Poverty? How To Think Your Way Out Of It.

Poverty Think Your Way Out Feature

This is going to piss a lot of artists off, but it really is the truth and I want to make you aware of it; otherwise you simply won’t grow. Poverty is a state of mind. It has very little to do with access to Poverty Old Womanresources or capital. This goes for artistic poverty as well as regular plain old poverty.


The following information on this poverty study came into my awareness as a result of paid coaching I received from Tai Lopez. I paid for this coaching because he had some answers and I was seeking knowledge. All this comes into play in this article. (To be clear, while I WHOLEHEARTEDLY believe in paid coaching, I am not advocating for Tai Lopez, I’m just giving credit where credit is due).

Joseph Stiglitz won a Nobel Prize as an economist and his scientific research confirmed that what actually keeps nations, communities, and individuals poor is not primarily a lack of capital or opportunities (what most people think)

Instead, Stiglitz found that the root is a lack of knowledge, and more specifically a lack of knowledge on how to gain more knowledge.

The inability to learn quickly and efficiently…Poverty Joseph Stiglitz

What his research found was, “What separates developed from less-developed countries is not just a gap in resources but a gap in knowledge.”

Like the Chinese saying goes, “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”

You must learn how to learn.

It’s an art and a skill.

Most people learn too slowly due to their fixed mindset that won’t adapt to feedback analysis because of their simple stubbornness and delusion (wishing the world was like their fantasies instead of having the courage to seek truth). 

Learn how to learn more quickly and you will live a very rich life (not just financially).


What will change your life is NOT one person, one record executive, one big time manager, or one opportunity; it will be your mindset.

You have to change your mind first because, I promise, you are the problem. Once you realize that and deal with it, you’ll start to ask the right questions.

Poverty Ask The Right QuestionsWhen you ask the right questions, you seek the right knowledge.

When you seek the right knowledge you get the right answers.

Then your life begins to transform.


It’s quite miraculous really.

The record business isn’t holding you down or keeping you out, you are.

Poverty isn’t holding you down or keeping you out, you are.

Poverty blind Darts


There are plenty of opportunities to accomplish what you want with your artist career, right there in your little town, but you aren’t taking advantage of them because either you don’t see them or you do see them and can’t recognize them.


In short, you don’t know because you lack knowledge and understanding (isn’t that exhausting and frustrating?).


If you had knowledge and understanding you would be seeing results, it’s as simple as that.


For instance, many of you have become aware of me through the free Twitter book I give away. I constantly get emails and tweets about how people begin to grow their Twitter accounts at a rapid rate immediately after reading that book.

Poverty Music Marketing Book Cover


Before they didn’t know. Then they knew. Now they see results! (And it was free!)

The reason you can’t see or recognize these opportunities is because you refuse to learn.




Many of you refuse to learn the truth because your fantasy will get blown to smithereens.


You realize that your precious dream of being artist, like every other dream, comes dressed up in overalls looking and smelling a lot like hard work.

Poverty Thomas Edison Quote


I constantly get emails from artists who tell me they are broke.


But y’all still have money for that next recording, new guitar, new microphone, studio equipment, car, weed, cocktails, rims, hydraulic switches, or long weekend at the beach.

Why not start to double down on yourself with the VERY inexpensive investment in books?


Tony Robbins read 700 books when he was starting out. He came from absolute poverty. His mother was so broke they couldn’t afford to purchase Thanksgiving dinner every year. This is why Tony feeds over 100,000 families every year at Thanksgiving.

Poverty Tony Robbins


Tony Robbins doesn’t have a college education by the way.


There is an EMBARRASSMENT of knowledge right on You can find books about recording, marketing, music marketing, mindset changes, psychology (to apply to your communicative exchanges with fans), management, the record business, social media, etc.


If you’re looking for a book that has an EZ button, you won’t find it. If you’re looking for a book that will tell you exactly what YOU need to get ahead in YOUR career, you won’t find it.


That’s where your work ethic and your big brain come in.

Poverty Connect The Dots


After the reading is done and your creative juices are flowing, you will start to connect the dots and apply this newfound knowledge to your specific situation.


I have read and listened to hundreds of books and podcasts that interview or reveal facts about super influential people like Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Tai Lopez, Steve Jobs, etc.


Do you know what every single one of these leading minds have in common?

They read.


They read a lot.



Tai Lopez is famous for reading 10,000 books.



Stop fidgeting and relax.



I’m not saying you have to read 10,000 books to succeed.


I will ask you this, what was the last book you read that had anything to do with marketing music?

  • How about Content Marketing in general?
  • How about human psychology and how we are wired up to shop?
  • When I ask artists what they are mostly frustrated with by far the most common response is their social media progress. What was the last book you read on that?


Get it?


Poverty Mark Twain Quote

You need very specific knowledge to get ahead in your chosen career and you’re blowing it by purposefully ignoring the facts and staying tethered to your happy little fantasy.


I promise you are lacking some serious data.


Which means you’re making important business decisions based on zero or inaccurate information; which is INSANELY expensive.

You can’t afford insanely expensive.


Nothing will change until you internalize that fact and rectify it.


Every interview or biography I have ever read about a powerful person has a similar quote and it looks something like this, “Books are the best deal out there.”

Poverty Abe Lincoln Book Quote


You can gain deep understanding, access and proximity to the greatest minds on this planet, past and present, for somewhere between $2.99 and $15.




It’s all out there for you.


Y’all it is SO EMPOWERING!


I LOVE to read because I have a dream to architect a new music business record label with Daredevil Production.

Poverty Gap Collage


Every time I read, I get a little closer to that reality. Every book I read gets me super excited about the new ideas I can apply to my dream.



Sometimes the information comes in the form of validation; like with Seth Godin’s Poverty Permission MarketingPermission Marketing. I read the foreword, introduction, and first 2 chapters of that book and I was literally vibrating. It was everything I have been preaching for the last 4 years at Daredevil (why the hell didn’t I read that before?).



Sometimes the knowledge manifests in the form of an epiphany or major lesson learned; like with Predictably Irrational. It was in this book that I connected some dots about how humans shop comparatively as opposed to trying to understanding real value.


For instance, none of you truly understand the difference in value between a 4-cylinder engine and a 6-cylinder engine. What you do understand is a 6-cylinder engine is bigger so must be worth more. We think we are researching our purchase choices but we are really looking for a comparison that is quick and makes sense to us.


Here’s a fun factual story. There was a company that created a $250 bread maker. They had tons of distribution in awesome stores like Williams-Sonoma, etc.Poverty Dan Ariely Quote


They weren’t selling any bread makers.


They hired a consulting firm that researched the issue and their solution was to make a $400 bread maker.


Wait, huh?




They said don’t plan on selling any, just put them on the shelf next to the $250 model.


People didn’t understand the value of a bread maker because they had nothing to compare it to.


Once the $400 (decoy) bread maker was placed on the shelves of the distributors, the $250 models began to sell out.


Pretty cool huh?

I learned that in a book.


Poverty Predictably Irrational

A used book that cost me less than $5. Just that one piece of information was worth the money; but there was so much more.


A bread maker is as ambiguous of a product as your music. It’s not like construction, medicine, gasoline, food, or some other product or service that society absolutely needs.


No, your music, as good as it is, is a product that nobody needs, wants, or is looking for.

Nobody is shopping for new music.


You aren’t either if you think about it.


You have your jams, you’re all set.Poverty Books


Want to think your way out of poverty?


What disruption and subsequent chain of events has to happen to open a consumer’s mind and heart about your music enough to influence them to buy?


Ahh, now you’re asking the right questions!





P.S. You must learn to learn. Start by reading. Here are a few recommendations to get you started.


Poverty Predictably Irrational

Predictably Irrational – Dan Ariely – This book is all about hidden forces that shape our decision making; like the decision to buy your CD. Get it? (Bread maker story was in this one)







Poverty My Book



Advanced Music Marketing On TwitterJohnny Dwinell – Yes, this is me. If you read my first Twitter book (which you can get for FREE if you don’t already have it) you know how to target and grow your followers. This advance book teaches you what to do with them. Essentially how to turn your followers into real fans.




Jab, Jab, Jab, RIGHT HOOK – Gary Vaynerchuk – This book breaks down content marketing on different social media platforms. It shows you the “native” Jab Jab Booklanguages of each platform along with do’s & don’ts. It’s really cool because Gary pulls actual posts from each platform and judges them. You’ll learn a lot.






Once you devour these, email me. I’ll create a master list of every book I’ve ever read.


If you found this article valuable please SHARE it and COMMENT. (Thanks!)


How Is An Experiment Different From a Mistake?

Experiment Mistake FEATURE MEME

What’s the difference between an experiment and a mistake or a failure?

A failed (I hate that word) experiment is a consequence that refines your process, it’s a step forward. A failed experiment is merely a necessary and (should be) anticipated speed bump.Experiment Mistake Shoe Knots

A mistake is hitting the same speed bump repeatedly. The definition of crazy is making the same mistakes and expecting different results.


Remember when you were learning to tie your shoes? You didn’t perfect your performance right out of the box, (the bunny goes down the hole, then around the tree, etc.) you weathered many failed experiments to polish your steps. Now it’s like breathing and you don’t even remember the experimental stage of that activity.


I want you to win.


Experiment Mistake 2 guys looking through binoculars


You are all going to participate in a mental exercise today. I want you to deeply ponder this question:  What do you want your artist life to look like exactly?

There are no right or wrong answers here.



However, depending on your reply to the prior question, there will be right or wrong strategies to the solutions you seek.


You must ensure that your plan for success is not mismatched with the outcome you desire.


Your answers will have to come from outside because of the rapidly changing music industry. You’re going to need knowledge that you currently don’t have; thus, the source of your career frustration.Experiment Mistake Knowledge



Arnold Schwarzenegger was extremely unsatisfied building muscle on his calves early in his career (this is evidently a common hindrance amongst body builders). In his mind, doing calf raises with over 250 lbs. on the bar, would result in serious injury. He sought a mentor in South Africa who told him he needed 1,000 lbs. on the bar, his body could handle it, and he would see the results he wanted.



Experiment Mistake Arnold SchwarzeneggerHe watched his mentor execute this particular part of the workout without harm and then Arnold’s goal became immediately possible. He learned a new plan of attack, witnessed the execution of said plan, and saw the amazing effect.

Arnold then applied this newly discovered knowledge and changed what was a mismatched strategy with one that was consonant to the outcome he sought and BOOM, his calves began to bulk up. Problem solved.

Arnold pursued the truth by seeking knowledge from outside to remedy a problematic part of his process. He was rewarded with educated answers and most importantly, RESULTS.




So what do you seek?

Do you want to…Experiment Mistake Bono image

Make a living writing, recording, and touring?

Make a living just writing?

Make a living just recording and touring?

Be rich and famous as a writer?

Be rich and famous as a writer, recording and touring artist?

Be an iconic artist?

Just be famous?

Just be rich?



Experiment Mistake Stop Light Solution


Once you determine exactly where you are headed you can reverse engineer the steps to make it happen and take APPROPRIATE causative action.


Then you’ll begin to initiate a set of experiments to help you pave the way to your goal.




Artists often ask me, “How can I succeed?”

The fact is all artist’s paths to success are unique so answering that question up front and with authority is a fool’s game.

Artists ask this question for several reasons:

  • They’re lazy and haven’t researched anything
  • They’re scared to experiment
  • They don’t believe in themselves so they want to fast-track the inevitable (whatever that means).


Mostly they’re lazy.Experiment Mistake Afraid


We are all a little lazy.


We are all scared.


We artists are operating with an incompatible approach to our problem.



Let me explain.


Experiment Mistake Time and Money

Employment is essentially instantaneous reciprocal altruism. You sacrifice your time and a skill and in exchange, your employer sacrifices a scarce resource; money.


This is what we are used to and too many of you expect this kind of dynamic with your careers.


When you’re a venture capital company that invests in business startups you play on a higher level. There is a much deeper emotional quotient that must exist. You expect results in the form of momentum and progress but the payoff is not immediate. There is usually a 5 year exit plan for the investors. This is more akin to developing an artist.

  • A market has to be articulated (what “widget” are we selling and to whom?)Experiment Mistake experiment
    • This takes research, experimentation, and is often refined and refined again.
  • The “first draft” of the intellectual property is created.
    • This takes research and experimentation.
  • The intellectual property has to be advanced.
    • This takes research and experimentation
  • The intellectual property has to be prototyped into a tangible product.
    • This takes experimentation to account for design flaws, optimal effectiveness, presentation, spatial restrictions, and ease of manufacturing.
    • This is the “proof of concept” stage.
  • The prototypes have to be assembled and tested for durability, workability, effectiveness, user friendliness, etc.
    • Prototyping costs time and money, again, through experimentation, because there is no economy of scale. (Low volume means higher prices)Experiment Mistake Chemistry Dude
  • The optimized prototypes are send to mass manufacturing and become the sellable product.
    • This step requires research and experimentation, will the manufacturer play by our rules and within our budget?
  • The product has to be packaged appropriately
    • This takes research and experimentation. What packaging is more attractive and effective in the marketplace?
  • The product has to be distributed
    • This step requires research and experimentation as not all products belong in all markets.
    • Not all distribution deals are in harmony with the product designer.
  • The product has to be marketed.
    • This step always requires research and experimentation as sometimes you “tap into” a market that is preexisting and sometimes you create a market that never existed before.Experiment Mistake Chemistry Set 2
    • Often the experimentation is in the form of assembling an effective team that understands the company credo and will execute the plan accordingly.
  • The product has to be shipped/delivered.
    • This sometimes requires research and experimentation.


Can you see the similarities with this list and a solid creative plan for an artistic effort?


Do you see how much research and experimentation takes place along each step of the way?


Most of you probably don’t experiment nearly as much as you need to in the artistic intellectual property creation stage (which is where you ALL feel you are the strongest)


Experiment Mistake 25 Headlines


FYI, sometimes I’ll write 25 headlines to an article before I settle on the one I use…that’s 24 failed experiments to get to the gold because all the obvious and cliché content is exhausted during the first 15-20 which causes me to really think…just sayin’.


Do you craft your songwriting this way?


If you’re a rapper and you freestyle (which I find absolutely fascinating when it’s done well) do you create your beats and your hooks this way?





Most of you have never even attempted to experiment in the marketing phase of the process because it’s unfamiliar so you’re afraid.

SExperiment Mistake No Fear Imageo you lie to yourself and say, “Good music will find its own audience” or you rely on the idea that once you get your “deal” the label will handle that part of it.







Experiment Mistake Failure Rate


Here’s a scary fact from a study I heard about humans and experimentation recently.


50% of people quit after the first “failure”.

80% of people quit after the second “failure”.

95% of people quit after the third “failure”.





Is it no surprise that the two most common traits among self-made multi-millionaires (aka your favorite iconic artists) are leadership and tenacity?


Are you aware of the astonishing number of millionaires that went bankrupt 3 times before becoming millionaires?


Are you willing to go THAT FAR to achieve greatness?Experiment Mistake Wealth Collage


Now, let’s think about the wealthiest 5% in this country. Many of you have been taught to hate them.


Many of you subscribe to societal social biases like “They made their money on the backs of the real people”, “They’re dishonest”, “They’re sharks”, or “They’re only in it for the money”.


Here’s a thought, what if you’re angry because the top 5% is doing what you won’t?


What if they’re the only ones willing to innovate and research their way out of career frustrations?


What if they’re willing to fail more than 3 times on all the experimental steps of whatever process turns them on?


How’s your tenacity these days?

What research are you doing?


Experiment Mistake GE Logo Vintage


When Thomas Edison died he was one of the wealthiest men in the country, he had over 1,100 patents (he started General Electric which [I think] is the only corporation still around that was on the ORIGINAL New York Stock Exchange.)

Edison stated that he did at least 1,000 experiments to obtain the intellectual property requirements necessary to receive each patent.





How many of you have this kind of experimental curiosity with your music?


How many experiments have you done with the MARKETING of your music?


When the labels who used to own and therefore control the market aren’t sure what to do, it’s up to US, the artists, to innovate our way out of the mess and into success.Experiment Mistake The Secret


If 95% of humans will quit after the 3rd failure, isn’t knowing this statistic your secret weapon?


Isn’t that David’s advantage over Goliath?


You are a product of the input you receive.


I’m going to butcher this analogy but Tai Lopez refers to this as a sort of intellectual “success” soup.

Experiment Mistake Soup Collage


You can be the greatest chef in the world, but if you only have chicken and water your soup sucks.


You need more ingredients like salt, pepper, spices, onions, celery, carrots, etc.


EVERYTIME you learn, you add another ingredient to your artistic soup.




The more ingredients you have the more different combinations you can experiment with.

The more you research, the more curious and motivated you are to “play” with your newfound knowledge.

The more you experiment the more you refine the process

The more you refine your process the closer you get to whatever your goal initially was.Experiment Mistake The Thinker


NOBODY is smart enough to sit in a room and think up ideas about making music or marketing music without some form of outside input.

Are you picking up what I am putting down?


Your mentors are not going to show up at your doorstep, a gig, or appear in your dreams. YOU will have to seek THEM out.


Yes, I paid a lot of money for access to this Tai Lopez program and it is worth EVERY PENNY.


I discovered validation on my old ways of thinking, new ways to apply the knowledge I have, new ways of thinking and concepts I wasn’t aware existed, and new resources to find the information I seek.

Experiment Mistake Education Chalkboard


I’m excited! My creative juices are FLOWING!

Aren’t you tired of being frustrated?

How good does real momentum feel?




Too many of you think that you’ll dream up the answers on your own. NOT WITHOUT INPUT.


You’re born with an instinctual ability to suck (pun intended), after that you need input, direction, advice, mentoring, teaching, guidance, coaching, etc., to get ahead.Experiment Mistake Sucking


You never would’ve figured out how to tie your shoes without someone showing you the way.


How do you really expect to reach your goal of creating compelling artistry and finding a market for it by yourself?


You’d better rethink your plan and ensure that it matches your goal.






Mistake Twitter



PS: If you haven’t already downloaded my free Music Marketing On Twitter book, please enjoy it on me. Go to 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.


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How To Be More Successful By Losing Your Friends

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


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 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.


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How To Get Successful, You Desperately Need More Awareness

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 - Licensed under GFDL 1

“Bill Gates in Poland cropped” by [1] (cropped)Pomme de terre – 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


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 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!

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