Tag Archives: Seth Godin

True Success Occurs In Growing Your Roladex Garden

roladex growth farming d grant smithWhat if I told you that the real secrets to business growth, building a brand, growing an audience, and being successful in any area had more to do with farming than anything else? What if building a bond with your roladex led to real growth instead of viral marketing or social media? Let me explain.

It’s no secret that success comes from our ability to connect with other people. We’re not operating on islands where punching digits into a computer never interfaces with another human being.

Even if you work in an industry that is primarily digital, there has to be a person (or people) buying the services, products, and work that you do.

Since people are what makes business work, our ability to connect, communicate, and build relationships determine whether we grow what we plant or end up with the bitter dust of lost opportunities.

How One Conversation Changed The Success Dialogue

seth godin music marketing growth farming

Seth Godin

The concept of Growth Farming began with a conversation I had with one of my biggest heroes: Seth Godin.

He joined me in a ground-breaking and thought-provoking conversation on The DIY Artist Route Podcast in 2016. In just under 17 minutes Seth distilled some of the greatest wisdom available on how to grow and become the successful people we dream of being.

That conversation with Seth led to a person and professional exploration into relationship building from the context of planting seeds, nurturing them into plants and harvesting their output.

Then repeating the process, and expanding the territory.

It’s the work of a farmer. These principles come from my own personal stories, observations on friends and colleagues, and wisdom shared along the path towards success.

From here I’ve spent the better part of the past two years exploring how success works, reading books, listening to podcasts, watching videos, and talking with innovators on this very massive subject.

The consensus is pretty clear: the heart of winning in business and in life lies in the bonds we build with people. That’s why business icons talk about marketing and networking so much. It’s why social media is such a huge part of every creative person’s growth strategy (let alone it being a part of every human with a mobile device’s regular life).

Human connection is the key to success, no matter who you are

But so many people are devoting their interactions to self-talk, self-promotion, and actions that work against their best interests. Musicians and other creatives treat their relationships more like a 30 second microwave meal than a garden of fruits, vegetables and herbs that provide a healthy, balanced, and life-long supply.

Hence the Growth Farming as relationship gardening metaphor. It’s so perfect because it’s so accurate.

What you’re going to find in everything I tag as Growth Farming is specific actions, methods, and philosophies that help you start, build, grow, and cultivate powerful relationships with people to succeed.

It really is who you know that determines how much you win. AND it’s also how well they know you back that determines the ongoing benefits of that connection.

Make Growth Farming Work For You

Since that conversation, I’ve changed the focus and format of The DIY Artist Route Podcast, where several of fellow trekkers have built their brands (and success) around relationship building too. And they share their secrets with you.

You have to plant the seeds to make success happen. I know that if you will take these insights, stories, and principles to heart, you’ll grow a vibrant connection with the people in your world. More power to you!

I want to give you the principles & method of Growth Farming to bring success to your world by connecting directly with you. Book a free 15 minute strategy session with me and I’ll give you an ebook that shines more light on my conversation with Seth just for setting up a conversation with me. Schedule your time right here.

 

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.

How To Get Better & Paid Gigs With Roberto Hernandez

Drummer, author and podcast host Roberto Hernandez

Is it strange or interesting to find another drummer on the podcast?

We’re just multifaceted artists, not just musicians with sticks who like to hit things, ha!

I was intrigued by Roberto Hernandez from the first message he sent me. Perhaps that’s because he chose one of the most unique ways to introduce himself.

Instead of the same generic “Hi this is me and let me give you my bio and a zillion links so you’ll pay attention to me” intro message, he did something different.

He took a page out of the DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook and reached out in a personal way.

How Roberto Hernandez Proved His Uncommon-ness

Roberto made a video specifically for me. He talked about listening to The DIY Artist Route Podcast and what he enjoyed from it. Then he mentioned his book, The Unstarving Musician’s Guide To Getting Paid Gigs.

Then he asked what it would take to jump on the podcast.

I was interested from the beginning. That’s how it works. That’s not just how it works with me, it’s how it works with most music curators and media hosts. It’s how it works with people.

That’s the story behind how I heard about Roberto Hernandez and why I brought him on the podcast. It’s why I read his book. It’s how we became friends.

What Being Specific & Relationship Oriented Gets You

Since this podcast episode was recorded, I’ve connected him with many folks in my network including past podcast guests because I believe in him and what he’s doing. He has a great message to spread to musicians to get one BIG piece of the puzzle figured out: how to get gigs that pay you.

If you’re tired of doing free shows for “exposure” or struggle with the How-To of gigging, Roberto is your man. I highly recommend his book for not just musicians and bands, but also anyone who is trying to get paid gigs including speakers. His method works.

This podcast is about more than just gigging. It’s a closer look at effective strategies for that oh-so-difficult introduction to people you don’t know.

When I said that friends can ask for gold but strangers can’t even get candy, this is what I’m talking about. Part of the difficulty in getting people of influence’s attention is the perspective we lack when we make that introduction.

Appealing To The Basic Human Nature

Who’s the #1 person you’re the most interested in, or the person you want others to know most?

It’s human to say it’s you.

Even the most empathetic people in the world have self-interest. That’s not a bad thing. It’s an honest thing.

Yet most of the time, we greet a new person that we want to connect with by talking exclusively about ourselves instead of appealing to the person we want to talk with. That little bit of extra time, even if it’s 30 minutes, goes a long way. It appeals to the primary interest of that person.

It’s also a way to show you’re not just reaching out to get a handout and a back scratch.

Back scratches are the “hook me up with a review or an interview or a feature on your platform” ask.

I’m not in the back scratching business, and neither are any music curator, media host, or booking agent worth their salt.

Take Your Relationship Building & Submission Outreach To The Next Level

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.

Dance To The Tune Of Your Super Fans With Carlos Castillo

Carlos Castillo, aka Captain Schwilly

“I’m just a music super fan who likes to dress up in silly clothes and dance.”

That’s not only a great line from my good buddy, fellow musician coach, platform leader and hero, it’s who he is. It’s who Carlos Castillo is that makes him a dynamic leader in the music space.

There are a LOT of “experts” in our communities of musicians.

Many people who come in with big claims and big promises all trying to get your attention and your dollars.

Sadly a lot of these folks are all talk. Not only do many not really know the stuff they talk about, they also don’t always have your best interests at heart. Fortunately for us, there are uncommon people like Carlos.

If this is your first introduction to Captain Schwilly (as several musicians and creative entrepreneurs know him as), then I hope you’ll do yourself a favor and follow his leadership. Modeling yourself after Carlos will grow your community of fans  give back to the community with your service.

Giving is the hallmark of success.

Read any book by a credible source of success like Seth Godin, Tony Robbins, Amanda Palmer, Oprah Winfrey, and the like and you’ll see a pattern of giving among those who have reached the levels of notoriety and prominence that we all dream of.

That’s the heart of Carlos Castillo too. I share that with him, as do all of the past guests on the DIY Artist Route Podcast. Double check what I just said. It’s the truth.

You know what makes a super fan? It’s someone who is genuine in what they say and do.

Actually, people who become super fans fall in love with the person and the experience they have with them more than just the music or art or work itself.

Anyone can make art. A good musician makes good music. But a great person? Those are harder to find.

It’s this line of thinking and operating that Carlos specializes in from experience. It’s also what he advocates for in his courses and his online communities like the Schwilly Family Musicians. I’m a member. Are you? If not, join up here.

By participating in the lives of the people you want to connect with, you become the leader that inspires and transforms. You gain not just an audience member.

You gain someone whose passions align with your own. Their support transforms your career because it hits on a level that’s beyond just art. It’s personal.

Every guest I have on the DIY Artist Route Podcast teaches me something in our conversation. They’ve taught me a lot leading up to the podcast chat. One big thing Carlos continues to teach is that online relationships are very real.

Music is just a starting point. Keep that in mind as you cultivate the connections with your audience, your marketing endeavors to media, your network, and your communities of fellow musicians.

I encourage you to follow Carlos via his online FB group and his Schwilly Family Musicians on Twitter. They’re both great resources for you to grow on a regular basis. His email list is pretty badass too.

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.

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. 

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 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.

 

 

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 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 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!