Communication is central to our existence. Everything we create, we create with the language we speak.
Some have guessed at my intentions with my daily publishing, and while there’s no such thing as a wrong perspective or interpretation, the truth is, I’m not sure if I’ve ever fully articulated what I’ve been trying to create.
Which is really a funny thing, because if I’m clear, and you’re clear, there’s a better chance we can connect in a meaningful way and understand each other better. In retrospect, I can see that there was something in my own listening of others preventing me from being fully self-expressed in this area.
Which is to say, for the most part, I haven’t talked about my goals, because I made up a story that it was selfish. And that’s on me, and not on you.
So, here are the four key things I’ve been looking to accomplish with my publishing:
Grow a Following
Building a profitable and sustainable six-figure business without a following isn’t impossible. It’s just not as practical as you might think (it mostly revolves around sinking a lot of money and resources into advertising and affiliates).
When you have a following, you have a built-in customer base who shares your work with their friends. So, there’s more organic growth.
Everybody and their grandma are talking about some whiz-bang upside-down sales funnel, TikTok dancing strategy, nonsense Clubhouse NFT conversation, or some other. And the truth is, everything works, and nothing works.
Which is to say, some things work for some people at certain times. A lot of things don’t work for a lot of people a lot of the time. That’s the nature of marketing.
Having spent this past year experimenting in earnest with Medium, Twitter, Mix, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, VK, Brighteon.Social, Minds, MeWe, Gab, Parler, Telegram, News Break, Steemit, and others, I could not be more emphatic about this. And when I say, “experimenting in earnest,” I mostly mean spinning my wheels, because 80% of my results are clearly coming from 20% of my effort.
We’ve got to stay open to ideas, though, right? Otherwise, we’re bound to get left behind in this fast-paced digital age, and we can’t make an honest assessment of anything we haven’t given our best efforts.
I’ve gone off the rails a bit, but the point is, I’m trying to build a following here. Seriously. Not just any following, but an engaged following who wants to follow me on social media, share my content, get on my email list, and buy my products.
As fun and fulfilling as it is to make music, write blog posts and articles, develop social media content, produce eye-catching graphics, record podcast episodes, make videos, create courses, develop websites, and more, it’s all with the overarching goal of building that six-figure business I alluded to earlier.
Some of the foundational steps to getting to that point include:
- Growing the David Andrew Wiebe YouTube channel to over 1,000 subscribers
- Growing the Music Entrepreneur HQ YouTube channel to over 1,000 subscribers (I’ve made some headway with this here in 2021)
- Growing my Spotify monthly listeners to over 3,000
- Growing the David Andrew Wiebe email list to over 1,000 subscribers
- Growing the Music Entrepreneur HQ email list to over 3,000 subscribers
Admittedly, I don’t necessarily need to have all these pieces in place to create what I have in mind. A small, engaged following can honestly go a long way nowadays.
But these goals are easily quantifiable, and they give me something to work towards.
Build My Business
This should be relatively obvious from what I’ve already said. I’m not saying that profit motive is the only thing that drives me. I’m not that kind of human being, and I never will be.
But I’ve lived in basements and driven 10-year-old cars for over eight years straight, and I’m ready for a different kind of life. One where I’m not thinking about which of my guitars, I’m going to sell any time I think I might be under a bit of financial pressure.
Knowing how to live frugally is not a bad thing. It’s a skill, and I’ve learned it well. And I’m not saying I’m planning to inflate my lifestyle the moment I reach my goals. I probably won’t. But it might be nice to own some furniture again. Have a decent sized bed. Be in a place where I can set up an office and recording space where I feel inspired to get up and work every day.
A six-figure business is what I’ve aspired to for eight years. Honestly, I can see now that this would just be a starting point, but I’ve kept that goal in mind because I figured it was well within my wheelhouse.
Now I recognize that, so far as the universe is concerned, numbers make no difference. You can ask for six-figures, or you could ask for nine-figures, and one is not better or worse, one is not easier or harder. You can ask for whatever you want!
Either way, having tried and failed seven times to get to six-figures, I can admit to my own insanity. Which is one of the reasons I opted to take a yearlong leadership and management program. I wanted others to contribute to my world and gain access to the hivemind, which is surely more intelligent than a lone wolf or solopreneur could ever be.
$100,000 in revenue would be a wonderful place to start. But I want to hire an awesome team and give back to the world too, you see. And $100,000 doesn’t go as far as you might think.
Case in point – according to Numbeo, it costs roughly $6,326 to live as a single person in New York. That’s $75,912 annually. Just to live a relatively normal life.
There are cheaper places to live, obviously, and I don’t live in New York. But I can’t imagine $100,000 doing a whole lot more than offering a slightly better lifestyle while helping me expand my team by one or two. Especially when I consider taxes.
For now, $100,000 is my goal. To get to the point where I can sustain a team and be able to contribute to worthwhile causes at the level I want to, $500,000 to $1,000,000 is more in keeping with the vision.
Some people have it that a certain amount of money is “holy,” but crossing a certain threshold sets you afire with the flames of hell. I’m sorry, I’ve just never had it that way. I can’t relate. I believe money is a tool, and it’s a matter of how you use it. But you are entitled to your opinion.
I work tirelessly to inspire and equip creatives and creators. This comes from a genuine desire to contribute to the world in a meaningful way. I don’t know that I would have been able to complete even half the work I have to this point if not for the central theme in my life, which is summed up in this classic Zig Ziglar quote:
You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want. – Zig Ziglar
Of course, I have failed to measure up to these lofty standards at times. I’m human. But you should be able to tell from the work I publish ongoingly, that my heart truly is in making a lasting difference for you and for anyone I meet. If it were all about the money, you would have been hit by relentless series of daily sales pitches.
As author Todd Henry so eloquently said, “no money, no mission.”
There’s a lot you can do without money, yes, but financial resources broaden your options considerably. And an enterprise is not sustainable without money.
But driving deeper to the core…
Just as education was a passion of my father’s, it’s one of mine as well. And I would love to see a world where there isn’t such a thing as underprivileged children, a world where everyone who wants a quality education can get one. Not just 1 + 1 stuff, but also the personal development stuff I constantly harp on, that in my estimation makes a bigger difference in one’s life.
As much as we might hate to admit, money is often the difference maker in this regard. Personally, I could maybe equip a few hundred students over a lifetime (something I’ve already done as a guitar teacher), but with the right resources, thousands, maybe even millions could be impacted in a meaningful way.
I see my business not as a win, not as a win-win, but as a win-win-win. It’s an opportunity for my team and I to win, the audience I’m serving to win (in this case, creatives), and underprivileged children to win. It’s one of the reasons I’m so passionate about it.
Benefit My Future Self
Publishing daily is ultimately in service of my future self.
This is what a lot of the online stoic gurus talk about, and while I don’t identify as a stoic through and through, I can see the merit in living life that way.
By documenting my journey, I can look back and see a variety of things – ideas tried, ventures failed, projects succeeded, the outcome of habits embraced and not adopted, where I traveled, books I liked, and so much more.
And publishing is not about whipping myself up in a frenzy as much as it is delivering the best I can on a given day. And, on some days, that means not much.
But I’m on a yearlong journey of publishing daily. And this experiment will come to an end in just 24 days (wow). At that point, I’m more than willing to reevaluate. I’ve benefited greatly from publishing daily, and I can see myself keeping that habit. But not to the determent of the quality of the content I put out. It’s a fine balance, and I don’t think I’ve figured it out yet. I need to think more on this.
Regardless, writing is a joy. It’s fun. It’s fulfilling. It helps me clarify and organize my thoughts. And though I’m not in the habit of framing it as an accomplishment, to have published as much as I have certainly is.
But I can also see that publishing goes well beyond self. Because whatever I leave behind can live on as my legacy, and countless people can continue to benefit from it. And that’s mind blowing.
One of the finicky things I’m beginning to recognize about success is that while you can achieve it blunt force trauma, it’s never as fulfilling or rewarding as success that was deliberately and intentionally created. Success earned through the hustle and grind is rarely lasting and isn’t generally on strong foundations.
So, where I have been lazy, I plan to be in action. Where I have turned a blind eye, I intend to be more intentional. Where I have been unplanned, I intend to be more strategic.
I don’t know all there is to know about getting to where I want to go right now. But I’m discovering a great deal in the leadership and management program I’m taking, and it’s an opportunity to play in the real world and see where things take me.
Can you help me reach my goals? Of course, you can! And it might be as simple as sharing this piece with a friend who would benefit from it.
Either way, I hope you were entertained, educated, inspired, or some combination thereof.
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