Category Archives: Indie Musicians

Three C’s To Live By

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One of the Most Rewarding Aspects about Having Good Mentors in Your Life are the Applications You Can Apply Immediately. It Doesn’t Matter if the One You Follow is in Your Industry Or Not. Wisdom is Omnipresent!

Gratefully I’ve been under the Guidance of Bishop David L. Thomas for 13 years.  His Leadership has helped Sharpen & Shape Me in practically every area of my life. I’ve had the most fun implementing his pastoral teachings into my career as an EntreMusician. Several years ago he taught a Series on the ‘Three C’s to Live By’ that continues to impact my perspective, especially as I am around so many creative people. I know these 3 C’s will help you too!

  1. Don’t Compare!

Comparison is akin to a Two-Headed Monster which can actually eat you up from the inside, even though you are outwardly focused upon the talents of others.

First You have that Big Head that says “I Am The Best,” “No One Is Better than I” and You then Begin to Loudly Put Down Other Musicians, Singers, Producers, overly analyzing what or how they destroyed a Song or Project and what YOU would’ve done to blow the thing out of the water. Unfortunately, we’ve all been around people like this and most of us have looked for the quickest exit to either get out of the conversation or leave the room.

The Little Headed Monster is More Subtle, but Equally As Dangerous. He whispers how horrible You are, compared to this or that singer – and all that you are unable to accomplish. She whines that she didn’t go to music school, or can’t afford the $5000 guitar and can never catch a break while her counterparts are soaring. It’s the Ultimate Pity Party that often attracts a room full of crybabies who should otherwise be grateful for the gift they’ve been given, sharpen their skills and grow a pair… of stronger legs to stand on.

      2. Don’t Compete!

Healthy Competition is Great. It is downright Essential In Business and In Sports. There are Myriad of Stories of How Great Recording Artists would strategically either release their records in advance of, or several weeks after a Huge Artist, so they wouldn’t get crushed on the charts which proved to be sound business moves. But there has long been an unhealthy form of competition in the Creative World that seeks to Steal, Kill & Destroy the Hearts & Souls of their fellow Musicians. It’s Downright Hateful and No Self Respecting EM should continue to participate in it or Stand For It.

There are some who use every opportunity to freeze out other musicians – primarily out of envy or brutal ugliness. Some won’t share information, resources or opportunities, preferring to hoard everything. This behavior emanates from a “Lack Mentality.” These Artists don’t understand that there is infinite space in the Entertainment Community and the World is always awaiting the Next New Sound, Look or Experience. True EntreMusicians operate with an ‘Open Hand.’ We Look for ways we can Engage, Encourage & Empower Each Other!

3. Don’t Criticize!

This final behavior is many ways the Vocal Chords of the previous two. The Artist simply MUST make their observations known to anyone who will listen. Interestingly, they become meaner and nastier about their fellow counterparts as the crowd swells. You & I have seen Tweets, FB Live Footage and Instagram posts of horrible and often unwarranted criticism of someone who is either out there doing their absolute best or taking a completely different approach to the muse – only to be hammered for their individuality. Remember Fergie?

Regrettably, I have been around more seasoned musicians who will attend the show of a far lesser known artist and rip apart their performances as if they have always had perfect shows, sing on key or play awesome solos every single night. They rip apart the newbies and feel great about it. These are often the very same performers that find themselves dropped from their labels as soon as their own numbers fall below the anticipated streams/sales. Karma.

Truthfully, there have been several times where I have found myself in each of these three camps. If I were not speaking my position, I was certainly thinking it – and to be completely transparent, I am sure my attitude at the time may have cost me a connection or opportunity to advance. By God’s Grace, I have a more healthy respect for every EntreMusician I encounter, even if I don’t necessarily agree with their viewpoint or values. There is a wealth of maturity in Staying in Your Lane, Improving Your Gift and Sharing the Most Positive Energy You Have the Capacity to Produce!

Don’t Compare, Don’t Compete, Don’t Criticize! (video)

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What To Do When Your Audience Walks Out

I was taught an extremely valuable lesson a week ago when Lori & I were comped tickets to the 39th annual Tri-C Jazz Fest in Cleveland (Thanks Adrian!) We were curious to see Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles, who until that day was unknown to us, although his participation in the stalwart Snarky Puppy heightened our curiosity.

Being that he was headlining the evening caused me to do some research and from what I read, prepared myself to witness the next Prince in the making. I was Not disappointed. Cory’s mesmerizing rhythms, completely original perspective, command of the stage and out of this world B3 Organ juxtaposed against the conflicting genre-bending funk stew his band created kept our heads bobbing and feet stomping in time.

Well, at least a few of us.

Most of the audience, by the droves, got up and left.

They had come to see the opening Smooth Jazz All Stars, featuring the usual suspects who played the same four chords in the same four keys, doing the same lame solos, with the same lame approaches, proving that Smooth Jazz Music hasn’t moved an inch in 25 years. I’m not hating, most of my own music is still playing on some of the remaining Smooth Jazz Stations – BUT, I did spend most of those 90 minutes answering texts and uploading on Social Media.

This obviously wasn’t Cory’s crowd. It wasn’t his fault. Whoever booked him didn’t take into consideration the planet he came from was light years ahead of these earthlings and right after his first song ended, the crowd began vacating. Corey didn’t sneeze. In fact, he began to dig in deeper, turn his organ up louder and whipping his guitarist into solos that would make Jimi blush. This angered the brats and more rushed off, audibly, which actually – or at least from where I sat, thought I saw him smile brighter, as he wrestled his Hammond to the ground!

Before we knew it, it was only a handful of us, but we were up and out of our seats, into the aisles, dancing, partying, grooving and completely immersed in the funk! Cory had weeded them all out and was screaming into the mic, “Tell Everybody! How Many Bodies? EVERYBODY!! Your Grandma, Cousin, Niece & Nephews; Your Fathers, Sons and Mamas! Tell Everybody!” and then launched into a brand new song with a spandex rhythm just to make sure they were all gone!

We Didn’t Leave. We Listened. We Learned. We Gave Cory a Standing Ovation and Shouted His Name as He Rounded Third Toward Home. We Showed Him Love & Loyalty as He Left The Stage. We Were Now Co-Owners of the Experience. We Had Hope and Now Knew What to Do If Our Own Audiences Ever Dared to Turn Away from Our Artistry.

We Turn It UP!

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I Lost My Phone…

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I lost my phone yesterday. It’s Black with a Brushed Black Otter Box Case and Can Hide in Plain Sight as it did for close to 40 Minutes!

Obviously I had searched the ‘obvious’ places. I Retraced My Steps over and again, Each Time Looking Deeper, Slower, Closer than in the Previous Cycle.

I turned over pillows, blankets, mattresses, looked under the bed, couch, car and behind the fridge.

Then I began searching places I know I did not go.

I didn’t go to the basement or the girls rooms with my phone, but I Looked there

I didn’t take it into the bathroom with me (this time). But…

I haven’t been in the backyard since winter, but there I was. I NEEDED My Phone. I couldn’t leave home without it.

Suddenly I Stopped Everything. Nothing Else Mattered. Time was Ticking Away. An Important Appointment was Encroaching. ______________!!!

I enlisted the help of my family. All Hands on Deck! Turn Off the TV, Music, Dehumidifier! Call The Darn Thing! – The Ringer is Silent, but just maybe, we could hear the vibration humming….

My seventeen year old was appalled that the evasive apparatus was in the Very First Place I had repeatedly looked. It had magically appeared – Or Did It?!

The entire ordeal taught me Four Lessons about Seeking & Creating Opportunities as EntreMusicians.

1) Opportunities Abound and Many are In Plain Sight; At the Gym, The Grocery Store, Our Churches, Schools or Rotary Clubs but we do not engage in intense, aggressive seeking until We are Desperate. We may casually set an Opportunity to the side and/or Overlook It, especially if we don’t feel it will garner a Big Enough WIN – and just maybe That Opportunity was designed to Set Up The Win!

2) Ofttimes we venture far beyond our Sphere of Influence to Build before Solidifying Our Homebase and turning over Every Piece of Furniture in Our Own Domain to Create a Far More Substantial Connection than we would miles away.

3) We Don’t Ask For Help Until We Are In Trouble, Believing Ourselves Capable of Finding Everything We Need. Another Pair of Eyes & Ears Go A Long Way!

4) Intense Focus on the Goal while Ignoring EVERYTHING Else is the Sole Determining Factor. When All Distractions are Eliminated, You Immediately Position Yourself into the Crosshairs of Your Desired Goal or Destination. It’s as if The Thing has Found You. It Was There All The Time.

Seeking Must Become a Habit for the EntreMusician. Living Out Our Lives with a Purpose Filled Thought Process that THIS May Be The Moment we were searching for all along.

Jesus said in Matthew 7:8 ” For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

That’s Quite A Promise!

Go For It!

I Was Listening to Steve Khan’s “Casa Loco”  on Vinyl while composing this Blog.

The Awesome Avenue of Asking

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There is a Wonderful Biblical Principle that is Engaging, Encouraging & Empowering no matter what Your Worldview may be. Spoken by Jesus Christ in His Sermon on The Mount in Matthew 7: 7-8, He shares this Priceless Gem: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” A Deeper study into that passage of the Original Language reveals that Jesus is saying to Continue Asking, Continue Seeking and Continue Knocking! Persistence is the Key to Open The Door!

The Fear of Asking has stifled the Dreams of Millions! The Initial Preconceived Emotion of Rejection handicaps us from even picking up our bat to take a swing, let alone getting us to first base! The Problem is that we can be so overly (and needlessly) intimidated! The worst scenarios immediately into our minds and we instinctively begin to ostracize ourselves into the mire of what we believe Others will think of us! How Dare We Pursue Our Goals & Dreams! How Dare We Ask Them to Help Us?! Further, How Dare We Ask Them to Step Aside as We Garner More Territory!

Another Biblical Example that comes to mind is found in Numbers 13 when Moses sends out 12 spies to go into the land God had promised them and Ten of them returned scared witless, claiming “…We felt as small as grasshoppers, and that’s how we must have looked to them.” Only Joshua & Caleb had the stones to Move Forward and thus, only Joshua & Caleb Actually Entered into the Promised Land!

The Awesome Avenue of Asking is paved with Courage! To begin Gathering Nerve is found is the Ability to Get Over Yourself and just Start Making Requests!

Begin TODAY by Asking for Any & Everything You Can Think Of! It’s Perfectly OK to Start Small.

Ask A Co Worker for $0.75 cents and pay Him/Her back before the days end. Ask a Close Friend to Borrow $150 till Friday and Pocket It until then, paying them back promptly. The Joy is in simply getting started. The Next Time You’re in Your Favorite Store, Ask the Manager for a lower price on something that is clearly marked significantly higher and up the ante by having your money in plain site!

My First Point is, All They Can Say is NO!

I once walked into a Guitar Center asking for a Less Expensive Online Price of a certain Digital Recorder I wanted and the young, naive, prideful little Whatshisname refused me. So I kept my car in their parking lot and walked a few blocks to the Smaller, ‘Soon to be shut down by the Behemoth’ Music Store and Asked of them the same question. They obliged my request. I returned to GC with my New Unit and Receipt and Asked to Speak to the Manager, recounting my recent experience with his salesperson and my subsequent victory with his competitor. The Now Embarrassed Manager knew he had lost $200 trying to save $44.76 and had quite the conversation with his protégé. Perhaps that’s why they too may not be around long…

If You’re from New York or travel there much, You Soon Learn That EVERYTHING is Up for Negotiation! But Your Silence Guarantees You Will Never Have a Seat at The Table if You Don’t Ask!

My Second Point is All They Can Say To You Ultimately is NO and perhaps Sprinkle in a Few Expletives for Emphasis!!

I’m Learning to Ask for More Outrageous Things Consistently. I recall the Very First Time I asked an Extraordinary Price for My Band, SounDoctrine, to play a Gig and the Promoter said “Yes!” While immediately thinking I should have asked for at least $1000 more, I surmised that I’d never venture far from My Now New Standard Price ever again. Although this decision sometimes bites like a double edge sword, in that we hear a lot of Giant NOs, meaning we perform less, yet every time we do perform, we are playing more prestigious dates at better terms and conditions!

ASK for a Better Seat at that Swanky Restaurant! ASK to Be Upgraded to First Class For FREE! ASK to Speak to the Owner of the Company! ASK for an Opportunity to Open for That Artist or Better Yet to Headline The Event (They Will  Certainly Remember You!) ASK for Airplay on the Larger Stations! ASK for a Free Subscription! ASK for Your Post to be included in That Periodical! ASK for That Door To Be Opened and then ASK Again Next Week/Month/Year!

This Week, I’ve just asked a Core Member of a World Renown Group who will be playing our city this Friday (tomorrow) if I can interview them for This Blog. I have yet to hear a word from them and I just might receive another NO, but what if it becomes a YES?

So What Are YOU Asking For? What Incredible Opportunities are YOU Imagining Might Come to the Surface simply by gathering the grit to Open YOUR Mouth and Begin Inquiring?

My Third Point hinges on the scripture I began with as Jesus wraps up His thoughts on Asking. He says in verse 12: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” 

In Other Words, While You Are Rehearsing the Process of Asking, What Are You Preparing to Give, either to them directly or to Others whom May Ask of You so that the Law of Reciprocity may Flourish In You, Through You & Around You!

So Let’s Get To It!!

I’ve began a New Video Channel  to begin driving some of these and Other EntreMusicianal Points deeper into the subconscious of Us All.

I humbly Ask You to Watch, Like & Share this Content  with Your Fellow EMs and in turn I promise to continue to Progress & Develop Greater Programs of Dialogue, Resources and Avenues to Engage, Encourage & Empower!

Thank You for Taking the Time to Read These Words.

I was Listening to Azymuth‘s “Rapid Transit” On Vinyl while composing this blog.

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14 Absolute Guarantees You Will Never Be Called Back

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Every EntreMusician has either had to Deal with a display of Unprofessionalism of Another Band/Team Member at One Time or Another. Some of us (Including Myself) have unfortunately brought such obnoxious behavior to the table and wondered why the thing fell apart, or moved on without you.

Below, I have included 14 Absolute Guarantees that You Will Never Be Called Back if You Possess these Obnoxious Characteristics!

1) Arrive Late.
2) Make Several Excuses for Your Tardiness. Justifiable or Not.
3) Be Unprepared.
4) Make At Least One Excuse for Why You Didn’t Learn the Tunes. Any Excuse Will Do. 
5) Show a General Disregard/Disrespect for the Person who Hired You. 
6) Arrive Inebriated or become so during the Gig. 

7) Develop & Maintain a Crappy Attitude that worsens throughout the Evening. 
8) Use tons of profanity, especially on stage, specifically on the Mic.
9) Ridicule Any or All Band Members Onstage from the Microphone. 
10) Bring a Spouse/Significant Other to the Gig and Argue with them throughout the evening. 
11) Return to the Bandstand Late for the 2nd/3rd Set. 

12), Openly Squinch, Laugh and/or Point at the Bass Player Every time She Hits a Wrong Note. 

13) Aggressively Offend Any or All Members of the Audience On or Offstage. Especially if they should Deserve it.

 
14) Place Your Talent  Above Your Unprofessionalism and try to Outdo Everyone Else on stage with Your Brilliant, Illustrious, Completely Longer than Necessary Solos, thinking that because Your Gift IS Brilliant and You Sound So Wonderful and Have the Whole House On Their Feet and Under Your Sway that the Entire Band & Bandleader will simply forget the other 13 Abominable Attributes You Bring to the Table and Beg You to Come Back Next Friday…In Fact, the Third Time You Pull This Stunt, The Audience will have caught on and will no longer provide the Energy and Attention You Seek.

Perhaps I Have Forgotten One or Two Things You Feel Should Be on This List.

If So, Please Enlighten Us By Commenting Below…

I was listening to Bernie Worrell‘s “All The Woo In the World” On Vinyl while posting this.

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Advice I Gave My Youngest Daughter

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As an Absolute Shameless Plug for My Youngest Daughter, Ayana Symone, who just published her first novel, “How I Fell In Love With Myself” and as A Happy 53rd Birthday to Myself today, I want to share some advice I gave her as we were entering the building for her to do her first TV Interview to Promote her Book.

It is Wise Advice Every EntreMusician Should Remember Always:

TALK TO EVERYONE! 

There is No Such Thing as an Insignificant Person. Ever. Absolutely Everyone Deserves to be treated with Dignity & Respect.

Don’t just Politely Speak, but

TALK TO the Parking Attendant who Valets Your Car. Smile, Thank  & Tip Them. Especially if you’re in a hurry. TALK TO Them Again when You Return.

TALK TO the Employee who Greets You at the Door. Compliment them.

TALK TO the Security Guard who Takes You Up to the Elevator, even if you only begin with the weather.

TALK TO the Receptionist / Assistant that Shows You to the Green Room.

TALK TO the Technician who places the Mic on You.

TALK TO the Host/Hostess who offers you Coffee/Water/Tea.

Take a Moment to TALK TO the Custodial Personnel who may walk in to Empty the Trash or Sweep the Floor while You’re Waiting.

Treat Each Person as Graciously and Genuinely as You Do the Person Interviewing You. 

Often, I’ve made a point to have an Extra CD or Download Card to Gift Someone who is in no way related to the Interview, whether they happen to be an Employee or is in the building on another matter, I Gift  as a courtesy – After Having a Light, Encouraging Conversation.

These Encounters have earned me Mileage that has taken me further on my journey than just “sticking to the task at hand,” only Talking to Those Directly Related to My Goal/Cause/Project!

Ayana’s Book is Available on Amazon!

Now onto the Candle-filled Cupcakes…

STILL In a Crusaders zone, I’m listening to “Unsung Heroes” AGAIN on Vinyl!

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Overstating the Obvious

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Music is Sacred. 

She embodies a Global Language. She is an Impenetrable Vehicle of Love, Harmony and a Universal Cadence for All Races, Cultures, Faith & Ages.

While Music has been utilized to transport Opposing, even Offensive Ideas, she has more often offered Transformative, Unifying Emotions which have helped Change Laws, Suspend Unhealthy Mores and Transcend Generations.

The Purest Music and the mediums which foster her beauty have overtime become reduced to Mere Commodity, Shadowy Spectacle and Decaying Dogma.

Opinions, Suggestions and Ideas differ, as they must in a Completely Free Society, but Pure Music, Art that Awakens the Mind, Encourages the Spirit and Stimulates the Soul, Inspiring Integrity is at best, rarely created, or at worst, strategically besmirched & buried, forced into obscurity.

Platforms for Salacious Sensationalism Rise above the Rhythms of Inspiration. One’s Image, their Ability to Seduce and in many instances flaunt the notions of Success, Materialism, Murder and Vice incredibly overshadows Every Child who picks up their instrument in wild eyed wonder, merely for the sincere Love of Musicianship.

School Boards routinely abandon Musical Instruction & Appreciation, yet Politicize Personal Agendas, ironically Wrapping their Message in Song. The Biggest Award Shows, Instead of Championing the Absolute Best Music has to Offer, cloak themselves in Social Justice Attire, Preaching a Global Construct of Vilification. Pure Music is Lost in the Conversation.

Ideas are Welcome, All Opinions for the Greater Good of Humanity Must be Honored, but the Sacred Grail of Pure Music Must No Longer be Contaminated by the Creators of a Higher Calling; the Musicians, Chosen to Shine, to Encourage, to Build, to Connect.

If You Are a Creator of Pure Music, Lift Your Voice. Use Your Instrument. LOUD & Strong. For the Sake of the Next Generation. Do Not  Allow Your Artistry to be Mismanaged by those who wish to use it for anything other than Your Flawless Authenticity.

No Matter what they Offer, It’s Not Worth the Price of Your Soul.

I was Not Listening to Any Music while Writing this Post, but I met a Pure EntreMusician, Ron James, busking in Atlanta’s International Airport last night. I bought his killer CD. You Should Too…

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Grounded with Wings (Scene One)

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Every EntreMusician grapples with the dichotomy of continually balancing Our Artistry with Our Business Acumen; Our Creativity with the Disciplines of Commerce. Among these Many Balancing Acts We Perform are the Internal Battles for Fame, Fortune & Prestige as the Flame of Integrity burns just as brightly.

We Note Our Faith, Convictions, Principles & Values Must Remain Pure, Resilient & Uncompromising while Simultaneously Pursuing Innovative Plateaus of Greatness. It’s a Thin Tightrope, especially in an Industry that has most recently Revealed the Underbelly of Scandalous Vice which has help Topple those at the Highest Peaks of Success.

No One is Immune from Temptation in its innumerable forms. The oft quoted “Everybody Has a Price” has been Proven True throughout Generations. Remaining Absolutely Authentic to One’s Artistry in the Face of Pejorative Manipulation has languished the underwhelming careers of literal Geniuses deserving of far, far more.

History is awash with African American Artists who had to ‘Play The Game’ in order to Survive. They smiled in the Face of Bigotry and often played some of the Biggest Venues they were Not Allowed to Eat or Sleep In. It’s A Thin Tightrope, now wrapped around the Necks of a Generation who Take their Clothes Off and Curse their Own just to reach #1.

It’s Decision We All Make as We Climb the Higher Ladder, Peaking Through the Curtain of (Com)Promise. What Do We Give Up as We Go Up? Would We and Should We Write Our Own Rules and Throw Off the Restraints of the Gatekeepers or Do We Climb Aboard the Trifling Train Destined to Take Us Down the Same Tracks of Destruction so many Tabloid Failures have Traveled? It’s a Tightrope…A Thin One.

Less Sales, Smaller Venues, Regional Notoriety, Fewer Streams, Obscure Downloads and Occasional Royalties VS The Opportunity to Look Yourself in the Mirror, Sleep Soundly with No Regrets and Enjoy the Love of a Stable Family who Respects and Cherishes You. This is the Choice of both the Many and the Few who remain Grounded With Wings.

Still in a Huge ‘The Crusaders’ Mode, I have been listening to all of the Vinyl I have on them – Wow!

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18 Books Every EntreMusician Should Own

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Wisdom is the Ability to Discern Exactly What Needs to Be Said or Done When Called Upon to Do So. It is the Combination of Knowledge & Experience best learned from Your Own Mistakes and often from the similar Mistakes of Others who’ve traversed tumultuous terrain and Now Stand as Giants in their Industry. Every EntreMusician makes a Solid Effort to Build upon the Foundation laid and shared by those Within and Outside of the Music Industry. Not only is Knowledge Power, it is a Weapon of Advantage to Separate Your Artistry from the Myriad of Incredibly Talented Musicians Who Continue to Aimlessly Wander, Wondering Why their Gifts Aren’t Making Room for Them.

Below, I’ve listed 18 Challenging Books, in no particular order (except #18) which have become a part of my arsenal, including some new ones I’ve added to my toolbox. There are a few repeats from several years ago, but I kept them on the list to convey their timelessness. May they be an Encouragement to You as You Conquer 2018.

Please Note: I don’t receive any ‘Kickback’ or Endorsement Deal for Suggesting these Books. These are Books I Own.

1) Talent is Never Enough  / John Maxwell

I Am Beyond a Fan of John’s Extremely Practical Leadership Style. The Title is Self Explanatory and their is Plenty of Advice to Hone Your Skills and Put Your Talent to Work for You.

2) Boundaries / Dr. Henry Cloud

Knowing “When to Say When” to People, Projects & Particulars have been the saving grace of many Creatives who feel they should always give when they actually should “sow” and reap the benefits of balance! Dr. Cloud helps you learn how to say “No, Thank You” without Guilt or allowing others to Shame You.

3) Platform (Getting Noticed in a Noisy World) / Michael Hyatt

My Longtime Virtual Mentor, who’s podcasts kept me up nights dreaming and re-dreaming(!) scored big on the dawn of the Social Media Revolution we now take for granted with some amazing advice that only bears more fruit regardless of the upcoming Net Neutrality Wars. This is Advice You Need, whatever industry You’re In.

4) Thou Shalt Prosper  /  Rabbi Daniel Lapin

Debunking Stereotypical Myths on the Wealthy and Wealth Building and any ill conceived notions of a particular race or class of people is meticulously superintended by Rabbi Lapin. A Healthy Spiritual, Emotional & Psychological approach to Money is the Bedrock for EntreMusicians once they begin Earning a Living Through their Art.

5) How Music Works / David Byrne 

This Talking Head, Always Unconventional Explains in His Own Unique Way things EntreMusicians have Understood, But Somehow Could Not Put into Words

6) To Be Loved / Berry Gordy

One of My All Time Favorite “Go To” Autobiographies when I am Discouraged over this or that angle of my career. Mr. Gordy’s tenacious perseverance in the midst of overwhelming obstacles is often short sighted by the sheer number of enduring superstars he created and introduced to the world. His legacy continues to affect the way millions view popular music today.

7) The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People / Dr. Steven R. Covey

Unbreakable Laws which change EVERYTHING

8) Living Forward / Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavay

Because this Book is Co-Written by with Michael Hyatt, I added this, not wanting to repeat an author, but the lessons, principles and activities involved in this short evaluation, prompt you toward intentionality, avoiding the drift.

9) This Business of Music / M. William Krasilovsky & Sidney Shemel

The Industry Standard of the Music Business for EntreMusicians to even begin Developing a Clue of how not to get screwed…that bad

10) Streaming, Sharing, Stealing / Michael D Smith & Rahul Telang

As of this writing, I’m only into the third chapter, but have been recommending to all of my friends. I’m as excited about the possibilities these writers reveal as I was when The Future of Music was released back in 2005.

11) My Life With Earth, Wind & Fire / Maurice White

Few Bands have achieved True Super Stardom. E,W&F attained and in many ways exceeded what other groups believed were possible. They are a genre unto themselves with a brightly lit flame still glowing although Maurice departed this life in 2016. His story inspires, encourages and gnaws into the true grit needed to rise out of the deep south, into the celebrity of the Ramsey Lewis Trio and onto the Global Stage.

12) EntreLeadership / Dave Ramsey

You Guessed It. I Borrowed My Moniker from Dave’s phrase, which sets up some wonderful pillars onto which to build your dreams and become a leader in your genre. Extremely Forthright and Practical, this book makes you want to immediately put it down and get to work!

13) In A Pit With A Lion on A Snowy Day / Mark Batterson

As a Man of Faith, I’m Constantly on the Search for Material that Encourages My Spirit as I Encounter Challenges and Take Bolder Risks pouring into My Marriage, My Ministry and My Music. Mark’s Book is Just What The Doctor Ordered, Every Time You Find Yourself Standing on the Edge of a Big Idea! I will be reading his sequel “Chase The Lion” this year.

14) The Autobiography of Malcom X / Alex Haley

You Might Think this Insertion Strange and Out of Place, but if you believe in Growth, Evolving to Your Greater Self and Integrity to nth Degree of Whatever Perspective You Embrace, Then Looking Into Malcolm’s life will challenge you to the bone. You really Don’t Know Yourself, until You’re Forced to Be Introduced to the Real You. Malcolm’s Introduction cost him his life.

15) The Four Hour Workweek / Tim Ferriss

I’m due to listen to this Audiobook again this year, as I was blown away by Tim’s sheer unabridged approach to Life. Often Creatives are the ones most bound by regiments, habits and formulas (I know I am) – but to Live in a Way that Truly “Unties” You to Create, may seem zany at first, but thousands are doing it without missing a beat and seeing unsurpassed returns in the process.

16) Understanding Your Potential / Dr. Myles Munroe

When Lori, My Wife of 22 Years Gave Me This Book to Read when we were dating, I Knew She was the Woman for Me! The Late Dr. Munroe had a special way of Breaking Down our understanding our Purpose & Potential like few books I’ve ever read. This was the book that helped me quit my job and pursue music full time, warts and all….

17) Chaka! Through The Fire / Tonya Bolden & Chaka Khan 

Chaka’s voice has been the soundtrack of my childhood. She is our generation’s Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holiday & Ella Fitzgerald in One Woman. Her Story has all the channels of her voice, Soulful, Gritty, Sensual and Rapturous while Always Climbing Higher. You’ll Read This One Again and Again.

18) The Bible 

You Needn’t be a person of faith to learn incredible lessons from the lives of Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, The Apostles Peter & Paul and Jesus Christ. EntreMusicians can only grow and watch their lives be transformed beyond their imaginations as they discard what they may have heard or perceived and simply pick the thing up and digest it for themselves. An Excellent Read!

I was Listening to George Howard’s “A Nice Place To Be” on Vinyl while Composing this Post.

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The New & The Now…

times-square-ball

At the inception of every New Year, we inundate ourselves with Great Intentions, Good Resolutions & Groovy Planners designed to encourage us on toward Grand Achievements.

Furthermore, we tend to be fascinated by “The New!” 
A New Year!
A New Day!
A New Beginning!
A New Journey!
A New Song! 

and On & On We Go, Optimistically Chasing toward the Future, without pausing long enough to realize that Immediately after the Big Ball Dropped, It Instantly Became NOW! 

Now is Not As Sexy, Attractive or Magnetic as NewNow reminds us that we have to Get the Stuck Up Off Our Butts NOW and Continue the Hard Work in Front of Us! Finish that Song! Complete that Mix! Practice!!

Now demands that we stay the course, because Now is All We Know and Now is All We Have!

Work Toward the New. Dream About It. Pray Into It. Plan For It. But Remember, New Simultaneously Morphs Into Now Every Second of Every Day.

Still in a Crusaders Mode, I was listening to “The 2nd Crusade” while posting this.

Download My Free EBook “50 Engaging Ways to Transform your Fans into Family!”

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