Tag Archive for: Hootie & The Blowfish

Happiness is a Learned Skill Feature 2 MEME


Happiness is a byproduct, not a destination.


Happiness is a Learned Skill Not a Destination



Happiness is a learned skill. (And it’s never too late to learn)





How many times have you heard this before?


Do you believe it?


Happiness is a Learned Skill Do You Believe




Do you get it? Really?








Happiness is a Learned Skill Galapogos MEME

You’re not going to “find” happiness like the Galapagos Islands.




It’s easy then to extrapolate that happiness in your artist career is also a byproduct of behavior and not a destination.


You’re not going to find happiness and success with that one amazing connection.


Yes, you hear the stories an artist’s “one big break” but that big break happened on several levels as a byproduct of a life spent working diligently on something.


They were noticed because of the work they were doing.


They were prepared to walk through the newly opened door for the same reason.



Happiness The Climb 600x315 copy


Brent and I were discussing a similar thought on one of the C.L.I.M.B. podcast episodes. We were talking about the stories of a super hit song that “wrote itself” in like 10 minutes. The reality is that it most certainly did NOT take the songwriter 10 minutes to write that song.



It took their whole life PLUS 10 minutes.


Get it?


Happiness is a Learned Skill Gary Vee Jewel



Y’all know that I devour Gary Vaynerchuk content. His interview with Jewel in episode 238 of the Gary Vee Show was incredible.




This woman has a story that I wanted to share with you all.


You’re going to love it because it’s incredibly inspiring.


Happiness is a Learned Skill Hate it Excuses

You’ll hate it because her story will leave you with zero excuses.




We’ve all been broken before and we’ve all had people or have people that try to break us.


Jewel has overcome all of that.



She didn’t let life’s horrible speed bumps make her a victim or a statistic, but it almost did.



She moved out when she was 15 years old because her dad was being abusive.



Happiness is a Learned Skill Pay 2 Play MEME


She moved to San Diego a couple years later but she was disenfranchised by the music scene because the coffee houses were “pay to play”. She didn’t get it. She didn’t see how the coffee shop could steal the artist’s energy and soul for a few hours and offer only tips in return.




Now, she was 18 and her boss wanted to sleep with her but when she refused, he withheld her paychecks.



She thought to herself, “I’ll just sleep in my car for a month or two until I find a new gig.” This move was good for her soul but left her homeless for 18 months.


Happiness is a Learned Skill Statistic MEME



Jewel mentioned that during this time she was shoplifting quite often and on one occasion caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror.





She was disgusted.


She had become the very thing she promised she wouldn’t become; a statistic.


This is the pivotal moment that I want you all to think about.


You’re suffering in some ways.


We all suffer in some ways.


Happiness is a Learned Skill Struggle Gift MEME


I agree with Jewel in that it’s a gift to be allowed to struggle because this is where the successful find the tools they need to cope.




Coping tools give us the instruments we need to continue productivity and work through the suffering as humans and as artists.


I lost everything in the 2008 financial meltdown.


I rebuilt and moved forward. It sounds easy but there were many times that my soul was violently careening on a current of negative energy.


It was my thought processes that got me off that river.



Happiness Is a Learned Skill Buddha MEME

Buddha says, “Happiness does not depend on who you are or what you have, it depends on what you think.”





I’m sure that WAY too many of you are hung up on who you are and what you have.


Some of you feel because you’re very talented you should be happy.


That’s called entitlement.


Some of you feel that new guitar (thing) will make you happier but it’s just a possession, just a “thing”.


Some of you feel that a person will make you happier.


That’s called co-dependency.


The reality is that Buddha is right. Duh. Happiness is all about what you think.


Happiness is a Learned Skill Wolf Fire

Personally, losing everything, which is MONUMENTALLY scary to think about but even more terrifying to endure, was the greatest gift I ever received.




I found out that my things and my relationships don’t define me.


I also am no longer scared of losing everything because I’ve lived through the worst financial and personal catastrophe.



Yes, it totally sucked but I know I can handle it. I can always innovate my way out of trouble.



Happiness Is A Learned Skill Coffee Shop Out of Biz



During Jewel’s homeless period, she found a coffee shop that was going out of business. She struck a deal with the owner (who had nothing to lose really) by offering to help build a steady following for the business with her performances.





Suddenly, Jewel found herself at another crossroads; she only knew cover songs.


Songwriting was going to have to happen and quickly.


Talk about profound, Jewel said that she was lonely and many people are lonely so she could connect with them that way lyrically.



Happiness Is A Learned Skill Notebook MEME

She also said that she deserved to be lonely because she only told the truth in one place which was a notebook that nobody read.





It was time to talk openly about her truth and take a risk to be vulnerable. This is a milestone that most indie artists seem to miss.


Easier to be derivative than it is to be vulnerable. Maybe you have a lot of talent but because you’re failing to be truly exposed you’re not getting the attention you think you deserve.


Maybe you don’t deserve any attention right now? Did you ever think about it that way?



Happiness Is A Learned Skill Your Truth MEME

I have news for you, It’s your TRUTH that will separate you from the crowd and make you special.




The songstress thought to herself fear is a thief. It takes the past and projects it into the future and robs you of the only opportunity you have to create real change; which is RIGHT NOW.


Y’all need to create change in your marketing.


Happiness Is A Learned Skill Thief MEME


Most artists aren’t thinking about or acting on any kind of marketing.




Which is why you hurt.


Here’s an illustration of how bad it is.


I was just at a new record label showcase last week. One of the artists that played this event was a Curb Records artist.  He was an amazing R&B act, I was familiar with his last song even though I don’t spend much time listening to that genre (that should tell you something) but his social media sucked.


Happiness Is A Learned Skill Instagram Collage



Literally half of my artists have MUCH larger and far more engaged communities in their respective social media communities than this major label artist. I find this to be true amongst all artists, signed or not. Unless their famous, their social media is usually seriously lacking.





He’s clearly relying on the record label to bring him to market which is sad. We’re down to a few major labels precisely because they’re not sure how to bring an artist to the market anymore.


With her head on straight, Jewel goes to work writing and starts to play the coffeehouse shows.


Her first show had 2 people.


Next had 7 people.


Happiness Is A Learned Skill 91X Logo




A few months later there were people standing in line around the corner just to hear her sing.






The packed coffee house was a byproduct of her thinking at first, and then her actions.



Someone bootlegged a live recording of her and the San Diego radio station started playing it.


Soon she was a highly requested artist and the labels came-a-calling.


This is another pitfall I see so many of you fall into. You’re waiting to be discovered.


Happiness Is A Learned Skill Limo MEME

Jewel went out and found her audience, and just like I always preach, the industry found her.




She was offered a record deal but she was going to be releasing a folk record in a grunge market.


How would she cut through?


The label offered her a 1-million-dollar advance but she turned it down. Instead, she used the advance to buy (renegotiate) a much better back-end deal on her contract.


Happiness Is A Learned Skill Million Dollars



Again, guts, knowledge, understanding. She read one book and found out the advance was recoupable.





She broke through before the social media age because of her brain. Yes, the abundant talent was there but her audience was only made aware of it because of the way she thought.


Does that make sense?


Gary Vee said, “Your fans got there and gave a crap because of you, and then they took over.”


Do you see where I’m headed with this?


Happiness Is A Learned Skill Love them firstMEME


The artist must start the fire. You carefully cultivate the first 1,000 Superfans and then they will take over.




Gary immediately followed that quote with, “What my fans do now is insane, the level of love, but it started with I LOVE THEM FIRST.”



You give to receive.



If you focus on making other people happy, on providing value to them first, you’ll learn how to be happy.









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In the old days, you marketed the music which is why it made sense to wait until the music was done to begin the marketing process.



Today, because radio can’t force people to listen to what is unfamiliar anymore (like your debut single), the artist is what is marketed first.



You don’t listen to new stuff on the radio, you go to Deezer, Slacker, Spotify, Pandora, I HeartRadio, HD Radio, XM/Sirius Satellite Radio, and your playlist to find your “jam”.



If people like the artist, they’ll give the music a chance. Just ask Justin Bieber.



If they are unaware of the artist, the music will never be heard and they won’t know you exist.




Am I pushing your buttons?


Radio is not going to break you like it used to, so one must get creative and begin to market themselves in different ways.



The most overlooked marketing tool is contact capture.






Seriously, y’all suck at it.






You can’t afford to wait.


Sounds like a soundbite, doesn’t it?


“You can’t afford to wait”.




You probably mentally or physically rolled your eyes when you read that the first time.



Waiting to market yourself as an artist is pure ignorance.


Have you ever seen the movie Apollo 13?



There is a scene in there where a NASA executive hands the astronauts a vile of Potassium Cyanide (which causes instantaneous death aka the “suicide pill”).


In this controversial scene, the NASA administrator tells the astronauts that they thought of 1001 reasons they would need this pill. But it’s mostly for the reasons they can’t think of.


Seems like a harsh metaphor but follow me on this.


Since none of you can see a need for capturing contacts right now, you choose to ignore it.




Which is different from the “need” you see for that new guitar; it’s always on your mind. Get it?




One of the reasons you don’t see the requirement is because you’re uneducated (aka ignorant) on the value of a contact.


I’m sure most of you wouldn’t know what to do with a contact once you got it, again, this is preventable ignorance.


Since you don’t see the value, you ignore it.


If you were educated on the value, if you saw it work, or if you believed it would work, you’d all change your methods.





So, choosing not to market and/or not to educate yourself on contact capture is akin to taking a suicide pill, but for your career.


Kind of like all the people who chose to mock Noah while he built the arc. They scoffed because they couldn’t see the need. Y’all thought they were ignorant when you read that part in the bible.




Ignorance is defined as a lack of knowledge or information which makes it preventable.


See, in the old days, we used mass media and mass media worked because there were masses.




In 1979 there were 3 TV stations and 228 million people watching TV. A crappy, bottom-of-the-barrel sitcom during this time would have 30-50 million people watching it.



Today the Walking Dead is a smash HIT TV show and it has around 5 million people watching it.




Think of it like this. 73 million people saw the Beatles play the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9th, 1964. Of course, that demographic was kids, parents, grandparents, etc.


If just 1% of the views LOVED the Beatles, that would be 730,000 new fans. It was way more, I promise.




You could start a forest fire with a national TV appearance and a lot of hard work going market to market on radio.


Now, if you were to play GMA or the Today Show there might be 3 million people watching it.  Maybe.


A 1% response rate is 30,000.  Which sounds like a lot to an indie artist but all those people aren’t buyers.





See the first conversion rate is how many people were blown away by what they saw.  These are low conversion rates. 1% is a good number.


Then you have the conversion rates of buyers from the smaller pool of interested viewers.


If that’s 1% as well. The Ed Sullivan appearance might get you sales from 1% of 1% which would be 73,000 units. Today a TV appearance gets you sales of maybe 300 units.


You see?


Additionally, before 1980 there were hardly any competitive messages for consumers to process.


Today every consumer sees 3,500 messages per day. They’re numb, man.





Since they are so numb, it takes more to get through to them.





Think of night fishing for fish that are attracted to light. When you rely on “mass” media that’s a super powerful light that shines on you in the boat and all the fish gather to look up in wonder.


When the light goes off the fish scatter and forget you.


Before 1980 that light was akin to the power of the Sun.  So many fish would see the artist and you’d pick up truckloads of Superfans.




More and more appearances with a real “mass” meant you could get some serious momentum relatively quickly.




Still, the light would go off and the fish scatter.


What fish were there?




Who was watching?


What were their names?




Which of them spent money purchasing music last year?



In today’s TV markets that light is the equivalent of a gas lamp.  Therefore, it attracts far less fish, but just like the old days, when the light goes out, the fish scatter.


And today after they scatter they’ll be exposed to 3,499 more messages THAT DAY to ensure they probably won’t remember you at all.


So, they won’t talk about you.


If they do talk about you, they’ll be interrupted by a friend who saw some other message. The subject will change and the artist is lost in the din of all that clutter and noise.


Capturing contacts is like putting a net in the water and bringing that small group of valuable fish into the boat.




We can now stay in touch with the fish. We can find out what they like and don’t like and create relationships with them.


We MUST create relationships with them so we can cut through the clutter and stay on top of their minds.






Do you see how this is the only way?






Now back to the NASA Apollo 13 analogy.






What about those amazing moments you can’t predict?



Maybe you get chosen for The Voice.



Maybe you get an opportunity to play a festival in front of 5,000 people.


Maybe you get a killer opening slot at your local venue playing for a packed house.


Maybe you guest on a serious podcast.





I played in an LA band called Candygram For Mongo and the singer grew up with the guitar player from Hootie and the Blowfish.


We got to open one show for them at HOB in Anaheim, CA. It was sold out and just like you, I had my head up my butt and wasn’t marketing. We could’ve easily walked away with a few hundred email addresses or telephone numbers had I been paying attention.





In all fairness to myself, the technology wasn’t as amazing as it is now, so who knows, but you get the point. (Dig the mohawk?)





Here’s another example. I met this artist name Brian Ripps through a dear friend.


Brian Ripps is the REAL DEAL.


Last September Brian filmed a question he submitted to be considered for the #AskGaryVee show. (Gary Vee is Gary Vaynerchuk and I’ve written several blog articles inspired by him.)



On this episode, GENIUS LEGENDARY Producer Wyclef Jean was the guest. When Brian filmed the question his guitar playing was in the background.




Wyclef FREAKED and told Gary he should set up a jam session between Wyclef and Brian; that happened.



They filmed it and edited a performance from Brian into the show.



Gary Vee has 400,000 subscribers to his show. 64,000 people watched the video so far and you must understand these are going to be higher quality viewers. This means the conversion rates are going to be better than mass media albeit smaller audiences.





All this attention and, just like me at the Hootie show, he captured nothing. They put his Spotify link up on the video but no contacts, no relationships, no information, no nothing.




All Brian could do was wave to the camera and comment on social media saying something like, “I hope to see you soon on tour”.


Situations will “pop” up out of nowhere and if you don’t have your marketing together, you’re going to miss out on a huge opportunity to connect with a new audience who saw you amaze them. (You’re already thinking a few that have happened to you right now.)


You’re going to blow a huge opportunity to grow your audience.



Hello, this is an instance where the marketing is “mostly for the reasons we can’t think of”.



I worked with a killer indie band called 7Horse about 3 years ago. They wrote “Meth Lab Zoso Sticker” which was the theme song for Martin Scorcese’s Wolf of Wall Street” with Leonardo DiCaprio.



Dumb luck, is there such a thing?





7Horse wrote and recorded an AMAZING TRACK which Scorcese happened to stumble across on YouTube.


They played this song at the Oscars and at the Golden Globes when they announced the movie.




7Horse was invited for an interview on Adam Carolla’s podcast.


We set up a squeeze page.


They played the song and mentioned the squeeze page URL twice.





We got over 800 emails in 24 hours.




Man, y’all do such a good job blowing people’s minds with your gifts, and then forget to ask them who the hell they are so you can stay in touch.


How does this make sense?


Start getting your marketing together RIGHT NOW. You can’t afford to wait.


Who knows what will happen tomorrow?











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