One Conversation Can Change Everything

One Conversation Can Change Everything

It’s been my experience that creatives often feel a sense of pressure when confronted with the idea of “networking” or “building connections.”

Lest you consider me unsympathetic, I was very much confronted by the idea of holding a conversation with a stranger, let alone ordering food at the mall food court, in my early 20s. It took me a long time just to feel safe and comfortable with a seemingly simple exchange like that.

If we were to think of our comfort zone as a series of concentric circles, it follows that there would be a new level of comfort to develop at each step – saying “hi,” holding a meaningful conversation, making a request, asking someone out on a date, and so on.


The whole idea of comfort zones and degrees of comfort, and even the idea that you can’t network because you’re an introvert, is all made up. They are conventions to help us better understand ourselves and our surroundings, but rarely do they hold up as concrete rules without exception. Also see: Make believe.

Which is to say, it’s fine to approach the idea of a comfort zone as if you were leveling up a character in a role-playing video game, so long as you understand that you’re basically making up the rules as you go. I’m a big fan of gamifying life.

But innumerable anomalies exist in thinking there is only linear progression and no exponential progression available.

For instance, someone could go from saying “hi” to asking their crush out in a hot minute, if the desire and motivation was strong enough.

I have also found that seemingly small things like the day you’ve just had, the consumption of caffeine or alcohol, or reading 10 pages from a book can alter what you perceive as being possible for yourself. Basically, your willingness to act is a moving target, regardless of personal temperament.

All that to say, one connection can change everything. Sometimes, just one conversation can change everything. I know because I just had one of those conversations today. I can see it being a game changer in how I approach content creation, which is something I enjoy, but at times, has been a burden.

Sourcing everything from your own mind sets certain limitations in place, since you can only act on what you know, and what you know that you don’t know. If you know how to write, you can use that. If you know that you can’t speak German, you can at least take the first step today in learning a new language.

But there exists another category of knowledge – what you don’t know that you don’t know. You can’t penetrate that barrier without reading a book, listening to a podcast, watching a video, taking a course, getting into conversations, and the like.

If you source everything from what you know, you’re leaning solely on your past. That’s the biggest limitation of all. The past doesn’t equal the present let alone the future. The past can’t necessarily tell you the best course of action now. It can help, but its accuracy and efficacy are in question.

When it comes to connecting, you don’t need to force anything. You can simply allow. You can allow others to contribute. You can allow yourself to ask “stupid” questions. You can allow yourself to feel whatever you feel in terms of physical symptoms when you introduce yourself to someone for the first time. Emotions and physical symptoms don’t make an interaction “bad.”

Your next breakthrough may be waiting on the other side of a conversation. Maybe not. But how will you know unless you try?

How to Get Your Music Out to a Bigger Audience

How to Get Your Music Out to a Bigger Audience

Obviously, there are many ways to get your music out to a bigger audience.

Social media represents a massive opportunity, and that’s where most people turn to when they want to get their thing seen by more people.

And that’s not terrible thinking, but let’s face it – standing out on social media takes something. Even if you do capture people’s attention with your hulking muscles, toned butt, or shiny guitar collection, will it be for the right reasons? Will those people go and listen to your music after they’ve ogled your shapely behind?

So, getting attention on social media isn’t enough. It’s useless unless you get people to take a next step with you.

Getting attention on social media isn’t enough. It’s useless unless you get people to take a next step with you. Click To Tweet

Does that mean you should throw in the towel? Obviously not.

There’s a marketing concept that has been shown to work over the long haul, and while it will take some work to execute, it can help you reach bigger audiences in bursts and spurts (versus the gradual build of setting up a website, a blog, social media presence, ads, and so forth – good to do, but try combining that with what we’re about to look at, and you will see huge results).

What concept am I referring to? Dream 100.

There are different ways of thinking about Dream 100, as well as how it will look implemented in one’s career, but at base, it’s all about seeking out people who already have the audience you want, building a relationship with them, and making requests of them after you’ve built up that relationship.

In my world, that generally means requesting guest post opportunities, making podcast and radio appearances, giving presentations, and the like.

I can follow these people on social media, share things they publish, comment on their posts, send them books, offer to cover them on my blog, or interview them on my podcast (all things I’ve done!).

If there’s any reason to build your own publishing platform, it would be this – you can add value to your Dream 100. If you can’t do anything in return for your Dream 100, they are less likely to work with you. Creating mutual benefit is of the essence.

How will you create value?

Can you send your Dream 100 a gift? Share their social media posts? Listen to their music, podcast, or radio station? Buy their products?

Whatever you do, my suggestion would be to start small. Trying to build a relationship with 100 people at a time can be overwhelming. Work your way in with a few before you add more to your list.

And go into it with the right intentions. You’re not trying to take advantage of anyone. You’re looking to add value to your Dream 100. That’s the foundation. When things are going terribly in your music career, you’ll be glad to have dug your well before you got thirsty. The connections you build – your Dream 100 – is your well.