Category Archives: Networking

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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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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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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Forget The Misses!!

mistake

At the time of this writing it’s safe to confess that I’ve blown it no less than 1752 times or more in 2017, with respect to my Personal, Professional and otherwise Preferential Decisions and there are still a few days left in this year! Obviously I am not proud of these missteps, which have hindered certain goals and advancement, yet I have long since Learned to Value the Lessons Every Blur & Blunder taught me. Each Chastisement has brought with it the understanding that I should not Extensively Linger on the Embarrassment, Shame or Guilt, but Appreciate the Gift of Another Opportunity to try again.

Once an Unexpected Bomb has Exploded, Our  very next moves as EntreMusicians should be to immediately Confess the Transgression(s), Ask Forgiveness, Seek Reconciliation and Move Forward, or more succinctly as Bishop David L. Thomas teaches, “When You Mess Up, Fess Up, then Get Up!”

Most Creatives, because we ‘feel’ so dynamically often experience difficulty overcoming our oversights. We tend to get stuck in the “shoulda, woulda, coulda’s” which further Delay Our Progress.

Mistakes & Miscalculations are Sure to Appear in the Upcoming Chapters of Our New Year, unless You are one of the New Robots being introduced into it. Unfortunately, a few of your Most Well Engineered Plans & Strategies May Not Perform as well as You’d Hoped, often Depending on Circumstances Outside of Your Control. Perhaps a Personal Misunderstanding Bangs a Huge Dent in an otherwise Vibrant Relationship, which as a result becomes irreparable. As long as You Know Deep Within Your Spirit that You were Not Malicious in Your Initiatives AND You have Taken the Sensitive, Appropriate Steps to try to Rebuild the Breach, albeit to no avail; You Must Move Along, Tears and All.

Remembering to Forget the Misses while Learning From Them is the Tightrope EMs are Destined to Walk. Don’t Get Stuck in the Mire. Make Adjustments. Tweak. Course Correct with Shoulders Back, Head Held High & Most Importantly, a Pure Heart. Once You’ve Sincerely Sought an Acquittal, Forgive Yourself!

A Wonderful Book, “Failing Forward” by esteemed Leadership Author, John Maxwell Goes Much Deeper and Helps the Healing! Enjoy!

I Wish You An Incredibly Prosperous, Blessed and Joyous New Year!

I was Listening to The Crusaders’ “Unsung Heroes” on Vinyl while writing this…

Grab a Copy of My Free E-Book “50 Engaging Ways to Transform Your Fans into Family” at  The EntreMusician.com

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Forget The Critic!!

criticism

Firstly, A Blessed & Joyous Christmas to Each & All!

Last We were Together (I’ve missed a few weeks) we suggested that since Every EntreMusician’s True Motive is to Compose His or Her Song completely from their Heart, Essence & Truth, then they Must  Adopt the Initiative to Forget The Hit!

Hit Songs Come and Go. Standards Transcend Generations. Smokey Robinson’s Great-Great Grandchildren should never be poor!

Today, we set forth a necessary secondary principal that urges you to abandon relying on The Critic to either Define You or Dictate to You What You Should or Must Sound Like to “Make It.”

While Garnering Great Reviews for Your Latest Project has its merits and You’d certainly want to see Favorable Appraisals of Your Work, You Don’t Want to Lean on the Analyst’s Voice or Pen to Guide You! I Learned This the Hard Way – Actually In Reverse – When SounDoctrine’s “INSPIRE” CD accumulated a ton of Wonderful Reviews, but little to no sales…and the total truth is, I had paid for None of Them! Somehow in trying to build upon the foundation we’d created with “ENDURANCE” while expanding our ‘commercial appeal’ I completely lost track of the Goal for the Glory.

I Certainly am NOT Hating on the many gracious Reviewers out there. I once was a Critic for a Jazz eMagazine and was blessed to be able to recommend a number of truly great Indie Artists. I did it out of the love for the music and was always respectful to follow any injurious comments I might’ve had with a note of encouragement. It came to the point where I would not review any material I felt I could not be kind toward, which began to denote bias on my part, so I quit. Many Reviewers share this struggle.

Your Purpose as an Artist Must be Grounded in Understanding that You Most Certainly Will collect Brutal Criticism from those who Don’t Know You, Understand You or are totally Unable to Envision Your Platform and it’s OK. Your Music is NOT for Them!

At the heart of the Christmas Story is a King, born in a filthy manger, who while going about Doing Good was for most of His Life was despised, hated and ultimately murdered by the critics of His day, brought forth through His Resurrection the Greatest Gift the world could ever receive; Eternal Life!

So Go For It!

Get My Free E Book at www.theentremusician.com and Join the Conversation brewing for 2018!

I’ve been in an Azymuth mood again, so while writing & posting this, I’ve been dropping all of their albums on the turntable!

Check Out their cover of Marvin’s “What’s Goin On”

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