Meant To Be…

It was twenty minutes before show time and I was setting up the equipment for my show.

The principal walked into the gym and we started talking.

One of the questions I asked her is something I always ask – how did you hear about the show?

She said: “It’s funny, because I received a copy of your brochure in the mail and then the next day a teacher told me she saw your video on facebook.  It was synergy.  See – you were meant to be here!”

Now I’m a positive guy.  After all, I’m a motivational speaker.  I’ve watched The Secret and I’ve read plenty of “success” literature.  On top of that, I’m a spiritual person.

With that said, it always makes me laugh when someone says it was meant to be.

I don’t know if it was as much of a coincidence as it was effective marketing.

There is so much noise out there that you have to use multiple strategies to target your contacts, customers and clients.

One of my most effective ways to reach schools has been sending an email.  It’s direct.  It’s often the preferred method of communication.

But sometimes an email can be overlooked as junk mail.

So I will also send a brochure.  Which can also be overlooked as junk mail or can be flagged and discarded by the gatekeeper – the secretary.

Another marketing tool I use is video.  I created a short video compilation of my school show and posted it on Facebook asking my friends to share.  In this case, a friend of a friend saw it and asked more about the program and then reached out to their principal.

When two or more forms of marketing connect it can be called “synergy” but I like to think of it as  effective marketing because it reminds the potential customer that they should take action.  It develops the story,  provides more information and makes it more likely that they buy.

Marketing using one method is okay.

But chances are, the more methods you use, the more successful you will be, and the more that you will hear the magic words…

It was meant to be.

 

 

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Work vs Art

quote-if-it-s-work-we-try-to-figure-out-how-to-do-less-if-it-s-art-we-try-to-figure-out-how-seth-godin-89-47-88

I had the chance to see Seth Godin live recently.  He didn’t disappoint.  I’m a fan of his books and speaking and this is one of his sayings that has stuck with me – especially as an entrepreneur.

Being a full time artist or running your own business sounds like fun – you are your own boss.  That means you are in control.  But it also means trying to complete a never ending to do list.

One thing I’ve implemented over the last few years is more systems to handle work that I have to do repeatedly.  I’m often sent messages asking for the exact same thing so creating a standard email response has saved me an incredible amount of time.  I can still personalize the response, but the bulk of the work is done for me.

As a result, it frees up more time to focus on what I want to – my art… my rapping, my speaking, my writing, my dreaming.

Take this morning.  It’s 8:42 and I’ve already completed five key tasks of the day.  Without these systems, I would be spending the whole morning.  But now its looking like I’ll be able to work on some music all afternoon.

Ah yeah.

 

HDMH – Height Doesn’t Measure Heart

stroman1_sep14

 

I can’t lie.

As the Blue Jays started to improve in the middle of the summer of 2015, I jumped on the bandwagon.

Growing up, baseball was my favorite sport.  But then I got into basketball… and then football… and baseball became too slow.  My favorite team – the Montreal Expos – moved away.  The Blue Jays seemed destined to finish third or lower in their division since they had to face perennial powerhouses Boston and New York.

But then they made the trade for Tulowitzki and suddenly everything changed.  They were going all in.

Then Marcus Stroman came back early from an injury.

Something about him captivated the city and the country.  Maybe it was his hair.  More likely it was how he dominated when he came back.

But then I saw this hashtag and had to google it.

#HDMH

Height Doesn’t Measure Heart.

Stroman is 5’8 – I can relate to that.  I’m the same height.

But he’s got a lot of heart.

As you can see from his tatoo he’s he’s committed to it..

Love how he’s got the Martin Luther King quote to go along with it too!

I’m excited for the new Blue Jays season.  Hopefully they can win it all this year.

 

 

height tatoo

Commemorate Life

If there is one thing that Hip-Hop knows how to do, its celebrate.

Hip-Hop artists talk about popping bottles and showcasing our successes.

Not only do they talk about it, they rap about it, they make music videos that showcase this lifestyle.

Was watching Stuart Knight’s video on commemorating life and it made me think of how important it is to take time to celebrate the successes.  Not only the big ones, but the small ones along the way.

As an artist, its easy to wrap up a song or an album and be ready to move right on to the next one.  One thing I’ve always enjoyed is having album release parties as these are moments where you take time to enjoy the creative process.

As an entrepreneur, we are filled with endless to-do lists that seem to fill up just as soon as we strike another one off.

It’s important to take a moment and soak in the success.

 

Do you commemorate life?

 

After Your Best

After you’ve done your best work

Read a great post on Seth Godin’s blog…

Click here to read the post on Seth’s site

“After you’ve done your best work

And it’s still not enough…

After you’ve written the best memo/blog post/novel/screenplay you can possibly imagine writing, after you’ve contributed your pithiest insight or gone on your best blind date… and it still hasn’t worked…  You really have no choice but to do it again. To do your best work again, as impossible and unfair as that seems.

It compounds over time. Best work followed by best work followed by more best work is far more useful and generous than merely doing your best work once and insisting we understand you.”

I can relate to this.

Whenever I work on an album I put all of my focus and concentration to make sure its my best one yet.

When its complete I feel great about it.

It’s my baby.

But releasing music these days is a lot different from how it used to be.

You used to focus for months or years on creating a body of work – an album.  You would focus on a releasing songs every few months – singles.

But the game has changed.

Attention spans are shorter.

The result is you can work hard on a project for an extended period of time and be frustrated by the results.

As a musician, the worst thing isn’t when someone doesn’t like your music.  The worst thing is when people are indifferent.

I think the current state of the music business is that it has created a lot of apathy.

But there is also a bright side…

You don’t have to get caught up with trying to create your best work.

You can just create.

Instead of spending hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on a song (or album) you can release a rough draft to see if it resonates with your audience.

If it connects – great then you may want to take it a step further and polish it.

But if not, no worries you can move on to the next one.

Sometimes when you’ve given your best and you’ve been met with indifference you just have to go back to the drawing board – or in a musicians case the studio – and raise the bar even higher.

#staydriven

Switching it Up

This afternoon I decided to work outside.

It was late in September and I know that pretty soon I won’t be able to.

Besides, I was feeling like I was going through the motions sitting in my office.

Sometimes you need to switch it up.

If you work out on the treadmill, sometimes you have to take it outside and pound the pavement.

If your work allows, switch things up sometimes.

Sometimes I’ll mix things up and head to a coffee shop.  It’s amazing how much more productive you can be when you get out of your normal environment.