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Use Frequent “F” Words Faithfully…

 

Today I am Incredibly Transparent with You.

I Trust You’ll Appreciate My Confessions.

Far Too Often, I become Extremely Discouraged as an EntreMusician. Especially in the Neighborhood of Lost Opportunities. If & When I Miss a Shot at an Important Gig, Submission, Audition or Project that would have either Paid Handsomely or led to an even Greater Opp, I get really bummed. Within the grueling peripherals of this past week, due to personal family woes, I’ve been ridiculously behind and absolutely unproductive – in every area! In fact, I had to rigorously talk myself out of an impulse buy of Izotope’s Music Production Bundle 2, credit card in hand, just to pacify myself (although Ozone 7 remains on My List)!

I find that If I do not get a handle on my thoughts, I can easily slide into a“Comparisonism & Lack Mentality” mode which are Detrimental to every Artist & Musician.

Exhaustive Concentration on the Equipment, Skills, Connections, Resources, Looks, ___________, ___________ I Don’t Own Quickly Deteriorates My Perspective on the Attributes I Do Possess and seriously hinders my Flow & Output.

But, When that Ugly Shadow begins to Overwhelm, I’ve Learned to Employ a Consistent Series of Well Placed “F” Words, Complete with Fiery Enunciation and Spit! This is what helped me put my credit card down…

Firstly, My Faith is Foundational.

Knowing that I am Forever Forgiven for Former & Future Failures by My God through His Son, Jesus Christ provides an Eternal Outlook and Completely Minimizes My Temporal Blunders. My Prayers, submitted to His Purpose & Plan for Me Settles My Calling and Seals My Destiny.

My Family, Beginning with My Adorable Wife of 22 Years and our Three Amazing Daughters are my Treasures in Life and Help Fasten My Focus on What Really Matters Most. Lori & I have walked Hand in Hand through Joy, Tears & Tough Terrain and grow more in love with each other and our journey with each passing hour. What Else Does a Brother Need?

I Have Absolutely Awesome Friends who although Few are Completely True. They Simultaneously Encourage & Challenge Me to Grow & Go Further than I could Imagine. Real Friends See Into You & See Through You. They are Bold Enough to Call Out the Occasional Foolishness and Call Forward the Authenticity Inside.

Finally, I’m Blessed with the Favor of Funk, for this is the Songwriter, Producer & Musician I Am!

Irregardless of the Genre! Being able to Swing “The One” either a millisecond Before or After the Top of the Measure Matters. Forging a humility to Stay in the Pocket although I’ve not honed the same severity of thrillingly Sick Tricks my counterparts have has kept me working, for which I am truly thankful – for just being able to be me!

Perhaps You Thought I was going to Litter This Post with “F” Bombs, which might release steam in a moment of crisis, but do nothing to sow gratitude into our spirits.

I Wish You Joy, Love, Peace, Harmony & Rhythms of Grace!

 

I Am Listening to Azymuth’s “Light As A Feather” On Vinyl while writing this post.

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Are You Too Social to Make a Connection?

I should not have deleted the invitation I received last Thursday. I remember doing it hastily, with a degree of disgust seething from my lips.

There was a brand new social network on the horizon and some bubbly, new anonymous “Friend,” (or was it “Pal”?) wanted me to hop on.

My reaction caused me to stop and think about the many distractions Entrepreneurial Musician’s face, which are described as networking but are actually nothing more that time killers. Many of these platforms do nothing to create opportunities to help our careers or to provide us an opp to assist others.

Unless we become the wiser…

An EM’s primary goal on each of the networks is to connect and engage with likeminded associates to create vital opportunities for each other. The Keywords are CONNECT & ENGAGE.

While it’s cool to max out your Personal & Fan FB pages, be Linked In to Tweet & Follow absolutely everyone on Foursquare in your Google+ Circles, if you don’t really know the people involved, you have painted yourself into a social dilemma. Now you’ll have to spend even more time undoing the damage to get back on point.

This was my biggest mistake when I first climbed aboard the social bandwagon. I thought numbers were the key to more CD sales, Tickets Sold and Website Traffic back to my site, so I committed myself, garnering more “Friends & Followers” than any intelligent human had time for. To my dismay, more of them “liked” the postings about my wife’s delicious peach cobbler than cared about attending my next gig!

So I began to pay more attention to my invitations, especially on Linked In, which has a higher capacity to specifically pinpoint people in your industry creating dialogue unique to your situation.

Four times a year – and especially at the end of each year, I will survey my Friends, Pals, Followers, etc. I send out an email reiterating my purpose for participating on that particular platform (say that 3 times fast). I make sure I include all of my contact information and any pertinent links for them to check out songs, videos or anything that will help engage them – and then – I ask them to do the same and make the short presentation that I am willing to help them however I can – whether its helping to secure gigs in my region, production opportunities, general assistance or more importantly, to build a relationship.

This method has worked so well in mining for true EMs and has paid off in ways that go far beyond mere money. I’ve obtained oodles of advice, references, pointers, contacts and seen just how very small the real world is, once we’ve dialogued about other musicians we’ve known and gigged with.

So Let’s Go. Stop pining for Sociality and seek out real opportunities to grow a true network of people you actually, truly and thoroughly connect with. 500 True Connections are Far Better than 5000 Faces you don’t even know!

I’d appreciate you sharing your strategies here as to how you’ve grown your network.

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Faith Works

Let’s face it.

Deep Down, We ALL have a System of Faith. Even those who live under a personal discipline to believe in Nothing – or in No One. All of us exercise our Faith every single day without giving it a second thought. And it’s amazing the things we trust our lives to.

Right now, I happen to work in a place where cars are made. The trucks bring in the parts. Big Parts. Tiny Parts. Rubber Parts. Plastic Parts. Steel Parts. People on the inside of this plant, hook, tie, weld, snap, wrap, pound, bend, sew and mend these parts together. You should see some of the people who do this. You wouldn’t believe it and I don’t want to scare you. Some of them may or may not drink or smoke their lunch. Supervisors are on multiple prescription meds. And they operate heavy machinery. And a wide variety of sharp, powered tools. There are unions that protect them, but I digress…
We operate the cars these people glue together. Often at very high speeds. More Often stopping on a dime, placing our faith and children’s lives on the probability that the car may stop on time. Or that one of those air pillows may protect us when someone else doesn’t.
Have you ever been on an elevator alone?
How Many Hundreds of parts make it soar up and down?
Ever Been Stuck in One???
How about the subway?
How about a New York Subway at 4 AM after a Gig?
You & I are people of Incredible Faith, admittedly or not…
What We Choose to Believe Defines Us. Where we are at this moment is a result of what we have chosen to believe. About Life, About God. About Ourselves.
Do You Believe that You Can & Will Succeed in this Music Industry?
Will You Exercise Your Inherent, Incredible Faith that no matter How Long it takes or What You Must Endure in the interim that You are Going to Win, that Your Music will be the Soundtrack of Someone’s life, if not that of an entire generation?
As I write this, I am sitting in this very car plant. I may or may not be on my break. I am wearing a uniform. The name of someone else’s company is sewn into the shirt and hat. I have a badge and a photo ID. I also have a dream. I’ve had this dream all of my life. I’ve made several attempts toward making it a reality. I’ve had Tremendous Success. I’ve suffered Great Set Backs. I’ll make many more attempts. I have Faith.
I Will Succeed.
How About You?
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