When Strange Things Happen

When Strange Things Happen

I’m once again aboard the Queen of Cowichan, this time sailing back to my temporary home in Nanaimo. For the most part, the ferry is sparsely populated, but there are more strange animals lurking about on the 10:10 than there would be on an earlier sailing. I suppose that’s to be expected.

But how much could there be to tell after an overnight stay in Vancouver? Certainly, more than I would have thought. Some details I dare not tell for they may be more pressing and private than would allow me to share freely. Even without touching on those sensitive matters, there are some rather strange incidents to reflect on.

First and foremost, spending an evening with like-minded artists, creatives, and entrepreneurs in Maple Ridge was nothing short of a metaphorical electrical surge. It was everything I’d hoped for and considerably more.

I handed out all but one Clean Slate postcard in my possession, for the most part attempting to make personal, articulate, moving invitations. As the night wore on and everyone was starting to notice the time, it got to “You guys into live music?” but I managed to avoid such dribble for the most part.

Post-event, after dropping off a friend in Vancouver, I drove to my Airbnb in Burnaby. Finding said home, in the rain, in the dark, was the first obstacle to overcome. Once I found it, I followed the directions to the rear entrances.

I was supposed to be able to enter the premises (door A) using the code provided, but I tried about 10 times without any success. After each rep of five unsuccessful tries, the keypad would lock up for a couple of minutes. I must have tried another 10 times, making no headway with the lock or with reaching the host. My friend encouraged me to capture a video of me attempting to enter the suite before leaving, which turned out to be wisdom.

In the meantime, I was left with no other option but to book a night at a nearby hotel, at double the cost of the Airbnb. Though not entirely unpleasant, it was unexpected.

The following morning (today), I got a message from the owner of the Airbnb with a video showing them using the code, and successfully opening the door. It was at this point that I shared my video of me using the same code to try to get in, and the owner suggested I contact Airbnb support immediately to secure a full refund. They also offered me 30% off on my next stay (will there be a next stay after these shenanigans?).

Airbnb thinks all Canadians speak French, however, and I got connected to the “We’ll talk at you without knowing your language preferences” department. They could not help me – surprise, surprise. Fortunately, they understood me well enough to hand the matter off to someone who could do something about it. The matter ultimately got resolved in the background as I was packing up the room.

I got myself a smoothie and later visited Winners to find a tighter belt. I happened across Park & Tilford Gardens adjacent to the shopping center (pictured), which if you didn’t know was there, you’d almost entirely miss out on. The only reason I found it was because I had some time to spare and decided to walk around for a bit.

Park & Tilford gardens Strange occurrences Universe getting your attention

I spent the afternoon with a friend, before dropping them off at about 4:30. It was fun and relaxing, without drama.

Knowing I would be taking the 10:10 to Nanaimo, I decided to set up “coffice” in Starbucks. At 7:00, I had to transfer over to a 24/7 Tim Hortons to continue my work.

As I arrived in the parking lot and found a spot opposite the entrance, the man in the car next to me kept honking and glaring at me without saying anything. I had no idea what I could have possibly done to upset him, but I shook my head and moved my car. Parking next to him was the problem.

In retrospect, he may have been an undercover cop. I know because I’ve had one such run-in one night involving a small, ornery dog. But that’s another story for another time.

As I was working away at Tim Horton’s, a light fixture suddenly came loose and landed on my right hand. For a moment, I thought someone was trying to start a fight, or at least trying to get my attention. Listening to the mumblings of the staff, it sounded as though this was not the first time something like this had happened (was I pranked?).

They were nice enough to offer me some ice to put on my hand, which I did not require, though it felt like maybe they should have given me a gift card or something. They didn’t. Funny, because this is the type of situation that often leads to lawsuits costing the company millions.

The cherry on top was the drive to the ferry. I gave myself enough time to arrive early but missed my turn (in the rain and the dark), which of course cost me a good 10 to 15 minutes. Now I wasn’t sure whether I was going to make it on time. In the end, I came in under the wire, but that scenario could have played out very differently.

Chiefly, we don’t always know what these strange occurrences and delays are about. It could be that we’re craving variety, drama, or suspense, and we’re being given what we’re subconsciously craving. It could be that we’re avoiding misfortune by being guided to different locations, circumstances, or solutions. It could be mischief or hostility from forces unseen.

Usually, it’s the Universe trying to get your attention. Why is something only you can know, and it’s for you to put the puzzle pieces together.

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.

2 Secrets to Booking High-Quality Gigs

Hard to believe it was 18 years ago that David originally sat down with Christian artist Riley Armstrong for an interview at the local Starbucks. One could argue that the flower Music Entrepreneur HQ has blossomed into has a lot to do with the seeds planted in this conversation.

In this video, David reflects on two key pieces of advice Armstrong shared with him on booking gigs.

Transcription:

18 years ago, I got to sit down with Christian artist Riley Armstrong at a local Starbucks for an impromptu interview. Some of you will recognize his name, some of you won’t. But I got to ask him about booking gigs, which we all know is kind of tricky business. And he had a piece of advice that I think still very much applies today.

And that is that you’ve got to believe in what you’re booking. And you’ve got to make sure that it’s something people want, that it’s something unique and something that stands out. So if you’re out there trying to book your act or trying to book your band, it doesn’t seem like things are going well. First and foremost, ask yourself.

Is this something that I really believe in that I can stand behind no matter what? And second of all, ask yourself, are you doing something even just a little bit different than what anybody else is offering? And that’s going to make you stand out.

292 – How to Book a Show at a Coffeehouse, Hardware Store, or Anywhere

292 – How to Book a Show at a Coffeehouse, Hardware Store, or Anywhere

Have you ever wanted to explore the possibility of performing in alternative venues?

One of the advantages of showing up where no one else is performing is that you can create a market that belongs to you. Plus, price elasticity also applies – you can charge more for the performance than you might be able to in the average music venue.

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, David explains how to book a coffeehouse show. The same approach can work in an array of alternative venues, because businesses do business with other businesses.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:16 – The story of how David booked a showcase at a Starbucks
  • 00:49 – How to approach a store manager to get your show booked
  • 01:37 – Success is not guaranteed
  • 01:48 – Closing thoughts

Sponsors:

  • The Music Entrepreneur Companion Guide: Get the official definitive companion guide to The Music Entrepreneur Code covering, in clarity and detail, secrets to making it in the new music business.
  • Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook: The first of its kind – David’s new premium book covering productivity, featuring content from Music Entrepreneur HQ, his personal blog, his many books, and even Start Your Year the Right Way, which is included in its entirety. Be fully unleashed in accomplishing your dreams and desires!

Transcription:

Hey, it’s David Andrew Wiebe. I’ve told the story that follows in several different ways on different occasions, but the essence of it is this. I’d booked a showcase for three artists at a Starbucks. Afterward, there were other musicians in attendance. They came up to me and asked, “So how did you manage to book a Starbucks?” And then I shared with them the details of how I’d handed a business card to the manager of Starbucks and asked if they were open to having us come in with a few artists to perform. And they were more than agreeable to have us in.

Now, I think here’s the big takeaway here. The fact that I presented a business card made a difference. It wasn’t just, “Hi, I’m David Andrew Wiebe, I’m an artist, I’m a rock musician, and I want to book a gig at your venue.” That’s not how the conversation went.

When she saw the business card, she could plainly and clearly see that it was from a business, not just a local independent musician. But the thing is, you don’t have to have a business to do this. Just about anybody could take the same idea and book in alternative venues. All you really need is a collective. So, you could say, “Hey, I’m from so-and-so artist collective or music collective” or whatever you want to call it, some kind of community, and that could immediately help you create the opportunity of booking in venues that you might not otherwise be able to.

Now, I’m not saying this will work out every single time, but it could certainly broaden the number of opportunities you can get locally, as well as the exposure you can get for your music.

Well, the insight you just heard is also available in my book, The Music Entrepreneur Companion Guide. For a limited time, you can get it for free at davidandrewwiebe.com/FreeBook.

This has been episode 292 of The New Music Industry Podcast. I’m David Andrew Wiebe, and I look forward to seeing you on the stages of the world.

The Best Time to do Business

The Best Time to do Business

For me, I’ve found that the best time to do business is when I’ve gone to Starbucks, I’ve sat there reading for an hour – could be a little less, could be a little more – I’ve gotten into flow, and I’m inspired with new ideas. That, for me, is a formula for inspired action.

I can’t necessarily explain why that works for me. I do remember that when I was a kid in Japan, after church, I would go to the bookstore. It was one of my favorite places to go to. And I would stand around looking at magazines and manga. I’d learn about the latest video games, and I’d check out to see if there was a new volume of my favorite manga series.

And in that process, I would phase out everything around me. I’d be so engrossed in what I was discovering and what I was looking at and what I was reading, that the surroundings started to fade into the background.

I’ve been finding that, even in adulthood, the written word can captivate and engross me. And it probably has something to do with the brain making new connections. Because when you learn something new, a new connection is formed.

When I start to see those connections happen, new ideas show up in my space. And because I’m in flow, I start to feel excited about those ideas. And then I get to act on those ideas.

We often think about doing business in a regimented way. We have our schedule, and we have certain time blocks allocated to certain tasks. Now, if that works for you, if that gets you into flow, if that gives you inspired ideas and moves you to inspired action, then what you’re doing is perfect. But if it’s not stimulating inspired action, there might be a better time for you to do business.

So, what is the best time to do business for you? The secret may be hidden in your childhood. What did you get engrossed in? What were you doing when things faded into the background?

And if you can identify what that activity is, could you spend 30 to 90 minutes doing it before you get into action with your business? Because inspired action is going to produce far greater results than actions that are tired or uninspired.

I think you’ll agree that the best time to do business is when you’re in flow and when you’re feeling good, and when the gears are turning in your mind. Begin to find that in your routine because that’s where you’re going to see breakthrough results.