Monthly Archives: June 2014

Broad Shoulders! (Part One of Three…or More)

Without fail, one of the most important components in my journey toward the success I seek has been the very careful selection of mentors to whom I often surrender my doubts, fears, questions and perceptions to and obtain their wisdom, encouragement and sound perspective which help develop me personally and also the businesses and organizations I serve.

Rather than considering myself as “standing on their shoulders,” I feel more like a little child that they’ve hoisted up to straddle across the back of their necks, my feet dangling as they support and clarify my narratives, providing a view I could never see from the ground.

Last week, I blogged on the profound ‘three tiny words’ my first Spiritual Dad, Pastor David L Thomas so aptly paints into my conscience, amongst the myriad of much needed advice which guides me around the status quo.

Today, I was blessed to have another power lunch with my second Spiritual Dad, James Couchenour, Sr., an extremely successful businessman and leader who never ceases to amaze me with his practicality and vision. His investment in me has been immeasurable and our family loves and appreciates theirs!

Although we’ve lunched countless times, my main thrust today was to plow behind the fundamentals of building a business and dive into his distinct philosophy on how a business begins and thrives.

Beginning with his firm spiritual motivation, dissection of his mission statement, which took him a year to formulate, to building a quality team to the importance of knowing ‘what you don’t know’ and learning how to find out, Dad poured Life into me, prodding me reevaluate the essence of everything I ‘think’ I’m doing so that my “WHY” is clear and concise.

Next time, I plan to dive into more practical reasons for seeking a mentor, how you should prepare your time and what to do with the ‘take-aways.’
I will also share recent books I’ve read (and listened to) which also mentor and mold me.

As I write this, I am listening to the ultra-potent guitarist, Tuck Andresss, whose CD “Reckless Precision” should have a home on the shelf of every jazz lover.


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Three Tiny Words…

Today, I honor a man and his wife, who through God’s grace, have expanded my thinking, transformed and altered the trajectory of my life, family and destiny for the past eight years and ten months. He is my spiritual father. Pastor David L. Thomas is an author, life coach and tremendous leader, who along with his beautiful wife Kathie, will celebrate 36 years of Pastoring the eight campuses of Victory Christian Center in NE Ohio & Western PA.

In my time of serving under their covering as an associate pastor, he has often made several unique statements that I’ve directly applied to being an EntreMusician.

Pastor Thomas frequently says:

“Without God we cannot, Without us, God Will Not”
“The First Person You Lead is Yourself”
“If You want to Speak Deeply, You must Think Deeply”

There are a myriad of other such statements, but the one that has impacted me the most are three little words he constantly repeats:

“Do All You Can, AND THEN SOME!”

He correctly states that the difference between an ordinary organization (church, business, person, etc) and an extraordinary entity lies in those Three Tiny Words.

One can never achieve true and total success by only fulfilling the necessary requirements or just doing the basics and merely crossing the finish line. You must aim to finish STRONG!

No One has ever stumbled into success. Intentionality is always the key dynamic. Do the requirements, fulfill the basics – but after that, apply the extra – the ‘AND THEN SOME’. This makes all the difference!

I am listening to “The 2nd Crusade” by the legendary Crusaders as I prepare this blog. Transformative Music!

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Truth can be hidden, disguised, mishandled, abused, forsaken, alluded to, cross-examined, manipulated into fact and most often assaulted.

But Truth cannot be mistaken and doesn’t have to be defended for very long. It stands its ground and stares back at you. Silent & Strong.

You Can’t Ignore Truth

EntreMusicians love, embrace and cling to Truth. His Songs may not fit the popular formats. Her Tunes may be passed over – again. But they Will be Heard by those who Hear – who Listen – who Seek Truth.

Be Not Discouraged!

Speak Truth
Write Truth
Produce Truth
Perform Truth
Sell & Distribute Truth

Soon Enough….
Truth Won’t Be Ignored

I wasn’t listening to any music while writing this, but I am getting ready to listen to Bobby McFerrin’s “Bang!Zoom” which tells the Whole Truth and Nothing but…

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The Zone of Zero Funkativity

Some Wealthy Individuals maintain a blatant sense of Entitlement. They believe that their possessions, positions and prominent place in society automatically equips them to push pass ‘the rest of us’ into certain advantages reserved for their exclusivity. A few may have even began like ‘the rest of us’, but their present status now demands our attention and within some circles, our appreciation & adoration.

Some Poor Individuals maintain a blatant sense of Entitlement. They believe their lack of possessions, lowly positions and displacement in society automatically equips them to push pass the rest of us into certain advantages reserved for their exclusivity. A few may have even began like ‘the rest of us’, but their present status now demands our attention and within some circles, our appreciation and adoration.

The true EntreMusician never enjoys or covets the disadvantages of Entitlement. She knows that she must plan, practice and prepare. He knows that with the exception of the grace of God, he must hone, sharpen and perfect the artistry entrusted to him.

There are no free rides. It’s an audition after the recording session before the rehearsals on the day of the show with the new keyboardist who’s subbing for your regular player who’s auditioning for a bigger artist. You hope she gets the gig.

It’s a flurry of activity and a network of engagement & encouragement. You don’t deserve it or demand it. You each work for it.

Any desire an EntreMusician may have in thinking their entitled to any special privileges places them into that sphere George Clinton calls “The Zone of Zero Funkativity” where no real, heartfelt music is released. Only the incessant droning and bleating of sheep singing slightly different auto tuned lyrics to the same beats in the same keys. We hear that on the radio everyday…

I wasn’t listening to any music as I typed this, but I have been enjoying Stevie’s “Conversation Peace” the last few evenings.

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