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What We Learned From The Music Industry

Historically, music had an edge that no other product had.

It was something that resonated with our souls and connected us in a way that no other product could.

It was a source of identity and it helped us discover who we were.

Unlike a physical product, it had no borders. It was something that travelled on the airwaves and word of mouth.

It’s nothing new that the music industry is in steep decline. It’s actually worse than that. The music industry has gone the opposite direction of entrepreneurs and businesses. It’s become an industry that, instead of connecting us, is manufacturing garbage and shoving it in our ears.

That’s what business used to be.

It was once about manufacturing your idea and putting it in front of as many people as you could.

That is not the case today.

In a world where we crave depth, meaning and connection, we’re drawn to the companies, products and creators that give us the deepest sense of connection.

We learned that we have to create something that matters.

There is no such thing as “The Market,” there are only markets. There are audiences that are craving connection and want you to stand up and speak to them in their language.

So the time to start is now.

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Real Time Feedback

There’s nothing quite like real time feedback.

Performing, blogging and speaking all give us the wonderful gift of instant feedback.

When you do something in front of people, you are at risk of looking bad, sounding bad and actually failing.

You see what worked and what didn’t.

The beautiful part is that as soon as you make a mistake, you know it. And you can adjust to that.

Feedback is the catalyst of learning.

The more feedback you receive, the most adjustments you make and the more you will grow.

So get in front of people and get your real time feedback.

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Don't Go To University For A Job

Universities used to be facilities for the wealthy to study the liberal arts, understand human nature and search for the patterns of the universe.

In recent decades, Universities have become technical schools; cranking out professionals.

We’ve been taught to go to school, get a job and you’ll be set for life.

The safest way is to become a doctor, lawyer, accountant or engineer.

They are certainly necessary professions but are devoid of the work that risks failure.

You won’t learn how to deal with failure and defeat when something goes awry.

You won’t learn how to create something meaningful.

You won’t learn how to connect with people.

Study something that you care about enough to do something about it.

You have all of the tools to create something that matters and connect with people who care.

Don’t go to university if you want a job.

It will give you the skills to do one but don’t go to just get a job.

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The No Cash Advantage

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No Cash Advantage

The big companies have the cash.

The big companies have the resources.

But the big companies don’t make the game changers.

And with good reason; they focus on generating profit so they play it safe.

So it’s business as usual for as long as we tolerate it.

But the advantage goes to the entrepreneur.

Playing it safe is not in the entrepreneurs’ repertoire.

It’s about doing something cool and creating something valued. And limited resources force you to be

If you’re resourceful, you threaten business as usual for big business. They will only adjust after they see you‘re winning.

So if it lights you up, you’ll find a new way to make it happen. You can, after all, change course at any moment.

So don’t assume that having more money would make you e a game changer.

Big companies have the money, but they rarely change the game.

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Read Biographies

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Good biographies give you a window into the psyche of the subject.

I’ve been reading Gene Simmons’ autobiography recently.

I’ve met Gene before but meeting a person and getting the back story are two different things.

Biographies are stories. They’re stories about people’s lives that help us relate to them.

It’s modern mythology.


Biographies give context.

Biographies give you perspective.

Biographies give you inspiration.

These are key concepts because you will never become a rock star by playing someone else’s music.

It’s like how cover bands always play in bars.  They’re not rock stars.  They’re just hobbyists playing the sounds of their idols.

You can’t cover your way to the top.

You can live a 4 Hour Work Week but you can’t out Tim Ferriss, Tim Ferriss.

You can have Moves Like Jagger but you can’t out Jagger, Mick Jagger.

And you can discount online but, as Wal-Mart has famously posted in their head offices, “You can’t out Amazon, Amazon.”

KISS didn’t try to out Beatles, The Beatles but Gene drew inspiration from them.

Prior to The Beatles, most rock bands and musicians were dirty hippies. Gene said The Beatles were different and they made you feel a different way.

They were clean shaven.

They wore suits.

They were uniform.

And they were on stage to do more than play music; they were on stage to put on a show.

The idea that music should also be a show was one of the cornerstone ideas for the creation of KISS.

And as a result, Gene was able to be a front man for one of Americas most well-known bands and brands.

Read Biographies, get inspired and be a rock star.

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Don’t Mix Small Business with Small Minds

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Eleanor Roosevelt said “Small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events and great people discuss ideas.”

It’s a great quote, but it’s not necessarily correct.

Small mindedness is engrained into our society.

From birth to death, you are surrounded by ideas that keep you small.

Your parents told you what NOT to do to keep you out of harms’ way.

In school, your teachers taught you that you succeed from having all of the right answers and fail if you don’t know them.

In religion, you’re taught that wanting money and abundance is unspiritual and that, by wanting more, you are taking away from others.

In most jobs, you’re taught to keep in line and carry on with business as usual because your new idea isn’t what THIS business is about.

Ideas like these are the cultural undertone of our society and they destroy your soul.

The result: Small minded thinking – And small minds produce small results.

Everyone wants to tell you what to do, how you should act and why your idea won’t work.

But fuck what everyone else thinks.  Do what’s in your heart.

You have a small organization. It might just be you or maybe you have a small team. Don’t mix small business with small minds.

Rock stars push the limits.

Seth Godin is one person but he has a small team of people he hires for projects and is one of the most impactful authors of today.

Stefan Aarnio is one person but does millions of dollars of deals with partners and hired contractors.

Stephen Key is one person who often makes more than $1 Million per year as an inventor in his home office pitching companies on his innovations.

These people have great minds – they partner with the people who can bring their projects to life.

There are plenty of big fish that you can partner with or draft behind, who have the money and resources to bring you project to life.

So don’t limit yourself.

Small thinking is a deadly trap… And if you don’t escape it, you will play the famous tune of all failures “I should have… I would have… I could have…”

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The Entrepreneur Test

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Another way of saying you’re an entrepreneur is to say that you’re unemployed.

Though this can be taken in a negative and positive way, I don’t see a lot of people who call themselves entrepreneurs doing entrepreneur things.

An entrepreneur is a person who creates.  So if you’re not creating, you’re not an entrepreneur.

If you only do what you were trained to do, you’re a job owner.

You have to be doing projects.

Entrepreneurs are basically artists that know how to monetize what they’re doing.

It means doing something that hasn’t been done before and failing.

A good friend of mine, Stefan Aarnio is one of the best examples of an entrepreneur that I have.

He’s a real estate entrepreneur who has only put $1,300 or so into a multimillion dollar portfolio.

Stefan Aarnio

Though real estate is the gig that’s taken him out of the “rat race,” before real estate, he was a musician and artist (You can even find one of his paintings in the background of my interviews).

In addition to that he has a dating website and app called Best Match, Worst Match, a debt buying company and has written a book called Money People Deal.

Stefan is doing projects.

Not all of them work, but it only takes one to win.

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Facebook Has Corrupted Itself

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The platform was once based on building connections and cultivating relationships, but over the past year, the changes in Facebook are on the opposite end of the spectrum.

You are now punished when you post links outside of Facebook.

You are now punished when your post contains an image even inside of Facebook.

And you now pay a premium to connect with people you don’t yet know.

Facebook has taken away your visibility and now charges you a premium for the privilege of interrupting people.

As a page owner, this means that…

You now pay a premium to reach your fans the same way you did 6 months ago.


You now pay a premium to show people the great content that you’ve created or found.

It’s not that paying for advertising bothers me.

It’s that, on the internet, we want to connect with people in a meaningful way and Facebook had an amazing opportunity to be a forerunner to help creators connect to us that way.

Instead of Facebook using their platform to enhance the way in which we connect, it has forgone its original values to become just like every other mainstream media outlet where business as usual means charging you to spam me.

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Be Passionate Enough To Come Back Tomorrow

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If you want to make a difference, you have to come back tomorrow.  You have to show up, day after day after day and connect with people.

Musicians know this.

Most start off doing shows in small venues and for small audiences and they grow their fan base by coming back again and again connect with us.

It’s not easy and there are plenty of opportunities to quit, but passion carries them through.

They connect with us through music but music is just the medium.

You have a business … or a blog … or a project.

That’s your medium.

It represents you.

It represents what you stand for.

Think of how great entrepreneurs connect with you…

Richard Branson said the world is boring and Virgin makes mundane, boring and frustrating industries fun.

Craig Mycoskie of Tom’s Shoes makes you feel like you’re a contributor  by giving away a pair of shoes to an impoverished child.

Moleskine tells you the story of how Picasso, Van Gogh and Hemingway used this type of notebook and so when you use it, you feel like a creative person.

Each of these examples has created something that connects with you enough to tell someone else about.

So be you and create something that is worth sharing.

You won’t rise to the top overnight, so it’s you who needs to come back tomorrow …and connect.

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I Don't Like The Idea That People Should Bend Their Lives For Your Business

Do you want to bend your entire world just for one person? 

I didn’t think so.

So don’t force that upon anyone else.
Give people the freedom to do great work because they want to.

Tell them the results you want and then get out of the way.

You’ll probably be amazed.

And when you’re not happy, give them feedback and you’ll likely get a better result.

The world won’t end if everything isn’t perfect.


To The People Who Say “Why Buy It When I Can Find It For Free.”

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That may be true.

You may be able to find it for free.

There are also a lot of times when you can’t.

I remember there was a time when I had a Facebook fight with one of these “free” types that went to 150+ comments. Several people jumped in and left and supported both myself and the other side.

I am well aware that I was never going to change this persons mind. I literally just wanted to stir things up that day — maybe I’m a badass and should buy a Harley (Only Kidding).

You can certainly find a lot of things for free. I understand that. I think that’s awesome if you’re willing to put in the time to get a result, I support you. I’ve done this myself. I learned photography and guitar by learning things on the internet for free. I’ve learned how to do many other things like cooking (The only cookbook I’ve ever paid for is The 4 Hour Chef).

There are other things that I am not willing to put the time and energy into to learn. For instance, processes that take people years and years to learn in business. I will pay thousands of dollars to attend seminars and people will think I’m crazy.

But here’s why I do it…

I pay for seminars and books so I can leverage other peoples experiences.

I pay for seminars so I can personally meet the people who are making a difference. Leverage their experience in real time and I can ask them questions and get their real world feedback immediately. If nothing else, I have an introduction.

I pay for books because I love the feel of them, I love stocking them as conversation pieces and love the fact that I have the physical thing… maybe I’m just old fashioned and should buy a typewriter.

And now for the biggest reason why I will pay for things that I can get for free on the internet.


The pain of failure.

The pain of wasted time.

The pain of incompletion of time sensitive tasks.

A lot of pain.

So, I will pay to have that pain removed.

I hope you will too.


Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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You're Not An Entrepreneur If...

You play small.

You feel run by your business.

You only think about the money.

You’re not facing your fears daily.

You don’t hold yourself accountable.

You’re not honouring your core values.

You’re chasing multiple opportunities.

You let other peoples’ opinions sway you.

You don’t follow through on your plans of action.

You don’t commit 100% to the business you’re in.

Your business relies on your efforts to earn revenue.

You’re unclear about the results that you want to achieve.

You don’t accept responsibility for your actions and outcomes.

You’re not intensely passionate about your product, service or system.

You’re not obsessive about putting systems in place so you can walk away.

You don’t think about constant, never ending improvement to your business.

You spend more time in administration and operations than marketing and growth.


An entrepreneur is not just a person who owns a business.


An entrepreneur is one who decides to change the world. An entrepreneur is a person who saw something that didn’t working and figured out a way to change it.

To an entrepreneur, business is art – it’s an endeavour that is filled with passion and not simply a means of making money.

Entrepreneurs create.

Entrepreneurs make mistakes, correct and continue.

Being an entrepreneur doesn’t necessarily mean you own the business, it’s a way of living.


I am an entrepreneur. Are you?

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Simplifying Failure

Failure is a prerequisite for success.

You haven’t succeeded until you’ve failed.

Failure is success… A success in taking action.

You don’t progress when you don’t make mistakes. And chances are that if you’re not making mistakes, you’re not making any money either.

For most people, mistakes and failures are permanent marks that they use to define them. I think that’s a result of internal stories that say “I’m not worthy.”

Why hold on to things that hold you back?

There is no reason, so reframe your failure and get on track.

This is the formula for success in anything…

Try something.

Fail. (Uh Oh, there’s that word… Don’t stop here)

Find out why.

Try a new method.

Repeat until successful.


Failure is the chance we get to find out what didn’t work and try another method.

The most successful people I know got their best business education from failure.


The only real failure occurs when someone decides he or she will live at less than their full potential.

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The Myth of Working Harder

We live in a culture that equates making money with working hard.

Just think about it, the vast majority of people are programmed to work harder to make more money. When the subject of money comes up, the only association they can make is work. And if you ever mention more money, they immediately think of working harder.

We hear sayings like “You’ve got to work hard to get ahead”, “Money is hard work” and on and on… even to be contradicted by phrases such as “rich people were handed their money.” Either way, work is embedded into our culture.

There is nothing wrong with working and there is nothing wrong with working hard either.

You just have to recognize it for what it is; The idea of working hard to get ahead is a remnant of the industrial age.

Any fool can work harder. It doesn’t take much more than that to work “smarter” either. But working harder and working smarter often equate to longer hours and elaborate schemes to fill your day with more meaningless work. It takes real creativity, self-discipline and systems to eliminate work all together.

But why would you want to eliminate work?

You wouldn’t. Parkinson’s Law states that work expands to fill the allotted amount of time.

You never want to eliminate the key tasks to moving a project ahead or move towards your goals. You simply want to eliminate all of the busywork possible so focus on the highest quality work you can do.

For entrepreneurs, this is typically the most uncomfortable work that we can assume. Administrative work and sorting emails are both comfortable but when you realize that time equals life which is much more valuable than money, you will start feeling uncomfortable about this type of behavior.

Are you living one year over and over or are you living ten years packed into one?

Working harder doesn’t necessarily produce a higher quality product in the end. In fact, many times, tight deadlines force us to focus much more and we produce a higher quality product. Think about it, we’ve all had times when we’ve had to get a job done under a tight deadline, whether it was a paper for university, a work project or simply just getting things done before a flight or vacation.

The reason that you get so much more done in those times was because you are extremely focused.

A common theme has arisen from my interviews. The guests I interview are extremely focused. Each one gets more done in one morning than most people do in an entire week.

It’s not that you don’t work hard and never work late, it’s that working hard needs to be redefined as being focused.

One of the beauties of the age that we live in today is that you can almost literally outsource your entire life.

You can hire a virtual assistant to take care of a lot of administrative tasks and book appointments. You can hire cleaning services to clean your home, clothing and office. You can hire personal chefs who work out of their kitchen and custom tailor meals to you.

It takes consistent self-discipline to focus and eliminate white-noise disguised as work and I’ve found that working against a clock and shortening deadlines has helped me produce more.

Here are some of the productivity tools I use:

Virtual Assistants (Outsourcers)

Learn how to let go.  It’s the most important skill that you need in order to have freedom AND to have the creative focus to master your craft. I’ve used many different outsourcing platforms and services.  I personally like ELance best for its user friendly interface. I’ve used oDesk as well.  If you’re looking to start your team with the minimum investment, then oDesk may be a better choice (You cannot pay people less than $3/hour on ELance).

Countdown Timer

I use the countdown timer on my iPhone. You can buy one at a dollar store or grocery store. I don’t see advantages from one to another. This simply forces me to focus for 30-50 minute blocks of time. And limits the amount of time I spend on tasks.

Website Blocking Software

Leechblocker is a Firefox addon that I used to use to block websites. When GMail, Facebook and other sites got in the way of productive time, Leechblocked helped me get my time back.  I no longer use one of these because I’ve become much more focused but this is certainly a powerful tool.

I’d like to head some of your productivity or time-management systems. Leave a comment below and tell me how you master your time.

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Be A Rock Star: No Mediocrity Allowed

When I was a kid, there was nothing I wanted to be more than rich and a rock star. In high school I would play guitar for days on end because I was training. Forward to 2012 where I have started interviewing my millionaire mentors. I love it. I’ve also noticed that I wasn’t the only kid who wanted to be a rock star. Most people did.


Because they’re exceptional. They inspired us and moved us. They helped us get through some of our hard times and they were role models.

I was at a marketing event with Gene Simmons (The mastermind behind KISS… and master of licensing). His core message came was “Be a Rock Star”…. No matter what you do, be a rock star, be the best.

Ok so there’s been something that has been pissing me off for the past few days now. It’s when people say they want to be a rock star yet refuse to exert themselves to become a rock star and remain unhappy because they are not using their potential – which is the definition of mediocre: of moderate of low quality, value, ability or performance.

When I ask these people how much they care about the value they are providing or how much they really love the things they do they usually say “not much.” I then ask what makes them happy and what their dream would look like and they can give me a long list but each item comes with ten reasons why it can’t happen.


It’s a state of mind and a state of being that underutilizes your potential and to live using only 10% of your potential is no way to live – I know because I’ve done it and I’m far from perfect so I still do it all the time.

When I hear statements like “You can’t make money with your passion” or “There is no money to be made in something you love” I know I am hearing the voice of mediocrity and it trips a switch in my head that says shut the hell up, get out of my way.

Passion is everything.

Passion is fuel. Passion is what keeps you going when all hell breaks loose. Passion is what rock stars use to create an experience.

If you have no passion, you will quit at the first major obstacle guaranteed… unless you’re insane.

Mediocrity says “I’ll just do whatever comes my way.”

Rock Stars say “I’m gonna rock it!”

Almost invariably, the people that I know who are the most successful, the rock stars – Roofers, plumbers, doctors, accountants, massage therapists, or whatever field, are the people with the most passion. Yes, they have the business systems in place to create wealth but they also become enthusiastic about their subjects, they make it interesting to people like me, and they are attentive to the experience.

So create an experience and be REMARKABLE at whatever you’re doing.

Let me know how you’re a rock star in your field!

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