Admit Your Desires

Admit Your Desires

It can take a long time to understand yourself.

It so often happens that we’re born into situations where embracing our true desires would mean betraying the wishes of loved ones and the values held dearly by them.

Think of the recent satirical biopic – Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. The film is only loosely based on Al’s life story, but it features a trope we all know so well. Al discovers his passion for the accordion but must keep it a secret from his father. Of course, he is later discovered, and his father smashes Al’s accordion to pieces.

It’s a trope for a reason. Plenty of people have this experience or something like it.

Ironically, areas where we’re wounded most often hold the key to our desires and identify. We would not be hurt over something that did not matter to us. It’s because it matters so deeply to us that we are so vulnerable to anything opposing or attacking our desires.

The prevailing statement I’ve heard from my friends is “I thought there was something wrong with me.”

I felt the same way. In my 20s, I valued my autonomy and freedom so much that when presented with a possible job opportunity, I would take months thinking about it before ever acting on it. And by that time, it was usually too late.

As it turns out, I’ve always valued autonomy and freedom, to the point where most decisions I make are in total alignment with this value.

When we’re out of alignment with our desires, we only hold ourselves apart from what we want. We may experience a personal hell of sorts, because we try to change, or conform, or become more of what we deem acceptable by family, friends, and society at large, all the while sacrificing the essence of who we are.

You’ve got to admit to your desires. The universe is already moving that way. When you start moving that way, too, you experience flow. So much time spent not getting what we want is simply us holding ourselves apart from what we want, because we’re not willing to admit our desires.

I Still Have So Much To Do

I Still Have So Much To Do

I recently watched the 2022 documentary Halftime, featuring Jennifer Lopez.

Now, at the risk of offending someone, I still feel it important to tell you that I’m not a fan of J.Lo, her music, or her acting (which has admittedly gotten better).

But after watching the documentary, I got two things: 1) her intense work ethic (which I respect and admire), and 2) her commitment to representing her culture (which came off in a weird way in the documentary, but I respect anyone who takes a stand for what matters to them).

In an odd way, I also felt like I was watching a kindred spirit.

At her 50th birthday, she says, “I’m just getting started.”

Later in the documentary, she says, “I still have so much to do.”

I feel the same way, and I say the same things all the time.

Even when I went to Japan in 2017, and all my friends were saying, “we’re all ossan now” (which literally translates to “uncle,” but it’s as good as saying “that stinky old man over there”).

And how did I respond? I said, “I’m just getting started.”

I can’t compare my accomplishments to that of J.Lo, nor do I mean to.

But when I think about the contribution I’m going to make, the books I’m going to write, the music I’m going to produce, man, I’m just getting started, and I still have so much to do.

No matter where you may be at in life…

No matter what you have or haven’t accomplished…

No matter how many tragedies, difficulties, or challenges you may have faced…

I want you to get this:

You’re just getting started, and you still have so much to do.

Learn from J.Lo. She doesn’t look “old,” I bet she doesn’t feel “old” either, even at 53.

You’re not a dog who can’t learn new tricks. You’re so much more capable than you even realize.

Make 2023 the year you prove this truth to yourself. Don’t wait. Time is passing. Now is the time to go out and make the difference you know you can make as an artist.

How do you go about accomplishing more in 2023 than you did in 2022?

I would make the argument that my new Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook is the perfect place to get started.

Learn more about the blackbook now >>

4 Things You Can do to Create Financial Flow in Your Life

4 Things You Can do to Create Financial Flow in Your Life

When it comes to money, there’s a simple truth we’re slow to embrace:

Millions and billions of dollars are changing hands every single day.

Then why does it seem like it’s so hard to earn a little extra? Why does it seem like there’s always more month left over than money?

Well, I’m not here to share about creating wealth. That’s another story for another time.

What I intend to cover here are a few simple things we can all do to create more flow in our lives. And while these steps may be “simple,” they are also life altering if engaged in consistently.

Read on to find out how you can create financial flow in your life…

Declutter

What I know for sure is that when you declutter – whether it’s your home, your head, or your heart – it is astounding what will flow into that space that will enrich you, your life, and your family. – Peter Walsh

Walsh’s quote says it all.

Whenever I file my mail away, clean up the desktop and downloads folder on my computer, or let go of things I no longer need, I am blessed with remarkable inflow – often in the form of new business.

Dr. Robert Anthony’s Beyond Positive Thinking also lends credence to this counter-intuitive truth.

Decluttering is also a form of completion. Rarely do people complete anything in their lives, and often hold onto objects charged with emotion, tragedy, and trauma. Letting go is healing, It’s an opportunity to complete what isn’t complete in your life. Completion doesn’t just show up – it’s created, and you can create it anytime you want.

Give & Be a Contribution

Giving does not only precede receiving; it is the reason for it. It is in giving that we receive. – Israelmore Ayivor

I went through a long period of being a people pleaser, but I eventually realized that there was nothing in it for me beyond self-sacrifice, and at some point, autoimmune disease.

The turning point for me came several years into my foray in network marketing. One summer, I lost the girl, I lost my business, and I even lost my faith. My prayers were hitting the ceiling, and I was – and I don’t use this word lightly – depressed.

That was the moment I decided to begin acting with agency. Making decisions for myself (especially financial decisions). Acting selfishly. And that worked for a while.

But eventually I got to the point where that simply wasn’t working anymore. And now I’m finding a balance. I’m discovering that giving and being a contribution out of abundance creates flow like few other things ever do.

How much should you give? Give generously.

Who or what should you give to? People or causes you’re passionate about.

What does giving and contributing do for you?

Just yesterday, my post about my productivity tool stack was bombarded with hundreds of views, I added a new subscriber to my online academy for artists and creatives, and I landed a new ghostwriting opportunity.

(Now all I need is an assistant or writing partner to divide and conquer my workload with…)

Express Gratitude

Look for good things about where you are, and in your state of appreciation, you lift all self-imposed limitations – and all limitations are self-imposed – and you free yourself for the receiving of wonderful things. – Abraham-Hicks

If you’re always looking to the future for the fulfillment of your dreams, it means you’re discontent in this moment. Because you’re discontent in this moment, you can’t attract or create what you desire. What you lack is gratitude for all that you already have.

If you are grateful and happy for what you already have, it creates a space for what you want to enter your world. Remain in that grateful, happy space and you won’t just feel better, but you will also see your desires manifest.

If you are grateful and happy for what you already have, it creates a space for what you want to enter your world. Click To Tweet

Recently, my friend reminded me of this simple truth.

Step into Your Calling

If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’ – Martin Luther King Jr.

There is no hiding in 2023. You either step into your calling and prosper or you shy away from your greatness and languish in obscurity.

In 2023, I am embracing my personal brand. I’m embracing all I am instead of trying to contain my interests in neat little niches.  That has never worked for my anyway. I’m stepping into who I was always meant to be, making the difference I was always meant to make.

If you choose to step into your calling, know one thing – it will invite change into your life. Your friends will change. Your community will change. Your career, or profession, or business may change. Remain open to change.

Final Thoughts

Are you looking to create the best year you’ve ever had? Then you would merit a reading of my Start Your Year the Right Way, an inspirational work guiding you through goal-setting, planning, and achieving, complete with prompts you can follow to self-diagnose and identify the steps necessary to having your best year ever.

10 Holiday Reflections to Ring in 2023

10 Holiday Reflections to Ring in 2023

Another year has come to an end.

For many, 2023 could not have come fast enough. Doubtless, there has been turmoil across the world, especially from 2020 to 2022.

Regardless of what might be going on outside, though, I have always made it my mission to go inside to better myself, and that includes plenty of thinking and reflection time, especially during the holiday season.

In this guide, I share 10 fresh holiday reflections to ring in 2023.

Past Reflections

I didn’t share my holiday reflections last year thinking the article would become so popular, but it seems I’ve found a pulse. Moving forward, I will be sharing my holiday reflections annually.

Here are my past reflections:

15 Holiday Reflections to Ring in 2022

1. You’ve Only Got 50 Opportunities Per Year

We all know there are 52 weeks in a year. If you produce weekly content (whether blog posts, podcast episodes, or videos), then you’ll have created 52 new opportunities to show up in front of your audience this year.

For years, I’ve averaged 48 podcast episodes per year (with The New Music Industry Podcast), though some years I’ve come in a little under (like last year).

When I reflected on this, I realized that I basically didn’t publish during the holidays, or if I was especially sick or busy.

This is a good argument for planning your content well in advance of publishing it. If you have metrics to tell you which of your posts or series have resonated with audiences most, take advantage of that data.

Unless you’re publishing more aggressively, you’ve only got about 50 opportunities per year to show up for your audience. Don’t waste them.

Where I got this: Personal reflections

2. Make Everything a Seminar

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s started far too many content and product initiatives. There comes a point where it’s simply not sustainable anymore.

In reflecting on this, I realized that I was reinventing the wheel more than I cared to admit. I was trying to create fresh content for every initiative.

Moving forward, I intend to create everything as though it were a seminar. That way, it can be transformed into other types of content more readily.

A blog post can become a newsletter article. A newsletter article can become a podcast episode. A podcast episode can become a video. A video can become part of a course.

Although you won’t find me publishing the same content across different platforms simultaneously, the result should be greater consistency in frequency, tone, and message.

This will require a high degree of intentionality and planning, but it should prevent me from running around like a headless chicken making new things for so many different channels.

Where I got this: Personal reflections

3. Decide What to Start & What to Stop

What you choose to do is just as important as what you choose not to do.

You may be starting new initiatives in 2023. But what will you be stopping to make room for the new, more critical initiatives?

If your “start” list is longer than your “stop” list, you’ve got a problem. Adding more on top of what you’re already doing is a sure way to end this year feeling overwhelmed and unaccomplished.

Take some time to reflect and make a list of projects you will be starting and stopping this year. Then, return to the list fresh, and keep chipping away at it until you’re left with the activity that excites you most.

We don’t need more stressed and overworked people in the world, we need more people who are on fire for their passion.

This year, I’m looking at blowing up my business so I can focus more on what counts. More on this in another post.

Where I got this: This Old Marketing

4. Become a Local Celebrity

Ever since my business coach suggested that I begin finding a pathway to becoming a celebrity a few years ago, I’ve been reflecting deeply on the topic.

Influence is the new currency, and being influential means becoming a celebrity, even if only to your most diehard fans. Marketing god Dan Kennedy talks extensively on the topic.

But a recent episode of Dan Kennedy’s Magnetic Marketing Podcast finally put this into perspective for me. In Mastering Authority Marketing With Adam Witty, Dan and Adam talk about becoming a local celebrity. Aha.

Trying to become a worldwide celebrity, even a national celebrity can be quite difficult. Becoming a local celebrity on the other hand? If you can write a column for a local print newsletter, be interviewed on the radio once per month, and appear on local TV once or twice per month, you can create your local celebrity status relatively quickly.

I’m amazed how long it’s taken me to reach this conclusion, though.

Where I got this: Dan Kennedy’s Magnetic Marketing Podcast

5. Use Smart Summaries for Increased Article Engagement

In this video, copywriting expert Jim Edwards explains the concept of “smart summaries” from the book, Smart Brevity.

The idea is that whether it’s a long-form article, podcast episode, or video, you can make your content easier to skim and more engaging by covering off these items before you get into the meat of it:

  • Attention-grabbing headline
  • One sentence summary of the big idea
  • One sentence on why the content matters
  • Three to four bullets with subpoints
  • Call to action

You’ll see me experimenting with this form in 2023!

Where I got this: Jim Edwards

6. You’re About as Old as You Think You Are

“More than ever,” says Jim Edwards, “this idea that you’re about as old as you think you are, is becoming true.”

Most people work for retirement, but entrepreneurs almost never do. They realize how boring and unfulfilling it can be to have nothing to do, to have no purpose and no mission in life.

Age is but a number.

Age is but a number. Click To Tweet

Where I got this: Jim Edwards

7. Your Opinion Doesn’t Matter

If you’re building a business, your opinion doesn’t matter. The only opinion that matters is that of your target customer’s.

In business, the only opinion that matters is that of your target customer’s. Click To Tweet

As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to get caught up in “artist” mode, creating things you want to create instead of listening to what your audience wants and creating that. You end up leaving a ton of income on the table when you don’t focus on the customer’s pain points.

This reality has finally landed with me in a meaningful way. Thanks James!

Where I got this: KLEQ Academy

8. If You’re Going to Think About How Bad it Could be, Also Think About How Good it Could be

It’s human nature to think in terms of what could go wrong. But this is not a balanced approach to thinking.

If you’re going to think about just how bad it could get, you’d need to even the scale by thinking about just how good it could get too. Otherwise, you’re not weighting the scale evenly.

Now that’s wisdom.

Where I got this: KLEQ Academy

9. You’re Bigger Than Everything

The only thing that’s holding you apart from what you want is you see it as something that’s bigger than you.

But it doesn’t matter whether it’s a successful business, incredible relationship, fulfilling spiritual life, or otherwise. The only reason you don’t have what you want is because you have it that it’s at a higher vibration than you are.

But nothing could be bigger than you. You are bigger than everything. And because you’re bigger than everything, you can attract and create whatever you want.

Because you’re bigger than everything, you can attract and create whatever you want. Click To Tweet

Where I got this: Next Level Soul with Alex Ferrari

10. Your Content & Sales Copy Should Have the Same Tone

“Ideally, there should be no difference between the voice of your content and the voice of your sales copy,” says Jim. “If you’re writing changes when you’re selling something, people can be weirded out by it.”

Wow. That makes a lot of sense. One of the reasons our sales copy fails to connect, then, is when we’re being inauthentic – when we’re trying to do something with our copy we don’t usually do with our content!

Where I got this: Jim Edwards

Final Thoughts

What did you discover from my holiday reflections?

Did you have any breakthrough insights of your own?

What changes will you be making in 2023?

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

P.S. If you’re looking for a guide to help you with your holiday reflections, you’ll love Start Your Year the Right Way, which features plenty of prompts to help you unlock powerful insights in your own life. Pick it up now to leap forward in art, business, and life.

Giving

Giving

I’m not about to share anything revolutionary. For some, it will be a foregone conclusion.

And yet, there is no easy way to communicate the depths to which I’ve gone to circle back to a truth that turned out to be true all along. From the Bible to entrepreneurial books, filtering this principle to its essence has taken me decades of reading, thought, reflection, and most importantly, action.

That principle is this – giving is a wealth attraction principle. It’s virtually a law.

If you give, you will see more money flow in. It happens because it must happen.

The part that is perhaps superfluous in all of it is motive. Religion would have us examine our heart. Look closely at what our intentions are. Why are we giving? If we don’t get this part right, then giving is in vain. God (or Santa Claus or really our parents) won’t reward us if we aren’t good little girls and good little boys.

The problem with this way of thinking is that it has your heart as wrong before you’ve even had the opportunity to explore it. Just by existing you are bad, and wrong, and your heart is certainly not in the right place if you want to give to get. Which is ridiculous. Of course, you want to get. It’s human nature.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t examine your motives. All things being equal, being a good person might help you attract more wealth. All things being equal, having good motives might help you attract more wealth.

But money will move for its own reasons, regardless of motive. And if you get stuck on the motive part, you get to swim with an ocean of shame and guilt that will appear a limitless expanse. Money does not move because of motive.

It’s a challenging thought, and I don’t expect anyone to accept it sight unseen. But fundamentally, motive is hidden from everything (including money) and everyone. It’s individual. It’s private. You can’t know anyone else’s motive. Ever.

You can ask people what their motives are, but it doesn’t mean it will be the truth. Actions say more about a person than their words ever will. Watch their actions and you’ll never be confused.

I can set a glass down angrily. I can set a glass down lovingly. The result will be the same – I will have set the glass down. The motive itself makes no difference. I accomplished the same thing.

A law is a law regardless of motive. Getting a law wrapped up in ethics and morality is a mistake. It takes away from the purity of the law. It’s attempting to quantify something with no measurable quantity.

If a coffee costs $4, and I hand the barista $4 for the coffee, it doesn’t matter whether I gave the money in gratitude or in contempt. Either way, the coffee is now mine. I’ve paid for it. Intention, at least in this context, doesn’t change a thing. The weird part is we think it does.

The Stirring

The Stirring

You feel a stirring on the inside. You become present to wounds long forgotten.

But what then…?

The rote religious answer is that wounds are stirred up to be healed.

It sounds amazing. I wish it were true. But I simply haven’t found that to be the case.

When something gets stirred in me, it’s more like a reminder of my inability to do anything about my circumstances. It’s a reminder that I’m about to make another lap around the same mountain I’ve been circling for years. Decades even. It’s become rote, uninteresting, and sad.

But I don’t know any other way. I haven’t been shown another way. I’ve come this far without access to new paths. And no one in their right mind would say I haven’t tried.

The stirring is wasted on someone like me. Then again, I can’t say I know anyone who would say otherwise.

I want my healing more than anyone else wants it for me. But wanting it accomplishes nothing. It’s like a job half done. God, or the Universe, or All, decided to take the trash out, but only got as far as bagging the garbage, and never got as far as taking it out.

God decided to stir something up but decided not to do anything to heal it. Because God, if there is one, doesn’t care about such trivialities.

“God works on His own time” is another rote, religious answer. Thoroughly unhelpful, and based on my experience, categorically untrue as well.

God is the one with something to prove, not I. They’ve made promises. I haven’t.

If there is a God, though, I sure hope He’s not worried about me. I hope He’s out there dealing with real problems in the world. My problems are insignificant and unimportant. That’s become abundantly clear.

When a friend doesn’t answer your calls, doesn’t show up to parties, doesn’t help you with a flat or your next move… the message is clear.

And we’re not talking about friends. We’re talking about an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being.

Got the message. Loud and clear. God doesn’t care about me. And that’s good. I hope He’s out there solving the world’s problems, because the world needs a lot of help right now.