I’ve shared about how I’ve probably always wanted to do it, just that I’ve been waiting for the permission to do it.
That’s a lesson. Never wait for the permission to do whatever it is you want to do. Simply go and do it.
But when I heard marketer Russell Brunson talk about how if you published daily for a year, all your money problems would be solved, how I could I not give it a try?
Publishing daily for a year didn’t do that for me… but it wasn’t without its benefits.
After 22 months straight of daily blogging, I took a bit of a break from May to November 2022, but eventually got back on this crazy train. It kept whistling at me.
But I have been feeling for a while that I need to consolidate my business activity. I’ve got too much going on and I’ve probably made it harder on people to follow me than not.
So, I started coming up with a plan. I was starting to think of merging Music Entrepreneur HQ with this site. Honestly, I might still do it. Consolidation is coming in some way, shape, or form. It’s just that it may not look how I originally thought it was going to look.
In evaluating my approach to business and with a renewed commitment to take an inside out approach (instead of the outside in approach I’ve been taking), I figured it might be high time to stop publishing daily and set myself behind a layer, as I did in 2018 – 2019.
I felt this issue of publishing daily also needed to be re-examined. It’s not taking up a ton of time, but it is taking time, nonetheless.
But in listening to Seth Godin again recently, I’ve begun seeing publishing daily through a new perspective. It’s not about traffic or money at all. It’s about sharing observations and being useful to others.
The daily blogging is serving a purpose all its own. It might not be growing my business. But it’s keeping me in the habit of showing up daily and being generous. And that’s enough. It’s serving a purpose all its own.
I don’t need to force this website to become anything more or anything other than what it is. That’s freeing. It’s a relief.
Maybe it’s because I’ve finally found some fantastic ways of repurposing the reams of content I’ve created in a more meaningful way… although I have been doing this since last summer.
Maybe my actions are more in alignment with my intentions and goals.
Maybe it’s because I’m less focused on income, and because I’ve been giving more. Giving has been freeing. I feel like it’s like saying to your brain, “there’s plenty, there’s always something left over, and there’s always more on its way.”
Previously, I felt like the weight of it was going to crush me. I thought it might take a while to process it all. But it didn’t. Declaring it complete freed me very rapidly.
My level of enjoyment recently changed to such a degree that the difference was noticeable. And now there’s an opening where none previously existed. I’m free to engage in the new phase of my business.
Every six months, you should complete, end, finish. Whatever’s going on in your business, complete it, start over, and move on.
As these words were exiting a guest speaker’s mouth, I realized just how many incompletes I’d been harboring in my own business.
I still find myself thinking about podcast series I started but never finished, books I meant to write but never wrote, blog posts I started but left sitting on my hard drive.
I think about the explosive traffic I had in 2018. I think about the people who reached out to me from California, interested in collaborating or investing with me. I think about the deposit I made with an agency to book podcast interviews. Basically, nothing ever came of any of it.
The list goes on and on.
And despite how much I talk about completion in my own writing, I’ve found a niche in my life rife with incompletion – my business. I’m living in the past when I could be living in the present. I could be creating a future and living into it. Meanwhile, I’m still trying to fix something that happened back there. It robs me of the present.
So, I’m declaring this phase of my business complete.
It doesn’t mean I won’t be delivering on certain promises I’ve made. Flashes of Elation is still coming, and perhaps I can still book those podcast interviews.
But most things aren’t worth saving. I need to let go of everything else.
I need to let go of disappointments. I need to let go of whatever I haven’t done. Or I need to have a conversation to get it complete. To share with the world (probably in a podcast) what I’ve decided, even if it’s just to acknowledge what I haven’t done and have no intention of doing anymore.
I’m reminded of a Derek Sivers post, and in times like these, it brings me comfort, and even freedom.
But there’s one front that had nearly slipped from my view. I had almost forgotten why this has been such an amazing four weeks. It’s because I also had a big discovery on the business front. Ironic because it’s generally always top of mind with me. I’m glad I remembered.
These books are helpful. Are any of these on your website? Can people find them somewhere?
Why, yes. But you won’t necessarily be able to find them, unless you go looking for them, and to be fair, the list continues to evolve.
So, in no specific order, here are 14 of my favorite books on business, marketing, lifestyle, spirituality, and personal development.
Double Double by Cameron Herold
Cameron Herold’s Double Double relays the story of how 1-800-GOT-JUNK? got off the ground, quickly created a massive, palpable presence everywhere they went, and used vision boarding with their entire staff to focus on their goals and translate them into material reality.
As an entrepreneur, you can’t read a book like Double Double and not come away feeling inspired. It will not give you all the answers as to the pathway you need to follow for your achievement, but it will leave you with more than a few ideas of how to construct the reality you wish to create.
To that end, the concluding section, containing Herold’s succinct reflections about startups and businesses will surely leave you with a few steps you’ll feel excited to action immediately.
Just as there is fluff and hot air in creativity and business, spirituality is no less a fighting concern. There are few books that aren’t built on at least some degree of woo-woo, mysticism, or wishing and hoping.
Wayne Dyer’s The Power of Intention, though, is refreshing in that regard, and when I recommend it, I typically recommend a yearly regimen of picking up and reading from cover to cover with pen and notebook in hand.
Be reminded of the gentle power of intention, of being more than your physical body, and of discovering your personal spiritual path.
With a title like Work Less, Make More, you would likely assume author James Schramko to be a) a scammer, or b) a peddler of inflated value $997 programs containing Googleable information. Of which he is neither.
Working less and making more is counterintuitive, but that is admitted in the book’s subtitle. To have something others don’t have, it stands to scrutiny that you would need to think and act differently.
In this book, Schramko guides us on the often-narrow corridor to reducing your work hours while squeezing ever more out of your daily efforts. And while much of it isn’t easy, and Schramko doesn’t claims that it is, it is the panacea to the overworked, over exhausted, over encumbered entrepreneur.
Quality, serial content accomplishes many things at once – it educates, entertains, and inspires audiences. It builds authority, trust, and credibility. Perhaps most importantly, it helps you grow your email list and turn prospects into customers.
Demand Metric says content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates roughly three times as many leads as traditional marketing. These and other impressive stats demonstrate that content marketing is a force.
At the heart of every YouTuber is content, and though for many the content is the product, smart YouTubers are growing their list while actively promoting new offers to maximize revenue from their reach.
Content Inc. is the definitive playbook for using content to build an audience and profit from it.
How do you ensure a steady flow of new customers and clients? How can you book yourself solid, and stay booked, as the title of this book suggests?
In this volume, author Michael Port sets forth, in detail, a viable plan for attracting and serving an ever-expanding client base. And he does it all while demystifying and simplifying the entire process and setting warning signs in your path to help steer you clear of common but grievous mistakes.
If you have a business, and it’s working, but not working as well as you would like, you would benefit from a read through Port’s Book Yourself Solid.
The 4-Hour Workweek may be controversial. But it has been my observation that – beyond all the hype and criticism – exists a playbook that lays out, step by step, the process to follow if you’ve ever thought about living life on your own terms.
Do you have a job? Great, author Tim Ferriss will show you how to have a better work life. Do you have a business? Great, Ferriss will explain how you can create more freedom for yourself.
The book certainly glosses over what Ferriss perhaps deemed easy, but others find difficult – namely setting up a business vehicle for freedom (does this even exist anymore?) – but it is a thoroughly inspirational read with some solid takeaways regardless.
What if marketing and selling your product or service online were simple? What if there were only a few ways to accomplish these ends, and what if it was all laid out for you in rich clarity in a succinct volume?
Russell Brunson’s Traffic Secrets is exactly that, and it will equip you with all the essentials you need to master traffic. It’s not intended to be read in isolation – especially if you have yet to establish your authority and already have a business vehicle in motion. But if you have that, this book offers the keys to the kingdom.
Traffic is work. Of that there is no doubt. But it’s not complicated, nor does it need to be. Identify the traffic sources available to you, uncover the steps to domination, execute even when uncomfortable, and you will have a horse in the race.
Is there a specific way to run your career or business? Many would argue that there is. Anything You Want author Derek Sivers, though, argues that you can do things the way you want to do them, simply because you want to do them that way. Subscribing to the methodologies created by others, merely because they sound or feel right, ultimately, may cause more harm than good.
Relieve yourself of the dogmatic pressures of doing things “by the books,” “the right way,” “the way they’ve always been done,” or otherwise. Conventional wisdom sometimes isn’t wisdom at all, and there’s nothing conventional about an entrepreneur’s life to begin with.
No B.S. Business Success in The New Economy by Dan Kennedy
To create structures and systems that serve you in business, you first need to navigate through a minefield of shills and charlatans, lofty but ultimately disappointing promises, emotional vampires and timewasters, and perhaps even financial ruin.
With author Dan Kennedy at your side, you can develop the mindset necessary to bypassing the distractions and noise, while developing ideas that work, maximizing business results, finding the right people to work with (and how to manage them), achieve peak productivity, and more.
The economy is always changing. And there will be another new economy to come. But rest assured Kennedy doesn’t subscribe to any rosy pictures of the future, and only deals in concrete facts that will show you how to elevate your performance while circumventing the untested and unproven drivel that gurus spout.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
The shlock that airport newsstands peddle is typically of minimal interest to me. The latest romance novel about some shiny zombies, or charming werewolves, or some other kinky nonsense that serves as little more than momentary escapism and fantasy for the mind that cannot possibly enhance your life.
Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck was different from the outset. The introduction, calling out personal development for all its errors, instantly had me hooked, and carried me rapidly from cover to cover. And it did enhance my life.
The title is to get you to open and read, not what the book is about. The book is about starting from the premise that you are perfect as you are, even if you aren’t a world-renowned guitarist, beloved social media influencer, or even a local cat-saving fireman. And that leaves room for you to live into a space of curiosity and allowing, from which the world can unfold, surprise, and delight.
What is your purpose in life? Your spiritual path? What’s the point of it all, and what are you ultimately working towards? Will your hard work really pay off?
Existential quandaries aren’t anything new, and questions concerning one’s purpose and destiny are certainly as old as language itself.
But what if you could connect to your higher self? What if the path you’re on is perfect, no matter how imperfect it now appears? What if you could get a glimpse into a future where dreams are, in fact, fulfilled?
All this would sound like B.S. and nonsense to me if it wasn’t coming from Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. Even celebrity actors like Will Smith claim to have seen a reflection of themselves in The Alchemist.
Everything in life is a financial decision, including marriage. To think any less of it is to arrive at key life decisions naively, purposely leaving a drain unplugged when it is preventable.
Gene Simmons’ Sex Money Kiss is instructive. Not necessarily because it highlights the philosophy of the eccentric (although there is that), but because Simmons’ tone in this book is surprisingly humble and fatherly. He is sincere, if controversial.
Those easily offended by misogyny or what they might perceive at that should steer clear of this book. But those who are willing to read with an open mind, especially artists, will discover a viable pathway to getting what they want in life in this astonishingly rich volume.
What if reality wasn’t set it stone? What if the path you’re on was just the path you wound up on, and at any moment, you had the ability to transfer over to a more positive lifeline, while avoiding a more negative one?
Russian mystic Vadim Zeland surprises and astonishes with his deep knowledge of the topic. He explains the iceberg, not just the portion that’s visible (like in The Secret), but everything beneath the surface that’s affecting the direction you’re headed down, and the lifeline you’re headed towards.
No description of this book, though, would ultimately suffice, as it needs to be read to be experienced. And while the setup itself is lengthy, never mind its chapters, if you read with an open mind and stay the course, much will be revealed to you about creating the life you’ve always wanted.
Marketer Russell Brunson’s recently revised DotCom Secrets has the potential to transform how you approach business, how you communicate with your audience, and even shift your priorities. I know because that’s how it impacted me.
Brunson doesn’t shy away from sharing his failures or painting a rosier picture than reality dictates. He’s quick to admit that most sales funnels fail, and he’s never had a funnel that was fully optimized or “working” out of the gate. That honesty is refreshing amid the palpable hype surrounding the funnel hacker culture, of which I do not claim to be a proponent. This read will benefit your artistry or business regardless.
Brunson’s in-between volume, Expert Secrets, did not make this list, but perhaps by the time I’ve completed my re-read of the latest revision, I will have changed my mind.