Tag Archive for: Tony Robbins

In my humble opinion, ALL artists do this in the beginning.Secret Identity Stay Stuck MEME


But, most of you never get over it and your artist spirit dies on the vine.


OR you don’t master the productive pieces of what I’m about to describe and you stay stuck.



We all create a secret identity for ourselves.


Actually, we all create many secret identities for ourselves.


Secret Identity Secret CIA Identities


Often, a secret identity conceals things about ourselves so we feel or, in fact, actually fit better into society but sometimes this behavior hinders us and therefore we suffer.




The world also suffers because it never sees or experiences the fully realized version of our artist soul.


Think about Superman for a second.


Quick question: With Superman, which identity is the secret identity?


Secret Identity Secret PaperMost of you would say Superman because that identity was kept secret, duh.


But, you would be wrong.


I’m about to geek out a little bit, but this is important.


Superman’s birth name is Kal-El and he was born on planet Krypton.


Kal-El, AKA Superman IS the original being, the genuine soul. the plane-saving, train-stopping, building-jumping real deal.


Secret Identity Clark Kent




Clark Kent is the secret identity.






Get it?


Even though Superman was kept secret, and Clark Kent was made public, the alter ego of Clark Kent was created because Superman felt he needed to fit in more to society.


Another way to put it is that Superman felt the need to hide.Secret Identity HIde MEME


How are you doing right now?


Am I ringing any bells?




You’re Superman (NOT gender specific in this case, ladies).


The artist IS who we truly are and the other stuff amounts to alter-egos created to fit in so we don’t piss off our parents, spouses, bosses, or society in general.


Secret Identity Snake Toxic MEME

Here’s the thing, all of these different personalities within us are powerful, some are necessary and productive, but some are toxic.





The toxic characters can come from a good place and be well founded, so they don’t seem toxic to us, but they get in our way.


Big time.


Here’s a great example of a toxic secret identity.


I was listening to a Tony Robbin’s podcast where Todd Herman was being interviewed. Todd works with premiere sports athletes to help them understand, identify, and control these secret identity behaviors.


Secret Identity Tony Robbins Podcast

Todd’s company helps athletes amplify their strengths.







Tell me that doesn’t sound psychologically interesting.


He was telling the story about a premiere female tennis athlete who has never won a championship but was amazing enough to be ranked (which is a BIG deal), so she was GOOD.


To this tennis player, fairness was a value that she lived her life by and felt was very important to her.


Secret Identity Tennis Player



Picture this, she would hit the court and over the course of a couple games and/or sets, she would DOMINATE her opponent. But, somewhere during the game her inner feelings of fairness would begin to creep in and she would self-sabotage to allow her opponent a chance to come back.





She did this subconsciously because she felt that if the final score of the game was too lopsided it would humiliate her opponent.


Her personality would never allow her to humiliate anyone, but sports are about momentum.


Just ask any New York Giants fan, it’s not uncommon for a pro football team to “limp” into the playoffs (with a 9W-7L record) and “peak” at the right time to win every game including the Super Bowl


Secret Identity NYG Logo


Their record shows that NYG were not the best team during the season, but that doesn’t matter in the playoffs. They found their momentum at the right time and what happened previously didn’t matter.





This is what would regularly happen to the tennis player. Her concern for the feelings of her opponent would trigger the self-sabotage which would change the momentum but the pendulum swung too far causing her to lose momentum. Often, she would never recover.


Todd and the tennis player would talk about how fairness is an admirable trait in humanity, as long as the game was being played according to the rules (aka “fairly”) it had no place on any sports scenarios.


Your job is to win, period.


Fair and square? Yes, of course.



Secret Identity Good Sport



But forget about how it looks or makes the other person feel because that’s not your concern when you’re both professional athletes.







Her opponents will have to learn to step up next time (they’re pros after all) and, of course, she’s always a good sport, win or lose.


Winning to the point of dominating your opponent doesn’t make you a mean person.


We all have secret identities that are quite beneficial. If you have kids, you probably behave one way at work and then shift gears when you come home to play with the kids.


Secret Identity In Bed Boots


Maybe you have a certain approach with one set of friends that differs from another?


How about the difference in your personality at work vs. your secret identity in the bedroom?





What about a radio or podcast interview/performance?


Do you take on a different personality to a degree when you do a live show?


See what I mean?


Secret Identity Business Negotiations


What if you have to make a deal with your booking agents, or team members?






It’s important to understand what personalities are required for each task and make sure the right ones show up and the wrong ones don’t!


On my first tour, I was feeling so blessed to have that first contract (which is a GOOD thing) but they got over on me. I could’ve negotiated a better deal and it cost me dearly.


Secret Identity 1st Tour Humble


We had a killer band (product), a killer 2×3 foot full-color poster (marketing), and the agency was in LOVE with us (buy-in). If I knew what I was doing, I could’ve inked a 10% commission rate instead of 15%.




That may not sound like much.


But, showing up with a different personality for that one meeting would’ve meant the difference between the tour breaking even and Ryder Truck Company sending me an $8,000 bill after the dust settled.


See my point?


Secret Identity Negotiate MEMEYou can be blessed and grateful, but shrewd at the same time.




It’s OK to have humility and love but be intentional with your business dealings.


These behaviors are not a contradiction to your personality, it’s good business and good business is fair.


Secret Identity Puppies



Think about it, your most important role of a loving parent or best friend doesn’t always manifest itself in the form of endless puppy dogs and ice cream.




Sometimes you have to be the bad guy.


I negotiated a 10% commission with our booking agent down in Florida on the Kidd Gypsy version of our journey and we lived a far better life because of it.



Secret Identity TV Heads


FYI, you’re probably thinking it’s just 5% of the gross! Big deal! To the agency, this was a 33% reduction in their possible revenue from us over the course of a year. But, it would’ve meant us paying 50% more than we needed too had we settled on the original 15% they asked for.




Get it?


I promise those numbers make sense when you think about them in terms of relativity.


My concern is that y’all created your own versions of Clark Kent and you’re buying into the role a little too much.



Secret Identity Don't Buy Into The Role of Clark Kent MEMEIt’s a false reality.






Stop trying to be somebody that you’re not (Clark Kent) and start embracing the Superman in you.


You’re an artist. You can be an artist if you really want to, but you must be intentional about it or it isn’t going to pan out for you.


Secret Identity LIve Show your terms

Live your life on YOUR terms, not anyone else’s.





If you’re going live out the life you really want, which is making a living as an artist, then you’re going to have to understand and identify all your secret identities and master them.


Some athletes actually create back stories for their secret identities on the field of play.


Many pro athletes create names for these secret identities, THAT’S how seriously they take this concept!


I want you to win.


Secret Identity Secrets Girls BE Superman

I don’t want you to get too caught up in a toxic secret identity that has you getting in your own way.




Don’t accept any identities that tell you it’s ok to wait. Your time is now. Be patient but never stagnant.


A really good portion of my job description at Daredevil Production is teaching artists how to get out of their own way.


Secret Identity Superman and Supergirl




This is a common way we all self-sabotage.







I hope this helps you in some way.


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Happy New Year, Daredevil Insiders!




As always, the new year is a great time to get perspective on the last year, ponder what we’ve learned from the inevitable mistakes we’ve made, and set some goals together.




I want to talk about limitations, limiting beliefs, and the stories we tell ourselves that get us in our own way.





That’s it, you know.




The problem with your lack of success in the music business (which is where I assume you want to be more successful or you wouldn’t be reading this) has always been you.






You want to succeed more than anything, but you have limiting beliefs which lead you to create a story.


We all have limiting beliefs.




The most successful people are self-aware of this fact and work diligently to think differently and overcome the mental hurdles.


They change the stories that they tell themselves.



Limiting beliefs means that deep down inside, you don’t truly feel like you should be successful, or you don’t know how to do it, or you’re conflicted because subconsciously the idea of making a living doing what you love is rubbing up against some serious emotional and mental anchors.




Ultimately we all want to please other people to a degree to satisfy our sense of belonging to the families, communities, and tribes we are in.


For instance, if your parents don’t approve of your life path, that’s usually a biggie.


Maybe a significant other is renting too much space in your head about your musical aspirations.






I got to thinking about this blog after listening to a killer podcast called The Business of Story with Park Howell. His guest was a business coach named Melanie Benson.






Right about now, some of you are saying, “I’m done reading, I’m an artist, not a businessperson.” – Hello, that’s a limiting belief.



Whether you like it or not, It’s also inaccurate.




If you’ve EVER received one penny of revenue from a recording, live gig, studio gig, musical teaching gig, etc. you’re a businessperson.





Maybe you’re a crappy businessperson, and there is no law against that, but rest assured you’re a businessperson.


“I make art for the sake of art, I answer to no one, my creations are derived solely from me and no other commercial interests.”





This comment, or some form of it, I hear often. My response is, that’s AWESOME! Seriously, I love that approach and believe that an artist can truly achieve pure art and find their audience now more than ever.




However, if after you’re done with the purest creative process ever, you venture out into the world and accept any kind of compensation for your talents, you’re a true artist and you’re also a businessperson.



Don’t be upset by this. WHEREVER there is amazing art, there is inevitably commerce!






Commerce is present because people will pay their hard-earned money to be transported emotionally.  This is what great art does for people; it moves them.





It’s worth it for them, that’s the only reason they pay.


That means you’re worth it.


Some of you, deep down, don’t believe you’re worth it. That’s a limiting belief.




I’ve heard artists complaining about how they don’t want to “sell out”.   Ok, I love that too, but how is accepting revenue for a work that you creatively stand behind with pride, selling out exactly?





You are “selling out” If you’re derivative to become famous, OR if you feel pressured to change your art for the sake of a bigger megaphone.


But making money on your art alone is NOT selling out. It’s selling tickets, merch, and music.



There’s a difference.





These mental hurdles are stories that we tell ourselves to give ourselves permission to wait, or to lose the dream, or to not be as successful as we could be on our dream.




Are there artists who somehow fell into the big, ugly, music business machine and ended up putting on a dancing chicken suit to please the powers that be just so they could be famous?




Is that you?




So, what the hell are you talking about?


Are there artists who somehow got super successful with their genuine creations despite having to get approval from 2 publically traded corporate committees before it ever saw the light of day?





Is that you?




So, what the hell are you thinking?



As Park Howell so eloquently puts it, “The most powerful story is the story you tell yourself.”






Everything in your head is all made up.






They’re made up from scratch, from fear, from your parents, your siblings, or bandmates, or significant others, etc.


Every story about politics, religion, success, money, love, music, the business, selling, health, nutrition, they’re all made up, man.


Right or wrong, effective or toxic, these stories in your head are made-up.


I’m a creative, sales are beneath me.”


Good luck with that story. Ask any of your major label artist friends about how cool it is to be a major label artist and not ever have to sell.  They’ll laugh you out of the room.




Radio tour is SELLING.





You’re selling your music to the program directors, and you’re selling yourself to get them to like you.


Every gig you’re selling yourself to the audience but you’re selling (hopefully) good art.



“I hate the way sales people make me feel so I’m not going sell myself. My music is amazing; it will find an audience.”






C’mon man. That’s like me saying “I don’t like the way you sounded on the very first day you picked up that guitar so I’m not going to listen to music again.”


Silly, right?




I can’t afford that.”


I’ll bet that one got your attention.







Well yes, maybe you can’t afford it, but that mindset isn’t going to get you into growth, it’s guaranteed to keep you right where you’re at.





Maybe at the end of the day, you’ll keep that $100 in your pocket, but what is that approach really costing you?


Your dream?


What if you spent the $100 learning something new or delegating to some expert and it put you on a path to making a living as an artist?





The host, Park Howell, was talking about how he purchased Tony Robbin’s first cassette tape series back in 1985. He paid $39.95 (which is $89.61 in today’s dollars) and that was A LOT of money to him. He didn’t feel like he could afford it. He listened to the whole series on his Sony Walkman 8 or 9 times when he would hike his regular mountain trail in Arizona to get exercise.






He was fearful of spending the money but he did it and it changed his life forever.


Melanie Benson said something like, “That’s called stepping over dollars to pick up pennies.”






My mother calls it “pennywise and pound foolish.”






You don’t really know marketing at all. You think you know, and some of you know some things, but I can attest that we are CONSTANTLY learning here at Daredevil Production, so you know nothing.


Since you don’t know, you’re going to need to learn.


That means you’ll have to learn to do it yourself via webinars, conferences, and books, pay for a coach, or pay someone to do it for you.



These choices require spending some time and money on either staff or education.





Since you don’t have the knowledge, wisdom, experience, skills, or perspective to execute an effective marketing plan for your music project, where will these missing pieces come from?




What if you told yourself a different story?


A story like “What would you have to do be able to afford the education you so desperately need?”


If the made-up stories aren’t working for you, why not make up some new ones?










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The quality of your career and your life is determined by the quality of your questions.




What questions are you asking exactly?



Are you asking any questions beyond “Why not me?” Because that will get you nowhere.


Studying and improving your questions is improving your thinking.





The more you improve your thinking by asking better questions, the more you dig up quality answers.





Think about this dynamic in terms of dealing with a significant other. If you want to dance around a potentially damaging issue, you ask vague, lame questions because you don’t really want to know the answer or you don’t really care.





If you’re interested in getting to the bottom of a situation (assuming you wish to stay invested in the relationship) and you have a little experience in cultivating a solid connection, you know exactly what to ask.



No matter how hard they may be, the truth will set you free, yes?questions-significant-other-fight


Some of you are doomed to fail at relationships, like the person we all know who’s on their 5th marriage, simply because you haven’t learned or you’re scared to ask the right questions.


I have news for you, the same is true for your career.



So many of you are condemned to a life with a crappy day gig because you don’t, you won’t, or you’re afraid to ask quality questions.


You could be making a living as an artist but you’re missing something.


You’re stuck.




When you begin to seriously ask yourself disruptive questions, you’ll see a change.


You’ll begin to seek the knowledge you need to solve the problem at hand.



You’ll grow.


What are disruptive questions?


Answer: Questions that are unsettling to your current status quo.




Queries that poke holes in the same old stories that you’ve been telling yourselves are disturbing but quite valuable.



Corporate executives, successful people, and even military organizations utilize an exercise called “Red Teaming”. They will take a section of their team and instruct them to blow holes in the current theories, methods, and assumptions.



This exercise cuts through the crap pretty quickly.



Here are some good questions:


What’s the worst that could happen?



I am always amazed at this one because for most of you the answer is “They could say no” or “I might be out a couple bucks”. Therefore, we won’t do anything but wait.





What are the assumptions and how can I test them?


This question attacks the stories aka assumptions that we all tell ourselves.



Listen, WE ALL tell ourselves stories!  The successful people are acutely aware of this fact and are going to dig deep to ensure those stories have substance as opposed to being an excuse.









By the way, in the interest of giving credit where credit is due, the muse for this article is an incredible Tony Robbins podcast interviewing Tim Ferris.






In this podcast, they were discussing billionaire Peter Thiel. One of his favorite questions to ask potential business owners is, “Why can’t you reach your 10-year goals in 6 months?






These powerful questions break your incremental thinking towards problem-solving.






These are coachable, learnable skills you can practice once you become aware of them and embrace the reality.





Too many of you see only problems and not opportunities.


You tell yourself stories like,

  • “I’m bad at marketing”
  • “I hate marketing so, therefore…”
  • “I can’t create competitive recordings because”
  • “I suck at Social Media”
  • “I’m no good at tech”
  • “I don’t have enough money so…”
  • “I’m an artist so I don’t want to market myself”








Pattern Recognition: The most successful people have good pattern recognition.


You do too.




When you learned your first instrument, you learned other people’s patterns over and over until a mental synthesis happened and you began very naturally creating your own patterns, standing on the shoulders of those that you learned from.


You’re unique. So, your unique perspective is infused into the patterns creating something that never existed before.




None of you weren’t born with the ability to create music from nothing, so whether you chose to take lessons or you had an ability to pick up on those other patterns simply by listening to the artists you aspired to be like, you were getting educated.



You were getting real answers because you were asking the right questions and then executing a plan of attack.


This same synthesis will happen with social media and marketing if you start seeking to be as exceptional at that as you are with your musical talents.


You need an advantage. The more advantages you can give yourself the better.



Adding advantages can be as simple as eliminating disadvantages.


Some of you have superior talent as songwriters, singers, performers, dancers, producers, etc.


Other artists (who are most often ridiculed by the talent-rich but success-poor artists) have an advantage with business and marketing.




You’re going to need some marketing chops to succeed regardless of your talent level.




Nothing kills a lame-ass product quicker than great marketing so if your product isn’t competitive, you better fix it.




This makes me think of Terrell Davis who was a 2-time Super Bowl winning running back for the Denver Broncos. Terrell wasn’t the biggest or the fastest running back. His advantage was quite simple. He outworked everyone else.


He was the first to be on the field at practice and the last to leave. Therefore, he earned his success by working harder than his peers.




This is the kind of advantage that ANYONE can utilize but ironically, almost NOBODY does.







Therefore, if you outwork everyone else you immediately put yourself into a small club. 80-90% of all the artists out there disappear from your competition when you decide to outwork them.







But “outworking” is more than doing more gigs, recording more songs, and practicing longer.







You also must work on your education. You’ll FEEL better! Learn something new, like how to crack that social media code and watch your success grow exponentially.







Everybody has different advantages that can catapult them to success.


  • Analytical advantage – Some artists have a knack for analytics, tech, and numbers.
  • Informational advantage – The more you know, the greater your advantage. (Education is inexpensive and this advantage is obtainable).
  • Behavioral advantage – Some artists are incredibly cool under pressure which is a behavior that gives them an edge.
  • Structural advantage – Great pilots know everything about flying but they still have a checklist because it is far too important NOT to accidentally miss something. How can you set this up for your marketing?






Ferris says, “We’re all flawed creatures, we’re all imperfect.  The most successful people maximize one or two strengths.





Here’s good question: What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses?


Here’s another good question: How can you improve on your weaknesses?


Getting a record deal for any artist could be a blessing or a curse.


The amount of work you do in advance of your coveted deal will help you steer that outcome more towards a blessing.


The questions are:questions-see


Can you see the opportunity?


What are you going to do about it?










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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 Amazon.com. 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.


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Cage Feature MEME

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Cage Election BannerElection season is here in the United States and personally, I hate all politicians on both sides of the isle because their job security is not related in any way to performance.


That’s an accident looking for a place to happen.


It’s gross.


Is that just me?


You can relax, this isn’t a political rant of any kind. I have my beliefs just like you, but I disdain both sides of the isle because the system doesn’t foster performance when job #1 is just to get reelected. This means they really don’t give a damn about any of us or the country simply because they don’t have to.

They care about your vote, and ALL politicians will pander to you, looking for the biggest common “heart-string” threads they can pull to gain the most votes.

Cage Politician Promise


Until Congressional term limits are in place, where the politician incentive changes from “what do I have to do to ride this gravy train a little longer” to “I don’t have much time to leave my legacy so I better get to work” we will continue down the same path. Sadly.



Until the proper, appropriate, intelligent motivations are woven into our political structure, the sour  arguments, talking points, and voting process will stack up and linger unnecessarily like garbage in a compulsive hoarder’s home.Cage Hoarding





I liken it to a group of people standing around a swimming pool, each of them with a different colored cinder block, spouting endless spirited nonsensical rants based on their thoughts, fears, and beliefs, for the purposes of convincing the other side that their cinder block will actually float.


Cage Cinder Block Voyeur MEME

Until we reimagine the cinder block, it just isn’t going to happen regardless of your beliefs.


Our current arrangement allows us to change said political system as a people, without permission from Congress (via a Constitutional Amendment), but we won’t.


And this brings me to my point.


This is where my prior statements morph into your reality as an artist.


Right now, we live in a country where, for the most part, there is equal opportunity. Yes, it’s flawed, but the opportunities are there.

Cage Slave Collage


For thousands of years all kinds of people have been persecuted, enslaved, exterminated, controlled, oppressed, etc., including blacks, Jews, women, Irish, Italian, witches, sorcerers, all religions, gays, people with different skin tone within their own oppressed race, handicapped, the outwardly vocal dissenters, etc.


Now, just in this election, we have full term black President nearing the end of his legacy, and so far out of the four front runners in the Presidential race, 1 is a Jew, 1 is a woman, and 1 is a Latino of Cuban decent.



Here’s my point. Yes we are flawed. Yes, there is always room to improve, but we have opportunities for anyone who wants to grab the brass ring.


But, most people won’t.


Most people won’t out of fear.Cage Brass Ring


It’s a very real fact that most people secretly don’t feel they’re worthy of it.




Cage King Arthur small


Only King Arthur can remove the scimitar from the stone.


This fear manifests itself in the form of convenient stories we tell ourselves that are designed to create forgiveness,


Forgiveness for failing to believe.


“But I’m not King Arthur so I can’t grab that sword.”


“Money is the root of all evil.”Cage Root Of All Evil


“We’re the 99% not the evil 1%”


“I need to be perfect before I can bring my art to the world.”


“I just need that record deal and THEN I can be serious about my artist career”


Cage Perfectionism



There is still rampant slavery in this world and no politician can EVER promise you that they can somehow change the system to create an equal outcome for every person.




Here’s why.

Yes, you’re a slave.

You’re also the slave master.


While your opportunities can be changed by a different political system, your outcome can only be changed by you.


Did you catch that?

While your opportunities can be changed by a different political system, your outcome can only be changed by you.

Cage Feature 2

We are all prisoners held captive within our own cage.


How far you choose to expand your reality is completely up to you.


I’ll give you an example, here is a GREAT video of Tony Robbins being interviewed by Lewis Howes (I love Howes’ podcast).


Robbins talks at length about giving.


The more you give the more you receive. He was barely making a living at one point when he offered a kid a college scholarship with these rules:

  • You must have a B average
  • No Drugs
  • You can’t go to Jail
  • You must do 20 hours of community service each year.




The community service was a strategic component he placed in there to systemize exposure to giving. This requirement ensured that the beneficiary could experience the biological and mental change which occurs within a soul when it gives.



Since then, Tony has expanded this amazing scholarship program exponentially but you’d be amazed at how many kids turn down the scholarship because either they, or their parents, don’t believe they should be giving they believe they should be getting.


They find the 20 hours of community work requirement offensive so they pass on the gift!


There’s that rusty cage I was talking about.


Cage 99 percentIncidentally, about 27 minutes in Tony talks about the 99% and their views and attitudes towards money. He says that money is a magnifier of someone’s real self. If you’re mean you’re going to get meaner with money. If you’re generous you’re going to give more with money.



I personally like the fact Tony states about how half of the population of our planet live on $2.50 per day or $900 per year. Which comparatively in the context of the whole planet, places the poverty stricken Americans, the lowest of the 99%, in that evil 1% category that they love to hate so much.

Cage Tony Robbins Statistic





Think about that.






I find it extraordinarily entertaining when these 99 percenters bash capitalism and capitalists via social media from their iPhones. Nothing like ignorant irony.

Cage Kumbaya



Listen, most people are standing in a bucket and trying to lift themselves up. Until these people learn to get out of their own way, no institutionalized equal outcome ideologies will help them.



In your band somebody has to be the spiritual force, the leader. Somebody has to be John, then somebody has to be Paul, somebody has to be George, and somebody has to be Ringo.

Cage Standing In A Bucket



There will always be hierarchy in all animal species.


We’re wired up that way.



To be uplifted we need to have hope.


We need to believe that we can really succeed.Cage Megaphone Guy


Then we need to learn how to do it.


What we don’t need is any buffoon telling us we’re being held down by the man.


Because if we really believe that then it’s true.


EVERYBODY has to overcome obstacles to succeed and those obstacles don’t ever go away after you succeed.


We don’t need any respected “expert” making us feel these hindrances are somehow “institutionalized” or out of our control, rather we need to think of them as anticipated speed bumps.


I have massive respect for individuals who were smart enough, worked hard enough, and were driven enough to get out of their hood, their oppression, their cage, their former reality and make a real dent in the Universe.


Cage Name Tag Rich Person


I lose that respect when they become famous and use their voice, with the reach of their new found megaphone to complain about their lot in life. To complain about what they had to overcome to get their success.


I want to vomit when these achievers, these people who manifested their dreams into their reality whine and jump up and down about persecution, money, unfairness, blah, blah, blah.


All they are doing is sucking the wind out of the sails of anyone from their designated oppressed community who has an inkling of hope to achieve the same success.


They’re inadvertently proliferating the very problems they content they’re trying to solve.


Hey, not for nothing, but some famous people proliferate on purpose because it makes them feel relevant or the social problem actually makes them relevant, but I digress.Cage Politician Megaphone


In a misguided attempt to shine a light on their struggle to help others, they are enslaving millions of people on the receiving end of that megaphone by implying that life is impossible because it’s unfair and it’s out of an individual’s control.


They naively believe that some social change is going to make the world a fair place and help their downtrodden people rise.


Do you see? They’re putting the results of their outcome on someone or something else.


Isn’t that kind of an excuse?


Then their besieged people respond by doing nothing; waiting around for the world to change.


Cage it's Your Cage

Stuck in that cage because now that the onus isn’t on them, it’s the world’s fault, and until it changes to make it easy for them, why try?


What these famous achievers should be doing is telling them it can be done!


Why won’t they learn how to empower these people intelligently?




There are no equal outcomes.


Here’s another example.


Cage EM HE BusABC had a hit show called Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.


If you haven’t seen this show the producers would find people in need of a new home. The benefactors were vetted by an incredible story that would touch the hearts of America, ABC would then send the family on a luxurious vacation, and build them a brand new home while they were gone.


They demolished the old edifice and built the new house in one week!


For instance, you’d have a couple with 7 kids living in a 700 square foot house.


EM: HE would pay off their current mortgage and build them a 4,500 square foot house; absolutely free.


EM HE Before and After 2


This concept sounds so beautiful, and it is, but you have no idea the psychological and societal landmines ABC unearthed on this show.


In a sense this platform promised an equal outcome, didn’t it?


Every lucky subject gets a brand new spacious free house, no mortgage, taxes paid, and their insurance paid.





Easy street.Cage Landmine


Well, not exactly as it turns out.



In the first 5 years of this TV series, they had to change the rules to protect the winners from themselves.


Too many of the winners ended up destitute again.




Yes, they got their mortgage paid, a brand new free house, a new car, much better life at no cost, and then somehow found a way to get right back down to being broke again.


This was bad press for ABC.Cage Extravagant 2


What would happen you ask?


The winners would spend the money allotted to cover taxes and insurance on things that weren’t taxes and insurance.


They’d take mortgages out on their free house that got them out of squalor to go on vacation, live like a rock star, or start a business that they weren’t smart enough to know they didn’t know about.


Some of the people would lose the house because they couldn’t afford the utility bills in the new home.

Cage EM HE Logo Image


That’s right, after having zero debt, after all the new relationships they could’ve made in the community from the 2,000 to 4,000 volunteers who would show up to build this house in a week, it ended up that the winners couldn’t figure out a way to make an effort to earn a little more money for the electric bill in the new roomy home.


This is because they never believed they deserved it so they never stepped up their game to rise to the occasion.


 They clearly weren’t being held down by the man, here. They were being held down by themselves.


They couldn’t find a way to use the benevolence to pick themselves up and literally blew it.


Cage You Are Your Biggest Obstacle


This happened OFTEN.


ABC was forced to create rules that wouldn’t allow mortgages to be taken out on the home, untouchable escrow accounts had to be set up ensuring the taxes, insurance, and utilities could be paid for the next 5 years to guarantee ABC that these people couldn’t screw themselves.


The winners were pathetic.


I don’t say that to be mean or to be condescending.


ABC vetted them because they were pathetic which made for good TV. ABC amazingly created a show (which made tons of money by the way) that congregated thousands of local volunteers to help someone in need in their community. The network and these volunteers gave some poor, broken souls a new house, sometimes new vehicles, bills paid for 5 years, and a helping hand to lift them up out of their poverty stricken reality.Cage Pathetic


What ABC discovered was that all too often, the new environment, new things, and the new situation did not change the reality of the people they were helping at all.


These people were pathetic because they believed they were pathetic.


New house, new clothes, new car, same old person.


SIDENOTE: This is amazing. Over 50% of the people who were helped by ABC were grateful for the amazing opportunity. The other 50% became instantly entitled and began making snotty demands during and after production.

Cage Complaint


Demands for “appropriate” transportation, “appropriate” behind the scenes cuisine, they would turn their noses down on the color of a brand new SUV they just received, etc.


They complained!





Every society is like this.


Including you and your band.


Cage Winwood Lyrics“Come down off your throne, and leave your body alone. Something must change. You are the reason you’ve been waiting for so long.”


You are the answer to overcoming your troubles.


It’s your cage.

It can be as big as you want it to be.

It can be oppressive as you want it to be.

It can be abundant as you want it to be.

It can be full of love if you want it to be.

It can be creative if you want it to be.


In your cage you can live the dichotomy and suffer like the rest of society tells you that should because it’s the right thing to do (and they can’t figure out how to escape it), or you can step outside of your pitiful little cage, be courageous, and push forward in the face of fear and ridicule.


Cage Chains


Take a deep breath, experience some failure, and LIVE the life you always dreamed of.


You need stop thinking about what you don’t have because it doesn’t matter.




You have to concentrate on your gifts, on what you DO have and build from there.


People of influence love to help people who get it; people who they feel are on their way.


It has little to do with your talent.


It has everything to do with your mindset.

Cage Slave Punisher

Are you a slave?


Are you enslaving yourself?


Are you a corporate slave?


A slave within your relationship?


A slave shackled by the misguided thoughts and beliefs of your parents?


A slave to your own ineffective methodologies that never seem to work because you refuse to change tactics?


A slave to your own ego?


Cage Slave NegroA slave because you believe someone else is going to be responsible for your outcomes?


Well, no election, major TV network, record label executive, recording studio, management company, booking agent, songwriting partner, and certainly no amount of money is going to free you from your own shackles until you retool your brain.


Here’s a good example, we recently lost the incomparable Merle Haggard. Merle was born poor white trash. By the age of 18 his voluminous rap sheet resulted in a 15 year jail sentence. Merle escaped from jail 17 times. This is why he was moved to San Quentin State Prison because the state of California couldn’t figure out how to contain him in a jail. It was in San Quentin where Merle saw Johnny Cash play live and decided to change his life forever.


He had nothing and was not captive to a figurative cage, rather a real cage. He was released serving 2.5 years of his sentence and changed his mindset.


He had no money.Cage Merle Haggard 2


He had no contacts in the music industry.


What he did have was his songs and an unrelenting drive to succeed.


Hag gave absolutely no one permission to take that drive from him. The rest is history.


Sadly, like the subjects on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, many of you will get some incredible opportunities and completely blow it due to your ignorance.


Many of you already have.


Ignorance is changed into potential power with education and knowledge. There are plenty of very inexpensive sources for education that only require your action and a couple bucks to implement.


FYI, Tony Robbins doesn’t have a college education, but he did read 700 books in 3 years when he first started getting his act together.


Cage Amazon Image


Why aren’t you reading?


Applied knowledge is turned into real power.


That’s a power that only you own.


It’s a power that will continually create opportunities for you.



No person, no government, no 1-percenter, and no election can take power like that away from you. Ever.


Don’t play their game, man.Cage Glass Half Full


Don’t drink the Kool-Aid.


It’s poison.


You have everything you need right now; no more, no less.


The question is what are you doing to pick the lock on your cage?







P.S. I challenge you to read 1 book a month with the subject matter being whatever you feel you need to help you further your artist career.