038 – 3 Concepts I Learned from My Mentor

038 – 3 Concepts I Learned from My Mentor

There are always those around us who end up having a huge impact on us. We may not realize it as it’s happening, but in retrospect, we can always see who offered a timely word that ended up helping us on our journeys.

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David shares what he learned from his mentor and how he applied it.



00:17 – The people who make the greatest difference are those who you are in direct communication with
01:08 – Mess things up
02:10 – #1: Analog vs. digital
05:26 – #2: Beware of who you take advice from
09:02 – #3: Community enterprise
11:57 – Reflecting on David’s community years
12:33 – Win-win-win


Three concepts I learned from my mentor.

Here is someone that I’ve seen as one of my main mentors over the years. You can have relationships with close people, mentors at a distance, coaches, even the books you read… All of it can end up contributing to you significantly. But inevitably the people who end up making the biggest difference are those that you are in direct communication with.

This is someone who has been… I’ve been by their side, creating projects with them, and they’ve been by my side, supporting my projects.

There are three key things I learned from them that ended up steering the direction of where we’re going versus where things went with Music Entrepreneur HQ in the past.

Music Entrepreneur HQ was a grand experiment. We had so much fun with it. We tried a whole bunch of stuff. We made lots of mistakes and learned from them.

I think a lot of people are afraid of doing that. If they went out and started making projects, started messing things up… Go make a mess. The thing that often gets repeated, whether in network marketing or leadership circles, is “Go make a mess.”

That’s what people who accomplish things are doing. They’re not trying to figure everything out before they start. Never.

Commit first, get into action, and then figure out the rest as you go. This is how it works.

Commit first, get into action, and then figure out the rest as you go. Click To Tweet

This is how courses are developed, right? At least the good ones, because it gives you way more leverage. You can share your course content with your audience before it’s ever done. And you can test your stuff and see what people resonate with and see what works.

Anyway, the number one concept that I learned from a mentor that has made a difference is “Analog versus digital.”

I reinterpreted it into my ecosystem to make sense for me. But his whole contention was that I was doing so much digital marketing stuff. I learned a lot, and that’s what a good entrepreneur would do, is they would go and learn. They would go and figure out how marketing works because marketing is your direct connection to revenue. If you don’t have good marketing, you can’t create revenue in your business.

Marketing is your direct connection to revenue. Click To Tweet

I don’t think my intentions or even my priorities were misplaced. I think that they were in the right place. But I spent so much time creating content, sharing on social media, and sending emails. I was disappointed with some of the results we were getting.

Something that he brought to me repeatedly. He would say, “But you know, I tend to think way more analog with that. I’m thinking like, if I look at events, how many people will come out? That’s way more of a confirmation of how your project is going, versus passive content that people can just like, comment, or share, or just not even look at or respond to,”

And he’s so right, because we publish a lot of stuff that doesn’t necessarily do anything, and it’s easy to get discouraged with that.

When it comes to publishing, I believe you’ve got to keep going no matter what. But when you’ve done that for years and years, you can easily feel discouraged that things aren’t going anywhere.

It’s like you’re doing something wrong since all your mentors or coaches around you are guiding you. “This is how it’s done, so just follow this method and you’ll get there.”

And then you don’t seem to achieve or accomplish the results that they, for some reason, seem to achieve very easily.

Which, it just so happens, leads right into the second concept, but I’ll get there. The first concept, how that informs things was, that I realized I needed to create something where I was pressing flesh.

It doesn’t have to be weekly. It doesn’t have to be monthly. Annually might not be quite enough interaction. But that’s where I started looking at all my experiences and the working models that I acquainted myself with.

And network marketing, some of their training programs have four major functions a year. So, I said, “That’s the model.”

Like if I create… I’m going to be talking about the four major events per year that I’m basing my activity on. Not only that, but it’s creating a physical presence where we can gauge the difference that we’re making for people and whether they’re enjoying themselves, whether they’re entertained, and what content resonates.

So, it’s an excellent opportunity to test, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to look at what is going to resonate. How can we hit the ball out of the park with every single piece of content or every song that we present at these events? And so that’s where the focus ends up turning to.

Concept number two would be “Who do you listen to? Now, one of the people that offers the best training on this is Kevin Trudeau. No one could articulate it better or express it more clearly in a way that can be gotten than Kevin Trudeau.

But my mentor… He kind of implied. He’s not the type of guy who necessarily comes out and points something out and is super direct about it.

I think he said something along the lines of – when I was talking about the type of results that I saw other people achieving and what I knew to be possible – he would just go like, “Yeah, you know, but some of these people, maybe they have an incentive to do what they’re doing, or maybe their method worked at one point, but now it doesn’t work, or maybe they got lucky.”

It’s his way of pointing to, “Who do you listen to when it comes to getting advice in your business or your career and the things that you’re up to in life?”

I’m already the guy who says, “Question everything.” And I realized there was one area of life where I was not questioning. And that was the people that I looked up to, people that I admired as my coaches.

And you know what? It turned out to be a very healthy thing for me to start doubting a little bit. To begin looking at what they had taught me, how I’d applied it, and whether it worked for me or not. It was healthy to start separating the wheat from the chaff, right?

Like, “This stuff’s good, and I want to continue using it in my business or my music career. But this other stuff, maybe it’s an outrageous claim.” You go and follow their advice and it doesn’t work, and it doesn’t get you the results they said it would get you.

You sort of have to go, “Yeah, okay, maybe there were some things that I messed up. Maybe I didn’t execute perfectly.” But if you stay in that space too long, it can sacrifice your self-image. You can start to doubt yourself if you stay in that space for too long.

I think at that point, you stop, you reflect. You start over based on what you now know.

Stop. Reflect. Start over. Click To Tweet

You went and published for a full year, for example, and didn’t get the results that you were hoping for. You stop, you reflect, you think about what worked, you think about what didn’t work, and you create a new plan for what it’s going to look like to publish daily. That’s how I think about it.

But simply the act of publishing daily… Does that give you a dream business, a dream career? No, that act alone will not get you there. I already tried it, and I did it twice. It did not solve all my financial problems. Sorry, Russell.

It was something that when I started doing it, and once I had accomplished it more than once, this whole act of publishing daily, I realized it was something that I wanted to continue doing. I found a lot of value in it.

And there is a lot of value in it. And you will find your voice in it. And you will be able to interview and connect with great people that you might not otherwise be able to.

But you must have that framing. Why are you doing it? Without knowing why you’re doing it, that whole thing… it’s just a discipline, right? I would say even with something like working out, you’ve got to know why you’re doing it to be able to keep up with it long term. You can easily fall off exercise plans, and I’ve done that far too many times. So, you’ve always got to be mindful of that.

And then, the third concept was “Community Enterprise.”

I don’t know, I haven’t heard it elsewhere, so it could even be a term that he specifically coined.

Now, when we think of “community,” we all have our experiences with it. Some of us have positive experiences, some of us have negative experiences. And then sometimes we have that perception that if it’s a community, or if you’re a community artist, you must be rinky-dink.

And we had a lot of conversations around that because that’s never the perception that we wanted to put out with our community projects. We never wanted people to view it or think of it as being rinky-dink. Because it’s not. We wanted to put out quality events and bring in quality artists who may not be known but know what they’re doing.

So, we always aspired to a certain quality in creating these community events. That was one of the guiding principles.

Now, Community Enterprise being, in my mentor’s case, of those two words, community was always a bigger one. If you saw them side by side, “Enterprise” would be the small word, and “Community” would appear much, much bigger.

And that’s not wrong. I think there was always a part of him that was very humble. Although he could have started thinking more in terms of an enterprise, in terms of getting sponsors and charging tickets and doing other things that probably would have helped us break even or even earn a small profit… His internal compass didn’t lead him there. And that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that.

And if some of you are like, “Yeah, I can bankroll 10 events this year and I want to do it,” go ahead. I’m not necessarily in that position.

So, with the events that we’re putting on, it has become about “How do we serve the audience?” That’s number one. That is, as a core principle, is still there.

Like, “What songs should be played? Who should be there as a featured artist? And if I’m to give presentations, what sort of presentation would have people engaged?” And a big part of that, I’ve realized, is storytelling.

But there’s nothing that I’m leaving on the table in the Enterprise Community. I am thinking about income sources. I’m asking, “Do we need sponsors, do we need to charge tickets, is there going to be a merch booth at the back, are we going to have order forms prepared?”

And the answer is pretty much “Yes.” Is there going to be an offer on the back end where people can access the content that we just filmed that weekend? The answer is “Yes.”

That is what we’re going to do because in my view, or from my perspective, the “Enterprise” appears just as big as the word “Community” does, though I don’t know if it appears bigger.

I learned so much in those community years and I might even miss them, but when I was going through the muck of it, it wasn’t all fun and games. But from about 2015 to 2019, and I would even say… There was a little bit of a break in there with the pandemic, but in fact, those community endeavors continued well into 2022.

So, I’ll say from about 2015 to 2022, those were my community years and observing and watching and seeing what’s working and seeing what’s not working and seeing what mistakes are being made and how I could have an event that is… Not “better,” but how I can have an event that ends up serving the purpose of the mission of what we’re about to accomplish in every way, not just for the audience – although that’s the biggest piece – but for me and the future of us and for anyone else involved in organizing and helping with the event? How can I ensure that there’s an outcome that everybody can be satisfied with?

And that’s my whole thing about “Win-win-win.”

If all you have is a win, you probably don’t have anything exciting yet. Now, don’t get me wrong, if it’s going to be a win in your life, it can impact all areas of your life and end up helping you and giving you a boost in every regard.

So, if were to think of “winning” as a personal achievement. I went out and did a whole bunch of stuff, and I got credits, and I became a best-selling author, and I became an award-winning composer.

But ultimately, that didn’t help others. The content I created certainly did, but getting those accomplishments didn’t necessarily help others. It helps me be more credible and authoritative in a way. Like, people look to me for advice because they can see that I’ve accomplished certain things.

But then you’ve got a win-win, and a win-win is a great thing. Oftentimes it helps certain people to the exclusion of others. I don’t want to paint everything that way because it’s not the way it works.

I think it’s exactly where a lot of traditional businesses got started. Like, “It’s going to benefit us as a company, and it’s going to benefit our investors,” or “It’s going to benefit our board of directors.”

Their products may have ended up benefiting the end customer too, but that was not the focus.

So, I think that’s how a lot of business ultimately got started. But a win-win is good, especially when you’re pitching things, sending emails out to people you might want to connect with, influencers, podcasters, bloggers, and what have you, publicists, media. The win-win is…

If you approach people, with a pitch that’s just a win, like just focused on you, and personal achievement, most of the time it sucks. It just does not work, because you’re trying to get something out of someone, and do they want to give that to you? Why would they give that to you?

That’s why musicians are like, “Why is everything a financial conversation?” It’s only that if you don’t look for the win-win. If all you do is pitch for yourself and have that be a win… “Let me get this feature on your blog,” but don’t talk at all about how that’s going to benefit them, it’s not a win-win. That’s why it becomes a financial discussion.

If you had taken the time and the effort to think about what would have been a win-win in the first place and had done your effing research, you would have realized that you could create a win-win for every person you’re pitching to. Then it would get a much higher chance of being accepted. So, a lot of people are just “shotgunning” and hoping for the win.

When you could be… There’s just so much opportunity to outclass everyone with pitching because most people suck at it. So, learn that skill. And that’ll be in The Renegade Musician book as well.

You can outclass everyone with pitching because most people suck at it. Learn this skill. Click To Tweet

As for a win-win-win, this is where I’ve seen the biggest opportunity in life, and so far, it’s only happened that I can even think of… And I would say these ideas, often, are spiritually inspired, divinely inspired, who knows, I can’t put it into words, there’s no way to articulate it. But it’s an idea that’s almost like given to me or given by a muse, or it’s inspired in some way.

Those are the business ideas that I feel have the greatest potential. So, the “Win-win-win” is if you can win, if the company can win, and if your customers can win, then you’ve created something that has the potential to blow up.

It may not always go that way. Things can still go wrong, even when you have the best of ideas, and I learned my lesson here with the company that shall go unnamed, at least for this podcast episode.

So, don’t think that just because you’ve got a win-win-win idea it’s ultimately going to succeed. But if you can benefit three different parties, whatever enterprise, or project you may be launching, there’s just nothing like it. It’s one of the most exciting things. So, look for the win-win-wins. Those are the most exciting opportunities.

037 – The Right Questions Lead to Breakthrough Answers

037 – The Right Questions Lead to Breakthrough Answers

Building a music career isn’t all fun and games and sometimes it’s easy to become discouraged.

Maybe no one is coming out to your shows. Maybe you’re struggling to make an income.

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David shares how one well-placed question can change everything.



00:17 – A stranger started asking questions
01:02 – Doing all the right things
02:08 – Gaining experience playing for an audience
03:13 – The right question can make you feel more understood
04:07 – Therapy is but a question away


Years ago, I was playing a gig at a coffeehouse, and afterwards, there was someone who came up to me and started asking questions.

In hindsight, it may be that he was doing a little bit of market research, trying to figure out if there was a niche that he could serve in the music industry. He never came out and overtly said anything.

But I’ve gained some experience in marketing, so the kind of questions he was asking me, later, led me to believe that he may have been looking to see if there is an opportunity for him to be a promoter or help musicians with gigging and stuff like that.

Some of the questions were like, “What’s the greatest struggle about being a musician right now?”

With live performance being one of my focuses at the time, I would have said, “Bringing out an audience.”

And we were doing all the right things. I had collaborators, I had songwriting partners, and we performed together regularly. Oftentimes we were very dysfunctional, but we somehow made it work.

So, we would play these gigs, and we’d try to do all the right things. Not just the digital presence, although we did send out emails to the email list, posted to social media, put the show dates up on the website, and I think we would have printed out posters and sent out flyers and made personal requests for people to come to our shows.

In retrospect, too, it could just be a function of we overplayed the market a little bit, or the same venue too many times. Bringing people out to the same kind of gig at the same kind of venue every single time would present some challenges. I just wasn’t thinking that at the time.

Bringing people out to the same kind of gig at the same kind of venue every single time can present some challenges. Click To Tweet

I’m just thinking, like, “I want to play shows and I want to play more shows and I want to play outside of Calgary, and I want to play everywhere I could possibly book a show.” So, that’s kind of where my mind was at.

In retrospect, I think it was a great opportunity to gain experience as a live performer. Getting out there and playing in front of an audience, you grow in ways that you simply wouldn’t be able to otherwise. And I think you grow faster, too, than just playing music in your basement.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, and you can make music from home and make a living doing things that way, too, but I was always on the live performance side, where I wanted to do something with that, including touring.

It’s funny how things change, though. I don’t have as much desire to do grueling schedules across North America. We’ll see if that’s something that changes. Things can change at a moment’s notice, depending on the opportunities that come up, right? But as of now, that doesn’t hold a whole lot of appeal for me.

I’m looking more so for ways to play a few times per year and make it special, have people come out to those events because it’s going to be one of the rare moments, when they’ll even be able to see me. That’s kind of more been my thought process as of late.

But getting back to those questions, I think it’s surprising how sometimes people ask questions and you sharing your answers makes you feel more understood.

My collaborators and people I worked with were very typically the same people, just in rotating cycles. It’s so easy to fall into an echo chamber of someone has a bunch of frustrations or misgivings about people not coming out. Others would just be like, “I don’t care, we played, it was a good night, I don’t want to do a debrief.”

Everybody was kind of coming from their standpoint, which is fine. It’s good to have multiple perspectives, but you can very easily fall into an echo chamber there.

So, it was amazing to have someone come up and ask me about my struggles and what I thought the solutions were.

So, the thing to remember is that sometimes we can be frustrated about where we are in our music career. And yet therapy is often just a question away. If there was someone in your life who could ask you a few questions about what your frustrations are, why you’re frustrated, and why you don’t see things going the way you want them to go, it can make all the difference to your emotional state.

Therapy is often just a question away. Click To Tweet
036 – Where There’s Success, There’s Constant Activity

036 – Where There’s Success, There’s Constant Activity

David formulated a strategy for a tribute band he’s been playing with for a long time. Having launched a new podcast and merch line, the strategy gained immediate traction, helping the band land a lucrative gig.

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David shares the concept that changed everything for the band.



00:17 – Starting a new podcast and merch line
00:33 – What the top artists and businesses are doing that others aren’t
01:25 – The different types of content and their advantages and disadvantages
02:05 – Busying yourself with activity attracts customers
03:25 – If you aspire to something greater in your music career, do this
04:18 – Always show that something is going on


One of my projects beginning last year in November [2022] was getting a new podcast and merch line started for the Def Leppard tribute band that I play in called Adrenalize.

One of the reasons that we decided to do anything with that to begin with is to show activity. If you have a website that’s not frequently updated, as much as you might think, like, “Okay, so what are people expecting,” right?

It takes a while to come up with a new release or “We couldn’t take time away from our jobs and our lives to film a video or write a blog post. “So, what do people want?”

As much as you might think that… And I think the people who are doing the best in music and honestly, business and most areas of life are those who make it a point to come out with something, with some regularity.

You can figure out a way to do it every month, but honestly, for most people, it’s a weekly minimum. And if you can do it, do it daily. That would be my suggestion.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a blog post, a podcast episode, or a video. I think video gives people a direct connection to you, but podcasts benefit you too, because that’s one way to get into people’s pockets, and into their lives, right?

You get to interact with them through the audio medium. They’re going to listen to you as they’re jogging, doing the dishes, or going for a walk. Whatever it might be, people are going to give you 30 minutes to an hour of their life to listen to you and get to know you.

But that’s not the point. In terms of content types, choose one, do it, and do it with frequency. That’s more the point.

And this was based on a book I’d read. I’ll find the book and put it in the show notes. I just can’t think of the exact title right now. I think it might’ve been Creative Mind and Success [by Ernest Holmes].

He talks about – and this perspective comes from an older time – he talks about the fact that if you’ve got a storefront, you should be constantly reorganizing your products and putting them in a new place. Busying yourself with activity attracts customers. It attracts people to your business. It’s a great principle. It is correct.

So, I suggested to the band leader of Adrenalize… I’m not the one running this show, but I’ve had a lot of sway in it… I said, “Look, let’s begin to show that we’ve got some activity. Something should always be happening on the website.”

So, we got the podcast started and we launched the merch line. And I don’t think we recorded and published more than three or four episodes. And I think the gig in downtown Calgary got booked within a month. An outdoor gig of all things.

I just finished it. It’s, September 16th [2023] as I record this audio. And it was incredible.

First, understand. It’s not all about money, right? But We got paid $1,500 to do this gig. That’s four people. You can do the math, right, as far as how much each person makes?

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that that’s astronomical. But I do think it’s an amount that most musicians and most bands would be like, “How do you do that? I would want to earn that every show we play. How can we make that happen?”

And this is it. You must have a presence. An online presence is great. That’s something that I’ve heavily invested in myself. Try to complement it and supplement it with an offline presence, right?

For musicians, that’s where gigs come in. There’s a great opportunity to create an offline presence for yourself, in addition to an online presence.

But that’s the concept. The concept is, to busy yourself with activity. Always show that something is going on. It doesn’t matter if it’s like, “Hey, I just wanted to give you a little update. Here’s what I’ve been up to today. I practiced guitar and I got a new song.” It could be something as simple as that.

But if you can show that you are doing something and document it and continually publish it and share it with your audience, these are the opportunities that are going to start showing up for you. These and better ones, because nowadays sponsors are willing to pay a lot of money for any artist or band that attracts an audience that’s in alignment with what they’re doing.

So, busy yourself with activity. It’s not about the money. Don’t focus on the money. Focus on the audience. Get the audience first and then the money will come. Busy yourself with activity. That’s how to get there.

Busy yourself with activity. Click To Tweet
035 – You’ve Got to Trust Yourself

035 – You’ve Got to Trust Yourself

Do you trust yourself to make the right decision? Or do you doubt yourself at every turn?

While it’s a good idea to question everything including yourself, putting too much pressure on “getting it right” can paralyze you.

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David shares why getting our constraints out of the way can help us succeed in our projects.



00:17 – An unusual coaching call
01:34 – Lean on the expertise of others
02:33 – Trusting yourself
05:12 – The coaching you need vs. the coaching you want


I had a coaching call today, not with someone I’ve had a coaching call with before. But of all things, she was looking for some advice on researching a medical device for mental wellness patients. And it was AI-based and all this kind of stuff…

She’s like, “Well, you know about this stuff in this kind of field, right?”

What she was referring to was I know about. business plans. I know about entrepreneurship. I know how to set things up. I’ve had to produce all kinds of documents for all kinds of people. So, whether it’s grants, business plans, or blog posts, I’ve done it, and I can do it – not with my brain tied behind my back, but close.

So, this ended up turning into a very different kind of coaching session, mainly for the reason that I could hear she was stopped and she didn’t trust herself with the decisions she was making.

I looked at the structure that she had created for the goals she had set for this quarter and the project that she was undertaking. And I was thinking to myself “Okay, she may never have accomplished something quite like this before,” although she got her PhD, and she said that was a painful process.

I said to her, “This is not a difficult project if you lean on the expertise of others. In other words, assemble a team, and find the people who know this stuff rather than you trying to figure it out,” especially tedious legal details. It’s so easy for us sometimes, artists and entrepreneurs, to let go of a few things.

Even when it comes to legal matters, we try to go and research and figure it out ourselves and go on LegalZoom to find documents. But this is what attorneys are for.

Now I get that it can be a little bit pricey but go and ask them for their advice. Some people are more than willing to offer some free advice, or maybe just do something for them in exchange.

I’ve met lawyers who like to perform and play gigs. Maybe you could set them up with a gig at a local pub. Who knows, right? Start thinking in terms of possibility rather than “Well, there’s no way to do this or have this happen.”

Anyway, she’s trying to figure out what to do, so I asked her what her “point of view was.” Now, I can’t define and explain what that is. If you’re interested in learning more about the leadership programs that I’ve been taking recently, contact me directly and we’ll try to figure something out.

But anyway, I asked her what that was. It was a distinction I learned in the program. This program has set me up with incredible communication technologies and tools that I’ve never seen or heard of anywhere else. So, that was one of the things that made the leadership program worthwhile – the fact that, at its core, it’s a com communication program.

So, she figured out that she didn’t trust herself. She didn’t trust the world. She could see that she tried so many projects and tried to get them done in the past and just never got anywhere with them because she didn’t trust herself.

Like, “Am I doing this right? Is this how it’s done? And who should I get to be a part of this?”

We all get trapped in this, and I could see how if you were constantly in that state of like, “I don’t know, I don’t trust myself, I’m not sure if this is the right decision, what decision should I make?” You would just be exhausted in a very short amount of time. You’d end up wasting a ton of energy thinking about things that could be way far ahead in your project and you’re trying to figure them out now.

I know other entrepreneurs who do this sometimes. They get stuck in “What’s next?” Even when they’re taking courses, it’s kind of like, “Yeah, okay, so I heard this part and that’s great, but then, what about this?”

And it’s like, “Yeah, that’s in the next module. Just be patient, it’s coming. You don’t have to figure that out today. The thing that you must figure out today is the module or the lesson that you just took. You don’t have to figure out all the other stuff.”

That’s a good lesson for all of us, right? So, I think it ended up being a very unexpected coaching call for her. I’m pretty sure she did not expect to be coached on feeling the world was untrustworthy, feeling like she couldn’t trust herself, feeling small, and feeling alone in everything she did.

I focused on that. And the reason I focused on that was because if we could get that out of the way, there was no way she would fail. She could succeed, make this project happen, bring in team members, have them handle most of the work, and complete it by the end of the quarter, with no problem, because it was mostly research-based anyway.

But if we didn’t get that out of the way, then she would permanently be stuck in “I don’t know if I’m doing it right, I don’t know if these are the people that I need, I don’t know if this is the decision that needs to be made.”

You see where this is going, so sometimes the coaching that you think you need… you think you might need detail or some how-to, and sometimes we do, right? It’s good to figure stuff out on your own. It’s not a bad thing. It is a good quality, ultimately.

But sometimes we don’t need to figure out how to do more stuff. What we need is coaching on the constraints that we have in life. And once those constraints get out of the way, we can make anything happen because we’re powerful.

Sometimes we don't need to figure out how to do more stuff. Click To Tweet

But those constraints are always there unless you complete them and deal with them. Then you get nowhere in your projects.

034 – Bad Instructions, Bad Results!

034 – Bad Instructions, Bad Results!

If you receive bad instruction, you’ll get bad results. Obviously, right? And to be fair, there are people out there who are intentionally steering you in the wrong direction.

But sometimes, the best instructions can still go through the wrong filter, leading to subpar results.

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David shares why this happens.



00:17 – Trying and failing to open a bag of cereal
01:07 – Getting and interpreting instructions
01:46 – What happens when you get the recipe wrong?
02:43 – “Gurus” steering you in the wrong direction
03:59 – Even with the best instructions, you can still mess it up
04:38 – The importance of ongoing self-education


I was opening a bag of cereal this morning. You notice how sometimes they have instructions on them, like “Tear here?”

So, I was trying to tear it open, and I managed to remove some of the material but not enough of it… the tear should have been a little bit lower.

So, the bag did not open. Now I’m trying to pull it open and that’s not happening. Of course, at that point, scissors and knives come out to cut.

It’s one of those resealable bags, right? If you do it wrong – now, I managed to avoid this – but if you do it wrong, you end up ruining the resealable parts. Then the bag is cut open and the entire system is ruined.

But what this reminded me of was the fact that sometimes we get instructions from our coaches or mentors, the people who are guiding us in our careers. It could even be our managers.

Now, their advice could be perfectly on point, but sometimes the way we hear it and interpret it and then put it into action simply won’t work.

The advice you receive could be on point. But the way you interpret it and put it into action could be flawed. Click To Tweet

So, even with the best instructions, you can run into situations where it was not executed correctly. It was not interpreted correctly. And because it ended up filtering through you, you did not get the expected results from the action.

And this is what we run into most with our training. I think most experts are well-meaning. You can certainly identify those who are just out there constantly selling on webinars every day, all the time, every week.

“Webinar, webinar, webinar, come see my webinar. buy my course, buy my thing, buy my stack, buy my offer.”

I’m not saying that’s wrong, but I think some people do have more of a money motive than a willingness, inclination, or passion to help others.

But the point is if we’re actively looking and questioning what we’re hearing, then we’re not receiving bad advice. Now, sometimes we are. But we’re not generally receiving bad advice though.

So, we think we heard it right and we did it right and we executed correctly and for some reason, the recipe doesn’t work, and the cake tastes horrible. That’s human error.

Then on the other hand, of course, you will find people that don’t give you the right instructions or don’t give them to you in a way that could even be interpreted and executed properly by you.

Now, mindset advice is sometimes like this, and mindset is more about, “Let me get my attitude and thinking straight so that I can go and do the things that I need to do without having to constantly contend with distractions and negative feedback and negative comments” because those things are going to come whether you like it or not.

Some people just aren’t going to like you or they’re not going to like what you do. But if you have the right mindset, you won’t be held back by negative comments and negative reviews and… God forbid death threats, which is not fun for anyone. Some of my friends have received those too.

But mainly we’re talking about practical advice on how to book more gigs or how to set up an online music career or get your website right and that kind of thing.

And sometimes we do get completely wrong instructions. Some are only interested in making money off you.

The point is we can still mess it up with the best instructions available. And if that’s what’s happening, we need to take a closer look. What did we miss?

Even with the best instruction available, you can still mess it up. Click To Tweet

I learned James Schramko’s Own The Racecourse method when I rebuilt Music Entrepreneur HQ many years ago. It’s a powerful strategy and it did magnetically attract a lot of traffic because I was consistently doing the right things. I still missed certain pieces, though, which didn’t help me stay relevant.

And that’s no good, right? If you have a strategy and you’re executing it and it’s working, you want to stay relevant with your audience.

And I think this also gives a lot more credence and testament to the importance of ongoing self-education. You’ve got to become a lifelong learner. You’ve got to keep learning and be willing to change and adapt.

Be a lifelong longer. Be willing to change. Be willing to adapt. Click To Tweet

Sometimes you’ve done things so long a certain way that it can be difficult to change. You can get set in your ways. Sometimes it can sound so exhausting to learn something new.

“We’ve always done it this way” and changing it to a new way. It’s going to be a learning curve, but I think the best entrepreneurs and the best artists are always those who are willing to adapt their practices to be as effective as they can be.

033 – Producing Income is a Life-or-Death Matter

033 – Producing Income is a Life-or-Death Matter

If you treat your business like a hobby, you will make a hobby level income. If you don’t value your clients, then whatever income you have will dry up, especially if you don’t have a day job.

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David shares his experience as a longtime freelancer, community builder, and entrepreneur.



00:17 – A critical mindset shift for artist entrepreneurs
01:28 – Having a safe, secure reliable income doesn’t allow you to make the switch
02:50 – The struggle of transitioning from employee to entrepreneur mindset
03:09 – Stop playing games


There will be multiple mindset shifts you go through as an entrepreneurial musician. But I think one of the most important ones you will go through is embracing your business, your customers, your clients, anything that produces an income for you as a life-or-death matter.

Think of it this way. Most people have a day job that they rely on for their income. But what if that dried up tomorrow? What if you did not have an income from your job? How would that change the way you look at the customers and clients that you have right now?

This is a very real scenario. It happens to a lot of people. I get that many people would then take that opportunity to look for a new job, right?

If you were to embrace becoming more of an artist entrepreneur, the thing that you would look at is, “Okay, now that I don’t have a job, I need to embrace my customers and clients that I have as a life or death matter, and serve them in a manner that lets them know how much I care about them” because you can’t afford to lose those customers or clients anymore.

This tends not to happen when you have a safe, reliable monthly income. Even if it’s not amounting to much. Even if it’s only $30,000 – $40,000 a year. If you have that and you know it’s coming in, the temptation is you never make this mindset switch.

And I’ve seen it with people who, unfortunately… They told me they were entrepreneurs, they said they were entrepreneurs, but their mindsets said otherwise. They were employees. They were in an employee mindset.

When I shared with them that clients, to me, were a life-or-death matter, they laughed. They didn’t understand how that worked.

They’d always been in sales jobs and stuff like that, so they got the hustle. They got that they had to call people. They got that they had to build a relationship, and that there was a certain amount of responsibility that went with their job. But if they hit their figures or above, it’s not like they cared about it.

Where someone in my position, losing a client could be a big deal. I’m diversified enough to be able to make things work, but in a situation where I’ve got five clients and they’re each bringing me $500 to $1,000 a month, that’s my living. Losing one client would mean making a sacrifice.

This is where a lot of people struggle, making that switch from employee to entrepreneur mindset. Even in their artistic careers, they never get to the point of treating their customers and their clients and their business and their income as a a life-or-death matter because they always have something they think they can fall back on.

If you want to know what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, to bring that mindset to your artistic career, stop playing games. Give up the day job and see what it’s like. Even if it’s just for a few weeks or a couple months, try it out for yourself. See what it’s like, because now your life depends on those clients. And now you’ve got to build a better relationship with them. And now you’ve got to show up in such a way that lets them know that you care about their business.

Stop playing games. Click To Tweet