I just got of the phone with a dear, old friend. From way back before “Schwilly” was even a thing.

One of the BEST singers I’ve ever known. She’s been toiling away the last 2 decades in the midwest jamband scene. Trying to make a name for herself.

We haven’t spoken in a while. But we were pretty tight back then. And she burst into tears the moment she heard my voice.

I asked how she’s been, what she’s been up to, if she’s made it BIG yet.

I always figured she would. Those pipes of hers are destined for glory.

“Nope”, she said. “I’m still just where I was when you left Ohio.” 

“Every band on the scene wants me to sit in with them. Or sing lead female backup. I can make money playing covers, but when it comes to my original music, nobody’s interested.”

“Everybody just wants me to be their dancing monkey.”

I KNOW her original music. It’s plenty good. Bluesy, rootsy, soulful. Like the lovechild of Bill Withers and Janis Joplin. She’s THAT good.

She went on to tell me about how she’s been trying to put a band together for at least a decade. But she can’t get anyone to stick around.

All the good players in Columbus want to either play in high-paid cover bands or join one of the infamous local jambands (still waiting for MY turn to join Ekoostik Hookah).

It all came to a head when she spent her life-savings on some studio time and musicians to at least get an album of HER music down on record.

Once it was complete she started shopping it around to various local labels to try to get some backing, or promotion, or whatever it is that labels do nowadays.

Then she hit a brick wall.

A label owner who also happens to be a festival producer, so they already had a working relationship, gave her (what he thought to be) the honest truth:

“There’s no market for this. Give it up. You’ll never be anything more than a strong female vocalist for hire. So get used to it and figure out a way to enjoy it.”

This devastated her.

She resigned herself to the fact that everything she had hoped for and dreamt of was a waste of her youth. And she slid into a year and a half of depression and self-destructive behavior. 

Well, last week we reconnected on Facebook and she caught wind of this “internet thing” I’ve been doing with musicians.

And, boy, was I GLAD to hear from her! 

The whole reason I got into this “internet thing” was to help out the musicians that I’ve known and loved throughout my life. 

Unfortunately, very few of them have ever gotten on board with what I’ve been doing. They are mostly still trapped in the “old way” of doing things.

I only wish she had looked me up earlier.

Because I know EXACTLY how to build an audience for her original music. And I’m stoked to be able to relieve her of the heartbreak that she’s been through and re-establish the path toward her dreams.

So if you have had experiences like this along the way to building your music career, and nothing the “in-DUH-stry” tells you to do seems to be working, join the Musicpreneur Apprentice Program today:

http://schwillyfamilymusicians.teachable.com/p/musicpreneurapprenticeprogram/

It works. Fast. Almost instantly, in fact. At least as far as finding TRUE fans that want to hear YOUR music and become part of YOUR community. 

The rest is just a matter putting one foot in front of the other as I show you exactly which steps to take.

Musicians can be the targets of a LOT of harsh words.

It sucks when coming from strangers. But it cuts EXTRA deep when they come from “supposed” friends.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

“Are you enjoying your hobby?”

“Honestly, I think your band sucks and I’d rather be dead than caught on a stage with you.” 

“You’ll never make money doing that. When are you going to get a REAL job?”

“You’re just a singer. Not a REAL musician. Besides, you’re only a woman so you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“You can’t fill a phone both with people that want to hear YOUR music!”

“You’re a musician, right? Can I get some weed from you?”

“Where are you playing next? So I can NOT be there.”

“Your music sucks!”

“You look like Muhammed Ali’s retarded cousin when you rap!”

“Gosh you’re so talented! Why don’t you put on some makeup, you know, fix yourself up a little, lose some weight and do some songs people actually know?”

Or one of my personal favs:

“Dude! If I hear another self-promotion about your shytty band I’m gonna fyck you up! Yes, I watched your videos and you can’t sing worth shyt! You give Utah a bad name and image, the only reason you’re ranked on ReverbNation is because ALL YOU DO is sit home and are an internet slut, do you play anywhere besides Fats?? Mishell is too nice to say no. I am going to message every bluesman in town and let them know you’re a fraud and if it weren’t for the internet you’d be unheard of! Every time I log in I get raped by 10,000 of your posts! SHUT THE FUCJ UP BEFORE I POST PUBLIC HOW SHYTTY YOU REALLY ARE STICK TO ART YOU TONE DEF FRAUD!”

My standard, practical advice normally consists of “Haters are a sign of success” and, “That’s the beauty of the internet, you can block those people”.

But the other night, during office hours for the Musicpreneur Apprentice Program we dove a bit deeper and I shared some advice that I’m sure you could use as well.

It comes from a book I recommend called The Four Agreements (by Don Miguel Ruiz). It’s a practical guide to personal freedom and inner peace, based on Ancient Toltec Wisdom. 

There are 4 agreements you can make that will give you immunity to such cutting remarks. Fortunately, you make these agreements with yourself, so there ARE within reach:

Be Impeccable With Your Word

Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using your words to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Don’t Take Anything Personally

Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and action of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Don’t Make Assumptions

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama, With just this one agreement you can completely transform your life.

Always Do Your Best

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to when you are sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse, and regret.

Of course I, myself, have not yet perfected these agreements. But anytime I feel down, I review them to see if I am breaking one of them. It always turns out that I am. I now have the tools to undo the damage that is done to my psyche by harsh words from others, AND from myself. And I want YOU to have these tools at your disposal as well 😉

Can YOU make these agreements with yourself? I believe that you can!

For more wisdom, advice and inspiration for independent musicians, subscribe to my email list using the link, wherever it may be.

If you know any musicians that have been on the receiving end of such harsh words, which by my calculation would be EVERY musician you know, please share this with them. That’s all for today 😉

Onward!


Let’s talk about the “Music Industry” for a moment.
What IS that?

According to one un-subscriber who told to me: “You don’t know S@!T  about the Music Industry”, I’m not qualified to answer that question.

And the truth is, I don’t.

I don’t care to. I don’t need to. And you don’t either.

What I DO KNOW are: Music and Business. I studied them separately and built a BRAND NEW bridge between them. And that bridge is a LOT easier to cross when you don’t have a herd of greedy trolls weighing you down.

I’ve never worked for a major label, or publisher, or any of the other corporate, conglomerate, or otherwise congealed entities that make up the “Music Industry”.

If I had, I might be just another cog in their machine. Perpetuating the GREAT LIE in music: That YOU need THEM!
They do everything they can to make you believe that in order to achieve success (which I’m sure they would define differently than us Musicpreneurs), you have to spend the the Gross Domestic Product of a small country on building your audience. Or that you need connections ONLY THEY can provide in order to receive opportunities.

Well I’m here today (everyday, in fact), to call B.S. on the music industry’s GREAT LIE.

This LIE causes countless musicians spend crazy amounts of money on all the wrong things, just because they are trying to emulate the antiquated “Label System”.

Well I’ve got news for ya… That system never really worked. DEFINITELY never in a FAIR way.

Musicians gradually lose support from their families and friends as they miss important events and flush unimaginable of sums down the toilet for the slightest chance at “getting discovered” only to find dissapoinment.

Can you blame them? They hate to see you suffer. And so do I.

Now that we have tools like email and social media that help us connect DIRECTLY with our fans and other music professionals, there’s no reason to follow such a treacherous path anymore.

The path to making money is: Growth > Engagement > Monetization. 
You can’t skip any steps. And you MUST do them in THAT order.

Releases (like albums), are for Monetization. If you don’t have anyone to sell it to, it makes NO business sense to spend lot of money recording one REGARDLESS of what the elite, uber-expensive, studios tell you. Their interest is vested in convincing you to spend money.

Releases (like videos and other things that aren’t for sale), are content for Engagement. It makes NO Business sense to spend a lot of money on video production if no one is going to see it REGARDLESS of what the fancy videographer or “music industry insider” tells you. Their interest is vested in convincing you to spend money.

Releases are not very useful for growth.

EVERYDAY I watch in horror as as musicians pour ridiculous amounts of money into trying to force releases to stimulate growth, while COMPLETELY overlooking ACTUAL growth and engagement.

The BEST growth costs time. MUCH more than it costs money.
For example: The exception to the rule about videos that I mentioned above is “Cover Songs”. Since YouTube is a major search engine (2nd only to Google), if you post videos of songs that people are ALREADY LOOKING FOR you’ll get some growth. Well-targeted growth at that!

It doesn’t cost any money to do that. But it does cost more time than many musicians seem to be willing to invest. PROBABLY because the GREAT LIE has convinced them that they must, instead, spend money.

The path I’ve forged to “Success in Music” is simple and MUCH more cost effective than the GREAT LIE would want you to believe. Especially for those of us who have “real life” and “day jobs” to manage along with our musical ambitions.

In early 2017, through my upcoming “Musicpreneur Apprentice” program, I’ll be able to take you by the hand and lead you down the path to “Success in Music” at a cost to you that will make music industry insiders HATE me.

Who am I kidding, they ALREADY hate me 😉

But in the meantime…

If you’d like to receive DAILY tips, advice, and inspiration from me, all you have to do is click here and subscribe.

Now keep in mind that I do email pretty much every day. So if you’re just gonna unsubscribe later and complain about to many emails, don’t even bother.

I’m only interested in musicians that want to think about their careers every day. And that want to turn building their business into a daily habit.

So if that’s YOU, come on in, and I’ll see ya there!