063 – David Andrew Wiebe on WeMaple

063 – David Andrew Wiebe on WeMaple

Who is David Andrew Wiebe? Where did he grow up? What pivotal life events shaped his views on life? What does he believe about the Universe?

This episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion features a conversation between WeMaple’s Matt Keay and David.

Sponsors:

  • Digital NO-Mad: Exposing the Lies of the Freedom Lifestyle and Grass is Greener Syndrome. David’s new book on designing the life you love through your passion is coming. Pre-order TODAY.

Highlights:

00:17 – David Andrew Wiebe on WeMaple
00:56 – What is The Indie YYC?
02:03 – Clean Slate
06:30 – What David’s guitar teacher told him
08:59 – How David bet on himself
12:55 – What role does formal education play in a creative’s life?
16:38 – How does more views or more subscribers affect our perceptions of a creator?
19:30 – Growing up in Japan and the moment that changed everything
23:23 – How David has applied personal development to his career
26:44 – David’s (controversial) thoughts on masculinity and men in culture
34:36 – Life expectancy – are we really living longer?
38:35 – Is David a flat earther?
41:05 – Reality is malleable
43:54 – How can you be positive while encountering negative circumstances?
46:56 – The hotbox incident
47:33 – When David got the cops called on him
48:18 – Three roommates and the sale of David’s home
49:08 – Three months of WTF
50:48 – David’s advice on writing and publishing books
52:18 – Closing thoughts

Summary:

Award-winning composer, best-selling author, and professional podcaster David Andrew Wiebe was recently a guest on WeMaple, hosted by Business On Camera’s Matt Keay. The conversation touches on everything from events and music to conspiracy theories and bizarre life events.

What is The Indie YYC?

Noticing David’s T-shirt, Matt asks what The Indie YYC is. David shares that The Indie YYC community was created by him and Frederick Tamagi.

Pre-pandemic, the community focused on three unique live events, including The New Beat (a fusion of poetry and live music), Storytellers (bringing together songwriters, poets, and authors), and Avant Guardians (featuring avant-garde and alternative musicians).

During the pandemic, as well as after, the community focused on growing mostly through user submitted content on Facebook.

Clean Slate

On February 16, 2024, David hosted a live music and multimedia event in Victoria, BC called Clean Slate. Matt asks how the event came about, and David shares that the idea came to him while reading Frederick Dodson’s Parallel Universes of Self.

David initially envisioned an event where he could bring people together to celebrate the launch of new music, a new book, new comedic video content, and more.

The initial phases of planning went swimmingly. Then, things started going awry in September 2023. David could not secure the featured artist he’d hoped to, and despite booking local artists for the event, it failed to gain local support. Most people in attendance were there because David had invited them.

Matt asks David whether he sees the experience as a stepping stone or opportunity to try his hand at another event.

David shares that while he sees the possibility of hosting low-cost, low-key events in the immediate future, he can’t see himself attempting something like Clean Slate again unless there’s a rabid demand for it.

What David’s Guitar Teacher Told Him

There is something David’s guitar teacher told him that has stuck with him until present day. Matt asks David what that was.

David shares that his guitar teacher told him that he’d surpassed him within one lesson.

I’ve been playing guitar for 13 years. Imagine what you’ll be able to accomplish in 13 years.

Matt asks David what kind of impact that statement had on him. David shares that it gave him the motivation he needed to keep practicing. From his teacher, he also learned not to dismiss people who offer him praise.

If people say good things about you, you don’t counter them, you don’t cut them off, you don’t argue with them. You simply accept it.

Betting on New Media

Matt asks if there was a connection between what David learned from his guitar teacher and the chances he took in 2009.

David answers that music was the commonality. Inspired by video game composer Tommy Tallarico, he was planning to take a new media course at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), but the class was full, and he couldn’t get in.

The new media course was to cover composing, podcasting, and video editing, so instead of taking the course, David decided to learn how to do it all himself. He already had a home studio facility, so now it was just a matter of being willing to experiment, research, and ask questions to find his way.

David recalls starting a YouTube channel about movies and video games. He would often incorporate original compositions into his videos, hitting two birds with one stone (composing and video).

He also began podcasting in 2009, with the eponymous David Andrew Wiebe Podcast. The podcasts kind of mushroomed from there – AS Movies & Games Podcast, The New Music Industry Podcast, The Question Podcast, Using Your Power, and Creativity Excitement Emotion, among others. David was also briefly the co-host of Inside Home Recording, toward the end of its lifespan.

What Role Does Formal Education Play in Today’s Creative Space?

Matt asks David how relevant formal education is in the creative space, and whether (or how) natural talent plays into the equation.

David answers by sharing that he felt like exploring and learning himself was the right decision for him. He had the facilities, so it was mostly a matter of taking the time to understand software and hardware tools.

He remembers how frustrating it initially was to learn Adobe Photoshop. There were many times when he felt like throwing his laptop across the room. He’s still glad he did it, though, because in time he became much more adept at photo manipulation and graphic design (though David does not fancy himself a designer).

David learned from people like Steve Pavlina and Derek Sivers – who both did four years of university education in a year – that most programs are designed to accommodate the lowest common denominator. They move at a “chump’s pace.”

Thus, if you opt to learn the ropes (of anything) by yourself, you can take things at a pace that makes sense for you, versus trying to fit a round peg in a square hole.

David adds that the work he put into becoming a new media creator ultimately led to the point of him becoming an award-winning composer, which was well worth the effort.

More Views = More Credibility?

Matt asks David how much numbers (likes, followers, subscribers, etc.) come into the equation when people are looking for creators to follow.

David shares that most people who are trying to establish themselves on social media are effectively modeling their favorite personalities without understanding just how much names like Gary Vee or Grand Cardone carry weight.

The average creator, adds David, needs to be thinking about the viewer and structure their content in such a way that engages them. The video must be about the viewer, not the creator.

One of the top reasons to advertise, says David, is so that your face can be seen, which increases your recognition. Over time, you can establish yourself as an influencer, guru, or expert.

Ultimately, numbers can be deceiving. David says that they do play a part in perception, but they are not ready indicators of outward success.

The Moment That Changed Everything

Matt asks David about the “worst day” he’d ever experienced.

David was born in Camrose, AB, but was raised in Takarazuka, Hyogo, Japan. His older sister was born in Fukuoka, Japan. After returning to Canada for a few years, his parents decided to return to Japan, as English teachers and missionaries, when David was five.

While in Jr. High School (grade eight), David was one day called down to the office. David had a bad feeling about that, wondering what he might have gotten himself in trouble for. But when he got there, he was told that his dad was in the hospital and that someone would take him there immediately.

His father had gotten into a motorcycle crash and was receiving emergency care when David arrived at the hospital. His father was in a coma for 10 days but ultimately did not survive.

David says that moment had an impact that has lasted to this day. Much of the personal development work he’s engaged in through the years has been about untangling many of the false beliefs that were formed through that experience.

Matt asks David what it was like to see his father in a coma. David says it was a bit like “candid camera.” He was wondering when someone would pop out to let him know that it was just a joke. But that never happened.

Instead, his God- and Bible-believing family prayed for his father’s healing, but he passed on anyway.

How Has David Applied Personal Development to His Career?

David shares how discovering that only action is in the realm of performance turned him into a productivity machine. He adds that many of us run mental gymnastics about our day, trying to figure out what to say, what to do, how to do everything perfectly… If we can set that aside and stay in action, it’s possible to get a lot more done.

Another discovery was how everything can be gamified. Life is a game. Business is a game. It’s okay to approach things seriously, but it’s important to have fun and enjoy yourself too. Entrepreneurship is a game where you’re the one setting the rules and keeping track of the score, so you may as well make the game winnable.

Entrepreneurship is a game where you’re the one setting the rules and keeping track of the score, so you may as well make the game winnable. Share on X

Recommended reading: Anything You Want by Derek Sivers

Matt shares that a three-dimensional man is 1) aggressive like Client Eastwood, 2) fun-loving like The Three Stooges, and 3) spiritual like Gandhi.

Masculinity and Manhood: Where Are Things Going?

David shares that the conditioning at large appears to be focused on feminine energies. He doesn’t think of it as a net loss, but men are increasingly becoming sickly, docile, and weak.

Compared to previous generations, when men were strong, passionate, and determined, many men today do not display the same fire.

Matt questions David on the “conditioning” David refers to. Why would anyone want men to be docile?

David answers by saying you’ve got to follow the money trail to know who is pulling the strings. He also points out how soy is an ingredient in many foods at the supermarket, and this is known to increase estrogen in men.

Matt wonders aloud whether soy might be a necessary evil in a world where we must mass produce food for larger and growing populations.

David offers some food for thought:

  • Why are so many farms becoming industrialized?
  • Why is genetically modified seed being forced on farmers?
  • Food is not as nutrient-dense as it used to be, and can often contain ingredients, chemicals, or toxins that are harmful to the body.
  • Because of the poor quality of food, people are unhappy and sick, and as a result, turn to prescription medication, which is known to have many side effects.
  • There appears to be a circular economy between the government, media, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and the food industry.

(Disclaimer: The above is strictly the opinion of the speaker. David is not a healthcare professional. If you’re looking for qualified health advice, speak with your physician or another credentialed source.)

Life Expectancy and Human Potential

Matt points out that life expectancy has changed drastically in recent history. There was a time when people lived to be 30 or 40. Now, people can live to be 80 and above.

David says neither he nor Matt were around 100 years ago, so it’s impossible to know exactly what life was like back then. Plus, apparently, in Biblical times, people were living to be 300 to 900 years old. So, why can’t people live to be hundreds of years old today?

David has heard through some obscure sources that some people are living to be hundreds of years old even today, but it must be kept hush-hush, or humanity would be up in arms.

David urges us not to ignore the power of suggestion because every day we’re picking up suggestions from the media and the information we consume. If we’re repeatedly being told that we’ll live to be 80, isn’t it mostly a self-fulfilling prophecy? Does it have anything to do with what’s possible?

Is the Earth Flat?

Point blank, Matt asks David whether he’s a flat earther.

David says he’s investigated the topic, but readily admits that he’s not sure what the shape of the earth is. The only logical conclusion he could come to, having explored the evidence, was that things don’t work exactly as we’ve been told they do.

Matt says he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, and that encompasses a vast realm of knowledge. He wonders aloud whether there are different races, aliens, and biomechanical creatures occupying the planet, and if they’re the ones ruling the world. He’s fascinated by these types of topics.

Reality is Malleable

David shares that one of the reasons perspectives can vary so much on what appear to be well-established “facts” is because, maybe, reality is more malleable than we realize.

You can’t necessarily manifest an elephant in an instant. But if you spent every day thinking about elephants, printed up pictures of elephants and put them on your wall, and asked your friends how to manifest an elephant… would you eventually manifest one?

David recounts 2011 when he was working five poorly paying jobs, living with a roommate from hell, and on the verge of losing his house. He happened across a program called Your Wish is Your Command, and having listened to it, David was able to change his feelings.

Out of the blue, he gets a phone call from the bank telling him that he could refinance his home. He had no idea what that meant. He’d never even heard of the term before. But he manifested a way out of his situation by changing his feelings.

Matt asks David how people might go about elevating their feelings when they’re encountering challenges.

David offers the following:

Rapid-Fire Questions

Matt asks David about:

Self-Publishing

Matt asks David how others can go about publishing a book as he has.

David says he can ghostwrite a book from scratch, or even package up existing content and make it into a book for his clients.

Another method he’s seen work for the likes of Darren Rowse, Seth Godin, and Joe Pulizzi is blogging their book. Each blog post you write can be a section or a chapter in your book, all you have to do is think about what your book is going to be about, what you need to touch on, and break it down into digestible chunks.

299 – Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook

299 – Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook

So, you probably heard about it. But you may have asked yourself what it’s about and why you should care.

At Music Entrepreneur HQ, we have the “getting it together,” “getting it done,” and “getting it out there” tracks, and this new work covers almost everything you could possibly want to know about “getting it done,” which can contribute greatly to knocking down the dominos of “getting it together” and “getting it out there.”

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, David shares candidly about the Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:00 – Consider it a miracle…
  • 01:11 – A 20-year-old that was struggling to organize his mail
  • 02:04 – In the last 14 years…
  • 02:43 – What’s the big deal about getting things done?
  • 03:06 – Questions to ask yourself
  • 04:00 – The magic of “the night before vacation” checklists
  • 05:21 – Who is David to talk about productivity?
  • 06:55 – What can you expect from the Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook
  • 07:52 – Testimonials
  • 10:10 – Closing thoughts

Sponsors:

  • Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook: The first of its kind – David’s new premium book covering productivity for artists, 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:

Record labels don’t want you to hear what I have to say. Even other musician coaches don’t want you to know who I am. That’s because I can wake you up, help you take your power back, and help you crush your goals without taking advantage of the traditional music industry system. I am the most suppressed and discredited musician coach out there, even though I have nothing but happy clients and results to show for my work.

Consider it a miracle that you are seeing this now or you’re listening to this now because rest assured there are forces preventing you from being able to access this information, I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep this video up, so don’t click away. Now is the time to watch.

The Story of the 20-Year-Old That Struggled with Organizing His Mail

Let me share something with you. I knew a 20-year-old kid who was struggling to open his mail, pay his bills, file everything in a folder, and shut his drawer. He was absolutely convinced that there was no way that he could ever be as organized as the other people that he looked up to. And this reality made him unbelievably emotional.

Now, if you had told him that he could open his mail, create action steps, pay his bills, file everything away into the appropriate folders, and shut his drawer in 10 to 15 minutes, he would not have believed you even for a second.

Well, here’s a little secret. That 20-year-old, it was me. In the last 14 years, I’ve consistently been the guy who people ask, “How the hell do you get it all done?” But you would’ve never expected that from me 10, 20 years ago.

The Power of Going at Your Own Pace

One of the things that changed my life was reading Steve Pavlina’s article, Do It Now. When anyone asks me what the first step is in being more productive and accomplishing their goals in life is it’s reading Do It Now by Steve Pavlina. That was in 2007, and I have been on a consistent personal development routine ever since.

And you might ask yourself, well, what’s the big deal about getting things done? And why in the world would I want to be more productive?

Author Peter Drucker said:

Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.

So, managing your time is crucial to you creating the life you love through music, art, and creativity.

Important Questions to Ask Yourself

So, let me ask you a few questions:

  • Do you have a long list of things to do at the end of the day, and does that stress you out?
  • Does it seem like you never get around to the projects that matter, like making music?
  • Do you feel like there are people around you who always seem to get more done than you do? And does that make you feel worse about yourself?

Trust me when I say you’re not alone and it’s not your fault. But let me guess. You’ve tried a bunch of stuff from the past and it probably didn’t work out for you, am I right?

You’ve got to surrender your experiences and leave them in the past where they belong. We can’t move forward in our lives when we’re held down by a crushing weight of past traumas, failures, challenges, obstacles, and difficulties. And guaranteed, what I’m here to share with you is different.

Using the “Night Before Vacation” Checklist Method to Boost Your Productivity

Now, let me share a quick tip with you because you could have a breakthrough right here, right now in your personal productivity if this isn’t something you’re already doing consistently.

One of the biggest breakthroughs in my productive life was learning how to create and use to-do lists.

Back in the day, I listened to The Science of Self-Confidence by motivational speaker, Brian Tracy, and he talked about how the night before people go on vacation, they make a big checklist of things they need to do before they leave, whether that’s washing the dishes, doing the laundry, or packing their bags.

And he mentioned how even if it seems as though people didn’t really have the time to do those things, somehow miraculously they would get them done if they had a list in front of them and they tackled the items one by one.

So, my to-do lists always help keep me on track. It’s nothing crazy. I use a yellow legal pad to create my to-do lists. But I do use the yellow legal pad in a very specific way, something I reveal in the book we’re talking about today. So, there are some nuances to making this to-do list thing work that you might not currently be aware of.

What has David Andrew Wiebe Accomplished?

But you might still be wondering, like, who am I? Who is this guy to talk about productivity? Unless he’s accomplished a bunch of stuff, can you really call yourself a productivity expert, especially if your work doesn’t bear it out?

Well, we’re not here to talk about me today, but I am going to offer a little bit of an overview of some of the things that I’ve been able to accomplish:

  • I’ve published 44 songs as a solo artist. That doesn’t include projects that I’ve guessed on as a guitarist, and as far as stuff that’s not published goes, I have hundreds of songs in my archives.
  • I’m an award-winning composer.
  • I have self-published seven books, and three have become Amazon or Kobo best-sellers, or both.
  • I’ve published thousands of blog posts, hundreds of videos, and hundreds of podcast episodes.
  • I’ve interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs, executives, professors, and musicians.

Sure, like anyone else, I’ve had the occasional flop. I am human and I still cringe at some of my older material. But by and large, I’m proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish in the short time I’ve been on this green Earth.

And I haven’t even touched on the artwork I’ve produced or the speaking engagements that I’ve done, or the 10-plus years I’ve spent as a guitar teacher, or the 300 shows I’ve played across Western Canada.

Now I could go on, but you can be the judge of whether I am someone that you want to listen to. There are plenty of people who seem to feel I am a limitless fountain of creativity, but we’re going to get to that just a little later.

What to Expect from the Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook

What can you expect from this book?

  • It’s over 70,000 words and over 270 pages. Word count isn’t everything. My goal really is to help you achieve breakthroughs quickly, and as fast as you possibly can, but it’s still nice to know what to expect, isn’t it?
  • There is some brand-new content in this book, but it also features an article compilation as well as excerpts from my many books.
  • And I’m not supposed to tell you this, but it does include excerpts from yet-unpublished books like Flashes of Elation, and The Renegade Musician, both of which are mostly done. Just looking for the right time to share them with you.
  • And because I believe in over-delivering, the Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook also comes with the entirety of my fourth book, Start Your Year the Right Way.

Testimonials

But if you’re still asking yourself, “Okay, who is this guy to tell me what I should do?”

Here are a few testimonials, things people have had to say about this book (click here to see the testimonials):

  • Jonathan Ferguson
  • Patrick Zelinski
  • Taylor McPhail

Closing Thoughts

So, wherever you happen to be watching this right now, you should be able to find a link somewhere that tells you more about the book or takes you to the order page.

Thanks for watching. Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe. Do all the things. I’ll see you again soon.

Leave a rating and review for the show on Apple Music. It’s how we get the podcast out there!

There’s exclusive, premium audio content waiting for you inside Members Only Audios.

Project Overload? 7 Practical Tips to Keep the Plates Spinning

Project Overload? 7 Practical Tips to Keep the Plates Spinning

Polymaths are bound to have a mix of projects on the go at any given time.

Some of this is by design. Inspiration hits and you find yourself unable to resist compelling possibilities. So, you initiate new ventures, knowing it will require personal expansion, even as you hurry to cause completion with projects already started.

And, of course, some projects serve a more practical function of creating cashflow. This means maintaining a healthy inflow of leads and stable of clients.

But how do you keep all your plates spinning? Here are several practical tips to help you maintain order amid chaos.

1. Batch Process & Optimize Weekflow to Boost Productivity

Batch processing will prove essential to getting things done. When you’ve got many projects to tend to, you can’t afford to lose time. And task switching is a known productivity killer.

That said, if you don’t optimize weekflow, your batching efforts aren’t going to be as effective as they could be. If you don’t have a good sense of the big picture that’s forming, you’ll be plowing away at a certain task, only to be interrupted by a client call, meeting, deadline, or some other fire you didn’t see coming because you were too busy working.

In my experience, a desktop calendar pad can go a long way towards achieving better big picture clarity around forthcoming meetings, deadlines, calls, and more. Some people like to use their phone, but I find notifications annoying, and they break concentration besides. Paper-based systems like Getting Things Done (affiliate link) by David Allen force you to rely more on your organizational skills (and putting things into existence) than on unreliable tech.

2. Leverage Themed Days to Maximize Results

Don’t just group your tasks. Group your days.

Don’t just group your tasks. Group your days. Share on X

I’ve talked to multiple entrepreneurs who keep multiple plates spinning, and the main way they do this is by setting aside certain days for specific projects.

I, for one, publish daily, write for Music Industry How To and MIDINation, maintain Music Entrepreneur HQ, and create content for The Indie YYC.

I use Mondays to outline the content I will be developing for the week. I divide my time between my various Music Industry How To and Music Entrepreneur HQ duties between Tuesday and Thursday. Friday is The Indie YYC day, though realistically, it doesn’t require more than a couple hours per week.

I’m not trying to advance all projects simultaneously on a given day. I give each my full attention on their designated days, so that my mind space is only occupied by pertinent tasks and conversations.

As you can imagine, this helps you generate better ideas and think better overall.

3. Get into Communication to Grow Your Team & Maintain Client Relationships

First, admit to yourself that being a lone wolf polymath is unworkable. Because it is.

Second, recognize that there are people around you just waiting to engage in meaningful projects. Their jobs are boring. Their home life is humdrum. They’re waiting for you to pick up the phone and invite them to be a part of something, even if there’s no financial incentive!

Build a personal relationship with everyone in your team to keep engagement levels high. It might seem a little unreasonable at first, because it’s going to take time out of your day. But you will soon see your workload minimize as others pick up the slack.

Keep your clients informed of project progress as well. You don’t need to type out 1,000-word essays to get the point across. Clear, succinct communication helps decrease misunderstandings and sets proper expectations.

When a promise is not going to be met, communicate. Everything is about communication. Don’t try to manage people. Manage promises.

Internalize the fact that promises are empowering. Many people avoid making promises because they don’t want to be on the hook for anything. But promises elevate the importance of tasks or projects, maximizing your overall effectiveness. That leads to better results.

4. Minimize the Amount of Time You’re Available to the Public to Make More Time for Focused Work

Unless self-initiated, I’m only available to the public on Wednesdays and Thursdays, between the hours of 11 AM and 5 PM for ad hoc calls and meetings.

This may appear self-serving, but when I leave my calendar open for anyone to book at any time, I may not be in the best position to serve them (because of energy levels, distractions, other tasks I need to get to, social events, or otherwise). I might even miss their booking requests. So, it’s in everyone’s best interest that I take calls only when I’m best equipped to handle them and give the matter the attention it deserves.

5. Prioritize Self-Care & Wellbeing to Keep Energy Levels High

I understand that your days will be booked to the brim with various forms of work. After all, you’re a go-getter.

But if you’re not taking care of yourself, you will burn out, and if you burn out, you will need to spend time in recovery. This can cost you severely in terms of productive time, medical bills, supplements, rehabilitation, and more.

So, it’s best to work a little self-care into your routine, even if it’s just five minutes here, 15 minutes there. Do five minutes of yoga. Meditate for 10 minutes. Take inspiration from some of my burnout reversal strategies.

Something is always better than nothing. And you honestly might be surprised by how much a difference walking for a few minutes daily can make.

6. Test Alignment & Prune the Stinkers to Manage Energy

Pay attention to how every project and client makes you feel.

There are ebbs and flows with every task or job, no matter how aligned you are. But ultimately, some projects will boost your energies and fulfillment level, while others will take away and steal your life force.

Book Yourself Solid (affiliate link) author Michael Port suggests cutting clients that drain your energy, because inevitably they will consume the most time and energy, making any financial reward almost irrelevant. The 4-Hour Workweek (affiliate link) author Tim Ferriss has made similar assertions.

You need a “red rope policy,” as it were, meticulously defining the type of customer you want to work with, while pricing your services out of reach for those who are sure to be lesser quality clients.

The same goes for personal or collaborative projects. It might hurt to cut some off, but if you’re not acting on them today, and you didn’t last week, and you didn’t the month before, can you honesty say you’re ever going to get around to them?

As former CD Baby founder Derek Sivers says, goals shape the present, not the future. If the goal has no impact on current actions, then there’s a good chance it’s misaligned.

We want to examine our relationship to everything we do, as personal development guru Steve Pavlina suggests. And we can shift our relationship to our projects at any time. But inevitably, you’re going to bump up against work that’s not in alignment.

Consider eliminating the projects and clients that take up too much mind space, time, energy, and resources. They are robbing you of fulfillment in every dimension.

7. Track & Review Your Progress to Ensure Momentum

Review your progress each week. If you’re not advancing in certain areas, remember – goals that aren’t shaping the present are bad goals. They aren’t in personal alignment.

Each week, take some time to review:

  • What is getting done
  • How much progress was made
  • Your overall performance relative to each project, on a scale of one to 10
  • What is not getting done
  • Where progress wasn’t made and why
  • Areas you need to improve in
  • Tasks others are working on
  • Tasks you need to delegate
  • Projects you need to revise or prune
  • Your overall fulfillment level

If you aren’t tracking and reviewing your progress, you can’t make an honest assessment of how a given project is going. And that stifles your ability to adjust or course correct.

Clarity is key. You can easily forget or lose track of specific tasks, projects, or people if you aren’t aware of how your projects are going, and that is unworkable.

You’re busy, and you’re up to something. And you won’t do everything perfectly. You will drop balls, and you will make mistakes. Which is why communication matters so much. But as much as possible, you want to create workability in every facet of your endeavors, and your weekly review is a good time to think and reflect on that.

Final Thoughts

Taking on many projects isn’t for everyone. But where there’s a will, there’s a way.

I would still advise chipping away at projects that don’t serve or fulfill you, as they are bound to consume more time and energy than they are worth. That said, I’m not one to stop anyone from running three businesses simultaneously. I know people that do. And it’s possible with the practical tips discussed here.

Find the things that keep you up into the wee hours of the night, and have you jumping out of bed early in the morning. These are the things that will inspire you to be, do, and have more.

The Importance of Experimentation in Your Music Career

The Importance of Experimentation in Your Music Career

I’ve conducted many experiments in my adult life since learning from personal development blogger Steve Pavlina’s example. His blog is filled to the brim with all kinds of experiments – manifesting $1 million dollars, raw food diet, juice fasting, and more.

I think my first experiment was learning mandolin for 30 days. I’ve since done all kinds of things, whether it’s learning Joomla, walking 8,000 steps per day, writing 365 songs in a year, or otherwise.

The most significant experiment I recently completed was publishing daily for a full year. In a way, I’m still on that journey. It’s just that it’s taken a different form.

And you can bet that the results of these experiments factor into how I approach my work and life. I have actionable data and insights I can learn from to better my future endeavors.

You need to leave some time in you life for experimentation – in music, in business, and even in your personal life.

Ever notice how time seems to fly when you’re doing the same things day in day out without much change?

But how it seems to slow down when you’re constantly exposed to new things? And how much more exciting that experience is?

I’ve been living in Abbotsford, BC now for two years, and I love it here. Long-term, I could see myself moving to a nearby city, mind you (Abbotsford is fine, it’s just a little far from the action for my tastes – Langley or Coquitlam would be more to my liking).

I’ve explored quite a bit, but there is still a lot that’s new and novel about the area I’m living in. And it feels good.

My adventures have been a far cry from traveling the world, which is what I originally had in mind, but life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

Establishing a framework for experimentation (novelty), can’t hurt. How much time will you spend trying something new? What rules will you put into place? What actions will you take?

Dedicating about 20% of your time to the new is a good place to start. You just never know what you might discover in the process.

The Value of 365-Day Experiments

The Value of 365-Day Experiments

Online personal development guru Steve Pavlina is famous for having conducted a variety of 30-day experiments, be it learning the guitar, intermittent fasting, or sustaining a raw diet. To this day, he still engages in these types of experiments and blogs about them.

I discovered Pavlina’s work in 2007, and soon began the process of starting my own 30-day experiments – things like learning the mandolin or Joomla – and blogging about the experience.

Earlier that same year, though, I had already started what I called Project 365, and my aim was to write a song, every single day, for a full year.

Although I hadn’t given much thought to it until recently, since then, I’ve engaged in several 365-day experiments, each of which have brought untold blessings into my life.

These challenges are incredibly helpful in developing discipline and making massive progress in a chosen area.

But I’ll talk more about the benefits as we go. I’d like to start by sharing with you an overview of the experiments I’ve completed, and the results derived from each.

365-Day Experiments I’ve Completed

Here are the 365-day experiments I’ve completed so far:

  • 2007: Wrote 365 songs in a year (and succeeded)
  • 2008: Practiced guitar for three hours per day (and failed)
  • 2009: Practiced guitar for three hours per day (and succeeded)
  • 2015: Read 52 books in a year (and succeeded)
  • 2016: Read 52 books in a year (and succeeded a second time)
  • 2020 – 2021: Published daily for a full year (in progress)

Now for some of the results these experiments produced:

  • In 2007, I ended up writing two fan favorite originals: “Wonderfully Dysfunctional” and “Too Late.”
  • In 2008, after a brief stint as a solo artist, I joined a band again, and it went onto become one of the most successful acts I’ve been a part of to date.
  • In 2015, I wrote a book review for Dr. Joseph Murphy’s The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, and to this day, it’s my highest trafficked blog post by a huge margin.
  • It remains to be seen exactly all that will come out of publishing daily, but so far, I’ve gained about 1,100 Medium followers. I’ve also been invited to write for several new publications, started earning money writing on News Break, landed a five-figure ghostwriting contract, and more.

Fascinatingly and coincidentally, Pavlina also published daily in 2020, and his post on the topic is insightful.

Why Start a 365-Day Challenge?

A full year of dedicated hard work might not transform a flabby body into a ripped and cut one. It might not turn a mediocre guitarist into a phenomenal instrumentalist, or convert a lazy, broke entrepreneur into a productive, high income earner.

But you can leapfrog in a chosen area if you’re committed to the task. And whatever progress you make can act as a springboard onto greater progress and improvement.

I certainly don’t think I would be half the guitarist I am today without the effort I put into my instrument in the early days, especially in 2008 and 2009. Trying to figure out how to fit three hours of practice into my day now would be like trying to navigate uncharted waters without a compass (these days, 30 minutes per day is more than enough for ongoing maintenance and improvement).

Similarly, I wouldn’t have momentum in my book reading discipline if I hadn’t chosen to adopt the CEO habit of reading 52 books per year in 2015 and 2016. And that would not have come about without the core disciplines I picked up in network marketing from 2011 to 2015.

So, the best way to think about a 365-day challenge is as foundation-setting. Working on a specific discipline or area of life where you want to create expanded results. You can’t expect to make quantum leaps, but you can create momentum as you never have before.

Despite the benefits, a 365-day experiment will prove a challenge if:

  • You’ve never done it before
  • You’ve never kept a discipline for longer than a month or two
  • You aren’t self-motivated
  • You aren’t clear on your motivation for starting an experiment
  • You overestimate what you can accomplish in a year
  • You set unrealistic expectations
  • You already feel overwhelmed with various commitments

These aren’t reasons not to take on the challenge. If anything, they might be good reasons to take it on. But you can’t assume or take success for granted. You will need to orient your life around the experiment and make it a priority, or there’s a good chance you’ll lose momentum and fail.

Benefits of Engaging in a Yearlong Experiment

The benefits you can gain from engaging in a yearlong experiment are many and varied and will depend a lot on the type of challenge you take on.

But in my experience, here are some of the greatest benefits you can expect to glean from a 365-day challenge:

You Can Create Breakthroughs in Your Life

Want to get more people listening to your music? Instead of relying on fancy tactics and whiz-bang funnels, what if you committed to the hard work of promoting your music daily for a full year? What difference would that make in your career? Could you create a breakthrough result?

Whether you want to get in better shape, improve as a blogger, or grow your YouTube channel, if you were fully present and dedicated to the cause for a full year, I can almost promise you that you could have a breakthrough.

Just look at some of the results I was able to create – writing some great music, publishing my most read blog post, landing a five-figure ghostwriting contract, and more.

You Can Build Confidence & Belief in Yourself

When you start a 365-day challenge, it will begin to dominate your thoughts, behavior, and conversations. Your family and friends will start asking you, “how’s that 365-day thing going?”

If, at the end of the experiment, you can say with pride, “I completed the experiment and fulfilled on all the deliverables,” it will build massive confidence and belief in yourself.

So, you start thinking to yourself, “if I could stick with a single discipline for a full year, what more could I accomplish?” And what’s waiting on the other side of that question might be well beyond your wildest imagination.

You Can Have Your Best Year Ever

Looking back, I can see that some of the best years of my life also overlap with years I was engaged in 365-day experiments. This might be obvious from some of the results I shared earlier.

One must still ask “at what cost?” Especially given that the best part of your day is probably going to be going towards fulfilling on the promises you’ve made to yourself. This is creative energy that could be dedicated to other areas of life you deem important (more on this later).

The point being – you’ve got to ensure you’re spending time on something that matters to you, or it may seem as though valuable time is being eroded away.

What Specific Challenges Can I Expect to Face During a Yearlong Experiment?

Naturally, 365-day challenges aren’t all unicorns farting rainbows. You will have your ups and downs, and if you’re engaged in creative work, you will have your good days and bad days.

Take my Project 365 experiment example from earlier. Out of 365 songs, only two were even worth committing to memory and repeating in front of an audience. That’s kind of crazy.

Here are some of the challenges I’ve encountered during yearlong experiments:

You Will Want to Compromise

You’ll need to find your footing with your challenges, so compromising isn’t necessarily good or bad. But you must accept that challenges may not go exactly as imagined or planned, which means that you’ll need to let go of any sense of perfectionism you might have around completing your challenge.

When I engaged in Project 365, even though I finished the experiment early, I ended up having to bulk write songs after longer stretches of not writing anything.

The first time I read 52 books in a year, I had to finish the year with several shorter books, some of which I’d already read in a previous year.

While publishing daily, not all my posts have been of the utmost quality.

And so on.

Again, compromise isn’t necessarily bad. But your experiment probably won’t progress exactly as you expect it to.

You’ll Need to Orient Your Life Around the Challenge

I alluded to this earlier, but as the days pass, you’ll find that you become consumed by the challenge. Even if the experiment only requires an hour or so out of your day, you may find that engaging in the activity takes everything you’ve got, becomes less pleasurable, and even turns into a source of concern or stress (especially if you’re trying to balance it with other commitments like work).

I’m nearing the completion of my daily publishing experiment, and for the most part, it has been a rewarding, fulfilling experience. I would be lying if I said there weren’t days I didn’t feel like writing or publishing anything though.

You Will Need to Sacrifice

If you make your challenge a priority, you will need to sacrifice. While you’re busy obsessing over one thing, you’ll find yourself unable to tend to others. Inevitably, you will end up having to sacrifice lesser priorities to keep up with the challenge.

Publishing daily has been great. But if I were to say that publishing daily, on average, took an hour, that’s 365 hours I could have spent doing something else (writing a book, working on music, developing a product, building a membership, pursuing other writing contracts, etc.). Looking at it that way can be sobering.

When you say “yes” to one thing, you are always saying “no” to something else.

When you say “yes” to one thing, you are always saying “no” to something else. Share on X

I will not look back on publishing daily in regret. But as with Pavlina, I have no intention of repeating that experience. I would like to take those creative energies and channel them elsewhere.

Final Thoughts

If any aspect of your creative career seems stagnant, a 365-day experiment can reinvigorate your passion and produce massive results in an area that matters to you.

But we can’t forget that it’s going to take discipline and work. You may need to carry out tasks on days when you don’t feel like doing anything. And even if you’re working on something you love and care about, some days it will just feel like work.

A 365-day experiment is a tool. And like any other tool, it’s meant to be applied in specific situations. It’s a hammer, if you will, and hammers are best used for pounding nails – not for sawing wood or tightening screws.

There are times to take on a challenge, and there are times to remain steady and consistent, doing exactly what you’re already doing.

Is it time for you to take on a new challenge? What area of your career or life would you work on? Are you committed to following through on your goals? What are you willing to sacrifice to get to your chosen destination? Do you know anyone that can keep you accountable? Would they be willing or interested in joining you in their own 365-day journey? What’s one thing you will take away from this post?

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