Category Archives: Music Production

Take Time to Make Time

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Creatives Often Live In The Moment. Our Art is Our Life and Life Is Now!

EntreMusicians Equally Embrace & Employ Such Instantaneous Inspiration, but We Know that Our Ultimate Advantages are Rooted in Intense, Focused Planning for the Days, Months & Years Ahead. We Define Ourselves Differently.

The Tightrope for Most Musicians I know is Scheduling Time to SCHEDULE Time for Their Dreams & Goals because the Phone is Constantly Ringing.

That’s A Good Thing. Their Working! BUT… (Read The Rest Here!)

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Freedom From the Fear of Failure

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Firstly, as an Aspiring #Aluxer, I Am Not A Champion of Failure.

Like You, I Love to Win, Maintain Advantages, Remain Competitive and Constantly Seek New Ways to Improve. Losing, Quitting, Throwing In the Towel and Similar Derivatives are Not in My Active Vocabulary, but the Invaluable Education I have Received from the Many, Plenty Failures I have Experienced have proven to be Treasures which have Molded and Forged Me into the Man I Am, On the Path I Am. I would Not Trade Any One of Them. For Each Failure was just as Valuable as Every Win I’ve Attained.

Click Here To Read The Lessons I Have Learned :

Don’t Forget to Download My Free E-Book!

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PUT YOUR MUSIC ON SPOTIFY…OR ELSE!!

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I Know. I’ve Written About This before…and Twice Before That. I’ve even mentioned it in a few of my Videos.

“Get Over It!”  “It Is What It Is…”  “This Is Just the Way It Goes, The Cat’s Out Of The Bag and It’s NEVER Going Back In!” are the loudest comments I frequently receive when I begin to ask questions and One Expert actually called me Stupid on his forum. That Was Fun. This is the Music Industry, Boy! March In Step. Head Up, Shoulders Back. Eyes Forward!

FINISH READING ARTICLE @ THE ENTREMUSICAN

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The Only Two Things You Truly Own are the Only Two Things You Need to Succeed

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You & I Only Own Two Things.

Really.

That’s It!

2…!

Everything Else Can Be Taken Away in a Flash. Our Home could very well Go Up In Flames, even if We Burned our Mortgage years ago. Our Cars, Bank Accounts and Even Our Freedoms, Rights, Privileges, Traditions, Children, Family and Bodies are Subject to Irreparable Dissolve & Dust in a Twinkling of an Eye. At the End of the Day, when We Look to All We’ve Placed Our Trust and Security, an honest analysis confirms We Are Unable to Control Any Of It, with the exception of Two Things. Herein, I submit that  these are the Only Two Elements onto which Your Entire Life, Career and World could either Soar to the Zenith of Success or Ensure a Lifetime of Scarcity.

Now, I Must Apologize in Advance that in order to properly flesh out my explanation, I will need to interject a bible passage and venture into a few faith based precedents to make my practical points. I realize that I am writing to an audience of various perspectives and belief systems. One may choose to disagree with my method, but I am hopeful that once I’ve concluded, it will be difficult to dismiss my message.

These Two Gifts were bestowed at Birth. Extremely Valuable but Free of Charge. Exceeding the Importance of Organ or Extremity. These Two can Never Ever be Taken Away From Us, Without Taking Our Lives. Nor Can Anyone Force Us to utilize them in any form other than how We ultimately wish to – even if that person has somehow temporarily manipulated us, we still, at anytime can reassert Our Inherent Control. Genetics and Environment obviously Play a Respective Role in helping to condition These Two Properties, but in the majority of circumstances, You & I are endowed with the Absolute Ingredients to attain our Highest and Best.

These Two Components Are Priceless. Their Role Profoundly Shape Our Destinies and are Continual Aids for Advancement. They are a Natural Means  for Progress & Prosperity.  When Used Wisely, they contain the capacity to Improve the Human Condition globally. Not Unlike Everything Else We Steward, these Sacred Assets should be Nurtured and Protected. In fact, to Gain Enormous Advantages, These Resources Must Be Developed, Disciplined and Continually Responsive to Our Demands. Once We have Diligently Mastered the Necessary Training, New Worlds, Possibilities & Blessings Find their way to Our Door.

The Resources to which I refer is Our Minds & Our Mouths. Our Thoughts, Active or Subconscious, contain the Source of All of the Power & Energy Necessary to Totally Transform Our Lives either toward Dominion or Decay. Every Idea, Concept, Intention, Theory, Hypothesis or Inkling has spawned from the Womb of The Mind,  Advancing and Progressing (or diminishing and destroying) Life and the Quality thereof.

Equally, Our Mouths and the Words We Choose to Escape from It can Build Bridges of Prosperity or Forge Alleys of Abjection. Our Words either Embrace or Imprison Opportunity. By Our Conversation, People Instinctively Know How & Where to Classify Us in their Personal or Professional Tiers of Influences. The Healthiest and Hungriest of Us understand the Unique Collaboration of Our Minds & Our Mouths. We attend Our Thoughts, Motives & Attitudes with the Utmost Care. We  Acknowledge the God Given Power of Our Brain as a Hallowed Production Facility. We Schedule Time to Think, Plan, Pray & Create. We Intentionally Reflect, Evaluate and then Implement our Thoughts, Transforming Imagination into Gold. The Most Successful Thinkers form Mastermind Alliances, harnessing the Potential that energizes Multiple Minds in Alignment.

Furthermore, We deliberately Watch Our Words. We Carefully, Tenderly, Thoughtfully Choose Each One. We Focus on Our Tone of Voice, Every Enunciation, the Sequence, Grammar and Flow of Each Word. Everything That Enters Our Brains Does Not Exit Our Mouths. Our Orifice is Our Divine Distribution Center which we Excellently Maintain. With It We Effectively & Efficiently Convey Our Thoughts to Our Loved Ones, Friends, Business Partners or Potential Investors. It Is No Accident that our Vocabulary Expands when we Strengthen Our Minds; Learning, Unlearning & Relearning New Paradigms, Traversing the Unexplored, Growing, Dreaming, Imagining, Inventing. Eagerly, We Expectantly Speak the Invisible into Being, the Future Into the Present, Telling & Not-Telling Those Who Would/Shouldn’t Come Alongside Us for this Amazing Journey toward the Impossible!

This is All We Really Own. This is All We Have. This is All We Need!

Our Incredible Thoughts Can Withstand the Powerful Forces of Doubt, Fear, Worry and the Onslaught of Obstacles which populate like dandelions at the Dawn of a New Idea. Even the harshest physical abuse cannot terrorize a Mind Determined to Prevail. Communicating Purpose Filled, Powerful, Potent, Penetrating Words Declare Life where there is Death, Hope to the Desolate and Calm to Storms. We are Molded, Shaped & Fashioned in the Image of the Almighty God, who Creates & Speaks and Allows, even Challenges Us to Do The Very Same Thing! We Were Created to Gain Dominion Over Our Every Circumstance!

 Read Genesis Chapter One.

My Friend, You Possess & Control The Two Most Powerful Tools on the Planet to Succeed In Life and within the Lives of Those You Love & Serve. Utilize their Greatness to Experience what Countless Others have Failed to Envision. Sharpen Your Mind. Command Your Conversation.

Win!

I was Listening to Jeff Lorber’s “Water Sign” on Vinyl as I wrote this…

Download My Free EBook!

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Seven Major Mistakes I’ve Made As A Bandleader

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Author & Speaker Dennis Waitley once said, “Mistakes are Painful when they Happen, but Years Later a Collection of Mistakes is what is called Experience!”

So it is with a measure of honor and some distinction that I count myself among the most ‘experienced’ leaders out there, as a result of  the many humdingers I’ve cast upon my various band mates over the last 16 years with my current band, SounDoctrine and other projects. While I am grateful to still call 97% of my associates Great Friends to this day, I am confident the remaining 3% are calling me several other adjectives!

Today I Bear My Soul & Confess My Sins to You in the hopes that My Blunders Create Stepping Stones for You wherever You May Be on Your Musical Journey!

 

1) Failed to Plan 

Although I have blogged on this point several times, it continues to climb to the #1Spot for things going wrong for the EntreMusician. There will be many times where True Emergencies surface and the “Unexpected” rears its head, but most often it’s our failure to look at our Projects & Performances from a 360° angle and dissect all of its components. Checklists are as much a Best Friend to an EntreMusician as is a Rehearsal. Ask Questions of Your Team and Then Ask More. Have You Considered Everything? Many Times I Didn’t and I Fumbled Every Time! Dr. Steven Covey’s Book“The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” marks as Habit #2 ‘Begin With The End In Mind’.

 

2) Didn’t Pay Attention To The Numbers

Not Being A Numbers Guy (At All), I didn’t get the adage that they don’t lie! So I would usually rely on what my gut was telling me. I did not budget. I underestimated costs and overestimated profits. I halfheartedly listened to my accountant (an obsessive numbers guy) who warned me, cautioned me and chided me when I disobeyed his advice and did the gig anyway…Further, It Cost Me In Taxes, although I had software which would calculate inventory for me, but was relying on me to punch in the data – and I was too lazy, slow and stupid to do it myself, or hire someone to do it for me. So I LOST Huge $$

 

3) Did TOO Many Promotional Gigs

“Exposure” Can Be a Very Tricky (read Dirty) Word for the EntreMusician, Especially As You Are Just Starting Out. Most Promoters and Venue Owners Will Say that Word 12 Times Or More on Your First Phone Call, Cementing Into Your Psyche that You Actually Need Them to Reach the Audience You’re After. Most Often You Will. But You Should Know When You Don’t. I Didn’t. So, I Spent the Better Part of Our First Two Years Counting on Free Gigs To Get Our Name Out There, Often Very Afraid To Ask for Money. Promoters would Promise us that If We Did a particular Event  for them THIS Year, for“Exposure”  they’d pay us the NEXT Year, But It Would NEVER, Ever Happen!

Finally, When I Began to Actually Charge Some Real Money for the Group, I Felt Stupid that I had Gone So Far Down The Road Without Requesting Moola! Unless the Performance was related to the right Radio or TV audience, I have eschewed the Dirty Word. (More Below on Point #6)

 

4) I Didn’t Sign Agreements

Repeat After Me: “I Can’t Repossess My Performance!” Once You’ve Sung Your Song and Played Your Kazoo, That’s It.

If the Venue Owner has stiffed you on the Sheckels, you better have sold a ton of merch so you can get back home – provided you had an agreement which allowed for you to keep 100%…And the Answer is YES! I Did Drive the SounDoctrine Van All The Way to Philly on a mere Verbal Agreement, just so the Promoter could explain every reason why he couldn’t pay me what he promised…Of Course Now, We Don’t Even Start the Van, Until We Get It In Writing

 

5) I Didn’t Promote Often or Accurately

Obviously, this specific Flaw began before the Now Normal Social Media Blitz, but my Earlier Methods Morphed Into Big Mistakes because I kept attempting to make Our Social Media Platforms behave like Traditional Marketing & Promotion. Early On, to Save Money, I Didn’t Do Enough Promotion, trying to get by with sub par Posters and Flyers that didn’t properly convey our brand (or much else). I became a little more savvy with getting SounDoctrine on Radio & TV segments, but the hours of our appearances were unsustainable – no one was awake and those who were, were on their way to work!! It took me a while to build a base socially, but even when I did grab a foothold, it seemed I was always on the back end of what was trending months earlier. Now I subcontract work to a professional!

 

6) I Didn’t Charge Enough $$

This point is actually an extension of numbers #2 & #3 above, as we had moved beyond the phase of promotional to paid performances – BUT, It wasn’t much Beyond Gas Money! I hadn’t gauged our popularity nor the momentum we were building, so instead of calculating actual costs and asking accordingly, I also didn’t possess the confidence to push back on the first bid. I felt I should settle for what I was being offered, lucky to have the opportunity to perform. While some of that is true, a Real Win-Win, especially for your band, is that everyone can feel great about doing a wonderful job which also profits them financially.

Allow me to say here, that the Venue Owner and/or Promoter needs to make a profit too – and there are some very reputable, honest ones who want to see the Artist and His/Her Music Expand. They have overhead, expenses and employees and should receive appropriate fees for their hard work. But many of them are so focused on their bottom line that nothing else matters. Neophyte Musicians are usually operating on advanced emotional stimuli and can’t see beyond the stage. The Objective is to be as passionate about receiving the income you deserve as you are for the Incredible Experience You are offering them. And Don’t be Afraid to Say “No, Thank You” to any deal that is not the best for You and Your Artistry.

 

7) I Didn’t Stay Focused

With Complete Transparency, I Must Say that This is an area Which I continue to Work On.

If I am not Absolutely Careful, I Can Allow a Variety of Interest to Capture My Attention. All are Musical and Each offer their own level of reward. It’s Important that I Maintain My Focus, Prioritize the Goal and then become Brutally Intentional about seeing the project from Conception to Completion. As I Review, each time I’ve Lost Focus, I’ve Lost Consistency. Conversely, All Gains I have been blessed to accomplish, without a doubt were the instances where I held a laser light focus on what was Most Important  and Worked It Off until it Worked Out. I am a firm believer that Every EntreMusician CAN Do It All. Many Times We Must – But We Cannot Do It All At Once, so the Next Time We are Faced with 12 Simultaneous Ideas, Pull Out the Scribble Board and begin asking some the Serious WHY Questions and move into the HOW with Careful Planning (read #1)

 

These Seven Rabbits have proven to be Major Mistakes which have most led to my Career Detours which could have completely derailed me. I am grateful to have learned from these experiences.

I am sure you have your own set of criteria to look to as what “Not To Do” in Your Artistry. Please Share Your Advice So We All Grow Together. Remember to Sign Up & Download My Free E-Book “50 Engaging Ways to Transform Your Fans Into Family!”

 

Watch The Video!

Peace & Blessings!

Jere B

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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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SIX THINGS I SHARED WITH MRS T’s CLASS!

sleeping class

Over the years I have been blessed to be able to speak at our area Northeast Ohio High Schools, especially on Career Days to encourage Students in their endeavors and in peaking interest into the Entertainment Arena.

As you can imagine, having listened to stifled presentations from Attorneys, Funeral Home Directors(!?), Carpenters, Welders and various other business owners, when I step up and say “ Hi, I’m a Music Producer,” most of the Sleepers, well at least a few of them, rub their eyes and try to focus. When I am able to either bring in some gear to demonstrate beats or present some other multimedia explaining the technology and my role in it, then I have their attention! It’s Interesting to note that the Top Two Responses I frequently receive anytime I ask about career goals is “I Wanna Be A Rapper!” or Athletics. That’s Any School, Across Ethnic & Economic Demographics…God Help Us.

Early on, I quickly learned that the easiest way to put a High Schooler to sleep is to read from a script! It’s foolproof! Stand behind a lectern and begin flipping notes and the snoring becomes deafening! So on this past Friday morning, when Mrs. T invited me to present the entire day on Entrepreneurship to her class, I did what I’ve done for the past six or seven years now, Wing It!!

When I began to explain what I’d learned as I was progressing into the role of an EntreMusician, I instinctively walked to the board and prepared to write down the proverbial three when, as I continued talking, turned into six. They became so impactful, I began talking to myself, as if the students faded into my peripheral. I actually made notes between the classes to expound upon and updated them throughout day.

Tell Me If You Agree…

 

1. Be Intentional

*NO ONE IS GOING TO GIVE YOU ANYTHING! (I Actually Screamed This and Made Them Repeat It Thrice!) NO One Owes You ANYTHING! The Grammy Doesn’t Just Fall Into Your Lap (Although it seems like it lately!) You Are Responsible for You!! Get Off Your Donkey and Do The Work!
2. “And Then Some” 

*These Are Three Words which Changed My Life. First Taught to Me by Bishop David L. Thomas, he shares “It’s Not Enough to Do Just the Requirements, Successful People Go Beyond!” When Rehearsal Stops, That’s When Your Practice Begins! It Matters Not that You Sing In Key, Thousands of People Audition for a Spot on “The Voice” or “Idol” – So What! Even in My Much Smaller Domain, I Can Have a Singer or Musician in front of the Mic at 3PM Today!  I’m NOT Looking for someone to Sing/Play the parts, I’m Looking for Someone to Kill IT! Interpret the Phrase, Step So Far Inside the Zone that I’m Embarrassed I didn’t Write it that Way! So Go Far Beyond! Do What It Takes…And Then Some!

 

3. Put God First 

*My Own Personal Statement of Faith. You May Follow Another System of Belief, or None At All. But for Me & My Household, We Serve The Lord and have found Him Most Faithful in ALL of Our Endeavors, even Teaching Us More in Our Failures, SO This is My Practice.

 

4. Always Be Truthful 

*There Are Two People We Tend to Lie to. Ourselves and Each Other. Both Are Dangerous, But Lying to Yourself is Detrimental. Not Owning Up to Your Failures, Mistakes, Irresponsibility, Lack of Professionalism and Discipline is Guaranteeing that You’ll Never Truly Succeed. And Whatever Measure of Success You May Obtain, If Any,  Will Quickly and Surely Fade as You Believe the Lies of Others that You Are God’s Greatest Gift to the Entertainment Industry. Another destructive element about lying to yourself is that whatever you tell yourself, your mind accepts! If You say “I’m Not That Good,” “I’m a Loser,” “I’ll Never Amount to Anything,” or the Most Famous Curse of All – “I Can’t!!!” The Your Mind AGREES WITH YOU and You Rob Yourself of the Blessings Intended to flow through you and out into the world!!

Obviously, Lying to Others, Other than being Just Plain Wrong is Absolutely Unnecessary and will Bite Hard after Word Gets Around that You Are Untrustworthy and Lack Integrity. And Word Spreads Fast!

 

5.FORGIVE! 

* Beyond Huge! Carrying a Grudge grows Heavier Every Day! Someone once said that Unforgiveness is Like Drinking Poison and Expecting the Other Person to Die! I had Incredible Unforgiveness Issues Early in Life, Especially for My Father and I Found Myself in a Spiritual Prison because I couldn’t (and wouldn’t) Move On. This caused me to harbor other forms of hatred against Anyone who Said or Did Things to Me – Or Even If I Perceived they Might! It’s a Living Hell and if You Don’t Allow God to Heal You and Release You, Forget About THIS Industry, because unfortunately Dogs, Snakes and Other Unscrupulous Scum abound – Each One Wearing Smiles! You’d better learn how to Discern their Spirits from One or Two Conversations and if, by some Chance you get Nicked or Stabbed, Seek Appropriate Counseling and Move On!
6.Know Who YOU Are

* No One Can Ever Force You To Do ANYTHING (within the context of the Entertainment Industry) that You Don’t CHOOSE To Do. If You KNOW Who You Are, Maintain Integrity and a Strong Constitution, You Don’t Have to – And Would Never – Sing Those Lyrics, Take Off Your Clothes, Align Yourself with That Person just because They Can Do This or That for You. Focus on Your Strengths, Your Principles & Values, Your Artistry and BE YOU! Certainly, It May Take Longer than Those Who Sell Their Souls, but what is the Price of YOURS?

 

So That’s What I Shared. I am Certain there are Many More and I would Like to Hear Yours. What Would You Have Told Ms. T’s Class if Given the Chance OR What Do You Regularly Share?

 

Please Feel Free to Comment!

 

We’ll Compile ALL of Our Wisdom and Post an EntreMusician Handbook!

 

TODAY Marks My 50th Blog Post at TheEntreMusician.com   – while I’ve posted far more on other sites, I am grateful for the Opportunities I have been afforded by establishing this brand. Today, March 1, 2018, we begin to expand and also celebrate my fellow EntreMusicians who participate. They are each doing incredible work and all explore exciting Artistry! If You wish to become a Member of our wonderful EntreMunity  reach out to me here, so we can Engage, Encourage & Empower Each Other toward Greatness!

This Week’s Spotlight EntreMusician is the Internationally Renown Ginetta’s Vendetta. A Beautiful, Remarkable, Exceptional Trumpeter who leads a Funk Jazz Band through Standards and Original Compositions, Ginetta never fails to rock the house. My band SounDoctrine opened for her in Baltimore and later played behind her at the Soul Patrol Festival in Philly and no doubt will be working together again real soon! Check Her Out and Support her Artistry! 

I’ve Linked an MP3 of Her Track “The Shadow of Your Smile” for Your Enjoyment!

Ginetta

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