Tag Archives: Entrepreneurs

Chase Away The Proverbial “They!”

crowdThey Say: “You’ll Never Make It in this Business” 

They Say: “You Need to Go to This School and have That Degree”

They Say: “Only 2% Succeed in Your Industry, So Don’t Bother”

They Say: “You Need The Right Connections”

They Say: “You Have to Dress Like This and Play Your Trumpet Like That or Forget It!” 

They Say: “No One Is Going to Appreciate Your Style of Music!”

They Say: “You Have No Right to Take That Position”

They Say: “You Don’t Deserve to Receive Those Accolades!”

They Say: “It Will Never Work!”

They Say: “Don’t Expect Much, So You Won’t Be Disappointed!”

Yes, They Say a lot of Discouraging, Mean & Nasty Things, often without trying to be Mean, Nasty or Discouraging.

Somehow They forget that the Celebrated Icons They Themselves Honor, Revere & Adore were Told the Very Same Things, Did Not Have the Right Connections, Money, Resources or Attend an Institution of Select Pedigree.

Icons are Pioneers whom Forge their Own Identities, Sounds, Art & Creativity onto the Global Landscape without Asking Permission or Seeking Solace in the Status Quo.

These Ambassadors of Innovation Shift the Platform of Public Paradigms into New Realities of Consciousness that Shape the Future and Transcend Life As We Currently Understand It.

With Constant Obstacle, Hurdles, Detours and Encumbrances at Every Level, Vanguards Chase Away the Proverbial They as These Climb Higher Toward Their Own Thrones, Created Just for Them.

Go and Do Likewise…

I Was Listening to YellowJackets “Shades” on Vinyl while composing this post.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

The Twin Towers of Truth & Trust

Unfortunately, our Country and the World has recently had to endure the commemoration of the 15th Acknowledgement of the Atrocities which occurred on September 11th. Our Hearts continue to go out to the many families who’ve had to be reminded yet again – and embrace the pain of their magnificent losses.

Perhaps like You, Lori & I watched a significant number of documentaries that retold stories of Bravery, Heroism & Self Sacrifice in various moments of crisis. Interwoven within these tales were also a growing analysis of Skepticism, Controversy & Conspiracy which explain that we do not have All the Facts, nor have we indeed been told the Entire Truth concerning this Incredible Tragedy.

Amidst the Irony of these Painful Ceremonies is the blatant, crude and destructive political campaign season we find ourselves in, where it seems that the Twin Towers of Truth & Trust have likewise been destroyed, long before a plane – or a missile – crashed into the World Trade Center.

If We are forced to Choose, for the Highest Office in our Nation, between the One Who Lies the Least, it’s no wonder why America suffers from a Deficit of Reliability Worldwide- If & When Our Government Leaders, Present & Future are Unwilling to Stand On and Speak The Truth, then it’s clear why it may take decades, or longer, to rebuild the Tower of Trust.

Furthermore, if we as individuals find it difficult to Speak Truthfully, In Love, to our neighbors, next door, at work, in church, at the mall and/or online, we emaciate the right to accuse any leader of decimating the public trust.

Truth & Trust are Towers We Must Build Together.

 

I was listening to no music while writing this blog.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Three Tiny Steps on The Tightrope of Time & Money

Everyone is Well Aware of the Two Most Important Commodities on Planet Earth.

Time & Money.

Both Can Be Wasted, Saved, Spent or Invested. Used Wisely, Each Possesses the Power to Obtain Greater Assets & Privileges and/or Provide Basic or More Luxurious Needs to the Few or Many. Frequently, Both Are Traded for the Other and Wisdom is Tested in How Well One Uses or Abuses Them.

EntreMusicians at Every Level Seem to be in Short Supply of Either. Walking The Narrow Tightrope of How to Utilize the Best of Both Pay Huge Dividends and Multiplies Our Successes Exponentially.

Although I Have Not Included any Hard Core Solutions to Our Conundrum, I have listed Three Tiny Scenarios that I have personally walked through in the hopes that they Motivate You to Think Through the Issues Before You Spend (Or Waste) Either Valuable Resource.

1) Music Lessons. Admittedly, I am the Worse Drummer I Know. Many Also Know This and Would Agree! I Hated Taking Drum Lessons in my youth and Now I’m Paying for My Embarrassment, When I Should’ve Paid for The Lessons…

I am a Far Better Songwriter & Producer, for which I also Didn’t Take Lessons, but Spent a Million Hours Developing My Craft, Buying & Blowing Up Gear and Listening, Listening, Listening to My Favorite Artists to Learn (read steal) Ideas from…Although there are Countless Conferences, Workshops & Seminars I could have shelled out for, which Others Attend & Swear by, I Believe My Time in the Basement was the Better Investment.

2) Buying Studio Time or Building Your Own Space. Purchasing Studio Time at a Reputable Place with a Knowledgeable Engineer is a Dream – When You Know Exactly What You Want, Have Thoroughly Prepared Your Music & Practiced Like Crazy! If None of Those Things Are in Place, You Might As Well Set Fire to Your Hard Earned Cash Right Doggone Now!

There are a few Compassionate Engineers and they usually have Small Digital Clocks next to their boards. If You See a Huge Round Audible Ticking Monster Hanging on the Wall Behind Their Chair and Two More in the Booth with a Blinking Count Down Mechanism, You had Better Gone to the ATM! If they happen to Hate Your Music, Well The Clock Theory Goes Out The Window with You & the Rest of Your Gear!

I’ve been Beyond Fortunate to Own several Tascam 4 & 8 Track Cassette Recorders in the Medieval Days of Home Recording, as well as Collaborating with Like Minded Musicians & Studio Owner/Engineers who were on their own quests to Learn & Grow. This saved Valuable Time and The Only Money Spent was on Better Gear (more on that soon).

3) Do I Really Need A Manager? No. Yes & No.

If You are Just Beginning, Embrace EntreMusicianship for All It’s Worth and Invest Your Time Learning Every Single Aspect of Managing You, Your Schedule, Your Band, Their Schedules. Make Every Phone Call. Send (and respond to) Every Text & Email. Learn Your Market and Learn How to Say “No Thank You!” when that Promised Exposure Only Benefits the Promoter/Club Owner. Become an Expert Negotiator!

As Your Band & Brand Grows, Spend the 5 to 8% on Loyal, albeit Inexperienced Managers willing to devote themselves exclusively to You and will work with you to decrease Your Blind Spots and Actually Help You Build Your Artistic Acumen. Professional Managers will definitely be worth the 10 to 15% but You Must Also Be Worth It To Them and the Way You Know That is NOT In The Way They Woo YOU, but what they have Proven to Have Done for Others! Still, You Should be Concerned about their Exclusivity to You and Not just another of the 16 acts on their agency roster.

The Most Efficient Way to Invest Time & Money at the Outset of Your Career is to Build A Team. This Includes An Attorney, An Accountant, A Social Media Director/Publicist and Your Own Hand Picked Manager/Booking Agent. Interview Each Carefully, Have A Ton Of Meetings, Individually & Collectively (Yes You May Have to Pay for Their Time). Make Sure They Understand Your Vision, Principles & Goals (Make Sure You Understand Them Too!), Iron Out Percentages on the Front End, with an Optional Earnings Elevator (i.e., The More You Earn Over Time as a Result of Everyone’s Efforts, Their Percentages Also Increase).

I Confess with Joy that this has been the Single Most Efficient Decision, which has helped me to endure even during the dark times or when SounDoctrine is Not on Stage or in the Studio. A Team helps Weather the Storms, Keeps The Vision Alive & Encourages You To Advance Ahead.

We’ll Discuss Three More Next Steps Next Week. Thanks for Taking the Time to Read This Blog! I Was Listening to The Crusaders’ “Images” on Vinyl while Writing & Posting here!

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My 5 Favorite Spaces

This Week I’m Dropping Five of My Favorite Resources & Tools I Regularly Rely On to Bring both Efficiency & Effectiveness to My EntreMusicianship. Through Several Years of Honing Creative & Productive Habits, I’ve Found These Spaces Work Best for Me. Although I Am Sure You Have a Toolbox of Your Own, Here’s My Five Faves:

REASON 9

Although I Also Employ Sonar Platinum, Vegas Pro 11, Sound Forge Pro 10 & Acid Pro 7 (For their Amazing Beat Mapper!) as Needed,  Reason has Long been My First Choice for Writing & Production. Reason is Completely Customizable & Intuitive and I’ve Never had a Need Reason Could Not Handle. It’s Fast, Powerful & Practical!

HOOTSUITE

The Efficacious EntreMusician’s Social Media Presence Must Be As Concise as it is Impactful. Hootsuite Allows Me to Schedule & Post Across All Platforms & Groups Seemlessly. Although the Paid Version Allows Limitless Engagement On Each Stream, I Chose My Three Most Popular Spaces to Post to and allowed the rest to remain Peripheral. Thank God I Have Michaela on My Team to Keep Me Consistent!   (Follow, Friend & Connect!!)

EVERNOTE

I Admit to Being just a Toddler on Evernote. There’s So Much To Learn & Do on this thing!

I Use It to Write Lyrics, Record Thoughts, File Dreams, Keep Key Contacts, Doodle, Design and Shape Stuff! I Love It’s Flexibility & Availability, No Matter What Device I Reach For! There is Also A Paid Version for Power Users.

THE INDIE BIBLE

The Best Way To Describe How I Use Indie Bible is as a Networking Platform, which I don’t believe was David Wimble’s purpose when he created it. I’m Happy to Say I was One of His First Customers. IB’s Main Purpose is to be the Premier Place for Indie Bands & Artists to Find Gigs, Radio Stations & Other Outlets to Showcase their Music – and Trust Me, It is a Wealth of Information. The challenge SounDoctrine faces is that we are in such a Tiny Genre, there aren’t too many places for us to Upload Our Originalternativefunkjazzfusion!” 

But IB is packed so full of resources, we utilize the Information as a Springboard to Help Other EntreMusicians, Most of Whom Reciprocate which Turns It Into A Major “Win-Win”

THE BUZZ FACTOR

Another Ocean of Invaluable Information is Bob Baker, whom Every EntreMusician MUST Check Out. I Cut My Teeth on his Ideas, Advice and Non-Traditional Suggestions. Bob’s Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook Should Be On Your Bookshelf and His Blog Will Provide You With The Nutrition You Need To Soldier On!

I Truly Hope You Could Benefit from The Spaces I spend The Most Time On & Offline. I’d Be Ecstatic to Know Where You Hang Out & What You Use to Get The Job Done! So Reach Out and Let Us Know!

I Was Listening to Russell Donnellon’s incredible “Since You Asked” while writing this entry!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

More Than A Song…

…Contemplation in Continuous Motion, Random Thoughts Captured & Carefully Expressed. Your Promise, My Plea, The Notion of Hope, Surrender. An Anthem, A Battle Cry, Desperation, Inspiration, Seduction.

A Sunny Day, Rainy Nights, Science Fiction, Alone on an Island, Prophecy, Reflection, Praise, Unbridled Anger, Reconciliation, Celebration, Pain, The Moment Dusk Meets Dawn. Birth. Inevitable Transition.

Fusion, Soul, Blues, Worship, Life. Reality, Fantasy, Ecstasy, Logic, Truth, One Trillion Lies, Introspection, Perspective, Opinion, Insanity, Trust. Jazz, Ska, Emo, World, Hip Hop, Country, Opera, Funk & Rock.

Forgiveness, Joy, Clarity, Insight, Power, Barely Hanging On. Adventure, Declaration, Soaring Curiosity, Exposure, Light, Air, Entrapment.

Probing Probabilities, Imagination on Parade, Selfishness, Generosity.

Purist Love wrapped in Harmony, caressed by Rhythm, whistling a haunting Melody…

…Have I Missed Anything?

I was listening to John Klemmer’s “Lifestyle” on Vinyl while musing through this post.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Your Song, Your Story, Your Voice

In Today’s Tumultuous Climate, with Raging Debates driving Social Media & Talk Shows and the Extraordinarily Divisive Atmosphere pervading even the smallest towns in these so called United States, it’s often easy to Ignore the Anointing available to EntreMusicians and Creatives to turn the tide.

The Inherent Power we Possess in Pointing Others toward Peace, Honor, Dignity, Unity and dare I say, the Promise of True Brotherly & Sisterly Love Does Indeed Exists, If We’d All only take a moment to Step Back, Breathe, Think, Pray & Righteously Engage.

As EntreMusicians & Artists, it’s Not Enough to Document the Current Reality, but to Prophecy of the Possibilities we all have access to as Citizens of Planet Earth.

Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, John Coltrane, Bob Dylan, Shirley Verrett, Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson, Joan Baez, Mavis Staples, Curtis Mayfield, Sam Cooke, Joan Dresner Bernstein, Gloria Larry House, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder (whose lyrics from “As” were recently recited by Dallas Police Chief David Brown during the Memorial for the Fallen Officers) and countless others uniquely utilized their Art to Soar over Sadder Times, creating a Soundtrack of Resilience, Hope, Salt & Light to Keep Us both Grounded and Looking Up.

So what about You?

How will You employ Your Song, Your Story, Your Voice and even Your Life to Shine as a Beacon in such a tremendously dark time in our country?

Lift It Up! Let It Shine! Sing It Loud! Say It Proud and Show Us The Way!

Here is a song I Wrote with the Dynamic Lyricist & Singer, Marlon Saunders, entitled “Just Think,” produced in a more peaceful period, but relevant for Today & Tomorrow.

 

I was listening to Jeff Lorber’s “It’s Fact” on vinyl while composing this blog!

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

POWERLESS??

SPOTIFY AND APPLE ARE AT EACH OTHER’S THROATS…, Apple in Talks to Acquire Jay Z’s Tidal“…, YOUTUBE’S DOMINANCE TAKES A BEATING“…, & The Music Industry Just Lost a Big Fight with the Government Over Royalties” are just a few recent Headlines glaring in the faces of EntreMusicians. And the New News is Spotify Tops 35m Subscribers which continues to support the David & Goliath mock-up we’ve been fed for decades.

Sure, there are Certain Things that Intimidate Us, Most of Us are NOT Millionaires.

But Are We Powerless?  Or Do We Merely Think We Are? Who Convinced Us of This?

Are we Really in No Position to Change this Music Game and Reroute Our Artistry Directly to Our Individual Friendbase while Bypassing The Current System?

Is the notion of An Independent Streaming Model Available to Each EntreMusician Intelligent Enough to Create Continual Content too Difficult to Imagine?

If a $1.99 / $2.99 Exclusive Access Tier from Our Own Individual Channels were Created & Maintained, a Far Fairer Form of Compensation, and perhaps Appreciation, of our Art would be Enjoyed. Obviously, We’d Bear Sole Responsibility for Building & Nurturing our Tribe, but the Truth is We Do This Now while Reaping No Advantages

These Are the Questions I Continue to Ask, Conversations I Constantly Engage and the Plan I AM Currently Implementing.

In Numbers 13 (OT), Moses sends out 12 Spies to Investigate the land The Lord had appointed for them To Conquer. Forty Days Later, 10 of them returned with a Thoroughly Wimpy & Faithless Answer – even confessing that they felt as small as grasshoppers amidst the citizens there and must have looked the same way to them! 

If You’d keep reading, You’d find that the other two spies, Joshua & Caleb Radically Disagreed with the 10 punks and Courageously Inspired the People to Take The Land!

Now You Can Guess Who The Lord (who is a Staunch Rewarder of Faith) Was Ultimately Pleased With…

So, Are You a Joshua or a Caleb?

Or Are YOU Powerless?

 

While I wasn’t listening to any music while composing this blog, Earlier I was digging on Ahmad Jamal’s “Blue Moon

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Systems

This Week I take a Break on My Lone Diatribe of the Current State of the Music Industry and that which I feel EntreMusicians Can/Should be Doing to Alter the Ugly Tide. As I Reflect & because I Am Quite Passionate, It seemed I was beginning to Sound like a Whining Polemic, which was/is not my intention.

My Goal here is to Engage, Encourage & Empower EntreMusicians Everywhere to Embrace their Artistry with the Highest Level of Significance & Inspiration.

To that End, Today I wish to share the Importance of Creating Systems in Your Day/Week/Life which Propel You toward Consistently Attaining New Heights in Your Career.

If You’re Anything Like Me, or the Millions of Other True Creatives, Our Souls Find Meaning in Abstracts. We tend to “Feel” More than We “Reason.” Creatives are More Apt to Be “In The Moment” than “In The Long Run.”

As a Intense Jazz Lover & a Participant in the Genre, the Sheer Intention of Improvisation is Always Intriguing and a Blessed Experience, but without the Foundation of a Steady Rhythm, Chord Patterns, Motifs & Melody, the Magic Mercurially Melts.

EntreMusicians Understand this Balance. We Incorporate Habits, Rituals & Systems into Our Days/Weeks/Lives to Provide Security for the Spontaneity. We Emphasize Structure so our Creativity Soars.

Although Creatives Understand the Disciplines that Apply to Our Craft, and subsequently Practice our Fingers Off, We Rarely Develop Regiments around Our Art to Promote, Sustain and/or Catapult Our Careers & Influence.

Here Are A Few Questions for You To Consider:

a) Do You Have a Daily/Weekly/Life “To-Do” List?

b) Do You Maintain a Morning Ritual?

c) Have You Established Boundaries on How You Spend Time in Each Sphere of Your Life?

d) Is there a Proper Balance for Personal & Professional Relationships & Goals?

e) Have You Formed a Team to Keep You Accountable to Your Aspirations?

The Way You Answer these Questions Will Help Shed Light on what You Need to Do to become More Effective & Efficient in Harnessing Your Creativity & Accomplishing What Truly Matters.

Below Are A Few Resources which have over several years helped me form Significant Systems in My Quest to Create Extraordinary Work I Pray Makes A Major Difference in the Lives My Spirit Reaches.

Time Will Tell the Ultimate Extension of My Influence, but Time Will Certainly Find Me Constantly Improving My Serve!   I Pray The Same for You!!

Michael Hyatt – My Ideal Week 

Dr. Steven Covey – The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Dr. Myles Munroe – In Pursuit of Purpose

David Allen – Getting Things Done

John Maxwell – Talent is Never Enough  (Or Any Other Doggone John Maxwell Book!!)

The Bible (An Indispensable Tool in My Systematic Arsenal!)

I was not listening to any music as I Composed this Blog and am Suddenly Wondering Why!

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Plan in Perspective

I have a friend named Joe (real name) who started a New Gym in Youngstown Ohio 18 Months Ago. Geographically, Joe’s Gym is about 2.8 miles away from that Other, Better Established, Open 24/7, Only $10 a Month Gym that Most Everyone Frequents. Joe’s Gym is only open from 5:30am to 9:00pm, has far less equipment & space and his Monthly Memberships begins at 5x more than that other place. Yet Joe has a startling slew of clients and continues to add Specialized Sessions & Trainers to his Growing Roster.

The Secret to Joe’s Success is Joe.His Gym Provides Intentionally Focused Workouts in an Exceptional Environment that Provides Optimum Results to its Members. Joe’s Gym is called The Train Station.

I often think of Joe as I talk to Musicians and Software Developers about this Unfolding Plan I’ve proposed. In case You are Unaware, I began a Post several weeks ago concerning EntreMusicians readdressing the Direct Sales & Digital Distribution of their Art. I continued to Add Thoughts & Emotions and will continue to discuss & work with EntreMusicians to formulate a workable plan. The Conversation is Growing!

In short, I Believe that ALL EntreMusicians must utilize their ability to Stream their Content Directly to Their Own Tribes on a Subscription Basis, without the need of a Billion Dollar Corporation paying them less than a penny per stream. The Technology is Available, but must be Personalized in a format best suited for both Artist & End User. 

Dr. Nelson Harrison, a very forward thinker and founder of The Pittsburgh Jazz Network has proposed an Alternative through Millennium Music Media which I am currently checking into and awaiting a callback from a known Artist Currently on their roster.

Joe’s Success in Starting  & Growing The Train Station is in His Initiative to Customize a Service & System the Larger Gyms simply cannot and markets his personal touch accordingly, without railing against them – and Word of Mouth is growing.

Every EntreMusician Must Go and Do Likewise. The Excuses are Over. Other Options Are Available. The Ultimate Option remains in Controlling & Distributing Our Own Songs on Our Individually Owned Platforms and Doing the Hard Work of Marketing Ourselves Appropriately. That’s The Truth of Being Independent Artists.

I wasn’t playing any music while blogging, but I’ve just finished practicing the drums to the “Dreamland” CD by YellowJackets. William Kennedy, ALWAYS WOW!! 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

THE PLAN UNFOLDS…

If You Were Unable to check out last week‘s post or perhaps even the week prior, you may wish to begin there to understand the need for the New Plan…

The Problem is too well known. Music Lovers have been Conditioned to Believe that Music is (or should be) Free. The CD is Dead. The Download is Dying. Presently, Streaming is King and the Existing Platforms are controlled by Corporations earning Billions of Dollars via $9.99 Subscription Fees with music served up ‘Buffet Style’ or what Dave Kusek long ago termed “Music Like Water.” This practice is now a decade old…

BUT, to quote his Royal Purple Lateness, “The Baker ain’t makin’ No Bread!”  but The Corps are and this particular EntreMusician is long growing weary of hearing moans & groans of heroes past and present protesting, instead of rerouting the flow of their own dough.

The Plan is Simple. Systematically Remove Our Music from Places that Don’t Pay and Replace in Our Own Formats, On Our Own Platforms and Do The Hard Work of Rebuilding & Re-Educating Our Own Tribes to Gather & Party in Our Own Backyards.

Every Musician has a Website, and Every Website hosts a server which allows Us to Upload & Sell Our Media. Most Allow Us to Set Our Own Prices and since we generally pay them a fee, they do not take a Percentage of Our Earnings (Most go directly to a PayPal Account).

With that said, the technology exists for the EntreMusician to begin offering a Personalized Streaming Service. This May Sound Oversimplified. But It’s Definitely Doable.

Three Key Components are Needed to Construct the Foundation.

The First Component is Confidence. Bands, Musicians, Artists, Creatives MUST Know & Understand that Our Work is Important and Fulfills a Major Need in Life which has been earning Multi Billions since the 1970’s – but for whom? Anyone of Us who’ve taken the time to learn all of those Major 9th Chords and spent Countless Hours Practicing Counter Para-Diddles can buy a copy of Quick Books and do a little accounting! We Can Do This!

The Second is Unity. As with Any Call for Solidarity, there will be the Silence of those who Wish to Wait & See, all the while bemoaning the $0.0007 royalty check sent to them by Spotify!

The Final Component is Bloody Knuckled Hard Work. An EntreMusician is a Forward Thinking, Effective Creative with “Results” as our Main Focus! Nothing Less Will Do. Perseverance, Endurance and Sweat. The Fans Won’t Just Flock to Our Website. They Won’t Just plunk down the Micro-Payment to PayPal. BUT, If Our Music is Important Enough to Us and We Develop the Courage, Determination and Marketing Ability to Persuade, WE CAN Engage and Create Our Own Thing and Not Need to Answer to Anyone.

That’s How It Get’s Done!

Let’s Begin the Real Conversation or Quit Crying!

My Old Sony 200 Disc CD Player was spitting out the Funk at Random upstairs, while I was posting this – I was also engrossed in the Free Webinar by Dave Kusek who was interviewing Dave Cool from Bandzoogle – and I presented the question to the chat room which was asked On Air. Thanks Chelsea! 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,