Category Archives: Growth Farming

Two Simple Ways To Ensure You Have A Great Day

 

 

Do you want to have a great day today?

Yes, of course you do. Me too.

How about a great week? Or a stellar and outstanding month?

To build up to the best year of your life?

Oooo yeah, that’s even better. But is setting up one good day the key to having a great month or the best year? You bet it is!

Tell you what I’ve learned recently that has helped me have a great day more often these past few months is something that’s really easy to do. We just often forget about it.

How do you start your day?

From reading books by Ryan Holiday, Wayne Dyer, Jen Sincero, and others I’m learning that starting the day off right matters.

Practices involving journaling, affirmations and meditation are how we set our minds and hearts in the right place to have the best outlook on the day, and be most productive.

If you get out of bed and the first thing you do is chores, you’re focusing on the wrong stuff. And hey, I used to do that too.

Actually, I’d hit the snooze button until my cat meeeoooowed enough to get me out of bed to serve her breakfast.

I often was not as productive as I could have been.  I certainly didn’t have a great attitude either.

Who wants to make a cat’s demands for food the first answer you do in the morning?

“Not I,” said the D.

Two Simple Ways To Have A Great Day

The two simple ways to have a great day are to get up just a few minutes early with the sole purpose of giving yourself some quiet alone time to focus on what you’re doing, make daily goals, do a little meditation/affirmations, and be thankful.

Tony Robbins has a little mantra he does where he thanks God/The Universe for everyone in his life he’s grateful for. He spends at least 5 minutes doing that before he moves into focusing on himself.

I’ve found this practice to be very enriching too. When we operate from thankfulness and gratitude, it makes our attitudes towards others even better.

Plus, our relationships improve because we become people who are more naturally inclined to serve and give.

It’s one big reason why friends can ask for gold but strangers can’t even get candy.

Here’s one other little tidbit, and this one has been SUPER effective in helping me grow: start a personal journal and write every day.

I started doing this last year. I’ve been amping my writing up lately with the work I’m doing for my new book out in November.

What I’ve found is that journaling helps me to get more focused on specific tasks to complete. It also helps me to communicate better because of the repetitiousness of the practice.

Like my old mentor Larry Sabin used to say, “We get good at what we do.”

As a creative who is connecting with people, make a habit of practicing your communication. Journaling is a great step in that direction.

The better communication you have, the more enriched your relationships are and the stronger your connection is with others.

Stronger Communications Make For A Great Day

What helps with that communication is also dependent on how you feel about yourself. What thoughts are you exercising each day that contribute to your well-being and success?

If you have regular thoughts that consist of “I can’t,” “This won’t work,” “I’m not enough for this,” “They don’t want me,” or similar negative beliefs, you set yourself up to lose.

What you plant inside your mind and heart is what your life will produce. That comes through your actions, attitudes, and behaviors. Your inner dialogue contributes to all of these things.

This is why a daily practice of affirmations is so important. By affirming yourself of who you are, what’s inside of you, what you produce, and what you attract these things come into being.

It’s the law of attraction because what you focus on is what grows.

This is the essential piece of your day that kicks your subconscious into high gear to manifest what you plant. Best practice is to not only start your day off with affirmations, but also end it with a repetition of them before you go to sleep.

What kinds of affirmations am I talking about?

Here are two big ones:

What is inside of me is love, joy and peace.

What I produce is love, joy and peace.

I’ve compiled my daily practice of Growth Farming Affirmations For Success into one ebook and corresponding audio copy. 

It has the teachings and affirmations I use to create the life I want of peace, success, and fruitful relationships with myself, my friends, family, network and community, and Almighty Love (aka God/The Universe).

When you plant love inside yourself, it’s what you’ll focus more on which overcomes fears, doubts, insecurities and negative mindsets. It also attracts more loving experiences and people into your world.

In no time you’ll find that your days are consistently better, more fruitful, and more peaceful. You’ll also find your relationship with yourself and others improve.

Set yourself up for success today. In just 15 minutes you can gain more insights into this method of growth and success for peace, clarity, stronger relationships, and success in every area of your life. Book your free strategy session with me here.

 

Be A Badass Like Batman In Your Marketing & Connection Building

It’s no secret that I’m a super hero super-fan. Batman in particular takes the cake for me. I’m a Batman mega-fan especially in films. In particular, the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight trilogy are some of my all-time favorite movies. And yes, Christian Bale is my Batman.

But there are also some powerful things we can learn about from Batman to help us be better at building powerful connections, standing out from the crowd of competition, and becoming legends in our own right.

Here’s where the rubber meets the road in making this analogy and comparison applicable to you as a creative entity. You can either be a badass with a set of skills who is prepared for every situation with other people OR you can be a dude with a machine gun who’s trying to serve someone else’s interests. The clip above is a great illustration of this principle.

Become a badass with how you connect with people by setting up a free strategy session with me here.

Diving Into Badass Vs Generic Punks

I have had a few realizations in the past few weeks concerning the link between Batman on film, and our work as connection builders with media influencers (i.e. bloggers, radio shows/stations, reviewers, podcasters, playlist makers, etc).

It’s pretty simple and established to recognize The Dark Knight (alias for Batman, not necessarily the film by the same title) as a badass. He’s an expert in multiple forms of martial artistry. He drives a series of vehicles that are more advanced than the military. He’s a genius detective and excels in technology creation.

Whether Bruce Wayne is in costume or not, he’s a powerful and formidable individual.

Yet often times, as he faces off against his numerous rogues gallery including The Joker, The Riddler, Mr. Freeze, the Falcone crime family, or even Bane, he’s taking on a series of thugs who work for the bad guys. The thugs are typically guys with a little bit of fight experience, guns, and lots of ammo. What makes them special? Absolutely nothing at all.

Putting The Analogy Together For You

For you as a creative force in the world, it’s also no secret that music curators (like me and several of my guest on The DIY Artist Route Podcast) get a ton of emails from musicians and artists every day.

They all want one thing: to get their work featured on something we do. And 98% of them present themselves as someone similar to the henchmen of the villains in the superhero flicks we love than they do the heroes themselves.

The blanket, generic email pitch that is designed entirely to serve the artist is the metaphorical equivalent to a henchman with a gun. He just fires away, hoping to hit something and ending up with nothing. There’s very little that is particularly interesting or appealing about him. He looks tough and has a weapon. Who cares?

A blanket, bland email pitch looks the same way. It’s a creator with an product and pieces he’s trying to get noticed by no one in particular.

Nothing special. Nothing specific. No big deal.

Want To Be Batman Or A Common Henchman?

Wouldn’t you rather be Batman instead of a henchman? I certainly would.

That’s why the method you use to reach out to media is so important. That’s why being precise and being specific with how you reach out to media and curators is so essential. You can stand out or you can be generic.

Who would you rather be?

When Batman puts together his utility belt in all three pieces of the Nolan-trilogy, he takes specific mini-weapons with him depending on what kind of fight he’s going to be in. Again, the clip above as a reference is case and point.

Sometimes that includes dust spray to stay hidden. Sometimes it includes little bombs to blow up walls to get away. Sometimes it includes radar to be able to spy.

The batarangs are standard equipment for Batman (he always utilizes them in any given situation). He’s made himself so skilled with them that they’re useful in at all times.

Your tactics for contacting media influencers is similar. Know what you’re putting in your utility belt before you set out to contact individual influencers and media folks.

Who are they? What is their platform about? What audience are they reaching?

The insights into these questions tell you how to approach them, what to say, and how to position yourself as someone worth responding to.

Your batarang is your ability to connect with people. The way you engage with individuals is a skill set that you get better and better at with time. The more you use your skills, the better you are with them.

This is one of the big things I work with musicians, creatives, and entrepreneurs in coaching to improve so that they connect with more people to grow their work and be more successful.

Reach Just One Person And Make A Huge Impact

Here’s one more little piece of advice that we can learn from Batman. It comes from a different iteration of the character, the Ben Affleck version from Justice League.

In this scene, Batman, The Flash, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Cyborg are trying to rescue hostages from Steppenwolf. Everyone on the team has experience in combat. Everyone except for the Flash. His lack of experience has him nervous. But Batman gives him some excellent advice in this clip:

You can take the same advice and apply it to how you build relationships & connections with anyone. Especially building relationships with media and influencers.

Connect with one person at a time. Be specific. Don’t try to reach everyone at once. Just reach one person. You’ll learn how to build the connection the right way when you focus on one individual at a time.

Isn’t that what makes Batman so badass? He fights a gang of dudes one at a time. One strike to the head of one thug, a kick to another, a chop to a different henchman. In a matter of moments he’s taken down a whole group of enemies with precision, accuracy, and specialty.

That’s a model to base yourself and your outreach after.

Big lesson here: when it comes to building relationships, marketing yourself, and growing your work, be like Batman.

Don’t be a henchman. Henchmen don’t have names. They’re easily forgotten and mean very little  to the big story than the person who has the skill set and uses it in the right way.

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Discover how to connect with influencers, media, and your audience in a powerful way to make them diehard fans of your work.

Book your free 15 minutes strategy session with me now to learn more about using the Growth Farming method of relationship building to build powerful connections for your success.

 

Fear Can Hold You Back Or Be The Fuel To Move You Forward

All of us struggle with fear. It’s human nature. Fear has one big weapon against us: pain.

Think of the things you’re most fearful of and every one of them involves pain. Pain is inevitable in life.

It can be something that you dread ever having happen to you. It can be something you’ve already experienced that you never want to have happen again.

It can be caused by insecurities that you have about yourself, your abilities, your weaknesses, or what you don’t know.

Pain creates imprints in our minds and hearts that cause us to want to avoid anything that looks or feels like discomfort in any way.

Pain doesn’t have to be a hindrance to the life you want. Get help, direction, and be free from the fear of pain with a free strategy session here.

Fear is a big subject that I talk a lot about. It’s the theme of this episode of The Appetizer Radio Show, illustrated through a variety of subjects covered by alt-rock and punk bands like Blink 182, Dry The River, P.O.D., Face to Face and more.

For most of us, pain is caused from bad experiences where someone hurt you, didn’t accept you (rejection and/or abandonment), you lost something or someone, or a result you wanted to happen that went in the opposite direction.

Most pain isn’t physical, but sometimes physical pain leads to fear too.

Often our worst fears are in our minds

We dwell on what could happen, on how something could go that will be a repeat of a negative past experience. So what do we do with fear?

Often, we run from it.

This was my story for most of my life. I’m a small-framed dude (as you can see in the video above). I’ve been on the short and skinny side of body-types since the beginning of my existence.

Subsequently, I was picked on, bullied, and treated as less than for a lot of my adolescence. This led to a ton of insecurities and fears about how others saw me.

But mostly, it had everything to do with how I saw myself. I saw myself as someone who would be overlooked, undervalued, taken advantage of, and put down.

So I ran from people a lot. I could make friends fairly easily. But deep down inside I was afraid that my friends would wake up one day and see the short skinny kid I saw in the mirror and not want to hang around me anymore. Fear was the result of my negative self-perception.

Can you relate to that fear?

When fear became something I could no longer run from

Being a small framed dude, I was also perpetually afraid of getting beaten up. Mostly by strangers or people I didn’t know.

This culminated into an experience I had standing on a street corner one day where I was crossing to go see a friend. I needed to walk across the street, and down the block to go see him.

But at the intersection where I was walking, I looked to the other side of the road and saw this thuggish, rough-looking dude.

And admittedly, I judged his character in that moment as someone who was going to jump me, beat me up, and take whatever money I had on me.

I had no viable reason to suspect the guy other than his choice of clothing and the look on his face. But in my fear, I determined that he had ill-intentions and would cause me physical harm.

So what did I do? I decided to make a 90-degree turn and cross a different street, going 4.5 blocks around to get to where I wanted to go. I justified this choice by telling myself I needed the exercise, which is a bullshit thing to do to justify giving in to fear.

While I walked the extra few blocks, this still inner voice spoke to me. It said, “How much longer are you going to live this way? You’re a grown-ass man. Do you want to live like this for the rest of your life?”

I was 27 years old and was building what would become a prominent career in radio and music. Yet I was afraid to cross the street because of some stranger I didn’t know. What the hell was up with that?

The decision that led to breakthrough and forever changed my life

I decided that enough was enough. I was tired of running. I was tired of letting fear control my actions and attitudes about myself and others. I had to do something to change it.

So I made a few phone calls when I got back home and decided to join a boxing gym. I figured, what better way to get over my fear of getting beaten up by putting myself in a place where that would likely happen? But in the process I hoped to learn how to defend myself.

In the end I gained so much more than knowledge and experience in fighting. I gained confidence, perspective, and some core principles that have carried with me into my personal and professional life in ways that have led to exponential success.

Be solid to win in life & climb out of the pit of fear

One of those core principles is the art of being solid. Solid as a person. Solid as a friend. Solid as a member of communities that help others.

When people see me they think I ooze confidence. Maybe. But confidence has come by facing the things that I’m most afraid of and not backing down from them.

Fear wants to keep you out of the game of life. But it’s up to you to climb out. And in doing that climb, you regain your heart, mind, and confidence.

In that boxing gym I climbed out of my pit.

It was a hard climb. There were tough days. There were days where I dreaded going.

Especially when I knew I was going to be sparring. Sparring is when you put all the principles, techniques, and exercises into use against a real opponent. One that hits you back. One that is also trying to get out in one piece.

Will you face your fear or continue to run from it?

Few things in life are easy. Facing fears is certainly not one of them. But it’s what has to be done in order to be free.

Freedom is the gift of doing what you want without hindrance or opposition. For many of us, fear is the biggest opposition we will face to having real freedom.

What will you do to overcome your fear?

On a practical standpoint, it may be starting a practice of retraining your mind to accept yourself instead of reject yourself. The practice of mantras and affirmations are helpful here (see below for more help).

Rocky comes back against Clubber Lang in Rocky III

It may be doing the work of putting yourself in situations where you face what you dread, be that getting in front of people in a business situation where your skills and talents could be questioned.

It may be asking that lady or man out of a date, when you’ve previously thought they were out of your league.

It may be volunteering to do a presentation where you have to speak publicly, when you’ve told yourself too often that no one wants to listen to you.

Or it could be that you put on some gloves and step into a ring where you get to test to see what you’re really made of.

In any case, running from what you fear will move you backwards because you’re not operating out of your greatness. You’re operating out of your doubts about who you are and what you can do.

Facing your fears will bring you clarity and confidence

When you run away from something, you can’t see what it is that was worth hiding from. But, when you face your fears you’re able to articulate the truth much better.

Often, you realize that what you were afraid of isn’t as bad as you thought it was. Which leads to confidence and a growth in character.

Clarity comes when we see things for what they really are. When we choose to have courage in the face of obstacles, we see the intricacies and details that were once hidden from us.

Which leads to growth. And change. And a different result in the end.

Decide who you want to be and become that person

What kind of person do you want to be? Do you want to be someone who runs, who quits when things get challenging, and who gives up on yourself? Or do you want to be a champion in life, full of confidence and strength?

A person who is solid, uncommon, and whole is one who doesn’t let the past dictate the future, who doesn’t listen to the voice of fear but instead digs deep inside to overcome any challenge that stands in the way.

This is the person I’m dedicated to become. And I’m dedicated to helping you get to your greatness too.

Have fears have been an obstacle for you, keeping you from achieving peace, confidence, and success? We can change that and empower you to overcome any obstacle that’s keeping your from the peace, clarity, direction and success you want. Set up your free 15 minute strategy session with me now!


In my new book Be Solid: How To Go Through Hell And Come Out Whole (due out in late 2018), I share more insights into how boxing changing my life, how to heal from loss and pain, and how to become a person who can overcome any obstacle instead of letting challenges get the better of you.

Sign up now to get early access to this book, plus tons of bonuses before it’s released.

Grow More Love By Letting Go

We all want to have happy, healthy relationships in our lives. But too often we try to make those relationships work through controlling the steps and actions of others. Because issues that create pain cause us to lose what we hold so close. Yet it’s interesting how letting go creates more of what we want than holding tightly does.

In every type of relationship there is the desire to be in control of the outcome. If you do X-Y-Z, someone will treat you better. Or at least they should. So we tell ourselves.

We all want to be in control most of the time. But with relationships, control is holding on to someone with closed hands, trying to determine their responses or behavior. But you can’t control anyone else and have them truly give you what you want.

Letting go is the way to healthy relationships

Control causes manipulation. Which breeds bitterness. Which creates loss and division. Which ends up in an ending you don’t want.

People who try to control others hold them tightly with their hearts and minds, using words to steer certain responses. It’s problematic.

There’s no freedom in a relationship like this, be it friendship, family, or romantic. Subsequently, it’s much harder to give and receive love when you’re being restricted, held on too tightly by someone else.

Love is what we all want more of

Love can be defined in many ways. For simplicity’s sake, we can define love as the joining of peace, joy, freedom, happiness, kindness, appreciation, acceptance, harmony, and affection.

Wayne Dyer defines it this way: “Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you.”

Ultimately, love is the art of letting go and letting God (aka the Universe, Almighty Love, the Most High, the Higher Power or however you care to define Deity).

This past episode of The Appetizer Radio Show is built around this philosophy, describing the art of letting go for a full, healthy and whole life with others. I incorporated music that illustrated this point.

Also in the radio show was pieces of a doctrine that my good friend, mentor and pastor shared with us recently. He gathered this wisdom from one of his friends. I want to share it with you here to practice the art of letting go, one piece at a time:

To let go doesn’t mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it for someone else.

To let go is not to cut myself off.

It’s the realization that I don’t control another.

To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.

To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.

To let go is not to try to change or blame another, because I can only change myself.

To let go is not to care for, but to care about.

To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.

To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.

To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,

but to allow others to affect their own outcomes.

To let go is not to be protective.

It is to permit another to face reality.

To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue,

but to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.

To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,

but to take each day as it comes and to cherish the moment.

To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone,

but to try to become what I dream I can be.

To let go is not to regret the past,

but to grow and live for the future.

To let go is to fear less and to love more.

To be fully alive and fully whole, you have to let go. It’s a process, a practice, and something you get better at with time and repetition. What are you holding too tightly to? Is there someone in your life that you wished treated you better or differently that you’re holding on to? Is there pain in your past that you haven’t released yet because of fear or anger?

Let go. It’s where healing comes from. It’s also the gateway to love and peace in every area of your life.

To have true success, you have to let go of what’s broken. If letting go is a challenge for you, you’re not alone. Here’s what you can do about it: Set up a time for us to talk today on letting go of fears, negativity, and past hurts that are holding you back. Many of my coaching clients have been learning how to let go of the past and move powerfully into a successful future. You can too. Book your free strategy session with me here.

 


How To Avoid Failure With Your Networking For Real Growth

Networking explained

Networking.

That thing marketing people to do connect with other people so they can grow their brands. That’s what you’re supposed to be doing when you go to conferences, meetups, and events, right?

Traditional networking and the networking so many creatives and music-entrepreneurs (“musicpreneurs” as coined by my buddy Tommy Darker) do today are vastly different. The old school method was about building a relationship with specific people to provide reciprocal connection.

Or let me phrase that differently for a layman’s term understanding:

Old school networking was about building a two-way street where both parties benefit from connection with each other.

Networking That Fails

That’s not the same kind of networking I’m seeing. It’s likely not the networking you’ve been doing. What folks are doing now (that they’re called “networking”) is one-sided pitching with the intention of getting noticed.

There’s a difference between trying to appeal to someone to like you so that you can benefit from their influence, connections, and network, and actually building a relationship with specific people where both of you benefit from the engagement.

One is focused on the individual. The other is focused on the connection. There’s a big difference.

This is a practice in giving and receiving value. Value is giving worth to something or someone that you prize as being significant. What you value, and place significance on, has a powerful meaning to you in how you treat it.

Networking That Works

Think about this in terms of something you consider valuable.

You’re likely to treat a Mickey Mantle rookie card in mint condition with a lot of special treatment in how you care for it, should that ever become something in your possession.

You’ll make sure it has a protective case, is secured and away from the ground where pets or children might accidentally get a hold of it.

We can treat our relationships and connections with people with a similar kind of value. We can hold other people in regard for who they are and what they mean to us beyond just want that connection might do for us in a selfish way.

This is a different method of building relationships. It’s real networking that actually works.

How To Network At An Event

In a real-world example, let’s talk about an event you may find yourself at like SXSW. What’s a good way to network your band while you’re at an event where 150,000 creatives converge into one place for a week?

Should you get a ton of cards and flyers printed up so you can hand them off to everyone you see? You could, but that’s more of a marketing and promotional endeavor than it is a networking action.

Should you approach every speaker, panelist, promoter, and person of influence with promotional materials, a press kit, and CDs so they can pick you up to grow your music? You could, but that’s another action geared towards trying to market yourself.

Handing someone a flyer, business card, press kit, or CD at an event is an act of “notice me and follow my music!” You can start a conversation with someone to get them to stop and listen, but what is your intention?

Marketing And Networking Are Similar But Different

Networking that works (going back to the old school method) is a actionable steps with the intention of providing benefit to two or more parties. It’s not a promotional act. Handing out materials to strangers with the hope that they will pay attention after you leave their presence, listen to your tracks, and then take the initiative to follow up with you is not what networking is.

That’s marketing. Ineffective marketing usually, but marketing all the same.

Networking is an act of knowing and being known back. It’s something my friend Shaine Freeman excels at. His podcast and music media platform has been instrumental in this way for years.

Networking involves being specific. It involves having a conversation and building a dialogue with someone with the intention of growing something that serves both you and them.

It’s placing value on the individual for who they are, what they do, and the people their work benefits. The intention creates the opportunity for them to value you in those same ways. Then both of you win.

Make Your Intention To Network The Right Way To Win New Contacts

Networking is a focused endeavor. It’s long term growth strategy. It’s keeping track with people. That’s building relationship.

It’s exchanging contact info, be that in business card or flyer or social media details. It’s you taking the initiative to follow up shortly after the contact is made and build on the interaction you shared. It’s what I reference in Being First in this video.

This isn’t a secret, but it is something a lot of creatives, entrepreneurs and people trying to build their contact list don’t do often. It’s old fashioned, like Dale Carnegie old. He’s the man behind How To Win Friends And Influence People. Kinda the go-to expert on effective influence building and growth.

” You can gain more friends in two months by showing interest in other people than you can in two years trying to get other people interested in you.” -Dale Carnegie

One act is placing value on the connection with the other person. The other is about trying to shine the spotlight on yourself.

One works in creating opportunities for growth.

The other is just playing in the dirt.

Want to be an All-Star at networking? Set up a free strategy session with me now to put all these tools to work for you in how you connect with the right people for success.

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Grow Even More Now. Gain a bigger following, growth and success with one of the best minds in business.
Learn Growth Farming The Seth Godin way in this free eBook.

Essential Tools For Cultivating Powerful Relationships

Every artist and creative person who is building anything wants to be connected to the right people. That’s what it means to have powerful relationships, right?

That’s one of the big tenets of growth farming your relationships for success.

To have an influencer (or several) on your contact list is what all of us want because of how potent it makes our growth opportunities. But how do we go about gaining influential relationships?

We spend so much time online trying to find answers. Often, what we end up with is a ton of tactics that can be used to benefit us in small ways.

Those small ways can build over time for bigger results. But too often we expect the little things to produce big results overnight. Rarely does anything work that way.

You Can’t Grow Anything Without Tools

What we don’t spend as much time looking for are the right tools. Just like in a garden, to get the crops you want at harvest time, you have to use the right tools.

For the gardener, she needs a durable shovel that can dig deep, hold a good amount of dirt, and not break the handle when considerable force is applied. She needs gloves to keep from getting blisters. She needs pots, soil, seeds, and plenty of water.

The growth farmer for relationships needs similar tools. She needs to be able to organize her outreach. She needs to have a Roladex that is updated regularly.

She needs a heart committed to serving others, and a willingness to ask for help. She’s not just a networker, she’s a cultivator of people.

Once you have the tools, you need to know the best ways to use them so that your results look like what you want. This is where experience comes in.

The same is true in our growth work. You need the tools. You need the knowledge of what works and what doesn’t.

You need the practical tips and insights into where to find the right people to make growth happen. And you need to know what to say for those connections to take root so relationships can be born.

Experience + Tools = Prosperity

But you also need the experience that comes from someone who’s done this before, someone who’s done it countless times with people in different fields and different degrees of success and influence.

That’s why I created a new ebook that provides both the tools and the tactics for using them the best way. Grab the ebook and get to some serious relationship Growth Farming.

When it comes to developing powerful relationships with influencers, it’s much more than trying to befriend a “famous person.” It’s creating a connection with a person you value for specific reasons.

Often, that value comes from something in their work that has had a tremendous impact on you.

That was what led me to contact one of my heroes, and a very influential person in the realm of business, marketing, and creative growth initiative. I’m talking about Seth Godin.

What let to our conversation was a valuing of the impact he makes every day in my life, and in the lives of countless entrepreneurial people through his writing on his blog and books.

Value Others To Build Powerful Relationships

Valuing others who have influence and make an impact on the world is one of the best tools you can gain to grow. Giving that value back through your own actions (thank you notes, sharing to social media, etc) creates connections with these folks that transcend what you may imagine.

When you get right down to it, treating an influential person with the same respect you wish to be treated with, and approaching them as a partner in this big project of harmonizing the world together, is how powerful conversations are started. And powerful relationships are born.

Growth Farm Action Step For Your Success

Want To Grow Even More? Gain a stronger audience connection for your success with a free strategy session with me now.

Maximize Your Growth With These Books (My 2017 Reading List Picks)

These are some of the great books that got me through 2017

You’ve gotten through this year with a lot of lessons learned. I can certainly attest to learning much from life, people, and reflection. Books have also been an incredible teacher. As I think about some of the best growth that’s come from reading, I want to share my reading list top picks from 2017 so you can add to your book list and experience powerful growth too.

Let’s not leave out audiobooks. They’re equal parts to the learning journey.

The feedback from readers on my weekly newsletter (signup in the right column) has been that folks want to know more about the books that have been instrumental in my transformation, healing, and development this year.

I highly recommend everything I’m going to tell you about. All of these books can be a gift to yourself. Once you have an awesome experience, get a copy and gift it to a friend.

Maximize Your Growth With These Books

Instead of saying too much about each title, I’ve included a brief description of what benefits are in the book and why it was so powerful to me.

1. Secrets Of The Power Of Intention by Dr. Wayne Dyer

I picked up this audiobook at a library sale and it’s simply the best buy of the last 15 years. I listen to a disc from it every day. It’s been my guide for peace, love, healing, and connection with Almighty Love (aka God, Source, Intention) throughout this year.

I’ve gained powerful affirmation statements and intentions to verbally declare daily that set my mind and heart on a path towards love as a state of being. And hearing Dr. Dyer speak on this subjects, along with his powerful storytelling is one of the most transformational things I’ve ever experienced.

2. 10 Secrets To Success and Inner Peace by Dr. Wayne Dyer

Following the audiobook, I started amassing a collection of Dyer’s work. This was the next book I dove into. He breaks down 10 keys to having inner peace and success in every area of your life. A big one is “don’t die with your music still in you.” You’ll have to read it to get the fullness of what that means.

3. The Ego Is The Enemy by Ryan Holiday

I’m a big fan of Ryan Holiday’s work. His books are philosophically challenging and provide a different perspective to overcoming obstacles. The ego is something all of us must contend with or it will govern our actions and destroy our potential.

Holiday draws upon the wisdom of the Stoics, while also sharing a bit of his own story. When you reach any level of success, it’s easy to start listening to your own press, and letting your momentum shift from growth to maintenance. This book provides a pathway forward instead of spinning your wheels.

4. The 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

My good friend Carlos Castillo posted about this book last year and I added it to my reading list, borrowing a copy from a friend. It’s a relatively short read, yet the wisdom and thoughtfulness in each page will keep you in a place of contemplation and reflection which leads to even more truth and transformation.

I struggle with the 2nd agreement at times, which is don’t take anything personally. Our culture, particularly with social media, makes this harder for a lot of us.

From the guidance of Dr. Dyer who also talks about not taking yourself so seriously and how connecting with Source removes any need to be offended, this book draws more wisdom into these big ideas to change the way you see yourself and the world around you so that you can become whole.

5. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen was living a comfortable life with her husband and kids, but realized that she wasn’t happy and set out to do something about it. Over the span of a year, she made a resolution to do things differently, one month at a time.

In the process she found that happiness, like life, is a journey and a process. She discovered aspects about herself that she changed to create improvement and other thingss she did away with to have peace and happiness. We all can learn to be happy, and rewrite our story to have the life we want.

6. The Rock Says by The Rock (Dwayne Johnson)

I honestly finished reading this one yesterday afternoon. I’m a big fan of the Rock, going back to his wrestling days, and especially his movies and TV shows. Watch him do an interview with someone and you’ll discover some profound strategies for how to make a connection with a host or influencer that sticks with them, making them a bigger fan of you (and subsequentially a bigger advocate for you).

His attitude and charisma are magnetic. In this autobiography he tells his story and he changes voices in it too, going from Dwayne Johnson to The Rock. And you see how the charismatic character he created is a part of him, while also being a caricature.

This book taught me a lot about the power of outlandish techniques to draw people in, how audience’s responses can lead to your evolution into greatness, and how to value the people who are a part of your journey to have even more success.

7. How To Sell Your Way Through Life by Napoleon Hill

I’ve learned this year that sales is a part of all of our lives, whether it’s our career path or not. Hill uses old-school methods to describe what makes great connections with the people who buy from you.

Someone is buying from you, whether they’re buying your work or your character or your partnership/collaboration or just buying into you. This book gives some great examples of how to sell yourself in any circumstance.

8. Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant

I’ll be the first to admit that I used to think “self-love” was something hipsters did to feel better about themselves. Or that it was something for unstable people who didn’t have any backbone.

Turns out I was wrong. And I’ve given away my heart to other people for a long time without giving much love, grace, or kindness to myself. This year changed that and this book helped.

With something as simple as a mantra of “I love myself” you can transform how you feel, how you operate, and how others see you for growth, healing, and success.

9. Totally Fulfilled by Dean Graziosi

I’ll also admit that I’m in the middle of this one but I’ve read enough of it to encourage you to pick it up. Dean talks about how we live in a world dominated by limited beliefs, which we adopt to put a lid on our potential.

Yet people who are totally fulfilled in their lives with their families, relationships, careers and themselves see things from a limitless perspective.

He maps out a way to change your mindset from limited beliefs into limitless beliefs. I’ve adopted this mindset and I’m already experiencing transformation.
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That’s my reading list from this year. Actually, that’s the best of it. I’m working on a few new titles that were recommended from the authors I’ve mentioned here. I’m sure they’ll make next year’s list.

Want To Grow Even More? Gain a bigger following, growth and success with one of the best minds in business.

Learn Growth Farming The Seth Godin way in this free eBook.

Which Specifics Lead To Getting Radio Airplay & Reviews

music submission tips how to get radio airplay growth farming for musiciansLet me tell you a little secret about how to get media (radio, music blogs, podcast hosts, etc) to  open your emails.

This secret is what gets them to actually read the email too. And reply to you so you can have a conversation about getting featured on their platform (radio station/show, blog, podcast, etc).

Certain Specifics Are Essential

I’m an uncommon person, meaning that I don’t do things that most people do. Most media people (or people in general) don’t open the majority of emails they get, especially from people they don’t know or have ever talked with.

They either don’t have time, and/or they have so many things on their plate that opening every message from a band announcing their release would take an eternity.

How do you think that musicians or promoters get through to radio and media for feature?

Most people assume that they hire a publicist or PR firm to do this effectively. Sure, you can try that. Your average PR campaign runs at $5000 on the cheap side.

Many of these PR companies send one big blanket email out to a few thousand email addresses. The email might have some nice images embedded, a lot of nice things said about the band and their new release, and even a few quotes or reviews.

These don’t get a response, usually. They don’t get opened much either.

The BIG reason for that is a lack of specifics.

I’m not like most of the media entities out there, even though I get a TON of emails sent to me daily from strangers, all wanting their music featured on my radio show and want to book an interview with me. The more music curators I talk with experience the same things I do.

Some of them reply and ask questions. Some just delete the email. All of them want you to know some specific things before you message them, and state specific things in your email. Here’s what you need to know before sending a cold email to a music curator to pitch your music.

Why Not Every Music Curator Responds To Email Pitches

Since I’m uncommon, I reply to people, even if their email doesn’t say what it is that they want from me.

My response always asks a question, because whether or not I am a good fit for them isn’t as important as them (potentially) seeing how a modification to their methods can bring about better results.

The first thing to be specific about is WHO you want to get in front of. Or better stated, WHO you want to contact.

This means that you’re contacting 1 person, not 10 or 100 people at one time.

One-person-connection is both a mindset shift in the way that you communicate, as well as a focus shift on reaching a particular person that you’ve identified as having your target audience.

You illustrate that you’re specific about wanting to reach this person in 2 ways:

  1. You name their station/program/blog/podcast/platform in the subject line
  2. You address them by name in the opening of the email, and state their platform name in the first paragraph (preferably in the first sentence or two) of your message

The reason why getting specifics on talking to 1 person matters is that the message is personal, targeted and meaningful to the person you want to reach.

How do you feel when someone sends you a spam, blanket email? Does it make you feel like they value you or want to connect with you at all?

Or does it make you feel like you’re just a nameless, faceless number to them?

When you identify a certain person and platform that you want to reach, you create the conduits for connection.

Tap Into How You’re Wired To Make The Connection

We are naturally wired as humans to want to connect 1-1 with people.

This means that you know the person’s name that you’re contacting, and what platform they work on.

Names matter when you’re contacting media. As Dale Carnegie said,

“Names are the most important word in any language.” (How To Win Friends & Influence People)

Getting names right plays a vital role in getting the person to read your email, AND reply to you.

The reply is actually what you want. The reply is golden because it can lead to a conversation and potential collaboration (more on this in the next few days of Growth Farming Lessons).

When you do something that is uncommon and send a personal message to a specific person, you gain their attention, interest, and willingness to hear you out.

You may be wondering how to go about finding the right people to get specific about. Where can you find the right media for your audience? How can you know which media is best for your music to grow your audience?

The process for identifying the right media for you, reaching out to specific people, formatting your messaging and building the relationship is all inside the DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook, and taught through video in the Indie Radio Promotion Course. That’s a learn-at-your-own pace method of taking what I’ve shown you here and moving into the next steps.

Another great way to get your music picked up, explained in short form is through my latest ebook, available here.

How The Stories You Believe Lead To The Impact You Have

A story of how my identity and perspective changed based on what I believed about myself in this talk at Abilene Christian University with my good friend Dr. Steven Moore

When I was a little kid I wanted to be Superman. Superman made an impact. He was unstoppable, invincible and incredibly powerful.

I was not.

On the contrary, I’ve always had a small frame. Skinny, scrawny, short. These were ready adjectives you could identify me with. Still can.

impact superman pinterest artwork invincible InspiraAcao

Source: manof2moro.tumblr.com

I didn’t want to be Superman because he was the strongest dude around, could bend iron in his hand, or was faster than a speeding bullet. I wanted to be invincible. I wanted to be immune to the physical damage of bullets or baseball bats or bullies.

Suffice to say, I understood how dangerous it is to be vulnerable. I wanted to be able to create impact, but be immune from experiencing it.

Being capable of receiving pain is a human condition. It’s one I have avoided. Yet avoiding pain is not a way to grow or succeed. Therefore, I’m changing this mindset so I can grow and win.

Most of us have a real understanding of what pain is, both physical and emotional and psychological. Avoiding pain is what we’re naturally programmed for. Yet pain is a part of the human experience, and turning off our ability to receive it can cost more than the pain itself.

Where The Mindset Change Started For Me

Best selling author and life coach Tony Robbins has made a BIG impact on a lot of people. The self-help guru is an empowering teacher worth modeling after. He talks about how every decision we make is either a pursuit of pleasure, or the avoidance of pain. His book Awaken The Giant Within details how to transform your life by changing your beliefs, words, and actions to overcome the fear of pain.

Your beliefs about yourself determine the stories you tell yourself about who you are, and what you’re capable of.

This is something you might have struggled with to from a young age. You may still be struggling with avoiding pain. Pain from someone’s harsh words, or actions, or attitudes, or something else that made you feel less than and unworthy. They became the stories you adopted on your identity.

It’s our human condition to want a few specific things intrinsically. When we come out of the womb we have within us the desire to be valued, to be found worthy, and to be loved. It’s in our DNA.

Life gives us opportunities to experience this kind of love. We have friends who lift us up, encourage us, and make us feel like we’re on top of the world.

All the while there are other people we experience who do the opposite. For one reason or another, they tear down, destroy, hurt, and cause us pain with their words and actions. Try as you might, you can’t make sense of their motivation or reason. Each of us experience negativity this at some point in our lives.

The Power Of Stories On Our Understanding Of Fear And Identity

When I first experienced the pain of rejection and unworthiness from a person, it made an imprint, a story. Imprints & stories don’t go away easily.

Imprints that are negative tend to have more staying power than those that are positive, unless we’re looking for and needing that uplifting stuff. Then it’s received differently. Something that hits you and leaves a mark has a pretty strong impact on your outlook on life and yourself.

As I’ve gotten older I realize that my defense mechanisms for dealing with pain and rejection have always been faulty. An old friend once told me when we were in college that I approached people metaphorically with my arms up in defense (like a boxer).

He said I never let anyone get close enough to know me. Keeping people away from reaching in to (potentially) cause harm.

It’s hard to build community, build trust, and gain influence with people if you don’t let them in. That vulnerability thing is something we all have to deal with. It’s hard. It hurts. It’s risky. It’s dangerous. But it might just save your life.

It saved mine. But it’s also one of the most difficult things I’ve done.

When I realized that being Superman wasn’t all that great, my heart changed. How can I be understood and valued if I can’t feel or allow others to impact me in a way that leads to feelings, good or bad?

I’ve always been a pretty emotional dude, so that whole idea of being immune to feeling is a bit off. I could never pull that off anyways.

Growth Farming Creates Maximum Impact To Change The Story

We have a choice to make in our lives everyday. What will we plant within ourselves produce fruits that others experience. What we focus on, the stories we believe, determine whether we have impact on our spheres of influence, or go ignored.

I used to plant fear in my heart, and with the stories I told myself. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear of being harmed. Fear of being beat up. Fear of being found not good enough.

Turns out that fear is what I produced. Afraid of not being received and accepted by people kept the folks I wanted to connect with from wanting to engage. So I felt even more rejected and alone. It wasn’t their fault. We create the worlds we think about. We create our reality.

I would avoid people I thought might cause me harm, physical or emotional. I’d only get so close. One day I was walking around downtown Abilene and saw this dude on the other side of the road I was going to cross.

He looked kinda tough, with tattoos and baggy pants. I judged that guy right then. I thought he might try to hurt me so I turned around and went the other way to avoid him.

That’s no way to live. I can talk openly about that now because it’s not who I am anymore. I felt a little voice in my head/heart ask me, “How long are you going to live like this? How long are you going to be a scared little boy afraid of the nonexistent monster under his bed?”

This realization led to me venturing into the amateur boxing realm to overcome that perpetual fear of being harmed. I ended up joining a boxing gym run by an Air Force coach who engrained in me transformative pieces that changed my life.

I never became a good boxer. But I did lose the fear of getting hurt. Yet I learned SO much more about life, business, and success from Coach Rivas than I ever imagined.

I also learned my calling. It’s bigger than music. It’s bigger than radio. It involves people and giving the thing I’ve wanted my whole life.

Transformation That Came From A Ring

I’ve always not been big on competition. Part of it was scary because it involved the possibility of losing (fear again). It also pitted people against each other, which has never been something I get excited about.

I’ve always enjoyed working with people to make something big happen. I’ve got a gift in being able to recognize people’s strengths, even those they might not know they have, and incorporating them into the mix to get the best out of a collaboration.

We naturally want to be around people who empower us, who make us feel bigger and stronger and able to do more than we believe we can do naturally. Think about the individuals in your life who give you that feeling.

Those people (and there’s probably only a handful of them that you know, they are uncommon folks) who give you the feeling of being able to tackle any giant just by being around them. They evoke a power that is transferred into your spirit. That’s a real superhero.

I no longer want to be Superman. I haven’t for sometime. Surprisingly, as much as I love Batman, I don’t want to be him either. I wish to have that kind of focus and dedication. But the skillset and methodology are too different than my inclinations.

maximum impact professor x james mcavoy patrick stewart mutant x-men movie days of future past

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44546224

I want to be Professor X. You recall him from the X-Men films, played by both Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy. In the comics, he was the founder of the X-Men and garnered an extremely loyal friendship to each of the members of the team. There’s a reason for that, and it’s not because of his mutant power.

Professor X’s real power is his ability to inspire greatness in uncommon individuals, bring them together and show them how to use their gifts to better the world. He’s a unifier. He’s a teacher. Because he believes that everyone is capable of great things if they’re just believe in themselves, they’re able to face incredible obstacles and foes.

That’s a hero worth aspiring to. That’s the kind of leader we need. That’s the kind of person who gets the best out of others, and inspires greatness.

Transformation is a process, and this is the evolution that I’m diving into. Like planting a garden, it takes time. But when the fruit is fully ripe, it will be bountiful and bless the world I’m connected with in powerful ways.

Want To Grow Even More? Gain a bigger following, growth and success with one of the best minds in business.
Learn Growth Farming The Seth Godin way in this free eBook.

 

 

How 34 Taught Me To Embrace Failure

The one and only Bo Jackson

The one and only Bo Jackson

You may be wondering who or what “34” is. That’s a good question. I’ve been pretty fond of 34 for about a year. The reason: It’s my age (until Wednesday this week). It was also the number of Hakeem Olajuwon, Walter Payton, Nolan Ryan, and Bo Jackson (the greatest athlete ever, in my opinion, and who I share a b-day with).

Over the past few years, I take the cake and the candles and do something a little different. I look back at the year kinda like we usually do on New Year’s Eve. A look back at the successes of the past year and how to improve upon them. There have been quite a few successes I’m very proud of from this year, and one of them has to do with learning to embrace failure.

Why Embracing Failure Is Important


I don’t know about you, but I didn’t learn how to fail in school. I learned how to avoid it. Mostly, I learned how to avoid it at all costs.

Both of my parents are really smart people. My dad is an engineer and my mom works in the medical community. My sister is also pretty brilliant, working for one of the largest design companies in the world. Smarts is something that should have been natural for me, and probably would have been, if only I’d paid more attention.

Instead, I spent a good amount of time avoiding things that were difficult, particularly math. From the story in the video, math was something that I didn’t ever understand as well as I should. My avoidance of understanding led to failures that have taught some pretty profound lessons 20 years later.

This year, while I’ve succeeded at expanding my horizons and connecting with a much larger base of folks in the creative industries, I’ve also faced some pretty big challenges. Whereas in the past I might have run from those challenges, or beat myself up for not winning right away, I’ve taken a different path.

Failure is a great teacher because it costs us something to learn the lesson. What’s something I failed at? I didn’t execute on my launch plan for the DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook. That’s the honest truth. Did I make a plan? Yep. Did I map out a course of actions to take for 3 months to make it happen? You betcha. Did I start that plan with a lot of energy and enthusiasm? Yeppers.

So what happened? Why would I consider the launch to be a failure?

I don’t consider the launch a failure. I consider my execution of the launch plan to be. I started it the right way. I mapped things out. I had a strategy. But I didn’t stick with it and update my progress as I went. After the first few weeks, I just guessed at what I needed to do and kinda went through a series of actions that ended up working out pretty well.

What’s the lesson learned from this? Several actually. First, make a plan and stick to it. Second, create a calendar for what action steps to take on a weekly basis until those things become second nature. Third, be organized and follow through. Making the plan and executing the plan are different things. They both need to happen for success to be achieved.

Was the launch of my debut book a failure? Nope. However, I can recognize the difference between the success I have had and the success I could have had. Execution on the plan is the difference.

Overcoming The Fear Of Failure

One other big thing that failure has taught me is that it’s not as scary as I thought it was. I have avoided failure for most of my life out of fear. One of the big victories of 34 is diving deep into my heart and digging up the darkest fears that have hindered my growth. Bringing these things out into the light to be examined and discussed has been a tremendous method of creating success.

Fear and failure go together like a tag-team wrestling tandem hellbent on destroying progress and opportunities for growth. Fear builds on the worst scenarios of your life, or the worst-case scenario possible, to convince you to give up. Quitting and not believing in yourself leads to the ultimate failure: one where you throw in the towel.

When I think of that combination, my old days of watching wrestling come to mind. It’s like the terror that the Undertaker and Kane used to instill into people. But facing those two is not an impossible task. We just need to smell a different kind of attitude (yes, that’s a reference to The Rock).

Instead of fearing failure, and instead of looking at failure as a zero-sum game, let it be a teacher. When we don’t end up with the results we want (aka failing), we have the opportunity to go back and look at what happened. Analyze the space and the actions. What could have been done differently? Was something in the plan not done right? Where did things go askew and how?

Failure creates opportunities to improve, to rise up, to grow.

It also makes us much more thankful of the opportunities and happenings of success.

Shifting Gears To Look At Some Big Wins

d grant mcmurray speechSpeaking of that, the success of 34 has been far more vibrant and joyful than anything else. Here’s a shortlist of the big wins this year has brought:

-Outstanding growth through the DIY Artist Route Podcast including monumental conversations with folks (and heroes) like Seth Godin, Derek Webb, Matthew Mayfield, Rachael Yamagata, Kevin Kelly and Jon Nastor.

-Guest spots on podcasts like The Miews with Shane Freeman, We Spin with Andrew Apanov, Bridge The Atlantic with Marcio Novelli and Ross Barber-Smith, Music Monster with Greg Wilnau, Hack the Entrepreneur, and more.

-Being a presenter on the monumental Music Launch Summit, the largest online music growth conference hosted and managed by the incredible Steve Palfreyman

-Being a featured writer for some outstanding music publications like Sonicbids, Bandzoogle, and Hypebot

The Appetizer Radio Show gaining new stations carrying the show across the country

-Launching my speaking career doing presentations about Growth Farming For Success including speeches at universities, organizations, and finishing 3rd in divisional competition with Toastmasters

-Releasing and spreading my first published book The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook

 

That’s a lot of great things to come in just 365 days. I’m excited about what is to come in the near year, which will include some new offerings just for you to help you grow. I’m excited to share more with you, including insights on this road that include what is working for me and what isn’t so that you can have the most wins every step of the way.

Finally, since winning and growth are such big focus points in what I do here with helping you growth farm, I’m giving away a few copies of my book. Get a chance to grab a copy by signing up for my email list in the right hand column. The giveaway is for my group and community. Join up with me in there and we’ll talk soon!