Concluding the three part series on “The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class” by Keith Cameron Smith, Leah and C.J. discuss taking calculated risks. How long did you dream about being a musician before you decided to take the risk? What have you risked to get you where you are today? What are you willing to risk for the tomorrow you want?
“How do you take calculated risks? Ask yourself these three questions: One, what’s the best thing that could happen? Two, what’s the worst thing that could happen? And three, what’s the most likely thing to happen? If you can live with the worst thing that could happen and if the most likely thing to happen will get you closer to your goals, then go for it. If you aren’t able to handle the worst that could happen, and if the most likely thing to happen doesn’t get you closer to your goals, then don’t do it. The next time you have an opportunity to take a risk, ask yourself these three questions.”
Doesn’t that make incredible sense? Wow. There is so much more to this message you have to hear in this week’s episode.
Key Points From This Episode:
- Staying in a learning mindset
- The importance of marketing in the new music industry
- The correlation between your finances and the rest of your life
- An abundant mindset
- Taking calculated risks
- Failure as a part of the path to success
- Choosing success over acceptance
- Playing to win instead of playing not to lose
- Using money as a seed
- Deciding nothing will stop you
- Rejecting complacency
“If you’re going to succeed in this new era of the music industry, you have to be a marketer.” – @metalmotivation [0:06:02]
“You can’t separate finances from your mental life, your thought life. You can’t separate money from your health and your health from your career.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:13:40]
“You can do more when you are more abundant. You can do more for yourself, you can do more for the world.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:16:12]
“When it comes to money, if you hang on to it, that’s the most it’ll ever be. If you let it go, that’s the least it’ll ever be.” – @metalmotivation [0:29:40]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
Join the TOM 3.0 Waitlist — explodeyourfanbase.com
Sam Morrison (TOM Student) — https://www.facebook.com/SamMorrisonBand/
Book a Call With Us — http://www.CallSMA.com
Inner Circle Membership — https://savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle
The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class by Keith Cameron Smith — https://amzn.to/3e20bGbClick For Full Transcript
00:21 CJ: Welcome to the Savvy Musician Show. This is CJ Ortiz, branding and mindset coach here at the Savvy Musician Academy. Joined once again by one of my most favorite people to talk to about all kinds of stuff but when it comes to this podcast, we’re talking about the music business. And that is, of course, Leah McHenry. Good to see you again.
00:44 Leah: Great to see you, CJ.
00:50 CJ: It’s great to be seen.
00:50 Leah: And I’m glad you like my amazing mug that I brought today.
00:51 CJ: Yeah, for those of you who are not watching on YouTube, she’s got… Looks like she beat up a Viking and stole his mug.
00:58 Leah: That’s right.
01:00 CJ: I mean that thing is just as…
01:02 Leah: It’s pretty cool.
01:03 CJ: Uh-huh. We would say metal.
01:06 Leah: It makes my coffee taste better. Yeah, it’s metal all right.
01:09 CJ: It’s metal, man.
01:09 Leah: Mm-hmm.
01:10 CJ: But anyway, again, Savvy Musician Show. Excited about this episode because we’re going to go even deeper into this successful versus unsuccessful ways of thinking and what determines success. I think, Leah, by now people have probably got the message that we all need to continue to change our thinking, embrace the challenges, all of the changes. We’re going to go deeper into even some more fears that are holding people back. And it’s going to be really, really relevant to all listeners today. So I’m excited about this.
Before we do that, let me share with you a student spotlight. And this is from Sam Morrison, who I believe is also a TOM student and he writes, “#Win. I posted last week that asked reading the latest Inner Circle that I realized the importance of having a Facebook group and declared to you all that mine was coming soon. Well, it’s here. I launched it last night and already have 50 people that have joined. People are posting and I see how it’s going to be a good thing. Leah is right, knowing your niche is the key. My group is called 100 Proof Southern Rock. And it’s geared towards people that love Southern rock, are tired of today’s music and want to discover new Southern Rock bands.”
You know what I like about this one, Leah? Is they got something out of the Inner Circle, and it’s a TOM student.
02:39 Leah: Yeah.
02:40 CJ: How about that?
02:41 Leah: That’s fantastic. Yeah, there’s always something to learn. And we’re going to talk about that today. There’s always something to learn. It doesn’t matter how successful you are. In fact, it’s a really weird thing that the more successful you become, the more you feel like you don’t know anything. It’s very odd.
02:56 CJ: It’s true.
02:58 Leah: There are some days I wake up I’m like, “I don’t know anything.” I feel like I know nothing. Because you realize the more information you take in, you realize how much more information there is out there and how little… I mean, my life is such a blip on the radar of this universe, this world. I don’t mean to get philosophical, but it really… There’s just always so much to learn. And you don’t want to let that overwhelm you. It’s just like, hey, one little tidbit, one little golden gem can really change so much for you. And that’s why I continually invest in myself. I continually invest into coaching and mentorship because I need that objective perspective, I need that outsider perspective of people who have walked before me who’ve made the mistakes that I don’t need to make and I can learn from them and also, they can pass on sometimes just one gem.
I’ve paid for courses and mentorships where I feel like I knew a lot already, but there was one golden gem that could make the next million dollars. And it has. So never underestimate. Don’t think that, “I already know all that stuff.” I guarantee you, you don’t. I guarantee there’s something in there that you did not know. So join the Inner Circle because there’s so much there for you in terms of topics and specialized, I mean we’ve got guests in there every month. It’s not just me and CJ, we’ve got guests in there all the time teaching on their particular topic of knowledge. There’s a tremendous amount of value.
04:37 CJ: Here’s an interesting… is that, of course, you are setting an example here by discussing this particular book that we’ve been covering, which is something you read 10 years ago, going back over it again, getting so much more out of it the second time going through it. And like Sam Morrison, in the student spotlight just said, he was reading the Inner Circle and realized the importance of the Facebook group meaning he had heard about that before. It’s not news to him. But something went off in him and he took a step on it and it was that one little thing that made a difference. And so it launches something.
So you have to think about it that way. When people subscribe to magazines, they don’t subscribe to the magazine because they learn something every time. That everything is eye-opening. Somebody who’s reading a car magazine, or something of a particular area of interest, it’s not that every single page holds something new. People subscribe to things because it reinforces values. It reinforces beliefs.
And so that’s what you want to do, is keep yourself fired up as a marketer. Because that’s, in essence, what is going to carry you into this new era of the music industry. You’ve got to think like a marketer, act like a marketer. Maybe you never have before. You just think you’re all creative and artsy-fartsy and that’s what you do all day long. If you’re going to succeed in this new era of the music industry, you have to be a marketer. Even if you end up signed to a label, you darn well better know your marketing. And so you’ll be able to see whether… In fact, if you spend any time in the Savvy Musician Academy, you’ll be able to give advice to a record label. You could give advice to a record label, I promise you.
06:22 Leah: That’s not an exaggeration.
06:24 CJ: It is not.
06:24 Leah: They’re doing things… Let me tell you something. My assistant, who works for me full-time in my music business, worked for labels for 12 years. And she can tell me and tell you, there’s all kinds of stuff you’re doing that they’re not doing that they should be doing, but they’re not. They’re not even close. And what I’m doing is nothing revolutionary. It’s what every marketer is doing. It goes to show you the state of where record labels are at right now. There are some that are catching up. Some of them finally have a Facebook Pixel on there that did it before, so yay for you. You’re only eight years behind.
07:05 CJ: Yeah. It’s interesting. He mentioned the last Inner Circle, we did write about Facebook groups and the thing that we talked about was that Facebook had recently spent $10 million for 30 seconds of a TV commercial during the US Super Bowl. $10 million for 30 seconds for Facebook, which is not even on television. Facebook happens on the little screen. And they’re advertising on the big screen. So what would Facebook talk about for 30 seconds for $10 million? What would they think was the most important thing they could talk about?
Facebook groups. And it tells you something. And that is that number one, Facebook has a problem and that is keeping people on the platform. They’ve had their security breaches. They had obviously all the trending stories, all the political fallout, everybody fighting. So people are talking bad about social media, right? So they want to keep people on. What’s the best way to keep them on? Keep them on based on affinity, interests in these Facebook groups. So Facebook is using the big screen to get people down to the little screen. And they’re doing it with affinity, Facebook groups.
So if you understand something as simple as that, that puts you light-years ahead from anybody. Meaning, I told this to a student in a conversation I recently had, that when they were trying to break through on some of their engagement and things and I said, “Just look at it this way. The Facebook algorithm has one goal in mind and one goal alone. The Facebook algorithm wants to keep people on the platform as long as possible. And the more you work to make that algorithm’s dream come true with your own page, the more the algorithm is going to show you love.”
And so these are the things that are happening. And so Facebook, again, is spending money on the big screen to get people to the small screen. I don’t know that the record labels are spending money to get people to that very same small screen. They don’t realize how powerful or maybe they do have an idea that people are on social media but they don’t understand the kind of principles of marketing and adapting them to this new format. Because as we’ve said before, Leah, there was internet marketing before social media, right?
09:38 Leah: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
09:39 CJ: But what’s changed? I mean, think about it. Would there be… Would there be a Metal Motivation? Would there be a LEAH music operation or empire without social media? How hard would it be?
09:53 Leah: No. It would be a different world completely. Yeah.
09:58 CJ: Yeah. That’s all changed. So we want you guys to know and understand that. But despite all that, all the wonderful principles and powerful hacks and everything you’ve ever wanted in a music marketing program, despite of all that, you can still stop yourself because of the way that you think. Because of the way that you feel, and we see this even in students in our courses.
10:24 Leah: Oh, yeah.
10:26 CJ: And there’s these fears, there’s these things that they don’t understand they’re doing that’s standing in their own way. Leah, you’ve got something you want to share that I think is going to take us a little bit deeper into this, profoundly.
10:39 Leah: Yeah, so the last couple of episodes, we’ve been digging into this book, I’m reading my kids. And it’s not for kids, but I’m reading it to them because these are principles I want to instill in them. It’s part of my homeschool morning time that I do with them. And it’s called the Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class by Keith Cameron Smith and I recommend that every single one of you goes and picks up a copy of this book. It’s a nice short read, very practical, easy to understand, and there are principles to live by.
There’s probably more than 10 distinctions, but these are the top 10. I just like it. It’s a great book. I read it 10 years ago before it ever made any kind of money. And before I was making any money in my music business even and now I read it, having built a multiple six-figure music business and my academy is a multiple seven-figure business, and I’m reading this through new eyes and I’m going, “Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow!” Every chapter I’m just like, “Kids, children, do you understand what this means?” And they’re like, “No. Mom, tell us.” And I tell them what this means. And I can now, not because I’ve ‘arrived’ by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve got some experience under my belt now that can speak to the truth of the principles in this book.
And I also am coming across things that are challenging me, once again, in a completely new way. Get this book, soak it in, because these are the seeds that will reap a harvest one day in your life. And in your career, whether it’s music or you have an outside business or whatever, this is going to make a difference. I’m reading segments of a few different chapters here that I think are incredibly helpful for all of our listeners.
12:28 CJ: And what’s the title again.
12:30 Leah: Oh, yeah. The title is the Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class. That’s kind of a triggering type of a title today, I think just in the political climate that we have. But again, we’ve laid the groundwork for this in the first two episodes, so please go back and listen to them if you haven’t yet, because we’ve already addressed this. And if you don’t like the word millionaire, and that seems so far off in the distance, just replace it with the top 10 distinctions between successful and the unsuccessful because there are fundamental differences in the way successful people think and the way unsuccessful people think.
And if you’re offended by the fact that I’m tying the word middle-class with unsuccessful, you have to understand, middle-class is not just about how much money you make, it’s really about your vulnerability in society, your vulnerability financially, but also mentally, emotionally, spiritually and otherwise, health-wise. It’s all-encompassing, because the way CJ and I… The reason we’re friends really is because we share a very similar worldview. We view people as a whole. We view the person as a whole person. You can’t separate finances from your mental life, your thought life. You can’t separate money from your health and your health from your career. They’re all intertwined, they’re all connected.
And so the middle-class are the most vulnerable. And that’s why politicians are always addressing the middle-class. “Here’s what I’m going to do for the middle-class. Here’s what I’m going to…” That’s because they’re the most vulnerable in society. And you think the poor and very poor are vulnerable, but oh, they have all these programs and stuff. They have all this… They’ve got welfare, they’ve got this, they’ve got that. The middle class are some of the most heavily taxed. I know this for a fact because we were in the poor category, lower-middle-class category and we nearly went bankrupt because of how heavily taxed we were as a self-employed family with a one income earning.
My husband was the sole breadwinner and I’m taking care of the kids at home. We were so heavily taxed, that we couldn’t pay for groceries sometimes. I know from personal experience that this is the case. So this is not about politics, though. I’m just saying that the point here is don’t be content just because you think you have enough for today. And that’s something we addressed in… That I read from in the first or second episode on this was, you never know what’s going to happen. You think you’re fine today, but if anything were to happen like you said, CJ, car accident, something going wrong with your car or health of a family member or yourself, anything goes wrong, and you… Most people don’t even have any savings. And that’s the status of the middle-class, no savings, no diversified income, no outside income streams. That’s the status of the middle-class.
It’s not about not being content in life, like be discontent in the negative sense. It’s about strive for more. And not talking materialism just, you can raise the bar for yourself because it will help not only you but everyone around you. It will help your family. And you can do more when you are more abundant. You can do more for yourself, you can do more for the world, you can do more for others when you are more abundant. I hope this is coming across the right way, the way I mean to and not saying that there’s something wrong with people who make X amount of money. That’s not what this is. Do you think I’m coming off the right way?
16:31 CJ: No, I think… You know what? When you said that the challenge of the middle-class is to be vulnerable, that’s probably the best way to say it. And how could we be considered compassionate if we didn’t sound some kind of alarm, if we didn’t give some kind of warning and if we didn’t know firsthand that changing the way that you think plays such a key role in the success of any one of the SMA courses. This is territory we have to tread on despite the fact that there’s a real possibility that some might be triggered or some might find offensive.
17:17 Leah: Yeah, take it the wrong way even.
17:18 CJ: Yeah. Take it the wrong way.
17:19 Leah: Yeah, I’m actually okay to some extent if there’s some people who are repelled by this, because it means they’re probably not for us, we’re not for each other. There are probably other teachers out there who are much less offensive and who won’t ruffle their feathers and won’t challenge them and they probably won’t get results either, but that’s fine. We’re just not for each other. I’m okay with this polarizing SMA a little bit or myself a little bit. I want to attract to us people who are a little more like-minded, who understand that their thinking will determine their success and that no program really is even going to do that because when they have the mentality that I must figure this out and I don’t care what it will take, that whatever it takes I’m going to do it, then my job is very easy. All I do is show those people what to do. I can show them the funnels and how you do this and how you build a brand and all those things and they were just going to take off. They’ll succeed no matter what.
My job is so easy at that point. And that’s what I want. And then this is very rewarding and enjoyable for me rather than me trying to drag people to these results that were really never in the right headspace to begin with. So it feels like… It feels like hell to be honest for me and my team trying to help these people become successful who are in the wrong headspace to begin with. That’s the problem. It’s not the course. It’s not the lessons. It’s not because Facebook moved this button around and now I can’t find where this thing is. That’s not the problem. That’s not why you’re unsuccessful. It’s all in your head, man.
19:10 CJ: Yeah, exactly.
19:12 Leah: Here we go.
19:13 CJ: Exactly. Yes, please.
19:15 Leah: I’m reading out of this book, Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class. Okay. I am assuming that you want to be more abundant than you currently are. Let’s agree about that.
19:28 CJ: Yes, you have my agreement.
19:31 Leah: Okay. “Distinction number seven, millionaires take calculated risks. The middle-class is afraid to take risks.” Think about this in terms of investing into your own skillset, mentorship, coaches, whatever, new gear even, whatever. Okay, I’ll read now. “The middle-class is trapped in a rat race because it doesn’t take risks. The only way out of the rat race is to take risks. The only way out of the rat race is to take risks. No, that is not a typo. I intentionally wrote it twice. In fact, let me write it one more time. The only way out of the rat race is to take risks.
“If you take risk out of life, you take the opportunity out of life. Taking a risk doesn’t mean taking a shot in the dark. Millionaires take calculated risks.” And he has that in all caps. “What does calculated mean? It means to gain knowledge first and to consider the consequences of failing before taking action. Use knowledge to overcome fear. Millionaires are not afraid to take risks. That’s not to say that they don’t have fears to deal with, because both millionaires and the middle class have fears. The way you handle fear, however, determines the results you will get in life.” Just stop me anytime if you have a thought here.
21:06 CJ: Right. Sure.
21:07 Leah: “Millionaires overcome fear and the middle class submits to it. So overcoming versus submitting to it. Millionaires overcome fear with knowledge. Fear is darkness and knowledge is light. Light causes darkness to disappear. Knowledge causes fear to disappear. Millionaires educate themselves before taking risks and then they consider the consequences of failing. Millionaires don’t throw their money around and hope for return.” Hmmm, that sounds similar to the things that I’ve said like people throwing their music out into the universe and hoping for a good result and hoping to get discovered.
“Millionaires practice risk management. One of the simplest ways to manage risk, I learned from my mentor”, I’ll probably butcher this guy’s name, “Nidou Wabin, he taught me to ask these three questions.” Love this part. “One, what’s the best thing that could happen? Two, what’s the worst thing that could happen? And three, what’s the most likely thing to happen? If you can live with the worst thing that could happen and if the most likely thing to happen will get you closer to your goals, then go for it.
“If you aren’t able to handle the worst that could happen, and if the most likely thing to happen doesn’t get you closer to your goals, then don’t do it. The next time you have an opportunity to take a risk, ask yourself these three questions, they’ve given me the insight I needed to make wise decisions. I see three primary fears in the middle-class that stop people from taking actions that create success. They are the fear of failure, the fear of rejection and the fear of loss. The fear of failure, it’s not a matter of if you will fail, it’s a matter of when. Millionaires understand that failure is part of the path to success. They do not fear failure. They embrace it when it comes to become wiser.
“The reason the middle-class fears failure is because it thinks failure is bad.” Dang, Facebook Ads just tanked. “Millionaires think failure is good. It gives them the opportunity to learn and grow. If you fear failure, you will not take risks. And anytime you take a risk, there is the possibility of failing. If you learn to see failure as a positive, then you’ll be able to take more risks. Your perception of and response to failure will determine the level of success you can achieve. Failure is one of life’s many teachers. Failure is life’s way of correcting us. When millionaires fail, they learn and try again. When middle-class people fail, they stop taking risks.
“A common phrase for the middle-class is, ‘I tried that before and I’m not doing it again. I tried it and it didn’t work.’” I hear that all the time about Facebook Ads and about marketing and all kinds of stuff. “The middle-class gives up after failing while millionaires keep going. You must keep going after you fail in order to achieve success.” I feel like this is so elementary and yet nobody does it.
24:37 CJ: Mm-mm. No. It still trips everybody up. It’s amazing to me how common it is, and like him, I often use the same illusion, the same example of the fear of the dark type thing. And that’s why I’ve always said, our fears that we face today with our fear of failure, fear of success, fear of risk are just a grownup’s version of a child’s fear of the dark. Same thing.
25:02 Leah: Oh yeah, the Boogey Man.
25:04 CJ: Afraid of what lies in front of you because you can’t see it.
25:08 Leah: Yeah. Okay, he’s got one. Okay. So we dealt with the fear of failure. Here’s the fear of rejection. “The middle-class puts too much importance on the acceptance of others. We all want others to accept us. We also want to be successful. Here’s a key to success. You must want to succeed more than you want the acceptance of other people. Millionaires desire success more than they desire acceptance. In order to be successful, you will have to take risks and if you fail, some people may reject you.
“The funny thing is that if you succeed, some people will still reject you. Someone once said, ‘One-third of people will like you, one-third won’t and one-third doesn’t care either way.’ Millionaires understand they can’t please everybody. If you’re addicted to the approval of people, this will keep you from taking risks. You must not let your need for acceptance keep you from taking risks. Simply understand that some people are going to reject you no matter what you do. And then do what you need to do to succeed.” That’s really good.
26:19 CJ: Mm-hmm.
26:21 Leah: Then he goes into the fear of loss. “Millionaires play to win. The middle-class plays to not lose.” Huge difference. Huge difference. “Can you imagine if a football team played defence the entire game? Their chance of winning would be zero. If you fear loss, you will only play defence when it comes to your money and your chance of financial freedom will be zero.
“People who play not to lose are always saying they should have done this or that. The biggest gap in the world is between I should and I did. Millionaires say, ‘I did.’ The middle-class is always saying, ‘I should.’ When you take risks, you may lose some money, accept it and go on. Just as failure is part of success, losing is part of winning. Did you know most millionaires have lost money several times in their lives? Some millionaires have been through bankruptcy more than once before winning the money game.
“If you want to win, you must overcome the fear of loss. The fear of loss keeps the middle-class sitting on the sidelines of life. If you want to win, you must play to win. Playing not to lose will cause you to lose.” And then the last part here is live like you were dying. “When I speak at live events, I will often include a section about living like you were dying. In that section, I discuss a survey done among a group of elderly people over the age of 90. They were asked, ‘If you had to live life over again, what would you do differently?’
“There were three answers that kept coming up repeatedly. Would you care to guess one of them? One was that they would take more risks. Did you get that? When you’re at the end of your life, you will have more regrets over the things you didn’t do than the things you did. Taking risks assures that you won’t have to live with the pain of regret. Don’t get to the end of your life and say, ‘I wish I had.’ Overcome your fears with faith and take some risks. Let me give you the other two answers. They said that they would take more time to reflect on the good moments of their lives and appreciate them and on the bad times to learn from them.
“The third most common answer was that they would do more things that would live on after they were gone. Legacy. Now, if you’re going to do something that will live on after you’re gone, you’re going to have to take some risks. People who are remembered took risks. Our elders have spoken. Take more risks, reflect more and do more things that will live on after you’re gone. If you can’t learn from a group of people over the age of 90, then you just can’t learn. I repeat, if you take the risk out of life, you take the opportunity out of life.
“Remember, knowledge is light and fear is darkness. Shine the light into the darkness and you will have the courage to take action. Millionaires overcome their fears and take action. The middle-class submits to its fears and lives with regrets. Be able to say, ‘I did,’ instead of, ‘I should.’ Calculate your risks by educating yourself and asking those three questions. Millionaires take calculated risks. The middle-class is afraid to take risks.” There we go. Isn’t that profound?
29:35 CJ: It’s fantastic. Old friend of mine used to say, “When it comes to money,” he said, “if you hang on to it, that’s the most it’ll ever be. If you let it go, that’s the least it’ll ever be.” And I think, of course, with your and my background, we understand finance a little bit differently because of the way we were taught. So sowing and reaping is a financial principle here. And the idea that money is like a seed, it’s a seed that once it’s put into the ground, it can bring a harvest of all kinds of different things.
And that could be for a charitable giving, that could be investment in your music business, it could be anything.
30:23 Leah: Yourself, yeah.
30:24 CJ: Right. Investment in yourself. You invest in a course.
30:27 Leah: That’s right.
30:28 CJ: It brings a harvest in your life as you improve, in whatever it is you’re learning about, and you make profit from it. So I think we’ve got to change that concept that we have is if you see money more as seed, and less as this thing that you’re supposed to hoard, not saying you shouldn’t save money, not suggesting anything like that, but you know that it has the power to create once it’s put in the right place, but that requires risk. There are investors who put money in things that don’t get returns for a long time, or sometimes they actually lose. And like for him-
31:09 Leah: That’s just part of it.
31:10 CJ: Failure is just built into the program. It’s not, like I said, not an issue of if but rather when, when the system is going to fail. But again, we’ve talked about this in the past that we tend to personalize failure. And that’s why we fear it. As opposed to all of the high-end technicians, for example, at the Ford Motor Company or at Ferrari, and they’re going to go in and… Or Mercedes and they go in and come up with the new Mercedes engine.
Well, they fully expect a million failures. But that’s the thing. Failure is actually… It’s not an emotional term. We’ve made it emotional, but it’s actually a mechanical term. You have a machine failure. So failures tell them what needs to be changed, what needs to be revised. So they need failure. Failure is expected. So if they’re in there and their first version of the engine fails, they don’t all go out and cry and call their moms because they have this tremendous fear of failure. No, it’s expected. They learn, they adjust, they do whatever improvements there are.
Nobody’s perfect. Nobody’s qualified in this game of life. If you can learn to not be afraid of, as we said in the last episode, change, not be afraid of risk, to putting yourself out there. Yeah, but people might say bad things. So what? Are those words going to hurt you? As we’ve said in previous episodes, words have only as much power as we grant them authority over us. Either way, no matter what, you are in control. What we want, as Leah mentioned earlier, it’s calculated risk. It’s giving you as-
33:01 Leah: I love those three questions.
33:01 CJ: Yeah, yeah. So you know. You know what you’re dealing with and you learn as much as you can. We’re not just saying throw all caution to the wind and just take the first offer. No. Do your homework. Do your research. The problem is people don’t do it. They think they do.
But we’re so accustomed to mediocrity that we think as we say, “I’ve tried everything.” Really? Did you? Did you try everything? I bet you barely scratched the surface of the potential possibilities to solve some of your biggest problems. It’s amazing what just putting yourself out there can do. Calling somebody on the phone to get the resources that you need. Let’s say you’ve been listening to this podcast for a long time and you’ve got your stuff together. You got a good website going and you’ve got fans following you on Facebook and you’re playing some live gigs and you’ve sold some CDs, but you’ve plateaued. You can’t go any higher and you’ve been listening to this podcast, but you haven’t really gone to that next level yet.
And you’re like, “Well, I’m trying to gather all the information that I can from the free podcasts that…” Well, maybe you need to talk to somebody. Maybe you need to get on the phone with somebody from our team and talk about your situation and find out let’s look at you, maybe you are ready for that next level. And it’s amazing once you do that, like he said, light dispels the darkness. So when my kids were small, it was easy for me to get them to stop crying by turning on that nightlight or cracking that bedroom door so that the light could come in and they were so much happier and there were so much…
But here’s the thing, is that fear is a complete illusion because fear is an emotion. But your emotions don’t have eyeballs. So they rely on the ones in your head. Therefore, your emotion, which is attached to your physical body cannot tell the difference between imagination and reality. That’s why you literally can scare yourself to death. That’s why you literally can worry yourself sick. Because you start to imagine the worst. And what happens? Your heart rate rises. Your actual physiology starts changing to something that’s not even real.
35:38 Leah: It’s so wild what the brain is capable of. And off-camera, we’re talking a little bit about neuroplasticity and how the brain is, all of this. And there’s a documentary about this, about people… There was a study done, I think they were on stroke victims, how they were practicing the piano. They had a segment practicing the piano physically and the other segment was only practicing in their mind. And they never touched a piano key, but when they hook their brain up to the electrodes and the machines, it shows the exact same brain activity. It’s like the brain couldn’t tell the difference between physically playing the piano and mentally playing the piano. It reacted the exact same way.
And there can sometimes even be a physical response to what you’ve created in your mind. Did I ever tell you? I don’t know if this is TMI, but my last birth with Archer, I actually rehearsed in my mind for months the way I wanted the birth to go and I actually… Mentally, I would take 20, 30 minutes a day sometimes because I was lying down a lot, rehearsing exactly how I wanted my birth to go. How the labor would go, how the delivery would go, my pain levels. I practiced not having pain and just the whole thing. It was wild, wild what happened. Now I’m not saying that I didn’t feel pain, I will say it was the most intense birth I’ve ever had because it was so fast.
It was like… But everything went exactly the way I wanted. It was just so fast. When it’s that fast, it’s quite intense. But it was the best birth I’ve ever had. It was so awesome. And so I believe that a huge part of that was the mental preparation that I did months ahead of time. Your body doesn’t know the difference between the imagination and something really happening. So, imagine what’s possible. If I could control at all I’m not saying that this is every circumstance is possible, there’s medical emergencies and stuff, but under normal circumstances, if I could control the way a birth went involving another human being, imagine what you could create in your mind for yourself and you’re not giving birth.
Okay, you’re giving birth to a new album. Or whatever is going on your music career, imagine what you can create in the physical, what’s just going on in your mind if your body doesn’t even know the difference between reality and imagination. That’s a really powerful idea.
38:14 CJ: Yeah, it really is. And I’ll often mention to people who struggle with procrastination or laziness or whatever or finding the self-discipline to do things when they need to be done, but you don’t feel like doing them. And they say, “I just get on that couch. I just don’t want to get up. I don’t want to go to the gym. I don’t want to do…”
I said, “This is all you need to do to fix that. This is all you need to do. Whatever it is, you don’t want to do that you know you should do and you don’t feel like doing it, I don’t care if you’re on the couch with a bag of potato chips in your hand and you just do not feel like getting up. All you have to do is spend just a few minutes, shut your eyes and imagine yourself doing the thing that you’re supposed to do, see yourself doing it. Make it big in your mind and just see yourself doing it with a smile on your face and energetic and just keep that there.” Because again, your emotions and your physical body can’t tell the difference. You’re going to get up, I guarantee you.
You’re going to get up, it’s just going to happen, your body is going to follow but before then you’re stuck. That’s why when I do the coaching calls, the group coaching calls in our Elite group and will often get on it because I’m talking about mindset oftentimes, so I was talking to one gentleman, and he was battling with some negative thinking. And so I was just kind of building him up.
But I asked him, I said, “I’ve been talking to you now for about 10 minutes. Would you consider right now that you are thinking and feeling a lot more positive right now than before we started this whole call?” He said, “Oh, yes, absolutely.” I said, “Well, have any of your physical circumstances changed in the last 10 minutes?” “No.” “So you saw the exact same physical circumstances?” “Yes.” “So why would you feel better?” “Because I don’t know.” I said, “I’ll tell you why. Because for 10 minutes now, you submitted your mind to my words. And so you let me guide your thoughts. And so, therefore, your emotions and your body can’t tell the difference. So it just followed the train of thought. But if you can do that by just suspending your mind listening to someone else positive, then you can also do that on your own.”
And if you can’t control your mind, then start talking this way because your thoughts have to go wherever your words go. Either way, you can completely reprogram yourself for success and start thinking like he said, like a millionaire and not so much like a vulnerable, middle-class person whose life could be disrupted at the slightest thing, something happened to their car, something happened medically, something happened with the job, Coronavirus comes into town, suddenly you can’t do this, you can’t do that. And you are so seriously affected and you can’t pay a mortgage or you can’t afford your groceries, or you don’t have a ride to work. That’s the vulnerability of the middle-class. And that’s rooted in a way of thinking and so much of that is controlled not by complacency, but by fear.
41:17 Leah: Yeah. Oh, yeah. That’s so good. With this book, I think there’s a reason why it’s not the 10 distinctions between millionaires and the poor. It’s millionaires and the middle-class because that’s where most of the population is currently at. Most people are… And if you’re in the poor category, you’ve got a different set of problems. They’re dealing with some completely different circumstances in a lot of cases. And so this is because it’s a short journey between the middle-class to millionaire. It’s not that far away.
And so I think that’s why it’s an important book that people read, and musicians because I just run into so many musicians with the poverty mentality. It’s unbelievable. Now people in general, I think, have a poverty mentality, but musicians especially.
42:16 CJ: Then here’s a real truth, because this goes off of what you just said because I think this is so important, what we hear from is when somebody talks about a great achievement, they call it from rags to riches, meaning usually people in the poor-class are a whole lot hungrier to get out of it.
42:44 Leah: True. Yeah.
42:46 CJ: Than the complacent middle-class. So even though it’s a shorter route from the middle-class to the millionaire, it might as well be as wide as the Grand Canyon.
42:56 Leah: That’s true, absolutely.
42:57 CJ: Because you’re not as hungry.
43:01 Leah: Yeah. They’re a little bit more content. They’re a little bit… They’re getting by. And so there’s more-
43:07 CJ: Mediocrity is good.
43:08 Leah: Exactly. There’s more mediocrity. They just get comfortable with their Netflix and chill every night. And they’re not sacrificing a little bit. It’s so easy to just get stuck in a rut and that’s why there’s books written like this, whereas honestly, I don’t know if any of this would exist, SMA, my music business, the way it is, if we hadn’t almost gone bankrupt. If there wasn’t that financial crisis where I went into turbo-mode of I must make this happen, I will make this happen, I don’t even know how yet but I’m going to and I just made up my mind.
It was like nobody could get in my way. I don’t care if there was a bull in front of me charging toward me. He was not getting in my way. Nothing can get in my way. We were struggling paycheck to paycheck, “Hey, are we going to pay for gas or groceries this week? Which one? Pick one.” It was like that and so many people are stuck there. That did drive me and it made me more determined than ever to do it. And I think that’s really the key between people who end up succeeding and those who have minimal results is one of us has the determination where it will happen.
I’ve decided it’s going to happen. I don’t know how yet, but I’m going to learn whatever it takes to do it. And the other person going, “That would be cool if I did that one day.” Huge difference between the two mentalities. I always like to say in my webinars and when I meet people, make the decision today. If you don’t have that switch flipped on, it’s not going to happen for you. I don’t care how many books and podcasts you read or listen to, I don’t care what courses you have, I don’t care how much money you’ve spent, I don’t care how good your music sounds if you have not made the decision that it’s going to happen, you will figure it out, come hell or high water, that’s what I’m looking for. Those people are going to succeed.
If you haven’t made that decision, you need to make that decision. You need to have a moment where you kind of get a little angry and it propels you toward that goal. Whatever that goal is for you, whatever that success looks like for you. That’s my challenge I want to leave with people today. You need to have that moment. And it’s literally a matter of, okay, having a talk with yourself. It’s like, nothing’s changed. I keep doing things the way I always have and never gotten a different result. That’s the definition of insanity. And it’s time to make a change. It’s time to invest in myself. It’s time to get a mentor so that I don’t have to keep repeating mistakes and piecemealing random stuff together from YouTube and Google and this guru and that guru and…
Make a decision, I don’t care if you go with SMA, find somebody that you can learn from that benefits you that’s going to help you in your career. If you choose us, I would love to be your mentor. The coaches here at SMA are phenomenal. They’re the best. And we strive to have the best customer service, the best experience for those who are taking this journey with us. But ultimately, I just want you to succeed and if that’s not with us, so be it. But the challenge is make the decision, just do it. Stop dabbling and go all the way.
46:50 CJ: Yeah. I often say that anger can be a healthy emotion when it’s directed against that which limits you. Some of us need to get a little pissed off to be productive. And obviously, if you’re listening to this podcast, then you’re listening because you want to do something with your music business. And it’s as simple as that. And so we would not invest three entire episodes of this podcast in something that we didn’t feel like was very, very important. And we had some other episodes lined up and we were in a team meeting and Leah just mentioned…
She just said, “Hey, CJ. I’ve been reading this book again and I kind of want to talk about this.” And I’ve learned one thing about Leah is that if there’s anything that gets under her crawl or gets on her heart that we could pretty much push everything else ahead in the queue and go ahead and jump on the topic that she’s passionate about, because I know that means something is really, really stirring in her heart and that’s kind of where this three-episode series came out of.
I’ll tell you what, you could give these three episodes to anybody. You don’t have to be just a musician. In fact, I would encourage some of our listeners, share those three episodes with some other creative people that you know. Share it with them. Maybe some authors, some bloggers, some photographers, some people who are just getting a little small business, maybe they opened a restaurant, anybody doing anything, a coach or something. Share these episodes with them, because I really think it’s going to make a difference. Share it with your kids. My goodness.
48:28 Leah: Absolutely. Yeah. Read this book to your kids. If you have kids, they can understand this. I mean, this could be a little family study that you do together because they’re so short. I mean, you can read it under 10 minutes. So great.
48:43 CJ: Well, listen guys-
48:44 Leah: I hope you guys have all gotten something out of this.
48:46 CJ: Yeah. If you are going to be a successful musician in this new music industry, which means going online, we’ve been sharing quite a bit lately, the quote from the recent Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins interview in which he said he would tell today’s musician to spend all of your time reaching people on the internet. Solely, exclusively, that’s what you need to be doing. And I just don’t know, Leah, if any other program that’s better than the programs offered in the Savvy Musician Academy. And the flagship one, which is The Online Musician, or TOM for short, is getting its biggest upgrade in the last couple of years now.
TOM 3.0, The Online Musician 3.0. And lots of new changes because obviously, in a couple of years, as everybody knows, technology and social media and the rules change constantly. That’s why we’re always keeping up with these things, which is why the podcast is important, why our Inner Circle program is important because we cover all the changes and the latest news and updates. But to get that codified in a course is another thing. That’s a tremendous responsibility on Leah to ferret out what’s the most important information that can be permanently established in an official course. So you feel good about this soon coming upgrade, Leah?
50:08 Leah: Oh yeah, I’m so happy with the way The Online Musician 3.0 is going. If you’re not familiar with what that is, it’s our flagship program. It’s our first big giant stepping stone for most musicians, whether they’re experienced or they’re new, but they’re really launching their music online. And they’re in the beginning stages. I consider the beginning stage, anybody who’s not yet making three to $5,000 from their music every single month, digitally, online. And if you’re making money from gigs and stuff, I consider that another revenue stream and that’s a wonderful revenue stream to have, but it’s not passive. You have to show up for it to make it happen.
I am interested in teaching musicians things they can do on the internet from their home in their pyjamas that can produce other streams of revenue for them that are consistent and reliable. And so this is all about sustainability. And there’s a lot that goes into it. There’s a lot. So branding, mindset, your niche. Your micro-niche is a huge part of this, finding your ideal audience, who’s your ideal fan, knowing everything about them, doing the research, crafting a wonderful website, understanding how to use the biggest social media platforms and not spend your entire life on them but do what you got to do to make a lasting impression and build your brand.
And then we get in a little bit of a teensy tiny little bit of advertising, but mostly I’m looking to help people do it without using paid advertising, paid media, paid traffic just yet. Because once you have those foundation pieces in place, you can then go on to market anything you want and you can go on to our advanced program later down the road where we teach all the advanced ninja stuff, all the Facebook Ads, the funnels, the big launches and all of that.
So The Online Musician 3.0 is going to be your foundation of building a castle, that stands forever. It’s really amazing. I love the upgrades we’ve done to it. We’ve added a whole module on mindset because I realized how important it is. Oh my gosh. We talk about mindset 85% of this podcast is mindset and 15% is tactics and strategies and Facebook Ads from whatever because you need that to succeed. And if we haven’t drilled it in enough in these past three episodes, then I don’t know if we can drill it in anymore. It’s just not possible.
So yeah, I’m so looking forward to this. Again, if you’re not making three to $5,000 a month from your music yet, then this is really the foundation piece you need. If you are a TOM 2.0 student, you’re like, “I’m not making three to 5000 yet,” and even some of my Elite students, you need to go back and do this course again. But never fear. If you have TOM 2.0 I got your back. You’re getting a free upgrade. Merry Christmas.
52:53 CJ: How about that? Merry Christmas. Happy birthday. Happy Valentine’s Day.
52:58 Leah: Yes. I want you, if you’re already a TOM student, I have a huge challenge for you and you need to start at the beginning. Anytime I take a new course or anything, I kind of erase my mind. I erase my hard drive, and I’m like, “I’m going into this as though I know nothing about this topic. I’m going to take it all in fresh, like a sponge, like I knew nothing before this.” That’s how I get the most out of anything I ever take. I pretend like I know nothing. I’m not looking at, “Well, I already know this stuff. Well, I’ve already done this and this isn’t applicable to me.”
No. Go in with a blank slate and you will be amazed at the stuff you missed before and the new things that you had no idea. So that’s my challenge for my previous students. I recommend… Even my Elite students, this would help them. We cover so many advanced things. Sometimes you forget the fundamentals. It’s like the martial artist with the three black belts. What do they do when they go to rehearse all the time?
54:03 CJ: Fundamentals.
54:03 Leah: They go back to the fundamentals. They just do them over and over and over again. Because without that, there is no black belt. It’s all built off of that. So if you think you’re a black belt marketer, you need the fundamentals too. I’m going to actually encourage all my students, you’re all going to need to take this again because you will be amazed at what you forgot, and it’s like me reading this book after 10 years. I first read this before I made any money and now I’m reading it after I’ve been successful, and it’s like, “Holy cow, I’m seeing this through a completely different lens.”
That’s the way The Online Musician 3.0 is going to be. For people who have never taken it and people who take it’s like, “Wow, I really, really needed that. And now I’m totally motivated all over again, I know what to do. I have fresh perspective, I have a new challenge for myself going forward.” So really excited about it. What’s the URL that people can go to get on the waitlist?
55:00 CJ: Explodeyourfanbase.com. And they should be excited about it. I’m excited about it. Explodeyourfanbase.com. Guys, you do not have to stay where you are. You don’t have to stay where you are. You don’t have to always be hoping. You don’t have to always have something gnawing on the inside of you because you haven’t fulfilled or lived some semblance of your dream. It’s not too late, you’re not too old your music’s not too weird. There’s a way. There’s other weird people just like you out there all over the world who would love to hear your weird music.
So we celebrate all of you. Believe me, between our Elite and TOM courses and students, we’ve seen just about every genre and unique niche that you could possibly think of. It’s amazing to me how many talented people there are and how diverse they are. And I mean this is men, women, age, young, old, you name it, other countries. It’s completely diverse but all applying the very same principles that Leah is describing here. You can get there if you’re faithful and if you’re unafraid, not afraid to take a risk. So go to explodeyourfanbase.com right now. I mean literally soon as you turn off this podcast I want you to go there right now. And I’m telling you, man, it is coming very soon. Within a month, this is going to be released. And it’s only going to be for a short window.
56:34 Leah: That’s right and we’re actually changing the model for how we accept new students. It will not be available year-round like it has in the past. It’s only going to be available for a short window of time. So make sure that you get on that waitlist. If this interest’s you in the slightest, make sure you’re on there.
56:51 CJ: All right guys. To do that, exposeyourfanbase.com. If you’d like to learn more about our Inner Circle program, you can go to savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle. And please leave a review and click some stars for this podcast. Help other people discover it. We read each and every testimony in our team meetings. They are a huge encouragement to us. As I like to say, as a motivational speaker, “How do you motivate a motivator? Tell them how much they motivate you.” So tell us how much you’re inspired and encouraged by this podcast. Leah, once again, thank you.
57:22 Leah: Thank you, everybody and we’ll see you next time.
57:25 CJ: This episode is sponsored by The Online Musician 3.0, the upgraded version of the flagship music marketing course from the Savvy Musician Academy. This cutting edge music marketing course is set to release soon, so sign up now for our waiting list to receive up to date information at explodeyourfanbase.com.
Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins recently said in an interview, “If I was going to give you 60-seconds of advice, I would put your whole focus into reaching people through the internet.” There’s no better way to start reaching your ideal fans on the internet than by The Online Musician 3.0, which covers cutting edge to topics like mindset training, branding secrets and tutorials, creating a website that converts, Instagram for musicians, YouTube for musicians, using and leveraging Facebook groups monetizing your music, creating a successful album launch and much, much more. If you’re ready for your next level in creating your own online music business, then sign up now for our waiting list at explodeyourfanbase.com