Tag Archive for: Success

Success Feature MEME


It’s such a provocative topic we like to argue over the meaning of it. We seek it. We’re scared of it. Many of us sabotage it because we don’t feel we deserve it.

Success Thankful MEME

Crazy, huh?


You should be thankful for where you are right now or you’ll never be successful.


You can take that to the bank.


That’s also the secret!


Many of us certainly debate it in our heads. We think that success is one thing and we work hard trying to achieve that one thing only to find out we’ve completely missed the boat.



How did we achieve this one thing and still end up feeling or being unsuccessful?


Countless movie scripts are written about it but still, we don’t seem to get it.


Why won’t it sink in?


Success not a person, place, or thing MEME

I guess it’s because the idea of success is easier to sell as a destination.




And believe me, they’re selling it.


You’ve seen the guy giving a speech in front of a Lamborghini and he says, “If I can do it, you can do it too.”


We tour their houses on MTV Cribs.


We’re green with envy over what they wear on the red carpet during awards shows.


That’s compelling.


That’s good TV.


But are they successful?


These shows, inject into our brains the suggestion that success is a person, place, or thing. We get indoctrinated into their definition of success. They decide what it looks, feels, sounds, smells and tastes like.


Success Collage

But that’s a lie designed to sell products and TV ads.


What this concept decidedly DOESN’T do is help to make anyone successful.


Isn’t that interesting? I’m saying that the “success” they’re selling us not only isn’t success, it’s the exact opposite.



They’re telling us to focus on all the wrong things!


Mind. Blown.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about money. I believe in making money. I believe we live in abundance. Everyone can make plenty of money if-and-when they want to.


There is plenty to go around. I’ve mentioned this before, for one person to get rich doesn’t mean someone else goes without. This is a lie that helps to sell the first lie.


The concept of limited resources and happiness is pushed on us because it sells something different than ads and products, it sells votes.


So, what is success?


Success is what you do every single day. Success is consistency, humility, and gratitude. You have to get a little smarter every day.


It happens in 1% increments.


Focus on the base hits and one day you’ll look up to see an incredible number on the scoreboard.


Success is NOT one destination.  It’s not one thing.


Just ask Harvey Weinstein. I think that prior to last month, EVERYONE would equate Harvey Weinstein with success. Even his victims. It took them forever to come out because they perceived he was successful and could offer it to them. Or worse, keep it from them.


Success BullyingWeinstein was rich and powerful.

But as it turns out he is also miserable. Isn’t this the opposite of success?



PLOT TWIST. His “success” was a fallacy. Smoke and mirrors. A true Hollywood illusion.


Weinstein is unsuccessful because he failed to be consistent about his health. I promise you his sickness is a result of his self-image. Harvey thinks he’s disgusting. Maybe a girl told him he was ugly at a vulnerable moment when he was growing up and it deeply damaged him. I’m pretty sure he thought all females owed him a favor for something. He wanted payback.


In his mind, he was settling a score.


Bottom line is that Weinstein hates himself. He always has. If he regularly attacked the source of the pain, through personal growth and introspection, he could’ve found some positive solutions. He would’ve discovered that true pleasure was never found in breaking the spirits of those actresses. No different than a heroin addiction, I suppose.


He lacked humility. You can’t be grateful and wicked at the same time.  


But Weinstein confused the truth with fantasy so this character flaw turned him into an evil monster.


Now, all his money and power can’t save him. Thus, he’s clearly NOT successful, is he?


How about Kevin Spacey? Last month he was successful and now he’s banished forever. Netflix has completely dropped his hugely successful series. Ridley Scott pulled him from a movie that is still promised to be delivered in one month. They’re re-shooting his parts with a new actor. His power evaporated in a brilliant flash of light and his money will soon follow.


Kevin preyed on little boys. It was no big secret in Hollywood. It’s just sickening that it took the Weinstein controversy to prove to the oppressed that anyone can be taken down, no matter how powerful they may seem.


But I like it. I want to get some popcorn and watch this all unfold. It’s long overdue.


One minute he’s one of the most successful and talented actors we have and the next minute it’s all gone. If you’ll forgive the pun, Spacey’s success was a house of cards. Another deception to the public.


Success isn’t trickery. It’s real. But it’s not a thing or a place, rather it’s what you do every day.


Delusional broken souls happen in every field, by the way, not just Hollywood.


I have a dear friend who was married to an anesthesiologist for 17 years. She’s a high-ranking nurse working towards PH.D. in medicine who married the doctor. They have two gorgeous teenage girls and the big doctor house with the big doctor pool.


But he’s miserable and he’s a narcissist. He hasn’t done one ounce of work on himself and he got lost a long time ago.


From the outside, it looks amazing. But the reality is he’s a raging alcoholic, in debt (living paycheck-to-paycheck on $700k per year), and he’s addicted to opiates.



He’s a degenerate by all definitions. A degenerate with a nice paycheck and rich friends, but a degenerate nonetheless.


She’s held the family together for almost 2 decades, but at the expense of her own happiness. For almost 2 decades!


Then she had an epiphany. This isn’t success at all. 


They’re getting a divorce. The plot twist here is that according to the societal messages divorce is a failure. But by divorcing she’s on her way to becoming successful.  She’s realized that he wasn’t there for her physically or emotionally and she’s changing that.


Success Divorce MEME


I believe she is now moving towards consistency because she knows the truth. Success isn’t a destination. It’s not a picture in a magazine, a car, or a house.


Rather success it what happens every day of your life.



Success is a ritual. A way of living regardless of the money or the status.


Sheryl Crow said success is “not having what you want but wanting what you got.”


It’s connecting meaningfully with your significant other every day.


Success Not having What you Want


Taking the time to connect with your kids is real.


The little moments are what counts. The work you do to help others and yourself. That’s success.




It’s loving the daily process. The achievement is an inevitable byproduct of the consistent effort that is put in over time.


You make money by accident when you’re successful. Maybe not big money, but enough money.


Every life and I mean EVERY life has many emotional and financial peaks and valleys. That’s a given, as sure as death and taxes.


The truly successful create light and distribute it.


They lift people up, teach, and they add value.


Success thief

But there are people that get their energy from other people.


They’re wretched souls. Evil. Misguided. You could even say lazy.


Recognizing these kinds of people regardless of their “successes” is paramount to your own happiness and success.


Fight the good fight.


Do good work.


Spend time improving yourself. Be intentional about it. You can be Mother Teresa, but if you don’t take care of yourself you won’t be truly successful.


Help other people.


Deliberately connect with those close to you on a regular basis.


Success MJ QuoteThe success will fall into place in-spite-of the speed bumps, pitfalls, and life catastrophes. Don’t worry about the setbacks so much because they keep coming. Setbacks are a part of success.




The most successful people will tell you they’ve failed more than they’ve succeeded.


I promise.


I want you to win.







Frustrated Feature MEME

For one to be rich, someone else must be poor.

Frustrated Crumbs 1% MEME



Money is the root of all evil.



Wealth is like a pie. Because the top 1% have 90% of the pie the rest of us must survive on the crumbs.





These implicit beliefs have us thinking that if we make a profit, we are making someone else poor because there is only so much to go around.


These implicit beliefs have us thinking that we can’t get what we want without getting it from the 1%.


Frustrated Implicit Definition



FYI, the word “implicit” means this is a belief that hasn’t been quantified or proven in any way.





But the truth is quite the opposite. Wealth and power are abundant. Quite abundant.


Just because you haven’t experienced them doesn’t mean there scarce in any way, shape, or form. Rather it means that you haven’t figured it out yet.


In fact, the 99% hasn’t figured it out. The 99% choose to believe these cockamamie urban legends. All of the 99% are held down by these beliefs, not the “man” or their situation.  Some are held back and will stay stagnant simply because they don’t honestly believe they have a chance. They don’t imagine they can do anything great because deep down inside, they believe that they deserve to be poor. Some are just lazy and use these tall tales to justify their lack of motivation and execution as well as their unhappy outcome.


Frustrated 99%It’s always easier to blame someone else than it is to have faith in yourself.


It’s easy to say you can’t do it because you have no money.




Yes, a lack of capital provides some stout challenges along anyone’s journey to be sure.


But, there are PLENTY of iconic artists, influential business people and Presidents like Bill Clinton who have come from utter poverty to reach their full potential.


Frustrated Bill Clinton


Therefore, these monetary challenges are just that; challenges.  These speed bumps don’t define your success or lack thereof unless you allow them to.


It’s easy to say that you can’t do it because of racism.


Yes, there are plenty of idiots in the world, sadly this is a fact. There have been throngs of different races that have been oppressed, enslaved, and exterminated over just the last 100 years. This is also a fact.




But despite all the very real racial issues in the United States, for instance, we just had a 2-term black President. We have many highly-paid and influential minority actors, artists, business executives, community leaders, and good, honest people who make successful livings and raise their families.


Many of these amazing people had to overcome racism and poverty!


Therefore, racism is as big of a blockade as you choose to make it.


Frustrated BlockadeIt’s all about how you think about it, not about the reality.


After all, this is how the United States got started in the first place. Our forefathers were extremely unhappy and chose to believe there was a better life out there. All they had to do was go and get it.


Their reality was oppressive enough to risk their lives and the lives of their children to change it.


But they decided to change it because they believed they could do better. The other option would have been to blame the monarchy for their lot in life and do nothing.


Get it?


We are all held down only for as long as we believe these crappy stories. There are hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of success stories from the poorest, most oppressed people in history. These success stories ALL START WITH the epiphany that the oppressed have an opportunity and a truckload of hurdles to overcome… just like everyone else. The epiphany in these cases marks the end of the blame game. They choose to take responsibility for their own lives and craft a reality with whatever wealth and power suit them.


Frustrated Blame MEME

They choose to believe it’s out there for them and they can get it by focusing on what they have instead of what they don’t have.


Isn’t that interesting?





The second that you begin to compare the real challenges along your journey to the perceived ease of someone else’s journey, you’ve lost.


This is clear proof that Sun Tzu was right, “Every battle is either won or lost before it is fought.”


Frustrated What Do You Have MEMEDid you think about how so many of the wealthy and powerful people came from nothing or do you just focus on their wealth and power which you don’t have yet?


Did you ever wonder how those souls somehow managed to climb out of the most impoverished circumstances growing up to run multi-million dollar businesses and even countries?


Why them and not you?


The reality is they’re living breathing proof that the poor can become rich.


Frustrated Sun Tzu Quote

Don’t they prove every day that the 99% can rise to enter the 1% if they want to?


Doesn’t every poor person, minorities and majorities included, who creates real wealth bust the myth that the 1% is a “closed club”?



So, it’s a choice everyone makes. Either they move forward and succeed by taking responsibility for all their life’s potholes or they choose to give up and blame “the man”.


Here’s a factual reality. This is a list of every country’s GDP growth (or lack thereof) last year. In the United States, our Gross Domestic Product grew 1.6%. This is your proof that the “pie” got BIGGER. There’s plenty of room for you too. When you think in terms of trillions of GDP imagedollars, 1.6% is an ASTOUNDING amount of room. If the reality was that money was finite there would be no growth in the GDP of any country. The rich would get richer and the poor would get poorer with the exact same amount of total money.


There are certain groups of people who believe that being rich and powerful is bad. They believe that somehow wealth and power means you’re horrible, bad, evil, and therefore oppressing others.




Frustrated Belief created by the have nots



This belief was created by the have-nots as an excuse for their lot in life. Can you see that?





The reality is quite the opposite. The wealthy have many businesses which employ many people so instead of oppressing them, they’re employing them. Giving them a job and a way of life. A way to put food on the table and put their kids through college.


How is that bad?


Isn’t it funny how these beliefs can cloud our perspective?


Frustration Mother Teresa


Mother Teresa was sainted by the Catholic Church shortly after her death. She was called “The saint of the gutters”, she gave hundreds of thousands of hugs to the poorest people in India, and even won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.


But that’s all she had to give, bless her heart.


Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and famous multi-billionaire literally wiped out a handful of diseases and saved millions of lives in Africa with one check.




Frustrated Bill Gates Wealth



One check from an evil rich guy changed millions of lives. I’m not taking anything away from Mother Teresa because she gave her heart and soul to providing comfort to the sick and downtrodden. But she didn’t cure any diseases. She didn’t have anything to give these people to save their lives. I’m sure she would’ve if she had it, but she didn’t have it to give.


How do you think about this issue?





Some of you despise the rich and powerful so much you believe that they should spread their wealth around giving “back” to the poor as if they stole from them to get rich in the first place. You want them to pay the masses in the form of a donation, tax, or government redistribution of wealth.


They all do but you don’t hear about it on TV because that news doesn’t sell ads.


Can you clearly see how this line of thinking is subconsciously fostering the idea that there is only so much to go around? If there is a finite amount of wealth, the only way the poor people are going to get theirs is if the wealthy share it.


But if wealth is abundant, the poor can get theirs on their own.


To be clear, there are plenty of wealthy and poor alike who share their money and their far more valuable time. I’m not making an argument as to whether anyone should or shouldn’t share or “give back”.

Frustrated Wealth Money MEME


I am challenging the way you think about these concepts and where wealth must come from.




You give because you have a big heart. You want to see others succeed and move up in society. But we’ve all given too much at times to someone who simply isn’t interested in moving up, only taking.


Therefore, how we think about opportunity, wealth, power, and success is the determining factor to a life’s transformation. It’s not about the opportunities. If it was just about getting opportunities and/or money, your taking friend would’ve transformed. But he or she didn’t step up and just remember how heartbreaking that was for you.


Frustrated Taking Friend

We are humans and as such we are a product of the information we receive. This is exactly why battered wives and abused children think they’re worthless.


It’s because that’s what they’ve been told. It is a psychological fact that if you’re told something enough, it becomes a reality, a truth in your mind. A lie told 7 times by the liar becomes truth in the liar’s mind.


Sadly, there are some countries where accessing the information necessary to transform a life for the better is practically impossible. These are the real victims of the world. They’re being oppressed by their government and the only way to change it is to literally risk their lives and the lives of their families.


Frustrated How To Think MEMEBut if you’re reading this article, you have choices. You have access to information. You have the ability to seek out knowledge and learn how to think. That was what University was supposed to be about in the first place, teaching us how to think.




We all can change the narrative in our minds. We can all become “successful” whatever you deem that word to mean.


True happiness and personal success start with learning how to think, people.


Happiness, wealth, and power are quite abundant in our world. Achievable by all who figure out that the only one standing in our way is us.


P.S. When we do figure that out, it’s a constant battle because we’re always in our own way. The self-awareness helps us to put our energy towards the real problem, but it never goes away.










If you felt me on this article, please SHARE and COMMENT below

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.




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?




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?




Yee of little faith.



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



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.




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?







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



Music Marketing Questions Feature

Follow me on this and I’ll steer you to asking the right music marketing questions.Music Marketing Questions Neil Diamond


It was 1976 (I believe), I was 8 years old. Don’t ask me why, but my parents (thank GOD) took me to our local outdoor concert shed called Alpine Valley to see Neil Diamond live. He had JUST cut his hair but was still totally rocking. I was super familiar with the music, especially Hot August Night which was recorded live in 1972 at the Los Angeles Greek Theater.


FYI, if you haven’t heard that record is a must. Neil recorded a ton of records, but in my opinion, none of them compared or sold as well as the live records. They just couldn’t ever capture the magic that happens on stage with that man.


I was more than familiar with every song, every lyric, every note. I couldn’t believe it was him!


Music Marketing Questions Epiphany

I was utterly fascinated.


I decided right there, that music was my gig; that’s what I was going to do.


Looking back, that was a REAL epiphany, you know?


Life changing.


Hey I’m curious, hit me back via email, in the comments below, or social media, what was your epiphany? What artist made you decide to become an artist?

Music Marketing Questions Who Made You

After that show I begged my parents to get me guitar lessons and an acoustic guitar.


I used to daydream about writing songs with Neil and performing with him.


I used to do that in front of a mirror with my guitar on, of course.



I did get some guitar lessons too.


They totally sucked.


I lost interest.


Heartbreaking right?


My teacher was boring and forced me ONLY to learn exercises and chords, you know, rudimentary stuff.


My homework was to learn “3 Blind Mice” and “Mary Had a Little Lamb” from some crappy beginner book (OK, look I was a beginner but sheesh!)


Music Marketing Questions 3 Blind MIce

Not once did he offer to teach me the 3 chords necessary to learn a Neil Diamond song.



For the record, I don’t remember asking either, I was 8, but still.


That might of changed the course of my life a little sooner.


Fast forward to 6th grade; just 4 years later but a lifetime for a kid. We had moved a couple small towns over from Whitewater, WI to Delavan Lake, WI. 20 minutes apart from each other but a GALAXY away to me as I had a new school and was forced to find new friends.


A good move looking back, by the way, as most of my childhood Whitewater friends are in or have been in jail. This is why my parents moved; they understandably didn’t like my friends and that town was too small to avoid them.

Music Marketing Questions Peavy Guitar



One of my new friends was Michael Ancevic. We met on the lake during my first summer there.


He came over to hang at my house one day and brought a huge woodgrain Peavy electric guitar with a cord.


No amp so we plugged into the stereo.


He knew a couple Cheap Trick songs.


My jones was reinvigorated BIG TIME.


I wanted a guitar again; BADLY


Music Marketing Questions Crazy Train


I got one with a small practice amp and began taking lessons from this dude in Delavan named Mark Waelti (who later became a senior roadie for L.A. Guns). Mark would spend our lesson time teaching me the obligatory scales, chords, modes, theory, etc. but would end every lesson teaching me whatever song I wanted to learn that day.


That was our deal.



All of a sudden I instantly knew more than the one note adaptation of “Smoke On the Water”.


I could play “War Pigs”, “Heading Out to The Highway”, and “Crazy Train”.


I had homework I wanted to work on!


Now we were getting somewhere.

Music Marketing Question Marshall Amps



Mike and I had a little silent gear competition going on. We both worked jobs to afford better gear. Every time one of us got a better amp or guitar, the other had to reciprocate; right up to Marshall Stacks.



Next thing you know we had a band. We were horrible but we were the only band in town so the girls LOVED us.


That was enough of a response to keep us going.


Obviously the rest is history.


Sometimes the circumstances that accompany a new adventure are not ideal and these can impact your experience in a negative way.


Like with marketing your music. I mean you’re either asking the wrong music marketing questions or you’re not asking at all.


Great Questions Feature MEME

This can be so detrimental that you lose sight of even the most destined life path.


If you know me, CLEARLY I was definitely fated to tour in a rock & roll band, however, even after a life changing epiphany, the lame-ass guitar teacher sucked all the wind out those sails; albeit for just a few years.


You know what?


Marketing your music is the same way.




Yeah, some of you can truly sit down with an instrument and somehow it just makes sense to you so beautiful music comes out; these people don’t ask questions.



Some of you think you can do that but you should be asking questions because you need music and/or vocal lessons, but I digress.


Some of you took lessons like me because you wanted to improve. You started asking someone with authority some good questions.


Music Marketing Questions Salesman


Many of you hate marketing because you didn’t get into music to be a salesman, right?


You hate that feeling.


Consequently, you don’t ask any music marketing questions.


Many of you embrace marketing but y’all sound like salesman because you suck at it, which is a horrible feeling for us.


And completely nonproductive for you.


Again, because you think you’re good, you don’t ask any music marketing questions.


Music Marketing Questions In The Palm Of Your Hand


When you excel at marketing the feeling you get is not any different from how you feel when you write a song and during a performance you really move someone emotionally.



How about when you overcome the challenge of a stubborn audience and still manage to walk off stage with them in the palm of your hand?


How does that feel?


Music when it’s well done reaches people in a profound manner. It’s life changing for us, isn’t it?

Music Marketing Questions Connecting MEME

Music, when it’s well done is super effective communication.


Marketing when it’s well done is effective communication too.


In order for you to succeed at music, SOMEONE has to succeed at marketing your music. Period.


That has always been true since we started recording and selling music.


Music Marketing Questions Lessons

What if you could learn how to market like I initially learned guitar from Mark Waelti, in a more engaging manner?


What if you were asking great music marketing questions and actually getting answers?


If you viewed your music career like you view marketing, you wouldn’t be chasing that dream anymore.


Remember when I said my band sucked?


Your marketing sucks right now, you just need to approach the challenge a bit differently; like all my guitar teachers following that first hack. Once I knew what to look for I never had to play “3 Blind Mice” again!


I got results after EVERY lesson; measurable results.

Music Marketing Questions Twitter Book


Most of you reading this have downloaded my free Twitter book.


How many have read it?


This book is still a bestseller and answers many of your music marketing questions.


How many of you have implemented it?


FYI, everyone that implements the strategies in that book hits me back with INSTANT results, like how I felt when I would learn a new song at the end of each guitar lesson.


If you allowed yourself to be overwhelmed by the desired end result of making a living in music, you’d of quit eons ago.


Why do you allow yourself to be overwhelmed with marketing?


Music Marketing Questions Excuses MEME

Whatever answer just popped into your head just now is a REALLY GOOD EXCUSE.


Start with one platform.


Start with Twitter.


You have the book. If you don’t, get it free right now at GiftFromJohnny.com. Just click the button and tell me where to send it.

Music Marketing Questions Reach Out and Touch Your Fans


Master the strategy for targeting your audience and reaching out to them. They’ll follow back, I promise.


That’s easy and immediate. A quick win which is necessary for building your confidence.


You’re not done though.


Then dig into applying that amazing creative brain of yours to craft awesome, compelling content.


Music Marketing Questions Stand MEME

What is awesome, compelling content you ask?



You’ll hate this answer but it’s literally different for every one of my clients.


The content has to be consonant with your brand, your personality, what you stand for, but it also has to be valuable for THEM.


Oh, and your music is valuable to no one until they know you better so if you think that is the answer you sound like a salesman and you’re probably a little arrogant.


Once you crack that code, you’ll start deepening relationships and the last step is easy, just ask for the money.


If they like you enough, they’ll buy. Every time.

Music Marketing Questions Asking


How do you create content that is consonant with your brand and valuable to them, exactly?


Ahh, NOW you’re asking the right questions.


Keep asking those questions and your subconscious will reward you, I promise.


It may seem vague but it’s exactly how I built this company, client by client.








If you found this information valuable please SHARE it and COMMENT below!








Intention Feature Meme

The road to hell is paved with good intention.Intention Road To Hell


I would imagine one version of hell would be described as a blissfully unaware artist who is forever trying to grab the brass ring but is nowhere ever near it. The hell would be the dumbfounded frustration that the artist feels because they believe they are doing it  right and can’t imagine why the world won’t catch on. This is preventable with intention.


Let me clarify, good intentions are different from your intent to succeed, which is vastly different than working intentionally.


Intention Working IntentionallyThink about that.


I came up with this as I walked the dogs this morning. There are 3 brand new homes going up in our neighborhood. Two other new homes have just been completed for a total of five new houses being added in the last 6 or so months.


I was thinking how smooth the process runs on every level of construction, then staging, then sales.



Every different subcontractor knows their job description perfectly. They each know their lane and are supposed experts in that lane. The Electricians aren’t trying to be plumbers. The Plumbers aren’t trying to frame doors, and the door framers aren’t trying to pour concrete.

Intention Collage Contruction Process


They are all very intentional in their actions. They are all aware of the rules, what has to happen for their craft work to be considered “up to code”, and where they can get away with cutting corners.


They are masters of their game.


This is the definition of working with intention.


Imagine a foreman at a construction site who naively or arrogantly believes that he can do it all. He believes because he has a cement mixer that means he knows how to pour the footers. Of course he CAN pour whatever he wants if he has the equipment but if he’s not an expert at that, the house will be ruined.


Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.


Imagine if the foreman, who’s excuse was that he didn’t have enough money to build a proper home, called his step-brothers’ first cousin’s, great aunt who had a neighbor that took an electricity class once back in the 70’s to handle the structural electrical wiring.

Would it work?Intention Monkey Electrical Meme

Would it be up to code?

Would it compete?

Here’s a more important question, would you buy that house?


So many artists whose intent is to be a professional artist, are not aware of all the different lanes of creativity that require excellence if the end product is to seriously compete in the marketplace.


To think and therefore act like a professional artist, you need to be acutely aware of what you’re good at and where you need assistance.


You have to be educated and intentional.


Intention Einstein Genius quote


Why do so many artists feel compelled to do it all? I can really only think of a few people who are that remarkably gifted. The rest of us need a team and the genius comes in the realization that you need a team (which puts you ahead of all the ignorant do-it-yourself-ers) and who you end up picking.



Farting around in your home studio working on demos and playing with arrangements to hone your craft is one thing. Putting the recordings out for the world to hear and expecting or hoping it will compete is another.


Masterful songs, masterful performances, and masterful records do NOT happen by accident (which is what some of you think is the definition for “organic”).


Money is not your problem.


Some of you are so dead broke you can’t eat and if you worked smarter, you could up your bank account enough to satisfy your basic needs. MOST of you, however, spend your discretionary income in the wrong places and you are the source of your artistic frustration. (I say it all the time but why not double down on yourself and purchase more books about the new music business, social media, marketing, etc.?)

Intention Studio Team Strengths


If you don’t believe in yourself enough to invest it all, then you don’t. Why should anyone else?


You need to work intentionally first on defining your audience and looking for a vacuum in the market place. What will your lane be exactly?


For instance, a few years ago I worked with an amazing Canadian artist, singer/songwriter named Tanya Marie Harris. At the time she came into my awareness the “angry ex-girlfriend” songs from Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert were getting major spins. The whole “party girl” Gretchen Wilson era was just starting to settle down but still very prominent on country radio. All three of these major label artists are quite amazing and it’s no surprise that they became so popular for these songs.


I STILL love “I’m Here for the Party”, “Before He Cheats”, and “Gunpowder and Lead” because these are KILLER songs, I don’t care who you are.


Intention Tanya Marie Harris

Tanya loved these as well.  When we began choosing songs she was understandably leaning towards songs like these; it’s what was on the radio. She brought me a drinking party song called “3 Shot Max” which was totally badass. I remember loving it.



Here’s where the intention comes in.


You see Tanya was happily married with an 18 month old beautiful baby girl. This fact begged the question, “Are you a party girl or angry ex? Is that the image you want to sell?”


Tanya, like me and the rest of the country music world was seriously enjoying these songs but that didn’t mean it was the right “lane” for her. Right then and there she had an epiphany. She was like, “Oh my God, NO, Johnny! I never thought about it like that.”


My intention as a producer was to ensure that whatever art we put out with Tanya was going to be authentic to her and not contrived.



Once we crafted this understanding, we made a song choice using one of Brent Baxter’s co-writes called “A Woman Scorned” which scratched my artist’s “powerful woman” itch but cleverly told the story from a third person point of view; as if you watching a movie. This worked for her brand because she was essentially describing the situation, not living it.


I also talked Tanya in coming into town 1 day early and set her up with two co-writes telling the writers, “I’m cutting 2 songs tomorrow morning. I have the songs. If you beat one of em today on this write, we’ll cut yours.”


Intention Secondhand_Dreams

Tanya and David Norris did exactly that and wrote “Secondhand Dreams” about their fathers (the video currently has 1.8 million views).


AUTHENTIC as you can get man. Both these songs got decent radio play in Canada. They were real and competitive.


You have to be intentional about creating an amazing song. The blueprint has to be great or the team won’t matter. Sure they’ll be good at putting lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig and it won’t compete.

Intention Lipstick on a Pig


Then you need to be deliberate about the recording. Who’s playing the performances, who’s engineering, producing, mixing, etc.?


Being resourceful to save money is great as long as it works.

However, when the project suffers, you’ve wasted your money and your time.


If it doesn’t compete, then you’ve still spent money but you have nothing that is going to advance your artist brand and career.


If you don’t know the difference, you’re in trouble.


You have an experiment that while cathartic and healthy for your artistry, is detrimental to your brand and career. This is no good.


Intention Uninhabitable

That foreman has to sell that house to make a living. It has to be deemed inhabitable in order to sell it.



“Inhabitable” is not a subjective term. The city codes will decide what is inhabitable and what is uninhabitable.


Too many of you confuse your art and the reality of the business.


Art is subjective but it is also objective because it needs to be well done. You can subjectively loathe Brittany Intention William HungSpears but you can’t argue the fact that her records are well done creatively as well as in the marketing space. On the contrary, you can be as nice as you want but there is no subjective soul that actually liked William Hung’s horrible American Idol audition of “She Bangs”. He was a novelty because it was SO horrible which made for good TV.




How do you want to be perceived? Do you want your music to matter to consumers or do you want to be a cocktail party joke?



Intention Laughing Cocktail Party Joke

Consider this:  If you did not work with intention at your day gig, you wouldn’t be surprised or hurt after being fired.


If you weren’t educated on the process necessary for success your employer would either expect you to learn quickly (depending on the gig) or you’d be terminated.




Why then do you proceed, willy-nilly, often like a blissfully ignorant bull in a china shop, with your artist career, working without a plan, without education on the process, without intention, and become artistically mortified that the world doesn’t care about your art?


How much time have you wasted?


Yes, in an employment scenario you can quickly get on the job training, however if you don’t have access to on the job training for all the facets of your artist career how will you learn? How can you get access?

Intention Crazy Houses

Photo Credit: takmemarehasti.blogfa.com/


Imagine the construction subcontractors tried to succeed at their gigs in the same manner most artists try to succeed in theirs; osmosis or divine intervention. I’m just going to keep doing this until I get better but with zero training on plumbing, electrical, how to frame a door, how to pour concrete, etc.


Imagine if the subcontractors were still building homes like wannabe artists are posting their demos.


Subcontractors are required to LEARN the appropriate methodologies before their allowed to get a freakin’ license.


Sometimes I feel like Pro-Tools licenses should be given out with the same requirements.


This is what I want you to think about.


Artist development is intentional.


Intention Crazy Houses

The Beatles were intentional artistically and in the marketplace. They spent thousands of hours in Hamburg performing 8 hour gigs and writing. John Lennon once stated that the first 50-100 songs they wrote were complete crap.


They were calculated in their artistic goals to become better writers. They were NOT naïve trying to record and release the first song they wrote out of artistic pride.


Once the Beatles got their act together, their wholesome image was painstakingly calculated. Then the market and charts were manipulated to expose them to as much as possible to get people talking. They were good now, they learned. It was time for them to be seen.


The Stones were intentional artistically and in the marketplace. Their first 2 records were all blues covers. Their Intention the Rolling Stonesimage was purposefully crafted as the “anti-Beatles”. The Stones image was always constructed to be “dirty” and “dangerous” to separate them from the Beatles in the marketplace ON PURPOSE.


None of this happened by accident and neither will your career.


It’s not productive, and frankly it’s not OK that you approach your artist career with a serious lack of marketing and recording education floating on top of a truckload of childlike naiveté about how the business works.


If you want to succeed, you’re going to have to STEP UP.


Intention Chess Feature


Whatever you’re doing it isn’t enough.


Who can you learn from?








If you liked the content in this article please SHARE it and COMMENT below.

Freedom Feature

It doesn’t matter what you do in life, we all want to be successful. However you define “success” is up to you. I define success as a life spent making a living doing something you absolutely love which results in true artistic freedom.


Some of you in the Daredevil community are hipsters, hippies, children of the world, etc. If you can find a way to barter your music in exchange for a house, food, transportation, educations for your children, and a decent quality of living, God Bless.Freedom Hippie Bus


For the rest of you commerce will have to occur for you to make a living.


If no commerce or not enough commerce is occurring then one must make a living outside of their passion.


Freedom Child Fence


This is living a dichotomy.


This is where people become cynical, bitter, and angry with themselves.


The dichotomy is where artist souls go to die.


Where there is fine art there is always business. If that fact wasn’t accurate you wouldn’t know about the art.

Think about that one for a second. Think about it again.Freedom Artist Graveyard

Whoa! Right?


Success comes from momentum and momentum is created from taking the first step.


Too many people live their whole lives afraid to take the first 3 steps.


I say this because 50% of people will quit after the first failure or misstep.

80% of people quit after the second.

95% of people quit after the third.


Freedom Dog Fence


Isn’t interesting how these numbers correlate very closely to the top earners on our planet?


Would it surprise you then that while there are always exceptions to the rule, the top 5% of the wealth was created at some point by people who courageously took the 4th step?


How much smaller is that group of people?


Standing out amongst 5% is far easier than battling 100% wouldn’t you agree?


I’m not saying the goal is to be super wealthy, but the people that got that way were people like you who desired freedom. Unlike some of you, they weren’t afraid to truly seek it.


You have to take the first step.


Freedom ScaredThe first step is the hardest because it feels the most foreign, comes with most fear, and has the most to lose, which would be whatever groove you’re experiencing now.


Even if it’s a bad groove, it’s familiar.


We like familiar because familiar is comfortable.


Even if it’s an uncomfortable familiar.


Just ask the emotionally and physically abused. They’re afraid to leave the relationship because the idea of stepping outside their current real reality more uncomfortable than the abuse.


Freedom HandcuffsThey fear the unknown.


They believe the degrading messages that are communicated by their abuser.


They’re petrified to take the first step.



When I was young, we had a 1 acre lawn that I was responsible for mowing. THAT was a project. Especially for a pre-teen/teenager who had far better things to be doing than spending a day mowing the lawn.Freedom Marine Drill Sargeant MEME


I would sit for HOURS, dreading the idea of beginning to mow the lawn. I would overthink everything, what I had to do, what I wanted to do, I would day dream and completely psych myself out.


That regular project would have been so much better had I just STARTED the damn process.


My father wouldn’t have been so pissed off all the time either, which isn’t a good thing for anyone, but he is a Marine. If you’ve never encountered a pissed off Marine, well, I don’t know what to tell you.


Marines work, they hustle, they improvise, adapt, and overcome to execute the task at hand.


Marines take care of business first. Play later. Period

No lollygagging.

No excuses.


I am sharing human nature with you.


We ALL react this way.

Freedom Chained Books


Our most difficult tasks, hurdles, and obstacles seem smaller once they’re in the rearview mirror.


There I was regularly derailed by a simple chore that required zero ingenuity and 100% effort. The job seemed so large to me in my head that it habitually became overwhelming.



That’s because I chose to let a task, that I knew had to be done conquer me, instead of me conquering the task. Which would have resulted in my freedom much earlier in the day.


That procrastination wasted so much of my time!

So no fear there, just inaction and resignation.

Freedom Music is Freedom MEME


What’s overwhelming you?


Take a task like marketing your music that requires a formidable work load, couple it with an obligation to learn and to innovate and you have something to really be fearful about.


Marketing represents a requirement to step into the unknown so it’s easy to see why so few artists don’t become successful to the level that they want to be successful.


It’s too scary.



Freedom Let Go


You think you know how to write a song and you may be right.

You think you’re a great player and you may be right.

You think you’re compelling and you may be right.



But I’m right when I say you can be better.

Either you think you know how to market yourself or you’re completely ignoring the proverbial elephant sitting on the couch (most of you are experiencing the latter but I digress).

Freedom Elephant


If you were marketing effectively you’d be making a living. Period.


If you’re not marketing at all and you’re making a living doing what you love, then you could be making a better living for you and your family.


Either you’re currently living the dichotomy or you can do better at being a professional musician.


Freedom Always Learning Library


All of my most successful artist friends STILL PRACTICE. They are always asking questions, curious about any new approach they can apply to their career to escalate the return on their effort whether that be songwriting, playing, marketing, business, you name it.


They’re always learning.





It’s easy to go to work every day putting your future in the hands of someone else’s momentum.


That makes it easy to blame that someone else when things go wrong.Freedom Headvice


It’s far more difficult to create your own momentum and be your own boss. Mostly because the only one you can blame for poor results is yourself.


Alexander the Great said, “Through every generation of the human race there has been a constant war, a war with fear. Those who have the courage to conquer it are made free and those who are conquered by it are made to suffer until they have the courage to defeat it, or death takes them.”


You are stronger than you think.


Freedom Tortoise HatchYou are more courageous than you can possibly imagine.


Devour the fear of the unknown along with the potholes, speed bumps, and setbacks for breakfast because they come every day to every person.


You will require an audience to become a successful artist and you will require marketing to produce that audience.


Marketing will create momentum.



Momentum starts with the first step.

Freedom Find Your Freedom







Please comment and SHARE this if you found it helpful.


Successful Friends Rocket MEME Feature

Some of you are going to have a hard time with this article. It’s because I’m going to be pressing hard on a raw nerve you may not be aware of. Whether you are cognizant or not, the discomfort exists. What will sting is that for some of you, to be more successful, you’re going to have to leave some of your friends behind.Successful Friends Emotionally Exhausted

Not all your friends are going to keep the same life trajectory as you.


These friends can become a hindrance to your life goals. The worst case scenario is they can ruin them, the best case is they are spiritually and emotionally exhausting like trying to shove 10 pounds of sand into 5 pound bags.


Successful Friends 5 pound bags image


I’ll bet you’re thinking of one right now.


Was this friend from the past and you’ve moved on?


Is this friend impeding your success right now?

Your friend may be super talented or maybe super loyal and not very talented, but when he/she isn’t willing to fly as high as you, it will create stress and fissures in the relationship.


In plain English that means the more you grow, the more success you see, the more the microscopic cracks in the dam will become apparent which forces decisions to be made.

Successful Friends Toxic Snake

As you’re pulling away the relationship will become (or always has been) toxic and detrimental to your success.


Often it’s hard to recognize (or admit to) that toxicity because you are a loyal friend and despite the current imbalance, they have been a staple in your life.


It’s not uncommon that toxic friends are supremely devoted to you (which we all respond to) but only at a level they are comfortable with.


Sometimes shifting gears is a solution to maintain the relationship but on a far different level than in the past.

Successful Friends Gear shift


I have experienced this one before. I have a very close friend (we grew up together) that simply cannot seem to function or behave like the normal person (I know him to be) around some of my more notable clientele (or clientele he thinks is notable for whatever reason). This causes problems in my work environment.

I still love that friend but only deal with him in “small doses” outside of my world; it just works better like that for both of us.

Guess what? THAT’S OK.




There is a dynamic that exists in all of us, we are hard-wired up as humans to want to belong. The antithesis of this dynamic is fear of abandonment.


The fear of deserting a lifelong relationship is super powerful.


Have you ever slowed your momentum because you feared losing a relationship?

Successful Friends Abandoned License Rennett Stowe

Photo: Rennett Stowe
License: http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa


Have you ever blown an opportunity because a friend wouldn’t step up when it was time to shine?


We are emotionally and morally torn in that department because we want to do the right thing.


We want to be fair.


Do we support them as a friend and try to understand why they failed us (because they did) or do we call them out and demand accountability?


Successful Friends Pinky Promise


Which choice makes you a better friend?

Which choice is better for your life and career?


On one hand we don’t want to disrespect our friend and the relationship, but on the other hand we want to push farther, reach higher, and that person either won’t come along (if they’re part of the team) or makes us feel guilty for leaving (or wanting to break out) of the familiar environment we currently occupy.

Being a good, solid, loving friend does not mean that you hold yourself back to ensure happiness and quality of life for someone else.


Sometimes moving on means the relationship has to end.Successful Friends Moving on

Sometimes it just has to change.

Moving on is often better for the friend too, after all, who better than YOU to show a loved one what it means to work, excel, go for the good life, and strive for something better.



I have another personal experience that I will share with you.

I was struggling with this one in California when a mentor of mine recognized the dynamic and spelled it all out for me.

Successful Friends Open Eyes


You see, a dear friend was failing me. My friend was one of the greatest salesmen I had ever seen. He was the one who made me aware of my sales skills and was the first to put me into a position to exercise that muscle; I capitalized on the break he gave me big time.

This friend recognized my skill set and presented an opportunity to experience success (that ultimately led me to a 25 year career path) at a level I never dreamt of.


He was a pretty good guitar player and we wrote several great songs together so there was an artistic bond between us as well. He originally introduced himself to me by commenting on a t-shirt I was wearing from a Miami rock club called The Button South so it was music that brought us together, in a roundabout way.

Successful Friends Zeph Machine

I always used to feel like he empowered me. The reality was he opened my eyes and I empowered myself.


Still, I felt I owed him.


I felt there probably wasn’t enough I could do for him to repay him for showing me my own gifts.


I met this friend in Nashville in the mid 1990’s and he ultimately followed me out to California.

I gave him an opportunity to step up his amazing talents and increase his success working with me. I had a relationship with a corporation that had an amazing zero damage bench-top soldering system mainly used for assembling electronic prototypes. This product was exploding in the Successful Friends Batter Upindustry would double my income 3 times in the 3 coming years. It also would leave me with an impressive customer list of valuable relationships with top engineers from the premiere electronics and aerospace companies on the West Coast.


That was so exciting!


My friend had all the talent but zero brains.


He didn’t, couldn’t, or wouldn’t grasp the subtle nuances of this new gig. Yes it was sales, and sales is always the same process structurally and conceptually (I was applying the lessons I learned from HIM to succeed at THIS gig), only the details of the products change.


Successful Friends Brain Bar GraphMy friend was focused on only one thing. Making his moronic, vapid, clueless, talentless, bloodsucking, girlfriend famous.

To perform at sales at his level required intelligence. I never understood how he could pair up with a person that was the OPPOSITE of intelligent in every way I could possibly imagine.

She wanted to be famous and he was drinking the Kool-Aid. He was doing whatever she told him to do.



If you can imagine (and maybe you’ve encountered) a person who is not interested in working in the arts, only the fame and perceived glory that comes from being a TV, film, or recording star. She was that girl, she felt she had everything she needed with blonde hair and big boobs and was soullessly prowling for actors, directors, producers, songwriters, musicians, etc. to help her.


How was he so unaware of this trait in her?

How was he tolerating this behavior?Successful Friends Duckface Cartoon

She was always surrounded by an entourage of creepy, broken-hearted, hangers-on who were believing she was going to be “someone”.


Some of them were paid creeps and he was the one writing the checks. (They had an 800 sq. ft. office space and 2 assistants even though she NEVER worked because she felt it was more professional and made her look better to the industry.)

Successful Friends Steak Knives MEME


This was NOT what he preached in his line of work, you had to execute in sales or be gone.


I was bewildered by the dichotomy.



My previously stated mentor is the President of a hugely successful electronic OEM and former Director of Engineering at Rubbermaid’s heat department (which is a 7 billion dollar conglomerate [coffee makers, irons, glue guns, soldering irons, etc.).Succesful Friends Zephyrtronics Machine


He said, “Johnny, one of the toughest lessons I have ever had to learn is how to let go of some of my friends.”


I struggled with a response.


I began to make excuses for my friend, stuttering through the entire retort.


I wasn’t going to convince my mentor though.


Try as I might, at this point, I wasn’t convincing myself either.


I let the relationship go long enough that this former friend and his psychotic girlfriend almost ruined my wedding (after all it wasn’t about her so she tried EVERYTHING to change that; ugh, classless)



During the first couple days of my honeymoon I was in a trance, all I heard was my mentor’s voice about letting go.

Successful Friends Cut The Cord Baby


Then my wife (at the time) chimed in to break the spell, “They tried to ruin the wedding and they didn’t, are you now going to let them ruin our honeymoon?”


That was it. I cut the cord. I let him go.


I’ve since learned that they’re coming along and pulling their weight, or their holding me back.Successful Friends_Tai_Lopez


The dynamic is created through growth and I damn sure have learned how to recognize it and address it.


If they’re not playing at your level, the relationship has to change. It only has to end if it’s super toxic or if they demand it as an ultimatum.



This awareness has improved my life for the better.


I try to focus on what Tai Lopez calls the Law of 33%.

  • You spend 33% of your time with your contemporaries that are friends, business relationships, and artists who are on your success level at the moment.
  • You spend 33% of your time with people that are below your success level, you can teach (and also learn) from these individuals.
  • You spend the remaining 33% of your time with people that are above your current level of success, in any way you possibly can. These gurus are found in mentorships, internships, books, paid coaching; you need to be LEARNING from 20/20 hindsight as much as possible.

Successful Friends Pie MEME







My most successful friends are always asking questions and interested in the truth.

My least successful friends are always bitching about how it used to be or telling everyone their opinion (regardless of how misguided it is) so they can feel better about themselves.

It really is true that you are a product of the company you keep.


If you aspire to be a carpenter, and you’re smart, you can learn to raise a barn through massive amounts of trial and error.Successful Friends Bad_Barn_Raising


That’s going to take a lot of time, cost a lot of money, and consume your energy which is exhausting in all these areas.


But you’ll learn.


You might learn to quit as a result of avoidable frustration.


Do you see how this approach to learning can be fatal to a music career?


Success Friends Successful Barn Raising


You’ll definitely learn how to do it the hard way provided you don’t give up first.

If you aspire to be a carpenter and you’re really smart, you will learn to raise a barn right the first time by studying a master craftsman.



As humans, one ability we have that no other species has is the capacity to simulate an outcome in advance of the actual action to determine if it will be successful.


Amazingly, we know what we don’t know and have the option of learning how it should be done before we begin doing it.


But most people don’t do this. They approach their career like a monkey with a gun and wonder why they can’t get ahead.Successful friend_Monkey_with_a_gun


They suffer, their lives suffer


If we have the humility to know that we still need to learn then we are always improving.


The heights of our artistry and exposure is bound only by our egos and stubbornness.


Who’s holding you back?


Be mindful of your energy and don’t waste it on people who aren’t interested in improving themselves.

Successful Friend Wasted Energy


Learn to let go of your friends who aren’t playing in your league, they’re holding you back and you know who they are.


Stop telling people what you’re doing and start asking questions about your songwriting, music recordings, music marketing, and overall artist development.



Search for the truth in your relationships, in your music, and in your marketing.


Watch yourself rise.Mistake Twitter






PS: If you haven’t already downloaded my free Music Marketing On Twitter book, please enjoy it on me. Go to GiftFromJohnny.com put  in your name and tell us where to send it. It’ll teach you how to get 1,000 new targeted followers every month for just 15 minutes per day.


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

[ois skin=”Bottom Post”]


Awareness More Success MEME

Awareness is the key element to deserving success.

I subscribe to Tai Lopez’s 67 steps to success. It’s paid coaching and it’s awesome. While I 100% support paid coaching (a resource that most of you choose not participate in which demonstrates a lack of humility, I mean you must already know it all right? But I digress) I’m not plugging Tai’s. I’m all about giving credit where credit is due, and the content of this article was derived from Tai’s 1st step of the 67 steps.


Do you think you deserve success?Awareness Obesity Scale

Do you really think you deserve success?


Many artists (and normal people) say they deserve success but they’re not really deserving because they don’t do the necessary work that is required.

If you want to lose 100 pounds, you need to deserve to lose 100 pounds.

To deserve to lose 100 pounds you have to be aware of what is required to execute that plan. You must be conscious of how your body works, how many grams of protein, sugar, carbohydrates, etc. should you intake every day.

You must have awareness to avoid processed foods.

Awareness Food Ingredients


You have to be cognizant of how your body works with regards to caloric consumption during exercise and sedentary times, then apply that knowledge to your personal situation.



Are you active at work?

Sitting at a desk?


Here’s an awareness example that everyone can relate to.

Remember the day you got your last automobile? It doesn’t matter if it was new or used, awesome or junky.Awareness Car shipment

The day you got it was the day you noticed EVERYONE had that same car. It’s like they appeared all over the road out of nowhere, right?

You became aware of the car type once you owned it and now, even though they were always on the road, you notice them everywhere because your awareness has increased.

Cool huh?



Becoming aware of what has to be done means you now have a solid blue print to execute the plan.

Awareness Blueprint


You only deserve the end result once the plan is executed.


Most people choose to be blissfully unaware. It’s easier.




Maybe you can’t be as physically fit as Arnold Schwarzenegger who works out 6 hours per day or LeBron James who is 6’8” 280lbs. with 6% body fat but you can deserve more than you have right now.

You can improve.Awareness Step by Step


You can get on the journey of becoming the best version of you; be that physically, mentally, artistically, or all of the above.


Each day you have to go to bed a little wiser, step by step you get better and rarely does that happen in fast spurts.


Most people in life are victims of their own making. They are focused on the lottery approach to life because they are waiting, wishing upon a star in their lives and their music careers.


Awareness Fingers Crossed Image


There is no lottery.


Tomorrow will not be better just because you believe it will be. If you want tomorrow to be better you HAVE to work today, every day, and take it step by step



When you earn it you will be deserving of it.


There will not be one event that alters your momentum enough that will “change your mind” about committing to your music career. The one event that thrusts you forward will only be a “game changer” if it’s met with the proper, prior preparation.Awareness Lottery MEME


That preparation will be the result of work which makes you deserving of the outcome.


Without the appropriate groundwork, the opportunity will be blown and result in tormenting frustration for the artist.


Have you ever had that happen?


Who did you blame for the outcome?

Awareness Blame Piano MEME Image


If you understand this concept, your perspective will change and you will become more patient. You will stop blaming the world, blaming your parents, blaming the industry, etc. and get down to the work of deserving more.




To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want. The world is not yet a crazy enough place to reward a whole bunch of undeserving people.



If you are not where you want to be right now it’s because you don’t deserve it yet.



That’s a simple fact that is always a jagged little pill to swallow.Awareness You Don't Deserve it MEME


The world is, in the light of the Universe, a fair place to live. As imperfect as it is, it’s more just that it has ever been in the past. People get rewarded when they are deserving of what they want.


I have friends who are incredibly successful and friends that are unsuccessful and I can tell you that my friends who are successful deserve it and my friends who are unsuccessful don’t.





What about wealth and abundance?


Why does Bill Gates have 60 Billion dollars and the rest of the world doesn’t. You may say that nobody deserves that much, and you may be right,

Awareness Bill Gates “Bill Gates in Poland cropped” by [1] (cropped)Pomme de terre - www.prezydent.pl. Licensed under GFDL 1

“Bill Gates in Poland cropped” by [1] (cropped)Pomme de terre – www.prezydent.pl. Licensed under GFDL 1


but he changed all our lives forever. He added immense value to the world. You may believe he doesn’t deserve 60 billion but he certainly deserves the respect for his accomplishments and he definitely deserves more than me and you. Did you know from the time he was 19 years old to 30 years old Bill Gates NEVER took a day off?



Are you that committed to your own career?





If you aren’t why on earth would you expect anyone else to be more committed to your success than you?


Why then, would you resign to waiting around until someone sees your potential and acts on it to make a decision to really believe in yourself and commit to your own project?

Awareness Toe in the Water License Sallm Fadhley

Photo: Sallm Fadhley
License: http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa


Do you see how that is a victim type strategy?


I hear artists say this all the time, “I’m going to just stick my toe in the water and see if I get a good reaction, if everybody freaks out enough for me I’ll jump in.” Or I hear, “I wrote and spent money recording these 3 songs, I’m going to wait until I make my money back on these 3 songs to determine if songwriting is a good career choice for me.”


This strategy feels smart because you don’t expend too much energy and money on what you probably honestly believe is a “pipe dream”. It certainly feels safer because you don’t have to be that vulnerable, do you?


Awareness Vulnerable Comedy Tragedy


If you make sure you’re not in a position to be too emotionally vulnerable, then you won’t be too upset if it doesn’t work out.




You don’t believe in yourself because nobody else does so it’s easy to blame the world for your lack of progress. You can’t succeed because the world doesn’t see you as amazing and therefore it’s not your fault, right?

Awareness Blame Image




You’re a victim of your own unsuccessful strategy simply because you are unaware of the vicious cycle you are caught up in.

Awareness Vicious Cycle image


I want y’all to win.


Life is about the journey which is what is happening right now, not the end result.


I want you to focus on the intangible skills like awareness, wisdom, patience, focus, execution, and experimentation.




When you come to the awareness that there is no failure in experimentation, you enter into a life perception that will breed success.


There is no failure in experimentation. When an experiment doesn’t work you learn what doesn’t work, you move forward.Awareness Experimentation image


You’ve added tremendous value to the answers you seek.


You’ve learned something, you’ve progressed, therefore NO FAILURE.


You eliminate a speed bump or a pot hole in the system.


When you view every challenge as a black or white outcome, that is to say success or failure, you lack the awareness of complexities and therefore you are much harder on yourself during the losses OR you get too cocky on the wins which results in a head trip.

We’ve all met that artist.



I want you to read this excerpt from a letter written by a prisoner sentenced to life without parole in Sing Sing Maximum Security Correctional Awareness Will Durant QuoteFacility. This came from a book written by Will Durant entitled On the Meaning of Life, which was a compilation of responses to letters he sent out asking about the meaning of life.


Read this carefully and let it sink in.



I do not know to what great end Destiny leads us, nor do I care very much. Long before that end, I shall have played my part, spoken my lines, and passed on. How I play that part is all that concerns me.

In the knowledge that I am an inalienable part of this wonderful, upward movement called life, and that nothing, neither pestilence, nor physical affliction, nor depression, nor prison, can take away from me my part, lies my consolation, my inspiration, and my treasure.

                                                                                                          Owen C. Middleton (convict 79206)


Here are the takeaways from this letter.


The most important line to me is “HOW, I play that part is all that concerns me.”Awareness Colin Powell Quote


Don’t focus on bad business deals (everybody has them), rejections (we all get them), health issues (most people have some kind of health issue), difficulty keeping the band together, difficulty getting gigs, difficulty getting the money you need to record (when you deserve it, the band, gigs, and money will come), difficulty marketing your music (all the knowledge you need is out there and a ton of it is free If you are aware of what to look for), and traumas (most people have some kind of remarkable personal trauma).


Instead, focus on the reality that you are in a competition with yourself. YOU must get better and you are the only one that make that happen. Be aware that you are an inalienable part of the upward movement called life and you aspire to make a dent in the artistic part of this upward movement.


Donald Rumsfeld was quoted as saying, “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.”


Awareness No Excuses Meme


Awareness is what is required to search for the unknown unknowns.

Awareness is key to being a student of the game.


Ideas won’t make you a great artist.


Supreme talent won’t make you a great artist.


Work, awareness, and endless experimentation is what will make you compelling, iconic, and contagious.


When you become aware of that, you will find fulfillment in your artistic endeavors and not for nothing, your bank account will reflect it.

Stay Mistake Twitter




PS: If you haven’t already downloaded my free Music Marketing On Twitter book, please enjoy it on me. Go to GiftFromJohnny.com put  in your name and tell us where to send it. It’ll teach you how to get 1,000 new targeted followers every month for just 15 minutes per day.



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

[ois skin=”Bottom Post”]


Consistency is KEY Feature 2

Consistency GB Packers Logo

If you read our blog enough you know that Kelly and I are huge Green Bay Packer fans.  Fanatical is probably a more accurate statement.  Nothing makes us happier than watching the Packers win over a cocktail and a block of cheese the size of a car battery.  As you can imagine, it’s taken a few days for me to process the NFC Championship game. Consistency killed us, or a lack there of. Consistency Rodgers

If you hate sports stay with me.


We beat ourselves.


Whoa! Think about that one!

We carefully orchestrated our championship loss starting in the first half. Five drives all scoring drives but only one touchdown equals 19 points.  It wasn’t enough to ensure victory in a professional championship game.


We executed but we simply didn’t execute well enough.

There was the Seattle touchdown, where our 15th ranked defense let one through after playing a surprisingly stellar effort up to that point.

Consistency Russel


Then the Seattle 2 point conversion which negated the fact that Aaron Rodgers can finish you with just 1:30 seconds left in the game.  He marched down the field and we settled for 3 more points on the board to tie the game instead of winning the game.


We would have won the game with a touchdown or a defensive thwarting of the Seattle 2 point play.


Those three points wouldn’t have mattered if we scored just one more touchdown out of the 5 scoring drives in the first half.

Those three points wouldn’t have mattered if we scored a touchdown on 40% of the successful drives instead of 20% in first half.

Some people blame Bostick for muffing the onside kick that everyone knew was coming.

Seattle had to execute an onside kick.

Statistically the circumstances that led to the Packer loss were astronomical.

ALL the planets had to align for Seattle and they did.

We shouldn’t have ever been there, btw; in overtime.

One more touchdown out of 5 scoring drives and this whole argument becomes mute.

One defensive play stopping the 2 point conversion and the argument becomes mute.planet3

We should’ve never been in overtime to lose the coin toss.

Many people disagree with my viewpoint on sudden death to end a football game.

I believe in sudden death.

Consistency Sudden DeathWho cares about the coin toss or one more chance for either team?


Bottom line, sudden death means the professionals on both sides DIDN’T GET THEIR JOB DONE.

The fact is WE aligned those planets that resulted in Seattle’s good fortune.

It was the absence of consistency on Green Bay’s offense (an offense that has scored over 50 points in back to back games which is astounding in professional football) that set the stage for the heartbreaking loss.

We beat ourselves.Consistency Derek Jeter Quote

No one else to blame.

You see, happiness and success in your romantic relationships, your family life, and your career are defined by consistency.

Your life is dictated by what you do on a consistent basis every single day.

It’s not accurate to say a single event, no matter how positively exhilarating or how tragic has any significant weight on your actual success.

As humans we tend to put far too much stock into single events.

Consistency Henry Rollins Quote


Think about it.


We beat ourselves.


A single positive event can definitely be a game changer in any career, but only if it’s supported by a solid foundation of consistent preparation.

Luck = preparation + opportunity.

Michael Jordan was a God among men in professional basketball but he needed the rest of the Chicago Bulls to win. Consistency Michael Jordan

He couldn’t do it himself.

Jordan was also demoted to the JV team sophomore year in high school, so he wasn’t born pissing excellence.  Yes, he had tremendous talent but he also outworked everybody else.

I’ll bet he learned that fact during that fateful sophomore year where he DOMINATED the jayvee team.

Too many people believe that a “lucky break” should be the instigator for a consistent work ethic.

consistency is a habit Aristotle


“If I could get this, then I would do that”  Ugh.


Let me save you the suspense. Without consistency, you aren’t prepared at the point you get the lucky break.


This results in failure.


I’ll bet if you honestly dissect the events leading up to any previous failed opportunity, you will discover that you weren’t prepared.


Hey man, that’s fixable.


Too many people let a tragedy derail their whole life or career. A tragedy is but a drop in a sea of hard work.Consistency No one can make you feel inferior

Yes, it’s devastating, but the courageous move on because they have to and the work sees them through.

Don’t give anyone or anything permission to make you feel bad or ruin you.

A person or event can only wreck you with your permission.

Just work.

I mean, you love the work, right?

Do you know how many people waste their lives away in a job they hate?

Remember that next time you’re feeling sorry for yourself.

I have seen very mediocre talent become superstars because they out work everyone.

They want it more.

I have seen artists literally born with a golden gift from God piss away COUNTLESS enviable opportunities because they won’t work.

Consistency is bettter than rare moments of greatness


The takeaway from those two previous statements is consistency.


Whether you are mediocre or you have a God given gift, success only happens with consistent work.

How can you be more consistent?



Stay in tune.

Consistency No One Beat us

Consistency Lombardi Quote

Consistency Trust yourself




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

[ois skin=”Bottom Post”]


Doing Feature Image RESIZE

The last weekly article I wrote entitled 10 Reasons Not To Give Up  received a ton of response.  There was a particular Dreams Clouds reaction that was inspiring to me.

First, I thought I’d share the email with you and then we can dive into my thoughts for this week.

I would love for you to bend your nimble mind around this one . . . it is one thing to hold your vision of the dream and never give up, but for those who really and truly don’t have the skill or talent to make it happen, how can a person accurately gauge when enough is enough and begin to pursue a more attainable dream?  I see it so much – people pouring their life’s energy into a delusion . . . and are crushed when it does not happen.  And that translates to a life of disappointment and pain.  That scenario is far more common than is success in music, don’t you think?

How would you guide a person and advise them via a critical assessment, a self-diagnostic, of their real potential to be successful in the music biz, without shooting them down?

For me, I understand success on a business platform and experience it daily.  Musically there are still a few remnants of fear there and I practice daily not allowing negativity to dissuade me.  I know I will have only the success and fame that I choose to have, given my knowledge of the law of attraction and how manifestation works.  I have done the self-diagnostic and am encouraged 🙂

Your posts encourage me.  I can feel your energy and drive to thrive, brothah!  Keep up the great work!


I assure you the person who authored this reply is coming from a very compassionate place, and has asked a real honest, Doing Feature Image RESIZEphilosophical question that I think we all have considered more than once as artists.


This brings up a real good perspective to consider, don’t you think?  I’m glad this person reached out!


I have an answer to the question that was posed in the reply printed above, “How would you guide a person and advise them via a critical assessment, a self-diagnostic, of their real potential to be successful in the music biz, without shooting them down?”


Ready for the answer?


It’s simple.


What are you doing?


Doing Excuse me WTF are you doing


The success, legitimacy, or potential for anyone’s future in any life adventure can be easily measured by the work that their doing.


What are YOU doing?


Wishing for something to happen is not work.


Wanting something to happen is not work.


Believing something should happen is not work.


Hoping for something to happen is not work.doing don't be upset by the results you didn't get from the work you didn't do


Complaining about something that is not happening is not work.


Making excuses for why something is not happening is not work.


Work is the conduit to success.  Work is where you find out exactly how your story will play out.

Work creates luck, opportunity, relationships, and results.


For instance, if you are an aspiring singer/songwriter/artist who is broke, living in B.F.E where there is no music business, married with 3 kids, and you are constantly working by writing songs, you are in it.


Your potential is greater than someone who is next door with the same circumstances telling everyone what they want to be and why they can’t get it done.

Just do the work.

doing do your work image


Through work you will find like-minded people with similar goals in the smallest towns.  That will lead to other people with similar goals in bigger towns.


The artists who work hard will always outshine the artists who talk about work and about the business; REGARDLESS OF SKILL AND TALENT.


The artists who are constantly working don’t have time to complain about not making it; they’re too busy creating opportunities for themselves.


I have learned that people who really love something are busy working on it.  As a consequence, I always judge my involvement with someone on a business level based on the work that they have done.


So any self-diagnostic should begin with an honest assessment of what are you doing?

Where are you spending your time?doing is our time well spent hourglass image


If you say, “I have to work a job I hate to pay the bills so I can live and therefore I don’t have enough time to be an artist” then you are right.


The kind of living you are making is clearly more important to you than becoming an artist because that is what you spend all your time working on; that is what you are doing.

So again I ask every one of you, what are you doing?


Whatever you are spending your time working is where you will see results.


If you realize that you are working towards something that isn’t as important to you as your artistry, then change it.

doing let's work together image


Right now.


If you have good reasons for putting all the energy you put into working towards something that doesn’t have anything to do with your artistry, then that is where you really want to be and should be.



I know this because that is what you are doing.






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