Upgrade Your Artistic Self-Image

Upgrade Your Artistic Self-Image

My colleague and friend, Greg Wilnau of Musician Monster, once said to me:

You know how confidence is gained? By setting and achieving goals.

As someone who has wrestled with the very idea of setting and achieving goals, this was challenging.

My frustration stemmed from goals set and not reached. Whenever I read about goal setting in a book, it always sounded so sexy and magical. “Write it down and it will happen.” Why did it feel like such drudgery in real life? Why wasn’t I getting what I truly wanted out of the process?

But the truth is, we all go through disappointment. So, how long do you want to stay stuck in the past? Whatever happened then is not happening now. You’ve got to engage in the present like it was brand new.

Eventually, what I realized was that you’ve got to look at the progress you’ve made based on the actions you’ve taken (while acknowledging what you have achieved). Otherwise, your feelings are running the show, and they don’t have much of a place in the objective world of Specific, Measurable, Attainable (and Actionable), Relevant, and Time-based goals.

Either way, consider that what Greg said is 100% true.

What is your plan for upgrading your self-image and confidence in the next 90 days?

What is your plan for upgrading your self-image and confidence in the next 90 days? Share on X

As you know, I’m big on 90-day goals, and while you can break them down into smaller parts, I don’t want to hear about any goals that can’t be put into 90-day containers, because it’s either too aggressive or too onerous. Try sustaining your focus on one thing for longer than 90 days and let me know how it works out. The human brain wants to wander, find relief or variety, look for something else.

A goal is just a game, and a game is created. You’re the one making the rules. And that means you can always set yourself up to win.

A goal is a game, and a game is created. You’re the one making the rules. And that means you can always set yourself up to win. Share on X

If you’re not ready for an aggressive goal, no problem. Start with something small like “for the next 90 days, I will go for a 30-minute walk five days per week.” That’s a SMART goal.

If Greg is right, attaining that first goal should increase your self-belief. So, the only thing left to do is to set increasingly aggressive goals that are especially relevant to where you are in your career and what you want to achieve. Keep setting up more games and focus on their achievement.

You won’t win every time, but even if you don’t win, there will always be something to learn.

Quick reminder – you can now get The Music Entrepreneur Code – 2022 Edition (just in time for the holidays). Don’t get left behind – be the first to get my latest work into your hands!

Be, Have, Do

Be, Have, Do

Conventional wisdom says you need to do, have, and be to get anything in life.

First, act. Second, get. Third, have.

But if you’ve read enough personal development and spiritual books, then you know it works the other way around – be, have, and do.

The only problem is that this can seem a little abstract in practical reality.

What we must do is visualize and stand in the possibility of the outcome we’re creating. And we need to make that mental image as vivid as possible, with people, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch. Most importantly, conversations! What words would be exchanged standing in the outcome you’re creating?


“Great job!”

“We did it!”

That much you already know.

What we want to do with that visualization is be abundantly clear on what it looks like to be it. To be the transformation. We’re not trying to get anything yet. We’re just looking to understand how we can create that outcome as a way of being. Because you can be that now. And that way of being is going to produce the outcome.

Be, and then the having and doing will sort itself out.

I’m Acknowledging Myself for What I’ve Accomplished

I’m Acknowledging Myself for What I’ve Accomplished

As I write this, I’ve been publishing for 273 consecutive days. I’m only a few months away from reaching my goal of publishing daily for a full year.

This journey has been a bit of a roller-coaster ride.

In short, I burned out, I went on break, my grandma passed away, and I’ve been fighting exhaustion on and off more than I even care to admit.

But at no point did I stop publishing. I just kept going.

And as I recently began work on an epic resource guide for Music Entrepreneur HQ, there’s one thing I realized:

I haven’t acknowledged myself for all that I’ve accomplished this past year.

And I’m starting to see that acknowledging myself matters more than I even realized.

In 2019, because of the personal development programs I was taking, I was actively encouraged to acknowledge myself. And I did. Honestly, I was quite amazed at what I was able to accomplish, especially during the three-month program I was taking at the top of the year.

But I got away from that, mostly because of unprecedented external circumstances.

I can now see, with greater clarity, just how much I’ve grown. As result, I’ve accumulated value bombs, and I’m preparing to drop them on my audience. As I’ve been working on the resource guide, it has felt like creating possibilities for myself as much as it has felt like creating possibilities for others.

All that time and effort was not in vain.

So, for anyone who’s been following along on this journey, I want to thank you for indulging me and for putting up with my mood swings.

Because I know I haven’t always been in the best of moods. I haven’t always felt like showing up to inspire creatives and creators. My efforts have felt scattered at times. I even expressed my frustrations a couple times, drawing from past negative experiences that probably could have been left alone.

But I kept showing up anyway, because I knew I would thank myself for it, and hopefully, you would derive value from it too.

I’m acknowledging myself for what I’ve accomplished. And I’m thanking myself for being in service of my future self. Because now I can see the value in what I’ve started.

Take a moment to acknowledge yourself, too. You’re a legend.

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Addicted to Drama

Addicted to Drama

Some never graduate from high school.

They will constantly cry over spilled milk and draw as many of their friends as they possibly can into their drama-fueled vortex.

So often, we are blind to the challenges that others face. Comparison is unhelpful, but while you’re crying about a scratch on your Beemer, someone else is getting the news from their doctor that they have cancer.

The question is whether to remain in the drama. And the answer may not be forthcoming until we understand the consequences of a life consumed by “who said what” and “who did that.”

Drama is largely self-inflicted. We all feel emotions, but we also have the choice of what to do with those emotions.

Drama is largely self-inflicted. We all feel emotions, but we also have the choice of what to do with those emotions. Share on X

In this video, I share about the dangers of being addicted to drama.


Drama is one of those addictions that holds you back.

You are free to go and enjoy drama if that’s what you want to do. It’s just not going to lead to a stable life, conducive to lasting relationships and personal achievement.

People so often say:

  • I want to write a book, or
  • I want to start a business, or
  • I want to become an athlete, or
  • I want to become a model

But because they focus so much on the drama, and because they’re so addicted to it, they get into horrible relationships, and then they have friends who also like drama, and before long, they form a drama addicts anonymous group that ends up feeding the monster…

So, you end up in a constant roller-coaster ride that doesn’t support you achieving any of your ambitions.

The test of stability is not whether your life is stable. There will always be things you can’t control.

The test of stability is whether you can maintain emotional evenness even as the world is storming around you.

The test of stability is whether you can maintain emotional evenness even as the world is storming around you. Share on X

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P.S. My new course, the Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass is available.

This course equips you with practical and timeless mindset advice, along with the skills necessary to make your own way in the music business.

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Why You’re Not Achieving Your Goals

Why You’re Not Achieving Your Goals

Science says only 8% of people achieve their goals (all things considered, that’s still a lot of people).

But why?

Plainly, a lot of people have goals. BUT…

  • Only a small number of those people have documented goals.
  • An even smaller number of people have a strategy to reach their goals.
  • And, only a small percentage of those people ever action their strategy.

That should get us nice and close to the 8% mark.

Forget law of attraction. I’m not saying it’s not valid or real, but if you’re serious about achieving something, you can’t leave it to chance. Don’t succumb to the myth of mysticism.

Sure, if you’re present to your reality, you will stumble upon one resource and then the next. You will come across someone who can help you and then another.

But this will only happen if you are committed and in action. Here’s why:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen events, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic. Begin it now.” – William Hutchison Murray

Said another way, Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat (fortune favors the bold).

So, if you’re serious about achieving your goals, follow this simple process:

Step #1 – Set Clear, Specific & Measurable Goals

Keep it simple. You don’t need to adhere to the conventional five-criteria SMART goal to get the result you desire. We all know the difference between workable goals and ambiguous goals.

This goal is too ambiguous:

Become healthier this year.

But this goal is clear, specific and measurable:

Lose 10 lbs. by March 20, 2020.

Step #2 – Document Your Goals

Use pen and paper and put them into writing.

Keep your goals somewhere you will see them daily and review them.

Step #3 – Create a Strategy

This is your step by step plan.

If you’re planning to lose 10 lbs., for instance, your plan might include items like:

  • Eat organic
  • Exercise for 30 minutes per day
  • Get in bed by 10 PM and get to sleep by 11:30 PM

Your plan can include as many items as you wish.

Step #4 – Action Your Strategy

Do something every day that moves you in the direction of your goals. Use your plan as your guide.

Final Thoughts

Achieving your goals isn’t easy. But it is simple. So, don’t overcomplicate the process.

Set your goals, write them down, strategize and get in action.

If you don’t achieve your goals the first time around, try again. Create a new strategy based on what you now know.