As I mentioned in that show and blog post, people wildly underestimate how long it can take to achieve a specific goal.
It's rarely the case that a task is actually hard; it just takes much more energy and time than I thought it would.
It's like Hercules when he's swimming in the Underworld and trying to get to the old ladies before they cut his life thread...but he's aging like 20 years as every 5 seconds passes.
And because of that, it becomes hard to accomplish big tasks.
Of course there are the instances where I don't have the skillset and it's not something I can easily figure out.
But most of the time, those tasks are things I have to do rather than ones related to my passions and calling that I'm CHOOSING to do.
Maybe you're not trying to start a business or have a career as a musician.
What are other areas in life that usually take way longer than we thought?
Hmm...getting a job.
Finding a spouse/partner.
I've made the mistake of thinking that a few job applications would do the trick.
You could be a few swipes away on a dating site from your dream person.
It could months later with many interviews or dates or people you've talked to and you've got no job or partner.
That's usually how it goes unless you settle for the first lousy offer.
When I was looking for a job a few years ago, I read that it was common for a highly qualified candidate to wait 6 months before getting a decent job offer.
You'd think that if you had a lot of skills and experience, it'd be a cakewalk to land a good job, right?
Nope because all the interviewers are brand new faces who don't know who on earth you are.
It takes a lot of time and energy to prove that you're someone worth hiring.
Let's think about this if you're in business or a musician marketing yourself.
You need to put in a lot more effort and time than you thought you did just to get noticed by a few people.
This is where my local indie friends seem to come up short.
One of them complained that some folks who moved here from out of town were a popular act here.
He was like, "They're not even from Austin."
Ironically, my friend wasn't even originally from Austin either...he's just been here longer.
I got the weird idea that he felt entitled to have more success than the other group just because he's been in Austin longer.
The stories we tell ourselves!
Nobody owes you anything, especially when they don't even know you.
The more popular act made better records than my friend and put on a better show than he did.
They also had a strong networking game.
In other words...they put more time and effort into the whole thing.
Why was my homie so entitled?
He hadn't done much.
If you want people to talk about you, you need to actually do some stuff.
And probably a lot of stuff.
Getting rid of your entitlement will help.
Then, you are free to succeed or not succeed.
You're willing to do the work no matter the consequence.
Like it's 2:30 am and I haven't posted in awhile.
It's really easy to stay embarrassed and just continue not posting or just...fade away.
Or go to sleep.
But I'm posting anyway.
(I did take Excedrin and these are normal waking hours for me so no harm no foul ;P )
There's a lot of excuses people give as to why they think others should just bow down and pay attention/$ to them...
- I've been here longer
- I'm 50 and you're 20, you're dumb
- I have a PhD
- I'm an artist
- I made music
- I put music online
- My music is on iTunes
- My childhood was worse
- I'm a Christian
- I'm not a Christian
- I'm gay
- I'm a woman
- I'm not gay
- I'm not a woman
- I'm not a man or a woman
- I can rap good
- I made something and now I'm selling it
The most wonderful feeling is realizing that a lot of people are judging and criticizing you and pretty indifferent about whether or not you succeed.
But I kind of like pissing people off by existing and publishing my own content that they think sucks.
It's fuel to me to know that people are out there talking about me.
Hey, free publicity.
When I'm dead my name won't be on nobody's lips for too long.
Don't worry about your content having pristine quality...like I've said, if no one even knows who you are then...it's not like the president is going to be looking at your content.
But even then....
The president eats KFC and McDonald's so quality is not exactly his standard.
You see what I mean though?
Some people LIKE low quality.
By low quality I don't mean that the IDEAS behind the content suck, I just mean that the execution is low budget/bad skillet/not great.
If the ideas and personality are there, you're allowed to have grammar and spelling errors and iPhone videos (Selena Gomez shot both of her new music videos on the new iPhone...just saying...) and out of focus photography.
I just posted an IG post today and I'm pretty sure I'm not all the way in focus (I'm the subject of the pic).
And I thought it hilarious, I posted it anyway and on purpose.
I'm gonna post pics that aesthetically offend people on purpose.
I haven't gotten many leads from IG anyway so, it really *doesn't* matter.
To me it matters more that I hooked up with a new photographer, got some free photos, and made it work for my content strategy.
A lot of people just sit around and go "I can't afford a photographer" and I have no idea how to find someone who won't charge me.
You gotta be creative ALL THE TIME.
Not just when you're making music.
Sometimes when people act like marketing is a nasty disease I have a hard time dealing.
Doing marketing is like being in a room with someone whose face is ugly but has a beautiful soul.
Marketing has an ugly face but a beautiful soul.
So everyone just thinks it's ugly cause they never took the time to learn about its soul.
I think of marketing as an art for sure.
You have to take a product or service, one that probably hundreds of thousands of people are also doing, and compete for business.
It's like the Business Olympics.
There aren't really awards for best marketer or best copywriter...just best CEO, best artist, best product etc etc.
Even the fans and consumers get more love!
Without any marketing, no one even knows who the CEO is.
So let's give it up for the folks who magically and masterfully turn $50 into $150.
Let's give it up for the folks who take aesthetically crappy media and figure out how to get people paying attention.
Because that needs to be you (if you don't have anything else...just DO YOUR BEST LIKE MOM ALWAYS SAID)
And you don't have give yourself any label that you don't want.
Don't call it marketing just call it..."not being a dumbass if I want people to care about who I am."
If the president can eat KFC and McDonald's as his preferred meal choices, and still become president, then nothing is impossible for you my friend.
Post those out of focus photos with the grainy quality and "umms" in your podcast and blogs that 5 people will read.
ALL of my favorite entrepreneurs and musical artists started off with crappy YouTube videos.
They all came up in the 2000's decade but I really don't think it's changed enough for you to suddenly need $1000 videos.
In fact, people are tired of the polish and fake and deceitful marketing so...
Time for some honest, authentic marketing.
Now, this doesn't mean you should lose mystery.
Configa and I were on a phone call this week and agreed that posting 5 selfies a day is a bad idea.
But a couple selfies a week...I don't see the problem.
Just make them flattering.
Google how to take better selfies.
I think I actually learned one tip from Justin Bieber and it improved my selfies a lot...
In general, don't post unflattering stuff.
It can be crappy aesthetics and still be flattering.
If it's flattering but the aesthetics suck I think that only adds to the mystery.
When it's all clear and polished and perfect there's not really any mystery...unless it's staged mystery...but then...it's staged.
People like authenticity.
But at the same time, they like being lied to.
Just ask any honest person who goes on dates - they're still single.
You gotta learn to cloak yourself in some mystery, not give it all away, not be too forward and revealing.
You can do that at any quality level.
Basically, you have to learn how to be authentic and lie to people all at the same time.
I actually do have a term for this: I call it "staged authenticity."
Some people I've worked with have claimed that marketing is dead because everyone wants authenticity.
Believe me my friends, marketing will never be dead as long as humans exist.
And believe me, people THINK they want authenticity.
It's exactly like how we all know that girls don't want the good guy she says she wants.
She THINKS she wants the gentleman who opens doors, waits to sleep with her, is her friend, is super nice.
But nope - that's not what she responds to. She wants the guy who gives her an EXPERIENCE.
So you gotta give your people an experience and there ain't nothing wrong with that.
Bieber's YouTube videos worked so well not because of the videos - there was something special about that kid!
That's what I'm getting at.
Just communicate YOU in the most flattering light.
Finding what's flattering and what people respond well to takes time.
Unless you've already got an incredible charm - then please stop reading and go make content.
Find and exploit your charm - that's why we love those old hip-hop records because they had charm, not polish.
This is music from people who can't afford stuff.
I want to talk more about this in Part 3.
P.S. You can take down content any time you want.
I do this all the time.
Then it becomes sort of a game - if you can simply delete it then is any of this even real?
(It's not real anyway; time is an illusion, you're going to die and then sun is going to blow up. One day soon it won't matter if you did or didn't publish content and give yourself a shot at ALL THE THINGS YOU EVER WANTED...it's better to just go for it.)
Makes me think of a discussion I had about panic attacks with former co-workers: I thought I had bad anxiety at times, but I found myself in a convo with 3 other people who said they get actual panic attacks.
Maybe I've had a couple before, I don't know.
But theirs sounded BAD.
And these were people way more competent at their job than I was (not music or marketing related lol).
One of them said she keeps Xanax or some other anxiety med with her: "Just knowing that I have it in case I need it makes me feel better."
So think of the delete button like your emergency Xanax: it's there if you need it! Should make you feel better!
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