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What If You’re Waiting On the Wrong Things?

Waiting Traffic Lights Feature

I received a little heat for my last blog article entitled How to Actually Get Paid Living As An Artist. People reached out and commented (complained); they thought it was a misleading titleWaiting Misled Spelling

 

“When do I find out how to get paid?” was a common response.

 

So let’s dig a little deeper because it seems that MANY of you are completely missing the point.

 

“Your title said How to Get Paid and all I read was this mumbo jumbo mindset crap!”

 

I’d hear from the same people if I listed all the ways I have gotten paid as an artist, how I have gotten artists paid, and how I have monetized other businesses. They would complain about too many choices.

 

They would complain about what they always complain about; having to do work.

 

Waiting Renewing the Mind

 

Question: “What exactly do I have to do to get paid, Johnny, which one of these methods will work for me?”

 

Answer: Precisely.

 

 

What DO YOU have to do to get paid and stop waiting?

 

Nobody likes this answer because it means they still have to find the answers on their own and actually do the work.

Waiting Worker Lego

 

This answer means there is no easy button.

 

If you want an easy button, go find a day job.

 

That’s about as easy as it gets. Trade 40 hours of THEE most valuable resource on the planet, your time, for some kind of paycheck.

 

EZPZ.

 

You know the outcome. Everybody wins.

 

Zero faith required.

 

Waiting Extraordinary RESIZED

However, if you’re going to do something extraordinary with your life, then you’re going to have to work extraordinarily to make it happen!

 

God, this pisses me off.

 

So many of you are lazy, whining, and entitled.

 

Too many of you just want to be famous.

 

Stop it.

 

When I was an artist in the 80’s and 90’s the methods to get paid were different then when I had a band in Los Angeles in the 2000’s. The scene was different, the market was different, so the method was,  you guessed it, different!

 

Waiting Snowflake RESIZED

 

 

 

The artists I am blessed to work with now all require different marketing creativity, approaches, and methods to reaching an audience and getting paid.

 

WARNING: Spoiler Alert!

 

Waiting Spoiler Alert MEME

 

Here’s another fact that is going to burst your bubble and make the day job look real sexy: it takes time and patience.

 

 

 

Yes, just ask Guns & Roses how “easy” it was for them once they signed their deal. The money just started flowing into their bank accounts, right?

 

No.

 

They were dead broke.Waiting Guns and Roses

 

In fact, if it wasn’t for their manager who was paying for their housing and paying for them to live, they wouldn’t have survived the record deal at all. Let alone the time it took vet producers, to record the record, to release it after it was completed, the full year AFTER the record was released before it broke, the time it took AFTER the record broke before they actually saw a paycheck.

 

That was the quick way.

 

Today, you have to be patient and build your relationships.

 

This takes time, persistence, and a whole lot of heart that most of you probably don’t possess, because it’s too hard. It’s too hard because it requires an INSANE amount of faith in yourself. I’m NOT talking about you “saying” that you believe in yourself either. I’m talking about you working day in and day out building and building, spending time and money with little initial return on your investment.

That’s the faith and belief I speak of.

 

Waiting Time

Most of you don’t have that kind of faith in yourselves, sadly.

 

 

Why would I write about a mindset and sell it as a way to get paid?

 

Sheesh.

 

Yee of little faith.

 

THE MINDSET IS ACTUALLY HOW YOU GET PAID.

Waiting Brain Money

 

Until you sincerely figure this out, until you really internalize this, you won’t get paid.

 

HOW exactly does a mindset get you paid?

 

If you have the wrong mindset you’re looking for the wrong things. Therefore, you can’t or won’t recognize the right things because your focus is elsewhere.

 

When you are looking for the wrong things two results happen.

 

Waiting Flashligh

 

 

First, if you find the things you’re looking for, which are wrong, they don’t work for you and you waste time, energy, and resources. Second, you’re wasting your energy and gumption NOT looking for the right things.

 

 

 

You get frustrated.

 

You lose faith.

 

You settle for EZPZ.

 

Too vague?

 

Let’s get down & dirty with some details.

 

Waiting Cigar Big Wig

If you’re looking for the big wigs to sign you and make your career happen these are the wrong things for MANY reasons.

 

Number 1. Big wigs are completely turned off by artists who do no work on their own and expect a label or executive to make their career happen. It’s the biggest freakin’ turn off EVER and they don’t care how good you are, I assure you.  They are WELL aware that without the drive to make yourself into something early on, your talent doesn’t matter because you’re missing a mission critical component of success.

 

Essentially YOU believe that once someone else believes in you enough, then you’ll take your career seriously and we’re all supposed to trust that you’ll get down to business at that point.

 

It doesn’t work that way. The big wigs know this because all of them have tried that at some point and been burned; it never works.

 

Additionally, they can’t help you even if they LOVE you because that’s not the business model anymore. Their hands are tied. You HAVE to have a small campfire created at the very least before they can help you build the forest fire you desire.

 

So if your business model is to “meet the right people” and blow them away with your talent you’ve already lost. You’ll be IGNORED and judged as a “wannabe” because they recognize it. These big wigs can instantly ascertain the fact that you won’t work on your career or are presently naïve to the amount of work it will take and that means, talent aside, you’re NOT worth it.

 

Number 2. While you’re busy whining, complaining, and waiting to meet the “right record executive” you’re NOT looking for some little wins that will get your career going, like Social Media. Most of you seriously suck at this and you all have real great excuses as to why.

 

Waiting Bailey Image RESIZED

READ THIS COMMENT!

 

We have opened many doors that we weren’t normally supposed to be in yet with Bailey James simply because the engagement she gets on her social media is so impressive. Once inside these doors, we deepened many relationships because we moved the needle on their social media accounts by shouting out on ours, they fell in love.

 

We did something for them and they weren’t expecting it.

 

 

 

 

 

We were just being grateful but the net result to these future business relationships was a wonderful gesture on our part that had measurable results on their end with something they too, struggle with.

 

That was a result of DAILY work and attention to something y’all can do for free on your smart phone or laptop.

 

But you don’t do it.

 

You don’t do it because you HAVE THE WRONG MINDSET.

 

Get it?

 

Here is one more reason why MINDSET is mission critical to success.

 

This is an actual study.Waiting NewsPaper MEME

 

Back in the 40’s or 50’s a scientist ran an experiment trying to prove that “luck” was a state of mind. They believed that “luck” was the result of a certain interpretation of life events rather than some random circumstance that happened to individuals.

 

The scientist put an ad in the paper asking people to respond if they felt they were “generally lucky people” or “generally unlucky people”.

 

The scientist paid all the responders $250 (a lot of money at that time) to participate in this experiment.

 

Each of the subjects was given a newspaper and asked to count up exactly how many images appeared in the newspaper. Once they were done counting, they were to receive $250.

 

Waiting Lucky

The “generally unlucky” people averaged about 2-4 minutes to count up all the images and get paid.

 

The “generally lucky” people averaged 15 seconds.

 

Why?

 

Because on the second page of the newspaper there was a BOLD ½ page ad that was black & white text which read: “THERE ARE 42 IMAGES IN THIS NEWSPAPER, PLEASE RELAY THIS TO THE TEST ADMIN, COLLECT YOUR $250 AND GO HOME. THANK YOU.

 

The “generally unlucky” people were looking for just one thing, images, and passed right by the big break. Searching for images seemed like the right thing to do because it is what they were told to do, yes?

Waiting Blinders MEME

The “generally lucky” people were completely open to receiving all sorts of information and recognized an answer to get them paid quicker; it WASN’T AN IMAGE.

 

They had an open mindset.

 

Most of you are too busy looking for images and missing all the other opportunities to get paid.

 

Waiting Looking For The Right Things

 

Most of you are way too focused on what you don’t have and are ignoring the momentum you could be creating with what you do have.

 

 

 

Here’s a good question, what exactly are you looking for and HOW SURE ARE YOU THAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT THINGS?

 

Stay

In

Tune

 

 

If you found value in this content 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Super Effective Tricks: How to Build Your List

How To Build Your List Feature MEME

How to build your customer list?How To Build Your List Key Ownership MEME

 

Why should you build your customer list?

 

We’re going to answer both today.

 

The reason why is you have to own the information.

 

Simply put; if you don’t own it somebody else does.

 

Whomever owns the information controls the information.

 

How To Build Your List Nacho Contacts

 

Huh?

 

Yeah, those 10,000 fans that you busted your butt to locate and connect with on your Facebook page belong to Facebook, not you.

 

 

Even if you paid Facebook to help you reach them, they’re not yours.

 

Because Facebook owns the information they do whatever or charge whatever and whenever they want to allow you access.

 

Oh, and you trust them to ensure that your message is actually getting to those followers and some random accounts from a crappy click farm.

How To Build Your List Cypher Feature

 

Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp, Snapchat, YouTube, and every other platform will behave in exactly the same way.

 

Here’s a real example:

 

In December of 2013 Daredevil Production was marketing for Collin Raye who is 90’s country music star with 24 top 10 hits, 16 #1’s and over 8 million records sold.

 

Collin Raye Record

 

At that time, Collin’s Facebook page had 118,000 likes. We were promoting his latest release (while producing the new one) and needed to ramp up the activity on his Facebook page prior to a CTA (Call To Action) post advising people to purchase.

 

In 2013, Facebook had something called “Edge Rank” which was an algorithm that essentially filtered all posts by popularity and relevance to the user. This means that your Mom will probably see every one of your posts and the people you interact with less would need to rank as more popular to get their message to appear on your feed.

Like Collin Raye.

We devised a guitar giveaway contest that was designed to create Collin Guitar Contest 100k commentsmassive amounts of comment activity in a very short time.

 

We ran the contest and we received over 100,000 comments in 1 hour on Collin’s page. (This meant more people would organically see the next post which announced the sale of the new release. Make sense?)

 

Raging success!

 

We replicated this exact same contest with 3 other country music starts in October of 2014.

 

Jamie O’Neal had around 13,000 likes on her page and we garnered about 13,000 comments in 1 hour with the contest.

How To Build Your List Andy Griggs

 

Andy Griggs had about 45,000 likes we got about 45,000 comments in one hour.

 

Ty Herndon was the biggest of the three with 67,000 likes on his page and, you guessed it, we summoned around 67,000 comments in 1 hour.

 

 

FYI, I don’t have a clue why there is a correlation between the amount of likes and the amount of comments in 1 hour, but there was; four times in a row.

 

Fast forward to February of 2015 and we get a super exciting opportunity! Tracy Lawrence with 1.1 million likes on his page.

 

How To Build Your List Tracy LawrenceCan you imagine where my head was at?

 

This is news! 1 million comments in 1 hour is NEWS!

 

Hell, even if we failed miserably and only got 500,000 comments that’s still news, man. That would have blown my company up.

 

Facebook went public, changed the rules, and we only got 50,000 comments.

 

Tracy and his team worked HARD and SMART identifying and connecting with those 1.1 million fans but, like every other person on FB, they had zero control and would have to pay to reach them.

 

Get it?

 

The way around the system is to be collecting contact data, RELIGIOUSLY, the entire time you’re connecting, so you can reach your following whenever you want and as often as you want.

 

The frequency costs money on Facebook.

 

The frequency is free on your list.

 

Don’t hate on Facebook either. They’re a company they need to make money. They have an awesome platform that How To Build Your List Frequentallows an incredible capability of targeting, connection, and communication. It’s worth it.

 

But why pay more than once per fan?

 

That’s the why you build your list.

Here’s 5 ideas on how to build your list.

 

There are many ways to constantly improve your list. The most important takeaway is that you’re constantly asking, “How can I get more people on my list?”

 

If you you’re asking the right questions, your subconscious will reward you.

 

First you’ll need to set up some relatively simple technology to capture these contacts.

 

  1. Squeeze Page – IHow To Build Your List Tonyf you’re not familiar with the name, you’re definitely familiar with the technology. This is where you offer something of value (like a free song, or in my case a free Twitter book) in exchange for their email address. If you want to see what a squeeze page looks like you can peek in at GiftFrombailey.com, GiftFromAbbey.com, GiftFromTony.com, GiftFromAlora.com, and GiftFromJohnny.com

 

Notice a common thread?How To Build Your List Bailey

 

A common look?

 

 

 

 

How To Build Your List AbbeyIt’s because they work. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Text Capture – Text capture works really well too, especially for live shows. There are many competitors, we like Call Loop. It only costs $10/month for a key word. If you text BAILEY to 38470 you’ll get to download a free song and we get your phone number.

 

How To Build Your List Call Loop

 

You can opt out of both of these technologies at any time. So step one is get the information and step two is make sure you have some content ready to keep them interested.

 

Get it?

 

Here are some killer strategies to get them to actually sign up.

 

  1. How To Build Your List Merch TableLive Show Merch Table Sign In – Have a computer on the merch table by the person who is watching your merch for those who don’t have a device. (Don’t forget you’ll need WiFi somehow…make it happen)

 

If you don’t have a merch table make one.

 

If you don’t have a person, find one.

 

Go to the bar owner and tell her that you’re intelligently building your contact list which will help both of you to improve the draw moving forward as you’ll be able to contact these people directly to inform them that you’re coming back to her bar.

 

How To Build Your List Bar Tab FREE

 

Ask her if she’d be willing to put up a $25 bar tab to a winner that you’d randomly pick from a list of people who signed up that night.

 

FYI, every time an artist has followed my instructions on this, the bar owner DOUBLED the amount to $50. Remember this is NOT $25 or $50 dollars cash from the bar as $25 worth of booze only costs a couple bucks to the bar. It IS worth $25-$50 dollars to the fan.

 

Get it?

 

Remember, everyone is a winner because they ALL get a free song for participating, but the people who stick around till the last song have a chance to either drink for free or put a nice dent in their bar tab.

 

But they have to sign up to win.

 

Can’t win if you don’t play.How To Build Your List Live Show Phone2

 

This will work if you SELL IT from the stage.

 

 

 

“Who likes FREE MUSIC?? If you like free music, get your cell phones up in the air!! Go to GiftFromJohnny.com and get your free song from us as a THANK YOU for coming out tonight. All you have to do is tell us where to send it. BTW, if you do it RIGHT NOW I’m going to pick a name at the end of the night and that lucky person will get a $25 bar tab so if you like free music AND you like to drink, this is perfect for you!”

 

How To Build Your List FSMS

 

This same idea works with the text capture too.

 

We had Bailey James do this at her first show, which was to 730 middle school kids, not all of whom had devices, not all of whom brought their device, and we got 150 contacts. Abbey Cone did it in Texas at a High School and got 400 phone numbers in 5 minutes.

 

 

  1. Recurring Twitter (Social Media) Posts – If you’re Tweeting like you’re supposed to (at least 14-24 Tweets per day) you have room every 3rd or 4th Tweet to THANK THEM for following. Because your #Grateful or #Blessed to have them, here’s a free download of our single. #YOUROCK.

 

How To Build Your List Recurring Tweetts

 

 

 

These will create a slow, steady trickle that builds up over time and increases as you grow your reach on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

  1. Interview Benevolence – In the case of a Squeeze Page, you are NOT plugging anything, rather you are Santa Clause, grateful for the interview, interviewer, listeners, readers, community, etc., and want to offer them a free song as a “thank you”, or a favor, or out of respect, etc.

 

How To Build Your List Adam Carolla
We did this with a killer indie rock band called 7Horse (who’s song “Meth Lab Zoso Sticker” was the theme song for Scorcese’s Wolf of Wall Street). They were able to secure an interview on Adam Carolla’s podcast. We assembled the squeeze page, Joey and Phil mentioned it twice, before and after they performed a live song. We got around 800 email contacts in 24-48 hours.

 

Every radio, print, podcast, and TV interview better have a mention of the squeeze page.

 

If you’re always thinking, how can I get these people to opt in? You’ll figure it out.

 

Then you’d better hit me up on social media and let me know what you came up with!

 

How To Build Your List YouTube Annotations

  1. YouTube Annotations – If you’re posting regular weekly videos on YouTube then annotate each video informing consumers that you’re appreciative of them watching the videos so here’s a free download right now. Bailey’s email list has grown significantly over 18 months using this method alone (she hasn’t toured yet).
  2. Social Media Bios – Screw your webpage, screw your store (you don’t have enough of a relationship yet to ask for money) and put your squeeze page link up on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc.

 

Listen, I know you don’t get all of this right now. You don’t have to. Just get that list started. It’s MISSION CRITICAL

 

The money is in the list. I promise.

 

Every time we send out an email to Bailey’s list, we get sales.

 

Period.

 

What have you got to lose?

 

Stay

In

Tune.

 

 

 

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

 

 

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