I’ve been AWOL now for almost two months, so I thought it was high time I caught you up to speed.
As early as June / July, I knew I needed to take a break / holiday / vacation, whatever you want to call it. A getaway, sure, but more than that, time to lay in bed and do nothing.
I had plans to visit Seattle with friends in mid-August, so I dovetailed that little getaway into a two-and-a-half-week break upon returning to Vancouver.
But I have officially been back at “work” now for a couple of weeks.
In the last six days, I travelled from Vancouver to Calgary, played a gig, got together with family, had some project-related conversations with collaborators and stakeholders, and travelled back to Vancouver. And as you can imagine, I haven’t had time for a heck of a lot more than that in the preceding week.
How I’m Doing
The two and a half weeks on holiday were much needed, but I did not feel fully recharged afterwards.
There could be any number of reasons for that. For the time being, I’m planning to do a cleanse, but if my energy levels remain low, I will see a doctor also.
I’ve also got floaters in my eye from God knows what, but I’m not too worried about that.
Where Things Are At
I haven’t published anything anywhere for about four weeks (aside from tweets or guest posts). Now that’s an oddity for yours truly. Usually, you can’t shut me up!
Partly it has been a matter of pig-headed discipline. I’m more focused on getting Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook done than just about anything else, and honestly, I can’t think of a more “Big Domino” project than that at this time.
Another factor is my workload. Admittedly, there haven’t been many changes to it, but writing the equivalent of a quarter of a book per week (15,000+ words) does keep me very occupied. And while I do foresee a transition coming, for now it’s fair to say my plate is close to full.
Even then, you know that I’m not the type to sit around and wait for things to happen. Quietly in the background, I’ve been working on:
- Gradually gathering all the clips, I want to share in episode 300 of The New Music Industry Podcast (this has taken far longer than I ever expected it to, even though I knew it was going to be a big project).
- Making massive progress with the Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook.
- Recording podcast episodes as ideas come to me. I’ve captured 45 episodes since May (yet unpublished).
- Planning a live event for January and meeting with my team weekly to discuss the project. I’m actively having conversations about this project outside of our weekly meetings too.
- Creating and dreaming up a ton of offers for Content Marketing Musician, which I plan to make my primary brand moving forward, though I have a few things left to do with Music Entrepreneur HQ. You heard it here first!
- Figuring out how to leverage YouTube to the maximum extent possible.
- Planning my next music release.
Mostly the above – the book, the event, YouTube, music release.
You should expect to start seeing more content from me as well but understand that the projects I’m now engaging in require more from me than your average 500-word blog post. So, while I’m not ready to set expectations just yet, I will be sure to keep you in the loop as to what’s coming next (hint – maybe a new podcast?).
Thanks for reading.
The seeds of Music Entrepreneur HQ were in a humble podcast I started in 2009, aptly named the David Andrew Wiebe Podcast.
As the podcast transformed from a promotional tool into an educational hub for independent musicians, we ended up creating many resources for musicians. And one thing that ultimately made Music Entrepreneur HQ a go-to destination for our audience was the free PDFs – eBooks, cheat sheets, transcripts, and other bonuses we generously gave away (in exchange for an email address, of course – but we deliver plenty of value to our subscribers too).
These downloads, though, were mostly loaded up in Leadpages (and in some ways, that meant we didn’t have complete control over our resources and their organization). We still think it’s a great tool and recommend it highly, though we stopped using it a few months ago. We knew that abandoning this tool would mean turning many active links on your website into broken ones, and we’d need to go in and changes these one by one, by hand. Despite this, our gut said take a chance. Much to our surprise, this ended up being a blessing rather than a curse.
Because, as you may well know, we have been more heavily invested in utilizing 10XPro for our books, courses, and coaching programs in the last couple of years. And while I was on a drive the other week, I suddenly realized that we could be using our platform at Content Marketing Musician to host all our PDF files. Not just that but I started to see that we could put them all into a singular vault, so that when you sign up to receive a specific download, you don’t just get access to one – you get access to all of them!
And so, the project is already underway, and as of today you can sign up for access to the brand-new PDF Vault. We are adding new files daily and will have a complete archive in the coming weeks, as we continue to build it out.
So, whether you want to read about how to get more listeners on Spotify, increase your YouTube subscriber base, or read complete transcripts of past podcast episodes, I have no doubt you’ll love this new resource. Sign up for the Music Entrepreneur HQ PDF Vault now.
My life has been getting dialed in on a variety of fronts.
On the leadership front.
On the financial front.
On the relational front.
On the networking front.
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.
Now I’m clearer than ever on how I’m going to establish Content Marketing Musician.
My productivity tool stack hasn’t gone through any major changes for years.
But because of the intensive, yearlong leadership program I’ve been taking, this has fast become a moving target.
So, here I share my current tool stack to help you find your path in 2022 and beyond.
Desktop Calendar Pad
I’ve explored why this is an indispensable part of my tool stack in a previous post.
I typically use it:
- To track upcoming meetings, interviews, and events
- To track income (in the memo section)
- As an editorial calendar, so I can keep my content queue (on various platforms) full
The calendar pad is great for record keeping as well.
Yellow Legal Pad
I used to use my yellow legal pad for my to-do lists.
These days, I find myself using it to take notes, project and contact lists,scribbles, and for the occasional short-form to-do list.
Because of that, I use it more spontaneously than in the past, and most of the notes I produce have a short lifespan.
Samsung Galaxy S7
I do not own the latest, flashiest phone on the market. I only upgrade after wearing down what I happen to be using at the time, and the Samsung Galaxy S7 is what I’ve been using for the last few years.
It’s easy to become a slave to your device, so I’ve turned off most notifications. I even deleted TikTok off my phone once I logged in on my desktop, because I only use it for marketing purposes.
My phone is great for capturing quick photos and videos, maybe the occasional thought or idea. Besides texting and calling, that’s the main way I use it.
iPad & Apple Pencil
For my reflection time, I often use my iPad and Apple Pencil to handwrite notes. It’s my favorite journaling tool combination.
I also read Kindles on my iPad, though I still prefer physical books to digital ones. An iPad is still lighter for travel.
This is where my to-do lists now reside. I don’t completely understand how this switch happened myself.
It could be because I hadn’t logged into Evernote in a long time, and when I finally returned to it a couple of months ago, I found it a more comfortable working environment.
It could also be that writing down the sheer number of tasks I have to do each week on a yellow legal pad is less practical than it used to be.
Dropbox is so integrated with my workflow that I sometimes forget that it’s a vital part of my creative endeavors.
I’m often moving a lot of files around – screenshots, pictures, raw video files – and often need to be able transfer these files from one device to another. Dropbox is a convenient tool for that.
Even if not for that, though, I use Dropbox for my staff writing duties at Music Industry How To as well.
Gmail, Drive, and Calendar are powerful productivity tools if used correctly.
Gmail is great for organizing your communication and filtering your emails.
Drive is highly searchable, and that makes it easy for you to pull up all your documents, spreadsheets, presentations (and anything else) at a moment’s notice. My Learning folder and LifeSheet are stored inside Google Drive, and I also have them bookmarked in Firefox.
I timebox my days inside Calendar each week now:
I’m also finding that Drive works well as a storage device. If I’m having trouble sending files over via email or Dropbox, Drive usually does the trick.
I initially had some resistance to Slack. I’d heard about its power. Entrepreneurs raved about it. Even after giving it a chance, to me it was just another app.
Because of the previously mentioned leadership program, I’ve had to get used to communicating on Slack, and have also been using it for my own team’s ongoing collaboration.
I still think of it as “just another app,” but I like that it’s highly searchable and you can use it as a file repository, feed reader, and so on.
Every team (and ambitious solopreneur) needs their own internal wiki, online bulletin board, or project management system.
Notion makes it easy for you to create a highly organized database with tables, calendars, to-do lists, and more. You can even embed media.
Although I still use Google Meet here and there, most of my video conferencing needs are covered by Zoom. It integrates nicely with most calendar solutions as well.
Almost all my writing is done inside Word.
Google Docs are fine, especially if I want to be able to write wherever, whenever on any device, but they don’t catch all my errors.
I have not used Grammarly, and don’t intend to. Word suits my writing style best.
I also use Excel for ledgers here and there.
Canva is nice, but I know my way around Adobe Photoshop better.
Photoshop is also far more versatile, and if you design in a professional capacity, you need all the power you can get.
I’m not the best designer in the world, and don’t claim to be. But Photoshop is part of my workflow because my various duties require it, and a different app (like GIMP) would just slow me down.
Campaigns and sales funnels would take me much longer to build with any other piece of software. 10XPro lets me set up websites, membership sites, campaigns, and sales funnels with the click of a button.
I will be setting up more products and programs over at Content Marketing Musician because of how amazing this piece of software is.
Read my review of 10XPro.io
Remember – productivity doesn’t necessarily mean more tools.
But if you’re doing everything by the seat of your pants, guaranteed you’re sacrificing productive time.
What structures will you be putting into place? What systems do you already have?
Although I don’t come cheaply, as a champion of artistic success, I’m always here to support you. If you’d like my coaching on setting yourself up for an effective 2022, get in touch. You would also merit from a read through of my latest, The Music Entrepreneur Code – 2022 Edition.
Hey creator! 👋
👉 Just a friendly reminder… Your week is what you make of it. It doesn’t matter what you’ve encountered this past week, you can get something from everything if you have the right mindset. Just look at me. I had to get my battery boosted by a friend to get home today.
😲 Find out why long, hard hours and a great attitude don’t necessarily lead to success…
📚 My close friends have gotten a lot out of my book recommendations, and they requested I create a page where they can find all my favorite books. Now there is.
🎨 What can you do to ensure you make all your creative goals a reality in 2022? I prescribe reading this blog post for starters…
❓What is Content Marketing Musician? I wrote an overview, so you aren’t left in the dark anymore. Let’s flip that light switch!
🎙️New podcast – Thought Thursday. It’s a free form, succinct show on anything I feel like talking about. Episode 1 was on my current promotion of 10XPro. Is the platform too expensive? Not if you problem solve…
👩💻 Question for this week: “Do you need talent to be an artist?” Go and answer it!
🍖 This is what I had for lunch today:
😔 I wanted to acknowledge that I’m falling behind on updates for Music Entrepreneur HQ. My goal for next week might be a little ambitious, but I’m planning to publish three podcast episodes.
💻 I’m having fun on BitClout. When will you be joining me? You do know we can elevate each other on that platform, right? I’ve decided once and for all it’s the better Twitter.
🔉 I’ve started going live on Wisdom and will be hopping on to share at least once per week. Better get the app if you want to join me!
📘 The Music Entrepreneur Code – 2022 Edition is staring at you, wondering when you’re planning to pick it up and read it.
And there’s always more where this came from…
💪 Thank you for your creativity and generosity. I’m rooting for you.