Tag Archives: Seth Godin

Greg Wilnau Shares Mindset Shifts For Success On Podcast

Greg Wilnau Musician Monster

Greg Wilnau

Greg Wilnau has been on my radar for a long time. He’s a fantastic human being and someone who intentionally wants to help people. It’s clear in the way that he engages with you in conversation, and illustrates the power of valuing others as a key to growth.

Greg is a fellow drummer and host of the Musician Monster Podcast. He also is a coach for musicians in helping to build a strong career with gigging and growth. Get more on him at his website here.

Mindset is a big part of our conversation. Personal responsibility is a giant piece of how mindsets work. It’s up to you as a musician, creative entrepreneur, and builder to reach the levels of success you dream of.

It’s not anyone else’s responsibility. Realizing that and owning it will help you take leaps and bounds towards achieving the goals you have.

New Territory Covered In This Podcast Episode

I’m going to Just come out and say something up front that is a big part of my conversation with Greg. We dive into mindset changes that delve into personal responsibility and focus that have been instrumental in my own personal success, as well as his. We also talk about religion and faith.

I haven’t gone down this road with anyone on the DIY Artist Route Podcast before regarding religion or faith. Honestly, I used to be a very religious person. I used to go to church 2 or 3 times a week and stay for 3 or 4 hours at a time.

In my religious days, I had a different set of priorities and my concept of belief meant something completely different than it does now.Though I may not be as religious as I used to be, the focus on love as the highest value and greatest objective in life is VERY real to me. Greg and I both share this perspective on life.

It’s not my intention nor does it come out in our conversation to say or imply anything that is condescending towards religion or faith. Still the subject is something that we talk about early on. Our concepts of God and faith do impact how we interact with each other regardless of your belief system.

How Your Experiences Pair With Others For Growth

DIY Artist Route Podcast Greg Wilnau Musician Monster D Grant Smith mindset religion personal responsibilityWe also talk about the power of empowerment. Greg Wilnau illustrates how talking with people who are going through the sames things that you are empowers you to keep going (22:15). This is especially true for musicians who are in the early stages of your career, trying to figure out your next steps. It’s essential to community building as well.

Other key quotes and subjects presented in our talk include:

[On where the shift happened to go from dead end to growth]

“The biggest thing I struggled with that I didn’t know I struggled with was I would start projects strong and things would fizzle out. That was happening because I would constantly blame other people for my problems instead of taking ownership of them and figuring out how to fix them.” -Greg Wilnau

[Dealing with the human condition to model what we see]

“There are tons and tons of information being passed around, and there’s all these ways we’re told of what we need to do to succeed. But we actually model more of the things we see than what we’re told we need to do.

“We see people blaming others for their problems, and regardless of whether we know it’s not optimal, we often pattern that based on what we see, instead of what we know is best until we choose to change.” -D Grant Smith

[On what success actually is]

“The way people used to do things was they would build it…even launching music. You would write this album, create this masterpiece,hide up in your studio and then launch it. Then fame and glory would  come to you.

“Today that’s not the best way to do it. Making sure that what you’re doing with impact others before you actually do it, or doing your best to involve other people in what you’re creating and then giving them the ability to be involved in that process.

“You can’t do it alone, you have to have other people in the community with you. Getting feedback from others who are on the same journey as you is essential to your success.” -Greg Wilanu

 

[The real super-power anyone can have]

“Unless you’re Tom Hanks living on an island with a volleyball you’ve named Wilson, that’s the only place you’re not dealing with people. And the whole time you’re wishing to God you could deal with people again. So you’re ability to see people and connect with people, that’s the real super power that drives everything you do. It’s why community is such a big deal.” -D Grant Smith

Get Plugged Into Greg Wilnau On Musician Monster

I highly recommend Greg’s podcast as both a musician and as someone who is looking for true, intentional leaders to model after. You can reach out to Greg and get more connected with him here.

Making Mindset Changes Work For You

On the subject of Mindset changes for success, it’s something that I’ve been facing in my own personal and professional life for the past 3 years. It’s a big part of the Growth Farming methodology that transforms lives and careers.

Changing a few things about how I see myself and others has led to tremendous growth and success, including transforming me from being afraid to approach influencers to being able to sit down with folks like Kevin Kelly, Seth Godin, Rachael Yamagata and others.

Your superpower (which we talk about in the podcast and I talk about a LOT on this blog) matters in building community and building success. If you don’t know what your superpower is, you’re not going to be operating at 100% to get what you want. It’s another reason you and I can talk and grow together.

If you are struggling with your own negative mindsets, or brain garbage (as a friend of mine calls it), let’s have a conversation. I’m here to help you win. Get on my calendar by clicking here right now. I look forward to talking with and helping you.

 

 

3 Simple Keys To Music Success With Rodney Holder

rodney holder music business facts drummer podcaster

Rodney Holder

Music Business Keys To Success with Rodney Holder

When it comes to business success, the entrepreneur path is essential. Most musicians are recognizing that more and more as time goes by. One of the premier places where musicians have experienced insights into how to take their careers to new levels was the Music Launch Summit, created by my good friend Steve Palfreyman last year. There, over 50 of the world’s biggest names in the business came together to help musicians grow. Rodney Holder was a standout in that series.

I was both an attendee and a masterclass speaker. Being in that summit with many of my good friends and colleagues including Carlos Castillo, Wendy Parr, Yann Ilunga, Benji Rogers, and Cari Cole, it was incredible to experience the insights of so many really incredible people.

After watching Rodney’s session, I knew I had to talk with him. Not only is he a fellow drummer and Australian (I love the Aussie’s!!!), but his methodology of relationship building, learning from experience (which includes embracing failure) and the power of mentorship are hallmarks of what make for uncommon people.

A Little Insights Into Rodney Holder

Rodney is certainly uncommon. You can sense that in every response to my questions in our conversation. He’s also someone who has taken the process of growth and used each experience to bring a new piece of insight to share. That’s really a remarkable element to the science of growth.

He’s the host of Music Business Facts Podcast, the top music podcast in Australia. He’s also a metal drummer in  Alchemist Tripsis (so he’s got serious skills behind the kit) and seasoned musician. He also teaches Music Business Studies at Taffe University in Australia.

What I Learned From Rodney In This Podcast

I’ll be honest, one of the best things about hosting the DIY Artist Route Podcast is getting to learn first hand from some amazing people. I know a lot about how to build relationships and a good bit about radio. But I don’t know everything about either of those subjects. And there’s a TON of stuff in the industry I don’t know. That’s why having conversations and asking good questions are important (if you want help with asking the right questions, reach out to me and we can talk).

Sometimes we learn things by how they’re phrased. For us creative entrepreneurs, the business side of what we do involves positioning our creations as products. Did you know that every aspect of your creation is a product that you’re offering to your audience? It’s like Rodney tells us

“You are a product, your songs, your shows, your work are all products.”

Kinda different way to think about things, huh? You are a product, not just what you make. That’s a game changer, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

3 Keys To Music Success

One of the big questions, that was kind of a trick (oops, you caught me) was when I asked Rodney if there was just 1 thing you could do to become successful today. In my experience, there’s not magic button that if you master it, all your cards will always be winners.

No poker hand works like that. Life doesn’t either.

On the flip side, there are a few ingredients that typically produce great results the more you do them. Three of those are hard work, continually putting yourself out there (marketing, outreach, gaining experiences), and luck.

Wait, did I just say that luck is how you win?

Yep. But like Rodney put it,

“The harder you work the luckier you get. The more prepared you are and the more you’re trying to get attention, your lucky break will come around.”

You make your own luck, by working hard. The more you keep going the better you get. Honestly, if I hadn’t committed the past 8 years of my professional life to relationship building and connecting with people, I wouldn’t be here in this place right now. I wouldn’t have had the conversations with world-changing folks like marketing guru Seth Godin, fellow musician-entrepreneur Rachael Yamagata or other folks.

Put These Tips To Work For You Today

Planning is a big part of that too, which is where being visionary and focused on what it is that you want to achieve is such a big deal. It’s also where having someone to work one-on-one with you as a guide through this process is so important.

A big thanks to Rodney for joining me in this podcast. We talked about mentoring and having someone in your corner to help your music grow. That’s what I call Growth Farming. Want help with your music or entrepreneurial career? I want to be in your corner.  Contact Me and we’ll talk.

How To Use Experience & Training For Maximum Impact

GrowthFarming-AppLogoExperience Still Matters. Here’s Why

You used to have to go to college or attend a seminar to get the education that’s now available online at a fraction-of-a-fraction of the cost. However, education alone won’t make you successful, no matter what field you’re in. Experience provides the testing ground to put education to work.

This is one reason why the aspect of selective education is so important. Think about it. In the information age, there’s little you can’t not-learn. The vast amount of data, education and information available can stymie your growth unless you choose to take it in stages.

This is where taking action-steps is so vital. For every blog article you read (including this one), take at least 1 action step towards putting what you gained to work (more on how to do that with this blog later on).

This is one reason why I challenge artists and entrepreneurs I work with through coaching to do specific actions after each of our sessions. The knowledge itself will take you places. However, you don’t reach the milestones you set without taking action. Action and experience paired with knowledge and understanding makes you a badass growth phenomenon.

How Education Is Still A Key For Growth & Success

This year I’ve spent more time diving into education as a resource for my own personal growth. I’ve also worked to develop a powerful network of some of the best creative industry educators, especially those who specialize in specific areas of expertise like marketing, audience growth (superfans in particular), social media, and platform building.

DIY Artist Route PodcastAmong the amazing folks I’ve connected and shared insights with include Jay Coyle (Berklee Online), Jay Coyle (Berklee Online & Music Geek Services), Andrew Apanov (Dotted Music), Brandon Gaille (The Blog Millionaire), Tom Giles (StageBloc), Michael Zipursky (Consulting Success), Steve Palfreyman (Music Launch Summit) and Seth Godin.

Most recently I had Jeremy Young from Soundfly & Flypaper on the podcast to discuss the power of education for musicians and creative entrepreneurs. TONS of great insight there.

Each of these incredible people have shared some very specific ways that education is a win-win for us. They’ve even shared some unconventional education methods. Go back and listen/download their podcast episodes to get more specifics.

Experience & Education Grows Our Ability To Build Relationships

The more we learn the more we have the capacity to learn.

Pair this with a thankful heart and attitude of gratitude (think growth farming and heart gardens here my friend) and you create the perfect outlet for connection with other people on similar subjects.

Honestly, it was partially my curiosity about a subject paired with my interest in these people I’ve reached out to which led to our conversations, and ultimately our ongoing connection.

screen-shot-2016-12-14-at-7-32-27-amOpportunities Opened By Way Of Education

Education creates doorways for longer-term connections. It starts with being curious. Curiosity is an absolutely necessary ingredient to making growth happen.

If you’re not curious how something works, or how you can learn to better yourself, it’s really hard to have the discipline to stick with the learning process.

Education works because of curiosity and commitment to growth. Without those two ingredients, it easily can become another thing we start out of intrigue and put on the backburner when the next shiny thing comes along.

In this phase, asking questions to the many teachers and pros in whichever space you’re spending time in creates a different kind of opportunity. It creates a different kind of connection. If you practice it well, with other insights you’ve learned here, you’ll gain an advocate and friend from the person you originally just wanted help from in an educational capacity.

I read a lot of books, mostly in the nonfiction realm. Though I don’t work in many of the industries that I read about, we can all learn some powerful methods of growth from those who have built something that works and that lasts.

I’m currently reading Tony Robbins’ Money: Awaken The Giant Within.  It’s a book that dives into several areas of personal and business growth. I’ve already learned a ton, and am already putting much of that learning into practice. I want to be great at practicing what I learn.

Another great book I read this year (that I highly recommend to you) is John C Maxwell’s How Successful People Grow.

Obviously, growth is something I’m a big student of. This little pocket-sized book took me 3 months to read because each little section has so much powerful wisdom I couldn’t fly through it. It’s been transformation to my growth this year. You need to read it.

Curiosity and intrigue are why many of my entrepreneurial friends outside of music love The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook. The nuggets of community-building, effective communication, and networking in the book apply to everyone, regardless of your industry. It’s especially powerful for musicians because the How-To for getting radio airplay, blog reviews, and so forth are clearly detailed.

Investing In Educational Platforms Works

If you’re like me, you’ve probably signed up for a ton of free webinars, email courses, and online training programs that have a $0 price tag.

It’s natural to want to see how to win in this entrepreneurial and creative business without spending much cheddar. However, most of the free stuff doesn’t teach much.

There’s a reason why education continues to grow as a platform for success. What we invest in we practice. If something doesn’t cost us anything, we don’t spend much effort or energy in putting it to work.

However, when the growth method/education has a cost to it, we are naturally inclined to take it more seriously and take action on what we learn. That’s why if you really want to grow and learn how to do something from someone who truly knows their stuff, you should pay them for that information.

Knowledge is power. Experience is power. Knowledge plus experience plus great teachers create the kind of growth that can’t be stopped.

In the grand scheme of things, many of the best online training vessels have a much lower cost than your average semester at a university. Even a $100-$500 training online is cheaper than a semester at a state college that will run you at least $4000, even if it’s a junior college.

Plus, with online programs and training you get to be trained by people who are consistently putting their knowledge and experiences into practice. For a few hundred bucks (max price, often many courses cost much less), you can get the training and insights needed to skyrocket your success.

14206223_10154025032113918_710099330792237955_oWhat Education Platforms Should You Try In 2017

As we look to the future, what goals do you have? Think about the specific areas of your music or creative enterprise that you want to grow in.

Knowing your goals is the first key step in determining where to put your focus and attention for growth through training and education.

This short list is some of the growth and education platforms I have experience with from working with these fine folks in the past, including taking their courses. With the exception of the Music Launch Summit (and my own course listed towards the bottom), there’s no affiliate link in this for me.

I’m including these platforms because I believe in them and can attest to how effective they are. I’m not getting paid anything to do this, so the incentive is purely to help you. It’s a straight plug for folks I know who do great work and who can help you grow.

  • If you want to learn how to build your sound (production), write better songs, learn how to win in the music industry and more, Soundfly has some great offerings. Click here to get in.
  • If you want to grow your social media presence on Twitter, I highly recommend my good friend Carlos Castillo’s course. Click here to get in.
  • If you are trying to figure out how to get radio airplay, blog features, podcast interviews and build a powerful database of music industry influencers, my Indie Radio Course is just what you’re looking for. Click here to get in.
  • If you have thought about hiring a PR firm or publicist to get the word out about you, get interviews or reviews, but struggled to find the right company that wouldn’t break the bank, you can learn how to Be Your Own Badass PR Pro in this great course that I was a part of. Click here to get in.
  • And if you want to learn from the best of the best in the indie music world, my friend Steve Palfreyman’s Music Launch Summit features special training sessions and more with the likes of Dave Kusek, Rick Barker, Cari Cole, Rodney Holder, Yann Illunga, Wendy Parr and a ton more great teachers. Click here to get in for this coming year’s lineup. It’s going to be even bigger and more incredible this year than when it debuted.

 

DGS_RadioHandbook_Cover-1AWant some FREE education? Most of us do. Here’s how you can get a free gift this season, just from me. Like I said in the last podcast episode, I’m giving away a few free copies of The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook to my Growth Farming community in my email list. You can sign up for my email list in the right hand column to connect more with me and have a way to get a free copy sent out soon. Looking forward to connecting more with you!

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!

 

 

 

3 Ways To Growth Hack Music Success With Jon Nastor

Jon Nastor

Jon Nastor

Every now and then the “recommended” notification on Twitter will suggest someone to you who is actually a good fit. A few months back, the recommendation was for Jon Nastor. After looking at his profile and seeing that he’s a drummer, and entrepreneur, and an author, I had to see what this guy was about.

That led to an exploration of his site, diving into his podcast and realizing that he and I share a lot in common. We both love punk rock, both play drums (him far more successfully than I). We both have working in the music and entrepreneurial space for a while. We have also had excellent conversations with some of the same people on our podcasts like Tom Giles, Kevin Kelly (episode coming soon), and Seth Godin. I knew I had to talk to this dude.

Jon is a great conversationalist, and a truly comfortable person to engage with. He was gracious in extending the conversational love to me in letting me join him on Hack The Entrepreneur Podcast shortly after we talked. Listen to our chat on his podcast here.

His insights into what success actually means, how to combine our passion and our freedom to do what we want, and what growth actually is are spot on.

I highly recommend his book Hack The Entrepreneur, the book and the podcast. It’s insights into what real growth professionals like the individuals mentioned earlier and several others give to show the way forward.

Episode 26 with Jon Nastor Show Notes

Jon gives a Cliff Notes definition of “Growth Hacking” for musicians in first 10 minutes of conversation.

You don’t have to have a ton of experience before starting out. If you want to do something do it. It’s how Jon created his podcast and wrote his book. The backstory and his insights are perfect for helping you get started.

We talk about how annoying auto-DM messages and auto-responders are when first making new contacts with people on social media. This is particularly insightful for musicians who do this on Twitter. What Jon says about this is how most professionals in media and with an influential audience feels if you auto-DM them right out of the gate.

We cheer for the underdog in the story but we tell other people we’re the giant. Why that is and how that hurts us about 3/4 into the podcast.

Jon Nastor Podcast Quotes

“Do work that matters. What matters to me might not matter to you. But it’s worth talking about.”

“I like my businesses like I like my music: fast and independent.”

“If you have an idea and you put it onto paper, and then in a digital format, and put it out to the world, that is entrepreneurship.”

“We all go against Goliath in real time, and cheer for David, but then we try to pretend to be Goliath in what we do. Then we lose that personal connection. Everything I write and everything I say is for 1 person. If I treat them well enough there will be that connection personally.”

Listen, download and share via this player:

Sponsor For This Podcast Piece:

Bandzoogle: Bandzoogle gives you all the resources you need to do everything necessary for success with your music online. You can sell your tracks, merch, and bonuses, build your email list, and more all from your own domain (instead of what bandcamp and similar sites have). PLUS, use the promo code “DIYpod” to get 15% off anything on the site.

Why Friends Can Ask For Gold But Strangers Can’t

Most artists and even entrepreneurs will start off a message to a new contact with a “Check out my new thing!” There’s little connection point here. They may be just a new follower to one social page or have added a new contact on a media channel. This isn’t a true connection, it’s just a mouse click. We need to understand how real connections are made and how they work so that our communication gets the best results. It’s the true difference between our friends and strangers on our social pages.

Image from GraphicStock

Image from GraphicStock

The Real Difference Between Who We Know And The Strangers We Like

Your friends are people you know, folks you trust, those you have some sort of history with. At least that’s what friends used to be. Thanks to social media, we have a lot of strangers who are called our “friends” on Facebook and Twitter. How many “friends” on your social channels do you truly know, and how many are legitimately strangers?

It’s the same for me too. There are several people who follow me on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t have a personal relationship with. That’s ok. It’s a connection that could turn into a relationship or friendship in real terms. It’s a starting place. However, it’s important for us to not confuse the difference.

Friendly People Are Best Sellers Without Having To Sell Anything

The people who present themselves as down-to-earth and relatable are the best at getting others to join into what they’re doing or what they’ve created right away. These people excel at not having to go through a detailed process of getting your attention and selling you something in order to get you to sign up for what they’re talking about. However, the number of prominent people with this skill are short. Oprah Winfrey, Jon Stewart, Steve Harvey and Tina Fey all come across as people like this.

You know what? You rarely see these people trying to sell something. They don’t have to. They’re interested in other people’s stories, and they tie those stories into their own. They have conversations and share them with the world. Then, sometimes, those stories will have a price tag that we have to pay to get to hear them.

We gladly fork out the dollars to make that happen. We want to connect with their story too. We have a relationship with them via the presentation of their stories. They didn’t ask us directly to do something for them, such as “buy my book because I want it to be on the best sellers list” or similar.

However it’s too easy for us (yes me too) to make an online connection with someone who can take our work to new levels and instantly try to ask for gold. What this new contact (“friend”) has is the opportunity for gold for our satchels, and we too often try to jump the gun in hunting for the gold instead of farming for it.

brian-bloom-seth-godin-in-greenFarming for growth is really the work we need to be devoting our energies too. It’s what Seth Godin told me about how success really works:

“What happens instead is you find 10 people, just 10 people, who care so much about what you do they tell someone else. You find 20 people, just 20 people, who would miss you if you were gone. Then you repeat it, and you repeat it and you repeat it. The next thing you know is three years later you’re an overnight sensation. That it’s believing that ‘the grass is always greener’ that you get in trouble. You’ve already got all the grass you’re going to get. What you need to do is farm it, not go hunting.”  (read more on this principle here)

Connection That Creates Real Growth Begins Here

Real growth starts by making a true connection, building a dialogue, learning about the individual, and deciding that connection with this individual is important. That connection might turn on a light bulb that shines bright into a world you don’t know about, and creates some big opportunities for growth. That connection might hold a series of keys that unlock doors you don’t know about to lead you to all sorts of great places. That connection could create any number of great opportunities for you that you’d never have without it.

Yet it starts by doing so much more than clicking a “Follow” button and then sending a message to a stranger.

Strangers can’t ask for gold. Strangers can’t even sell candy well. When we were kids and our parents told us “If a stranger tries to sell you candy, run away and tell someone.” How many strangers try to sell you candy every day? Musicians, how much candy are you trying to pawn off on someone you don’t know. Start a conversation, build a dialogue and see where that connection takes you. They may offer you gold without you having to ask for it.

This growth concept and these principles are explained in greater detail and put to work in growing your audience in the Indie Radio Promotion Course. Sign up here to get started now.

Have A Conversation And Make A Ruckus With Seth Godin

Get up close insights into the very big subjects Seth and I discussed in the podcast, along with next-steps for you to apply his wisdom to grow your music or creative project. Download it now here.

How do you get someone you don’t know but highly value to notice you?

That’s a great question. I don’t think there is a one-size fits all answer to it, but I do think that the power of intention can play a big role. You also have to be authentic, and have had some experience with the person you are seeking the attention from, or at least experience with their work (make note musicians, this is for you).

It’s no secret I’m a fan of Seth Godin’s work. His book All Marketers Are Liars/Tell Stories is on my book list from 2015. When I started the DIY Artist Route Podcast last year, he was on my bucket list to get as a guest. I honestly didn’t know if that would ever happen, but it has.

I talk a lot about being Uncommon. It’s a subject Seth covers in detail in his book Purple Cow. I urge you as a creator, builder and member of humanity to be a positively uncommon person for the betterment of yourself and all of us.

The insights from Seth through his blog, books and other media have been a wonderful guide for me in my development as a community builder. His participation in the DIY Artist Route Podcast adds to this development for all of us together.

Seth Godin is an uncommon person who shows us how we can be too

There’s a fun story I’ll tell at some point as to how Seth and I connected. A part of it is this idea that all of us in the creative realm are looking for the Promise Land (i.e. that place where our dreams will come into fruition). At the same time hoping to find a Moses in the wilderness to help take us there. That desert and Moses is a big part of our conversation in this podcast episode.

Do you feel like you’ve been wandering in an unknown land, trying to navigate the course towards success and growth as an artist or creative entrepreneur? I sure have. If you’ve left your job or what you were accustomed to doing, so you could build your own thing, you understand. All the choices, options, and things you’re “supposed to do” to win in this game can easily consume your time each day. That’s why Seth Godin has been like a Moses for a lot of people, including me.

Though he’s known for being a best selling author and business writer, and his blog is something where you find incredible insight, I learned from our chat that Seth used to have his own record label. His affinity for art, music, and expression is fairly obvious, but these little pieces of newness make for an even more enriched story line.

Stories are a big part of everything we do. I’m learning more and more about the power of them in how growth and enrichment works in the communities we build. The power of stories are talked about in our conversation, and honestly something I’m becoming more open to sharing. We should tell the stories that take place in our lives, both our own histories and our present work. It’s important for our communities to better connect with each other through storytelling.

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Make a ruckus. That’s what we’re here to do. That’s what matters.

Are there questions you’re still sorting through from this conversation? Did Seth Godin challenge your ideas of what you’ve been building or even how you see your own work? I am still working through questions from our conversation, and I imagine I will for some time.

Which is part of the joy of getting to engage with someone like Seth Godin. The conversation creates new, challenging questions that move us forward.

That final thing he said about the grass is green and our real job is being a farmer (not a hunter) has been in my head since we spoke a few weeks back. I hope it stays there for a very long time. I’ve spent far too much time hunting, and not enjoying the process as much. What about you?

The best conversations are ones that challenge us to think more and more deeply. I’m still thinking on these things. Let’s think on them together. Hit me up and we can talk about how these ideas fit into what you’re working on and building.

This conversation is further explored with specific insights, tips, and methods to put Growth Farming to work for you and your creative project in this Free Ebook. Download here.

Book List: The Top 13 Books I Read This Year

D Grant Smith-2015 Booklist
After an inspiration from one of the authors you’ll read about soon, I’ve made my first ever book list. I read a lot of books in 2015. These are the best ones of the pack, most of which are Business and Self-Help books with a few biographies and memoirs.

There are affiliate links presented here if you want to buy any of these titles from Amazon. Yes, you’ll be helping me if you buy through my affiliate links and I do appreciate that. If you choose to shop for them at a book store or Goodwill (where I have found a few of these titles) that works too.

The big thing for me is to have a book list given to you to help you grow. Feel free to comment or message me on suggestions you have. If you’re not a member of my subscription list, sign up now to get a bonus mentioned at the end of this list. Connect with me on Goodreads and let’s talk books. You can see my recents and favorites in the widget at the bottom.

The Top 13 Books Read in 2015 (in no particular order)

1. All Marketers Are Liars: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works–and Why Authen ticity Is the Best Marketing of All
by Seth Godin

A manifesto on the power of story-telling with anyone who has something to sell be it a product, service or (namely) themselves. Our inability to get people on board with what we do has more to do with our inability to convert powerful stories that incite action than it does our ability to deliver great work. It’s up to us to be better storytellers to grow the exposure and (ultimately) marketing strength that we seek to build and expand.

2. The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help By Amanda Palmer

It is a year of reading manifestos, because Mrs. Palmer’s book was a revolutionary piece of writing that spoke to the inner depths of my heart and soul, addressing fears that have stayed with me for most of my life. I credit this book with being a prime source for overcoming these fears and challenging many debilitating thoughts that have hindered my personal and professional growth. It’s also why (and how) I was able to launch my first ever crowd funding campaign and exceed the goal, because learning the art of asking and admitting that you don’t have all the answers (or all the power or all the skills) to do what you dream of doing is a gift in and of itself. Aside from that, Amanda embodies the strengths of seeing individuals wholly, which garners people into her spheres and increases the audience connection she’s fostered for years. It’s very inspirational.

3. Mandela’s Way: Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage By Richard Stengel

I read this book because I believe that we can learn the art of forgiveness and wholeness without fostering bitterness and resentment to others. I knew that from the history of what Mandela experienced post prison. I didn’t know how. Come to find out that Mandela’s peace with his captors was an internal decision to not sink to their level. Though he was technically in prison physically, he refused to think like a prisoner, nor be treated as one. His mental strength was superior to anyone he experienced in prison and he brought that strength (and matured experience) with him when he became South Africa’s President/Prime Minister. Forgiveness isn’t just a decision we make about the people who wrong us, it’s a decision we make about ourselves and how we see our individual worth. That’s the way of Mandela.

4. The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino

I’ve long felt that sales is the biggest weakness I have as a business person, and picking up this book at Goodwill was the direction of seeking a path to become a better salesman. This book is a work of fiction, ultimately, told as a parable about a servant to a great merchant in the Middle East who is tasked with trying to sell a garment that would end up doing so much more. There’s a biblical allegory in the tale but what I did learn from it is that giving to others and sacrificing (at times) what is in your own self-interest for the interest of someone else can result in greater reward that fulfilling that personal interest could ever give you.

5. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

I had heard that this was a ground-breaking book but I didn’t know exactly how. Amazon recommended it too. Fortunately, Goodwill had it for 50 cents and I got to own it on the cheap. Pausch was a lecturer at Carnegie Mellon who specialized in virtual reality and got terminal cancer. He was asked to give a last lecture on what was most important in life. The entire book I thought was leading up to his actual copy for the lecture, but it wasn’t. He pulled a head fake (you’ll have to read the book to get what that means). The end results of reading this book is looking at life and the pursuit of happiness differently, not because a man’s dying words were to do so but because of the powerful stories expressed here left an inspiration to do more, be more, and matter more to the people in my life than merely just being a big name could every achieve.

6. Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success: Discovering Your Gift and the Way to Life’s Riches by Steve Harvey

I’ve always liked Steve Harvey, from his days on the Kings Of Comedy Tour to his work hosting the Family Feud. Despite the recent “event/scandal” with Miss Universe and the teleprompter, Mr. Harvey is a class act and someone worth modeling after. I didn’t know how much of an inspiration he is as a person until reading this book, nor did I know the challenges and obstacles he faced to get to where he is. I didn’t realize that Steve had been homeless for a while, had worked in a few jobs that were not in the entertainment world until he knuckled down and focused his complete attention on what he wanted. Most of this book is about the act of thinking like successful people think, which ended up being a concurrent theme in the majority of the books I read this year. One of the most powerful elements of the book deal with understanding who you are and what vehicles you take on your path to reaching the goals you set. Often times we look at our vehicles as the identifier to who we are, instead of just seeing it as a part of the journey. This truth alone is worth diving into the book and discovering the rest of Mr. Harvey’s wisdom.

7. Bruce by Peter Ames Carlin

I’ll admit to being a Bruce Springsteen super fan. More than that, I’m a student of the art of building a super fan base. The Boss is certainly one of the rare artists who has garnered a strong, loyal, and passionate following that has stayed with him for 40 years. People sell their belongings and travel the country to see him perform. Only a handful of artists in history have garnered the loyal base of followers that Springsteen has. This book is more than a history of Bruce and how he became a star. It’s the only authorized biography written in the last few decades, recording even exclusive interviews with friends, family, and band members that other writers don’t have access to. How do you build an army of super fans? Read this book and learn the Springsteen method. It will change the way you go about trying to build your brand name.

8. The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday

This was an Amazon purchase and worth every penny. Reading this book would lead to more self-discovery than just about anything else, and make me a big fan of Ryan Holiday. This book list is also inspired by Mr. Holiday’s influence.

I’m inspired by the underdog story, hence my fascination and obsession with the Rocky movies (among other stories). The concept implied in the title of this book was reason enough to pick it up. It also turned me on to Ryan Holiday as a voice of direction in a confusing world of mass-marketing. Drawing on the wisdom of the Stoics (namely Marcus Arilious), Holiday illustrates through stories past and present the power of using our greatest challenges as the means of overcoming them, showing that we have the power to turn our giants into vehicles that propel us forward instead of being the things that hold us back.

9. The Martian by Andy Weir

I didn’t read a ton of fiction this year, but this book was certainly worth the experience. A remarkably quick read and a compelling story that keeps you tuned in the entire time (I stayed up late night after night to get further along in this), The Martian has recently been turned into a film and rightfully so. It tells the tale of Mark Watney, an astronaut who becomes stranded alone on the planet Mars and has to use his wit, engineering, and dogged determination to figure out how to survive long enough to make contact with earth and pray for a means to intercept a returning voyage of astronauts or die alone on the planet. It’s riveting and full of adventure, and will also make you thankful that you live on earth. And it will make you appreciate the brilliance of your average scientist a little more, as well as those who work for NASA. Seriously, rocket science isn’t for the faint of heart (or mind).

10. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

This is a Must-Read for anyone in management, leadership, or building an organization. Diving into what makes great companies just that, great, Simon illustrates that no one gets behind the What of our business, but will support the Why when it is conveyed with clarity. Leadership who follows the precepts outlined in this book are destined to increase not only their bottom line, but also the people who talk about the greatness of what you are leading. This book was recommended by my mentor Steve P and I highly recommend it to you.

11. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth by T. Harv Eker

I picked this up in Audiobook from Half-Price books and listened to it at least 3 times beginning to end. In 3 short discs, Eker illustrates the powerful differences between three different mindsets that are prevalent in America: Poor, Middle-Class, and Wealthy (or Rich). I gained a lot of insights into how wealthy people as a whole think about opportunities, wealth building, relationships, growth, giving, and working starkly different than even middle-class people. One of the biggest lessons gained is that when given (what seems like) a choice between two things, poor and middle-class mindedness will choose one or the other. Wealthy mindedness will choose both. This is just one of several valuable nuggets of wisdom that changed the way I think to increase how I operate my business and family, all with great results.

12. Me to We: Finding Meaning in a Material World by Craig and Marc Kielburger

This year I really dove into the power of community-building, adopting the core principles of community-enrichment as the foundational mission for all I do. This was certainly one of the best books on the subject, highlighting how people around the world who have embraced a We mindset of helping others have transformed societies and helped communities of people thrive. There are great real-world examples that Craig and his brother Marc use including spending time with Mother Teresa to illustrate the power of giving, service, and individual sacrifice in the name of helping others to cut away from the selfish nature of Me-First that dominates the American way of life, and move into a We-First attitude that has made strong, vibrant communities around the world. It’s great examples of real people doing these acts that inspire the kind of change our politicians and leaders aspire to do.

13. Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising by Ryan Holiday

I’ll admit, I became a fan of Mr. Holiday this year. Following The Obstacle Is The Way, I bookmarked on my Amazon account this book and bought it for myself for my birthday. The new revised version has even more great content in just 120 short pages. It’s a thorough guide to how to adopt a mindset change to dramatically increase your audience base and marketability with little to no budget, paired with some additional materials including a FAQ and other bonuses. I’m already putting this book into practice and it’s super-charging what both of my businesses are doing. Look for Ryan to be a guest on my podcast in the coming months where he’ll talk more with us on the power of growth hacking, and how you can implement it into your work, especially for DIY musicians and entrepreneurs.

In conclusion there’s more to come in 2016 including a book by me

This year also marked the completion of my first book, which will be published officially in a few months. It’s called The Radio Promotion Handbook: The DIY Musician’s Guide To Growth Hacking Your Audience Building And Networking Through Strategic Radio Airplay. I’m going to be talking about this a lot in the coming months, and some of the biggest lessons learned from this book list found its way into this upcoming book.

Members of my subscription list (up top in the left column) will get a special discount on this book, and those who buy my upcoming book will get an even bigger discount on The Indie Radio Promotion Course. Sign up now if you haven’t already.

Right Attitude Is Key To Success in Music

Is money the key to building a successful enterprise in the music industry? According to some people’s attitude, that’s all you need to rise above the noise and prevent impending failure. However, it’s so far from the truth that it’s truly tragic some people not only believe it, but it captures their feelings on what composes success. Conversely, having the right attitude is the perfect key you need for success.

This goes without saying but I’ve seen and experienced it WAY too many times to name. Even recently, I had a long conversation with a guy on one of my social channels who had a really terrible attitude all the way through about his current state of business. He works in radio, has a station with (I presume) a decent audience size, but no matter what ideas or options we talked about, the prognosis in his mind was that the situation was hopeless because he had no money.

Blog-AttitudeI understand that. It’s really hard to get started doing anything, regardless of your market or industry, and even regardless of the experience you bring to the table or your personal connections to help you. Getting traction is really difficult. Musicians especially face an uphill battle going from completely unknown to known because there are SO many people making music, and the industry is BRIMMING with talent. However, despite all the competition and noise, it is possible to be heard and to make money with your product.

But failure to have the right attitude about this possibility (nay I say even chance), and you destin yourself to the fate you’ve chosen: failure.

Attitude is everything. Want more proof: read the so-called secrets or insights from some of history’s most successful people. i didn’t say the music industry’s most successful people or even business leaders most successful individuals. I said History. If the name Dale Carnegie doesn’t mean anything to you, you need to visit a library and at least read the description of How To Win Friends And Influence People (should be considered mandatory reading for anyone trying to make money outside of a corporate employer and even those people). His other big book is How To Stop Worrying And Start Living. All of his books, written in the early 1900s, correspond to the same theme: your thoughts and attitudes determine the reality you live in.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

I’ll name just a few other highly successful people in business and entertainment who have the exact same philosophy and have risen from poverty and the complete unknown to fame, wealth, and/or international notoriety. These individuals are Oprah Winfrey, Grant Cardone, Will Smith, Seth Godin, Michael Hyatt, Nelson Mandela, Morgan Freeman, and others. Each of these folks are world-renowned in their industries and have overcome tremendous obstacles on the path to success. What do they all have in common: a positive attitude.

Staying positive despite what challenges present themselves in your pathway is certainly not easy, which is why is it so uncommon. The easy option is to wallow in your sorrows, accept the thoughts that success will always elude you, and close your mind off to possibilities for improvement. This is common. Apart for what seems like the universe not favoring this attitude is the fact that people you are associated with don’t favor it either. You probably know a few people who see the glass as either half-empty or never having a drop in it, regardless of what is going on in their world. After a few conversations, these people will make you feel terrible about the world you know and become a huge drag on your emotions. Most of the time, you find yourself consciously and subconsciously avoiding them.

Consequently, if you adopt a similar attitude of failure, people will avoid you too. The same people who might be drawn to your music or your unique offering to the world will begin to be repelled by the stink of that bad attitude. A small few might be honest with you about why they are not as supportive as they once were, but most will remain silent. And you’ll be left wondering why.

Avoid this altogether by surrounding yourself with positive thoughts, positive people, uplifting messages and an attitude that good things will happen for you, regardless of what you may be seeing or feeling in the moment. We create the world we live in. This is the power of our thoughts. Want more insight into how to create and cultivate positive thinking, send me an email. I’d love to work with you on how to improve your life just with the power of positive thinking.