Pitching Fails #1: Dog Groomer Asks for a Spot on Music Business Podcast

Welcome to pitching fails, where we dissect losing pitches that never had a chance of landing with the recipient.

Study these well, and you will start to figure out exactly what not to do when you’re seeking out guest posting, interview, collaboration, partnership, cross-promotion, and any other opportunities you might be chasing.

The point isn’t to stop pitching. It’s to figure out how to do it the right way, so you can get a better response rate.

Let’s dive into our first pitch:

Pitching fail

Decent pitch, right?

WRONG.

Why is that the case?

Well, here are some things to think about:

Fail #1: The Email Isn’t Addressed to Anyone

This immediately increases the chances that it’s a form letter and usually denotes a complete lack of research on the part of the sender as well (which in this case is accurate).

Pitches should always begin with “Hi John Smith” or equivalent, indicating that you know who you’re talking to.

And if you can’t figure out that you need to replace “John Smith” with the person’s name you’re addressing the letter to, I can’t help you…

Never address your email to “107.1 FM K-RAP,” “Music Director,” “Yo,” or “Hey buddy.”

If you’ve scoured the web for their name and still can’t find it, lead with that!

Hey, I’m XYZ from ABC. I tried everything I could to find your name online, and simply couldn’t find it! I’m sorry. But I’m reaching out because…

Fail #2: Clueless Who She’s Pitching to

So, she’s an experienced dog groomer… that’s great!

Only… My podcast is about music and creativity, and we have not covered and have no intention of covering pet grooming ever. Oh, right…

This is probably the biggest failure of the entire pitch, so take special note:

Your pitches should necessarily be relevant to the recipient; if they aren’t, ask yourself why you’re sending them.

Your pitches should necessarily be relevant to the recipient; if they aren’t, ask yourself why you’re sending them. Share on X

It’s an easy fix, too. If you make your pitches about the recipient and not about you, your response rate will instantly go up.

Fail #3: No Kind Words

There’s a vague mention of my podcast, but no mention specifically as to what the podcast is called (Creativity Excitement Emotion), or any indication that she’s listened to it even a second.

This makes her claims of “cross-promoting” the show on social media and to her email list dubious at best, and in no way can be considered a value-add.

A good pitch should include a brief, relevant, and specific comment about the recipient. Something like this:

Hey, David. I read your latest book Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook, and loved your new definition of productivity! The reason I’m contacting you is because…

Fail #4: Only Talks About Herself

Notice that the only time she said anything about me was about my podcast, and like I already said, she doesn’t seem to know anything about the show!

99% of the pitch is about her, what she can get, wants, and why it matters to her.

Think of it this way…

The subject line mentions an “opportunity,” but by all appearances, there is no opportunity for me!

Let me tell you something – podcast hosts don’t give a hot DAMN what you can get out of the deal.

Oh, sure. If you’re someone they’re dying to talk to, you’ll get off easy.

But otherwise, it’s ALL about what you can bring to the table, and if you’re not bringing the goods man, just stop. That plane isn’t going to land. Sorry!

Fail #5: No Value Proposition

Well, to be perfectly fair, she did say something about cross-promoting the show on social media and to her email list.

But it’s quite doubtful that she will, for all the reasons already given.

So, what’s in it for me, the recipient? Nothing.

Remember – people are ALWAYS tuned into WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?). If you can’t articulate why your pitch matters to the person you’re contacting, you don’t have a pitch yet.

What She Did Right

It’s not all bad news for our dog groomer friend. She did do some things right. Let’s look:

  • She introduced herself. That’s always a good thing!
  • She’s specific. The pitch is about dog grooming and her experience as a dog groomer. The mention of bringing “valuable insights” is a little vague, but other than that, she’s pretty clear on what she’s accomplished and what she can bring to the table.
  • She gave her website address and phone number. This can be a trust builder in the right context! It doesn’t automatically make someone legit, but it does greatly increase the chances!

Conclusion

So, what are your takeaways from today’s pitching fails?

What are you going to change about the way you pitch others moving forward?

Let me know in the comments.

Creative Expansion: June 2024

June was the month that changed everything. And even when you know something is on its way – like a Christmas gift – the joy is in finding out exactly how it arrives. That’s the part where the universe gets a full creative license.

Having begun new work at the end of May (more on this later), the dark, looming financial clouds started to clear and make way for a much sunnier scene. Miraculously, I also found substantial stuck money in my invoicing system and later in Amazon KDP book royalties.

On the home front, having spent the better part of three months searching for a home, my team was starting to get antsy and weary with limited responses. But by spreading our fingers out to friends and friends of friends, we finally managed to identify a more permanent home for me, and I moved in on July 1.

I did not publish any content in June, but I was laying plans for – and beginning to develop – new projects in the background.

Since that is mostly what I’ll be covering here, let’s segue into the essence of this letter. For those who want to know what will be covered, here’s a convenient bulleted list:

  • Full-Time Contract as Prompt Engineer
  • The 3 Project
  • Digital NO-Mad Exposing the Lies of the Freedom Lifestyle and Grass is Greener Syndrome
  • Local Recommendations Blog

Full-Time Contract as Prompt Engineer

Trying personal times were to follow the completion of my bread-and-butter staff writing contract in January 2024.

Having become a competent and skilled free agent, I was surprised by how little others had in store for me. I attempted to line up the few content writing, digital marketing, web development, and podcast sponsorship opportunities offered, but only the low-hanging fruit supplied any juice. That left me with pennies on the dollar.

Undeterred, I pressed on with my live music and multimedia event, Clean Slate, in February. Some may assume Clean Slate was the problem, but it was merely the symptom, not the root cause. More on this shortly.

In the months that followed (documented in a book to be released, The Ferry Letters), I had altogether too much time to spend in reflection and deep internal work. To my surprise, though, it proved essential to my caterpillar-to-butterfly transformation.

The culprit of my ongoing challenges had much more to do with who I was hanging around than what I was doing. I’ll cite an excerpt from a yet-unpublished ferry letter:

Even if you’ve got superhuman wills of steel, how you’re treated by others will eventually affect your sense of self. There’s a significant difference between being seen merely as a worker and a human being. On the one hand, you’re being paid and valued for the task you complete, which will only ever be worth what the company deems… On the other hand, you’re being seen for the holistic value you bring to the project, including the many intangibles that add value to the customer, client, team, or company.

I wasn’t working with people who understood or even valued those intangibles. There are many intangibles I bring to the table (that’s consistent with the way others experience me). But in this client relationship, there was zero value placed on anything other than tasks completed. This impacted my sense of worth long-term.

It took a while, but I finally found the next step in my creative evolution in April. I completed a lengthy onboarding process (not their fault – there were insane delays, including the arrival of company equipment, which impacted my ability to start sooner) to begin work as a prompt engineer with TEKsystems at Meta toward the end of May.

This full-time contract has been a godsend in every way imaginable, and I’ve been having a blast on the job. Of course, I’ve had to reorient my schedule and life around this new role – something I haven’t completely figured out yet – but it’s been a very positive and welcome change.

The 3 Project

The 3 Project

I can’t, at this time, recall exactly when conversations for The 3 Project began, but I suspect the wheels were in motion as early as 2021, with semi-regular phone calls and meetings to discuss the event.

Our executive producer, Frederick Tamagi, acted as the project’s visionary, championing the idea of bringing together three distinct artists to share their stories and works of poetry and music, backed by an all-pro jazz band (and even those are words insufficient to describe their proficiency but watch the videos and see for yourself).

I was brought on as the associate producer of the project, and I am eternally grateful to have had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring this production to the world. In some ways, it was like raising a child, as I was deeply involved in the marketing strategy, and acted as the lighting and PowerPoint tech on show nights.

The 3 Project may sound uncomplicated on paper. In practice, it was a journey riddled with landmines, not all of which I’m at liberty to disclose. But I think it’s fair to say hearts were shaken and possibly even shattered by personnel changes and trying personal circumstances – injury, surgery, financial struggles, and in my case, the events of Digital NO-Mad (more on this later).

The 3 Project took the stage on December 1 and 2, 2022. I know that, to some of you, that will seem a long time ago. I bring it up now because 1) I didn’t have the opportunity to cover it in the capacity it deserved last year, and 2) our journey as producers didn’t end after “lights out.”

The entire performance was captured by a professional sound engineer and video crew, and we had always intended to share the chapters with viewers like you. This project has finally been completed and the videos are being shared more broadly.

There are over 20 videos and including them here will no doubt bring the loading times of this page to a crawl, but I’m going to post them anyway, and I hope you enjoy them. I would love to hear what you think, and I suspect Fred would too (I will happily pass on your comments to him).






















Digital NO-Mad: Exposing the Lies of the Freedom Lifestyle and Grass is Greener Syndrome

Digital NO-Mad by David Andrew Wiebe

If you’ve reviewed my book launch schedule, then you know by now that I’m launching a new book every quarter. It is ambitious, but then again, all manuscripts are at various stages of completion, and in most cases, very close to completion.

Per Dan Kennedy, I’m a big believer in learning when to call something “good enough.” If I were working with a publisher, no doubt they would have different thoughts about what should go in the book, and whether an author should launch more than one book in a year. This is a case where being independent and getting to call the shots is honestly gratifying.

June saw the release of my latest, Digital NO-Mad: Exposing the Lies of the Freedom Lifestyle and Grass is Greener Syndrome, and paperback and hardcover versions also landed on July 7, 2024.

The book documents a 90-day out-of-control tailspin that left me feeling quite ambivalent about the prospect of continuing to live out of Airbnbs and working while traveling, something I had begun doing in 2019, and returned to in 2022, post-pandemic.

The journal entries that form the bulk of the book were published on Steemit. So far, I don’t think I’ve found anyone brave enough to comb through that lot, but if you’re the adventurous type, you’re welcome to give it a go. Let me know if you do.

I think the books offer a much better reading experience, though. The Kindle, paperback, and hardcover versions are all subtly different in terms of content, and they each have different covers too. Given that the book contains footnotes, though, the paperback and hardcover versions are recommended, though the Kindle version is sufferable.

The hardcover costs the most since it uses high-quality color paper. This is the first time I’ve ever used color in a book, and that is one of the ways I got to expand creatively through this project. But there isn’t anything I can do about the price – I will make pennies on the dollar already and would make nothing charging less (which I don’t think is an option with Amazon KDP).

I’ve probably answered most questions concerning the book in audio updates on my Telegram channel, but if there’s still anything you’re wondering about, let me know so I can guide you in the right direction.

Local Recommendations Blog

Local recommendations blog

My coverage will not include Ricky’s…

With Digital NO-Mad in tow, and The Ferry Letters soon to come, the thought had occurred to me that I might want to target a new audience with fresh content – the kind of people that might be interested in reading my travelogs.

If that wasn’t enough:

  • My ongoing food adventures have been a frequent topic of conversation among friends.
  • I have reportedly “changed lives” with some of my restaurant recommendations.
  • My vertical as a prompt engineer is in local recommendations.

So, starting a local recommendations blog felt like the natural thing to do, and I have been quietly developing the content in the background.

As with many creatively expanding projects I intend to take on, this is not a project that will necessarily receive regular updates but will probably expand as my coverage grows.

With any luck, the project will be ready to launch by September.

Closing Thoughts

How did you expand yourself in June? What new things did you try? How did you challenge yourself?

Leave a comment below and let us know!

When is Bitcoin Halving Event, and What Should We Expect From It?

Bitcoin halving is a critical event in the cryptocurrency sector that influences Bitcoin’s issuance rate and market dynamics. This mechanism is embedded within Bitcoin’s protocol, ensuring the digital currency’s scarcity and, theoretically, its value over time.

The Bitcoin halving countdown engages the community long before the event itself, marking a period of heightened speculation and analysis. This countdown is not just a timer but a signal to the market of impending changes in the supply dynamics of Bitcoin.

When is the Next Bitcoin Having?

Bitcoin halving occurs approximately every four years after every 210,000 blocks have been mined. This event halves the reward that miners receive for adding new blocks to the blockchain. It’s a deliberate mechanism to control Bitcoin’s inflation by slowing down the introduction of new coins into circulation.

The next halving is scheduled to occur around 2028, following the 2024 halving. This event will continue to follow the Bitcoin halving pattern, reducing the block reward further and impacting miners’ rewards.

How Could BTC 2024 Halving Affect the Market?

The most recent halving in mid-April 2024 saw the block reward drop from 6.25 to 3.125 bitcoins per block. This reduction has several implications:

  • Supply shock. With fewer new bitcoins being created, any stable or increasing demand could lead to a supply shock, potentially pushing prices upward.
  • Mining profitability. The immediate effect on miners is reduced profitability, prompting efficiency improvements or exit from the market for those unable to sustain operations.
  • Market sentiment. Historically, halvings have led to bullish market sentiments as traders anticipate price increases due to the reduced supply rate.

Previous halvings have shown a pattern of influencing Bitcoin’s price and the broader crypto market:

  • First halving (2012). The block reward was reduced from 50 to 25 bitcoins. This event coincided with a significant price increase from around $12 to over $1,000 within a year.
  • Second halving (2016). The reward dropped from 25 to 12.5 bitcoins, leading to a gradual price increase that culminated in reaching $19,700 in December 2017.
  • Third halving (2020). The reward halved from 12.5 to 6.25 bitcoins, with the price marking its new all-time high of $69,000 in April 2021.

Bitcoin halvings play a fundamental role in the cryptocurrency’s economic model, directly affecting the supply and, indirectly, the market price. Each upcoming Bitcoin halving is a critical moment for the network and its participants, driving the development of Bitcoin as a digital asset.

Grandpa

April 3, 2024
Queen of Surrey

My grandfather loved his grandchildren. He also loved to tease them. I’m pretty sure he made me cry more than once when I was a baby.

He was a hard man, and he didn’t speak much. If he did, it was mostly in loud barks at his wife, Holdine, whom he couldn’t hear half the time. She would always be in the kitchen fretting about something, and he would be returning home from the fields, usually in a grumpy mood.

But he did know how to make a mean sausage. I will miss that, just as I miss their farm, even though there was never anything to do there.

Never one to teach anyone anything, grandpa would only ever show you how to do things.

He never taught me how to fish, how to use a lawn tractor, or how to drive a truck. But he did show me how.

We went on many fishing excursions together, and we did occasionally catch a few fish. I made him do most of the bashing and unhooking because I didn’t want to touch the fish’s slimy exterior. I’m glad we got to spend that time together.

As a man of community and church, he was always steadfast and never waning. He held onto his beliefs, and he wouldn’t hear of anything else. Maybe because of that, he always commanded a great deal of respect.

He loved Johnny Cash, wrestling, and cars. And of course, he loved God.

In his waning years, he showed a softer side. I doubt that’s how I will remember him, but the years did take a toll on the man who, at least in my eyes, was seemingly unbreakable.

I will always remember the version of my grandpa who was kind of like a superhero. Maybe he didn’t always choose right. But he did do what he felt was right.

Pre-order The Ferry Letters

Book Launch Schedule

As promised, I’m going to share my book launch schedule with you.

A couple of titles are already visible on Amazon (though not necessarily available to pre-order), and I will be adding the relevant links to the other works as they are approved by Amazon KDP.

To keep things streamlined, at least for now, I have used templated book covers and standardized pricing. This does not mean these are the covers I will ultimately be using upon launch. Some details may change between now and the launch dates.

But I will be keeping to this launch schedule, so get excited. Thank you in advance for your interest. I could not do this without you and your ongoing support.

Digital NO-Mad: Exposing the Lies of the Freedom Lifestyle and Grass is Greener Syndrome

Launch date: June 30, 2024

Live link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0D2MG1C72

Description: Designing a lifestyle that pleases you at every turn is an enticing and alluring idea. Who doesn’t want to set their hours, work on their terms, travel the world, experience different cultures, enjoy different foods, try different things, and meet incredible people along the way?

Besides, it’s so simple! All you’ve got to do is build a profitable business in the health niche, automate it, glean a large income off it, and you’ll be off on a cushy first-class plane ride with champagne in hand to enjoy your shiny, new status as a digital nomad. If you can’t figure this out, you must be a loser with no friends…

Even if something goes wrong back at home, someone else will be there to deal with it, and everything will be hunky-dory… Right?

Amazon and Kobo best-selling author David Andrew Wiebe’s Digital NO-Mad: Exposing the Lies of the Freedom Lifestyle and Grass is Greener Syndrome documents his out-of-control tailspin from having to move out of his basement suite to take a two-week vacation in the beautiful Chilliwack and Cultus Lake, BC to filing for a consumer proposal and heading home to Calgary, AB, utterly defeated, all within about three months.

Digital NO-Mad sees Wiebe at his absolute angriest, with one thing after another seemingly piling on to frustrate his willingness to make lemonade out of lemons. Before long, it’s raining lemons, and his only recourse is to move back in with his parents. What else could go wrong…?

The Renegade Musician: Stepping Out of the Shadow of the Old Music Career Model

Launch date: September 30, 2024

Live link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0D2N2SW5Z

Description: Looking at it soberly, building an independent music career in today’s tumultuous industry climate appears little more than a pipe dream. The so-called “experts” are either teaching musicians the thoroughly hopeless and ineffectual approach of going viral as a social media megastar, or the long, complicated, torturous path to building direct marketing digital sales funnels that leave more artists disappointed and disillusioned than not.

The odds of making it? Don’t even ask… You might just punch a hole in the wall before the day is through.

But facing reality, says The Renegade Musician: Stepping Out of the Shadow of the Old Music Career Model author David Andrew Wiebe, is the first step to clearing a path ahead. If you want to win the battle, you’ve got to know your enemies, or you will confuse them for your friends and allies.

Most artists don’t make it because they’re trying to do what someone else is doing. They don’t make it because they’re busy playing “follow the leader.” They don’t make it because they refuse to embrace their idiosyncrasies, unique creative approaches, and personalized paths.

The Renegade Musician features not one approach, not one path, not a singular impossible uphill climb… But a holistic, thorough paradigm shift that takes the reader on a journey of transformation, and ultimately, empowerment. If you’re looking for every possible way that you can make your musical dreams a reality, this is the only guide that teaches you how to think and how to make it happen.

Flashes of Elation: Navigating the World as a Sensitive, Creative Soul

Launch date: December 31, 2024

Live link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0D2SGCRPZ

Description: Properly understood, sensitivity is a gift. But it may not feel that way at first. Having gone through a long series of disappointments, many artists come away crushed, feeling as though they are cursed to endure heartache and sadness for all eternity.

Sensitive creatives feel deeply about everything. It’s what makes them excellent artists, whether it’s writing heartfelt song lyrics or channeling their anger into a breathtaking painting. But coping with the roller-coaster highs and sewer tunnel lows can be deflating, and it has left many an artist lost and confused. Troubled by problematic personal relationships and recurring financial nightmares, many end up feeling as though they don’t even know their place in the world and no one will ever understand them.

What’s required, says Flashes of Elation: Navigating the World as a Sensitive, Creative Soul author David Andrew Wiebe, is a better understanding of self. When you understand your strengths, weaknesses, tendencies, and idiosyncrasies as a sensitive, creative soul, a brand-new pathway opens, as if a bright light spontaneously turning on in an utterly dark room.

Flashes of Elation features 50 essays detailing Wiebe’s journey and discoveries in candid detail, from anxiety attacks to finding those rare flashes of elation that make you feel like you’re on top of the world. Any artist looking to accomplish more, create an independent income, overcome discouragement, understand themselves better, and improve interpersonal relationships owes it to themselves to pick up a copy of this book to find their path to fulfillment and empowerment.

The Ferry Letters: Candid Thoughts on Losing it All and Starting Over

Launch date: March 31, 2025

Live link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0D2SDHXJ6

Description: Living nomadically isn’t just a lifestyle… it’s a commitment. Once you embark upon the seemingly attractive prospect of traveling the world – or even just your country – while working remotely from a laptop, returning to the way things were is a far more onerous proposition than you might imagine, and not necessarily for all the reasons you would expect.

You never know how life might begin to unfold while you’re trying to stay on top of your freelancing career or online business. You may not be able to find a home. You may injure yourself. You may burn out. You may lose work. Your new business initiatives may fail. One of your family members may pass away. Life happens whether you’re taking the reins and designing your lifestyle or not.

Creating a freedom lifestyle doesn’t spell certain doom. Travel is not inherently dangerous or depressing. But on the unexpected twists and turns of life, you just never know what might happen while you’re trying and failing to keep your personal life, travel plans, and business in view.

The Ferry Letters: Candid Thoughts on Losing it All and Starting Over is Amazon and Kobo best-selling author David Andrew Wiebe’s long-awaited spiritual successor to his Digital NO-Mad: Exposing the Lies of the Freedom Lifestyle and Grass is Greener Syndrome.

In The Ferry Letters, we find Wiebe riding the ferries between Vancouver and Vancouver Island while engaging in deep, inner work to resolve childhood trauma, and attempting to sort out one of the messiest seasons of his life.

From the strange, late-night creatures aboard the 10:10 to Nanaimo to the deeper meanings of life and the inner workings of the Universe, Wiebe’s deep contemplations will make you wonder, laugh, and possibly even cry.

Champion of Artistic Success, Vol. 1: Writing Yourself into Existence

Launch date: June 30, 2025

Live link: Not available yet

Description: You are the exception and not the rule if you were birthed into notoriety. In this regard, most of us start on equal footing, looking for opportunities to rise above and position ourselves as experts, influencers, gurus, and celebrities, all for the sake of our artistic creations.

That is, of course, until you let the futility of adulthood set in. Childhood dreams can seem so distant, elusive, and even impossible when you realize you haven’t achieved even a quarter of what you once thought you were fully capable of, and entitled to.

Whether you give up or continue the climb is a matter of individual, but one or two crushing defeats are more than enough for most to give up their unrealistic childhood dreams and embrace a life of quiet pragmaticism, desperation, and mediocrity. It’s not a matter of right or wrong, it’s a matter of what one is willing to endure.

In Champion of Artistic Success, Vol. 1: Writing Yourself into Existence, best-selling author David Andrew Wiebe dons his best superhero cape to empower the reader with hard-earned knowledge to carve out their creative path and make their dent in the Universe.

If you are an artist or creator searching for ways to boost your creativity, get exposure for your work, or develop habits and practices that help you accomplish more, then you need to get your hands on a copy of Champion of Artistic Success, Vol. 1 for an overdose of fuel-injected inspiration to scale the next mountain on your creative journey.

Surprise, Uplift: Discovering Identity and Purpose

Launch date: September 30, 2025

Live link: Not available yet

Description: Deep, existential questions can leave you feeling frightened, deflated, or even circumstantially depressed. As you look back on all you’ve experienced and where it has led you, you may wonder if there was any meaning or order to the way things unfolded, leaving you with more unanswerable questions.

The answers to life’s most difficult questions, especially those about yourself, can seem daunting and elusive. If you had a clear idea of why you were here and what you were supposed to be doing, the perpetual search for meaning would not seem so empty.

But we all have a unique imprint. It may not always be obvious. Sometimes, we even choose to turn a blind eye. But if we were willing to think, reflect, and dig through past difficulties and traumas, a picture would begin to form.

Best-selling self-published author David Andrew Wiebe’s Surprise, Uplift: Discovering Identity and Purpose is a deep dive into the things that make you tick. Gaining a deeper understanding of these aspects of yourself, argues Wiebe, helps you get a firmer grasp on who you are and the difference you make in the world.

Living is not merely about doing. It’s also about being. Embrace being and you will discover that you aren’t all alone after all. You will discover the impact you’ve made on others and the specific ways in which you will continue to make an impact on them.

Final Thoughts

Which titles are you looking forward to most? Are there any other subjects you’d like me to cover?

Let me know in the comments.

10 Things You Can Hire Me to Do (You Probably Didn’t Know)

I am sometimes asked what I can offer entrepreneurs and businesses.

Fair question – but not always an easy one to answer!

As a musician and avid self-promoter, I have sunk my teeth into – and have gotten very good at – more things than I sometimes care to admit.

I usually don’t promote all of it, because it’s not necessarily what I want to be known for.

But if you’re looking for a seasoned, skilled, and versatile worker, you’ve found one.

Here are 10 things you can hire me to do (you probably didn’t know).

Written Content

Upon returning from Japan, where I grew up, I was dropped into the Canadian school system. There was just one problem – I realized very quickly that I wasn’t very good at reading, and my vocabulary was a little limited.

I became fascinated with words, and before I knew it, I was devouring vocabulary lessons in Reader’s Digest, dictionaries, thesauruses, and even encyclopedias. I got plenty of practice writing bad short stories and cheesy rap lyrics.

I have been writing content for the internet since 1997, and I have been blogging since 2006. I have helped my clients create a vast array of documents to help them grow their careers or businesses.

Here are but a few examples of the types of assets I’ve worked on:

  • News updates
  • Blog articles (SEO-optimized)
  • Press releases
  • Podcast scripts
  • Video scripts
  • Screenwriting
  • Business plans
  • Grant applications
  • Song lyrics
  • eBooks, reports, and whitepapers
  • Books (I’m available to ghostwrite)
  • Email campaigns
  • Sales pages
  • Copywriting

Self-Publishing

Looking to self-publish your book?

It seems quite easy at first, but once you start delving into everything that’s required, you can easily start to feel overwhelmed.

I’ve published eight titles myself, so I know the ropes. I’m more than happy to help you figure out your:

  • Book title and subtitle
  • Book description
  • Author bio
  • Keywords and categories
  • Interior layout
  • Book cover
  • Distribution (Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, etc.)
  • Pricing strategy
  • Promotion and advertising strategy
  • Audiobook

Audio Content

From music to radio shows to podcasts, I can help you make your audio sound amazing so your audience wants to tune in week after week.

Let me help you with your:

  • Bumper or station ID
  • Audio editing
  • Audio sweetening
  • Mixing and mastering
  • Producing

I am also told I have the perfect voice for a podcast and a good listener, so I’m happy to work as a host or announcer too.

Custom Musical Themes

Do you need intro or outro music for your podcast or radio show? Maybe you’d like to gift a special song to a loved one. Maybe you’d like me to craft your special theme (based on your personal qualities).

Whatever it is, I can make your musical dreams come to life.

Coaching & Consulting

One of my greatest strengths as a coach or consultant is in helping you achieve clarity on what to work on, what to focus on, and what steps to take next.

If you’re lost, indecisive, or even frustrated with your career or business, feel free to reach out. An outside perspective can be an invaluable asset.

Music Lessons

I’ve been teaching guitar since 2003, and I’ve also helped some vocal, bass, and ukulele students along the way. Whether you’re just getting started, or you’ve been at it for a while, I’m ready and willing to show you the way.

Graphic Design

I’ve designed many things through the years, including:

  • Logos
  • Business cards
  • Blog banners
  • Posters
  • Book covers

My approach may not be for everyone, but if I’m not the right fit, I probably know someone who is!

Illustrations

I was practically born an artist, and from the time I was young, I loved drawing, painting, and crafting. I have occasionally used these talents in my content as well.

Is there something I can draw for you? Let me know.

Web Design

I’ve put together dozens if not hundreds of websites over the years, for individuals, entrepreneurs, businesses, niche blogs, communities, events, and more.

Digital Marketing

Whether it’s social media, email marketing, content marketing, sales funnels, affiliate marketing, or influencer marketing, I’ve got experience in virtually every category of digital marketing you can name.

And if I can’t do it, chances are I know someone who can. I’m connected to SEO and advertising specialists, graphic designers, photographers, videographers, and more.

Final Thoughts

I understand well that you might not be ready to get going with your project just yet. That’s okay. You’re still welcome to reach out, and I’d be happy to have a quick look at whatever you’re working on.

8 Woo-Woo Things I Do Even Though I’m Not Superstitious

Marketing legend Dan Kennedy is known for poking fun at new age, spiritual, and religious practices.

In the same breath, by his admission, he still practices what many consider “woo-woo” rituals.

I feel much the same way. I don’t know how much I buy into the woo-woo, but if you observed my actions even for just a week, you’d realize relatively quickly that some of what I do appears the furthest from logical and practical.

Here are eight woo-woo things I do even though I’m not superstitious.

I Meditate

Let’s start with what is probably the least superstitious thing I practice… meditation.

I was first introduced to it when I had a run-in with severe anxiety, and I did it out of necessity. It seemed to help.

In the years since I have tried many forms of meditation and have used it to visualize, change past events, uncover my spirit animal, and even more esoteric things.

It took a long time to cultivate as a habit, but it’s getting harder to imagine not meditating daily now.

I Declutter

When business is not flowing, one of the first things I do is declutter.

I’ll recycle old to-do lists, file away bills, take out the trash, take bottles and cans to the bottle depot, donate some things to Value Village, and so on.

Usually, after this has been completed, business starts flowing again, as if by magic. It’s also a documented phenomenon in Robert Anthony’s Beyond Positive Thinking.

A recent trip to Value Village did appear to set some things into motion in my life, though I can’t say for sure that there’s any correlation.

I Attempt to Feel as Good as I Can

This was instilled in me through various personal development programs like Your Wish Is Your Command.

I’ve become increasingly skeptical as to whether feeling good or “raising your vibrations” does anything to attract what you want, but all things being equal, it’s better to go through life feeling good rather than feeling bad, isn’t it?

I Whiteboard What I Want to Manifest

You could also call it goal setting. I’ll whiteboard a revenue goal for each month, and if I am compelled to, as I was during the recent total solar eclipse, I will also write down the things I want to manifest.

You don’t want to keep anything on your whiteboard for long, as the tool itself is designed to be used and reused.

So, if there’s anything I want to show up in my life, and I decide to whiteboard it, I will put a tighter timeline on it.

Though I do feel whiteboarding is a good way to keep my goals in front of me, I’m not certain that it has any inherent magical power.

I Feng Shui My Workspace

I’m not a Feng Shui master, but I do listen to those who are, such as Marie Diamond.

As a result, my desk is always facing the door, the direction of opportunity. I keep some (golden) currency on my desk as well. That’s about all I know to do, besides decluttering.

So far, I can’t say that it has helped in one way or another.

I Document My Income… in 3 Places

A bit of a weird habit, I suppose, but I document my income on my whiteboard, calendar pad, and computer.

The thought process is – the more I handle and manage money, the more I think about it, the more I document it, the more will come my way.

I used to think it made a difference, but I can’t say it has done anything for me lately.

I Affirm

Whenever I receive money, no matter the amount, I repeat the phrase in T. Harv Eker’s Secrets of the Millionaire Mind:

I am a money magnet. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

There is evidence that gratitude is a good thing, so this might be a worthy habit to perpetuate. The word is out on whether it magnetizes you to additional income though.

I Pray / Ask for Spiritual Gifts

I talk to the Universe almost daily.

As for spiritual gifts, I was not in the habit of asking for them previously, but I’ve seen Gary Spivey do it on his live streams, so I thought “Why not?”

If I get them, I’m better off. If not, I would be in the same position I was in before I started. What have I got to lose by trying?

Final Thoughts

Do you have any weird habits, rituals, or practices, even if you don’t entirely believe in them?

What things have you tried that seem to work?

What have you tried that hasn’t worked?

I look forward to your comments.

My New Daily Routine

Sometimes you need to change your approach.

The world is a changing place. And while evolving with it can often be frustrating and uncomfortable, it is a necessary part of life, according to the principle of entropy.

So, I’m evolving, and this is how I’m structuring my days for the next couple of weeks.

7:00 AM – 7:30 AM: Breakfast

Breakfast, at least for the time being, will probably amount to supplements, spirulina water, and a bowl of rice. I should be able to upgrade to oatmeal (and hopefully some fruit) soon.

7:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Content Creation & Distribution

I’m frontloading the day with the most mentally intensive work – content creation. Three hours per day will allow for the creation of email campaigns, articles, podcast episodes, and videos.

Without naming specific projects, I have many backlogged pieces to pump out. This may be my last run at trying to be a content creator, at least in the capacity I have done to this point, so it’s time to make the last stand and tackle the unfinished business.

Additionally…

The current economic collapse isn’t just here – it can now be tangibly felt. While I don’t claim to know all the right things to do during a downturn, one thing I do know is people will be turning more to content (including, of course, YouTube, Netflix, and video games) while they sit at home waiting for things to improve.

My theory is if I can make a small dent in the content power wave, I will at least make a decent income on viewership, if not on affiliate sales, sponsorships, and my products.

10:00 AM – 11:45 AM: Opportunity Hunting

While there is a near-limitless set of opportunities to explore, there’s only so much time in a day, so I had to narrow my search to a few key areas.

I will be routinizing scanning the following:

  • Local jobs. I’m not very good at jobs, don’t enjoy them, and generally don’t last long at them. But I’ve at least got to be willing, even if just temporarily, to humble and submit myself to another’s employ. Experience shows just some employment income helps around tax time too.
  • Classifieds. Odd jobs allowing me to earn $50+ will all be considered.
  • Pet sitting. Looking back on past income, I have done considerably more pet sitting (and sometimes caregiving) than I even thought. I have at least three pet owners who should give me good references now, so it’s in my best interest to keep seeking opportunities. For the most part, I have a very good rapport with dogs, though there are a few large breeds I don’t seem to get along with.
  • Upwork. Remote contracts are still ideal for me. I have a lot of experience with them, and their scope is usually limited enough that I can keep my focus and enthusiasm long enough to get the work done. I’ll be focusing on writing and virtual assisting unless I see something else that appeals.
  • Pro Blogger Jobs. One of the most popular online destinations connecting businesses with writers. New opportunities are popping up daily, and I occasionally see some with my name written all over them.
  • Podcast sponsors. I’m keeping an eye on Podcorn.

11:45 AM – 12:00 PM: Live Stream

It has come to my attention that live streaming for 10 minutes per day is not that big of a deal. I have already live-streamed twice in the last two weeks, reading chapters from my latest book, so it is quickly becoming habit. In the future, I can also host webinars or bring guests on to talk, adding some variety to the streams.

12:00 PM – 12:45 PM: Lunch

Rice and beans. Maybe potatoes.

12:45 PM – 2:30 PM: Client Work

I don’t have many clients at the moment, but I do have a few. Their projects do not necessarily require a ton of work, but either way, it would be in my best interest to set aside some time to serve them each day.

2:30 PM – 3:00 PM: Networking

I have been attending a daily call for those looking to grow their business through content for the last four to five months. This group is set to open to the public soon, so that means besides being a good opportunity to learn and receive accountability, it may also become a great place to connect with new people and earn business.

3:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Exercise

I usually lift weights twice per week and do aerobic and lower-body exercises in between. Since I’ll be getting up a little earlier than usual, my default will probably be light, aerobic exercise but we’ll see.

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM: Promotion

By this time, most of the heavy lifting for the day will be over, and I’ll be able to focus on admin tasks.

This 60-minute block will be spent:

  • Executing a long list of book promotion tasks I’ve documented
  • Pitching and cold calling individuals and businesses I can help
  • Promoting my products and services on Fiverr
  • Exploring other places where I can share my products and services (forums, classified sites, freelancing sites, etc.)
  • Delivering on other promises I’ve made

4:30 PM – 5:00 PM: Profile Refresh

I’ve noted several channels that are due for a refresh. This includes:

  • My resume (I will probably end up creating multiple versions)
  • Most of my social media profiles
  • My LinkedIn profile
  • My YouTube channel (specifically, the banner image)
  • My Amazon author profile
  • My ValuedVoice profile
  • My website (for instance, I could add my work experience to the about page)

I should be able to tackle these categories in short order, though updating my website and resume will be an ongoing thing, so I may keep this task in my routine, even after the above channels have been brought up to date.

5:00 PM – 5:30 PM: Meditation

Time to take a well-deserved rest, even if brief.

I don’t know how much I buy into “High vibes attract what you want,” but I do the things required to get into the right state anyway.

5:30 PM – 6:00 PM: Supper

One should not attempt to fight a war on an empty stomach.

6:00 PM – 6:30 PM: Inventory Management

I have dozens of listings on Facebook Marketplace. I will need to keep them updated and renewed. I may still want to add a few things too.

I probably won’t need to spend a ton of time on this, but for the time being it has proven an important income source, so I will keep at it until it doesn’t make sense anymore.

6:30 PM – 7:30 PM: Errands

I may need to buy groceries or run to the bank. I may want to attend a Meetup or an open mic. I may want to begin the process of creating a local community or find one I can plug into. I may also want to cancel some of my subscriptions to save some money.

This 60-minute time block also plays into the three basic scenarios I see playing out in the next one to two months or less:

  • Scenario 1: I do exactly as planned. I find good-paying work, I find a home in Lower Mainland or Fraser Valley, and life continues as expected.
  • Scenario 2: I find a few things locally (job, contract, community, girlfriend, etc.) that make it worth staying on the Island, and I find a place to live locally.
  • Scenario 3: Things don’t work out and I return to Calgary for a few months. This is probably the most desired outcome so far as friends and family are concerned. I am still weighing the pros and cons but I can accept that this is not the worst possible outcome, given the home base connections I already have in Calgary.

I have no reason to believe that Scenario 4, where I end up living out of a tent for a while, will play out, so I’m not planning for it.

7:30 PM – 8:30 PM: Phone Calls

Making phone calls to maintain and build relationships is something I should be doing anyway. I’m not great at it, and I don’t always enjoy it, but its value has been instilled in me through network marketing and the recent leadership program I’ve completed.

Others may be aware of opportunities I’m not, and I’ll be honest – even a few small cash injections wouldn’t hurt my financial standing (or mental health) right now.

8:30 PM – 10:30 PM: App Testing

This largely falls under the category of “Esoteric and experimental,” but at least it’s easy to do, even if I’m low on energy.

You may already be aware of the hordes of survey sites, games, gift card & cash-reward apps, review sites, and micro-work sites that exist.

I’ve been testing them out and documenting my journey on Better Ways to Survive.

As anyone who has tried these will attest, some are more efficient than others, but it’s hard to earn more than a few dollars per week this way.

In April, I have only earned about $13. But.. that is $13 I would not have earned otherwise, and I have done worse on Medium at times.

So, it’s still an income source, even if measly. And one of these times, I may come across an app that turns out to be a decent income earner (decent is good enough for me, especially if I’m only dedicating a couple of hours per night to the pursuit).

If I hope to find anything good, though, I think I will want to tear through the apps a little faster than I have been.

Delivery and other fetch-quest work also isn’t off the table, though locally these shoes mostly appear to be filled.

10:30 PM – 11:00 PM: Prepare for Bed

I’m going against my circadian rhythm a bit by getting up at 7:00 AM. I’ll want to get into the habit of readying myself for bed at 10:30 instead of idly watching YouTube videos or playing games on my phone until I collapse from exhaustion.

Reading might be a better habit to insert here, but no pressure.

Closing Thoughts

I am interviewing for a five-month contract this week, so if all goes according to plan, I won’t be sustaining the above schedule for longer than one to two weeks.

That said, I believe I have set myself up with enough possible avenues (without being too scattered), to find my way even if that contract doesn’t pan out.

Are you making any changes to your schedule? Are you doing anything to adapt to current economic conditions? What has been working for you?

Let me know in the comments.

Financial Breakthroughs – Day 2

I’m documenting the journey of how I got back to my feet financially.

If you’d like to see how this all got started, as well as how you can support me, click here.

With that, here’s my update for April 12, 2024.

I Live Streamed

No one was there to watch, but they should have been!

(Subscribe to my YouTube channel.)

I read the introduction from the Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook, and even answered five questions.

And I will be back with more…

I Sold My Ibanez 12-String

This put a couple hundred dollars in my pocket.

I was a little sad to see it go, but I wasn’t using it that much. So, it deserves to be in the hands of someone who will make good use of it.

Plus, while the Ibanez wasn’t bad, I’m looking for a 12-string that plays even smoother than that one.

I Made Over 20 Videos

I’ve got something going called Spark 90, and there are three of us (including me) committed to making 90 pieces of social media content in four weeks.

I’ll be sharing more about this in the first ever MusicHackers.org newsletter. It will be very interesting to see what comes of it.

Either way, I’ve got until next Thursday to put together 90 videos, and I’m almost a third done.

I found it fun, and if I wasn’t feeling a little under the weather, I probably would have made even more videos.

Financial Breakthroughs – Day 1

I am currently documenting the journey of how I got back on my feet financially.

If you’d like to see how this all got started, as well as how you can support me, click here.

With that, here’s my update for April 11, 2024.

I Sold My Nintendo 3DS & Game Collection

This was not a hard sale, especially at the price I was selling it at. This earned me a few hundred dollars.

I probably could have sold it for more piecemeal, but then there’s no telling how long it may have taken to get what each game was worth. Still, I learned something from that.

Either way, I was surprised to find how popular handheld consoles are right now. And people still pay a premium for the games.

Nintendo botched the eShop and basically admitted it by shutting it down, so it’s amazing to see that there are still so many loyalists.

But if there’s one thing they did right with their marketing, it’s scarcity. There is a secondary market for the games, but if you want to buy games brand new, you’re still talking about $40 a pop. DS games can go for a lot more, especially rare ones!

I Listed 10 Xbox 360 Games for Sale

None have sold yet, but they have generated a bit of interest already.

Compared to DS or 3DS, you can’t expect to charge much for Xbox 360 games, but I did find that some were worth more than others.

If, for whatever reason, you’d like to explore everything I’m selling, you can check out my Facebook Marketplace profile.

I Asked Someone Whether They Wanted Me to Ghostwrite Their Book

Of course, it may turn into a ghostwriting contract, so I can’t tell you who it is.

But one thing I know for sure is that I only need a few of these contracts per year to keep me warm at night (though no doubt they are a lot of work).