Tomorrow is the Final Day…

Tomorrow is the Final Day…

On July 28, 2021, I made the commitment to publish daily for a full year.

Tomorrow, I will have fulfilled on that promise.

And if I’m being perfectly honest, I published as many as four times on some days. That may not be evident from the archives, but if you go looking across Music Entrepreneur HQ, Music Industry How To, MIDINation, Medium, News Break, and Steemit, you’ll see what I’m referring to.

I seriously considered whether to continue for another year. That’s how rewarding this process has been. But I’ve come to see it’s not in full alignment with what I’m up to creating in the world right now.

First and foremost, it’s time for a bit of a break. Though publishing daily, on average, only takes about an hour per day, in some ways it has basically consumed my attention and mind space.

Aside from that, it’s time to get into action concerning key endeavors – especially the leadership and management program I’m currently taking, musical projects, books, and my new membership (to be added to Content Marketing Musician).

This is all basically just a teaser, though, because I’ll be bringing the full scoop to you tomorrow. Keep an eye out for it!

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What Are You Afraid to Admit?

What Are You Afraid to Admit?

Chances are this is where you’re due for a breakthrough.

And it’s going to take something to identify whatever is there for you.

And then it’s going to take something to share it with someone. But sharing is essential, because if you don’t admit your inauthenticity to someone else, you’re bound to stay marinating in it.

But when you finally do share your inauthenticity, a great sense of relief and freedom will come over you, and it will be worth it. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

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Who’s at the Steering Wheel?

Who’s at the Steering Wheel?

Some days, I don’t feel like I’m the one at the steering wheel. I feel like god, the universe, or some other unnamed force is.

I met a friend for a quick chat at Starbucks today. When I showed up, he was there with another friend, who shared:

God can bring you exactly where you need to go. You don’t need a phone. You just need to pay attention to signs and promptings. It’s the same thing with rest. Rest is an essential part of life, and when you are prompted to rest, the best idea is to rest.

I, in turn, shared when I was prompted to go on sabbatical back in summer 2013. A podcast had planted the idea in my mind, and I followed through, because a season was ending in my life.

It would seem, the universe’s message to me today, is to rest.

Because today, I have mostly been unfolding conversations instead of just sitting at a desk typing out words. Which has been amazing.

Who’s at the steering wheel? I don’t know. But you would do well to follow promptings to rest.

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16 Years Later & Still Going Strong…

16 Years Later & Still Going Strong…

They said not to blog.

Writing a book is a waste of time.

They said not to make music.

The odds of becoming a successful musician are less than getting hit by lightning.

They said not to podcast.

They said, “forget about becoming a YouTube star.”

They told you not to build a business.

Throw away your hollow dreams of passive and recurring revenue. Pat Flynn and James Schramko have no idea what they’re talking about, and they are the very purveyors of snake oil.

Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek is a sham. Even Ferriss clearly works more than four hours per week.

Give up. You’re not special. There’s no way you can make it.

“If I couldn’t do it, there’s no way you could.”

That’s what my friends were saying behind my back. Only a few short years ago.

In 2005 and 2006, I recorded and launched my first solo album, Shipwrecked… My Sentiments.

In 2007, I started blogging. One post helped me generate upwards of 800 visits per day.

In 2008, I formed a band called Angels Breaking Silence. It didn’t last more than a year and a half, but at our peak, we were touring churches, skateparks, festivals, universities, and more.

In 2009, I started podcasting. I’ve gotten as many as 3,000+ downloads in a month.

I also started making YouTube videos the same year. My little video on Sim City has gotten more than 89,600 views to date.

In 2011, I created, produced, and performed Back on Solid Ground for 11 consecutive days at the Calgary Fringe Festival.

In 2012, I briefly become the co-host of Inside Home Recording, a popular home music producer podcast.

I also started blogging professionally, and contributed to multiple music releases as a guitarist, producer, and engineer.

In 2013, I started working for Ghost Blog Writers, ghostwriting for a variety of individuals and companies, including Entrepreneur and HuffPost contributors.

In 2014, I launched my first audio course, How to Set Up Your Music Career Like a Business.

In 2015, I launched my first book, The New Music Industry.

I also became a staff writer for Music Industry How To the same year.

In 2016, I started working entirely from home. I was no longer tied to a physical workspace.

I also launched multiple singles the same year.

In 2017, I helped a local jazz artist crowdfund $15,000+ for an album.

In 2018, 2019, and 2020, I launched several more books.

And that’s just scratching the surface. There are so many other accomplishments. So many other stories to tell. So many funny, weird, and memorable experiences. So many highs and lows.

It’s been at least 16 years since I started down the path of building my life around my creativity and passions.

It’s been 16 years and I’m still going.

What were you told not to do? What did others discourage you from trying? Who didn’t demonstrate any belief in your big dreams?

Maybe you were meant to go and do those things after all.

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You Can be Complete with Anything

You Can be Complete with Anything

If you had told me this just four years ago, I’m not sure that I would have believed you.

But I was on a coaching call today, and while my projects have been progressing nicely, I had a lingering sense of sadness that was coming from stories I’d been telling myself.

Stories about time. Stories about being a certain age. Stories about not having accomplished what I’d set out to by this point.

What my coach told me was I was in full control, and I could choose at any time to declare the sadness complete. So, I did exactly that. I said:

“I declare my sadness complete.”

And what happened next surprised even me.

My heart opened wide, and tears began to well up in my eyes.

I’d felt a sense of freedom I hadn’t felt in a while.

I didn’t know I could become complete with anything that easily or quickly. I’d always thought it would take more digging.

And yes, sometimes getting complete with something will take some digging. But not always. Sometimes, it’s real enough for you in the moment that you can clearly see the story you’ve been perpetuating and the impact it’s had. When the impact is real, letting go becomes a must rather than an option.

You can be complete with anything. You don’t need to drag that baggage into every relationship or situation. It can be complete the moment you declare it complete. You don’t need to carry it with you. It’s not a sentence.

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The Slash / Conundrum

The Slash / Conundrum

If you’re going to be a full-time podcaster, you can’t just be a podcaster. You’ve got to have something to talk about. And then you’ve got to be able to talk about it in an interesting way. You’ve got to be a student of storytelling and psychology, such that you’re able to capture and hold a listener’s attention.

The reality is that a full-time podcaster is an exceedingly rare thing. So, while all these responsibilities might seem excessive and demanding, if you want to play ball with the big boys, you’ve got to be able to hold your own.

Learning to become a songwriter is basically the same thing. You can’t just be a lyricist. You’ve to have something to say. You’ve got to be able to say it in a compelling way. And you’ve got to be able to put it all to a catchy hook that becomes an earworm.

You won’t be an effective songwriter if you’re not curious or passionate about something. It doesn’t matter whether it’s riding horses or woodworking, if you don’t engage in something meaningful and challenging, you won’t have anything worth writing about, and people won’t relate to your songs.

You’ve often heard me describe myself as an author / entrepreneur / musician. But if I were to break it down, I’m really a blogger / author / writer / ghostwriter / copywriter / podcaster / digital marketer / web developer / graphic designer / singer / songwriter / guitarist / composer / music producer / community builder / entrepreneur / presenter / public speaker / entertainer… Starting to get the idea?

The Slash Conundrum is that today, as a creative, it’s impractical to be anything other than a polymath. The people that we look up to – our heroes – necessarily had to become known for one thing. But now, you’re a commodity if you just speak well. There are 37 million YouTube channels, and polished speakers are a dime a dozen.

You may identify with Jennifer Lopez the artist. But when you think about it, Lopez is really a singer / dancer / artist / icon / model / actress / entertainer / public figure / entrepreneur, so on and so forth. See what I mean? The modern-day artist isn’t just an artist anymore.

I don’t know about the future, but the present belongs to the polymath. So, the slash, even if unwanted, is mostly inevitable, especially if you want to thrive as a creative or creator.

The game to play is creative alchemy. How will you fuse your passions, strengths, talents, interests, and experiences to develop a package (art, persona, brand) that stands out?

You can’t just be a podcaster. You’ve got to have something to talk about. You need to live and experience life. You need other interests. You need to have conversations. You need to take risks.

The conundrum, of course, is that all this can seem quite daunting.

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