Tag Archives: Fusion

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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Forget The Misses!!

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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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50 FAT WAYS TO TURN YOUR FANS INTO FAMILY!

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There Are Millions of Ways to Think Beyond the Box and Create a Culture of Fans who take ownership of Your Vision and become True Family! Your Imagination is the Limit!

Here Are A Few Successful Methods I have Utilized Multiple Times with My Band SounDoctrine, Within My Own Career, or when Consulting Other Artists. Twist These Up! Have Fun with Them and Contact Me with Further Questions or to Share Your Results!

Tonight (Thursday 8/31 @ 6PM EST) I will be on Hybrid Jazz from Trish Hennessey. We will be unpacking several of these strategies and talking with Many Varied EntreMusicians who will share their Own Tips & Tactics that Keep Their Artistry Intact. Feel Free to Listen & Call In  – Your Voice is IMPORTANT! The Number to Call In is 323.843.6172.  Check Out Trish’s Facebook!

50 FAT WAYS TO TURN YOUR FANS INTO FAMILY!
1. Write a Song With Your Fan.
SounDoctrine Once Held a Lyric Contest on Facebook. JeAnnette Singleton’s Words Worked Well & Won and We Signed a Co-writing deal, recorded and released “(That’s Why) It’s Called Love” on our ‘Inspire’ CD.
2. Feature Fans Frequently on Your Website
3. Feature Fan’s Favorite Quotes in Your Newsletter
4. Honor a Charity Your Fans Support at Your Next Show
5. Feature a Few Fans In Your Next Video.
SounDoctrine asked fans to send in their wedding pics to be featured in our video for the song “Marriage.” The Response was Overwhelming and made for a Great Way to Celebrate the Sacredness of Marriage.
6. Invite Two Fans to A Rehearsal. Have them Stream it on their Pages.
7. Invite Three Fans to A Recording Session. Upload it to Your Website.
8. Have a Fan Host an Old Fashioned House Party. Sell Tickets for $4.99. Stream It!
9. Use Your Song As a Bundle with a Book Release.
SounDoctrine partnered with author Gregory S. Trent who wrote the book “Selah,” which was the exact title of our single “Selah” from the ‘Source’ CD. For 30 Days after the initial release, anyone who bought his book got the single as a ‘Freemium’ (our $$ agreement was with him).
10. Do A Music Marketing Workshop in Your City teaching what You’ve Learned and invite Another Band to Perform. This move builds Solid Relationships with other musicians and also shows Your Fans whom You Are Fans of.
11. Hold a Can Food Drive for the Less Fortunate at your next show.
Early on SounDoctrine experienced the Value of Partnering with Our Fans to Help Out the Community, providing them a Discount on Admission Fee, Helping Out The Local Rescue Mission and Garnering Some Great Press in the Process. We began doing that in other cities as well.
12. Adopt a Color, Create a Symbol, Logo, Style or Phrase and Never, Ever Leave It!
Enhance It, But Never Abandon It! (Think P-Funk!!) SounDoctrine frequently refers to our music as “Originalternativefunkjazzfusion!
13. Create a Blog Specific to Your Fans Demographics & Interests

(This is Different from Your Newsletter which informs them about YOU – The Blog is about THEM)
14. Write & Market a Song Tied to a Personal Event.

(Think Tony, Toni, Tone’s “Anniversary.”)
SounDoctrine’sMeant 2B” doubled as a means to link to marriage & wedding blogs and sites. We also created an extended instrumental remix for bridal parties to use in the actual wedding.
15. Lead and/or Rally A Cause! Show Support for an Issue Bigger than Your Artistry. Draw Attention to It, Speak at a Rally and Let Your Voice be Heard!
16. Endorse a Candidate.
Yeah, I Know, but sometimes you have to draw a line in the sand. This move turns Fans into Family – or Enemies! It doesn’t have to be a Presidential Race, but Someone Your Band Strongly Believes will Make a Difference in Your Community or Country.
17. Throw a Private Party Twice a Year with Invitations Only for the First 25 or 50 Fans who Must Show Up by a Certain Time!

Hold it in a Very Public Place, Ensuring Liability Insurance, Security, etc and Make It Very Special!
18. Produce a Live Event that promotes Other Named Acts and make it a Regular Event!
We were blessed to produce the Youngstown Jazz Fest for three consecutive years, which we spun off into a monthly “Second Sundays” Event which garnered corporate sponsorship and featured artists of much higher caliber than SounDoctrine, which kept our name associated with Quality.
19. Interview Famous Artists. Post The Interviews.
20. Get Interviewed. Ditto
21. Interview the Interviewer. Ditto, Ditto
22. Answer Every Single Social Media Correspondence Sent to You ASAP or Create a Clone to Do It For You.
23. Get Barbershops, Beauty Salons & Boutiques to Play Your Music in their shops.
You Do Have Your Event Posters & Placards in There Too, Right?
24. Perform Live on Local Community TV and Yes, I Mean Schedule Them in Whatever’s City You Perform in Next!
25. Help A Community Center/Adopt A Block or Become A Big Brother/Sister
26. Proudly Promote Your Faith / Lifestyle / Values & Principles
27. Heavily Endorse an Equipment and/or Software Manufacturer.

Keep Track of Your Events & Projects that Utilize their Stuff and Contact them Repeatedly about being featured on their site(s).
28. Bring 15 Unsuspecting Fans In to Your Sound Check.

Ask them how well they are able to hear from various seating/spaces in the venue and thank them. Once back outside in line, they’ll call everyone they know, recount the experience and invite them to come down immediately.
29. Create a Cover Contest for One of Your Songs. Have Fans Upload to Your FB Page.

30. Share the Back Story Of Every Song

(what you were feeling/thinking when you wrote it – what was going on in your life. Share the recording process and how you came up with “that” sound.
31. Become an Actor in an Indie Film.
32. Stay to Meet Your Fans As Soon As the Gig Ends! Talk!
Take Pictures! Sign The CD! Laugh!!!…As Often as Appropriate!
33. Thank Your Fans Publicly as Often As You Can!
Especially Online Right After The Gig!
34. Host An Online“Ask Us Anything Event”
35. Chat Often. Skype a Favorite Fan. Make Them All Feel Like They’re Your Favorite. Dude, it’s possible, I have three daughters.
36. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask…
37. Share Your Mistakes
38. Be Genuine or Quit
39. Be Generous or…
40. Practice Excellence Daily
41. Compliment a Woman Personally (that’s a great color on you / Your Home/Office is Beautiful) Compliment a Man on His Items or Achievements (Dude! How Much Did that Set You Back / Hey, Great Job on That!)before you call me sexist, try it!
42. Call Out Your Fans Name from the Stage, During the Show!
43. Mentor Talent whenever You Find It.
I’ve Never Missed an Opportunity to Give a Person a Chance. Sometimes it’s set me back, Sometimes I’ve been bitten, but Often I’ve gained so much more in wonderful collaborations.
44. Remain Humble. Be Polite. Don’t be a Jerk.
45. Give Music Lessons
46. Visit Elementary Schools in Every City You Tour.
Perform an Assembly with an Educational / Anti-Drug Theme.
And Don’t be a Hypocrite. (Ask Me About This One).
47. Keep Your Email List Current
48. Purge Your FB Friends/Followers as often as Necessary.
49. Populate Your Linked In/Instagram Posts Meticulously.
50. Tweet Thrice A Day

TheEntreMusician.com

Engage, Encourage, Empower!
© 2017 Gerald H. Beulah, Jr. / © 2017 Tejai, LLC

 

I was Listening to War’s “The World is a Ghetto” on Vinyl while Composing this Blog

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Always On (Even In Your Downtime)

An EntreMusician is Always On

Although Acutely Aware of Proper Life/Work Balance and Extremely Protective of his Privacy and her Moments of Solace, a True EM is Spiritually & Creatively Constant.

Ideas Permeate the Psyche 24/7. You Unfailingly Keep a Small Leather Pad on Your Person, or a Voice Recorder at the Ready to Capture that Next Notion of Genius, be it at the Grocery Store, in the Middle of a Traffic Jam, the Big Game, the Beach or your Cantankerous Cousin Larry’s Boring Barbecue.

It May Not Be a Song, Poem or Screenplay. Often it’s a reminder to call that Booking Agent you met last week, or change a rehearsal date, or schedule an audition for that part you saw on Friday’s Flyer. It Seems Endless, but I’ve Never Met an EntreMusician who Could Successfully Shut It Down. The Switch is Broken and We Like It This Way!

I Remember Distinctly pushing my 2 Year Old Daughter (now 16) on the swings at Boardman Park and the squeaky chain created a odd 7/8 rhythm which produced “Hermeneutics,” one of SounDoctrine‘s Funkiest Spit Fire Tracks. I kinda regret not taking My Little One Off the Swings until I had the horns figured out. She was More Than Ready for Ice Cream Time and was Letting Dad Have It!!

In Reality, Our Roles in Life are Always On. Whether I’m Sleep, On Vacation, In The Shower or Away from My Phone, I’m Always a Christ Follower, Husband, Father, Brother, Uncle, Nephew, Cousin, Pastor, Writer, Producer, Wannabe Actor and EntreMusician who keeps Setting Audacious Objectives and Aspiring to Reach As Many As I Can Before I Check Out Of Here – And Hopefully You Are Too!

Download My Free E-Book “50 Engaging Ways to Transform Your Fans in to Family” at TheEntreMusician.com and Join the Conversation to Engage, Encourage & Empower Each Other! 

I Was Listening to the 1979 Funk-Jazz Band “Pressure” Produced by Ronnie Laws on Vinyl while composing this blog.

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Always in Advance

Last Week We Discussed the Importance of Always Making All of Your Agreements with Promoters & Venue Owners In Writing. Today, I want to emphasize, Especially to Younger EntreMusicians the Seriousness of Always Getting PAID in Advance.

The First Step to Achieving this Objective Immediately after Negotiating a Fair Price (based upon Your Experience, Reputation & Sales) is to gently Reaffirm the Date Your Deposit is Due. Remember it’s Printed in the Agreement.

The Second Step Stipulates the Time Your Balance is Due. And It’s Always Prior to the Start of Your Performance. Sound Check is an Ideal Time. All the Equipment is out of the Van, You’re Plugged in and Properly Preparing, On Their Stage! There is No Argument or Sign of a Breach on Your Part – Now is the Perfect Time for Them to Complete Their End of the Deal. Specify This is You Somehow Failed to Reach a Prior Understanding, or if Mrs. Club Owner suddenly comes down with a case of ‘Forgetfulness.’ If Your Written Agreement is Clear & Concise, then Stand Your Ground and Refuse to Go On Until You’re Paid – but Leave Your Equipment Intact, Plugged In, On Their Stage.

If You are a Younger Performer, these types of Standoffs may seem Intimidating, Unnecessary and are Not Why You Got Into the Biz – Besides Your Older Cousin Bobby (who taught you how to play drums) is coming to tonight’s show, so You just wanna Play!

But Remember You Cannot Repossess a Performance…

If Mr. Promoter should Weasel Out of Any or All of Your Payment, That Incredible Sax Solo and Ultra-Phat Rhythm Section Cannot be Recalled or Resold (unless you’ve recorded the hit and plan on selling CDs, but I digress…) It’s Worth Everything to Wait Before Potentially Giving Your Show Away. Again, I’m Assuming You Already Have A Written Agreement in Place.

This is Not the Time to Begin a Whining or Screaming Session. Remain Professional.     Order Food from the Bar or Order Out. Chill Backstage and Wait Till the Hall Fills Up.         The Closer it gets to Showtime, the More You Will See the Balance Shift. Be Prepared to Hold Out Until the Money is In Your Hand. Then Go Out There and KILL!

For Many Years, I have Also Made it a Habit to Always Pay My Fellow Band Members in Advance. As a Bandleader, I Set a Precedent that Allows My Partners to Concentrate Only on the Music and Not On Whether They Will Hear A Sob Story from Me, Quite Possibly Blaming the Club Owner because I Did Not Do Due Diligence.

Headaches are not Something You Need on Game Day, So Prepare Accordingly.                 This Practice Not Only Increases Your Business Acumen, but Solidifies Your Stature among Your Musical Peers as a Serious Professional.

Download My Free E-Book “50 Engaging Ways to Transform Your Fans Into Family” at TheEntreMusician.com and Join the Conversation!

I Was Listening to Various Prince and The Time Prime Cuts on Vinyl while Writing this Blog

 

 

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Always In Writing

One of the Earliest and Most Critical Mistakes Any New EntreMusician tends to Make in this Business is Relying Upon Verbal Agreements.

It’s Easy to Do Because at This Stage You’re Extremely Excited that the Phone Even Rang!

And Before You Know It, Your Enthusiasm Gaining the Advantage, You’ve Locked in The Band, The Date and Invested Precious Time & Resources solely based upon what some Stranger (or Friend) Said she was going to pay you.

There’s already a degree of embarrassment because you nervously negotiated a price and most likely settled for less than Your Original Fee. So with the possibility of losing the entire gig dangling in your imagination, you choose to forego any further timidity and agree to most everything else.

You arrive on time, perform magnificently (of course), only to have the venue owner congratulate you on a wonderful show but with apologies that he didn’t sell enough tickets, drinks or secure the amount of sponsorship he was hoping to receive (which has absolutely nothing to do with you – unless you were not listening) so now he claims he can only pay you…

The very best way to avoid this type of robbery is to Always Place Your Agreement in Writing and Make Certain You place this important piece of conversation atop your discussion.

The All Important Question “And What is Your Budget for this Event?” will provide you all of the necessary information you’ll need before continuing “Please Email Your Agreement to…”

At this Point Either Two Significant Events Will Happen:
1. The Reputable Promoter will make sure they’ve spelled your email address properly and send you the requested document or perhaps ask you to send yours (more on that in a bit)

2. She will begin making several excuses about why she doesn’t use/have one or a Written Agreement, or begin to use those infamous words ‘trust me…’

It’s Vital that You begin to utilize a Written Agreement the moment you’ve formed your act. Even if only charge $50 for the night, get into the habit of using a contract!

If the club owner doesn’t have one, present one. If you don’t have one, create one or download one from http://www.theentremusician.com, and don’t forget the include asking for a 50% deposit!

Serious Venue Owners take you far more seriously when You Talk Terms of Agreement and are prepared to document them even if they are not prepared to present one. The offer itself adds major validation to your professionalism.

And Remember, That’s Exactly Who You Are!

Next Time, We Talk About Getting Paid BEFORE Your Performance!

Although I wasn’t listening to any music while composing this post, I going to be listening to Stevie All Month!

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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.

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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!

 

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Ask Yourself The Hard Question!

Let’s Pretend for A Moment…

Say You’ve Invented a Brand New Universal Tool. Its Purpose is to Be An Important, Indispensable Standard that People of All Races, Ethnicity and Cultures will Appreciate & Enjoy!

This Tool Can Be Used In Your Home, Business, Car, Place of Worship or On Your Mobile Device while You’re On The Go. You Know that People Are Going To Love & Appreciate It, Once they are Aware of its Availability  and Affordable Price.

You Own the Patent to this Tool and have Trademarked the Brand Name. Although You Do Not Own the Various Patents to the Equipment & Software You’ve used to Develop This Fantastic Gadget, You Have Patented  & Control the Unique Processes by which Your Tool is Designed & Manufactured. You Are Aware that a Few “knock-offs” may be developed overtime, but Your Methodology Ensures that You Will Become & Probably Remain a Market Leader.

The Next Step is to Partner with a Distributor who can Help Market, Promote and Get Your Tool into as Many Hands as Possible. You Make What You Feel is A  Great Deal with a Company with a Global Reach and Does Not Impede on Your Exclusive Rights & Control over the Manufacture of Your Magnificent Tool.

Overtime, You Notice that This Distributor’s Profits have begun to Eclipse Your Own. For Every $1000 You See, They have made $10,000 and in some cases and in a few regions much, much more, due to their ‘bundling’ of Your Tool with Lesser Quality Devices. Heck, They’ve even Developed a Subscription Model whereby the Customer is able to Use Your Tool As Many Times as They Wish, Without Even Purchasing It.

To Some Extent, You May Not Mind the Creativity of The Distributor’s Concept. After All, Your Tool is Available Everywhere & Absolutely Everyone is Using it and Appreciating its Functionality. Your Tool is a Bonafide Hit!

The Problem is You’re Not Getting Paid What You Know Your Tool is Worth – and – If It Were Not for Your Tool, The Distributor would Never, Ever See the profits they currently enjoy.

So, You Try to Re-Negotiate, Only to Discover that this Very Rich, Very Smart, Well Connected Distributor has successfully lobbied certain Members of Congress, The DOJ, Other Well Established Government Officials and even Similar Minded Partner Distributors to Enforce Laws & Practices that Keep the Big Bucks Rolling In for Them while You’re Left Counting Pennies.

However, Remember that because You Own the Patents, Trademark and the Manufactured Tool itself, which The Distributor Needs to Sustain their Business, You Have A  Crucial Decision to Make.

Would You:

A) Keep Things the Way They Are, Grateful That Your Tool Is A Worldwide Sensation, Even Though You’re Being Robbed Out of Fair Compensation?? (In Fact, You Are Planning to Make More, Perhaps Better Tools to Send Them to Rob You With)

Or…

B) Remove Yourself & Your Tool from The Agreement and Begin the Painstaking Process of Becoming a Niche Distributor where Less People May Be Aware of Your Tool, But You Earn Higher Profits with Each Sale? (the additional profit affords you greater opportunity to improve your marketing)

 

Obviously You Understand that I am Talking About Songwriters and Their Songs.

I Sincerely Desire for Every EntreMusician to Answer This Question Truthfully.

Before You Do, However: Check Out These Two Articles:

STREAMING NOW MAKES SONY $25 MILLION A WEEK

SIRIUS OWNER SAVAGES SPOTIFY BUSINESS MODEL

I Have Had Hundreds of Conversations with Artist/Musicians at All Levels and Each Answer Varies to the Point where I Needed to Simplify My Approach by Presenting a Different Business where the Creator & Manufacture Must Look At The Bottom Line to Determine Whether of Not He/She Could Remain In Business or Close Their Doors.

Music is Such An Emotional Tool that Fame Often Overshadows Fortune. An EntreMusician Can End Up Eating Bread Sandwiches while Everyone is Singing Their Songs… 

 

I wasn’t listening to any music while composing this blog post.

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