301 – Investing in Music – with Justin Longo

by | Jul 28, 2023 | Podcast

What if there was an easier way for your fans, friends, and family to invest in your music? What if you could diversify your revenue streams to make your music career more sustainable and profitable?

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, David passes the mic with MariNation founder & CEO and friend, Justin Longo. Tune in to discover how MariNation is evolving to meet changing demands.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:17 – Returning guest, Justin Longo of MariNation
  • 00:33 – MariNation’s new direction
  • 02:01 – On diversifying revenue opportunities
  • 04:17 – The Music Entrepreneur Triangle
  • 06:34 – Music Entrepreneur HQ’s lens
  • 08:01 – Why do people invest in music and who does it benefit?
  • 09:34 – The constantly changing music industry climate
  • 11:35 – What MariNation is aiming for
  • 13:41 – What has Justin learned from pivoting his venture?
  • 17:13 – Sunk cost fallacy and finding your path
  • 19:39 – Paradoxes in success
  • 21:19 – What tools and resources did Justin rely on while pivoting?
  • 23:41 – Know thyself
  • 35:40 – Elite Players: All Access Pass
  • 37:26 – Closing thoughts

Sponsors:

  • Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook: The first of its kind – David’s new premium book covering productivity for artists, featuring content from Music Entrepreneur HQ, his personal blog, his many books, and even Start Your Year the Right Way, which is included in its entirety. Be fully unleashed in accomplishing your dreams and desires!

Transcription:

David: Today I’m chatting with a return guest, the founder of MariNation, Justin Longo. You can hear our previous conversation in episode 243 of the podcast. It’s great to connect with you again. Justin. How are you?

Justin: I’m excellent, David. Thanks for having me.

David: Good to see you again. I know that MariNation has been evolving, and to use a bit of a buzzword, you’ve made a bit of a pivot recently, but your concept is still centered on music investing so that part hasn’t changed. So, what has changed with your app and what do you see coming next?

Justin: Yeah, so basically the first direction we were managing artists’ money on their behalf, investing in index funds and the general stock market.

So, obviously, we didn’t pursue that. It was kind of more of an intuitive decision, but we’ve pivoted into this next direction where we allow fans and investors to invest in music, invest in artists as people, and benefit from their future earnings and future careers. So that’s kind of the different direction that we took with it now.

David: So, people can invest in pretty much anyone, right? Like Justin Bieber or Rihanna or whoever their favorite popular artist is.

Justin: Eventually, that’s the direction, right? We want to have the big A players. Obviously, they’d come on for different reasons. Other than like an indie artist or somebody just beginning, right?

They would probably want to fund, projects, and studio time, and probably the A-list celebrities and big stars would want to do it more on a fan-to-fan, a fan-to-artist, like engagement, like connection.

David: I would definitely think that with mainstream artists if they see that it’s a viable opportunity, they would sign up for it.

It’s not like a super well-known fact, but you can start looking for all the revenue streams for producers, and people assume, “Okay, they’re making music, right?” And that’s true, but then oftentimes they’ll have their own trademark plugin for a DAW, or they’ll also have sample packs, or they also have beats. So, they’re pretty well diversified.

And it’s really the same thing for musicians in the sense that people assume they just go out and perform and they make loads of money, right? Or they just release something on Spotify and it helps them make some royalties, which is true.

But then you’d be surprised to find that Beyoncé plays the same bar mitzvahs and weddings and birthday parties that you play. And there are so many other opportunities, like music lessons.

You could go to ArtistWorks and find that Paul Gilbert from Mr. Big and various other supergroups still teaches guitar. And I’m sure he gets paid a pretty penny, although it’s hush-hush for the effort that he puts in.

So, I could definitely see this. First, the attraction for the investor to be able to invest in their favorite artist, even if they are independent, but also mainstream. And I can also see potentially that if mainstream artists begin to see it as a viable opportunity, they will totally want to leverage it.

Justin: That’s a great point. And to your point where artists, they all have their own different niche, right? So, Beyoncé has her own style as opposed to Tom Petty, right? And they kind of based their secondary products upon their style and their given genre, right?

So, Tom Petty may come out with a line of guitars whereas Beyoncé would come out with her new sneakers. We just did a content post on that.

So, there’s kind of like these different areas where the artist can thrive in the secondary products of their career if you will. Because the music is the primary one. So, it’s a very interesting point to see the reasons why artists and investors would both want to be a part of something like this, but we’re just going to continue to develop it for everybody and see where we land and where the traction picks up.

David: Yeah, I wrote a post recently on The Music Entrepreneur Triangle, and this is like really the traditional model of how to become a music entrepreneur.

And for most artists, it really starts with one thing and one thing only, like, you have to become known for something, right? So, Dr. Dre and Beyoncé, and all these other artists became known for rapping or singing. And maybe dancing is ancillary to the performance side of things.

So, they became known as performers first. And then as their celebrity grew, and I’m using that term somewhat loosely because you can create a celebrity effect among your audience, even if it’s small. And there’s a lot of benefits to being perceived that way. The reason to focus on one thing and to do one thing is to become known for it to build your celebrity and people are irrational about celebrity. And so once you have that, then you’re totally ready to diversify.

There are still mishaps obviously. I think it was Neil Young that came out with the Pono, the high-fidelity MP3 player, or whatever. No one was interested in that, but it also had an unfortunate name. So maybe that played a role in that.

Nevertheless, once you’ve attained celebrity, the diversification opportunities expand.

Justin: I really enjoyed the terminology of music entrepreneur because entrepreneurs and musicians are one in the same, right? As a creator and a music artist, you’re basically throwing a whole bunch of stuff at the wall, right?

I think Russ is a prime example of this. He produced and made hundreds and hundreds of songs and just put his volume in and got his work out there. And not all of it went multi-platinum, right? But it’s the volume and the work in the trials and tribulations and just getting all of these things out there. Seeing what works and what sticks and then doubling down on that sort of thing from a music perspective and then a business perspective, it’s more or less the same thing, right?

See what works and what sticks and double down on that. Share on X

We don’t necessarily know what’s going to work ahead of time. You know, we do have some preconceived notions about the market and the fan base and that sort of thing, but at the initial outset of it, we don’t necessarily know who or what. Or how much to charge for it or that sort of thing. We just kind of do it as we go along and learn in the progress of it all.

David: Yeah, something I’m not even sure if I’ve ever explained or shared on the podcast is the fact that this podcast lives on a site called Music Entrepreneur HQ. The whole reason I started that, though, is because I saw a lot of opportunity in applying business principles I was learning in network marketing and Robert Kiyosaki and various resources I was plugged into at the time and applying them to my music career.

And that’s always been the lens of like, how do we help musicians? How do we help independent musicians create the life they love through Music?

I’m happy for the overlap in audience [musicians and music entrepreneurs]. I don’t have something like the Music Entrepreneur Club, which is obviously targeting people like us, people who are music entrepreneurs and doing stuff out there in the music business.

But I’m happy for the overlap and I’m not telling anyone to go away, you know? keep listening if this stuff fascinates and intrigues you. But that is something I wanted to share is that it’s always been through the lens of the independent artist. And how can we be artistically entrepreneurial?

Justin: That’s a great point. I believe Tim Ferriss said one time that a good business book is a good life book. A lot of the business lessons and values and teachings are also comparable to life in general and creative endeavors, being a music artist, being an author, you know, freelancer, whatever it is. A lot of these things are applicable to all areas of life.

David: So, although you touched on it briefly, why do you think people will invest in music and whom does it benefit?

Justin: It benefits both the investor and the artist. The artist at the initial process of it all will receive upfront money to fund projects, as I said earlier, and that sort of thing. And then the investor will receive the benefit of the future earnings on that money in the artist’s career.

The first part of your question though is why would somebody want to invest in music? Who would invest in music, right? And it’s a great question and for a lot of reasons some fans love the artists.

I love artists and what they stand for. And I would just give them like a donation, right? I don’t necessarily need anything back from them just to help them out. I support their sound. I support their music.

And then the other side of the thing is investors wanting the return, diversifying a portfolio and alternative asset classes.

And that’s music because we have all these different assets with real estate and stock. And now we can introduce another realm of it, which is music and music is a very diverse, consistent thing through our lives. I think music was invented sitting around the campfire, you know, banging sticks and dancing around in circles and stuff when we were at our primal level.

So, I’m no Oracle, but I believe music will still be around way past you and I are gone.

Music will still be around after you and I are gone. Share on X

David: I’m pretty sure that’s true, and the music industry took some missteps through the pandemic. There’s no denying that. We’re tuning into the Grammy Awards going like, “What is this?” And should this even be televised? Like, I’m not clear on what’s happening. Which, you know, it’s always on the receiving end of criticism regardless.

What people may not know, though, is that, on an independent level, a lot of people who give music lessons ended up benefiting because of the extra eyeballs. There were also plenty of musicians going live as often as they possibly could because they recognized there was an opportunity to tap into an audience that is primarily stuck in front of a screen.

And so, while the bigger music industry, the mainstream industry may have made some missteps, there were a lot of independent creators that ended up benefiting throughout that whole cycle.

It’s always going to be like that. Sometimes it will be the mainstream doing all the right things and hitting all the right buttons. And sometimes it’ll be independents hitting all the right buttons.

At times, the mainstream will be doing all the right things. And sometimes it will be independents hitting all the right buttons. Share on X

Justin: The music industry in general takes so many turns and innovations and ups and downs, since the initial CD, and CD-ROMs, and all that sort of thing, the Walkman, and now where we are today.

Speaking about diversification, you know artists would benefit from more revenue streams. I mean, it’s just a plain and simple thing. If you have more of your career and your business diversified over different areas that are also generating money and give you a chance to do so, I mean, it’s only going to be beneficial. Because if one thing, like you said, touring wasn’t happening in 2020 in that era, but you could have Patreon and doing lessons on the side, having monthly income on that. So, any possible way you can diversify as an artist is beneficial to your career. I believe.

Any possible way you can diversify as an artist is beneficial to your career. Share on X

David: Yeah, absolutely. Everything takes work, but there definitely are some things that you can work into your existing workflows without having to add a ton of extra work. Affiliate marketing is one of those things, and I shared about that on the podcast a few times.

But as you say, if you have friends investing in you or friends willing to invest in you ongoingly and consistently. It could just be like a Patreon model but have something that’s really tangible in terms of deliverables as well as what you receive as an artist. And I think I can see that’s what you’re aiming for.

Justin: Yeah, you’re absolutely right. And you know, you made me think about something where… if you focus mainly say on social media, right, there’s a lot of different channels. If you focus mainly on your Instagram channel and don’t put as much attention on YouTube or Twitter or whatever it is. The Instagram channel is going to grow relative to those other two channels, three channels, right?

So, there’s this different concept between diversification, spreading yourself wide, and narrowing the approach on these given ones that produce the best returns, right?

So, I believe a mix between diversifying your career and different classes, and then also focusing and narrowing the approach on the ones that are working in the long run.

David: And to your point too, I think it’s really tough for independent artists to make it without diversification. At a minimum, you’re going to have live performance and streaming royalties and merch sales and stuff like that, but that may not be enough. And if you aren’t doing those things already, you’d want to start there and then continue to look for other opportunities, given that some independent bands found it really tough to make anything on tour.

Some independent bands find it really tough to get people to stream their music but might have a great live show. And so, yeah, it’s really understanding, what is working and then finding those additional opportunities that don’t add tons of stress and tons of work to your schedule.

Justin: That’s a great point.

David: I wanted to narrow in on this matter of pivoting a little bit more and I’ve gone through pivots myself. I don’t think it would be too much of an exaggeration to say I’m facing transition headlong, diving headlong into those waters at the moment, but what is something you learned from your recent pivot?

Justin: My recent pivot made no sense on paper whatsoever. It did not make sense from the outside looking in. We had a good customer base. We were making steady revenue. We were helping other artists. We were doing right by everybody, but it was just an intuitive feeling. I can’t really explain more so than that.

I had a big vision and a big dream about MariNation and what the company could be. And doing this old direction, it kind of felt like I was settling for less than that big vision. I was taking a more secure, safe approach where it was working and things were going well from an outside point of view.

But internally, I knew that we were settling for less than the big dream and mission that we were out to accomplish. So that was basically the thing with the pivot is it kind of ate away at me over the course of weeks and months and finally, it just came to where we’ll have an internal meeting about our team and we’ll sit down and say, “It is working, but this isn’t necessarily the big mission and dream that we had for this.”

We’re settling and copping out from the actual thing that we set out to accomplish. And it was a hard process to wrestle with that. But we made the decision. We did that about a year and a half ago, and now we’re in a great position with this new direction that we set out to accomplish in the first place.

David: I’m really happy to hear that. And I was thinking that, too. I was like, “Well, MariNation hasn’t been around forever, but they’ve certainly been around long enough to have built up a bit of interest and an audience base.”

And so, to pivot when things are already moving along… It makes sense that you would focus on the vision side of things that you saw that there were more ways to be helping people and perhaps a better way to be helping the people that you wanted to help. And I love that. I think if there’s a good reason to pivot, that would be it.

Justin: It’s not an easy thing when you’re doing something, and you give a lot of time, money, and energy towards something. And you come to a place where you just have had enough of what you’re doing or something just happens where you say, enough is enough, right? And I have to change. We have to change what we’re doing. And it’s not easy.

But once you do it, you realize it’s not as scary as you thought, changing and making a different decision. It’s not as scary as you made it out to be in your mind. And, I’m grateful for us having done that.

I’m grateful for the rest of our team being a part of it and agreeing to that and being so flexible, because they put a lot of time and energy and money into our old app. We basically have made two mobile applications in the past two years now. And that’s a very daunting task. Putting these systems in place and all that.

So, yeah, that was the whole reason for the pivot and it wasn’t easy, but doing the scary thing is necessary. In some cases,

David: Sunk cost fallacy, right? You have so much time, energy, and money invested into something that it feels like it would make more sense to just continue what you’re doing rather than adjust or change course or look at another parallel industry that you could serve and be a part of.

I’m an Opportunist in the best sense of the word. I’m not trying to exploit people, but there are a lot of cool things going on that I might want to take advantage of. And whenever I do that lately, I usually come to a conclusion pretty quickly that if this is going to take an extra hour and a half of my time, 10:30 at night to do every day, maybe it would make more sense for me to step back and simplify and not have that and have it be a thing that’s on my schedule, unless I have the structures and people to make it happen.

And that’s the other thing, too. if you have a big vision, we can get a team going and we can get people going. But in the meantime, it’s like money’s flying out and you may or may not be recouping your costs in the first five years of the business. And if you’re self-funded and bootstrapped and you’re taking on more freelance work and spending less time on your business…

So, yeah, the whole sunk cost fallacy thing can easily eat up all your time and energy that you would put into your business. And then that doesn’t help you grow either.

Justin: It’s an interesting concept because I come from an athletic background in New Orleans, in addition to being a music producer. And the thing in society is “Don’t quit,” you know, “Quitters never win, winners never quit.”

That’s been ingrained in myself, especially coming from athletics. You don’t give up, you’ve got to keep going, you keep going until you can’t. And sometimes that’s not necessarily a good thing. You have to reassess and constantly do audits of yourself, audits of how you’re feeling, if companies are working, what you can do better, and continue to do that evaluation on a continuous basis. It’s helpful to see if you’re going in the right direction and if something needs to change.

Audit yourself on a continuous basis – evaluate how you’re feeling, how your companies are doing, and what you could be doing better. Share on X

David: One thing listening to James Schramko recently got me thinking was if you only focused on one thing per week, how well would you do that one thing and how much of a difference would that make?

I progressively look in that direction because I wouldn’t say I’ve been the antithesis of focus, but at the same time, I’m a Multipotentialite or multi-passionate person with a lot of interests. So, it’s easy to go down that path.

But yeah, I’ve also heard explained recently and I think it was Matt Starr, and I love this as well. If you focus too little, you’re not going to get anywhere with where you’re going. But if you focus too much, you can’t see around you to make the adjustments necessary. So, focus is actually a balance unto itself. It’s not “be a complete monomaniac to the exclusion of what’s going on around you.”

Focus requires balance – too little focus, you get nowhere. Too much focus, you can’t see around you. Share on X

Justin: There are a lot of paradoxes in success. Go be quick to market. Go fast. Iterate fast.

Mark Zuckerberg’s… I believe his slogan when he was starting Facebook was “Break things fast,” so that’ll force you to develop. And then the other one is you can develop something that works minimal viable product. But it has to work for other people too. You can’t have anything hanging on by a thread and not work in a process.

So, it’s a harmonious dance. Like you said, a balance, between these two beliefs where you have to do things fast, you have to be focused, you have to persist, and then you also have to be flexible, and you have to make sure and take your time.

Success is a harmonious dance of paradoxes. Share on X

And, you know it’s a weighing and harmonious relationship between those two concepts.

David: One thing that can be hard to know is like when to pivot. I remember reading Seth Godin’s The Dip and the biggest joke of that book is he doesn’t tell you when to quit, right? And yet you still have to apply some kind of… like you said, intuition can absolutely be a valuable tool in business, but you still have to apply some kind of framework to, “Okay, we have to get the team on board moving in the same direction. Or else they’re still stuck back here in the weeds,” and you’re not able to move forward because they’re still dwelling on all the way things were, which we always draw from our past, not from what might be possible in the present or future.

So, as you see it, what sort of frameworks benefited you or what sort of tools and resources helped you in that process?

Justin: Resources that helped me is my intuition, my gut. I make a lot of my best decisions on an intuitive basis. They may not look great from the outside from whatever perspective you look at it. But all the best decisions have been an intuitive decision.

The challenging thing with that listening to that inner voice is that your mind will be completely against it. In most cases, where if you have a big payday, but you don’t feel right about the person or partnership that is going to give you the money. Your insides are telling you, “No, that’s not going to work for us. It’s not going to benefit,” but your mind’s thinking money. I want it now, like instant gratification.

So, I would say meditation, like if we’re talking practical, strategic things, being quiet and listening to your inner voice, getting away from the scenario is an extremely beneficial thing, detaching yourself from it, going for a walk, doing anything but it.

Talking to people, journaling… I write down a lot of the things that I’m going through on paper. That helps physically and mentally. The physical exercise of writing is, is beneficial.

So, practical things. those would probably be a couple of the ones that I personally use, but yeah, it’s just a practice to listen and make that decision.

David: Know thyself. This is something that I’ve had the opportunity to go much deeper on in the last couple of months here in Penticton.

One thing that came up having returned from Alberta was a six-figure job opportunity. And I was looking at what was required and what sort of role it would encompass.

And I was like, “Okay, so it’s digital marketing,” which I understand very well, and I’m good at. And it’s operations and systems, which I also know very well. And I’m good at it and enjoy it. So maybe I’ll apply and see what the Universe decides. I think I got my resume in a little bit later than some other potential candidates.

So right away, it just didn’t happen for me. But I was okay with it because I’m like, “Well, if it becomes available, sure, it might be neat to do like yearlong contract or something like that, but it still wouldn’t be long-term passion of what I want to do.”

And I’ve also had some conversations recently too, with some strangers. I don’t know why I have a lot of people wanting to friend me on Facebook and if they look like real people and they have some mutual friends, I’ll say yes. I’ve learned to recognize the scammers for sure.

But I got to talking with one of those recently and he’s pretty fascinated and interested in what I do. And he was asking me about whether I was famous and whether I was married and where things were at. And “Holy cow, you have seven books – you must be pretty well off” and all this kind of stuff. And even after kind of gaining an understanding of what I’m up to, he was still asking me, “I know some teams that you could be a part of. You could go and join these teams.”

I laugh because the whole know thyself thing I recognized in my mid 20s. And it took that long to figure out that I wasn’t interested in jobs. Wasn’t good at them, didn’t want to do them, and I’d always butt heads with management to where I’d be done my week’s work in two hours and then blogging and they’d be like, “What are you doing? You can’t blog on company time.” And I was like, “I don’t have anything to do…”

That could easily cross some lines in terms of raising my ire, and that’s not a good thing. That’s why I had to come to that understanding that “Okay. You know what? I think I’m made for entrepreneurship. I’m made for freelancing. I’m made for independent creativity.” But without having gone through that exploration, how would I know?

Justin: Right. And if somebody is in that exploration phase, the best thing to do is just try things. You’ll never know unless you try. It doesn’t really matter what you think ahead of time. Follow your interest. I personally try to follow my interest at the outset.

If you’re in an exploratory phase, the best thing you can do is trying things. You’ll never know unless you try. Share on X

But if you just try something, you’ll know. You’ll have a better understanding about you and the world too, after you try it. And then you can make another pivot and it’s just a continuous process of learning and exploration.

David: When I was 25, I was looking at a New Media course. So, I thought I would go back to post-secondary education and maybe learn. There was a new media course about podcasting and video game composing and I think video game development. Anyway, I didn’t get into the course that. My grades were fine, just not enough seats. So, again, I was late in applying so I just went and did that stuff myself. I made videos on YouTube, I podcasted and I composed music and I started gaining experience all by myself, not really knowing how DAWs worked. Not really knowing how to properly edit a video. And you can still see one of my first videos out there if you go looking for it. It was a review of a wrestling game from SNES or Super Famicom as the case might be. And I podcasted the first two episodes with a headset.

You learn these things as you go and I’m a fast audio editor because I spent so much time in the trenches on podcasts. So, a lot of experimentation happened around that time.

Justin: You’re going to suck at most things and it’s a good thing, because you’re stepping in the right direction. You’re getting out of your comfort zone. And I think if you understand that it takes a lot of the pressure and unnecessary burden and weight that we put on ourselves from starting something.

Accepting that you will suck at most things is a good thing, because it takes the unnecessary pressure and burden off of trying to get it right. Share on X

David: As you start to figure out, not necessarily what you’re good at, but what you’re willing to commit to being good at, because that’s what it comes down to. You might have some natural facility for things, but I think it might have been Jay-Z or Kanye West that was talking about how there’s a big difference between skill and talent. And I tend to agree that people often look at others and go, “They’re so talented.”

There’s a big difference between skill and talent. We tend to underestimate skill and overestimate talent. Share on X

What’s interesting though, to me, having come this far into my own journey of playing guitars and writing songs and producing music is that I’ll watch a video and go, “Well, it’s a really flashy camera. And cool music video setup. As far as what they were playing on the guitars, it’s so simple,” you get what I mean?

But you have to come to that point in your journey to even know that. Because until that point, you’re watching all your heroes going like, “Oh my God, I can never be that” but you don’t ever have to be them. You just have to be you.

And, along those lines to knowing yourself and some of the things I was sharing with these people on Facebook, I also had a question around “What does personal development look like for you?” And it’s a really great question because sometimes that can feel like a really mercurial or flighty thing. Like, “You can’t work on yourself” or “How do you work on yourself?”

You mentioned meditation. Actually, I tend to view that as a discipline because I have periods where I do it very consistently and have periods where I don’t do it very consistently at all, even understanding and knowing and having felt the benefits of it.

And so, I think part of what I’m saying is personal development is somewhat seasonal. You want to cater it and tailor it to what you’re up to right now.

The number one thing in my life is two-year long leadership program that I’ve been taking. I’m in year two quarter two now. I took two quarters off in between the first year. And this quarter is coming to an end at the beginning of June, basically.

And Justin, you were kind of part of some of what occurred in that leadership program as well in that you were helping me build Elite Players: All Access Pass, which was really fun.

But this being like the most intensive leadership program there is. I get a little bit of reading done. I do still listen to podcasts or watch courses and stuff. But my focus is really on the program because it’s that intensive. And I have weekly coaching calls. I have weekly meetings. There’s classrooms and team meetings scheduled. Some of those are three-hour, four-hour calls. There’s all kinds of activity every single week.

So, at this stage, or where I am in my life right now, it wouldn’t make sense to try to read a book a week on top of that. That wouldn’t make sense, but if I was to look at the other regular disciplines I have, I now work out four times a week. That’s been consistent now for three weeks. And even before that, I was already either getting four days or two to three days per week consistently. So that’s really important to me, and I’ve enjoyed that discipline, and I would say those are those are the main ones. It’s mostly the leadership program for now.

There’ll be a season again, probably where I do a lot of reading, but right now it’s like leadership program and working out and those have been like the most consistent disciplines I have. Besides maybe blogging daily.

Justin: I see this with a lot of successful people. I’ve listened to thousands of hours of tapes and I’ve read biographies of Steve Jobs and Chip Wilson who founded Lululemon, all these people.

And what I see with them and also yourself is they have an understanding about themselves, right? They’re asking questions constantly about “Where am I right now? Does this make sense for my life? And am I focused on my business or my music career, or am I more focused on family and relationships and spirituality?”

There’s all these different areas of life. And I think you do a great job with the introspection and asking yourself questions and looking at yourself as an experiment, looking at yourself from like an outside looking in, like you’re the, The Sims game.

If you look at your life like that, like you’re a part of it. And see like, “Okay, what are you doing, how are you spending your time, what are your habits like, how is this playing out?” I think that’s a great thing. Self awareness, you know, to have people start to see more success in their lives, whatever that means to them.

David: Russell Brunson talks about the “Attractive Character.” The idea is “How do you magnetize your audience to you?” And it’s a really valuable concept.

I realized that I was not the Expert. Like I love teaching and I love sharing, but where I really shine… Because the expert doesn’t ever change. They’re so consistent in their answers. They’re so consistent in their principles and values and who they are all the time that they’ll never deviate from exactly what they need to and want to say in that moment.

And I realized, “Holy crap, like that’s not me.” I’m not completely shooting from the hip either, I do have consistent answers to things.

But what was a better attractive character for me was the Adventurer. The Adventurer goes and gathers and finds things and experiments with them and then brings them back to their audience. That’s what I’ve been doing this whole time. I just didn’t quite figure out that that was part of my DNA as it were.

So that’s “know thyself” as well. And that was the best fit for me. I hope that people value from it. I don’t always hear a lot of stuff. And usually when you’re doing a good job, you don’t hear nothing. And if you’re doing a polarizing job, you hear extreme comments. And when you’re doing an amazing job, chances are there’s people that hate you too.

But a big piece of this is you’re not going to figure it out all at once. That’s for sure. More commonly, people make themselves wrong for what they are, and the more I get into this leadership program, there’s a lot of challenging moments. And just like anything else, like showing up to work, there’s stuff you’re not going to want to do. There’s going to be stuff that you don’t especially want to do. Right?

It’s the same with the leadership program, but you begin to recognize how much square peg in a round hole thinking are you going to entertain before you just accept who you are and embrace it and let that uniqueness shine rather than trying to mold and shape yourself into something society or parents or churches or whoever says you’re supposed to be.

As I understand it, that was the greatest impact Madonna had on Dennis Rodman. He might’ve been quiet and timid before meeting her, but after meeting her, he was fully self-expressed. So, it’s a process. Definitely not something you’re going to figure out all at once.

Although we didn’t really talk about this in episode 243 of the podcast, I did bring up Elite Players: All Access Pass and how you were a part of the early development, and you actually helped us come up with the name.

So, the membership has obviously had a chance to evolve a lot, and there’s a lot more content in there than there was before. I know you’ve looked on the inside, and I’m grateful that we got to collaborate that way.

Let’s keep looking for opportunities to work together because you just never know what we might be able to create.

Justin: Absolutely. I’m always open, except if it’s any idea, like you mentioned earlier in the conversation, we do get a handful of the fake accounts and the phony people and that sort of thing. And you can tell very simply in clear cut and dry these days who’s genuine and for real and who’s not. And it’s never been easier to become successful today because there’s so many people who are just trying to get the quick buck and rip people off and that sort of thing.

But I think if people are more open and willing to receive any opportunities, however they may come, that’s how magic happens. You never know what can happen in any conversation or any relationship, who knows who, or any secondary relationship or collaboration can happen from anything really.

David: Absolutely. Well, just like your last name says, I hope you long go. I hope you go long and your business has a long and beautiful and amazing life. And we’re always excited to hear more about it. So, let’s definitely keep a conversation around what you’re creating. And thanks for your time and generosity. Is there anything else I should have asked?

Justin: No, thank you. II appreciate it, David. I enjoy these conversations when we’re recording and when we’re not recording. You have a very deep understanding about some of these topics and I thank you for the talk.

I thank you for letting me share my two cents on these topics and my passion for the industry and what we’re doing, and I hope we can continue to help one another and help each other’s communities.

David: Thanks for that recognition, and I look forward to continually supporting what we’re creating.

Closing Segment

So, if you enjoyed this episode of the podcast, why don’t you come and join us? head on over to davidandrewwiebe.com/Join. This has been episode 301 of the New Music Industry podcast. I’m David Andrew Wiebe, and I look forward to seeing you on the stages of the world.

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