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How to Win Over the Judgment in The Marketplace

judgment-feature

I have a friend who is going through some tough times in legal sense but I feel like this person has been going through this battle for so long that their emotions are sometimes clouding their judgment as to what is important to the court and what isn’t.

 

 

judgment-cloudy-thought

 

 

 

I worry about this friend and their approach to this challenge lately. We have entertained many “spirited” exchanges in the interest of defining exactly how this person will be judged by the court, in other words, “What does the court see and not see”, and to get us both on the same page.

 

It’s easy to lose sight of the facts when your life and mental happiness are constantly under senseless attack.  Especially when it’s been going on for years and years.

 

 

judgment-exhausting

 

 

A never-ending battle.

 

It gets exhausting.

 

 

 

 

Like you’re in a losing boxing match and the only thing you can do is keep your gloves up to protect your face.

judgment-boxing-defense

 

 

 

It’s demeaning no matter how strong you are.

 

 

 

 

 

Good offensive strategies give way to emotionally charged stories that we tell ourselves and these stories can be accurate, derived from real-life experiences; some bad, some good .  But sometimes, often times in fact, these stories get skewed somewhere along the line and become inaccurate.

 

They become justifications explaining away the reasons that we feel like we can’t win.

 

judgment-stories-we-tell-ourselves

 

 

I think this is a defense mechanism of sorts.

 

 

 

 

If it isn’t, people in this position, like my friend, certainly need one considering the onslaught of stupidity they’ve had to endure thus far.

 

My experience with lawyers (provided you have a good one) is that their brilliant technicians and can execute well, but without guidance, without leadership, they fall short; they’re not mind-readers.

 

judgment-lawyers-are-not-mind-readers

Lawyers need to know exactly what you want and what you’re willing to do (or pay) to get there.

 

 

You must communicate exactly what you’re after and have the technician draw the map to get there.

 

 

I like to get a checklist. “If I wanted to do this, what would have to happen in the eyes of the court to ensure a positive outcome? Talk to me like a four-year-old and make sure you leave no stone unturned.”

 

judgment-check-list

 

 

 

Along with that checklist would come a price tag. Once you have ACCURATE information as to what can be accomplished and what it’s going to take to make it happen, then you can start strategizing with solid data and put together a plan of attack that will be effective for you.

 

 

 

 

Now, with a map created from accurate information, it’s the lawyer’s job to execute the plan within the legal limits and persuade a judge or judge and jury to believe what the client believes.

 

I feel like this concept is similar to artists who are trying to get their music out to the world.

 

 

You see, I know that if the art is well done and the artist is compelling, there is an audience that will connect with it.

 

judgment-bear-cub

 

 

But too many of you are understandably protective of your art like a momma bear to her cub, therefore you get in your own way.

 

 

 

 

This naturally leads to bad strategies based on inaccurate information derived from stories we tell ourselves.

 

 

Some of you, sadly, never get your music out there.

 

 

judgment-fear-in-your-own-way

 

 

 

You trip yourself up because deep down the thought of rejection is too painful.

 

 

 

 

 

Often, these are compelling artists who just haven’t put the time in to learn marketing, thus, their babies never see the light of day because the market isn’t informed as to why they should care.

 

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Remember, distribution is where consumers go to purchase or consume your music, marketing is why they go there.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s the artist’s job now to behave like a lawyer to the extent that they learn the law, draw the map, and persuade the market to believe what they believe.

 

judgment-silhouette

It’s the artist’s job to control the judgment in the market.

 

 

 

 

 

I know it sounds crazy to think that artists fail after you consider the fact that they spend so much precious time and money to create the art and get it out of them, but they stop the process of emergence because of homemade excuses orbiting around their poor marketing execution.

 

 

Then they make up stories as to what outside forces were keeping them from reaching their goal of being a professional artist to buffer the pain of a lost dream and to feel better in front of their friends.

 

judgment-self-sabotage

It’s called self-sabotage.

 

 

 

 

I see it every day in all businesses.

 

 

This phenomenon is not just relegated to artists, it’s total human nature. Deep down few of us really feel we’re worthy even though we may tell ourselves that we are.

 

This is fixable.

 

Some artists recover and move on to take a legitimate shot but others just move on in their lives and become bitter talking about the “glory days”.

 

judgment-poverty-line

 

Some artists courageously move forward in the face of fear and linger in the business, seemingly forever, without enough success to live a life above the poverty line.

 

 

 

All the courage to stay in but just enough doubt to keep them down.

 

 

They also tell stories to themselves and others as to why they can’t get ahead; always outside forces.

 

 

Here’s the deal. You will be judged by the market.

 

 

judgment-gavel-cash

 

 

In fact, the market is the ultimate judge of any product.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artists know this. When they avoid being judged they avoid the pain of possible rejection, don’t they?

 

judgment-learning

 

You must learn marketing in the new music business so you can understand how to spread your gospel so-to-speak. Remember the part about asking for a checklist?

 

 

 

 

To avoid the bitterness and the stories about outside forces keeping you from your dream, you have to take responsibility for the marketing, learn it, execute it, and move forward.

 

 

You’re going to make mistakes, so what?judgment-responsibility-no-one-to-blame

 

 

Dig in anyway.

 

 

 

 

Making mistakes and moving forward is better than telling stories and moving nowhere.

 

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This process is called learning.

 

 

 

 

 

You may tell yourself that you’re an artist and artists shouldn’t have to market themselves, and I would agree with that to the extent that I prefer artists to be concentrating on their art.

 

But you earn that level of success by creating enough cash flow to outsource the marketing tasks.

 

More importantly, you have to be educated on the way it really works to get your business going on zero cash flow.

 

You’re going to be the one to do it.

 

 

If you haven’t done it yourself, you don’t have a keen understanding of the way it works, how can you can you blame some outside force for keeping you down?

 

 

judgment-idea-lightbulb

 

 

In any business, and make no mistake you’re an entrepreneur trying to start a business, you need a working knowledge of every step to effectively lead.

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve got other news for you, when you do get your shot, your “at bat”, you’re going to need this information to hit the home run; even if it’s someone else’s money.

 

Don’t dip out on your calling because you’re afraid of marketing, it’s just foreign that’s all, it’s another form of communication that when mastered, is quite satisfying.

 

 

judgment-do-what-you-love

 

Don’t dip out just because you’re lazy.

 

 

 

 

 

“I don’t have enough time” is a crappy excuse. Every time someone tells me that I can find at least 3 activities that take up their time which can be traded for productivity in their small business.

 

 

The first one is usually sleep.judgment-i-dont-have-enough-time

 

Y’all tell yourselves stories that you need your 8-12 hours of sleep.

 

Screw that.

 

You need 6.

 

 

Get up one hour earlier and read a marketing book. Then spend the next 30 minutes applying the knowledge from the book.

 

 

judgment-read-a-book

 

 

For the world to accept you, they must first become aware of you. Once they become aware of you, they’ll listen. If you’re compelling, they’ll buy your music.

 

 

 

 

Once you figure out how to squeeze in some repetition, so they hear the song at least 8 times, you’ll begin to gain serious momentum in your artist career.

 

 

judgment-repetition

 

 

If the market judges you too harshly, then you have work to do on your product.

 

 

 

 

 

My first shows in grade school and high school sucked.

 

 

judgment-everyone-sucks

 

 

 

 

So did yours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We got better, didn’t we?  Your first song isn’t going to be a hit but maybe your 100th will.

 

 

Are you willing to work that hard?

 

 

Do you want it that bad?

judgement-dreams-come-true

 

 

 

Don’t go down on this dream just because you didn’t work hard enough, you’ll never forgive yourself.

 

 

 

 

Make your art the way you want to make it, then understand what must happen for the court to accept you, and then deliver it.

 

 

 

Stay

 

In

 

Tune

 

 

If you found value in this article, please SHARE it and COMMENT below.

 

 

Also, if you liked this content you’ll love my top 10 podcast called The C.L.I.M.B. with my co-host and hit songwriter Brent Baxter.marketing

 

CLICK HERE to listen in iTunes

 

CLICK HERE to listen on Stitcher for an Android

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happiness Drives Everything

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I’m not some great philosopher. This is simple shit. ONE AT BAT. THIS IS IT. YOU’RE GOING TO DIE. Like, I don’t understand…here’s what I don’t understand. I want to talk about complaining. I want to talk about complaining. If you are making your own bed you have to sleep in it and you need to shut your fucking mouth. You’re more than welcome…I’ve met hundreds of people who left their jobs, making good money when they had college debt 18% compounded interest because they need their mental health to be happy. They were willing to take a step back, and in a 7-year period, THEY WON! Because happiness drives everything. You collectively aren’t patient enough. Your lack of patience is killing you. Your need of things is killing you. I don’t need a fucking watch. I don’t need a fucking whip. I need to be happy. One fucking at bat.– Gary  Vaynerchuk

happiness-gary-vee

 

You’re not taking enough responsibility for your happiness.

 

 

Which means you’re not taking enough responsibility for your artistry.

 

 

There’s nothing wrong with that unless you’re frustrated with your life.

 

If you’re reading this, you are blessed to be in a country where you are allowed to read this and fortunate to own a computer or a smartphone to read it with.

 

happiness-99

All you complaining 99 percenters, 50% of this planet, over 3.5 billion people live on less than $2 per day. If you’re at the bottom of the 99%, meaning you’re earning the least amount of all the 99%, you’re actually in the 1% (probably the people you love to hate) when compared to the rest of the world.

 

I say this because I want you to stop complaining right now and be grateful.

 

 

 

 

If your parents had sex 3 minutes later or 3 minutes prior, you wouldn’t be here.

happiness-sperm

 

So be grateful out of millions of sperm, YOU won the lottery and became a human.

 

That fact alone is simply ASTONISHING.

 

Be grateful that God gave you an artistic gift to share with the world.

 

happiness-responsibility-meme

 

Be grateful that your frustrated because you’re struggling to get paid for that gift rather than struggling to find food, or struggling to turn a pair of 2-liter soda bottles into a pair of shoes.

 

Wow, that’s a LOT of gratitude.

 

 

Now, you have all this time, what are you doing with it?

 

What exactly are you doing to take the next best step towards pursuing your happiness?

happiness-stop-complaining

 

What Gary Vee was saying about your own bed is absolutely true.

 

Stop complaining because I promise you that your status amongst the professional artist community and the consumer’s awareness or lack of awareness of your art is a direct result of the time and attention you’ve put towards it.

 

 

 

I promise if you put the time in, I mean REALLY put the time in, you’ll win.

 

happiness-time-meme

 

I promise that if you commit to being a student of the game, meaning that you stop complaining, passing blame, creating excuses, and start honestly asking questions and looking at ways to improve your situation, you’ll win.

 

 

 

Are you willing to take a step back? Really?

 

You’re afraid of losing your stuff, your lifestyle. I’m here to tell you everyone is and it isn’t so bad, in fact, it’s rather liberating.

happiness-liberating

 

If you aren’t willing, THAT’S OK because you’re a hobby artist or a hobby band, and there NOTHING wrong with that.

 

What IS WRONG is if you complain that you can’t “Get your deal”, or you can’t “get professional recordings”, or you can’t “find your audience”.  These are tasks that are tackled by professional artists, not hobby artists.

 

Many bands have done it.

 

We do it for artists every day here at Daredevil Production.

 

So when I hear complaints about how it’s because of this reason, or that reason an artist can’t find an audience, get paid, or make great recordings, it makes my hair stand up.

happiness-hair-stand-up

 

Excuses

 

I’ll ask them, what EXACTLY do you think are the issues that are preventing you from tackling these challenges?

 

 

You see, to me, this is akin to complaining that you can’t breathe. Yet, there are 7 billion + people on this planet that are breathing.

 

Why can’t you?

 

Because you’re complaining and looking for excuses rather than taking any action whatsoever to solve the problem.

happiness-one-at-bat-meme

 

ONE AT BAT.

 

YOU’RE GOING TO DIE.

 

 

If you don’t seriously step up, which may mean stepping back momentarily, to follow your dreams, I promise THAT is the regret you’ll have on your death bed.

 

It won’t be a regret over something you did.

happiness-regrest-booze-bottle

 

It’ll ALWAYS be a regret over something you DIDN’T do for whatever reason.

 

 

 

I can testify that money, your house, watches, cars, trips, restaurants, extra musical instruments, the latest recording gear, softball league, basketball league, racquetball league, Golf, your credit score, etc., are completely worthless.

 

They mean nothing.

 

You find that out after you lose them.

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They don’t define you.

 

I’ll say that again so READ IT.

 

These are things that don’t define you.

 

Your happiness defines you.

 

 

That’s what other souls really see. They may be misguided enough at this point on their journey to respond to your money or what they feel security “looks” like, but your true happiness is really what they see.

happiness-is-what-the-soul-sees

 

 

Or don’t see.

 

 

 

 

People are going to remember you for the way you made them feel, not because you have a Rolex, a Ferrari, or a vintage ’59 Les Paul.

 

When you’re really happy because you’re doing what you were born to do, you can’t help but make other people happy.

 

You become the inspiration all artists aspire to be.

 

I made decent money in business. I have a talent for that.

 

I made a LOT of money in the financial industry.  Straight up, my monthly ad budget at one time (with my radio show on in 5 stations in 3 markets) was more than a lot of you, maybe most you, make in a year. 3 month’s ad budget would safely probably cover the lot of you.

 

Just the ad budget.

happiness-poof-it-was-gone-plane-fire

 

Poof, it all went away in 2008 and IT WAS A BLESSING.

 

A gift from God.

 

I lost my house, my wife, my savings, my business, my dignity (briefly), and for about a year, my direction.

 

The loss of direction was the scariest part. Never had that happen. Faith is all you have at that point, that’s what gets you through.

happiness-regrets-pray-cross

 

When I moved back to Nashville from Los Angeles, I had nothing. I literally went from requiring 2 trips in a 24-foot U-Haul truck to move into my new house in 2004 to 1 10-foot box truck to move out to Nashville.

 

 

 

I’m STILL getting rid of crap.

 

 

Lots of old energy.

 

I hocked all my prized guitars and amplifiers including a ’68 Gibson Country & Western acoustic guitar, and a 1st year Peavy EVH 5150 guitar head (ugh), a ’68 Marshall 4×12 cabinet with vintage 25 watt greenbacks, a killer 60’s re-issue Vox AC-30, and rare mid ‘80’s Sunburst Gibson ES-335 (these are just the sexiest items) to keep this company going in the beginning.

 

This is called taking a step back.

happiness-step-back

 

I believed in what I was doing.

 

 

 

 

 

I had months where I didn’t know how I was going to come up with the $80 I needed to renew my tag on my auto license.

 

 

I was thinking, “I’m too old for this shit.”

happiness-too-old

 

 

I worked Uber after hours for 18 months to pay the bills while the company grew. That would be Friday night from 6pm-3am. Saturday night from 6pm-3am. Then I’d crash for 2 hours and work the Sunday morning airport runs from 6am-12pm.

 

 

 

 

 

I was definitely growing Daredevil Production at a pretty nice trajectory percentage-wise but when you start at $0.00 it takes a while for those percentages to turn into an amount of money that can pay your bills.

happiness-sales-trajectory-meme

 

I took the step back.

 

 

 

 

 

I promised myself that I would go HARD TO THE PAINT for 5 years and after 5 years if I looked back and felt it was a waste of time or I misjudged the target somehow (which was my mistake in the financial business) then I’d go sell insurance and make a million dollars.

happiness-hard-to-the-paint

 

I could pretty easily do that. I have that skill set.

 

Music was my passion, though.

 

 

Cracking the code to connecting artists and fans and then MONETIZING those fans without using radio, was and still is the sexiest challenge in the world to me.

happiness-cracking-the-code

 

We’ve done it. We’re ramping up the traffic volumes now.

 

 

 

 

 

Gary Vee was right in that opening quote when he mentioned the 7-year time frame.

 

This November 5th will mark my 5-year anniversary of being back in Nashville. To be fair it’s probably been a solid 3 years since I really started focusing on the marketing side of Daredevil Production.

happiness-7-year-meme

 

The trajectory continues and if next year grows like this year, BOOM!

 

That 7-year mark no matter where you want to start the timeline will be a biggie.

 

I’m telling you this because there is no greater feeling than winning at what you LOVE to do and what you were BORN to do.

 

I want you to win.

 

I don’t want you to live the dichotomy.

 

Stop complaining, start working, and taking responsibility for your own happiness.

 

Stay

 

In

 

Tune

 

 

 

 

If you liked this article, please SHARE it and COMMENT below

 

 

 

How To Actually Get Paid Living As An Artist

Get Paid As An Artist feature MEME

How do you get paid to live an artist’s life?

Get Paid As An Artist Tim Ferris RESIZED

 

Artists ask me this question all the time. The answer is there are endless ways to get paid for your art.

 

Most artists don’t see the answers or fail to ask the right questions because they are imprisoned by the limiting beliefs that we ALL struggle with.

 

I was GREATLY inspired by THIS PODCAST where Seth Godin was answering questions during a Tim Ferris interview.

 

Every person on this planet suffers from their own limiting beliefs in some way.

 

Get Paid As An Artist Chain Suffer MEME

Artists are DEFINITELY included in this lot.

 

 

 

Most are not self-aware of their limiting beliefs and suffer greatly throughout their crappy life.

 

Some are marginally self-aware and work a little to overcome these limiting beliefs and suffer less.

 

The people we admire most in society, you know, the ones who don’t seem to be hindered by any mental blocks or speed bumps, yeah, they suffer too but they interpret it differently.

 

That’s the secret.

Get Paid As An Artist Fear

People like Seth Godin, your favorite artists, world leaders, astounding family members, etc. STILL HAVE LIMITING BELIEFS and they battle with them every day.

 

The difference is the successful run toward the fear and engage it.

 

Most people avoid the fear.

 

It’s easier isn’t it?

 

It’s easier to make the fear become an excuse or deterrent to taking a risk and putting yourself out there.

 

Here’s the deal, I promise, on some level, we all tend to focus on the winner’s amazing success and forget (or never think about) the fact that they struggle too.

 

Just like you, they struggle every day.

 

Get Paid As An Artist Suffer SillhouetteHere’s what happens.

 

We all LIKE being competent.

 

We all LIKE being successful.

 

We all LIKE feeling important and most of us want to feel like we can help others.

 

 

However, when something threatens to undo all of these things, it’s easier to avoid it.

 

When we run away from the fear, a sour mindset enters.

 

           

            “We are not getting what we deserve.”

            “The world is not fair”

            “Why should I even bother? It’s probably not going to work”

            “That artist had all this money and knew all those people and I don’t; so I can’t do that.”

 

Sound familiar?Get Paid As An Artist Sour Mindset

 

When this sour mindset takes over our psyche, we find ourselves keeping track of the wrong things like:

 

  • How many times we’ve been rejected
  • How many times it didn’t work
  • All the times someone has broken our heart
  • All the times someone has double-crossed us or let us down

 

Why keep track of them?

 

Get Paid As An Artist Why It Won't Work

 

Are they making us better?

 

 

 

 

Wouldn’t it make more sense to keep track of all the other stuff?

  • All the times it WORKED
  • All the times we TOOK A RISK
  • All the times we were able write a song that moved somebody
  • All the times our performance had an impact on an audience
  • All the times we reached somebody through our marketing

 

We can actually redefine ourselves as someone who can make a difference, someone who can IMPACT other people’s lives.

 

THIS is what artists are supposed to be!Get Paid As An Artist All The Things That Worked

 

THIS is what artists are supposed to do!

 

This is truly an energy and skill that most artists possess in some way.

 

Here is the trick.

 

Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s easier said than done but so was the 4-minute mile for thousands of years before someone broke it and then it was absolutely doable for many within months of the record being broken.

 

You want to be an artist, right?

 

You want to be original, right?

 

You want to be a pioneer, right?

 

Get Paid As An Artist Narrative Choice

 

It’s all about the narrative.

 

The narrative is up to you.

 

 

 

 

 

If it’s not working (and you KNOW if it’s not working so cut the crap and face the facts!) then why use it?

 

The narrative isn’t done to you.

 

The narrative is something you CHOOSE.

 

Get Paid As An Artist NightmareI have a very dear, very close friend of mine who is now having to deal with the reality of Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder brought on by a nasty 2-year relationship that was emotionally and physically abusive to her.

 

Nobody should have to go through with this.

 

It’s not fair.

 

It’s like some asshole met her, charmed her, and then backed up a massive dump truck full of demons and dropped them on her head without her knowing it ever happened.

Get Paid As An Artist Virus

Maybe it wasn’t a dump truck, that’s too obvious, it was more like an evil Trojan horse with a brain and spirit virus that totally short-circuited her personality, her life experience, the narrative of her life.

 

 

 

Her narrative changed dramatically.

 

When her narrative changed, so did her life. So did her whole “game”.

 

She used to roll through life, taking ‘em as they come, now all of a sudden, the subtlest of situations has a bone chilling impact on her.

 

She reacts in a super negative way.

 

It’s not fair, but now she has to do a boatload of work on herself to change her narrative.

 

If we dig deeper, into a different narrative, we change the game.

Get Paid As An Artist Hacked

 

We can change our game.

 

We can for the first time, or once again (as in the case of my friend) create abundance, momentum, and happiness in our lives and careers.

 

It’s all about your perspective and how you interpret what happens.

 

Those real successful artists that you loved have applied different interpretations to their lives.

 

Some people are afraid.

 

Get Paid As An Artist Beautiful or Scary?

 

Afraid to try, afraid to be vulnerable, afraid to fail, afraid of looking bad, afraid of getting hurt, afraid to really be an artist which is to say they’re afraid to live.

 

 

 

The successful people realize that you must engage fear. You must meet it head on despite the horrific events of your past.

 

In fact, the more horrific your past, THE MORE YOU MUST ENGAGE THE FEAR!

 

You know who acted this statement out in living color? Even if you hate sports, you have to admire Brett Favre, former Super Bowl winning QB of the Green Bay Packers.

 

He was just inducted into the Hall Of Fame this past Saturday.

 

Defenses in football LOVE to get to the quarterback and HIT HIM as hard as they can but they were largely scared to hit Brett Favre.

Get Paid As An Artist Brett Favre

 

Huh?

 

It was dangerous because he would always control the narrative.

 

What?

 

If you hit him, if you planted him in the ground so hard that time stood still, you made the stadium gasp, the coaches cringe, and his teammates scared, it was all over.

 

For YOU.

 

He would change the narrative IMMEDIATELY, which changed the momentum, which changed the game. It’s almost like it wasn’t fair.

 

No matter how much he was really hurting, he would get back up, no, he would POP back up in the face of fear and grab the face-mask of the guy who hit him and start jack-jawing him.

 

Get Paid As An Artist Angry Cat Failure MEME

That’s all you got boy?” “That’s ALL you can do? That didn’t even hurt!”

 

I swear he still couldn’t even see straight half the time but he did it. Mostly for himself.

 

He would EXPLODE back up in the face of fear and confront it head on.

 

The result of this action was MOMENTUM.

Get Paid As An Artist No Fear

 

His teammates, who were for a second scared, were now shaking with adrenalin, reignited, and ready to DOMINATE!

 

The opposing team, who for a second were triumphant, now had to deal with the reality of awakening a giant.

 

Get it?

 

How do you interpret your failures?

 

If you’re interpreting them incorrectly, I promise you it’s the difference between a success and failure.

 

Get Paid As An Artist Master Has Failed Quote

 

 

It’s the difference between a happy life and a dark life spent regretting.

 

Simply put, the master has FAILED more times than the beginner has even TRIED.

 

 

 

 

The only thing you should truly fear is living a crappy life.

 

Stay

In

Tune

 

 

If you found this article helpful in any way, please SHARE it and COMMENT below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Does Social Media Have To Be Obnoxious Marketing?

Obnoxious Marketing Feature

Many artists cramp up at that the thought of marketing. It’s understandable because the experiences that stick in their psyche the most are of obnoxious marketing.Obnoxious Marketing Anime

 

In fact, I want you to consider something.

 

Most of the marketing messages or experiences that stick in your mind are the bad ones.

 

The good ones we probably don’t remember. We are so happy with our product or service which is what becomes our experience.

 

When the marketing is good you focus on the product, service, or experience.

 

When the marketing is bad we focus only on the marketing because we probably don’t give the product, service, or experience a chance, do we?

 

Here’s another example: They say a good food server should be invisible. If the experience is good, we leave the restaurant with our good company and good feelings.  these good feelings typically fade away because the experience, while great or amazing, was not as emotionally charged as a horrible experience.

 

Obnoxious Marketing Horrible

We never forget horrible experiences.

 

 

 

 

 

I thought I’d share a real email (and my response) from a real person in the Daredevil Production community today.

 

I’m sharing this because I believe that Martin’s concerns are indicative of many artists. We are all annoyed by obnoxious marketing and therefore do not aspire to promote our music in any way. Please understand that Martin is coming from a very honest place. Martin also lives in the Czech Republic (I learned a bit about how some Americans are viewed overseas in this as well) which is obviously a different society.

 

Read his viewpoint carefully and don’t pass judgement, he’s laying it all out here.

 

For the record, I believe Martin seeks the truth and is diligently assessing the data and figuring out his position on all this obnoxious marketing mumbo jumbo.

 

Have a read and then I’ll wrap it up after my answer.

 

Hello Johnny,

You have actually already helped my marketing strategy. I have read the 20 common mistakes article, and while, fortunately, I have been intuitively doing most of the things correctly, there were one or two points where it made me reconsider something, like Vlogging on YouTube. Also, the value bomb idea is nice, I have not specifically figured out to do that one yet.

I know chances are that you don’t really caObnoxious Marketing Cardsre and this is just marketing talk, but hey, might as well honestly vocalize what I’m thinking. Generally, I know my biggest “problems”, but cannot (or won’t) really do anything about them because they are mainly issues of my circumstances, identity, or ethics.

I don’t see people with credit cards for heads, for starters, and as I am not an American, I don’t consider success to be a moral good and a failure as a moral evil, or a sign that I need to change what I’m doing, not necessarily at least. I’d just like to not get killed by the society for being broke, but if I suck, I deserve to fail, and I’m not going to start sucking in order to succeed. If anything, I see all this (extremely American) marketing stuff as a necessary evil, and I won’t cross certain lines of dishonesty, manipulation, or annoyance. I’m kinda big on artistic, and personal, integrity.

 

Obnoxious Marketing Poet

Secondly, I am mainly a poet/classical composer. There is very little inherent marketability to either of those, meaning that to even have a chance of reaching an audience, I have to aim for compromise. Things like rap lyrics instead of poetry, comedy instead of seriousness, composing “commercially viable” soundtrack scores instead of actual original musical pieces, etc. I’m trying to find the minimum extent of that which is indeed marketable, whatever that means. I also blog (while actually wanting to have time to continue writing books/develop games instead, while having multiple jobs, but also debts, so literally no money to spare), trying to find a workable intersection between writing and music, and an in-between audience.

 

The point is, I do welcome and accept help, but I’m not really a prospective customer (not at the moment at least), and certain things I may understand, and refuse to apply precisely because of that.

 

Sincerely,

 

Martin

 

Here is my response to Martin.

 

Hey Martin,

 

You’re right in that this is marketing but I do care and I try to respond to every email personally. That said, this is one of the more interesting emails I’ll probably ever receive.Obnoxious Marketing Typing email

 

I’m glad I have helped you in some way with your career. I think if you’re “thinking” about YouTube strategies, your subconscious will reward you because you’re asking the right questions.

 

I would like to clarify a few things so you can better understand where I’m coming from. First off the credit card heads was tongue-in-cheek, in order for anybody to become a buyer in today’s market a relationship has to exist. A subtler way to put that statement would have been to refer to them as “potential fans” but my tone is my tone so there you have it.  😉  

 

Obnoxious Marketing RIch Flag MEME

Secondly, while us Americans have certainly earned our reputation as money-grubbing, work obsessed, heartless douchebags that only focus on financial success, we’re not ALL like that. I want you to know that MY definition of success has nothing to do with amazing financial success. Rather, my definition of success has to with being able to make a living doing what you love to do (as opposed to living Picasso’s “dichotomy” of suffering through a job you hate to spend the weekends doing something you love).

 

That said, “making a living” DOES require commerce which requires marketing. 

 

My goal is to help every artist I can, figure out a way to make a living or at least get them thinking about it intelligently so they’re moving closer to that reality. 

  Obnoxious Marketing Evil Commerce

I would also like to point out that marketing, while necessary, doesn’t have to be or feel “evil”. I’m kinda big on artistic and personal integrity too. In today’s market I think artists as a whole are moving closer to integrity and farther from having to compromise to be heard or have a chance to be heard (does that make sense?). 

 

Marketing doesn’t have to be dishonest or annoying whatsoever. In fact, while that was certainly prevalent in mass media marketing over the past 6 decades it absolutely doesn’t work in Permission Marketing. If for no other reason than presenting annoying or dishonest messages will never allow the “Permission” necessary to connect, deepen the relationship, and ultimately monetize.  

Obnoxious Marketing Permission 

As for your thoughts on manipulative…that’s exactly what marketing is so let us not mince words.

My question to all artists when this subject comes up is, why do you think of manipulation as evil or bad?  

 

For instance, if you are out with your friends going to see a movie and the group is split on which movie to see…everyone starts marketing. They all start attempting to manipulate or influence the decisions of the group into purchasing the movie that they want to see. This is not evil manipulation or influence, is it? If I were to “manipulate” your thoughts to point you in a direction or gain your attention enough to teach you something that would change your life forever that would be great and welcomed right? Albeit, still manipulative. 

 

We see manipulative as evil or bad because all too often these powers are used for evil or bad reasons. Please don’t confuse them. When you see influence and/or marketing as something that can be good, positive, productive, for-the-greater-good, clever, and even beautiful at times, you won’t feel like such a slimy salesman AND you will be motivated to improve your messages to reflect such a position.Obnoxious Marketing Commerce

 

I would also like to address your thoughts and perspective, if I may, about the small universe of the poet’s and classical composer’s audience.

I often tell my artists (again tongue-in-cheek) “If your music only resonates with pale, young, Asian boys, with acne, and only 1 leg, who have been sexually abused, I can find that audience for you. It will be small, but you can find them. Those people are out there, they are easy to find, and that group is [probably] bigger than you think.”  

 

I truly the believe that the term “commercially viable” has changed and we are already seeing the effects. What Obnoxious Marketing Velvet Rope MEMEcommercially viable used to mean was appealing to the senses of a small group of people who decide what the public will hear. In other words, if your music will get a chance or not. Now I believe that “commercially viable” will mean what the consumers like as opposed to what some person thinks the consumers will like. There are many artists whose music was deemed “NOT commercially viable” who found an audience online and now make a living doing their thing. Some of those artists had the very same bigwigs who deemed them “NOT commercially viable” eating crow as they flip flopped on their initial observations and offered these artists a deal. 

 

Long story short, you can reach the market and the market will decide if you suck. We no longer need anyone’s permission to get our shot. I feel like that’s a good thing.

 

Hey, reading back on this exchange, I’m thinking this might make an interesting blog article. Would you have any reservations about me printing your email and my responses? I really feel your mindset is shared by many in my community, Martin.

 

I’ll leave it solely up to you. No worries either way.

 

Thanks for reaching out man. You got me thinking on this one.

 

Good luck.

 

-Johnny D.

 

I thought this exchange might provide some valuable insight into the realities and the concerns that artists have about marketing.

 

Y’all have to think about it now whereas before you didn’t. The tradeoff is you’d sign away 98% of your future for the Obnoxious Marketing Contract MEMEluxury of having someone else do your marketing for you. Now you have the unwanted task of having to learn it yourself but at least you keep all the revenue making it possible to actually make a living without having to sell 1 million copies.

 

And you can create the momentum needed to build a team all by yourself.

 

Martin’s concerns are well-founded here.

 

Just like you, the sales messages and salesmen that he recognizes the most (or at least stick in his memory the most) remain in his awareness because they were obnoxious.

 

They made him feel bad.

 

They made him uncomfortable.

 

Sales and marketing does not have to be obnoxious.

 

Obnoxious Marketing Statue

 

Sales and marketing does not have to make you feel dirty, manipulative, slimy, unethical, or gross; that is if it is done correctly.

 

 

 

What sales and marketing means in Permission Marketing is that YOU, the artist, are providing some kind of content that is relevant, personal, and valuable to the community.

 

Once you’ve accomplished that, you will have permission from the community to continue marketing because your messages and content become anticipated.Obnoxious Marketing happy

 

If I am late on a blog article or late posting a podcast episode due to technical glitches, it is not uncommon for me to receive a handful of emails asking where they are.

 

That’s Permission.

 

A telemarketer or email spammer has your contact but not your permission. This is obnoxious.

 

In order to maintain permission, you can’t be obnoxious.

 

Get it?

Obnoxious Marketing Future

 

 

 

It’s a different way of thinking about connecting with fans, y’all.

 

It’s an effective way to think about connecting with fans.

 

It’s really the only way, moving forward, for anyone (including major labels) to think about connecting with fans enough to sell records.

 

Stay

 

In

 

Tune.

 

-Johnny

 

 

 

If you found this content valuable, please SHARE it and LEAVE A COMMENT below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why A False Victim Is A Controlling, Evil Person That Will Crush Your Dreams

False Victim Skeleton Cage Feature MEME

You have important choices early on in your career and in your life. You can choose to be responsible for the decisions you make (or don’t make) or you can choose to be the person who’s constantly blaming outside forces for their outcome. This is called a false victim.

False Victim Venting

 

I’m going to tell you a story about a false victim and, admittedly, I’m venting a bit. Follow me here because if you know me I’ll always bring it back around to YOU, the artist.

 

 

 

You may or may not know that I have a love affair with Great Danes. Scooter McGhee is my 3rd Dane. I rescued victim Scooter and Carihim from a Los Angeles pound. When I got Scooter he was full grown, the vet guesstimated about 2 ½ years old. He was emaciated at 106 lbs. (he was starved by his former owner) when his healthy weight is a rock solid 145 pounds.

 

Danes are easy and Scooter McGhee is no exception. He’s so “chill-to-the-next-episode,” man. Very mellow except for when he feels there’s injustice in the world (like when Cari and I fight or any random game of “chase-the-fastest-dog” at any given Dog Park) where he gets upset and tries to remedy the situation. No Joke.

 

Scooter is obedient. Often, during the summer he and Cari’s little dog, Zoe, will be chilling outside on the back Victim Scooter McGhee Chair Chillpatio soaking up the sun or hanging with us while we grill (I always have a marrow bone to throw on the grill so they can participate with us…don’t judge).

 

In past articles I’ve written about all the construction going on in our neighborhood. One of those brand new homes was built in a formerly empty lot right next door to Cari and me.

 

We were excited about the new neighbors because the husband was the father of one of Cari’s childhood friends. Cari has known this guy since she was 6 years old. She has always liked him, describing him as somewhat of a hippie, which is perfect for me.

 

Move in day arrived and Cari and I were out walking 3 miles as we try to do as often as possible. We came upon Victim Scooter Floorthe new neighbor and is wife and we stopped to say hello. We got to meet his new wife (not really “new” as he’s been married to this one for quite some time, but different than who he was married to when Cari was little, so new to her.) and had a nice little chat, welcoming them to the neighborhood.

 

4 days after they move in I get a visit from the country Sheriff.

 

 

I answer the door and the Sheriff asks, “Do y’all have a Great Dane here?” Of course, Scooter McGhee is at the door with me, so….False Victim Policewoman

 

I said, “Well yeah, here he is, meet Scooter McGhee.” Then Scooter proceed to push the door out of the way and stick his head in the Sheriff’s crotch which he always does in an attempt to get a good ear scratching (one of his favorite pleasures in life…literally toe curling for him), he doesn’t discriminate.

 

The Sheriff laughed after I explained what he was up to and told me she knew they were gentle giants, however, one of our neighbors had visited the Sheriff’s department and told them that Scooter McGhee was jumping up on people, knocking people over, and there was a leash law, so he couldn’t be outside without a leash. She knew that Scooter really wasn’t aggressive but explained she had to respond to the complaint.

 

I now have to walk Scooter and Zoe every time they go outside to obey the law. So much freakin’ easier to let them outside in the morning to pee without a leash, but I digress, the law is the law.

 

False Victim Scales Of Justice

We were in the wrong.

 

Cari and I were a little embarrassed about the Sheriff’s visit. Also a little hostile. Who would’ve done this? Scooter doesn’t wander away from the house at all, so we figured it was the neighbor on the other side of us who is nice enough but terrified of Scooter. Mostly because he’s big and black.

 

It’s a black thing, I guess.

 

I erroneously thought (keep in mind my type A personality, now) that as long as Scooter McGhee wasn’t bugging anyone and he was on our property that all would be good. I mean who would be offended by a dog minding its own business in its own yard, right?

 

I thought wrong. The law is the law.

 

False Victim Screaming 2

 

Fast forward to a few days after my visit from the Sheriff and Cari’s oldest daughter Maggie (she’s 12) comes into the house and says the new neighbor lady was screaming at her, “CONTROL YOUR DOG!!!” “YOU HAVE TO CONTROL YOUR DOG ON A LEASH!!!” Maggie also reported to us that there was a younger lady with little kids (elementary school age) screaming as well. She was shouting at her kids telling them to get inside as if Scooter was a 900 lb. Bengal Tiger on the loose.

 

False Victim Tiger

Keep in mind there hasn’t been any kind of an incident here. Scooter has never attacked anyone and didn’t attack our neighbor. Scooter wasn’t in their yard, he was in ours.

 

 

 

 

Scooter was outside without a leash. Both of Cari’s girls had friends over and they were all playing outside. False Victim Attacking DogsScooter was meandering around our yard hanging with the girls when Maggie was getting skewered by the neighbor. So he wasn’t doing anything that could be misconstrued as aggressive other than being outside without a leash.

 

Which is against the law.

 

False Victim the Law

Now, after the neighbor lady and her daughter chastised the 12 year old, we have to walk over and get to the bottom of this. Cari is dumbfounded that our new neighbor, whom she’s known for 33 years didn’t bother to talk to us about whatever problem they were having. They went guns hot and called the Sheriff.

 

Again, no incidents have occurred, OK?

 

We walk over to speak with the lady who answers the door. I think Cari started off the conversation by apologizing that we hadn’t had Scooter on a leash, which is against the law, and then inquired as to what exactlyFalse Victim Panic Jumper happened that would require her to feel she needed to scream at Maggie. Cari added, “It’s clear that you were the one who called the Sheriff now.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The neighbor lady then admitted she had her husband go down to the Sheriff to handle this situation. She proceeded to tell us something like, “I’m sorry, I have panic attacks after my brain surgery (TMI) and I’m terrified of dogs because my husband was attacked by one awhile back.” (He’s nowhere to be found by the way, possibly avoiding any confrontation, letting his wife clean up the mess she’s created, or both). She proceeded to inform us, “There is a leash law you know, and I’m sure your False Victim Don't Panic 2dog is a good dog but animals are animals and they’re unpredictable. You never know what’s going to happen. We have grandchildren and we’re concerned about their safety.”

 

You can’t imagine what’s going through my head right now.

 

She goes on to say, “I’m mostly afraid that our dog (WTF!?!?), who is aggressive because he isn’t fixed, will start a fight with your dog and your dog will win.”False Victim Finger

 

You know that look that a dog gives you when you ask it a question, the one with the tilted head? That’s me now.

 

 

I will honestly tell you that we didn’t go over there to argue the leash law. We were humble, apologetic, empathetic, and False Victim Tilted Dog Headinquisitive to their situation. The law is the law and she has every right to feel safe in her new home. We were just wondering why, when there were 1,000 ways to handle this situation, they went straight for the jugular and called the Sheriff. Especially since there was no incident to speak of.

 

She apologized for calling the cops and told us she was afraid to come over because Scooter might bark and come to the door (which might set off a panic attack). Feeling guilty for behaving like a douchebag and in desperate need of a spontaneous justification (for her own sake), she went on to inform us that she had talked to “every one of the neighbors” as she moved her pointer finger up and down both sides of the street in the entire neighborhood. She said they “all” told her that Scooter was bad and they had problems with him. (None of the neighbors have ever met Scooter).

 

I looked at her directly in utter disbelief. Not dumbfounded disbelief, I just didn’t believe someone who was THIS deeply mortified of dogs, who believes all animals are unpredictable, who just informed us she was afraid to come to our door because our dog might bark and set off a panic attack, had in 4 days-time managed to move in, temporarily overcome her deepest fears in an attempt to discuss Scooter McGhee a dog she hasn’t met, with a dozen or so neighbors she hasn’t met, who also mostly own dogs she has never met. The math just isn’t adding up.False Victim Peeing in my Cheerios

 

At this time, I am fully aware she is pissing in my Cheerios and she’s trying to convince me (and herself) that it’s milk.

 

There was a long, pregnant uncomfortable silence, which looked like Cari and I with our jaws open wide, blinking our eyes like Ren & Stimpy, that was broken by her refining her story admitting now that she just talked to 2 neighbors. Both of whom have dogs that could be unpredictable and both of whom she’d never met before.

 

So she was lying and/or exaggerating in an attempt to justify her crappy behavior.

 

False Victim Panic Peeper

I then informed her that she actually used good judgement here because just like her dog, that’s EXACTLY what Scooter does whenever anyone comes to the door. He barks; so crisis and possible panic attack avoided.

 

They could’ve left a note in our mailbox. They could’ve called his daughter to get Cari’s phone number and texted or called to inform us of her mental issue, they could’ve informed us on our talk when we welcomed them to the neighborhood.  They could’ve sent a letter, sent up smoke signals, had his daughter (Cari’s childhood friend) call us and explain, etc.

 

At this moment, our new neighbor’s daughter (her daughter, not Cari’s friend) comes to the door with a snotty, mean, and VERY aggressive attitude. She introduces herself with her little head tilted sideways and says, “LOOK THERE IS A LEASH LAW AND THAT’S ALL THERE IS TO IT! SO JUST PUT YOUR DOG ON A LEASH”

False Victim Screaming

 

Her mother, now clearly embarrassed tells her daughter that everything is fine and we weren’t there to attack her mom in anyway.

 

 

Cari almost lost it. They didn’t have the maturity to reach out to us and inform us of her admitted “mental instability” (her words), but they certainly had the balls to scream at a 12 year-old. I’d call that move cowardly.

 

Keep in mind had my big black Great Dane actually knocked anyone over, jumped up on anyone, attacked anyone, or been off its own property in any way I would understand the heavy response completely.

False Victim Screaming 3

Scooter never left our yard in both of these occasions. He was, however, without a leash.

 

Here’s the takeaway.

 

Our new neighbor is a false victim.

 

She’s right about the leash law, but that aside, if she was really THAT terrified of animals being spontaneously aggressive, how can she own one? Especially one she admits is aggressive because they’ve chosen not to fix him. She’s full of crap.

 

There are 3 kinds of victims.

False Victim Leash

 

A real victim is defined as someone who has absolutely no control over their situation. The Syrian people, for instance, are completely screwed at this moment in history. If they leave they’re dead by their own government. These are REAL victims. Forced beyond their control to endure a life of oppression put forth by their government, or die.

 

That said, I once did a mortgage for a guy from Eastern Europe (I forget the country, sorry) who was in the same situation and escaped his country in a shipping crate where he was a stowaway for a month with a sleeve of crackers and 1 bottled water to survive. For a month! He risked his life to leave his oppression. He was discovered at sea but luckily they didn’t kill him (which is the common remedy in a stowaway situation). Now he has a better life in Los Angeles. He wanted change and got it. The possible consequences were worth the effort to leave, but again, I digress.

 

False Victim Panic Eyes

 

The 2nd kind of victim are people who were victimized. Anyone who has incurred some kind of unwanted horrible mental or physical attack is a victim. Rape victims, sexual abuse victims, domestic violence victims, car accident victims, robbery victims, random accident victims, Cancer victims, etc.

 

 

These people were victimized, it’s horrible to think about. They definitely become damaged, broken, often times somewhat dysfunctional in their life if they choose to give up.

 

It completely sucks for a human being to be upended by such a tragedy for obvious reasons, but now, if they want to heal, if they want to recover mentally, they have a lot of work to do. A lot of work that they didn’t have to do yesterday.

False Victim Snake Mouse

 

Get it?

 

EXTREME INCONVENIENCE.

 

If and how they get back on their horse will determine the quality of their life moving forward. The power to recover and deal with the new demons that were horribly bestowed upon them is in their control; albeit unfair that they have to deal with them at all.

 

False Victim Devil Face

The 3rd kind of victim is a false victim. That’s our neighbor.

 

That’s also a lot of artists which is why I’m writing this.

 

Now don’t spin out here. I’m not saying she’s a horrible person for hating my dog. She has every right and I fully understand that.

 

But I don’t believe she was trying to protect herself from the dog at all; this was not her agenda.

 

False Victim Blindfolded Panda bear

 

If I suffered from severe panic attacks brought on by unfamiliar dogs and my agenda was to prevent said panic attacks, I might’ve checked the neighborhood to see if there were any scary dogs before I moved in, maybe made may choice of homes that way. I could’ve built a fence around my new property to guarantee that no random animals of any kind would get near me and trigger a bad day.

 

 

She is a false victim.

 

This is her control racket.

 

False Victim Marionette

Photo Credit: Darek Morys https://stock.tookapic.com/photos/8856

 

 

She uses these panic attacks to control those around her including people like Cari and I whom she doesn’t know. This is easier for her than actually communicating like a functional human being.

 

 

 

She clearly wanted Cari and me to excuse her overly aggressive misconduct because she deemed herself a victim with a mental instability. We’re supposed to be compassionate in response to her harsh antagonism because she told us she has a mental issues. She gets to do what she wants because she has panic attacks.

 

It’s very clear from our one conversation that she has her family playing into her drama.

 

False Victim Marionette 2

 

In spite of his prior relationship with my girlfriend the husband went to the Sheriff’s office to report Scooter being off the leash (and lied about aggressive behavior to make it more dramatic even though the off-leash issue was all that was needed to get the response they wanted, FYI).

 

The daughter with her hostile protective tone (You would’ve thought the mother had actually been attacked by my dog) telling us the law is the law. She was in “protect my poor mama” mode.

 

Which is exactly the way mama likes it.

 

Most artists behave like a false victim when it comes to becoming a student of the game in this crazy music business.

False Victim Political Cartoon Photo Rod Waddington

Photo Credit: Rod Waddington

 

It happens with indie artists as well as it happens with major label artists.

 

The result is always the same, the artist gets screwed; with the artist’s permission.

 

Yes, that’s right, if you choose not to learn,  if you choose not to “trust but verify”, then you are allowing yourself to get screwed over. You’re choosing to be a false victim because you can control this dynamic if you want.

 

The artists who truly stand the test of time understand the game from all sides. They’re incredible creatively and they are experts at the business and marketing end as well.

 

False Victim Platinum Record

I know a former major label artist (8 million records sold) who is an amazing creative talent. This artist hates the business end and doesn’t participate in that space whatsoever. Never has.

 

This artist seems happy to me but the quality of life is far less than what it could be if they’d get to know the business. This artist has throngs of stories about being screwed in the Industry (like never making a dime off of 8 million units because the label never “recouped”). This artist (whom I adore by the way) will make a living singing until their last day, I promise you, but has maneuvered into yet another slave like business situation (post major label days) with a management company that really doesn’t know what they’re doing (not music business people). This artist gets a regular salary the management does and makes what they want off the artist’s talent and million dollar brand name.

 

Conversely, I know another post-major-label-artist who excels and enjoys the business just as much as being a False Victim Slave Marketcreative. It’s probably no surprise that this artist sold 13 million units for the major label. Post major label deal, this artist has formed their own record label and is definitely in charge of their own destiny as a result of learning the business side.

 

Y’all think life will be great once you get your deal.

 

You’re wrong.

 

It’s a cop out mentality that allows you to avoid extra, unwanted, inconvenient work.

 

This mentality is always followed by horrible stories of deception and oppression from outside forces that stand in the way of real happiness and success.

 

False Victim Blindfolded Man Feature

 

As if a blindfolded person accused another person of deception because they moved something and the person who chooses to be blindfolded didn’t see it.

 

 

If you don’t want to open your eyes, you’ll always feel deceived. Even from people who aren’t trying to betray you.

 

You have to watch every penny because even though the label is fronting the money, it’s YOUR MONEY.

 

False Victim Barbara Strauss

Here’s a great example. When I was an artist we were managed by Barbara Strauss. Barbara is a straight up genius with bigger balls than any man I know. Barbara also managed Schascle Yochim (pronounced Cha-sell Yo-kum), AKA “Twinkle” as she’s known in Sarasota, FL.

 

 

 

Back in the early 90’s Twinkle got the biggest record deal ever given to an unsigned, unknown artist from Warner Bros. Her voice is like listening to an angel sing, man. In my opinion she blows away Whitney, Mariah, you name it.False Victim Haunted by Real Life

 

 

 

 

 

She’s so good she received a personal phone call from Quincy Jones who invited her to the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. (This is a big freakin’ deal). The travel department of the label booked them 2 first class tickets to Switzerland at a cost of $3,000 for each ticket. Barbara thought enough to call her local small town travel agent in Sarasota, FL to compare prices. Local travel agent said 2 first class tickets to Switzerland would run them $1,500 each. Wow. Big difference.

 

False Victim Ticket ComparisonSee my point?

 

If you’re not watching every aspect of your business, whether you’re independent or on a major label, you’ll never recoup.

 

If you want to be an important artist, then people will have to be exposed to your art in order to be moved by it.

 

This means you better understand marketing.

 

Which means you’re going to have to do more work.

 

False Victim More Work

 

Otherwise you could be a false victim and say you don’t or you can’t and that’s the reason you’re not making a living doing what you love. It’s not your fault, right? If someone else (or lack of someone else) is to blame for your absence of momentum, the pressure is off you.

 

 

How in the hell did Bon Jovi stay relevant beyond the demise of the hair band genre?

 

Because besides being a prolific songwriter and artist, Jon is a badass business man as well. Make no mistake about it.

 

False Victim Jon Bon JoviThink what you want about the art and the artist, but he learned how create great music, and he learned how to sell it to an audience.

 

He chooses to survive.

 

You might argue that there were better artists from that era and you might be right.

 

If you are right, the difference lies in Jon’s business acumen.

 

It’s your job as an artist NOT to be false victim. In fact, I can honestly say that if you continue to be a false victim, you’ll never make a living as an artist. Your future will be one of quiet desperation, bitterness, excuses, and coping with the deep sadness that accompanies a life lived absent the rewards it should receive from the gift God gave you.

 

False Victim Broke Rock Star

 

Maybe you were abused, in an accident, tortured, mentally beat up, physically beat up, or attacked by Bernie thugs at a Trump rally. Whatever the case, you now have more work to do today than you did before you were attacked if you’re to survive and get back to the quality of life you had prior to the attack.

 

You have to deal with it, move on, and live your life because if you don’t…you still have to live your life.

 

So if you’re just coming to the realization that you’re going to have to do more than just be a great artist to make a living at it, then you’re kind of in the same situation, aren’t you?

 

You’re in the same situation as the victims because you just discovered that you now have more work to do today (if you want to make a living as an artist) than you did before the realization.

 

False Victim Blindfold 2Or you can choose to be a false victim ignore the work and blame the world for your inability to make a living doing what you were born to do.

 

Don’t be like my douchebag neighbor living a sad, somewhat pathetic life where the script reads, “Here’s why I get to misbehave and be an asshole and its OK because…”

 

It’s not OK.

 

Whether you have a good excuse for not making a living as an artist or you don’t, the outcome is still the same.

 

You’re not making a living as an artist.

 

The world needs good music. It always has.

 

It sickens and saddens me to watch it dry up because artists don’t want to do the extra work.

False Victim Blindfolded Girl2

 

 

Now there is more work than before, but now you don’t need to wait for anyone to get your music out there.

 

You have to budget for and learn how to market effectively. This is the only way to get your music out there man.

 

Artists who don’t want to excel creatively, work creatively, learn marketing, and excel at marketing are false victims.

 

It’s a lie.

 

A lie perpetuated by the stories you tell yourself about the way you think the music industry used to be.

 

Stop it.

 

Your music is important.

False Victim Scooter NO

 

But it’s only important if someone gets to hear it.

 

Don’t be a false victim. Scooter says, “This is NO”.

 

Stay

In

Tune

 

 

If you think this content is helpful,  please SHARE it and COMMENT below. Thank you!

 

Leverage: Are You Creating Any In The Music Business?

Leverage The Climb Feature

Creating leverage is mission critical to all communications between business relationships, familial relationships, romantic relationships, platonic relationships, and the coveted artist/fan relationships.Leverage Collage

 

Leverage is paramount to solidifying the outcome that the communicator wishes to create.

Leverage, when wielded benevolently, can foster an openness from the receiver to accept or at least strongly consider the message the communicator is attempting to send.

 

In plain English, the more clout you have, the more the receiver is willing to “give you a shot” and/or succumb to your wishes.

 

 

Some of you have inevitably painted the picture of a gross, forceful, one-sided power situation in your heads already (probably because you’ve been on the receiving end of such a nasty exchange) so now the subject matter of “leverage” disgusts you.

 

Leverage Scales

 

Y’all utilize leverage every single day of your lives. While the world is always full of assholes, most of us are compassionate, generous, and come from a good place while we try to influence the outcome of our lives; but we all try to impact our futures don’t we?

 

 

 

For instance, if you meet a person you are sexually attracted to, your odds of “closing the deal” increase significantly if you begin the relationship with leverage, like an introduction from a trusted friend of your future conquest.

Leverage Laid

 

In this scenario, you incorporate implied familiarity via a referral into the equation which vastly improves the weight you bring to what will ultimately become a negotiation.

 

How many of you have cleverly and expertly orchestrated a scenario that would improve the leverage you had in a relationship for the purposes of getting laid?

 

You’re smiling, I thought so. Y’all are evil manipulators!  (I’m kidding but you get the point)

 

How about when you are artistically pining for that awesome musician you MUST have in your band but you don’t know him/her?

 

Some kind of influence is going to be required to sway the decision of your target, yes?

 

That effect could come from your artist track record; maybe you’re kind of a big deal. It could come from the art itself, maybe your project is the right “artistic pair of pants” for your target. You could convince your target with a paycheck. Maybe a simple referral, once again, is apropos.

 

When you think, “How do I get so-and-so into the fold”, you are architecting leverage.

 

So you see, we unknowingly do this every day, in all parts of our lives. Hell, something as simple as politicking to convince your friends to see the movie YOU want to see is an exercise in creating leverage.

Leverage Proper Prior Planning

 

So why then, if you are so good at this application in EVERY OTHER part of your lives, are you so negligent about the use of this dynamic to your music and your music career?

 

Proper, prior, planning prevents piss, poor performance when it comes to introducing consumers to your music and making the kind of deals that will advance your career in the business side of it.

 

Let’s compare different circumstances with regards to how a consumer is exposed to your music for the first time.

 

 

If you hit them up on social media with a “Check me out, I’m the hottest new thing” message your chances of the receiver being open and willing to consider your communication are far less than if you are performing a live show (and killing it) when the receiver first becomes aware of your existence.

 

You have more leverage onstage, than you would as a digital “door-knocking salesman”.

Leverage CLIMB

 

The influence increases again if the consumer reads about you in a reliable blog or magazine and then immediately has the opportunity to download and experience your music.

 

Creating Leverage in the Music Business (C.L.I.M.B.) is what it’s all about and most artists are completely missing the boat.

 

Most artists are focused only on the outcome. They want to envision themselves staring down the barrel of a major game-changing opportunity, but they seem to always avoid emphasis on constructing the circumstances that would create the opportunity (usually because that requires WORK…but I digress).

 

Milton Berle was quoted as saying “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

Leverage If Opportunity Doesn't Knock MEME

 

For instance, y’all want your record deal I get that.

 

It makes total sense.

 

I did too.

 

How much thought have you put into dreaming about what that conversation, process, and ultimately the deal would look like?

 

Do you want to be on your side of the negotiating table with your hat in your hand, fingers crossed, putting all your hopes, dreams, blood, sweat, and tears into the hands of a label executive who may or may not be in a good mood the day you get your shot?

Leverage Negotiation do what you love

 

What if the label exec was having a really bad day on the day of your meeting?

 

What if you were at that same negotiating table and the label executive was worried about your mood?

 

That’s leverage!

 

What if you made yourself in to such an undeniable business opportunity that the label had their proverbial hat in THEIR hands?

 

This won’t happen because your music is awesome by the way. It will happen because you’ve targeted your audience, you’ve connected with this audience, you’re already making money and the label wants in.

Leverage Steve Martin Quote2

Steve Martin said “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” These days that quote is just as much about business as it is about talent in the entertainment industry.

 

All the major companies that you will need to climb the ladder of success in the music industry are run by people.

 

Behavior in people is somewhat predictable.

 

 

We all want what we can’t have.

 

We all get drunk with power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

 

We all want real opportunities to advance our own agendas.

 

Consider these ideas when you are putting your master plan together.

 

A statement like “My music is amazing and I’m going to give YOU the opportunity to help me for a piece of the pie (on the back end)” is asinine.

 

YOU wouldn’t accept an offer like that, would you?Leverage idiot

 

If some unknown rookie player came up to you and said, “I want a job, I want to be your guitar player. I’m awesome! I’ll need $1 million dollars and I will make a killer deal for you to recoup your investment on the back end because the world’s gonna stand up and salute your artistry once I’m your guitar player.”

 

C’mon, you would think that person was an idiot and probably obnoxious.

 

I mean, what data would you have to support that musicians claim, #1, and #2, you aren’t in the business of developing guitar players, are you?

 

Leverage is also a self-esteem head game. If you feel inferior inside your own head, you will undoubtedly project those secret sentiments into your presentation very naturally.

Leverage You Are Beautiful Self Esteem

 

You are what you think.

 

Thoughts are things.

 

Realize and articulate your REAL value in the relationship before you open your mouth.

 

 

There was a time, right after the financial meltdown, that I was considering putting my engineering skills to work at a studio in L.A. I loved producing and I was a good engineer, but I realized that I had ZERO leverage. I would, at best, start off as a runner and 3rd string engineer which made any possible opportunity in a studio not opportune for me.Leverage REAL value

 

 

Sometimes a situation occurs where you or some other player may be unsure of the value you bring to the table.

 

 

In this case I will share with you one of the greatest lessons my parents ever taught me, “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid, then to open it up and remove all doubt.”

 

Leverage Gagged Photo Jerry Daykin

 

Keep your mouth shut and listen. Open it only to ask questions. Questions keep them talking and people love to hear themselves talk. The more they talk, the more you learn. In real business, nobody is impressed with bullshit. They may find bull-shitters entertaining, but I promise they are acutely aware of what they will require in the deal, if you bring it great, if you can’t bring it don’t pretend.

 

 

Better to discover and mutually recognize that the situation isn’t going to work than to pretend it is and be butt-hurt that you didn’t get it.

 

That just makes you cynical.

 

Honesty and humility create leverage in these situations too.  Sometimes you’re a good fit, albeit a greenhorn, and their willing to give you a chance. Knowing that you’re honest not just with them but with yourself is going to weigh heavily in their decision.

 

Leverage HonestyAll this sets up some GREAT NEWS! In the next week I will be launching a new podcast/video series entitled The C.L.I.M.B. with hit songwriter Brent Baxter who is my good friend and the mastermind behind the Man vs. Row blog and video series. These episodes will focus on songwriting tricks and strategies as well as marketing tricks and strategies to help singers, songwriters, and indie artists like you create more leverage in the music business.

 

FYI I will be shooting out 1 video each week via the same channels as the blog. These video episodes will be short and tidy (around 20 minutes). So the video will be available on a YouTube channel, your email, and the podcast will be made available as well if that is easier for you to consume.

 

Please let us know what you think of these episodes and, of course, tell us what you want us to talk about.

 

If you like this post, please SHARE it and/or LEAVE A COMMENT thank you!

 

Stay

In

Tune

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Adamant or Ignorant About Your Path?

Path Adamant or Ignorant Feature

We humans are super stubborn especially when it comes to certain paths we take, we’re truly wired up that way.Path Donkey

 

You’ve heard the expression “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, right?

 

 

 

Think about this for a second:

 

 

Path Democrat Republican

 

We’re adamant about being a Democrat or Republican.

 

We’re adamant about being a vegan or a meat eater.

Path Chevrolet Ford

 

We’re obstinate about Ford vs. Chevrolet

 

Some of us have deep loyalties about Fender vs Gibson.

 

Path Fender vs Gibson

 

We’re adamant about the manner in which we handle our relationships (most if not all of us need consistent improvement on that, present company INCLUDED).

Quite often we are unwavering on these ideals and we don’t even know why. We don’t have an opinion that is based on any kind of facts or accurate information, we just do what our parents did.

 

We follow the crowd we hang out with.

Path Lincoln Quote

 

We staunchly support an ideal and we have done exactly ZERO research for ourselves.

 

I saw it on Facebook, so it must be true.

 

Ugh.

WAY too many artists are adamant about the path they are taking to climb the ladder of success in their careers.

Path No Excuses

 

They’re understandably resolute in their approach because they’ve experienced and seen the manner in which all their favorite, life-changing, iconic artists have come into their awareness.

But, when does adamant turn into ignorance?

 

It’s GOOD to be inflexible with regards to achieving your goals. This creates perseverance. When I was an artist there was no musician, girl, business deal, booking agent, tragedy, manager, label suit, sickness, injury, or excuse that I would give permission to stand in my way. No plan B. Only forward motion.

 

If you’re stubborn about achieving the goal, that’s awesome. If you’re unyielding on the path you’ve chosen to get there, you’re ignorant.

 

The path constantly changes in real life.

Path Don Henley Quote MEME

The path gets refined as you become more aware of what is really going on.

 

Many of you think you’re determined to succeed but really, as Don Henley says, “That’s just some people talking”.

Too many of you are blissfully clueless when it comes to any kind of discernible business plan to bring your amazing music to market.

 

 

 

Sadly, most of you that have any semblance of a process or business plan to expand the awareness of your music in a market are working with outdated and inaccurate information.

Path blind

 

You’re refusing to recognize this fact.

 

You’re sticking to your current path.

How’s that working for you?

 

What metrics are you using to measure your forward progress?

 

Did you sell more CD’s this year than last year?

 

Are you selling more tickets this year as opposed to 2014?Path Measure it Manage It Ruler

If you can measure it, you can manage it.

 

Do you have a reasonable, credible plan in place for 2016?

 

How is your song going to become my jam?

 

My father says that journeys like life or a business plan are living, breathing, entities in constant need of cultivation and reevaluation.  John Sr. says a journey is similar to the flight path of a butterfly in that it’s never in a straight line.

 

Path Butterfly

 

The butterfly that embarks on a voyage across a field of flowers will fly here, then fly there, fly forward, then backward, zigzagging, advancing and retreating until finally it reaches the other side.

 

A butterfly is never steadfast about the path. Untiring towards the goal, but open for suggestion and often unwillingly relocated by the winds of change along the way.

 

 

I’ve mentioned this in past blogs, but a great example of this was an experiment done in the 1940’s designed to gather information on what makes a person really lucky or really unlucky.

Path Lucky

The results were astounding.

 

Generally speaking, unlucky people are firmly entrenched in their pathway, blind to any outside anomalies or fluctuations happening around them.

Stubborn.

 

Lucky people were more prone to take it all in, pay attention to everything, and learn.

 

Open for suggestion.

 

The experiment asked people to respond to a newspaper ad requesting people reply if they felt they were generally lucky or generally unlucky. The respondents would be paid handsomely.

 

In the experiment, the whole group was given a newspaper and asked to count the number of images that were printed in the paper. They were instructed to hand in their answers once they finished and they would be paid $250 (again, this was in the 1940’s, I think, so that was big money).

The people who felt they were generally unlucky took an average of 2 minutes to complete the task.

 

The people who were generally lucky took an average of 15 seconds.

 

What was the reason for the disparity in the length of time required to complete the task?

 

Path More Than Good Music Meme

 

In the newspaper, on page 2, was a black and white ad in huge block letters that read, “THERE ARE 48 IMAGES IN THIS NEWSPAPER, THERE IS NO NEED TO KEEP COUNTING. PLEASE WRITE THIS DOWN, HAND YOUR PAPER INTO THE INSTRUCTOR AND COLLECT YOUR $250 CHECK.”

 

See my point?

The people that were ignorantly resolute on the guidelines (A.K.A. the path) continued to count all the images never seeing the ad with the answer because it wasn’t an image.

 

 

The answer wasn’t what they were looking for, rather, they were looking for images. Opportunities don’t always come looking like what you’d thought they should.

 

Get it?

What’s your plan of attack to make a living at your artistry?

 

While I’m quite sure you’re determined to never quit until you reach your goal, how resolute are you to the tactics you’re using to get there?

 

Don’t be a moron.

Don’t be naïve.

Plain and simple.

Path Consumers Like You MEME

 

Don’t mistake technologies that offer new ways for artists to connect with fans as the grand solution that will save the failing music industry and thus, your lot in life.

Consumers need reasons to like and stand behind an artist, not a new technological platform. When they have the reason, believe me the platform will not matter, they will find what they want.

 

How are all these artist platforms working for you?

 

Are they getting you paid?

Do you know anybody that knows anybody who BROKE on Pandora, Spotify, Bandzoogle, Reverbnation, iTunes, etc.?

 

If you’re #1 in Kalamazoo for alternative country on Reverbnation how does that translate with regards to your bank account?

 

Now you may say, “Johnny, we make art for the sake of art so the sales don’t matter, the recognition is what matters.”

 

Path Blue Ribbon MemeWell, somehow, at this moment, you’re paying your bills with something.

 

Where did those funds come from?

 

What if your current bosses decided to stop paying you in exchange for blue ribbon each pay period?

 

YOU’RE #1 IN OUR BOOK, THANK YOU FOR YOUR EFFORTS!

 

Can you imagine?

 

What would you do if this happened?

YOU’D CHANGE YOUR PATH AND FIND ANOTHER JOB.

 

You’d have to, wouldn’t you?

 

My point is that somehow, some way, you found out how to get paid for a job that you’d probably rather not do if you don’t straight up hate it.

 

Why on earth wouldn’t you want to find a way to get paid to be an artist?

 

Path StruggleIf you’re struggling that means you aren’t getting paid or you aren’t getting paid enough to survive.

If you’re just getting paid with some BS form of technological praise, I submit to you that the praise you receive PLUS $2.52 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

 

Change your path.

 

Change it often.

 

It took Edison an average of 1,000 experiments to obtain the successes he needed for EACH of his 2,332 patents.

 

Path Edison MEME

 

 

 

How may experiments have you tried to get paid for your music?

 

 

My guess is the first one, perhaps the only one, the one you’re on now, isn’t working well enough.

 

 

 

Stay

In

Tune

 

 

If you like this post, please SHARE it and/or LEAVE A COMMENT thank you!

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You Absolutely Can If You Will Your Life

Will Feature Image

I date a beautiful first grade teacher of 17 years who has two amazing daughters that are 11 and 8 years old.   The first week of this past October, it was their school fall break, so I took them up to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for a couple days to see where I grew up. Lake Geneva is a beautiful, Will Lake Geneva Collagequaint, little tourist town nestled against a large natural lake with AMAZING homes on it (The Wrigley’s estate, the Walgreen’s estate, etc.) I contacted a former co-worker of mine (from a killer restaurant I used to bartend at 25 years ago) who remained in the thriving hospitality industry up there to get a deal on a resort room for the 2 nights we were going to stay. My friend, Geri, had married a guy named Lee who was a GM at one of the resorts. Geri was really a former co-worker and acquaintance to me, but a life-long friend to my little sister who also worked at this same restaurant with Geri and me at one point.

 

Geri came through, I got a sweet room at this amazing resort overlooking the breathtaking views of Lake Geneva for 50% off. This was accomplished through a small but succinct set of text messages.

 

1 week later my little sister texted me to tell me Geri had a brain aneurysm and Lee was about to pull the plug on life support.

 

My first thought: W…T…F

I still had those texts from just one week ago.

Geri had to be close to my age, give or take 3-5 years.

 

Will HeartbeaatIt’s at a moment like this I count my blessings and I take great solace in the fact that I wasn’t afraid to take risks in my life. Maybe that’s weird, but these are the things I think about when faced with my mortality (I don’t have kids of my own).

It’s true you know, on your death bed, the ONLY thing you will regret in life are the risks you didn’t take.

 

 

No one ever thought, “Whew, I’m glad I followed all the rules and flew below the RADAR screen of society my whole life.”

 

This past Friday, like everyone else in the world, I stared on with disbelief at the horrific events that happened in France.Will France Flag

 

There were people attending a huge soccer game, people out to eat with their families, and people attending a rock concert that were all senselessly and purposefully wiped out.

 

 

 

 

 

France has far stricter gun laws that the USA, if you weren’t aware.

Will gun control

 

So these people were exterminated by illegal handguns, illegal automatic weapons, and illegal explosives.

 

It was illegal and still, they were destroyed.

 

 

Who cares why? David Letterman said it best after the 9/11 attacks when he said (and I’m paraphrasing), “If you live to be 1,000 years old, will you EVER make any sense of this?”Will_David_Letterman

 

I mentioned the gun control statement not to start a political rant, but to open your eyes to the bigger picture beyond guns.

 

Your life is short and promised to no one.

 

Too many of you are drinking whatever Kool-Aid you prefer and not paying attention to what’s really going on.

 

Here’s what’s really going on:  You’re wasting time.

 

Will Wasting Time

 

Regardless of what your government says they’re going to do to protect you. Short of putting all 7 billion of us on the planet in straightjackets to shield us from each other, if someone truly wants to damage you they can and they will.

 

Life is never going to be fair in this regard.

 

So the question is, what are YOU going to do about it?Will Straightjacket Collage

 

Any lawman will tell you most crimes are crimes of opportunity, which means you did something stupid and left yourself vulnerable. This stupidity was unfortunately recognized by a criminal mind and the situation was exploited.

 

The first day I moved to California, I was staying in Venice. At the end of the night I had the wherewithal to remove the face of my car stereo and placed it in its case, however, I left the case on the passenger seat like a moron. Next day I awoke to a busted window, no stereo face, and mangled dashboard from the rookie who tried unsuccessfully to pull the unit.

 

That one was on me. It was preventable.

 

What isn’t preventable is when someone REALLY wants to hurt you. When that situation arises, you can only take care of yourself.

 

I’ve never owned a gun and I don’t hunt (hunting in Wisconsin = COLD).

 

The gun control arguments on both sides are laughable. My problem with these debates has nothing to do with guns.

 

It has to do with the byproduct of too much control (of any kind) which is creating a society of victims who rely and/or blame someone or something else for their lot in life.Will Concentration Camps License Rodrigo Galindez

When we don’t take responsibility for our own happiness, love, safety, health, mental health, job, life mission, etc., someone else will, I promise.

The more your government, parents, friends, lovers, etc. step in to protect, the more humans will rely on that and not do for themselves.

 

 

We’re just wired up that way.

 

Nobody is responsible for you but you.

 

And just like us all, you are broken.

Will something Broken MEME

We are all broken.

 

Maggie Rose wrote, “Life’s full of broken things, like hearts, homes, and dreams. We all come from something broken,”

 

You’re health, your heart, your home, it doesn’t matter, because you’re just like everyone else.

 

What will define you is how you play the hand you were dealt.

 

Will you choose to believe the media, the governments of the world, and your naysaying friends when they tell you someone or something else is responsible for your unhappiness?

 

Will Pressure

 

It’s easier to think that. Takes the pressure off of you, right?

You don’t have to do the work but you do have to live with the consequences.

 

 

 

My friend Geri and those unfortunate people in France all stupidly lost their lives too early.

 

Their loss of life was not their fault.

 

How they lived their lives up until that last moment was.

 

I don’t know any of the victims in France. I do know that Geri led a wonderful life. She had grown kids and fostered a loving marriage to her best friend, Lee.

Will Meaning of Life MEME. License Leland Francisco

Photo: Leland Francisco

 

I hate that she had to go.

 

I love what she did right up until that moment.

 

Want to know what the meaning of life is?

 

I know the answer. It’s easy.

 

You are a mission critical cog in the wheel of advancing human society.

Will Society MEME

 

Your job is to be a little smarter, a little wiser, a little worldlier, a little more creative, and a little more aware than your parents were. (For some of you, maybe you’re a LOT more of these things.)

 

 

 

 

 

STOP thinking about what you don’t have.

 

STOP blaming your parents, past events, sickness, trauma, blah, blah, blah.Will Stop Hand

 

STOP waiting around for something to happen to you and START making something happen FOR you.

 

START working with what you have in front of you right now.

 

START making moves right now.

 

You cannot change yesterday.

 

You cannot predict the future.

 

The only thing you can control is RIGHT NOW.

 

 

Will butts

 

 

You need knowledge and you need to apply that knowledge to become more powerful.

 

We all come from something broken so your excuses for not accomplishing what you want to accomplish are like butts, EVERYBODY HAS ONE AND THEY ALL STINK.

 

 

1,000 years of additional, positive, forward progress in our advanced society will not change the fact that one cannot guarantee your safety or any kind of equal outcome to your life experience.Will Downloading Future

 

So blaming anyone but yourself is futile.

 

It’s still going to be up to the individual to craft the results of their life.

 

 

Will BurglarIllegal guns, drugs, alcohol, knives, bombs, automobiles, and hurtful words choices designed strategically for the purposes of emotional abuse will not change the fact that if someone wants to hurt you they can and they will.

 

So it’s on you.

 

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.

 

 

 

 

Who are you authorizing to make you feel bad, inadequate, pathetic, or downright horrible?Will Consent Quote

Is it family?

Friends?

The news channels?

Your government?

Drugs?

Alcohol?

Television?

 

What risks have you been putting off?

 

What are you scared of?

It’s time to love deeper and forget the B.S.

It’s time to be the kind of friend you’d like to have.

It’s time to start working on your dream; start that band, finish that song, record that demo, learn how to market your music, etc.

 

What would be going through your mind if you were one of the victims in France with an illegal AK-47 to the back of their head just before you were executed?

 

What would’ve been your regret?Will Cowboy Up

Life is a full contact sport and nobody gets out alive.

 

Don’t give anyone permission to take your happiness away and put it in the hands of anyone else.

 

You cowboy up and take the good with the bad.

Will Rocky collage

 

You’re going to screw up, we all screw up.

 

 

Get over it.

You’re going to fail, we all fail more than we succeed.

 

Get over it.

 

You’re going to have to get back up again, shake it off, and learn from the mistake.

 

It’s a scientific fact that the big win, the big score, the game-changer in your life will absolutely happen immediately following a failure that you had to recover from.

Will No Traffic Jams Extra Mile

 

Don’t wait, man.

You’re life is almost over.

 

 

You’re out of time.

 

There are no roadblocks in the extra mile. If you’re feeling them, you haven’t driven far enough.

 

Get to it.

 

Stay

In

Tune

 

 

 

If you like this post, please SHARE it and/or LEAVE A COMMENT thank you!

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Quit Being Derivative

Derivatives Mona Lisa Selfie

I get about 3-8 emails every week where people send me music and ask for advice.  These artists come from many different genres.  I’m generalizing to be sure when I say they mostly suffer from the same issue, they’re derivative.

They’re mostly derivative, right?

Don’t be derivative.

Look, don’t get me wrong, if a derivative artist has a budget we’ll record them, that’s just business.

I’m talking about real art here, though.

I’m talking about future icons.

I’m talking about a way to break through the noise on the market RADAR screen.

Strictly on a business level, if you don’t have a MAJOR financial backer who can capitalize on a market trend, what exactly are you exploiting?

What’s the point?

Sometimes I wonder if it’s laziness.  I wonder that because I certainly suffered through my share of lethargy in my artist years if I’m being honest. Initially my main goal was to be on MTV.  Once I got access to our producer’s “other band”, The Allman Brothers, I realized it didn’t have anything to do with MTV.  I was being lazy.  I needed to dig deeper.  We all have to go through that door at some point.

But I digress.

Derivative anti cliche imageI hear male country artists singing “Bro-Country” about tailgates, tan legs, barbed wire fences and beers in the console.

I hear female country artists singing hostile ex-girlfriend lyrics trying to outdo Carrie Underwood or Miranda Lambert.

I hear endless rap artists who cannot seem to avoid the most obvious lyrical clichés like “bitches”, “ho’s”, and “n****s”, etc.

In the 80’s we all had long hair, ear rings, and leather pants.  In 2014 every hipster has a close cropped haircut and beard the size of Texas with 60’s styled horn rimmed glasses.  (Will that hairdo be remembered as some sort of 2010 version of the 80’s/90’s mullet?)

Every genre has it, man.

Every generation has it.

Every Iconic Artist found themselves at some point

I’m simplifying once again by this statement, but every iconic artist found themselves at some point.  They found their own unique take on a derivative tangent.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWait, huh?

C’mon you mean you really can’t tell how badly Petty wants to be Dylan?

Dylan wants to be Woody Guthrie.

Clapton wants to be Muddy Waters, etc.

Realistically the only way to avoid being derivative is to be yourself.  The most interesting artists are telling their own story.

Being Derivative is a timeless artistic problem

Being derivative is a timeless artistic problem deeply rooted in every artist’s beginnings and nurtured by label suits afraid to take a chance in artist careers for fear of a poor quarterly report.  (Don’t hate them, that’s just business.  If you’re smart enough to play the game professionally, you get that.)

Think about it, we all begin as artists imitating our heroes; this is necessary.  It’s the first inspiration. We artists connect strongly with the superstars whose message and image speaks to us.  We relate to them and pay homage, right?

So where then does the imitation stop and the originality begin?

The “me-too” acts with talent, money, savvy, gumption, and connections will probably get their 15 minutes of fame but they will be forgotten.

It’s the originals that we rememberDerivative 100 percent ORIGINAL stamp

It’s the originals that we aspire to be

It’s the originals that become icons

So what is the road map to true artistic innovation?

Work.

Work is the one thing most people aren’t willing to do that much of in any industry, unfortunately.

Artists especially avoid this act because unlike a regular job where you are compensated regularly for your effort, the artist must continue to invest time, money, and their spirit into a massively delayed settlement arrangement.

justiceDelayed financial, spiritual, and social reimbursement means you pay it all up front for a chance at evening the scales later on…usually much later on.

So naturally, most artists seek the path of least resistance and fall into an uninspired creative rut; this is human nature.

If you don’t want to spend too much time writing (working), you copy what you hear.

Instant gratification.

We covet what we see every day.

The original artists are constantly creating, always working.  The work provides the necessary steps to uncover the real artist deep down inside.

Every song is a stepping stone towards something greater.

The roots come up to meet the inspirational artistic input and they weave a new, unique fabric.

The work IS the compensation.  It has to be. If an artists doesn’t feel like that then the business model is doomed to fail.

This is who will create real impact.

That’s terrifying to an artist.  It requires removing your mask and being truly exposed.  Most artists who claim to be vulnerable really aren’t; at least they choose not to be in their art.

When you’re not vulnerable in your art, you’re derivative.

 

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4 Career Team Building Tips

Team Together Everyone Achieves More

By Johnny Dwinell

I entertain so many conversations from artists and songwriters about how difficult it is to build a team and break into the music business.

They go on and on about how much they want it, how much they need it, how they were born to do it, and then, ultimately, how they’re frustrated.

I get it.Chances team Kidd Gypsy image

I really do.

Remember, I was an artist first.

I hear their frustrations.

I feel their pain.

I’ve been there, man.

Look, this business is rife with hindrances when you’re really in it.

It’s impossible to succeed if you are just “sticking your toes in the water”.

It’s impossible if you’re working from a playbook that is ineffective because it’s outdated, naïve, ignorant of your strengths and weaknesses, and non-responsive to the constant industry changes.

Are you really on the field playing or are you commenting on the game from the cheap seats?

…where it’s safe.

Some of the conversations I endure are akin to someone sitting up in the nosebleed section of a professional football stadium telling everyone how they want, need, and were born to play pro football while complaining that the quarterback never throws the ball to them.

I’m so not kidding.

You’ll need to put together a teamSONY DSC

I promise that if you are going to have a chance in this business you are seriously going to have to pull your head out of the clouds (and/or your ass) and put together a team, a plan, and a business model that will move you forward.

I got news for you, that team is different for everybody.

Therefore the plan is different for everybody.

Nobody is going to hear your song and come to your door to make you a star.  It doesn’t work that way.

Team Golden Ticket 2That is a fairytale.

Maybe it’s happened to one artist but that is an asinine plan of attack to pin your hopes, dreams, financial resources, and reputation on the perceived evidence of one enchanted lottery ticket.

It’s doubly idiotic when you consider the fact that you don’t live the rest of your life like that.

I mean you don’t tell your landlord to “wait for the rent” because you just played the lottery do you?  No, you go to work every day and create cash flow.

You make it happen.

For someone else’s team, btw.

When you put a team together you initially have to look at each relationship intelligently and pragmatically.

You want to determine how you can bring value to the relationship and whether it’s a relationship that is valuable to you right now.

Every opportunity is not opportune.Team Opportune Time

Oftentimes the best way you can bring value to a relationship is with money.  Start doing business with someone that can offer you something you need.

The benefits are unlimited.  At Daredevil Production, LLC we have many relationships with artists that started with them paying us to develop them; to deliver a killer radio ready track and all that statement entails.

These artists paid for the tracks and certainly received their money’s worth.

They also now have real relationships with hit writers, musicians, artists, industry executives, movers and shakers, and any of our friends that may be hanging out at any given time during their project.

Get it?

You’re not ready for some relationships.

Team You can't build a reputation on what your going to do

 

In fact, getting the big representation for many of you would actually be the kiss of death for your career.  The more you accomplish before the big relationships, the better deal you will get and all the better position you will be in to capitalize on that opportunity.

The world doesn’t care about your potential because they don’t know you. As such, they will judge you and any explorations of a future relationship with you based on what you’ve already done.

The only way to prove your value in the industry is to do something. SOMETHING!!

 

Here’s a few thoughts to consider when building your team.

  1. Hungry teams are more productive.
    • It’s more important to have a team that is invested, that wants to play ball than a bunch of marquis value names.Team Chase Rice
    • In the beginning the bigger names are of no value to you and you are of no value to them, don’t take it personally.
    • Make sure they are as enthusiastic about your project as you are!
    • Have you heard of Chase Rice? He co-wrote the Florida Georgia Line smash hit “Cruise”.
      • Florida Georgia Line was developed arguably by one of the top 3 most powerful songwriters in Nashville; Craig Wiseman. Craig could have tons of high value names on his team but one of the names he had was Chase Rice.  My guess is that’s because Chase was a good writer with a good work ethic and a solid head on his shoulders.

Are you picking up what I’m putting down?

Now, not only is Chase a rising star as an artist, but he is the co-writer of “Cruise”.  He wasn’t any of those things when he co-wrote “Cruise”.

  1. Find your class
    • Develop relationships within your class that will add value to your team.team Let's do Business
    • Get in touch with potential team members (songwriter nights, engineers, producers, etc.)
      1. You may need to pay them professionally if they’re upperclassmen.
    • Doing business is a great way to start team building with upper classmen and you also get something immediate from the exchange.
    • Teambuilding within your class is more about personalities and projects than money.
    • Once you get to know them figure out what you can do for them to deepen the relationship.
    • We have had many writers trade construction work and such for studio time. Pretty cool.
    • Interns who work tirelessly to be on the inside. (Our interns freaking ROCK, btw!)
  2. Eliminate the dregs
    • Friends who would take a bullet for you are not necessarily good for the team if they don’t add value.
    • Loyal band members are of no use to you if they are the weak link in the band and can’t play. Is there some other place in the organization that will exploit their highest and best use?
    • You need a killer live show; a good team is paramount to that.
  3. Understand the nature of the beast
    • Booking agents work off of a percentage (unless you can pay them)
    • Managers work off of a percentage (unless you can afford a salary)
    • These people will come to you in droves when you are ready for them so stop lamenting the fact that you don’t have them yet.

Get in the game.

 

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