You’re Gonna Die

Heard this gem from Gary Vee when he was on the Jim Rome show.

He was was talking about a question he received from a woman during one of his talks.

The question was something like: “Can you offer me motivation? I’m stuck.”

His answer: “You’re Gonna Die.”

Jarring, but it worked.

It’s something that makes me think of motivational speaking guru Tony Robbins.

He talks about how change comes when you change someones state.  One of the most effective ways to do this is to shock them.  A statement like this is shocking.  But its also true.

When you realize that life is going to end, you drop the trivial, insignificant things and start focusing on the important.

You realize that time is short and that you need to hustle.

You realize that it doesn’t matter what others think or say about you, all that stands in the way of you and your goal is YOU.

We won’t be able to do this forever.

 

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Four Magic Words

Over the last year, I’ve become a Gary Vee fan.

I’ve listened to his audio books and saw him speak in person.

But the one thing that stuck out is his recent appearance on a sports talk show.

He was a featured guest on the Jim Rome show.  One of my favorite shows.

It sounds like an odd pairing, Gary isn’t an athlete or involved in sports.

He’s an entrepreneur.

However, one of his lifetime goals is to own the New York Jets football team.

The host, Jim Rome, hadn’t met Gary before, but he had done his homework.  He asked great questions.

One of my favorite parts of the interview is when he said to Gary: “Can you tell the audience about the four words of advice that you gave to the woman in the crowd?”

Without pause, Gary responded:

“You’re going to die.”

Four powerful words.  Not the ones she was expecting.

But the impact of those words is immediate.

It forces one to stop thinking about the little things.

Oftentimes its the little things that prevent us from taking action on our big goals.

Being reminded that we only have one life creates urgency.

It makes us realize that we should spend less time worrying on what we can’t do, and more time focused on what we can.

 

Like A Field Goal Kicker

A field goal kicker has one of the most challenging jobs in sports.

It’s not the most physically demanding – far from that.  Their job becomes harder almost because its not physically demanding.  Teammates often resent the kicker.  “They aren’t one of us,” they  say.  It’s a job so much different than running back, quarter back, linebacker or defensive end.

Its also a job that demands a different type of approach and a different type of personality.

Most positions in football are “rah rah.”  Players come out of the tunnel before the game pounding their chest.  After a big play they will jump up in excitement.

Field goal kickers aren’t like that.  They stay at an even keel.  Never too high, never too low.  They have to.

Coming in for a chip shot field goal in the first quarter? Calm.

Even though missing the easy kick could turn the home crowd against them.

Coming in late in the game for the game winner?  Calm.  Have to be.  Approaching it like any other kick.

Kickers are used to dealing with crowds.  Home crowd cheering them on.  Away crowd jeering.

But then there is another wrench.

When the coach calls a time out just before they kick.  Regardless if their kick goes through the uprights and they score, they have to do it again.

They can’t get mad.  Or frustrated.  They just have to line back up in a business like approach and do it again.

As I’m writing this I’m thinking of a kicker that did celebrate after his kick… didn’t turn out too well for Bill Gramatica when he jumped up celebrating.  He ended up tearing his ACL and was gone for the season!

Getting Back To The Routine

I’d been off track.

I hadn’t been going to the gym.  Hadn’t been jogging.  Hadn’t been reading and writing in the morning – a couple of my favorite habits.

But I wasn’t mad at myself.  I know that from time to time I’m going to go off track.

It was the holidays.  Then it was a business trip.

But after shaking off the jet lag, it was Monday morning and I was back.

For me, Monday’s are my anchors.  I know that I can get back on track by starting fresh at the beginning of the week.

So this morning I was up early.  Started reading, then writing.  Even got in my workout.  And it’s not even 9 am.

I’m back.

Well, at least I know I’m on track to getting back.

Branding 101

branding101

Without a doubt, the best branding lesson I learned came from music executive TJ Chapman.

This was back in 2009 when I was attending the Core DJ’s conference in Atlanta and TJ was a panelist.  I didn’t know much about him at the time aside from knowing he was a DJ and that he was managing a new artist named B.O.B.

For TJ, branding is about consistency.

And for him, its in the name.

“TJsDJs” If you want to find me that’s where you look.

His website and social media are all the same.

www.tjsdjs.com

http://www.facebook.com/tjsdjs

http://www.twitter.com/tjdjs

You get the point.

Everytime I hear someone mention their social media on an interview I recognize the importance of brand consistancy.  “Well my twitter is this, my youtube is this, my website is this…”

They lost me after the first one.  How do you expect a casual listener to hear them all?

As someone with the name “D.O.” I took note.

When “D.O.” became my rap name it was before the days of Google.

The main thing for me was walking into a CD store and seeing my CD in the “D” section.

But now we live in an era where new Social Media sites and trend change quickly.

I knew I needed to have some brand consistency.

I went with the “I am” after seeing someone like Diddy use it as well.

But it wasn’t enough.  There was someone on Instagram with iamdo – with all of three followers.

I put the “Gibson” in to ensure that I could use “iamdogibson” on all platforms.

Now where ever the latest app takes off people know where to find me.

I encourage you do the same.

 

 

Glocal

I was rewatching one of my favorite movies “Up In The Air” starring George Clooney when I heard Anna Kendrick’s character talk about the term Glocal.

I’m sure the term has existed before but this was the first time it really resonated with me.

The concept is simple : think global, act local.  But as an entrepreneur – and especially a music entrepreneur – it takes on further meaning.

As an entrepreneur your focus may be local.  If you run a neighbourhood bakery, you aren’t marketing to countries around the World.  But as a musician, you may sipping coffee at that bakery thinking about how to get your music out to people around the globe.

With the Internet and social media this is easier than ever.  You can post a song and people from every continent across the globe can hear your music instantly.  It’s tempting to focus on these markets.

One thing I hear often from artists is “Well, China has a billion people, if I can get even 0.1 % of this market then I’m good!”

The problem with this way of thinking is that they have likely failed to do any ground work to determine how they can even get that 0.1%

Other artists will tell me “I want to take my music to Japan – it will do really well over there.”

But how do they know it will do well?  What are they basing this information on?

When an artist tells me this I don’t judge them.  I don’t correct them.  I’ve been there.

I’ve wanted to have my music heard around the Globe.  But the thing is, I took trips.  I went to conferences, I made contacts, I went to those places and with that knowledge I learned what it took to break into different markets.

I used to think going to the States was going to make me as a rapper.  That if I went to the states they would embrace me with open arms.  They appreciated real Hip-Hop.  But then I went to New York, Miami and Chicago and found that we were facing the same challenges – indifferent crowds and more love for out of towners.

It led me to realize that I needed to focus on my core.  My city.  My neighbourhood.  Once I had done that, then I could start looking abroad.

Once you grow local you can go global.

Step by step.

 

The Real Truth About Freestyling

I love to freestyle.

I do it alot.

I’ve even set a Guinness World Record for it.

Freestyling is a key part of my shows.  I ask the crowd for three topics and then I will quickly put together a rap using each topic.

Sometimes people will ask me “Wow how do you come up with it right on the spot?”

The truth is – half of the time I don’t.

Sure, word for word it won’t be the same, but I know the punchlines that I am going to hit.  I will have three or four lines ready as soon as I hear the topic.

Why?

Because I’m usually asked to use to the same topics.

I learned this when I started selling my CD’s at the beach.

I would ask a potential customer to give me three topics to rap about.  It took me til the third person to find out I was going to be asked nearly the same three topics…

“Rap about… cars!”  They would say enthusiastically.

“Hmm… rap about… the beach!”  They would say as they looked around and realized they were at the beach.

“Ahh I got it,” they would say with a smile.  “Rap about girls….”

Oooh you got me I’d feign.  Then I’d weave the three topics and sell a CD.

In schools its the same thing.  Most days I will be asked to rap about basketball… or Justin Bieber… but lately there is one topic that comes up more than any other.

Donald Trump.

So of course I’ve got to drop in “You’re Fired” and something about the Apprentice.  And depending on the crowd I can get a little deeper about some of his comments.

Freestyling is off the top.  Being prepared is helpful.

But its great when you can fuse the two together.  That is when it becomes really dope.