simple actions like validating your email address, watching videos, and inviting people to the site.

Although it’s not as big as YouTube, if you’re looking to earn something with your video content, I can almost guarantee you stand a better chance on Odysee than YouTube.

2. News Break

I doubt that anyone reading this will not have heard of News Break by now.

And although I’ve been publishing daily on Medium, I can make the same amount of money by publishing one article per month on News Break.

Yeah, it’s not the same as Medium, and they are primarily looking for news related content.

But I don’t mind writing about cryptocurrencies, NFTs, precious metals, investments, and things like that. It works for me.

3. Steemit

Steemit is a decentralized application built on the Steem blockchain. Users can earn STEEM cryptocurrency from their content.

In simple terms, it’s a crypto blogging platform. And you know who couldn’t resist? This guy!

I haven’t earned anything on the platform yet, but that will probably require more active participation in the community.

4. Rokfin

Rokfin is yet another blockchain powered video sharing site. Content creators can earn by bundling their offers in a subscription.

I haven’t done anything with Rokfin yet. I’ve just been checking it out. But I have been thinking more about creating video content lately, and if I were to do that, I would likely take advantage of Rokfin.

Final Thoughts

Obviously, you can’t do it all (unless you’re Gary Vee). But you just never know where you might find your stride. That’s why I like to experiment.

By far, the platforms I’m most excited about, though, are still the ones I build myself.

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I’m Less Interested in the Individual, More Interested in the Team

I’m Less Interested in the Individual, More Interested in the Team

For years, I’ve followed a mix of marketers and experts.

But now that I’m five weeks into a yearlong leadership and management program, I’m starting to see something.

I’m becoming less interested in the individual and their skills, experience, or accomplishments, and more interested in their teams.

I wonder what kind of conversations they’re having. The speed at which they move and act. The connection between the leader and everyone in the team. How they respond to challenges.

This is where the real work is getting done.

As much as podcast interviews are a blessing, they are also a curse. They are a conversation between the host and the interviewee. And inevitably, the host tries to draw out the most interesting aspects of the interviewee’s past, while the guest carefully ensures all they say reflects well on them (instead of offering the true story of struggle and emotional turmoil).

Friends, this is not where the real conversations are happening. You won’t find many secrets inside these engineered exchanges. Because they aren’t authentic. And they always use something familiar, something the audience can easily connect and relate to, as their anchors. I can almost guarantee there are conversations and processes far less familiar inside the top performing teams. Because they have access to distinctions others don’t.

If you want to find the true secrets, observe the leader and team in motion. Look at how they handle even the most mundane and remedial of details. Watch as they communicate and act with power.

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5 Frugality Hacks to Help You Create More Runway

5 Frugality Hacks to Help You Create More Runway

As an entrepreneur, you’ve got to keep cashflow positive.

But business isn’t always easy. Most enterprises require at least three years to gain traction in their ventures. Some don’t even reach that point until the 10-year mark.

So, how do you keep funding your dream even as you’re working a day job or pursuing other sources of income?

Here are several frugality hacks every ambitious person should know.

1. Live in a Cheap Apartment or Basement Suite

Forget the rent vs. own argument. You’re an entrepreneur. And what you need is motivation to build your business.

So, go and rent a cheap apartment or basement suite. If you’ve got a home, sell it. It sounds a little extreme, I know, but this will immediately put a lot of money back in your pocket, just as it did for me in 2013.

Living in a smaller space will serve as a constant reminder of what you’re building towards, and it will get you off your butt and into action without delay.

I’ve lived in basements for about eight years myself. Live like no one else will now so you can live like no one else can later.

2. Buy 10-Year-Old Cars

Sell your cars or exchange them for 10-year-olds.

Again, I know it might sound extreme. But you can find some solid 10-year-old used vehicles for $3,000 to $5,000.

I bought a 2010 Chevy Impala about a year and a half ago, and I couldn’t be happier with it. I’m generally an import guy, so I was surprised at the quality of the Chevy. It’s probably the best car I’ve owned, even though I’ve had a Toyota, Nissan, Volkswagen, and a Honda.

Finding the right car is probably the hardest part. In most cases, buying from a dealership is your best bet, as they tend to have a more complete history of the vehicle. People selling on classified sites often overvalue their vehicles by a huge margin.

Overall, the key benefit here is that you can often exchange your newer vehicles for older ones, again putting some cash back in your pocket.

3. Do a Complete Audit of Your Credit Card Statements

I only do this once per year, but honestly it should be done monthly.

Not only have I caught false charges, but every year it seems like I find an item that makes me go, “What? I’m still paying for that?”

Chances are you’re barely keeping pace with minimum payments anyway. Eliminate unnecessary spending because it does add up.

For more tips on credit cards, read books like:

While we’re on the subject…

4. Cancel Subscriptions

Again, you’re an entrepreneur. You don’t need subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Spotify, and god knows what else. You’ve got Tubi and YouTube. Do you really need anything else?

And honestly, if you’re serious about building your business, who needs TV? Go make some phone calls that will contribute to your future success instead of watching people do things that are more fun to do in real life.

Don’t get roped into subscriptions you barely use. You’re being taken advantage of. Instead, create your own subscription programs and enjoy the pure magic of recurring revenue.

Examine your monthly bills and evaluate whether you need subscriptions to things like SaaS apps, magazine subscriptions, clubs that send you monthly goods, or anything else you can think of.

5. Sell Unneeded Items

Around 2012, I remember selling old textbooks and part of my dad’s library on Amazon, along with DVDs and video games I no longer wanted or needed. And that put a few thousand dollars back in my pocket.

It’s getting a little harder to sell used goods these days, especially old electronics or items that only depreciate over time.

But you might have things like musical instruments, comic books, action figures, and other collectibles that would be worth something to someone.

I’m not asking you to part with things you couldn’t possibly see yourself parting with. But the moment you run out of cash is the moment your business goes under, so if you need a bigger runway, don’t be afraid to sell non-essential belongings.

Final Thoughts

Become a problem-solving machine. Solutions are always available when you go looking for them.

There are a lot of other things you can do to ensure your cashflow is healthy, such as buying cheaper food, working from home, cutting down on your entertainment budget, and so on.

Obviously, there are some things you shouldn’t do long-term, such as buying lesser quality food, because there can be a serious cost to that. But short-term sacrifices can lead to big gains in your business.

Close the escape hatches, burn the ships, and don’t look back. Put your faith in god or the universe and give 100% to your business. One day soon, you won’t even need frugality hacks anymore, because you will be living your dream life.

As my mentors often said:

What you are willing to do, you might not even have to. But what you are unwilling to do might be forced upon you.

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The New Membership is Coming

The New Membership is Coming

It’s official.

My new music biz membership is on its way.

I always had the intention of building it. And slowly, but surely, I was staring to add content to it (launching individual courses and products the public could purchase in the process).

But the leadership and management program I’m taking has solidified and cemented my resolve to get the work done. I have goals and milestones, and I have a team I’m working with to share in the creation of something amazing, while raising funds for a cause I care deeply about.

And I’ve been having a lot of fun as I build out the components piece by piece. Having been a part of multiple memberships, and a reviewer for many, I’ve taken inspiration from a variety of places and have fused them in the creation of my own. In retrospect, I think this was part of my education, and it was essential.

You can’t join the membership yet, and there isn’t a waiting list to speak of (although my email list is the unofficial wait list). But all of this will continue to be in development, and I anticipate that I will be sharing quite a bit more about it as it comes together.

I feel full of life. For once, envisioning my desired future has become easy again. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt that way, and prior to starting this program, I wasn’t present to the fact that I was so cynical and resigned. I knew I was having trouble envisioning the future I wanted, I just didn’t understand why.

Now I know why.

Dreams aren’t meant to be pursued alone.

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I’m Building a Team

I’m Building a Team

And I don’t know everything there is to know about building a team.

It’s not that I haven’t done this before. It’s more that even when I have asked others for help, I’ve often found myself taking on the lion’s share of the work.

Being in a yearlong leadership and management program has helped with perspective. I’m surrounded by people who are where I am, people who’ve been where I am, and people who are on the other side of having accomplished tremendous things (for example – doubling their business).

What I can see now is just how hard I tried to keep everything together myself and how little desire I have continuing down that path now.

Again, as I mentioned yesterday, I’m not shirking responsibility. I’ve been chipping away at my email daily, gradually fulfilling on promises. But I don’t think it’s all going to happen in a vacuum, especially based on the aggressive goals and objectives I’ve set for my projects, which I consider priority.

But for the next year, at least, I’m going to look to team as the solution – not just myself. And that means leaning on others and accepting their contributions and support.

Podcast? I have a couple in the can, but I’m not sure I’ll be publishing again until my new membership site is ready.

Guest posts for Music Entrepreneur HQ? Nah, I’m not touching that. I’d like to find a guest post manager if I’m going to be accepting any contributions.

I know not everyone checks my blog, but I figured I would make these matters public in case anyone’s wondering “what the hell happened to David?”

I’m well. I’m excited. I see so much opportunity. But I’m needing to prioritize and re-prioritize. And I’m looking for solutions outside of hustling and grinding all by my lonesome. Building a team may not happen overnight (although it has come together rather quickly for my membership project), but I know I can spend more time in the areas that count if my time is freed up.

Now that I think about it, it’s entirely possible I’m not needing to build multiple teams. Maybe the team I’m building now will connect me to all the right people (or maybe they are the right people).

It’s a different way of thinking about things, but now that I’m in it, I can’t imagine trying to do what I’m doing without a team.

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

Why “Follow for Follow” is a Bad Idea

Why “Follow for Follow” is a Bad Idea

Everybody, their dog, and even the fleas on the back of their dogs want a bigger social media following.

Which is fine. We all know that we can do so much more as creatives and creators on the back of a larger following – we can send traffic to our websites, grow our email lists, get more sales for our eBooks, develop a long-term relationship with our audiences, and more.

But of all the tactics people employ to grow their followings – from posting daily to paying for fake followers – the all-time worst idea to grow your following is categorically, “follow for follow.”

Follow for Follow is a Specific Tool for a Specific Situation

For the uninitiated, follow for follow means following someone with the (unexpressed) expectation that they’re going to follow you back.

Now, please understand what I’m saying. Most tactics and tools, outside of complete black hat, “this might almost be kind of illegal and might even violate the terms and conditions of the social network,” all is fair in the game of social media – even follow for follow.

But recognize that follow for follow is a specific tool for a specific situation. Even the best philosophies, devastatingly clever strategies, and quotes of wisdom are only effective in the right situations.

Walt Disney said:

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

I tend to agree with Mr. Disney. I don’t like sitting and talking endlessly about what needs to be done. I like to go out and do!

But if you’re working with a team, and they have no clue what they’re doing, let alone what’s expected of them, talking would be key to the team’s success.

If you’re in a relationship, and things have been going awry, communication is key to making things work. That might include “doing,” but without a sense of what “doing” is going to make a difference, talking to sort out the issue is your only option.

See what I mean? The Disney quote is amazing, but it’s not 100% applicable, all the time, in every situation.

When Does Follow for Follow Work?

Follow for follow works when there’s an established pretext. Generally, when two parties agree to follow each other and engage each other’s content. There’s a win-win, and maybe even a win-win-win (if the audience following each page or profile benefits from the shared content).

You can’t have that pretext without communication. It’s not going to happen by happenstance or accident. You’ve got to be able to articulate expectations and goals – come up with a plan or strategy for both parties to benefit.

Follow for follow is useless where there is no communication. It can be summed up in two words – self-interest.

Wonderful. You’re like every other human being on the planet if you’re interested in yourself. That’s not where breakthrough happens.

Breakthrough happens where you seek out and create mutually beneficial, easily actionable propositions.

If I had a friend approach me today with a plan that was easy to follow and action, I would have a hard time saying “no” – especially if there was a benefit. But just so we’re clear, there would be no benefit in me promoting an online poker site, for instance. It’s not aligned with what I’m up to. The opportunity would need to be aligned with my values and direction.

Why Follow Anyone?

Follow me because you’re interested in me. Follow me because you get value from my content. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time. Frankly, you’re wasting the time of the person you’re following too, because they have no idea who you are, what you’re about, or why they should be following or engaging you in the first place.

It takes but a paragraph or two to introduce yourself and suggest a workable, mutually beneficial plan. How hard could that possibly be?

No, not everyone will accept, and perhaps rejection is what you’re afraid of. But the traction you’re trying to create is on the other end of being of service to others. It’s simple if a little counterintuitive.

Stop being so selfish. Work on inspiring, entertaining, or educating others. Then you will give them a reason to follow you.

If all you do is show up to the party (make no mistake – social media is a party) a loud, incoherent drunken mess, you shouldn’t be surprised when others avoid you.

Let’s be strategic and considerate. Not just one or the other.

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