Who’s at the Steering Wheel?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Raising Funds for the Education of Underprivileged Children

As you may know, I’m currently taking a leadership and management program.

As a participant, each quarter, I’m encouraged to take on a personal project. This project, as I understand it, can basically take any form.

In my first quarter, I’ve opted to build my music biz membership while raising funds for the education of underprivileged children. I plan to give 50% of the proceeds to this cause.

I do not have a support statement from the organization I’m supporting, so I will not mention it here, but suffice it to say it’s the same cause my dad and grandparents supported heavily while they were still alive. If you know them, then you will know what organization I’m talking about.

(I’m happy to share more about the cause and organization privately, of course, so feel free to reach out.)

As it stands, I’m still in the process of building the new membership, but today, I have an exciting opportunity to share.

One of my teammates, Grace, is quite the artist, and she is doing custom full-body portraits for $50 per pop (themed portraits cost more). And she’s willing to donate 100% of the proceeds to the cause!

You can find Grace’s Instagram for more examples here.

Here are some samples of her work:Grace's custom portraits

Portraits for a cause

Commission custom portraits

Family custom illustration

So, if you would like to get a portrait done, and are excited to support the education of underprivileged children, please get in touch so we can get your order in.

Thank you!

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Sequencing is Important

Yesterday, I got into a one-hour phone conversation.

I was not acquainted with my new friend, and him with me. So, we had no way of knowing there would be so much affinity between us. We didn’t know that we would be talking for an hour.

In that communication, I got to share a lot about what I’m looking to accomplish.

What I realized, as I was sharing, was just how important sequencing is.

I’ve had big goals connected to what I’d like to accomplish in the music industry.

Start a membership site. Build a studio and record label. Create a magazine. Install a music venue.

And I started to see that it would basically need to happen in that exact order (although the last two steps might be interchangeable).

Starting the membership site will create cashflow. With that cashflow, I can build a studio and record label. Once those things are in place, a magazine starts to make a lot more sense, as it would allow me to promote my various ventures – especially artists singed to the label. All these projects would begin to produce cashflow, which would allow me to build an artist-centric venue.

Not everything we encounter on our journey is exactly as it was supposed to happen. But much of it is.

We discover what we need to discover. Learn what we need to learn. Gain the skills we need to gain.

And it all leads to our desires.

But with all our desires, there is an order to things. There’s a sequence, and it’s important.

No matter how much we might want to jump from A to K, that leap simply isn’t tenable.

Which is why we must trust the path we’re on. Begin to identify the sequence. It will probably be foggy at first. It won’t make perfect sense. And on your journey to getting what you want, you will encounter challenges. At times, you may feel like quitting. But that’s a normal part of the journey, and all you need to do is keep going.

And again, notice the sequence. Things don’t work out of sequence. Ask for guidance from spirit and determine what the steps are. Trust they are taking you to the treasure at the end of the rainbow. And most importantly, revel in the journey.

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How You Handle Yourself in One Area of Life

Is exactly how you handle yourself in every area of life.

Of course, your knee-jerk reaction is going to be, “that’s not true – I have disproportionate results in X area, while Y area suffers.”

But look closely again.

You will see that you are always tempted to quit – or do in fact quit – at a certain point regardless of the relationship, business, fitness goal, or otherwise.

Likewise, where you do well, you tend to do well in every area of life.

We should not be discouraged by this. Instead, we should use it as a mirror to identify where we frequently find ourselves stopped, wanting to give up, or otherwise struggling.

By doing so, we can create plans that allow us to move passed the familiar and into the unknown. Because in the unknown is where breakthrough happens.

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You’re Human & So is Everyone Else

When it comes right down to it, everyone runs from responsibility, discomfort, commitment, and pain.

Even the seemingly fearless who run towards challenges eventually find themselves crying “uncle.” Everyone arrives at “too much” if you push them far enough.

Your heroes aren’t that much bigger than you. They’ve struggled just like you. They’ve had to conquer themselves, wrestle their excuses to the ground, take risks when they felt more like turning, running, and hiding.

I say that as if it’s a permanent condition, but it’s not. It’s a daily struggle.

The only difference between you and them is that your heroes have been just a tad bolder, a tad more audacious, a tad more direct.

Where you’ve held back, they’ve been in action. And those actions might not be as massive as you’d expect. They simply asked where you failed to ask, made requests where you were stopped, had conversations where you were too uncomfortable to communicate. That’s it.

Pedestals are pointless. Your heroes are just like you. They have worries, fears, excuses, and concerns too. And some days, most days, they don’t live up to their own standards, let alone the high standards you hold them to. You just don’t hear about it.

You’re human. And so is everyone else.

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Every Possible Breakdown

On July 28, 2021, I will have published daily for a full year.

And in some ways, that moment couldn’t come any sooner.

It’s not that it hasn’t been worth it. It’s been fun and fulfilling.

It’s not that I wouldn’t do it again. I can see the benefit in sharing daily, even if it’s not the fast track to fame and fortune. There are benefits that extend well beyond that.

But in the last year, I:

  • Burned out and spent the better part of six months recovering
  • Lost my grandma
  • Lost my other grandma
  • Had to streamline my finances (it’s still a little tight right now)

It has been my experience that, whenever you commit to something significant, there are always challenges that emerge.

Did these things happen because I took on publishing daily for a full year? Perhaps not. Maybe they would have happened anyway.

But the events always seem to coincide with new ventures and commitments.

Even having gone through every possible breakdown, though, I don’t think I would go back and change a thing. Because I know I’m exactly where I need to be right now.

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4 Platforms That Piqued My Interest

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

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

Here are a few platforms that have piqued my interest.

1. Odysee

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

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

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

2. News Break

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

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

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

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

3. Steemit

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

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

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

4. Rokfin

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

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

Final Thoughts

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

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

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Dig Where You Don’t Want to Dig

When presented with the choice of doing something hard or doing something easy, most people choose to do something easy.

It’s human.

And this tendency shows up everywhere in our lives, including things we aren’t complete with, and still need to deal with.

If you want to cause a breakthrough, you can’t keep chipping away at the easy. You can’t be satisfied with incremental improvement. You must confront the monster you’ve tried to keep behind closed doors.

Today, I was talking with a friend who wasn’t moving forward powerfully in her life.

So, I offered some coaching. It was difficult for her to dig where she didn’t want to dig. She’d been stuck in the same pattern for a long time.

When I could see plainly that she was capable of so much more, as someone who’s up to something in the world.

I knew that she didn’t really want to look at what I was pointing to. But I poked around a little anyway, knowing that it would hurt a little. Because the pain of not moving forward would surely be greater than dealing with whatever was there for her.

As she kept looking, she started to see what was there for her. Unsurprisingly, it had a lot to do with her childhood and upbringing.

Eventually, she saw why she wasn’t doing anything with the projects that were supposed to be so important to her.

That would not have happened if we had dealt with the surface. It happened because I kept digging, and ultimately, because she kept digging where she didn’t want to dig. I can’t take credit for the breakthrough. Only for the stand I’d made for her.

Stop looking for gold on the surface. It’s time to go deeper. That’s where the hard stuff is. And the hard stuff is where we have breakthroughs.

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16 Years Later & Still Going Strong…

They said not to blog.

Writing a book is a waste of time.

They said not to make music.

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

They said not to podcast.

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

They told you not to build a business.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I also launched multiple singles the same year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is where the real work is getting done.

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

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

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

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Connect

I look forward to inspiring you. Really!

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