Songwriting

A BIG ENOUGH WHY

WHY is the foundation of every endeavor. WHY is the cornerstone of every great organization. WHY is the only WHAT that Matters.

HOW Always Plays Second Fiddle to WHY.
It never really matters HOW, if your WHY is On Point.

In Fact, if Your WHY is Big Enough, then HOW will Always Obey.
WHEN will take care of itself.

If Your WHY is Huge, You Can Pursue Your Dream with No Money, Zero Connections and a less than perfect Business Plan. In fact, A Hefty WHY can sustain you against multiple failures, losing tons of money and encourage you while you sleep in Your (or a friend’s) car.

Never fear, a Big Fat WHY will eventually lead to your Success

However, If Your WHY is a tiny little thing, it doesn’t matter how sterling the silver spoon you were born with or your uncle’s last name. A puny WHY ensures you’ll venture off course, become easily distracted and employ the wrong priorities. Little whys lead to larger HOWS, and a ton of them. Many of which you could’ve avoided if you’d began only began with a Super Sized WHY!

WHERE Are You?

You are never too far down the road to stop and begin again. In fact, you will be forced to if you’ve left home with a WHY way too small…

I stopped to write this blog while mixing a 25 year old funk track called “Love Roulette” coming to a groove near you!

IT'S STILL ON YOU!

Sure, The Old Adage still rings true: “It’s Who You Know!”

Certainly it’s great to have an uncle who is one of three main limo drivers for the soon to be Sir Eric Clapton and/or a cousin who roadies for Chaka Khan when she’s on the West Coast or perhaps you live around the corner from Bob James, but once the Introductions are complete, it’s What You Know & How Well You Know It That Will Make or Break you.

Your Performance on Stage or in the Studio transcends any Professional Reference.

Your Professionalism in the most Stress Filled Situations Speak Louder than Any ‘Good Word’ Someone Puts in For You.

Your Character & Integrity Stands Taller than Your Résumé …in fact, Your Reputation Becomes Your Résumé!

Your Choice to Integrate With Your Fellow Musicians and Play Your Lines Rather than the Role of the Superstar is What Gets You Called Back

Your Ability to Repeatedly “Bring It” On Demand Will Build a Far More Secure Stature Faster  than Depending on Your Contact to Make a Connection with Your Audience.

No less than Quincy Jones quipped, “It’s Better that the Opportunity Never Come, than When It Does and You’re Not Prepared For It!”

So, It’s Cool, Go Ahead and Reach Out to Your Aunt Betty’s Friend of a Friend who golfs with Shawn Mendes, but at the End of the Day, It’s Still On You to Produce!

 

I was listening to Nathan East’s new “Reverence” on CD as I composed this Blog

4 "I's" FOR A FABULOUS FUTURE

EntreMusicians MUST See their Lives & Work Distinctly. Keen Observation is Our Oxygen. In Most Cases, Looking Deeper, Further & Faster will Create Opportunities and Platforms Missed by Many of Our Contemporaries. I have often noted that having a great pair of eyes have both Closed and Opened the Right Doors. Viewing My Life & Career through these 4 “I’s” continue to propel me forward to each goal far more steadily than groping around in dimly lit circumstances on the way to the next gig…

1) Instinct

Everyone is Born with Instinct. Everyone Who Learns to Trust, Develop & Implement Instinct will Advance Multiple Times More Excellently than those who chose to disobey that Still Most Voice embedded in their spirits to guide them. Being a Man of Faith, I call this attribute, Discernment, empowering me by The Holy Spirit, who gives me wisdom to see what I would normally overlook. We talk ourselves out of favorable options constantly. You think, “I should ask So & So About…” and then immediately think, “No. She’s Way Out of My League,” or “He Wouldn’t Have Time for the Likes of Me…” when The Voice is “Like Dude! GO FOR IT!!!”

Instinct is that Drive that, once honed, sticks around and causes you to see Absolutely Everything as an Instance to Embrace or Avoid. You Learn to Say Yes & No Faster and Easier without Second & Third Guessing Yourself Every Time. Bishop T.D. Jakes has written a great book on “Instinct,” which I have yet to read, but is sitting on my bookshelf at the ready!

2) Integrity

The Foundation of All Trustworthiness & Reliability, Especially in the Music & Creative Space is founded within this “I.” Unfortunately Many, Plenty Extremely Talented Musicians Never Achieve the Height of their Potential, Due to their Lack of Integrity. When Your Word is Worthless, You Become Worthless. Your Musical Prowess (No Matter How Extraordinary) Will Never Allow You to Rise Beyond Your Character. Integrity is so Absolutely Essential to Everything theire is to Know About You and Me. Without it, Nothing Else Matters. Although I am No Robot, with my share of human flaws, I Intentionally Live Life in as a Man of Integrity and I Look For It In Others – Especially Fellow Musicians I am Hiring for a Project. Dependability Overshadows Playability by Twelve Miles.

3) Intention

Wanting to Do Anything and Actually Doing is as Far Apart as East is From West. Half of the Battle is Beginning. The Battle is Won with Intentionality, Endurance and Doing Whatever it Takes, As Long As It Takes to Complete the Mission. Regrettably, Excuses are Not Welcome in the War Rooms. Champions Train & Compete. Methods May Differ, But Unbridled Passion Brings Home the Gold. Living Life on Intention takes the EntreMusician from the Pipe Dream to the Palace Every Single Time.

4) Inspection

We’ve All Heard the Quote, “You Cannot Improve What You Do Not Measure” but few of us truly Measure Anything We Do. The Truth Is, We May Be Afraid to Look Back and Find that We Haven’t Quite Achieved What We Set Out To Accomplish, So We Just Plow Ahead,without stopping to ask ourselves “Why?” and then Looking for Solutions! Perhaps there is a Funding Issue, or You Need Assistance in a Particular Area. Utilize the “I’s” Above and Plow Ahead. Take the Necessary Steps to Evaluate Your Goals, Re-Evaluate Your ‘To-Do’ Lists and By All Means, ASK For the Help You Need. You’ll find that People Are FAR More Willing to Engage, Encourage & Empower those who can confidently Ask for what They Need while proving they possess the Instincts, Integrity & Intention to see the project to the end. Everyone of Equal Quality & Character wants to Wants to Invest in This Type of Person!

A BONUS “I”)  Influence

I Couldn’t Leave This One Out. The True Responsibility of Every EntreMusician is not only to Inspire, but rather Influence.

Influence alters Perspective & Paradigms. It Shifts Destiny and Radiates in the Spirit Longer than mere Inspiration. It Should Be the Express Goal of Every Song, Project, Performance & Career. You Have the Power to Change a Life. Within Your Spirit, Instrument and God Given Gift is housed the Supernatural Ability to Alter the Future Course of Humanity, for the Better & Brighter. Respect the Sacredness of Your Gift and Utilize Accordingly!

THREE C's TO LIVE BY...

The Most Valuable Reward for an EntreMusicians with a Great Mentor is the immediate ability to apply Their Knowledge & Wisdom into Your Life and Work.

Gratefully I’ve been under the guidance of Bishop David L. Thomas for 14 years.  His Leadership has helped Sharpen Me in practically Every Area of My Life. I frequently enjoy applying his pastoral teachings into my career with great success. As You Know, working with, for and around Creatives takes patience, diplomacy and keen people skills. Several years ago Bishop taught a series on ‘Three C’s to Live By’ that continues to impact my perspective. For True Collaboration to Reach its Highest Distinction, You May Do Well In Exercising these Three Treasured “C’s” as I have:

  1. Don’t Compare!

    Comparison is akin to a Two-Headed Monster which can actually consume you internally, although you are outwardly focused on the talents or skill of another.

    Firstly, You have that Big Head that says “I Am The Best,” “No One Is Better than I” and You develop an attitude that causes you to berate others, overly analyzing what or how they ‘destroyed’ a Song or Project and what YOU would’ve done to blow the thing out of the water. Unfortunately, we’ve all been around people like this and most of us have looked for the quickest exit to either leave the conversation or the room.

    The Little Headed Monster is More Subtle, but Equally As Dangerous. He whispers how horrible You are, compared to this or that singer – and recites the huge list of things you are horrible at. She whines that she didn’t go to music school, or can’t afford the $5000 guitar and can never catch a break while her counterparts are soaring. Eventually this person throws the Ultimate Pity Party which often attracts a full room of crybabies who should otherwise be grateful for the gift they’ve received and sharpen their skills to share it with the world.

  2. Don’t Compete!

    Healthy Competition is Great! It is downright Essential In Business and In Sports. There are Myriad of Stories of How Great Recording Artists would strategically either release their records in advance of, or several weeks after a Huge Artist, so they wouldn’t get crushed on the charts which proved to be a sound business move.

    But there has also been unhealthy forms of competition in the Creative World that seek to Steal, Kill & Destroy the Soul of their fellow Musicians. It’s Downright Hateful and No Self Respecting EM should continue to participate in that type of activity.

    Some Artists use their creativity to freeze out other Musicians – primarily out of envy. They won’t share information, resources or opportunities, preferring to hoard everything. This behavior emanates from a “Lack Mentality.” These Artists don’t understand that there is infinite space in the Entertainment Community and the World is always awaiting the Next New Sound, Look or Experience. True EntreMusicians operate with an ‘Open Hand.’

    We Look for ways we are able to  EngageEncourage & Empower Each Other!

  3. Don’t Criticize!

    This final behavior engages the Vocal Chords of the previous two. The Artist simply MUST make their observations known to anyone who will listen, often growing more venomous as the crowd swells. You & I have seen Tweets, FB Live Footage and Instagram posts of horrible and often unwarranted criticism of someone who is either out there doing their absolute best or taking a completely different approach to the muse – only to be hammered for their individuality. Remember Fergie?

    Regrettably, I have been around more seasoned musicians who will attend the show of a far lesser known artist and rip apart their performances as if they have always played perfect shows, sing on key or perform awesome solos every single night. They rip apart the newbies and feel great about it.

    Truthfully, there have been several times where I have found myself in each of these three camps. If I were not voicing my negativity, I was certainly thinking it – and to be completely transparent, I am sure my attitude at the time may have cost me a connection or opportunity to advance.

    By God’s Grace, I have developed a more healthy respect for every EntreMusician I encounter, even if I don’t necessarily agree with their viewpoint or values. There is a wealth of maturity in Staying in Your Lane, Improving Your Gift and Sharing the Most Positive Energy You Have the Capacity to Produce!

Don’t Compare, Don’t Compete, Don’t Criticize! (video)