Don’t Let 2024 Run You

Don’t Let 2024 Run You

The New Year is one of the few times in a year (if not the only time) people allow their minds to run wild with goals and dreams.

Goal setting is critical, and it should be taken to with vigor. What we’re about to delve into here, however, goes a little deeper than that.

I’ll cover goal setting on another occasion. You could even read the following title for now:

Setting Goals for Your Music Career

Today, we’re looking at:

Intention Setting and Habits

Kyle Cease suggests we don’t just want to look at what we plan to accomplish in 2024. We also need to set an intention for the year and consider the specific habits that will fulfill this intention.

Set an intention for the year and consider the specific habits that will fulfill this intention. Share on X

Otherwise, you’re in danger of letting 2024 run you (and who knows how that will go?). Don’t you want to be the one running 2024? Or wouldn’t you rather be in complete alignment with the Universe’s intention for your life?

So, listen to your inner self as well as the Universe. Contemplate. Meditate. Make note of what comes to you. Some things are sure to bubble to the surface.

If you feel it will make a difference, you can also reflect on past behaviors that lead to favorable results. Go to Starbucks, order a coffee, sit yourself down in front of your laptop, put your headphones (or earbuds) on, put on some music that gets you into flow, and direct your thoughts to past victories.

I recently did exactly this and even shared my reflections in blog form. These are golden.

You may not enjoy it, but I find the following music perfect for intentional thinking and reflection time:

Prompts to Guide Your Thinking

Some of you may sit yourself down in your favorite café as suggested, and still not have any idea what habits to cultivate in 2024. You may use the following prompts in your reflection time to zero in on meaningful answers:

  • What worked in 2023? What didn’t?
  • What is one thing that, if accomplished in 2024, would make you feel over the moon excited?
  • What challenges are you facing that you would like to resolve?
  • Can you recall any good habits you used to keep that you can re-adopt now?
  • What good habits did you keep during your most prosperous years?
  • What things haven’t you tried that you could try in 2024?
  • Uncommon results require uncommon effort. What is something you’re willing to do in 2024 that most people aren’t?

How David is Approaching 2024:

For illustration purposes only, here are some of the habits I’ve been inspired to take on in 2024:

  • Eat well. I established good habits from September onward in 2023. Keep to those habits. Drink smoothies. Take supplements. Eat vegan as much as possible.
  • Work out three to four times per week. I also established good workout habits in 2023. Keep to them and challenge limits.
  • Meditate for 20 to 50 minutes per day. I took heavily to meditation during my burnout, and it proved immensely beneficial. Keep going deeper.
  • Read a book per week. Reading a book per week is a habit I kept during my most prosperous years.
  • Document my income. Another prosperity habit. Write down all income sources on white paper with a blue pen.
  • Affirm income. Say, “I’m a money magnet. Thank you, thank you, thank you.” Say it whenever money comes in, no matter how small the amount.
  • Say “no” to toxic people. Some people will never appreciate me, my talents, skills, experience, or even worth. They will not add value to me, support me, or recognize me in any way. Those people are not worth my time.
  • Say “no” to toxic projects. See last point.
  • Process emails. Don’t fall behind.
Adopt a Long-Term Mindset Now

Adopt a Long-Term Mindset Now

There is no right time for adopting a long-term mindset.

Many people believe the right time is when they’ve solved all their short-term troubles. But the moment you’ve solved anything there is always something else waiting on the other side.

We tend to think that if we have immediate financial concerns, we should tend to crises rather than thinking of a longer-term strategy.

But at the risk of sounding obvious, this is short-sighted.

The right time to adopt a long-term mindset was when you first started this journey.

The right time to adopt a long-term mindset was when you first started this journey. Share on X

The second-best time is now.

I know there are circumstances outside of your control. Things happen in life.

But there are things you can do today to prepare for a rainy day. You can set aside 10% of your income. You can store up some extra food. You can seek out services that might come in handy down the line. Just because they aren’t needed today doesn’t mean they won’t be needed down the line.

Just because something isn't needed today doesn't mean it won't be needed down the line. Share on X

Right habits don’t start tomorrow. They start today. So, even if you are in a crisis, make it your priority to adopt a long-term mindset. Speculate on what could happen and plan for it. Even if you don’t have all the steps figured out, you will be better prepared for the day something unexpected happens.

Right habits don't start tomorrow. Share on X
Never Run Out of Ideas in Your Music Career

Never Run Out of Ideas in Your Music Career

“I know that I should be writing something new each week, but I’m not sure what to write about,” my entrepreneur friend shared with me.

She wanted to connect with her email list weekly, but within a week or two of sending emails, she found herself running out of ideas.

Whether it’s songwriting ideas, marketing ideas, email campaign ideas, or otherwise, you can’t have too many ideas. I would advise creating and maintaining an idea repository (I have multiple because I’ve been a little scattered through the years, but my main one is inside Evernote).

And this comes with the caveat that, most of our ideas suck. We need to be reminded of this. We should never get too high off our own supply because that’s how we get ourselves into trouble. There’s an opportunity to practice idea generation to build our idea muscle, and that’s a healthy way of looking at it.

But more to the point, if you aren’t regularly generating new ideas, it’s either because a) you’re not paying attention, or b) you don’t have practices that support you in coming up with fresh ideas.

For instance, I don’t flip through Instagram to see what people are bragging about anymore. I look for “pattern interrupts.” When I see something that forces me to pay attention and stop dead in my tracks, I take note of that, and model the content to create my own. If it worked on me, it’s going to work on others too, right?

Ideas are literally everywhere. Whether you’re watching the news (I’m not a big advocate of this these days), reading blog articles, listening to podcast episodes, or cruising Facebook, if you’re paying attention, you can find ideas.

Now that we’ve established that, let’s talk about practices. What practices can support the ongoing generation of ideas?

Here are the three activities I’ve found most worthwhile:

  • Reading. Reading books stimulates all kinds of ideas. It takes my mind in a lot of interesting directions, and if I’m not ready with a pen and paper, I’m going to miss capturing a lot of great thoughts. Reading more broadly and generally can be worthwhile too – magazines, newsletters, and blog articles, while paying attention to headlines, call to actions, copy, and anything else that piques your interest.
  • Walking. We all need a break from familiar environments – the home, the office, the rehearsal space… Even the most impeccable, most beautiful spaces can start to feel mundane after a while, and as humans, we crave novelty. Getting out in nature and walking or hiking is a great way to get a break from the same old, same old. It’s also great for your health.
  • Speculating on possibilities. I covered this earlier. Speculating on possibilities is something that should be done with your band, your team, or people who are invested in helping you get to where you want to go in music and life. And making that micro-adjustment from “brainstorming” to “speculating on possibilities” makes a big difference.

This isn’t to say there aren’t other worthwhile activities – driving, showering, journaling, and more. But I’ve found the above to be the best use of my time.

So, again, it comes down to two things:

  1. Paying attention to what’s already around you. Ideas are everywhere. Walt Disney didn’t reinvent the wheel – he took what already had a proven track record, implemented it, and then iterated on it. You don’t need to be an innovator either.
  2. Developing practices that stimulate ideas. Do what works for you. For me, reading, walking, and speculating on possibilities are among the highest value activities.

And don’t forget to capture your ideas. Your brain is not a reliable storage device.

For a proven, step-by-step framework in cracking the code to independent music career success, and additional in-depth insights into making your passion sustainable and profitable, be sure to pick up my best-selling guide, The Music Entrepreneur Code.

075 – Moving as a Musician: 4 Things I’ve Learned from My Moves

075 – Moving as a Musician: 4 Things I’ve Learned from My Moves

Is it time to move? Are you looking to relocate, either for the sake of your music career, or for the sake of your own well-being?

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I share some thoughts on my last three moves.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:14 – Reasons for moving as a musician
  • 00:41 – Moving may not be fun, but at times it’s necessary
  • 00:51 – What I’ve learned from three separate moves
  • 00:57 – My latest move
  • 02:20 – Moving can improve your quality of life
  • 03:30 – Sometimes hard decisions are only made on a deadline
  • 05:04 – Moving can shake up your habits and routine
  • 06;18 – Moving may force you to innovate
  • 07:59 – Summary and final thoughts

Transcription:

I haven’t heard anyone say moving is their favorite activity.

And yet, for a musician, the need to move can arise for a variety of reasons.

You may find yourself:

  • Wanting to leave an unhealthy situation.
  • Able to afford a better living space, and therefore a better quality of life.
  • Needing to relocate due to new career opportunities.
  • Wanting to move in with your significant other.
  • On the hunt for a more affordable place, because you want to streamline your lifestyle.
  • Or otherwise.

Moving may not be fun, but at times it is necessary. It’s surprising how many music blogs talk about the importance of location, and yet leave the topic of moving entirely unaddressed.

So, here are some of my thoughts on moving, and what I’ve learned from three separate moves since 2012.

My Latest Move

Things have been anything but the same old, same old for me since returning from Japan in November 2017.

There were several minor setbacks, as well as some major ones. The biggest of all was my car breaking down. I ended up replacing it urgently.

Little did I know there was another challenge waiting for me on the heels of the last.

Things started changing at home when a longtime roommate moved out. A new roommate moved in shortly after, and let’s just say he wasn’t entirely stable.

This quickly prompted the need and desire to find a new place to live. In some ways, I had been putting it off anyway, and had been putting up with a lot of nonsense where I was living in the interim.

As I write this, I’m not fully moved in to the new home. We just took possession of the place today.

And when I say we, I mean I decided to find a place with a fellow entrepreneur and friend. We knew that splitting the costs would allow us to afford more house. We also felt it would save us from winding up in the same situation again.

Moving to a safer, healthier, and cleaner environment quickly became a major priority, especially considering my goals and life as an entrepreneur.

A stable, peaceful, and consistent environment is what an entrepreneur requires to do their best work, because we’re always trying to solve huge problems with our businesses. Unfortunately, this sometimes leaves us with little time and energy to deal with the smaller problems that arise in our home lives.

Here are several other things I’ve learned from my recent moves.

#1 – Moving Can Improve Your Mood & Quality of Life

With my latest move, my spirits were lifted, almost instantaneously, as I left an unhealthy environment and found myself in an entirely new one.

This is the only time this has happened in the last three moves. When I sold my house in 2012, I was having to move an entire house into a basement suite. So, while this did relieve a lot of financial pressure, my quality of life didn’t exactly get better. I found myself on the far eastern outskirts of town, which wasn’t exactly known to be the safest.

With the next move, I was simply moving from one basement to another. My parents referred to my new room as “the dungeon”, if you’re wondering exactly how much of an upgrade that was.

But with the latest move, I feel like I’m getting a fresh start. After spending a bit of time in our new home, my friend could see right away that there was a shift with my mood and energy. A big weight was lifted from my shoulders after leaving the last house behind.

Though I never advise anyone to increase their lifestyle too fast, if you find yourself in a position where it makes sense financially to upgrade, then it’s good to know that moving might open new channels of creativity for you.

#2 – Sometimes You Only Make Hard Decisions on a Deadline

One of my favorite Japanese pop duos is CHAGE&ASKA. In the liner notes of one of their albums, they noted the fact that it seems projects can only be completed within the strict confines of a deadline.

Projects can only be completed within the strict confines of a deadline. Share on X

It’s easy to daydream about what it would be like to have unlimited time to work on your creative projects as an artist. But as fun as that might sound, if you didn’t have clear guidelines for your projects and you weren’t disciplined, you would probably end up starting way more projects than you could realistically finish.

With the latest move, there was limited time for me to plan and pack. Realistically, I knew I couldn’t bring all of my stuff with me, because I knew I would be moving into a smaller home. I’m not a packrat per se, but I do have a bad habit of holding onto a lot of things, mostly because it’s easy for me to create an emotional attachment to them.

For this move, I forced myself to think in terms of just the essentials, and the most valuable items I possess. I decided everything else could be put into storage, sold, given away, taken to the trash, or simply left behind.

I’ve had the desire to be a minimalist – or at the very least an essentialist – for a while. Since there wasn’t much time to figure everything out, and I needed to act fast, I simply took the opportunity to triage and streamline, and I know my life will be better for it.

I’ve talked about being a channel and not a dam before. I think that philosophy applies here too. Create outflow in your life, and you’ll begin to see new inflow. The act of giving, selling, or eliminating things you no longer need, in my experience, can lead to some incredible blessings.

#3 – It Could Lead to Changes in Your Habits & Routine

Let’s say you move from a closed-in apartment complex to a suburban house where scenic walking paths are plentiful. Would that inspire you to take more walks to clear your head, stimulate your creative thinking, and improve your health?

Even if you only end up moving 15 minutes from your previous home, which is what I did, you will probably find yourself frequenting different stores, and potentially utilizing businesses and service you never did before.

That gets you out of your regular routine. Maybe you like your routine, and you tend to avoid change. But sometimes without change and new stimuli, your creativity can suffer, and you can end up becoming too comfortable.

Perhaps moving to a cleaner, nicer house would inspire you to spend more time organizing and cleaning. Maybe it would cause you to wake up and go to bed earlier so you could get more done during the day.

Moving can shake you out of your regular routine and cause you to evaluate how you’re doing things right now. Routines need to change based on how your goals evolve. Sometimes people forget to adapt based on what’s important to them right now, blindly living out the same routine without questioning it.

If the definition of insanity is trying the same things expecting different results, then we are all insane at times.

#4 – You may be Forced to Innovate

You pack all your boxes, carefully move them out of your old home one by one, and then into your new home. But what’s this? You can’t seem to find what you’re looking for! You could have sworn the item you’re searching for is in one of three boxes you already checked.

This happens all the time. Moving is generally a process, and not a one-and-done activity. It can take time to settle into a new place, and when you first move in, there’s a good chance you don’t have everything set up the way you want it to be.

Maybe your agenda goes missing and you end up having to reconstruct it from memory. Maybe the internet guy can’t make it out to your house to set up your router for a full week. Perhaps you threw out your old desk and ordered a new one to be delivered later.

Whatever the case, the temptation is generally to get frustrated and not do anything when things aren’t going the way you want them to go. I would argue that this is an opportunity to innovate and rethink your approach, even if you only apply it to your situation temporarily.

Entrepreneurs are problem-solvers. And even if you don’t consider yourself an entrepreneur, you’re likely a creative, so here’s an opportunity to put that creative brain of yours to good use.

Innovating can boost your self-confidence and can even lead to new creative ideas. If you feel like you’re stuck, begin thinking of alternative solutions to your problems. I find most people don’t, and just make excuses for their lack of imagination.

Try James Altucher’s idea generation method. He says he doesn’t go to sleep without coming up with and writing down 10 ideas (typically, 10 ways to improve something, such as a business). Not every idea you come up with will be any good, but imagine all the options you’ll create for yourself over time. In just 10 days, you’ll have 100 fresh ideas to work with.

Summary

Sometimes, moving can improve the quality of your life. This may be a pressing necessity rather than just a decision to live “the good life”, as it was in my situation.

When you make that transition, you may find yourself performing at a higher level, accomplishing more in less time, and taking hold of newfound inspiration.

If you find yourself unable to make up your mind about what to purge, give away, sell, or keep, putting a hard deadline on your move can help you triage and make quicker decisions about what’s essential to living your life.

There often are hard deadlines connected to moving anyway, but it’s far too easy to give yourself too much time and space to decide on every little thing. If the need to move is urgent, and you’re not thrilled about the prospect of moving all your belongings to begin with, you’re more likely to make clearheaded decisions about what and what not to take with you.

You may find yourself doing things a little differently after your move. Getting out of your routine is a good thing, especially if you’ve become a slave to it instead of using it as a tool to achieve your goals. It might give your creativity a boost as well, as it has for me.

Moving may also force you to innovate and find ways of coping with deficiencies. You may end up finding better, more efficient ways of doing things. Or, you might find yourself purchasing new tools.

Moving isn’t all bad, and it can be exciting at times, too, especially if you’re moving for opportunity.

Upgrade to Members Only Audios for more exciting, exclusive training.

7 Habits of Happy Successful Entrepreneurs

What habits do entrepreneurs have that allow them to be happy and successful?

That’s a great question, because you can certainly be happy without being successful, and you can be successful without being happy too!

In this guest post, Janet Miller provides us with seven tips on how to find this meaningful balance.

And if you feel you’ve got something valuable to share with the community, you may want to consider submitting a guest post.

Here’s Janet!

Habits are an essential part of our lives. They influence both our professional and personal lives, and form a key aspect of who we are. What makes some entrepreneurs happier and more successful than others? Habits are a key factor. Here are seven habits of happy successful entrepreneurs.

1. They Never Settle

Elon Musk is famous for never taking no for an answer. He simply never allows someone to tell him that something is impossible or beyond his capability to accomplish – he sets clear goals and doesn’t give up until he meets them, exceeds them, or fails attempting.

While it is important to maintain a good grasp on the reality of any given situation, pushing the envelope in this manner is a shared trait of many happy successful entrepreneurs.

2. They Persist

Many startups fail. The happy, successful entrepreneur does not let this shake his confidence – most have started several businesses before ending up with a successful one. The ability to learn from one’s mistakes and never giving up is critical to one’s success,

3. They Are Humble

Known for his extreme humility and approachability, Tony Hsieh, the founder of Zappos, stresses cultivating humility throughout life as part of the emotional makeup of a happy, successful entrepreneur.

4. They Exercise Frequently

For most entrepreneurs, daily physical activity is an absolute necessity. Not only does exercising at a given time each day lead to a more structured, healthier lifestyle, it also has long-term emotional benefits that result in a happier, more satisfied mind and body.

Running a business can be extremely stressful, especially for entrepreneurs who have to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges on a daily basis. Exercise provides a fantastic outlet for these stresses and emotions, allowing you to release energy while improving yourself.

These activities are also scientifically proven to release chemicals into the bloodstream that give positive feelings.

5. They Associate with Like-Minded Entrepreneurs

You are the average of the people you spend the most time with. Happy successful entrepreneurs take the time to cultivate relationships with like-minded entrepreneurs with whom they can share ideas and find a strong source of support.

Spending time with other individuals who lead healthy, balanced lives can only leads to positive results. It will enable you to incorporate their productive patterns into your own routine.

6. They Spend Time in Solitude

Like any exhausting profession, the life of an entrepreneur is a demanding one. When the success or failure of a venture is solely dependent upon your business expertise, the pressure can definitely mount up.

Thus, spending a little time alone to reflect and meditate in peace and solitude is essential. Overwork can have detrimental effects upon both your emotional state and your productivity.

Working longer hours doesn’t necessarily lead to better results, or a more satisfied feeling at the end of the day, and meditation can even improve your business mind and interpersonal skills. Taking time in this manner is essential to your mental health, and is a habit that you should definitely develop.

7. They Drink Lots and Lots of Water

The happy successful entrepreneur stays hydrated throughout the day. Water offers a multitude of benefits – it energizes our bodies, clears our bodies of any waste, and helps to maintain steady organ function.

Keeping hydrated throughout the day is essential to a healthy and happy lifestyle – the average person requires about nine pints of aqua vida per day, which is a lot more than it sounds. It’s a simple, yet effective routine to have – drink one bottle per hour. Just don’t overdo it!

Interested in Learning More About this Topic?

The Essential Guide to Music Entrepreneurship: 2018 EditionIf you’re looking for all the latest information on music entrepreneurship, and you’d like to explore this subject in more detail, we recommend checking out David Andrew Wiebe’s latest book, The Essential Guide to Music Entrepreneurship: 2018 Edition.

In addition to everything covered in the original guide, there are fresh insights, new sections and experts quotes, stats, and bonus content in the short volume.

Don’t miss out on cutting-edge information that could help you go beyond in your musicpreneurship career.

Order on Amazon