Author: Leah McHenry

It's become my absolute obsession to find out what will make musicians successful today. In the face of many obstacles, and in the vast sea of the internet, we have an opportunity that has NEVER been available to us in the history of the music business.

Episode #100: Interview with Anna Brzozowska (Elite Student)

This week C.J. interviews another successful SMA student, Anna Brzozowska, an ethereal pop artist originally from Poland but is currently living in Spain. Anna shares her story of how she almost gave up on her music after the expenses of touring, but after finding SMA, she’s back to building a lifetime music career.

If you’re wondering about your artist identity, how to write your own copy, what is the basis of marketing and building your online business, then this is the episode for you!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Developing your micro-niche as you go along
  • To be yourself or a character?
  • Why you shouldn’t just get someone else to do it for you
  • Being yourself in your copy
  • The principles of marketing are still the same
  • The expenses of being a live musician
  • Anna’s experience with Savvy
  • The two mental blocks that every musician must get past
  • The significance of having the right mindset and a strong heart 


“I want to encourage anyone who’s starting out; who doesn’t really know what their micro-niche are, to not fixate so much on it, and just move on because your fans are going to help you discover that as you go along.” – @aniabmusic [0:02:53]

“I think that marketing, to me at least, is just learning how to get in front of the right ears.” – @aniabmusic [0:09:41]

“You’re the one who’s initiating the relationship through your ads.” – @metalmotivation [0:11:59]

“I don’’t think anyone else can write your copy for you as well as you can. Even if you think you suck at the beginning, just be yourself.” – @aniabmusic [0:14:28]

“The best motivation I’ve ever seen happen in anybody’s life is when you understand how to solve your most pressing problems.” – @metalmotivation [0:29:17]

“The education is important, but without heart; without the right mindset; without overcoming yourself, it doesn’t matter how much information you have.” – @metalmotivation [0:42:45]

“I will recommend Leah to the death to a musician, but it’s up to them, obviously. If they sign up for a course and watch videos, that’s not going to change much for them. They will need to change.” – @aniabmusic [0:43:50]

“You’re not going to get anywhere until you conquer your mind.” – @aniabmusic [0:44:11]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

The Online Musician 3.0 —

Book a Call With Us —

The Inner Circle —

Anna’s Facebook Page —

Anna’s Website —

Click For Full Transcript

00:21 CJ: Welcome to The Savvy Musician Show. This is CJ Ortiz. I’m the branding and mindset coach here at The Savvy Musician Academy, blessed once again to do another one of my most favorite things to do on the podcast here, which is student interviews. And this is someone that I’ve actually worked with personally in the past. We did some branding work together last year, and what a positive spirit, such a hard worker. And I’m so delighted to have my dear friend, Anna, who I’m going to have her say her last name for you because even though she’s living in Spain, she hails from Poland. My dear friend, Anna, why don’t you tell everybody your last name?

01:00 Anna: Brzozowska. Good luck.

01:02 CJ: She was trying to coach me through that before the podcast and I said, “There’s no way, honey. You’re just going to have to do that.”

01:11 Anna: The Polish people like to make it hard, throwing a bunch of consonants all together.

01:19 CJ: And I should be used to it. One of my closest friends, I think I told you about him.

01:23 Anna: Yeah. You’ve mentioned him.

01:24 CJ: Mike Chliasiak. That’s not how you say it, you may know how to say it.

01:30 Anna: How do you write it?

01:31 CJ: It’s C-H-L-I-A, Chliasiak, something like that. I don’t know. The key would be to have those first few letters.

01:47 Anna: Yeah, it might take a while to decipher that.

01:49 CJ: Right. Thankfully, we just call him Metal Mike, and so that makes it really easy. And your artist name is Ania.

01:57 Anna: Ania.

01:57 CJ: Ania.

02:01 Anna: Yeah, because Anna and Ania is the same name in Polish. Anna would be the more formal version in all the formal papers. But friends usually call me Ania, which that’s why I chose that, the more personal form.

02:14 CJ: Okay. Well, I’m just going to call you Anna today. But everybody will have contact information in the show notes. And of course, we’ll have you mention those in a little bit here, so that everybody can find you and enjoy you. But let’s go back in a little bit of history, Anna, and tell me first of all, when … No, first of all, tell me the kind of music that you play. And I want to talk a little bit about how you discovered Leah for the first time.

02:42 Anna: Well, my micro-niche, ethereal, pop, folk blend. That’s what I have called it. And it took me a really long time to figure that out. So I would want to encourage anyone who’s starting out, who doesn’t really know what their micro-niche are, to not fixate so much on it, and just move on because your fans are going to help you discover that as you go along, so don’t fixate on it. It’s totally possible to write ad copy and to communicate with your fans and to portray the kind of emotion that you think your music has without knowing your micro-niche. So if you have trouble with that from the beginning, let it go and move on. You’re going to get there.

03:24 CJ: Right. Well, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said that in the elite coaching group with other students because, and even some of the TOM students, because as you know, they do get fixated on-

03:36 Anna: And that was probably one of them, which is why I’m kind of mentioning it right from the get-go because I know it’s kind of one of the big hurdles, and it doesn’t really need to be, so that was my point.

03:50 CJ: Well, do you find, Anna, and this is a bit of a rabbit trail, but do you find that the micro-niche was really helpful for you to target in your audience more so than something to describe yourself?

04:06 Anna: I would have to say I don’t think it was the most important part of … I believe, I think actually, I came to the realization that it was more ethereal pop after I started talking to you. Was it last year when we had our call? And I’ve been doing ads and getting people on my email list a long time before that, and I think I did a good job nailing it. I haven’t actually changed the ad copy for my opt-in since then. Yeah. Because it’s working, it’s really working well. So I have used this description on a lot of other places, like on my website, because I think this is exactly what it is, so it helps me communicate it better to my fans. But I don’t think it’s imperative. It hasn’t been imperative for me to get the targeting right.

05:01 CJ: Yeah. Well, as I mentioned offline for those, again, who listen, I consider you one of the more exemplary students from the elite program. And I’ve enjoyed not just working with you, but also to watch what you do because your genre, your brand, everything is so reminiscent to me of Leah, not in the sense that it’s the same. But I mean, it has a similar sort of vibe and intrigue and a fantasy element and all of these type of things. And it’s just so, you can just look at your stuff and just see, oh, wow, it seems like she has everything just targeted in. And it looks beautiful, all well done, the photography, the artwork and all that. But then you don’t appreciate all the effort that went into something like that, just like in Leah’s case. It didn’t just fall out of the sky. She had to put in so much time and effort. What was that process like for you?

05:57 Anna: Well, I think I struggled more with finding the description and finding out where to exactly place my music, like which box to put it in because we are, as you know, forced to put it in a box. If we release our music to iTunes, we have to put a genre and a sub-genre at least. And I think that was more of a struggle for me than the visual part because I just consider it to just kind of be me. And I like nature photography. I like beauty. I like that ethereal. I think kind of also the way I look and the way I behave, I think it kind of all goes into that just because it’s the way I am. It’s not a character that I’m playing because sometimes people have this character, and that’s totally okay. That’s their character. But for me, it’s just me. So it just came very naturally for me to find out the visual stuff. But to be able to describe it, that’s a whole nother story. I need help with that.

07:09 CJ: Yeah. And I’m laughing because it’s so true. I mean, I’ve seen the pain that others have gone through trying … It’s you. It’s what you’re doing. And yet, it’s so hard to put it into words sometimes.

07:20 Anna: I think that’s why it’s hard because you’re too close to it.

07:24 CJ: Yeah, yeah. No, that’s well said.

07:26 Anna: You have a different perspective. 

07:28 CJ: Yeah. Well, this really brings up a point. And I was going to ask you a little bit about the history, but now that we’re into this, I’m going to just keep going in this direction. But I think this is a really important point, Anna, because I’ve had this conversation a lot recently. And it’s been one of the most paramount and prevalent problems with a lot of the students that I have worked with. And that is feeling like it’s okay, not just okay, but coming to the conclusion that you can really be just you, not somebody else, not … Like I said, it’s okay if you’re going to be a shtick, or a front, or whatever, a character so to speak. But what I find with the elite students, most of them aren’t looking for, most of them want to be themselves.

They just don’t understand all of these terms like branding and micro niche and all these sorts of things, so they feel almost pressured to be something they are not. And then what that does is it holds them back because they can’t be resolved. You know what I mean? Because you’re always, every time they try to do something, create an ad, write copy, or do something, they’re neutralized because they’re afraid they’re going to send the wrong message, write in the wrong voice, that sort of thing, so they can never fully be committed because they’re always second guessing themselves.

08:49 Anna: I think maybe the hurdle here sort of is the term marketing. It’s kind of unromantic in terms of the artistic world. And I think it’s important to know that it’s not like you’re learning some kind of magic tricks. You’re learning principles, yes, but then you have to apply them to you and be genuine in what you’re doing because, I mean, it’s okay if you’re a character and that’s really you. That’s like a movie character or whatever. I don’t think that’s necessarily a wrong route. But you’re pretending to be something that you’re not, you’re going to get exhausted really soon. So I think you can only pretend for a short amount of time, and then you just get tired of it. So I think it’s important to be you, and I think that marketing, to me at least, is just learning how to get in front of the right ears.

09:47 CJ: Yes.

09:48 Anna: We have to narrow down our targeting because we don’t have the budget to just throw our ads out to the whole world like record labels or huge corporations do. So we have to be a little bit more savvy and know who we are looking for, who might be inclined to like our music. And then once they hear it, they can decide whether they like it or not. But first, they have to hear it. And this is about building lifelong relationships, so I think if you’re pretending to be something you’re not, it’s not going to work, at least not long-term, which is why I think coming to terms with the learning marketing, it’s not that you’re learning a bunch of tricks or a bunch of tools that you can use, it’s principles that work, yes, in psychology. But it’s about being genuine and about building the relationships, those are important factors here.

10:46 CJ: You said that very well, so well that people think, “Wow. That sounds really simple.” But like we just noted when you tried to describe yourself. Trying to describe yourself, it’s not an easy thing to do, and to give yourself permission to be you. And I had a coaching call recently with our friend Helen from the elite. And we were talking about this very thing, and she was just trying to get things dialed in on her branding. I may have her come on and we’ll talk about that more in detail. But again, it was that challenge of, she’s like, “You mean I can just be me?” I mean, but across the board.

In other words, the difference that social media has made, and I’m sure you’ve experienced this, and I want you to speak to it, but part of the difference the social media’s made is that you’re more than just the musician. You’re also the messenger. In other words, there’s a personal element here that’s inclusive that you couldn’t include in a YouTube video. You couldn’t have as the end result of a Google search, or somebody stumbling upon you on the internet. It’s you’re reaching out to people for the very first time. You’re the one who’s initiating the relationship through your ads and that sort of thing. But it’s more than just them hearing your music. You’re not just posting music. You’re posting you, your life, all of that. What has that been like for you?

12:12 Anna: You kind of, you introduce yourself from the very beginning with your emails because, yeah, they see your ad and they sign up for the … They see something that intrigues them, the description, whether it’s a photo or the description of the music. And they get curious, so they sign up and want to hear the songs. And yeah, then they hear the songs and like the music, or love the music even, and are very excited about it. But you also introduce yourself, even though you write out these email sequences beforehand and it’s automated, but you are the one personally writing it. You’re pouring your heart into it, and you’re really letting people into your life, sort of, and also through social media. For me, it’s just easier to be myself because then I don’t have to think about it. You know?

13:06 CJ: Touche. Yeah, that’s an important part because it’s like the old truth about telling lies. You have to remember all of the lies that you tell. So much easier to just be yourself. And that brings up a question that a lot of people will ask oftentimes on webinars and things, Anna. They’ll say, “Well, can’t I just have someone else do this for me? Or can I hire?”

13:36 Anna: Yeah. But is it a good idea? I don’t think so.

13:39 CJ: Yeah. Well, why don’t you think that’s a good idea?

13:42 Anna: Because I think you need to be personal, and there is nobody who knows exactly who you are like you know yourself. And you need to put yourself out there because you’re the artist. You’re the one connecting with your fans. You’re the one who is trying to build a lifelong relationship with those people. And I, in many cases, really consider them friends. You know? And even though we have different backgrounds, different ages, even different interests many times, there is this musical emotional language, sort of, that brings us all together because music is emotions, it’s expressing emotions. And that is what binds us together. And I don’t think anyone else can write your copy for you as well as you can. Even if you think you suck at the beginning, just be yourself.

In the beginning actually, I remember, I even told this to Leah. And I think one of the first courses that I did when we actually had calls with her, I told her, “I find it really difficult to write ad copy for the ads if I try to be short and concise.” But I had absolutely no problem just writing emails because I was considering these people, I was writing to a friend, being just honest, being who I am, and introducing myself. See, I’m a person who loves using emojis, so I use them very often in my emails and my copy because I just like it. It brings some color into my life. So just be yourself, nobody can be yourself like you can, obviously.

15:27 CJ: Well, yeah. I mean, the emoji thing actually fits your brand, much like it does with Leah. And there’s a few others who can. You get others who don’t. Like for me, if I used it in the stuff that I do in my own personal projects, it wouldn’t go over as well. But that just makes your point, which is, you’ve got to be you.

15:44 Anna: Yeah. Exactly.

15:45 CJ: And if that’s who you are, then that’s part of what makes, creates the flavor of your personal brand to these people. But what about also, Anna, not just being yourself, but in terms of handling all of your social media, not farming it out to someone else? But what about getting to know your audience, getting to know their likes and dislikes? If you’re farming that out to somebody else, then you’re still, two or three years down the road, you’re still just as ignorant of your audience as you were when you started.

16:17 Anna: Exactly. Then you’re just putting yourself in the place of being a product. You’re not really the artist and the person connecting with people. You’re just a product that someone is trying to sell, someone else is trying to sell.

16:30 CJ: Yeah.

16:31 Anna: And I just don’t feel like that’s right. And even if it would work, if you would have some sort of awesome copywriter or whatever, I think what would end up happening is that people wouldn’t really get to know you. They wouldn’t [inaudible 00:16:51] what they were writing. Might’ve been excellent copy, and engaging and all that, but it wouldn’t be you. And probably at some point, that would come out.

17:02 CJ: Yeah. It would come out. You would become disingenuous at that point. And people see through that. And it’s social media, and I was telling someone recently, and I’ve said this a lot. But if you have learned the principles of marketing, and that’s one thing that Leah’s good about is that-

17:20 Anna: I’m still learning.

17:21 CJ: Yeah. But these are tried and true principles that have been around before the internet. And so one of the things that I always appreciate about Leah, because I come from traditional marketing, but is the fact that nothing that she’s doing is some sort of tactic, or trick, or anything like that. It’s very much based on the proven principles of direct marketing. However, okay, and this is a big, however, social media has changed even that. And so the best way I can describe it is if we went back to when advertising and marketing began, let’s say over 100 years ago or so, when you started to see ads in papers and things like that, and written on the side of a building, and then eventually television and radio, all the principles that we know from marketing came from the history of marketing because you couldn’t talk to somebody one on one.

You were always putting something out in front of the public hoping the right person saw it. Right? So that means you have to, whether it’s a direct marketing letter that you get in the mail, or something, people have to create that know, like, and trust element within a few seconds. You know what I mean? So that created the kind of language, the words that they use, keywords for marketing and all of that, so imagine if marketing and advertising started at the very same time that social media began. Would the marketing rules be different? Absolutely, because now you’re no longer showing something on a billboard or in a magazine ad, not knowing who you’re talking to. You know exactly who you’re talking to. And oftentimes, it’s face to face.

So in that sense, the rules have changed. You’re still using the same thing with incentives and benefit driven and branding principles and all of that. But you have the social media element. So to me, that’s why with social media coming in, and SMA at the same time, is the best response to what happened with Napster at the end of the 20th century. In other words, what happened, what hurt the music industry because of technology is now being turned around because of what we can do with technology. And again, you’re a great example of that. So what has that learning process been like? How empowered do you feel now? I know you said you have much to learn. We all do. But now sitting behind the keyboard, knowing what you can do.

19:59 Anna: Yeah. I feel very empowered. And even though I might not be exactly where I want to be yet, but I have to say I feel empowered and I feel in control over my life and over my music. Contrary to what went on when I actually released my first album, which I’m a perfect cliché actually, of someone who did everything wrong. I was true to the music and I’m so proud of it. So I didn’t listen to all these voices, oh, I know what’s going to sell on the radio. I did my thing, and I’m proud of that to this day. And the process of creating that album took me two years, but I had absolutely no plan whatsoever after that. I did not know anything about marketing. I did not know anything about anything, to be honest. I just released it kind of hoping for the best. And we all know what kind of strategy that is. That’s not very good.

And kind of relying on other people to do certain things. And I think it’s cool to rely on people to do certain things after we actually learn what is involved in those things, so that you can actually control whether they are doing a good job or not, which at that point, I couldn’t. So the situation was, I released my first album. I won some internet contests. Yeah, my music received recognition from strangers. And I received offers to play in clubs across the country even, things like that. But for ticket sales, though I played with very good musicians, session musicians that, very talented musicians. They all have families to feed. I, of course, paid them. So if I had to travel across the country to play a concert, I would have to pay for transportation, pay my musicians, and then hopefully, maybe make something back from ticket sales without having a fan base first that I could even contact beforehand. Listen guys, I’m going to play here and here.

Or even better yet, do a presale of tickets, so that I could actually get a feel for the demand, and have a fan base and a foundation sort of, of people who I could contact and tell them about it. If the club puts up a poster that you’re going to play, that’s not promoting anything. And also, people come in there anyway, buy drinks, so they don’t really care that much. So it just turned out to be an expensive hobby. And I got really depressed and frustrated, and I actually left music for more than a year. I engaged in another project. I started blogging about an unrelated topic, also started doing some marketing courses and learning the online thing, just kind of touching basically a little bit. And then my then boyfriend gave me one of the best presents he ever gave me because he introduced me to a Leah webinar. And I’ve been listening to this podcast. I’ve heard people say that they have previously seen Leah ads. I have not seen not even one Leah ad before I saw her webinar.

And I saw the webinar because he brought me the computer and said, “Listen, this girl, I think she’s cool. Listen to this. I think it will be good for you.” And I listened to it and immediately I was sold. I was sold. I had not seen any ad, just by what she was saying, it gave me … It was like a light bulb, and I was listening to this girl talking about these marketing principles that I’ve already listened to other marketers talk about. And I was like, “Duh.” Why didn’t I think of it like I could apply it to actually music and not this blog that I was doing? You know?

24:13 CJ: Oh, yes.

24:14 Anna: She did an amazing job of translating all of these terms into the art world, the music world. And also, I think the fact that she had five kids, and I think at that point, she had released three albums and never did a tour, and everything was online. That also spoke to me. I was sold on it because as much as I love touring and I want to do that in the future, and I think that giving live shows is one of the most rewarding, but also stressful for me. So I wouldn’t want to have to rely on it to make a living, living on suitcases and having to tour all the time to be able to pay my bills. That’s not the kind of life I want for myself.

So this model that she was presenting was really, really speaking to me. And my gut told me that, yeah, this is my path. This is the road I’m going down. And it’s probably going to take me a long time, but this is the road I’m going. So since then, I’ve done several courses. And I consider Leah to be my mentor.

25:24 CJ: That’s great. That was my next thing, going to be my first question. Glad we’ve got to the history. But tell me then. What was the first course that you took? Do you remember?

25:34 Anna: I believe it was TOM 2.0. Yeah. I printed out a whole bunch of notes and I took them with me to Poland. And I was studying it over Christmas. And I was like, “Oh,” and soon after that, I left the whole blog project that I was doing because I knew I had to focus on my music. And I’m actually surprised that I think it’s because I’m a little bit nervous talking to you in the setting. But normally, when I tell this story, I get tears in my eyes because I believe that I am not sure I would be doing music if I hadn’t seen that webinar.

Maybe I would be, but eventually I would get to it, but it will take me a long time. And I was really, I wasn’t happy. It was like a year maybe, where I couldn’t even listen to music because then all these emotions kept bubbling up. I really think music, it’s one of the most emotional languages and kind of a catalyst, I think, emotional catalyst. It brought up emotions that I wasn’t ready to deal with, and I felt like a failure for leaving it and all of those things. So this kind of gave me new life. I get really sentimental when I think about it.

27:02 CJ: Well, I’m glad you didn’t tear up because there’s no crying on this podcast, at least not while I’m here.

27:07 Anna: I’m happy about that too.

27:11 CJ: That’s right. I was going to say, Leah’s the soft one. But no, she’s not very soft either. She can be pretty brutal too. No, I think that’s really important to say. And I think that really spoke to a lot of people who are listening to this podcast, Anna. Because isn’t it amazing how you can have a gift and a love for a talent and an artistic expression as much as you can have one, and yet be willing to shelve it, be willing to put it aside, simply because of a lack of information? It wasn’t because-

27:49 Anna: Yourself.

27:50 CJ: Yeah. The heavens weren’t against you. There was no … The force was not against you. It wasn’t written in stone. No, it was just simply without that information, without that confidence.

28:02 Anna: Yeah. You’re right. You’re absolutely right. Without that information, you have absolute … Without clarity of what the next steps can be, you’re just kind of frustrated. You don’t know what to do with your life. In summary, if you get the right information and you believe in your ability to figure things out, because that’s also very crucial, you’re not going to know everything from the start. And you’ve got to accept that fact that you’re going to have to take it step by step, but with the right information and kind of clarity of where it can take you, it’s really so, so much easier to just list the first …

Okay. What’s the first thing I need to do? What’s the second thing? What’s the third thing? What is going to bring me to the next level? Kind of figure that out. But you’re absolutely right. You need the right information.

28:55 CJ: I love the fact that you added that clarity aspect because confusion can stop you. It can neutralize you in your tracks because again, you don’t know. And I do a lot of motivational speaking. But I’ll often tell people, “You really don’t need a motivational speaker per se because it’s like throwing gas on top of a car instead of putting it inside the car.” The best motivation I’ve ever seen happen in anybody’s life, it’s happened in my life, is you’ll never be more motivated than when you understand how to solve your most pressing problems, whatever they may be, financial, or personal, health, or relationships, whatever. When you understand and you can see light at the end of the tunnel, and you can see, it may not be solved overnight, but you know what to do, you know where to go.

29:43 Anna: When you see small improvements in what you do, like you can see, okay, this is not exactly where I want to be, but look at where I was and where I am now. And you see that you’re going in the right direction. That can be very motivating as well, I think.

29:58 CJ: Well, you would be a good example of this because you’ve obviously made a lot of progress down the road. And so you took us back to that time where you gave it up for a year. You watched this webinar, you get in some of the courses, so obviously, things are changing. Now we fast forward to the present day. Do you see yourself quitting?

30:18 Anna: No. Don’t make me laugh.

30:22 CJ: “Don’t make me laugh,” she said. Right?

30:25 Anna: Of course not. No, I’m in it for the long haul. This is my life. And let’s just put it this way. I already tried quitting, and we saw how that turned out.

30:35 CJ: Right.

30:36 Anna: Being depressed and frustrated with my life and not being able to listen to music. How bad is that? You can’t do it.

30:43 CJ: Right. Yeah.

30:44 Anna: Not doing that again, no.

30:46 CJ: So then it’s reinforcing. It’s self-reinforcing with each new day, with each new victory, with each thing that you learn and apply, et cetera. These little victories every day, these little adjustments you make and the little hurdles and the little troubles you come across and the problems you have to solve. I bet you’ve grown tremendously in your ability to troubleshoot and solve problems because you went from artistic, and yeah, you were blogging so you’re doing technology things. But I bet this was a much different level with all of the email and different things, and shopping stores and e-Commerce. And that’s a lot of technology to learn.

31:27 Anna: It is. It is. But you take it one day at a time. And I actually like the part of doing a course and building things, and having kind of instructions. Okay, I’m following this. It can be really interesting and fun. It’s like putting together a puzzle piece.

31:45 CJ: You have to then appreciate the way Leah outlines and structures her courses because she knows what hurdles you’re going to come to. She knows what not to cover and what to cover and when to cover it because everybody wants … They want to jump to the hardcore stuff first, and they don’t do the foundation.

32:08 Anna: Yeah. Leah has an absolute awesome ability to … She tells you stuff in the right order. And she explains things very well. She translates it really well for us musicians. Like I said, when I listened to the webinar, I had to like, “Duh. Why didn’t I think I could apply this to music?” You know?

32:33 CJ: Right.

32:33 Anna: It was such an obvious thing when she was talking about it. But it’s not as obvious apparently for very many people. And she has a really brilliant, I think, ability to not only translate this into this language that we need as artists to understand this, how this business works because we have to treat it as a business. But also, she’s a very good teacher, which is why I’m in many of her courses, several of them. And one of my near, short-term plans for the near future is going back over TOM 3.0, which she just released. I’m going to. And since I was TOM 2.0, I got an upgrade. And I’m definitely going to take advantage of it, yep. I think it’s important to always think … Never think you learned everything there is to know. There’s no such thing.

33:35 CJ: Yeah, such a great example to go back and go over things again. And isn’t it amazing? Because I know you’ve probably done that with things in elite, et cetera, certain modules you may go over again. And it’s kind of funny how you can actually pick up more things that second time or third time in town. I mean, you mentioned to me offline that you’re a dedicated listener to this podcast. And so man, that’s such a great example again that you never stop learning. And that’s what I look for in people. Do you have that hunger? Don’t think you know it all. Right?

34:11 Anna: Oh, yes.

34:15 CJ: What do you think are your big victories in this journey that you’ve been on now as an online musician? What are your victories?

34:24 Anna: Well, first of all, overcoming some of my personal hurdles, like mindset things. One such thing is I think, and I don’t think I’m very original in this, I think this is the case with many musicians. We have a tendency to downgrade ourselves in the way of, we’re just doing music. We’re not really helping people with anything. It’s just music. Can I really charge for this? But actually, I was surprised at how much my music can help someone. I was so surprised at the amount of emails that I’ve been getting, really awesome emails from my fans, telling me how my music helped them through a difficult time in their lives or helped them get through chemotherapy, for example. And many emails like that, that brought me to tears, and it makes you kind of realize, yeah, music is an emotional language, I think, like I mentioned before.

And it touches my soul greatly, to the point that I couldn’t listen to it for a period of my life. So why would I assume that it’s nothing? And yeah, of course, not everybody is going to like it and relate to it. But there are those people that really appreciate it, that it actually changes their lives. And those are the people that you’re doing it for, so that is kind of one thing. And the second thing that I think, mindset thing, that I had to overcome is getting over the guilt of charging for your music.

36:04 CJ: Oh, wow. Yeah.

36:08 Anna: And I suddenly thought to me this way, because like I mentioned, I was blogging, hair stuff, like hairstyles. At one point, I did an eBook even. And I was thinking, “If I can do an eBook in a month, yeah, there is a lot of work involved. But there’s relatively low cost involved in creating an eBook.” And you can be done in a month, and you can very well charge $15 or more, much more even, for an eBook. And then you feel guilty for charging for a CD, where it took me two years to create the music, two years. The cost of productions, production, the studio, and not to mention the instruments, equipment, all of the years of education that you put into it, the hours you put into practicing. You’re not paid by the hour as a musician for practicing your craft, for sitting and writing.

And after all that, you’re guilty, you’re feeling guilty to charge $15 for a CD. Let’s add also the photography and all of the manufacturing of the CD itself. So it’s ridiculous to feel guilty about it. After that, I stopped feeling guilty. So I think these are the things we as musicians oftentimes have to get over. And the fact that I was able to build my store, that I now have fans that are buying my music, strangers that are signing up that are loving it, that are buying it. I don’t have to spam my family, “Like this.” I’m not doing that, “Oh, like my page,” no, no, no. None of that anymore.

38:01 CJ: You don’t care if you ever post anything about your music on your own personal Facebook profile, because you know how people can be so tempted. They’re so reluctant to devote themselves to their business page, their Facebook business page because they’re so used to getting love from family and friends on their personal page. And they just say, “Well, can’t I just do it there?”

38:22 Anna: In my case, I think it’s different. It’s completely turned around because I’m hardly active on my personal page. And because I’m hardly active, I don’t get a lot of engagement there. I think just start posting on your page, then you’re going to get more engagement when you’re actually posting, I think that’s the key.

38:40 CJ: No, you’re right. I’ve been teaching a lot lately, just in light of the virus and lock downs and things, we did a popup mastermind and whatnot, as you know. And so many of the concerns that people have is how much they have to post, or how much they have to show up on social media. It’s a shock to them. But understanding this new era of the music industry, as we said earlier, you’re not just the musician, you’re also the messenger, so there’s this element of your personal life that, yes, you’re sharing. It doesn’t mean you have to take your phone into the bathroom with you and broadcast every personal moment.

39:26 Anna: You don’t.

39:30 CJ: How have you found that balance there between the musician and the messenger?

39:35 Anna: Well, I think a big part of it is what I mentioned before, is just being myself. And then I don’t think about it as much. And of course, I don’t post everything from my personal life. You have to have some boundaries and you have to know what your own boundaries are that you’re comfortable with. And I mean, let’s face it, even on my personal pages, I wouldn’t post everything. So basically, I think I’m just used to whatever I post to my friends, I feel I can post to my fans because I’m not a person who likes to air dirty laundry. It’s not a huge struggle for me anymore because I have I guess figured out what it is that I like and what my fans appreciate, which is a lot of, like I mentioned, the ethereal is kind of in my music and in the nature, magical places. I follow, for example, Instagram accounts, and I see some photos that I absolutely love, and I just share it. It takes me a second. I see something I like, I share it, or I program to share it later.

And then you can also recycle some things because not everybody is going to see it the first time you post it. So you can just as well recycle things, and you have even tools to help you with that. So the longer you do it, the easier it gets, I believe.

41:04 CJ: Yeah. You’re right. And it’s such a simple concept, but people do struggle with that. But again, I think it’s a mindset thing. And I think it’s why I appreciate when I asked you about victories, you described mostly the things that were victories over yourself more so than learning about this particular software, or some special trick that Leah taught in her elite program. It was really more about you. And that’s what I tell people. Listen, you could do so much more with half the information that we talk about on Savvy Musician Academy. It’s really more about you. When I went to school for visual communications way back when, we’re not going to talk about how far back, Anna, thank you. But this was before the desktop revolution, so this was before everything really changed with computers, not just the internet.

I mean, this was way before the internet. This is 10 years or so before the internet. But if I go back to the course material, I mean, how much of that is even relevant to me today? Not much. But yet, I would not be here if it weren’t for that. And I’ve got a few friends, maybe five or six, who were in my graduating class, and it was a very big class, but just five or six. And only a few of those actually did something with it. So it just goes to show you it’s yes, the material is important. The education is important. But without heart, without the right mindset, without overcoming yourself, doesn’t matter how much information you have.

42:53 Anna: The course is not like you’re swallowing a magic pill, and you watch a few videos, and suddenly everything changes. No, you need to put a lot of hard work into it. And a lot of times, it will take different people take different amount of times. I consider myself one of the ones who take longer time, actually, to get certain things done. But that doesn’t matter. It’s my journey, nobody else’s. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. It really is a question of mindset, and I think the key is to believe, believing in yourself that you will … Believe in your ability to figure things out. And sometimes to figure those things out, you have to seek good teachers that you connect with and who you kind of feel in your gut are giving you relevant information.

And I will recommend Leah to the death, to a musician. But it’s up to them, obviously. If they sign up for a course and watch videos, that’s not going to change much for them. They will need to change. They will need to change, I think that’s why I mentioned those mindset victories because I think that’s the most crucial thing. You’re not going to get anywhere until you conquer your mind because if you don’t do that, then you’re just going to stop yourself in the tracks.

44:22 CJ: Yeah. That’s what I mentioned earlier, the resolve thing. It’s hard to be resolved if you’re always questioning yourself. It’s hard to be fully committed if you’re questioning yourself. You never see when a lion attacks an antelope or something, it’s not like the lion’s going, “Should I? Is this the right time?” They don’t wonder about anything. They’re a lion. That’s what lions do. So if anything, we marvel at how ferocious it is. You know what I mean? And we need to be that way, ferocious in a good way, aggressive in a healthy way. And again, I appreciate what you just said. This is something that I share a lot of my motivational stuff, which is I just want people to have confidence in two areas.

Number one, confidence that there are principles that exist that’ll help you create the results that you want. And number two, confidence in yourself that you can discover and apply those principles. And that’s really all it is. You’ve got to know that Leah’s success, or Anna’s success, or anything else’s success, is not a mystery. It’s not chance. It’s not that being in the right place at the right time. No, very, very hard work based on proven principles, nothing more than that. Very unglamorous, but they’ve been consistent.

And so they were confident that there were principles that existed that can help you find your audience. I know there’s a lot of musicians out there, Anna, you see them in the groups, where they think their little micro niche or genre’s just the most unique thing in the world. But no, there’s people out there who will be your ideal super fan. Right? And if you apply these principles, I’m not guaranteeing or promising you, you’re going to reach what you’ve seen in others, but I guarantee you, you will have a much, much more enjoyable time playing music. And look at Anna. She said she’s not where she wants to be. She’s got so much more that she wants to do and express. But she’s not going back.

46:17 Anna: I’ve enjoyed the journey, and with competence comes confidence.

46:23 CJ: Yep.

46:24 Anna: So the more we learn, the more confidence we get. And it’s like a circle. So we need to keep learning. That’s what I believe firmly.

46:34 CJ: So Anna, what lies ahead for you?

46:39 Anna: Well, like I said, short-term, I’m going to go over TOM.

46:45 CJ: She’s going back to school, guys.

46:48 Anna: Going back to school. I’m just going to keep researching my data and tweaking things because I haven’t mentioned this yet, but during this lockdown, I might have suffered some financially in other areas. But I have to say my online store is doing better than ever.

47:06 CJ: Good.

47:06 Anna: It really is a great time to be an online musician, guys. So if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, I suggest you do because it’s really no time like the present to get started. And I have to say that also gives me more confidence because I see where it is going. And it’s not only the fact that I’m making money from my music, but also the messages I get from my fans, the impact I see that it has, the emails I mentioned to you before. That is also, that is maybe even more valuable, not to downgrade the monetary part because obviously, it is important to keep making music.

And everybody has bills to pay. And we all want to live comfortable lives and we all deserve that. So that’s also a mindset thing that I think we should get over, or I don’t know how to phrase it better. But yeah, it’s not only the monetary part that gives you the reward. But then you see that you have a bigger and bigger and bigger audience. And those are people who are connecting with you. It really gives you the control. It puts control in your hands. You’re the only one who can mess it up. And you’re the only one who can make it into a success, so it’s up to you.

48:34 CJ: Wonderfully said. How can people learn more about you?

48:38 Anna: Well, they can visit my website. I’m not using my last name.

48:43 CJ: Thankfully. I can’t pronounce it, let alone spell it.

48:48 Anna: So it’s Ania with an I, so it’s A-N-I-A, B,

48:58 CJ: Very good. And so from there, you can also get all of her social media channels. We will include this in the show notes, ladies and gentlemen, so you’ll be able to connect with her and follow her because, I mean, I recommend you follow the students because you’ll be able to see realtime the application of this stuff that’s taught in the course. You can learn a lot just by following some of our students. And of course, Anna is a great example, as I said previously. So thank you, everybody, for listening to us. Anna, thank you so much for joining me.

49:26 Anna: Thank you so much for the invite. It’s an honor, really.

49:30 CJ: You bet. So again, guys, if you’re interested in going further in what Savvy Musician Academy has to have, if you feel like that your music might be at the place, you’ve made some music, you’ve got some albums, you’ve got a social media following, you might consider our elite program, which Anna is in. And you can learn more there at We’re also changing and going to a new format for our inner circle, so if you’re just getting started, you’re not ready to drop a huge chunk of change right now, and you would just like to get your feet wet, because maybe all of the stuff that Anna and I talked about just sounds Greek to you. All these words and marketing terms you’re using, I don’t know anything about that. Well, we can get you up to speed in a very inexpensive way in our inner circle program.

You can learn more about that at This is CJ, branding and mindset coach here at Savvy Musician Academy. So good to be with you. I will see you on the next episode.

Episode #099: Interview With Ty Richards (Elite Student)

In this weeks episode C.J. interviews Ty Richards, a self-described Nintendo Psych Rock artist from Austin, Texas. Ty shares how SMA jumpstarted his music career a few years back and all the valuable lessons he’s learned in the meantime. 

Going from no fans to being the number four college album in the country very quickly, Ty really gets into what works and what doesn’t. Get ready to take notes!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Ty’s backstory
  • The reality of gaining fans fast
  • Getting a PR agent
  • Building momentum before your album release
  • Handling success
  • Staying focused on building your online business
  • Solidarity of all your media
  • Passive income
  • Being stubborn in a good way
  • Self-resistance
  • Being a representative not a substitute 


“I had zero fans in my whole life of being in bands and stuff until that point, until I think two months of doing her course, I built up. I went from zero to 10,000 fans on Facebook. And I went from zero to about 2000 people on my email list.”  – @iamtyrichards [0:06:17]

“The function of PR is for top of mind awareness… It doesn’t really equate to fans or equate to super fans. It doesn’t equate to people buying stuff. It doesn’t equate to record sales at all.”   – @iamtyrichards [0:18:48]

“If I’m going to make music for a living, this is the only path for me to do that.”  – @iamtyrichards [0:33:53]

“I would challenge everyone to stop romanticizing this whole artistry thing, and the whole entrepreneurship thing, and just be stubborn.”  – @iamtyrichards [0:39:57]

“The reason why we entertain negativity, I tell people it’s because when it shows up at your door wanting entry, it looks like you.”  – @metalmotivation [0:44:46]

“If you want authority in your music business in this kind of marketplace, you have to represent what’s being taught and not substitute.”  – @metalmotivation [0:49:01]

“But I think people are expecting it to be like, ‘Oh, so I paid for this course. Why am I not successful now?’ It’s not a magic bullet. It depends on you, but just do the work… If you fail, it’s because you didn’t show up and do the work.”  – @iamtyrichards [01:00:07]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

The Online Musician 3.0 —

Book a Call With Us —

Ty Richards —

Click For Full Transcript

00:21 CJ: Welcome to The Savvy Musician Show. This is CJ Ortiz. I’m the branding and mindset coach here at The Savvy Musician Academy. Man, I’m excited to be hosting this podcast because I get to do so many cool things. And one of them is I get to talk to students. And what makes this particular episode doubly enjoyable for me is that this is a very good friend of mine. And I’m going to tell a very brief story about my good friend after I introduce him. But I think you’ll see why this is such a cool happenstance in the universe. And again, I’m delighted to have my dear friend, Ty Richards, on The Savvy Musician Show. Ty, good to see you, man.

01:03 Ty: Yo, what’s up, CJ?

01:05 CJ: And for those who have been in the elite coaching calls, they have already met Ty because I keep bringing Ty in every time he shows up on the coaching calls because of our friendship. Now I want you guys to listen very closely because this is kind of a cool, I’ll keep it very, very brief, but a very, very cool story. I met Ty, I want to say as far back as 2013. And so it’s been a long time. And Ty and I both worked for a mutual client, I guess you could say. Our arrangement was different.

He was a little bit more of a vendor. I was working more as a barter thing, so I was handling the entertainment and promotion marketing for a very successful music venue, restaurant/bar. They basically owned about a block of real estate, and it was in the Fort Worth area in Texas. And Ty was doing a lot of the corporate identity work, in other words logos and stuff like that. He was doing menus and handling the website. So as I was handling dates and stuff, Ty, I would give you information and we would kind of work behind the scenes on things.

02:16 Ty: Yeah. We were always working in tandem on that.

02:18 CJ: So of course, I had no idea Ty played music or anything about his personal life, so we would just end up at staff meetings together and team meetings together. Whatever the owner, should we say, Ty knows why I’m laughing. Ty was working in the chaos, just like I was. And we should both, bro, get a rubber cookie for our stint during that time.

02:48 Ty: That was crazy. I mean, that whole world is crazy, though. I mean, if you look at any venue, the amount of drama that happens around any venue is usually very high.

03:02 CJ: So yeah, this was a high on steroids.

03:04 Ty: Yeah.

03:06 CJ: So anyway, Ty and I met back then. And then, I don’t know, two or three years later or so, you’re still basically around when I’d hit you up for certain things. You moved, relocated to Austin. And next thing I know, this is probably, I don’t know, 2015 or 2016, I’m online. And of course, I know Leah. I’m not working with The Savvy Musician Academy, but I know Leah very well. And so I would see her ads and promotions on my social media news feeds. And the next thing I know, there’s Ty Richards. And I’m thinking, “What in the world is the graphics and web developer doing featured on The Savvy Musician Academy?” And so of course, I had to immediately stop and find out. And all of a sudden, I find out this huge secret life that Ty has, secret to me, but not secret to apparently a whole bunch of other people, that Ty is a student in The Online Musician at The Savvy Musician Academy. Now, Ty, how did that happen?

04:09 Ty: Yeah. It was definitely a-

04:11 CJ: Because I was booking music entertainment and you never said a word.

04:16 Ty: It was a collision of worlds. So I had been, I probably, I don’t know, three or four years before I met you, I was really, I was as into music as I am now. I wrote probably 200 songs in college.

04:30 CJ: Wow.

04:30 Ty: And playing nonstop, was getting my start at learning how to produce, learning how to record, all that stuff. Got married, had a baby, and I literally did nothing for five straight years. And that was in that time that I met you, so 2010 to 20, I don’t know, ’14 ish, did nothing. And it’s not like I was trying to do nothing. I was busy with babies. I was learning how to be a dad, learning how to be a husband, learning how to take care of finances, buy a house, all that. I was learning how to adult, basically. And honestly, that was one of the best times for me because it gave me the … I started a business in that time as well. That’s when I started my own design firm.

And it gave me what I needed going into Leah’s course. So by the time I met Leah, same way, I didn’t know Leah at all. But I did see her ads. I think she hit me with one of those. Now I know all the inner workings of ads and how they work, but she hit me with one of those probably friends of friends ads, where my friend, Suzanna Choffel, I saw that she had liked something. And if Suzanna liked this, Suzanna Choffel’s an awesome here in Austin. She was on The Voice and stuff too. We shared the same publicist for a while. And so if Suzanna liked this, I should check it out. And sure enough, I checked it out, and it struck a chord with me. It’s time to get serious about this stuff.

I was halfway done with an album, and I was just trudging through it. And Leah, that class is really kind of the fire under my butt that I needed to get the album done and get the album marketed. I had zero fans in my whole life of being in bands and stuff until that point, until I think two months of doing her course, I built up. I went from zero to 10,000 fans on Facebook. And I went from zero to about 2000 people on my email list.

06:36 CJ: Wow.

06:37 Ty: Yeah. That just, I don’t know, man.

06:40 CJ: That’s a weird feeling. Isn’t it?

06:42 Ty: Yeah. It’s weird, especially after you try really hard and nothing happens for 10 years. So before I got married, it was a solid all of high school and all of college of just busting my butt at gigs, promoting, web. That’s how I learned how to build websites in the first place, was I’d do it partially, mostly for a living for now. But that’s how I learned how to do that in high school and college was doing it for the band. Somebody’s got to design the T-shirts. Somebody’s got to design the album artwork. Somebody’s got to design the website. Somebody’s got to do everything, and that ended up being me for most of that.

07:23 CJ: Well, let me just ask you about what we’ve just talked about a little bit, as we’re both drinking. Are you slamming coffee out of a Yeti silver mug? Dude, is it literally the same one?

07:37 Ty: It’s not coffee. This is a knock off Yeti. It’s called a Kodi. Sponsored by.

07:42 CJ: Are you serious? Anyway, double the rabbit trail. But I wanted to go back to this thing about the fans thing. You said you went 10 years, nobody knows about you for that aspect of you music wise, outside of I’m sure friends and family. So does that shape your outlook on what’s possible? In other words, the idea of having 10,000 fans on social media, and then 1000 people on a mailing list. Was that in your mind like skipping the Grand Canyon? How do you jump from nobody knowing me to all of a sudden that many people connecting with you?

08:17 Ty: Yeah. I think the numbers were interesting, but more enough, it was just the actual interaction. I’d never had people. We played shows and we’d have the occasional people that are like, “Hey, man. We really like your band.” And you put the little email list paper out on the merch table, and you might have a few little names on it or whatever. But no one really cares. It’s seen as more of like a charity type thing. You go to your friends shows because that’s what you do, you be a good friend. It has nothing to do with this band is freaking awesome, and if I don’t see them, my life will end.

08:52 CJ: So I better give them my email address to keep in touch.

08:55 Ty: Yeah. And so this level, Leah had talked about in the course that you might run across people that they’re going to be really excited that they found you. And they’re going to be … And sure enough, there were people who were mad they hadn’t found me earlier.

09:13 CJ: Wow.

09:14 Ty: That’s how extreme it was. It was like, “Dude, how did I not know about you?” How do people not know about, that’s how excited they were.

09:22 CJ: Isn’t that a paradigm shift? Because that is something when Leah talks about super fans, that it’s hard for that coin to drop sometimes with people. It’s hard for them to imagine because like you said, with you, they’ve been slaving for years, whether in bars, or on their own, even try. They set up a Facebook page, posted some events. They don’t get any traction. They’ve had 200 followers for six years on Facebook. Nobody does anything great. It must be some kind of trick. That must’ve been a radical paradigm shift to say, “No, there are people out there who are wishing.” A guy said, “I wish I would’ve known you earlier.” So right now, they are wishing to know you, they just haven’t come across you yet. That’s got to be radical.

10:08 Ty: Yeah. Honestly, I don’t think I was ready for it. And then what came after it too, that was the first domino, getting those 10,000 people and the 1000, or the 2000 email list, and just people regularly reaching out to me. I wasn’t ready for that, and I definitely wasn’t ready. I’m glad you guys do the mindset coaching now because this is TOM 1.0 times. This is, I don’t know when. Am I doing 2015, 2016?

10:33 CJ: Yeah. That’s back when Leah just taught calculator and the stopwatch app.

10:47 Ty: It was good. I still use all of the techniques from that. My brain was not ready for it though. My brain was not ready for what … If I knew everything that was going to happen, I probably would’ve not done it, or I would’ve just freaked out because it dominoed for sure.

11:06 CJ: Well, and I was so again taken aback because I didn’t know that this was the other half of your life. Of course, I was delighted to know that. And then it was a joy, Ty, to get that front-row seat to just watch what you were doing because I was following to some degree because now you were on my feed, so I would see. Man, you were going out and getting on airplanes and stuff, interviewed on radio. Now you had to rethink some of that now. And like we said offline, so much of that has made you who you are now, which we’re going to get to. But you literally did push the envelope. You got public relations people involved and you started, again, interviews and live gigs across the country. It’s kind of amazing, man.

11:57 Ty: Thanks, man. Yeah, it accelerated really fast. And I took some things that Leah said and I … What do they say? I 10 X’ed it.

12:09 CJ: You 10 X’ed it.

12:09 Ty: I 10 X’ed it. I think I 10 X’ed the wrong things though. So she has this checklist of all these things you need to knock out for prelaunch, for those pre, pre-launch. There’s prelaunch, there’s launch. There’s post-launch and this whole process. And I talked about this to her a while back, but I took notes with a to-do list. I took notes with this app called Trello. And so instead of just taking notes, I’m putting down actionable stuff out of every lesson. And I made, I don’t know, I made a checklist on steroids.

But yeah, when it got to the PR item, man, she was like, “You need to reach out to a PR company,” blah, blah, blah. And I was like, “Okay.” And that was a minor step for her. For me, for whatever reason, I did the steps of I found 10 or 20 contacts and started reaching out to people. Literally no one got back to me out of the 20 that I contacted. And so there wasn’t some magical thing that I did to get an awesome publicist, other than I happened to be playing some gigs with these other musicians, and they had a PR contact, and you need to call this person. They’re the best person in Austin. And I was like, “All right. I’ve already tried 20. Let’s try 21. It won’t hurt.”

So I sent the same thing I sent the other ones, and I sent … But part of that was because of Leah’s course, I had my ducks in a row. I had the website. I had the bio. I had that social media built up. I had campaigns going. I had things, it was already put together and ready for a publicist to kind of run with it. The album is done. The album artwork is done. Everything’s ready to go. And sure enough, the publicist freaked out, was like, “Yeah, I’ve got to work with you now. Let’s do this.” And it was one of the biggest publicists in Austin.

Yeah, long story short, I could go into all these little parts if we want to later, but what it dominoed into was I had built up those 10,000 fans off of two songs. I didn’t even have an album out. I didn’t have one album out yet. So I built up all this momentum with just two songs. And then I had the album ready to go, and I’m handing it off to the publicist. And by the end of that album cycle, I was on, I don’t know, 90 college stations. I’m charting on every station.

14:40 CJ: Wow.

14:41 Ty: I’m in top 10, top 20, top 30, somewhere in those ranges. I’m in the top 20 of probably 25 different stations in California, which is that’s music mecca. People can say Nashville, or Austin, or whatever, but Los Angeles and that area is actual music mecca when it comes to music licensing. And that’s where all the music business is happening when it comes to entertainment and entertainment industry. Yeah, so long story short, I was number four, USA Today. So I was number four college album in the country. The day that I put out my record, the day that I put it out, I’m artist of the month.

15:24 CJ: Oh, my gosh.

15:25 Ty: No. That’s what it was. The day I put it out, I was given an NPR … The NPR station here in Austin had me do a studio session with them, where they did this whole taping and everything. That was the day that I put the record out. That’s what it was, a month after that was South by Southwest. And they dubbed me the artist of the month during South by Southwest. And for anyone in Austin, that’s the holy grail thing to get. You can’t get a bigger thing. That’s the goal. And there’s not really a goal in Austin that’s higher than that PR wise. You could whatever, play the Paramount, play The Continental Club. Those are live gig goals. But as far as PR goals, that was it.

And that was on pretty much day one of album number one. And yeah, so I ended up doing a West Coast tour later that year in the summer, and did a radio tour and hit all these radio stations in California, and kind of on and on and on. All these articles written about you. It was just weird because even successful albums that I had heard from other artists weren’t that successful. The momentum was still going four, five, six months after the album was dropped, which is weird. Usually, you get some excitement for a month max, maybe two months. And it was just cool, man. I’m seeing myself on the charts with some of my favorite bands. I’m seeing Ty Richards, Ryan Adams, The Shins.

Depending on when the records drop, it’d be funny because it would be like, “Oh, I’m beating Ryan Adams.” But Ryan Adams’ album had been out for six months or something. It was just kind of a fun game to play, but I think that was my takeaway from all of it though, was I did that with album number one. And I guess I’ll get to the takeaway in a second because I basically did it again with the second album. I did a second album one year afterwards, so I released an album called Zillion. That’s the first album. And then I released an album called Welcome to Flat Earth. And my goal was to kind of just repeat the process and keep going. But the whole time, I’m kind of ignoring things. There’s things I had gone through in Leah’s class that she talks about shiny object syndrome. Right?

And dude, I had it full on at this point because to me it’s like, PR, radio, PR, radio. Oh, yeah, I’ve got a store. You can buy my records. I’ve got social media. All that other stuff was on the back burner. And even after I had raised those, built up those 10,000 fans and the 2000 emails, I got so distracted by the famey-ness of all the other stuff, that I gave it zero time and zero effort for the rest of the actual business, the rest of the actual e-Commerce side. And yeah, man, it came to kind of show me I didn’t even understand the function of PR or the function or radio promotion.

And now this one record company guy that I was talking to, he used to work at A and R for Universal or something. I was talking to him and he was like, “Yeah, PR doesn’t give you record sales.” And it kind of hit me in the face of, no, it really doesn’t. The function of PR is for top of mind awareness. It’s for you’re not a thing, and then PR makes you a thing, and that’s it. It doesn’t really equate to fans or equate to super fans. It doesn’t equate to people buying stuff. It doesn’t equate to record sales at all.

19:06 CJ: And that’s where the leverage comes in of, especially the online presence. I mean, God forbid you had to try and do this back in the days before the internet or before social media. So not to say that PR is bad or any of that, but PR and live gigs and all that with a very strong type of social media and email marketing type thing as taught via The Savvy Musician Academy would’ve left you with so many of those fans on a dedicated mailing list buying God knows what from Ty.

19:40 Ty: Yeah. So I think really I was over-leveraged in that because, I don’t know, I mean, to be truthful, it’s like I was kind of getting a big head about it. I got so distracted and allured by the, I don’t know, fame.

19:56 CJ: Famey-ness was a great way to say it.

19:57 Ty: I don’t know how else to say it other than that. It’s like fame has never been a goal of mine, but it’s seductive when you get that amount of validation for music that you’ve made. It’s like I know my music’s good. Any musician who is good on some level knows that they’re good and knows that they’re making something good. But when you get that amount of validation to go with it, it’s almost like the scales tip because it’s … I don’t know. There’s always this dichotomy of … What do you call it? Egotistical-ness, egotistic versus extreme doubt, like I’m not good enough. It’s like I know I’m good enough and I know I’m awesome. And then everyone else is telling me I’m awesome.

20:44 CJ: That’s dangerous.

20:45 Ty: Dude, it is a dangerous place because I just … Yeah. I let it kind of lead me astray from what I initially set out to do because what I initially set out to do, album number one was to build up a business, build up a business, build up record sales that could sustain record, after record, after record. And I’m back on that path now. I’m excited about that. But I need to fight distractions at all costs.

21:14 CJ: Well, you know it’s funny you say that because we joked offline before we started this interview. I said, “Ty, I think I’m going to call this one The Prodigal Son Comes Home.” And in some weird way, it kind of does tell the story a bit, where it’s not coming home in the sense that he had forsaken anything that he was taught. No, it was the shiny object, which if you want to describe a shiny object, that’s textbook shiny object. That’s something that’s going to get everybody. There’s nobody that sits there, “Oh, I wouldn’t be moved by all that fame and attention and records appearing on the record charts.” Yes, you would. Any of you would.

But I love the fact that I love your sense of humility to say, “Okay, well, I’m still a realist. And I want to have a future, and my family’s getting larger and they’re depending upon me to be a breadwinner.” And so you start to move back. Now when did you? Because all of a sudden, you suddenly appeared one day on an elite coaching call. And I go, “That’s Ty.” When was that? That was several months ago.

22:21 Ty: February, yeah.

22:24 CJ: So anyway, so Ty shows up, and this was before COVID-19 and all of that. And so Ty is basically telling me a similar story. And I’m excited because, and this is something again we talked about offline, we don’t want to beat the bush too much, but Ty’s a very multifaceted individual, apparently, because I didn’t know he played music.

22:46 Ty: Very compartmentalized when I’m dealing with … So I run an agency as well. And it’s like when I’m doing business, and I’m very professional. I don’t bring up personal stuff. I don’t bring up other business stuff or other, so I’m very [crosstalk 00:23:05].

23:04 CJ: Multiple storefronts, right?

23:06 Ty: Yeah. There’s no way that you would know that I’m a musician.

23:11 CJ: Exactly. But one of the things that great is, Ty, like myself, you and I share this, is that our different storefronts serve one another. They help one another. And so for you, we both have the art background. We both have the design background. So it helps when you’re running your own show to be able to do these sorts of things, be able to take care of your own artwork and what have you. And so that’s how come you were ready on the spot when the PR agent was there. Everything was ready to go because you didn’t have to wait on anybody else. Right?

23:45 Ty: Yeah.

23:46 CJ: Able to get everything done yourself. And I do the very same thing.

23:51 Ty: That’s one of the reasons why I like making records the way I do too, because I just don’t have to run decisions by anyone. I can just do everything.

23:58 CJ: And let me just ask as an, again, going back to the story that you just told. Looking back on it now with the chart-topping type stuff, getting on the charts and having this type of airplay, what have you. What do you think it was? I mean, we know the music’s good. But is there anything you can point to? Is it the genre? Was it an album cover? Was it something you … I mean, something must’ve been picking up with all of this that-

24:30 Ty: This is what I think. So there’s all these elements that are going into it. Right? You’ve got the graphic design. You’ve got the music. You’ve got the sound. You’ve got the instrumentation of the music. You’ve got the way the music is mixed. You’ve got the way the PR campaign is being rolled out. You’ve got a way that the radio promo is rolling out, the social media, all that stuff. I think the more that stuff can be kind of unified, you talk about this all the time with branding, the more it can kind of all tell the same story and all really just be very clear, very to the point, we’ve talked about this. It’s like a good joke. If the joke is just landing immediately, then people just get it. You’re not making people figure out what the crap is going on, so I think that was a big part of it, was the album cover. When you look at Zillion, you can look at the album cover. You can look. It’s me in a spacesuit.

25:21 CJ: It’s so creative, man.

25:22 Ty: It’s just weird. You’re like, “What the hell?” This guy’s just in a spacesuit and he’s trying to drink coffee through his … And so, I don’t know, that and just kind of having a good team in place too. As much as we just talked about how I did everything myself. But at the same time, we all reach a point, and this is different for everybody. For some people, you hit the graphic design part and there’s no way you’re going to just be awesome overnight. You need to hire someone to be awesome at that. Mine, I’ve been doing graphic design for 20 years, so that’s not my point. My point was PR, and I think PR is probably a lot of people’s point too, where it’s like, “I’m not going to go make phone calls all day, every

Actually, it was one of those things, I was going to go do that. I actually did the research on: How do I do my own PR? And I looked at the workload that it was going to be and realized that it was not possible for my life. So having a good team in place is one of them too. Another thing was, this sounds kind of weird too, but having the money to do it. I had kind of way too … I’m not going to say it happened just because I had some money, but it freaking helped. I’m just going to say, I put, I was over leveraged in PR. But that is one of the reasons why it happened too. If my songs would’ve sucked, the money wouldn’t have mattered, but my songs were good and I had money. I did two record cycles. And the first record cycle, I actually had two publicists. I had a national publicist and I had the Austin kind of regional publicist.

And yeah, so it’s like you could count on a solid publicist, you could count on about $6000 to $10,000 for one record cycle. And I had the money. We had just sold a house, and honestly, I was an idiot with the money. I was like, “I’ve got some money laying around.” It’s amazing how fast what you think a pile of money can just disappear. And that’s another cautionary tale of that first album. I was so over leveraged with PR and radio that I hurt my family, man. I sold a house. I think we probably sold it and got whatever it was, like 40 grand out of that. That 40 grand disappeared super fast. And I’ve got kids to feed, it’s not … I laugh about it now because it’s far enough away. But it was hard times.

27:58 CJ: And so now four wives later, you finally learned. No, I’m kidding.

28:05 Ty: At the time, I had three children. At the time of releasing Zillion, I had three children. Now I have six children. We had twins. We had twins, and then we just had a boy about a month ago.

28:15 CJ: Wonderful. Congratulations.

28:17 Ty: I have six children. And to me, I see the Savvy Musician stuff and building my business as an e-Commerce business, it was a necessity before, but now it’s a definite necessity where it’s like I can’t play music for a living unless I do it this way. If I choose to play around like I did before, I can dump another 20 grand into stuff again and do it again. But guess what, I’m just going to be hurting my family some more. And I’m not going to be able to live. I’m not going to be able to financially survive. And so if I have a store that’s generating 100 bucks a day, 50 to 100 bucks a day, or if I can build it up over the course of a few years to be bringing in 200, 300 bucks a day, dude, my life is totally changed.

29:14 CJ: And you’re with someone like Leah, who is such an inspiration because for her, it’s like, if she heard you say that, oh, we’ll double that.

29:27 Ty: Yeah. That’s like 100 bucks a day. When you’re going from zero, 100 sounds like a lot because it is. And it’s game-changing. It’s like whatever that is, I think it’s $36,000 or whatever. But the way I see it is that’s a profitable business. It’s not a $200,000 or a million dollar a year business, but it’s a profitable business that is you can count on 100 bucks a day. I see it as it’s basically passive income. Once you set up the infrastructure, once you set up your website, once you set up your store, once you set up a nurture campaign with your emails and all that stuff, it’s a ton of work and a ton of time that you’re not getting paid upfront. But then it’s built. Yeah, you’ve got to keep it up. You’ve got to create some new sequences. You’ve got to keep the social media going. You’ve got to do that. But when you’re rolling in whatever, $100 a day, even just 30 grand a year, $36,000 a year, whatever it is, that’s money that you’re making while you’re doing other stuff that makes money.

30:33 CJ: Right.

30:34 Ty: I see that, I see passive money as totally different. Making a dollar of passive money is better to me than making $10 of other money. I can go build a website for somebody for 10 grand, but I would rather make that 100 bucks a day. Honestly, I’d rather do both. I’d rather make that 100 bucks a day while I …

31:02 CJ: Sure.

31:02 Ty: That’s kind of the magic of-

31:05 CJ: Yeah. I think it’s sometimes hard for people to get their head around certain people’s results, Leah’s especially. But when you’re talking about that in this way, so say 36 grand a year. We’re calling it passive income because again, as Ty noted, most of the effort in something that’s e-Commerce is in the front end. Once you get the systems down, your funnels down, all that kind of stuff, it’s much, much easier to grow. But then you have the scale thing, which is going to be the first thing that Leah’s going to jump on. She’s going to say, “Okay. If that $36,000 was earned by what you did, then let’s throw that $36,000 at that system and scale it 36,000 times.”

31:46 Ty: Yeah. If it’s working really well and making $36,000, your ad budget is X, then make your ad budget XX.

31:54 CJ: 10X.

31:54 Ty: 10X it.

31:59 CJ: And that’s the beautiful part of this. And Ty, one of the things that I think people are now really beginning to understand is everything that The Savvy Musician, Leah, even myself over the past couple years have been saying, is now so much more readily understood and appreciated in light of the lockdowns and all of this sort of stuff, where suddenly, I don’t care if you’re the biggest artist in the world, or you’re playing acoustic at a corner bar, nobody is playing music right now.

32:33 Ty: Not in a venue.

32:35 CJ: No, bands are playing in their bedroom and recording separate parts. And everybody’s being entertained with this for now. But nobody, it doesn’t matter, I don’t care who you are. You could be-

32:48 Ty: It’s funny to me how new it seems to everybody. Like, “Wow, somebody’s playing in their bedroom and everybody can watch.” Dude, I was on Twitch three years ago. This has been going on for a long time.

32:59 CJ: Oh, yeah.

33:00 Ty: People live-streaming music. This is not a new thing at all.

33:03 CJ: Yeah. So again, you’ve got people like us who are in online marketing, we’ve been doing live type stuff. We’ve been hammering it out because we were building an online business. Now suddenly, everybody has an online business, so to speak. Even if they’re just doing these live, they’re just trying to stay relevant, just trying to stay current. Want to keep everybody, have them top of mind so that when the economy does start to come back, which we don’t know when that’s going to be. But the thing is, now you had better learn the lesson. You have to have an online component to your business. I forget how you said it, but it was such a quotable line a little while ago, Ty, that if you’re going to have a music business, it’s going to have to be online.

33:52 Ty: Yeah. I mean, if I’m going to make music for a living, this is the only path for me to do that, where it’s hard to say if it’s surefire, it’s going to be hard work. It’s not a silver bullet. I can’t just choose this path and then magically, my dreams come true. It’s going to be hard work. But I don’t know, it is the path of this current era, I would say, just having an online business, running my artistry like an e-Commerce business.

34:26 CJ: There’s another thing that you, myself and Leah, we all share in common, and a lot of the other students that I’ve encountered say we’re doing well, they all have the same thing. I often talk about them because I’ll say, “These particular students, if you gave them half the information that they’re taught in the Savvy Musician Academy, they would still succeed.” Just like you said, you were TOM 1.0.

34:49 Ty: That’s kind of what I did. I took half of one point, I did everything 100% until a certain point. Then I was like, “I love PR and I love radio,” and I got distracted. But yeah, I literally did take half of what she taught.

35:06 CJ: And that’s because it’s what a coach looks for, heart. Right? It’s not the biggest guy, necessarily. It’s not the fastest guy or the strongest guy. It’s the guy with heart. I’ve got a friend of mine who I do a podcast with, and he was 13 years in the Army’s Elite Delta Force and all this kind of stuff. What a grueling selection process these guys have got to go through in order to get in these tier one special forces units.

35:29 Ty: My brother’s in the middle of that right now. He was training to be a PJ, and he just jacked up his knee. And then he has two herniated disks, and he’s out.

35:41 CJ: Oh, man. So he was going through a selection?

35:45 Ty: Yep.

35:45 CJ: Yeah. I think my buddy missed his first one because of an ankle injury, I think the very first day. They let him come back and he got it. But anyway, whenever he gets asked, “What are they looking for?” All the guys, it doesn’t matter how long they’ve been in it, they’ll tell you. We still don’t know what they’re looking for, but it’s not what you think.

36:08 Ty: Yeah.

36:09 CJ: They’re always looking for the right guy. But I did tell him this. I said, “Well, I guarantee you this, though, Mack,” his name is Mack. I said, “The one thing they all share in common, heart.”

36:21 Ty: Oh, yeah.

36:22 CJ: You know what I mean? Because there might be another guy who has a skill set that you need, but if he’s completely self-defeated and doesn’t follow through and won’t push past, he’s not in, period. It doesn’t matter what the sport, or field, or career is, there has to be that heart. So we were talking offline beforehand, and you had asked me, you said if I had read The War of Art, which is a Steven Pressfield book, which believe it or not, I haven’t. And everybody and their grandmother has told me I needed to read it.

36:50 Ty: It’s so good.

36:51 CJ: I’ve got a feeling I’ll be down with everything that he’s saying. My son has read it. One of my sons has. But we were talking about something about how you defined that basic perspective because I think it is so, the idea itself is so incarnated in you. Won’t you describe that?

37:08 Ty: I think in this world, especially in the age of social media, it’s easy to compare ourselves to other people. Someone just joining TOM, just found out about The Online Musician, is looking at Leah and instantly comparing them to the teacher of the course and thinking, “Okay. I’m never going to get there,” or even just finding people who’ve been working the course for whatever. I’ve been working the principles for more than, I don’t know, almost four or five years, whatever. And they kind of compare and see I’m not there. It’s like a 15 year old looking at 30 year old and being like, “I’m not where that person is, so I could never be there.”

No, you’re going to have some more birthdays. You’re going to learn some things. And so what I’ve found is a lot of people will be like, “Well, Ty, I get that you had some success in this. You had some PR success. You had some business success in this. But not everyone can be their own designer. Not everyone can afford to hire a designer. Not everyone can afford this or that. Not everyone’s as talented or whatever.” And I’m not trying to be a jerk, but sometimes I have to say to those people, “I put 10,000 hours into design. That’s why I’m good at it. I’m not good at it because I’m talented at it per se, I’m good at it because I’m a … ” I don’t want to cuss, but it’s because I’m a stubborn SOB.

I think that’s what I love. Go read Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art. It’s not The Art of War. That’s a very famous book. He kind of intended to play on the words. It’s The War of Art. The whole thing is kind of a knife, almost a knife jab at creative people, where it’s like do what you’re supposed to do or you’re an idiot. I think he cusses in his book too. He’s the guy who wrote Legend of Bagger Vance. He wrote a lot of really popular screenplays. But that whole book, stop romanticizing entrepreneurship, and romanticizing talent and being an artist and all these things. Don’t romanticize it. Just be stubborn. Say, “I’m going to get this done.”

I’m going to make an album. That was for me, my first album was the thing. Leah helped push me to finish my first album. I had four other albums that were incomplete before that, four whole albums of stuff. I have a whole folk album. I have a whole … It’s one of the reasons why my first album is so good, it’s because I already wrote four albums before that. But I was an idiot and didn’t put them out. And I wasn’t stubborn enough. I had all the talent in the world. I’ve always been good at music. I had talent. I had the design skills before that. I had all these skills, but I wasn’t stubborn enough. And so I would challenge everyone to stop romanticizing this whole artistry thing and the whole entrepreneurship thing, and just be stubborn.

You’ve never built a website, but you’re going to build a website. And just be determined to build a website no matter what. If it takes you a week, if it takes you six months, be a stubborn SOB and make a freaking website, or whatever your hurdle is. Finish the album. For me, mine was finish an album and release it. That’s it. But there are obviously 60 or 100 to dos in between those points that I’ve got to knock out, but write them down. You know what you’ve got to do, just get a piece of paper out. Make a giant freaking to do list. Okay, that looks crazy. Put it in order now. Put them in priority order, whatever. Do the work. Stop being a wimp. I guess it’s getting into CJ’s around here, metal up.

40:58 CJ: I was going to say, dude, that is so metal motivation. Holy crap. Again, this is why I love Ty. And I saw this because when I look back on the relationship we had, even back in 2013, I could see the streak in him. There was a determination there. He was stubborn because I dealt with it on the other side with the owner. Do you know what I mean? Because the owner wanted more done without putting up any money, whereas Ty was like, “No, no, no, no, no. We’re not doing that.” And so Ty would be very, very insistent on the money. But that’s that stubbornness.

41:39 Ty: Yeah. It’s the whole everybody wants… When it comes to websites, and anyone who’s gone through the TOM course, it’s a big part of it is building your own website, building your own store, building your website and your store. You’re building two websites. That’s a lot for someone who hasn’t touched a website. But so for me, I’ve built websites for people my whole life. And it’s like everyone wants a BMW, everyone wants the best website in the world, but they want to spend zero dollars. It’s always like, “Okay. If you want to spend 500 bucks, you’re going to get a Volkswagen. All right? I’m going to build you the best Volkswagen you’ve ever had, but it’s still going to be a Volkswagen.”

42:17 CJ: Yeah. And this is again, and I love that fact that you touched on these things because it is truly a war of art because the creative personality is a sensitive one at times, fears judgment, doesn’t want to put itself out there. Can I have somebody else do my social media for me? I don’t want to necessarily be seen. They should just buy the music. It shouldn’t have to involve all of this.

42:44 Ty: Artists are affected by this more than anyone. And I mean, not to get spiritual on you. What do they say? They say, “Lucifer was king of all the angels,” not to get…

42:57 CJ: He was an art guy.

42:59 Ty: Yeah. He was the rock star dude, let’s just face it. Yeah. I think artists are particularly affected by this struggle. In Steven Pressfield’s book, he calls it resistance. Dude, go read this book, man. It’s just the resistance, he compares it almost to the alien in Aliens, where it doesn’t care about you. It doesn’t care if you live or die. It’s like this alien creeping around and it just wants to get you. It sounds very bogey mannish, but it’s like resistance is like that, where it’s like if I sit down in my studio right here, and if I just show up and start doing the work, it gets done. But I get these thoughts in my head where it’s like, “You should whatever. You should just go play video games, or go watch all five seasons of Breaking Bad, or whatever.” And it just will do anything to get you to not just sit and just show up. For me, 90% of it is just showing up. And so the resistance is-

44:16 CJ: I think that’s why I think everybody keeps forwarding the book recommendation to me. In fact, one of my quotes I posted yesterday on all my social channels said, “Be ruthless with your own negativity, it’s out to destroy you.” So it’s the same kind of concept, is you’re being way too friendly with this resistance, way too friendly. And I think there’s a genius there, and of course, him being a creative person himself, to personify this resistance because you think it’s you. The reason why we entertain negativity, I tell people it’s because when it shows up at your door wanting entry, it looks like you.

44:53 Ty: Yeah.

44:53 CJ: You know what I mean? So I think, “Well, I am that person, so I am lazy. I want to watch the Breaking Bad. See, I suck. I’m not this. I’m not.” No, but the whole time, you have every single bit of capacity in you to stay in that studio, stay in front of that Mac, get that website knocked out, get that last song finalized. You have all the wherewithal in the world. It is the battle that you obviously have to win. Survivor song, right? Every day it’s ultimately, it’s you against you.

45:22 Ty: Yeah.

45:23 CJ: And who’s going to win that battle? And I just love, again, the simplicity of the stubbornness. And I think-

45:31 Ty: Be stubborn. Another thing he talks about in his book too, I’ve always … I’ve felt like I’ve felt this way always. He put it into really good words. But he just says, “Be stupid.” This is a good one for us too. What does he say? He doesn’t say be … He says, “Stay stupid,” where don’t try to think that you’re the smartest dude in the world. This is exactly what I did with The Online Musician course. I took Leah’s checklist and I’m like, “This is great.” I’m going to do a few little online ads, build up an email list, build the website, do this. And I’m supposed to just get a basic PR thing. And she didn’t even talk about radio.

But you know what, I’m a lot smarter, I’m going to get the best PR person ever. I’m going to pay a crazy amount of money. I kind of was smarty pants about it, where I just decided to be a smart boy. No regrets, I learned so much. I got my total education on the old school music model and how it works and how it’s still kind of operating, but it’s not working. I got my PhD in that after two albums of that. But he just says, “Stay stupid.” And so if I would’ve just stayed stupid and just done exactly what Leah said, my store, the stuff I’m doing this year on my store, I would’ve done three years ago.

47:07 CJ: Yeah, think of how far you’d be.

47:09 Ty: I’d be three years into building my business instead of really just kind of starting over.

47:15 CJ: That’s such a great point. There’s something that I teach on my motivational side, and I’ll mention it sometimes to the elite students. And that is the concept of representation versus substitution. Everybody remembers maybe being in school when you were a kid, and you had the substitute teacher come in when your regular teacher was off sick or whatever. Well, whenever we saw the substitute teacher as kids, we thought, “Goof off day.” We’re going to watch something and we’re going to do a handout or some other, not even do the handout. And the teacher’s not going to do anything. Who the heck is she or he? And so if your regular teacher is Mrs. Jones, then yeah, if Miss Smith comes in, and Mrs. Jones is not there, Miss Smith is the substitute, substitute can’t do anything. Why? Because the substitute has no authority. Why? Because the substitute doesn’t know anything about what we’re doing. She’s not a representative. She’s a substitute.

But if you get a representative, so let’s say for example, you’ve never seen Miss Smith, the substitute. Mrs. Jones has been there every day, but it just so happens that Miss Smith is Mrs. Jones’ roommate and protégé. And so she has been daily sharing everything that she does, and so Miss Smith knows everything that you’ve been taught. So here Miss Smith comes in, you realize Mrs. Jones isn’t there. Miss Smith writes her name on the board and you think, “Substitute, awesome,” until Miss Smith says, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen Mrs. Jones because I’ve been eating and drinking what she’s been teaching you for years now. We’re roommates, so we will continue with the curriculum as if Mrs. Jones herself was here.” Suddenly, it’s not goof off day because this is not a substitute anymore. This is a representative.

And the question is always if you want authority in your music business in this kind of marketplace, you have to represent what’s being taught and not substitute, period. It’s as simple as that. So for me, Ty, it’s such a, just from personal, I think everybody’s going to get that once they hear this interview. I know you talked to Leah on the podcast a long time ago. This one’s going to be so much better because it is Ty a few years later, a few kids later, and so much more awakened and illuminated and working things out.

49:35 Ty: Twice the kids.

49:37 CJ: So we’re going to be, I think everybody’s going to be really super excited to watch your continued journey because we’re still early on in this process, but I’m going to be honest with you, man. I have complete confidence in you. I don’t say that much, dude. I know you. I’ve watched you. I know your heart. But again, I think what it is, it’s that stubbornness. I know that’s your testimony, man. That’s who you are.

50:02 Ty: I’m going to get this done if it’s the last thing I do. It’s going good too, man. I’m in the process now, so I’ve totally rebuilt my website. For the first time, I actually just built my store in January. And I tore it down and rebuilt it from the ground up in Shopify just in the past couple months. And now I’m just smack dab in the middle of just writing a ton of emails for a nurture campaign. I’m doing a four-month nurture campaign, the biggest one I’ve ever done. But and honestly, man, I’ve hit a slow down, really half for good reasons, half for me just struggling. But half of it’s we just had our first baby boy. I’ve got five girls and one boy. And just enjoying family. But yeah, I’m slowly just kind of speeding the train back up to finish these emails, man. These emails are kicking my butt.

51:05 CJ: Well, why don’t you, first of all, because we never really discussed it, and I think it’s good that we didn’t so the people didn’t get too fixated on a genre, but tell everybody about your musical genre, and then how they can-

51:17 Ty: My music is all under my own name, so it’s just Ty Richards. I don’t have a fancy band name or anything like that. It’s just me, my name. And I call it, depends on the album, but the last album was psychedelic Nintendo rock. It’s almost punkish. Depending on the song, when I’m marketing a certain song, sometimes I’ll call it psychedelic Nintendo punk. The first album is always more poppy. I called it psychedelic dance-rock. It was a lot more poppy. It was the hit, it was definitely the hit record out of the two records. The second album is like my all straight to tape. It’s all directly to tape. It’s low fi on purpose and it’s kind of intended to kind of stir the pot a little bit. And I did. The other one was intended to be popular. I wanted it to be popular. This one, I kind of wanted it to be infamous. And it actually, that’s a whole other podcast, but it did become infamous.

52:15 CJ: Yes, it is.

52:16 Ty: It was an inverse of the other album. As popular as the first album was, the other one was very popular, and then kind of flipped around and became … It actually got me, I’m the only artist that I know that’s completely banned from Austin.

52:33 CJ: Now every artist is banned, but temporarily.

52:38 Ty: Yeah. Now we’re all banned. But yeah, before COVID-19, I was completely banned from every single [inaudible 00:52:45] in Austin. I thought I wasn’t for real either, and I actually tested it, and I’m verified banned. That’s a whole other story. We can talk about that later. That’s like an entire podcast on how to deal with … We can do a podcast on how to deal with being validated. And there’s another one. It’s how to deal with-

53:11 CJ: Negative press.

53:13 Ty: Mega insulted, mega, or whatever you want to call it. Yeah, I’m completely banned from Austin after this one song that I wrote. But I had a blast though. Honestly, I had a blast the whole time. I did what I set out to do with that album, which was stir the pot, and that’s exactly what happened.

53:32 CJ: If you call an album Welcome to Flat Earth, obviously you’re going to stir the pot.

53:36 Ty: And it worked.

53:39 CJ: Yeah. You’re highlighting the trends. You’re highlighting the things that are going on in social media. It’s the weird world in which we live. You’re at the apex of technology and innovation, yet at the same time, people have never been more into everything from ancient paganism and esoteric stuff to God knows what. It’s not homogenous anymore. It’s diverse and you’ve got weird political things and strange ideas. And it’s all being vomited on the internet and we’re making a parody of it all.

54:11 Ty: Yeah. I have a very satirical approach to my music. And so even with both albums, you can hear it. So first one’s poppy. The second one’s more punky. But at the same time, it’s all critiquing American culture and satirizing American culture. And some people don’t like that, I guess.

54:32 CJ: It’ll get you in hot water either way. So is it Is that?

54:38 Ty: Yeah,

54:40 CJ: And that’s Ty, T-Y, everybody. Ty Richards, not Richard. Ty, T-Y, Richards. It’ll be in the show notes, of course, because I think a lot of people are going to want to immediately jump off this podcast and say, “Okay. I’ve got to hear what this music is all about.”

54:56 Ty: Yeah. I’m a huge … I throw in the psychedelic because I’m just a huge fan of anything fuzz guitars. I just love fuzz guitars and I love old synthesizer. I’ve got this old synthesizer over here from the ’70s. And I love, I brought in kind of more Nintendo sounds too. I’m a huge fan of the nostalgic Nintendo vibes of the ’80s.

55:19 CJ: Well, as I noted too, one student, one elite student, who does kind of something a little bit similar, but his is more based on violin, but it’s all about the Nintendo. So he gets dressed up as characters and whatnot. I said, “Nostalgia’s not a bad thing to push.” You look at even the most popular shows on the streaming platforms, it’s still Friends, The Office, Seinfeld.

55:42 Ty: Stranger Things.

55:44 CJ: Yeah, it tends to be things that have a bit more…

55:47 Ty: Even new shows seem old. Do you know what I mean?

55:49 CJ: Yeah.

55:49 Ty: Stranger Things is a newer show, but it feels like the ’80s.

55:54 CJ: Yeah. It feels like a glorified ET meets something. You know what I mean? What is it? Was it Lean On Me? What was the one where the boys take the long bicycle trip? Stand By Me.

56:10 Ty: Yeah, Stand By Me. Yeah. My wife watches that all the time. You could go watch Stranger … I’ve watched Stranger Things 50 gazillion times because my wife is super obsessed with it. I like it too, but when she was pregnant, she would just watch it on repeat. And dude, I’ve listened to the music so much and seen the scenes so much that I see exactly what movies they took it from. You can see parts that are taken from Terminator, parts that are taken from ET, parts that are taken from Alien. There’s just different sounds. They took the production verbatim from a lot of these movies. So I’m doing that with my new record, where I’m taking actual Game Boy sounds, I’m taking a straight-up sample of the Game Boy sounds and putting them as the main tracks on a lot of the songs.

56:58 CJ: Wow.

56:59 Ty: But yeah, I think what you said, nostalgia’s good too. But I think the goal is to make something new with it too. I’d rather do that than just kind of rehash, or rehash an old thing.

57:10 CJ: Yeah. So And I knew this was going to be an interesting discussion, so I think it’s going to get a lot of value out of this, my friend. And again, I’m appreciative to have a front-row seat to what’s going on in all things Ty Richards. Go check out his website also because … And go to his store just because, again, I brag on this a lot with him, is he is a phenomenal graphic designer. And so all the stuff that you’re going to see when you get to his store and stuff, his posters and all the album work and the T-shirt designs, that’s all done by him, a lot of them by hand. So you’ll see that he is a phenomenal artist in a lot of ways. Again, puts him in a very advantageous position. But hey, Leah couldn’t design her way out of a box. So obviously, you don’t have to be a designer as well as a musician in order to-

58:04 Ty: Get a good team. Yeah, I would say there might be some musicians out there, some of you guys who are good at design, or web development, or whatever, but if you know you’re not going to be awesome at that, find a good team.

58:17 CJ: Right. Well, Ty, I know I speak for Leah when I say, I remember messaging her when you first came, showed up on the radar. The first thing I did was message her. I said, all I said was, “Ty’s back.” She’s like, “I know,” exclamation point.

58:32 Ty: Back on the wagon.

58:34 CJ: That’s right. But again, I know I speak for her when I say it’s so awesome to have you in elite now, where it gets even more intense.

58:46 Ty: It’s intense, man. It’s kicking my butt right now. I’m at that 80% mark where I’m just like, “Ahh.”

58:53 CJ: It’s like the last 80 miles from a two day road trip. Right?

58:58 Ty: Yep.

58:58 CJ: Oh, my goodness. All right. Well, listen man, we’ll have to definitely do this again. And I know people want to hear from you again. But again, man, thanks so much for taking the time, and again, appreciate the friendship.

59:09 Ty: Thanks for being a part of this, man. I think Leah was onto something four years ago. She’s onto it now. And I think it’s more relevant now than ever. I think it’s time for musicians to up their game, be more stubborn, do more epic stuff. Get it done.

59:29 CJ: Yeah. I told her. I said, “Girl, I’m not joking. And I’m not exaggerating.” I said, “What you’ve done with SMA in your own personal music business, and what you’ve done with the SMA, is the single most important thing to happen in the music industry since the blow delivered by Napster.”

59:47 Ty: Dude, man, I have to agree. And you and I have been around long enough to see both sides. We’ve seen the people that criticize Leah. And we’ve seen the people that really vouch for her. But the thing is, Leah is amazing in and of herself, just her and her music without SMA at all. And then you bring in SMA, and it’s this whole other amazing thing. But I think people are expecting it to be like, “Oh, so I paid for this course. Why am I not successful now?” It’s not a magic bullet. It depends on you, but just do the work. She’s outlined all the work that you’ve got to do. Now just do it. If you fail, it’s because you didn’t show up and do the work.

01:00:29 CJ: Exactly.

01:00:29 Ty: And I think people, I don’t know, and the people that have been around in the scene for a while with The Online Musician, just look at Leah all by herself with just her … She’s dropped how many? Four albums now.

01:00:43 CJ: Mm-hmm.

01:00:44 Ty: She’s four albums in. Her albums look amazing together. They sound amazing together. She’s got this whole business built around that, that even if she didn’t have the SMA business, it’s completely beyond sustaining itself and doing amazing. She’s just showing you how she did what she’s doing over here.

01:01:07 CJ: Now she’s doing it with Mythologie Candles.

01:01:09 Ty: Yeah, the candle thing, that’s a whole-

01:01:11 CJ: Blowing up.

01:01:13 Ty: That’s next level with just these two businesses that-

01:01:17 CJ: In fact, she’s so busy, I’m left to hosting this podcast. But that’s the thing, is that she does-

01:01:27 Ty: That’s a good problem to have.

01:01:27 CJ: That’s a good problem to have, right. Yeah. But that’s the thing. Dude, I would not spend my time with somebody who wasn’t legit. I would not spend my time with somebody who was full of crap. I would not spend my time. The only reason I’m working with Leah is, of course, we’re friends from a long time ago, but because I was there was she was facing bankruptcy. I knew her when she didn’t know anything about marketing. And I watched this happen, and she applies the principles. This is not gimmicks. This is not hacks. This is not secret software. This is not any of that. This is pure, this is the marketing that has been governing marketing long before the internet. It’s the same thing, same branding, same force of copywriting, same way you build any kind of business, which is why she has the confidence to move from her own music business to a music academy to candles, and God knows whatever else she’s going to get her little paws into next. You know what I mean?

01:02:20 Ty: Leah’s stubborn.

01:02:21 CJ: And that’s the thing, there you go. Very stubborn.

01:02:25 Ty: She set her mind to it, I’m going to get this done, and she gets it done.

01:02:27 CJ: Yep. That’s all there is to it, man. So anyway, again, I think we could probably have three or four episodes here. But again, awesome. So guys, listen. If you are a fan of this podcast, do me a favor and be sure and leave a review on your favorite podcast player. If they say, “Press stars,” give us five, four, I don’t care how many, whatever the max is. Just give it the like-age because this is a great way for people to discover the podcast themselves, share it on social media. We would appreciate that. If you have any questions or comments, you’re welcome to leave them in any said Facebook group that you might be a part of, whether the free mastermind, or The Online Musician, or even just go to our own Facebook page for the Savvy Musician Academy.

Keep in tune for what’s coming right now, which is TOM 3.0. Ty was on TOM 1.0. TOM 3.0, which is about to release, go to Listen for the outro here, and we’ll have more to say about that. Again, Ty, thanks again. Guys, we will see all of you soon. Take care.

Episode #098: The Key to Success is Mastering Fundamentals

If you were to ask someone for $20, who would be more likely to give it to you, a good friend or a complete stranger? Obviously a good friend.

Have you ever met someone and had so much in common that you immediately became good friends? More than likely.

If you can understand this, you know the foundation of building an online music business. That’s all it is, getting more and more people to know, like, and trust you, just like that good friend who’s willing to give you that $20. What do you and this good friend have in common? Your music and the culture that surrounds it. How do you find these good friends and build these relationships? Social media. In this episode C.J. discusses this fundamental aspect of the business in greater detail and is so important you do not want to miss out!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Are you self-defeated?
  • The unstoppable mindset
  • The essential fundamental to successful online marketing
  • How to build your relationships
  • Funnels
  • Why Facebook and Instagram?
  • Studying your audience
  • Getting comfortable with sharing yourself on the internet


“Getting you in connection with your ideal super fan is the core. It’s the recipe for success in the online music business.” – @metalmotivation [0:02:19]

“You can’t be successful when you’re self-defeated before you even start… You have to get out of your own way.” – @metalmotivation [0:05:26]

“If you believe that there are principles the cause the kind of results that you want, and you believe that you have the ability to apply those principles, isn’t that all you need?” – @metalmotivation [0:07:17]

“Here’s the essential, basic, fundamental truth about online marketing in 2020. Getting more and more people to know you, like you, and trust you as an artist.” – @metalmotivation [0:10:06]

“Funnel is the process of taking somebody who doesn’t know you to see the first promotion that you ever offer them, bringing them along in a relationship with you until you finally create a sale.” – @metalmotivation [0:29:00]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

The Online Musician 3.0 —

Book a Call With Us —

Click For Full Transcript

00:02 CJ: Welcome to the Savvy Musician Show. This is CJ Ortiz, I’m the branding and mindset coach here at the Savvy Musician Academy. I hope you’re staying safe during this time, but I also hope you are working diligently on your music business. Adding the online component to your music business is so critical right now and I hope that this podcast is helping you to that end. If it is, please do us a favor and leave a review and some stars on whatever podcast player you listen to. This helps other people to discover the podcast and we read every review that you leave in our team meeting. So we love to hear from you. So please do that for us today. Before we get into this, let me share again, a student spotlight. This is from one of our TOM students, TOM means, The Online Musician. This is Firas Al Bakri and he writes, #win, it’s been a week since I started my Facebook cold conversion opt in ads, and here are the results. 100 complete registrations, spent about $60 and that means the cost per result is about 69 cents per conversion.

He goes on to say, I’m going to be testing out how I can double my completed registration numbers in a short time, search, a key word there is testing. And if he continues to test, he’s going to amp up those results considerably. You might be thinking a hundred registrations in a week. Is that a lot? Is that not a lot? Let me tell you something. The issue is never the quantity, the issue is a quality. He has a hundred people that are probably going to be the most ideal super fans for his music business. And that’s, what’s important. I’ve seen people with very small email lists make a good deal of money because the leads or the people that they have on their lists are so ideal to what they’re doing. That’s the key. That’s what we teach here at the Savvy Musician Academy. Getting you in connection with your ideal super fan is the core. It’s the recipe for success in the online music business.

Now in light of this, we recently just completed the three week pop-up mastermind. I don’t know if you had the opportunity to join us in there. It is something that Leah and I began, and then I continued it on to complete the three week workshop and it was awesome. Hundreds of people from all over the world joined us. Why did we do that pop up mastermind? Because everybody has suddenly been isolated to the home, the live music industry was completely shut down for everybody. Mega stars to somebody playing in a corner bar. The whole live music scene was completely shut down and we were hoping that people would now start to listen to what we’ve been banging the drum on here on the Savvy Musician Show for so long. You must start an online music business. You must add the online component to your music business. And well, now it’s just not an option, now it is a must. It is a have to, it is something you simply have to begin to do today.

But here’s the problem, man. Here’s the problem and it came about when someone wrote in to me, they were asking about marketing help and whatnot. And I said, listen, you should join and sign up for this popup mastermind. It’s only $47, three weeks private Facebook group. So he looks at it, he eventually writes me back and this was a talented player, a talented musician. He writes back to me and he says, ‘Is this legit? Sounds impossible.” Now, granted, I’m teaching this thing. So not only is that an insult, but I thought, wow, this is so emblematic of what I see all the time. So what did I write back to him? A long defense? Did I try to sell him on it? Absolutely not. I simply wrote back and said, “Then don’t sign up for it.” And you know what he said? He said, okay. And it just confirmed, he is his own biggest obstacle. Doesn’t make him a bad person, doesn’t make him less talented. None of that, it has nothing to do with that. It has to do with you standing in your own way.

If you begin with the premise that it’s impossible, if you begin with a premise that it’s too good to be true, if you begin with the premise that I don’t know if I can and all of the self-defeating doubt, then guess what? It doesn’t matter how good the information is. You’re not going to apply it consistently. Why? Because with every little piece of resistance that you experience, as you start to implement these things, if it gets too difficult, you’re going to throw in the towel and say, it’s not meant to be. You’re going to throw in the towel and say, this is too difficult, you’re going to throw in the towel and say, it’s too much. It would never work for me anyway. You can’t be successful when you’re self defeated before you even start, I could take somebody who has heart and desire and passion and the willing to push through.

And I could make them successful with half of the information we taught in the three week popup mastermind. With half of the information, because if there was any gaps in the information, they would figure it out. They would look it up, they would find out, they would push it, they would discover. As I even said in that three week mastermind, I said, you know what? I would rather have the person who’s doing so much that they’re doing too much, that I have to reel them back in and say, “Hey, don’t post so much.” Than the person that I have to continually light a fire underneath them to get them going or the person who’s constantly neutralized by their self doubt. I’m talking to you today about the key to success is mastering fundamentals and that is the premiere fundamental. It doesn’t matter what the information is guys, if you are stopping yourself before you even start, you have to get out of your own way.

You have to stop saying everything is so hard, everything is so difficult, because the more you say that something is so difficult and the more you say how long something is going to take, then guess what? The more difficult it’s going to be. And the longer it’s going to take, you have to begin with belief. Number one, a belief that principles when applied will create results. And number two, that you have the ability to apply those principles to whatever it is that you’re facing. If you believe that there are principles that cause the kind of results that you want, and you believe that you have the ability to apply those principles, isn’t that all you need? But what happens is, is because we don’t understand the way things are achieved, we think it’s magic or a secret or a hack or a special piece of software that someone else has achieved success. So again, he asked is this legit? Sounds impossible. It’s absolutely legit and it is anything but impossible.

So many people have done it, so many people will continue to do it. So if you fail it’s because you fail in the fundamentals. Think about a winning team, does a football team go to the Superbowl because they did it through winning every game by trick plays? No, the reason why they go to the Superbowl or the reason why they have a losing season depends on their mastering of the fundamentals. The fundamentals of football are a strong passing game, a strong running game, controlling the line of scrimmage, good defense, but especially not turning the ball over, right? Fumbles and interceptions or too many fouls, right? It’s all fundamentals, it’s not trick plays. And so if you lose or you succeed, it all comes down to the same thing. Are you mastering the fundamentals or are you constantly failing in those fundamentals?

You can have all the right software and still sell little to nothing. You can have loads of Facebook followers, but still sell very little. You can have great music and yet still not make a dent. You can know the latest technological hacks and still produce no results. More than half of marketing is mastering of the fundamentals. So don’t fall into the trap of the little details, the hacks, the tricks, the methods. For example, in this mastermind, when I was talking about e-commerce, selling things like merchandise, t-shirts and whatnot, people got a little too preoccupied with what specific software there was. When I wanted them to think about, well, what was possible in relation to the products that they could create. But even more than that, what were they doing right now to create the know, like, and trust element that creates sales. So what is the essential basic? What is the essential fundamental to successful online marketing? You want to know what the secret is? Here’s the essential, basic, fundamental truth about online marketing in 2020.

Getting more and more people to know you, like you, and trust you as an artist. I’ll say that again, getting more and more people to know you, like you, and trust you as an artist. And you know what? That’s the way it is in any business. Anyone who wants to start an online business, I don’t care whether you’re an author, a blogger, a coach. It doesn’t matter what it is. You’ve got to get more and more people to know you, more and more people to like you, more and more people to trust you as an artist. You might be saying to yourself, CJ, we’ve heard you guys say this before. Yeah, but are you living it? Are you practicing it? Are you getting sales and results? If you’re not, then it’s because of two reasons. Number one, you’ve forgot the fundamental or number two, you’re not applying them consistently.

Because if you were applying them consistently, you would further refine, you would know better your audience, know better what they want, know better what they respond to and then increase your results. Because you would be testing like our friend at the outset and our student spotlight said, he’s going to test in order to get more results. He’s going to test in order to get more results. You see the simplest funnel that you can create. Now, funnel is the process taking somebody who doesn’t know you to see the first promotion that you ever offer them, bringing them along in a relationship with you until you finally create a sale. That process, that journey, that path, marketers call a funnel. So they get really complex with these things, but the simplest funnel that you can possibly do is to gain new followers on Facebook and Instagram, get them engaged with you daily, with relevant content and then marketing to them, right? That’s the simplest funnel.

Get new followers on Facebook and Instagram, let’s get them engaged with you daily and relevant content and then let’s market to them. If you can master these, then everything else that you do just scales it. So everybody gets so preoccupied with the software, they get so preoccupied with the tricks, they get so preoccupied with the actual, I need to have that click funnel software, and then it’ll work. If I just get, if I could just see Leah’s email campaign and just copy it, then I know that will work. No, it won’t work. Her email campaign is based on her knowledge of her customers. She knows what they want to hear, she knows what they respond to because she’s tested it and done it over and over again and refined her funnels and customer journey down and down until she has it completely dialed in. If you can master these fundamental things then everything else that you do just scales it.

So when we get into then what’s the best print on demand platform to use? What’s the best e-commerce, Shopify or Square or this or that? What’s the best website host to use? And what’s the best email service provider to use? Et cetera. All of those questions, all of those little details, all they do is scale, which you can do fundamentally without any of those things. So in other words, if you can continue to add new people to your social media pages, Facebook and Instagram, primarily, if you can get them engaged regularly, I would prefer weekly myself with relevant content. In other words, content that they respond to and then you market to them, you will create sales. If you can master this, everything else is just going to help you scale it. But if you can’t do it here at the organic level, then you can’t do it no matter how many tricks and tools and pieces of software that you add to it, it’s not going to work. So master the fundamentals, everything else that you do just scales the process, elevates what you do.

So you might be thinking, okay, wait a minute, CJ, add new followers to Facebook and Instagram, really? Just that, that right there. Well, yeah. How else are you going to get to know people? YouTube? Ain’t going to happen. YouTube is a video based platform, it’s a video based search engine. Facebook and Instagram are share engines. You don’t go searching for things necessarily on Facebook or Instagram, right? You do that more so on YouTube, which is owned by Google. The biggest search engine, Facebook and Instagram are share engines. It’s where people share content. That’s where we get the term social media from. Well, look at the word media, the word media means to broadcast right? Mainstream media, alternative media, these are ways of broadcasting. So now instead of receiving the broadcasting from these mainstream outlets, you’re getting broadcasting from person to person, friends, and family and followers. That’s social media or social broadcasting and that’s why social media is the game changer as I said not too long ago. Talking about social media as being the key to changing the music industry.

15:38 CJ: Facebook and Instagram are ways to target people directly and that’s what you want to do. That’s why Facebook and Instagram are important. That’s where you want to build your brand awareness. That’s where you want to reach new people, right? Getting out there and connecting with them on Facebook and Instagram. And if you show up regularly with content that is relevant to your music and the culture or lifestyle that surrounds that music, then they’re going to follow you and they’re going to interact with you. And like I said earlier, what’s the fundamental, what’s the fundamental thing? Get more and more people to know you, like you, and trust you as an artist. It is literally that simple, so simple that marketing gurus have to help you misunderstand it, right? It’s so simple that marketing gurus have to help you to misunderstand it, to get you to think you need their special hack, their special trick, their special method, their special funnel software and then you’ll get the results you’ve always wanted.

No, get more and more people to know you, more and more people to like you, more and more people to trust you. And when you do that, you can sell them just about anything. And where are you going to meet those new people? Facebook and Instagram, you’re not going to meet them on YouTube. You’re going to meet them on Facebook and Instagram because that’s the social environment where you can do the promotion. And as you bring them on, get them engaged with relevant content means again, that which surrounds the culture and lifestyle that surrounds your kind of music. And they’re out there. You might think you’re special. You might think your music is unique and maybe it is, but guess what? There’s a lot of people into the same kind of stuff all over the world, just waiting for you to reach them. So that’s a very simple funnel that you can follow. Is it not? That’s a very simple process that you can follow. Is it not?

Just getting people to know you, just getting people to like you, just getting people to trust you, right? That is the fundamental, there’s no trick play here, there’s no secret here. It’s getting to know them. So how much do you know your clientele or potential clientele? How much time have you spent getting to know your ideal super fan? One of the keys to effective marketing is basically knowing the buying and or interest habits of your potential audience better than they do. Isn’t that the experience that we all have online every day when we go on social media and we see ads that just seem to be targeted towards us? How does someone know you like to eat that kind of food or drink that kind of energy drink or buy that kind of handbag or play that kind of instruments? How do these retailers know to target you? Because they are putting that information into Facebook and Facebook keeps a track of the fact that you like all of these things, you like this cookie manufacturer, you like this handbag manufacturer, you like this music company, you like this artist, you follow that TV show.

And because you do, Facebook keeps track of all of that information. So someone wants to target you precisely, they can do it. Well, guess what? So can you. You can do the very same thing. And by getting your music or your promotion in front of new people, who’ve never heard of you before, but they’re targeted. In other words, I’m not trying to push hairspray out to bald people, right? That doesn’t make any sense. But if you play a particular kind of music, whether it’s country or hip hop or heavy metal or pop music, if you can put in comparable artists and things into Facebook and maybe some other items that help them to identify the people you’re looking for by their interest, then yeah, your promotions can begin to appear in front of those very people. And all we get them to do is press play to watch your music video or follow your page or buy your CD or what have you.

But what you want to do is get those people to follow you, get them to like your page, follow you on Instagram, follow you on Facebook. But then once they do that, you can not show up, you got to show up and meet them there because that’s where they’re going to see you, right? That’s where they’re going to see you. So you want to have cultural content. Content that makes sense for them. So for example, I have a project that I do called, metal motivation, which is basically motivation, self-improvement content, directed towards people who love heavy metal. And that’s what it’s for. It’s motivation for people who love heavy metal. Now those people who love heavy metal, they also might consult self-improvement resources from people that aren’t heavy metal artists themselves or metal heads themselves, right? They probably do, but they enjoy the fact that it comes through me, someone like them.

But then when I show up every day posting on my Facebook page, I can’t be posting things from Justin Bieber or Eminem or something like that, Adele. Why? Because that has nothing to do with the culture, it has nothing to do with the mutual interest or lifestyle that we share. I have to share something like maybe a little clip from Judas Priest or something from Iron Maiden or something from Metallica or a more contemporary, heavy metal band or my own content, which is motivational content that has that edge, right? An edge that relates to that audience, relates to that culture, relates to that lifestyle. This is a fundamental, you have to understand your audience. The more that you do, the easier it is for you to reach them and the cheaper it is to reach them. Again, going back to our student spotlight, if he keeps researching as he said, researching and testing, he’s going to better understand how to dial in more effectively the culture, the lifestyle, and the interest to bring his cost per conversion down even lower. And that’s what you want to do.

So you have to study your audience, you have to do whatever you have to do to learn the psychology of your potential fan, how they think, what makes them take action, what are their pains? What are the things they’re frustrated by? What are the things that bring them pleasure? What do they like to do? What are they interested in? What do they read? What do they watch? What do they like to eat? There’s any number of things. And you can begin by asking yourself that question, because obviously you would be like your fans to some degree. What are the things that you’re interested in, right? These are all the elements that you’re going to use to target your ideal audience, to target your ideal fan. But this is fundamental. So it’s fundamental to know your potential audience and again, the essential basic, let’s get more and more people to know you, right? So let them see your promotion for the very first time or someone share them, share your content with them. They get to know you.

And then as you get that content to them every day, relevant, engaging content, they learn to like you. And as they learn to like you, then they eventually learn to trust you. And at that point, they’ll pretty much buy whatever you sell. It won’t matter to them anymore. So you’ve got to show up, don’t stand in your own way, don’t be blocked or hindered by doubt, unbelief, self-defeat. Don’t think you can’t do it. I know this may not be germane to your personality profile, you might be someone who is shy or introverted. A lot of creative people are. And so they’re afraid to put themselves out there. Don’t let fear stop you. If you’re going to succeed in this new era of the music industry, you have to do it this way. You have to put yourself out there.

24:21 CJ: So many people have asked the question, can I hire somebody to do this for me? No, you can’t. You have to do it, you have to know them, you have to get to understand your followers and your potential fans. Nobody can do that for you. Nobody can be you. This is social media, you’ve got to show up. So well, I’m just not comfortable with that, well, okay, that’s fine but it’s going to be very difficult for you to have an online music business. Well, they should just buy the music. I’m sorry, it’s not the world we live in anymore. Way too much competition. Way too much. You have to make yourself stand out and to do that you have to show up. Nobody else can be you, right? No, snowflake is the same so let’s use that so that we can differentiate yourself in this crowded online space where there’s other artists competing for the attention of listeners. No, you can’t just put your music out there, you got to put yourself out there, you got to put your personality out there. A little bit of your life out there, not everything.

You don’t have to take your phone to the bathroom and broadcast from there, you don’t have to share everything, but you have to share something so that they can get to know you, they can get to like you and they can get to trust you. Don’t fail in the fundamental. Success really comes down to these. If you spent the rest of this year, mastering fundamentals, I guarantee you, you would have a longterm successful online music career. Can you dig that? Ma’am I hope you can. Now speaking of this, and I know there’s a lot more information that you do need in order to succeed in this business, even though it’s all based on the fundamentals, if you’re ready to go to the next level, then what we’ve got coming up very soon here, depending upon when you hear this podcast, is the new release of the upgraded version of the online musician. 3.0. Leah has been slaving over this for months and months and months, getting everything up to speed as you know, information and technology changes all the time.

And so she’s updated it to TOM 3.0, The Online Musician, and you’re going to want to be a part of this. We got a lot of extra added bonuses, it’s an irresistible offer I promise you. What I want you to do right now is go to and check that out. Also, we are upgrading our inner circle and you’ve heard us talk about the inner circle before, it’s going to be changing in a way that you are absolutely going to love. So you want to get in now because the price will go up. Again, I don’t know when you’re hearing this particular episode of the podcast so if I were you, I would get signed up as soon as possible. Just go to So thank you so much for joining us today on the Savvy Musician Show. So much more to come, interviews and yes, Leah will be back, you will hear from her again, this is a new season for us at the Savvy Musician Academy.

Leah has got so much on her plate right now, I’m more than happy to help carry the load for the podcasts. We will see you guys next week.

Episode #097: Find Your Niche – The Difference Between Failure & Success

Before we go any further, do you know what your micro-niche is? It cannot be overstated how important it is to be rock solid in defining, understanding, and utilizing your micro-niche, because it is the foundation of building your fanbase and music business.

Whether you’re just learning this word for the first time, or well acquainted with it, Leah lays out some incredible insights into the micro-niche approach in this week’s episode of the Savvy Musician Show. 

Key Points From This Episode:

  • What is your micro-niche?
  • Standing out in the crowd
  • Being important to the people that matter
  • Being easy to find
  • The difference between SEO and your niche
  • Finding your twist
  • Going smaller
  • Your niche title accurately describing your sound
  • Targeting your sub-genre fans first strategy


“You only need to be famous in your micro-niche.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:03:07]

“My fans in my genre know exactly who I am, and that’s all that matters.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:03:34]

“The nice thing about going smaller and becoming the big fish in the small pond is that it makes it so much easier for people to find you.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:05:24]

“If you think you can put up a Facebook page and you can put out music and that people will magically find you, you’re delusional.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:05:45]

“There’s a big difference between search engine optimization and keyword titles, say in a YouTube video and a niche.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:06:30]

“People should be able to imagine and know what your music sounds like based on what the niche title is.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:08:15]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

The Online Musician 3.0 —

Book a Call With Us —

Click For Full Transcript

00:16 Leah: Hey, how’s it going? It’s Leah here and today I’m going to talk to you a little bit about niches and why it’s so important that you find your niche in music if you want to be successful today online with the internet and with just thousands and thousands and thousands of musicians all around the world, all competing for the same eyeballs and the same ears that you are.

Let’s talk about it. Do any of you guys know… I want to know this question of the day. Do you know your niche right now? Mine? I’ll tell you. My big genre is in the metal category. That’s when I’m doing heavy stuff. My sub-genre is symphonic metal and my niche is female-fronted symphonic metal and my micro-niche is Celtic fantasy metal. Sometimes that last one will change a little bit from project to project depending on what I’m doing and depending on the album and all of that, but generally speaking, what I’m doing consistently is the same for the top three.

Here’s the premise with niches, is that with Facebook and the internet and really anything in general, it’s an incredibly crowded market. Facebook just hit 2 billion people. 2 billion users on the platform which is incredible. What that says is that our audience is here. This is where they are. People who are worried that, “Oh, young people aren’t on this platform anymore.” That’s totally not the case. They’re coming back. Like I said, we’re facing such a crowded marketplace that the only way you can stand out…

There’s only two ways you can stand out. Either you’re with a label that has millions of dollars that can put your music through money, through volume, and can put it in front of enough ears and eyes. Sometimes that music isn’t even that great, but people… It’s like they can put it in front of them enough that they get a familiarity and they’re like, “Okay, well, maybe I like that song.”

It’s like it grows on them even though it’s not all that good. We all know some mainstream artists were like, “How did you get a record deal?” Well, that’s how. Because they have so many millions of dollars supporting them to get them in front of all those people. We don’t have that, right? What we have to do is we have to be a little smarter and a little more strategic. Okay?

The way to build an audience is not from trying to get famous worldwide. This is the biggest takeaway I want you to take from today. You only need to be famous in your micro-niche. You only need to be famous in a small crack. And that’s why I always laugh when people say to me, “Well, Leah, I’ve never heard of you.” Well, duh. Unless you listen to Celtic fantasy metal, why would you have heard of me?

My fans in my genre know exactly who I am, and that’s all that matters. The point is that you can’t… Let me give a different analogy. And when I heard this, I’m not really into war, military strategy stuff, but this just made so much sense to me. Okay? And it uses the strategy of thinking of World War II. You can’t put all your resources and energy and then spread yourself thin. You’ll never win that way. Instead they put all their resources, all their money, all their energy and effort into winning one tiny little beachhead. When they took over that little tiny beach, they then could move further inland, and they took over each little piece of land a small piece at a time, and before you knew it, they had won the war.

The point is that it’s not about becoming worldwide famous. You’re going to have to shift your headspace in that way and stop thinking about the old-school label model where it’s a label supporting you, putting millions behind you and you’re trying to get out to as many people as possible.

Now, exposure can be quite large on Facebook if you know what to do and that’s fine, but just because people hear you doesn’t mean they’re going to become fans. It’s a lot better to try to find a smaller amount of quality fans who really, really, really love your music and they’ll buy anything you put out. They just truly appreciate your art.

Now I’m not saying that you can’t eventually get famous or that you couldn’t ever become a household name. You can, but it’s more important that you become a household name in your tiny little genre. You need a little beachhead.

The nice thing about going smaller and becoming the big fish in the small pond is that it makes it so much easier for people to find you. People who are already looking for that kind of music, they’re searching for it really, and you just made it so much easier for them to find you. It’ll happen so much faster.

If you think you can put up a Facebook page and you can put out music and that people will magically find you, you’re delusional. That just won’t happen. It’ll be a complete fluke if that happens. I’m here to just let you know that that is the answer is go smaller. Go smaller.

The niche is typically something that already exists. In 98% of circumstances, if something that is already there that has been created, and it might be kind of new, but what it is not is a string of adjectives. Okay? It’s not what you wish it to be. It’s not, “Oh, my music is feel-good. This kind of… That like…” I don’t know, a bunch of adjectives that you just made up because is anybody searching for that in YouTube? Is anybody searching for that in Google?

What they might search for is, if they’re in a specific mood, that is the case, but now we’re dealing with more of SEO. It’s not a niche. Okay? And there’s a big difference between search engine optimization and keyword titles, say in a YouTube video and a niche. They definitely go hand-in-hand, and when you go to label things in YouTube and all of that, you’re going to use certain keyword phrases, and it should coincide with your niche, but you’ve got to just separate that. Don’t get lost in the woods on SEO.

Right now, the first thing you need to do is define that niche. How else can people find you? And if you’re not sure what your niche is… It’s always going to come back to the question of what is your twist, right? Because if you sound exactly like five other bands… Certainly you have your own twist, there’s something a little bit different about you, so you’re going to have to ask yourself that.

Yeah, the most important thing, guys, is that once you have a good grasp on your umbrella genre, you can then move to the sub-genre. It’s interesting even when you go to upload your music to iTunes, even they want a sub-genre. Having an umbrella genre isn’t good enough. They need one more qualifier to narrow it down.

The same goes for if you submit your music to Amazon or Google Play. They sometimes have three levels of genres, like, “Okay, you’re this, you’re this, and you’re this, that your music could fall under these categories.” Because even they need you to narrow it down or else their users, their consumers, won’t be able to find you. There’s just too many musicians out there. Right?

The smaller you go… It’s so counterintuitive to go smaller, you think, “Well, aren’t I cutting out my market? Aren’t I cutting out my market if I go too small?” You’re not. In fact, you need to look at it as a starting place. Okay? Your niche should describe what it is. People should be able to imagine and know what your music sounds like based on what the niche title is.

08:49 Leah: It shouldn’t be a poll on guessing like, “What is that?” They might be curious to hear it, like, “Oh, I wonder what that sounds like?” But they shouldn’t be wondering what does that mean? If it invokes the response, “What does that mean?”, then it’s not clear enough and you’re being too artsy-fartsy with your title.

I’m the same way. We can get really creative, but this is an instance where the idea here is to not be cute or witty or clever. We’re not trying to be clever with our micro-niche. We’re trying to be accurate.

When you get into the more advanced stages, when you are doing Facebook ads and stuff, now you have something to work with. If you didn’t know what differentiated you from everyone else, and you didn’t know your twist, and you have no idea what your targeted fan base is like, and you don’t know what makes them tick, what are the books they’re going to read, what are the blogs they read, where do they hang out online or the websites they’re hanging out? If you don’t know all of that stuff, your ads will bomb, and you’ll say, “Facebook ads don’t work,” and you’ll waste your money. That’s why I never encourage people to start spending money on Facebook ads until they get their free traffic down.

That’s why I have Facebook for musicians. I have The Busy Musician Bootcamp. I have a new product coming out actually this week. It’s a little small one on how to get 10,000 fans in seven days. But all of this is centered around having a micro-niche and knowing that you’ve got to get narrow, because if you don’t get narrow, you’re going to get lost. The idea here is to stand out and get smaller so that you eventually can become more well-known. You start small and then you can progress from there.

Facebook now has over 2 billion people here, and there’s a lot of people competing for the same fans that you are and the same eyeballs, the same ears, and how are we going to make it stand out? The way to do that is to get into a very specific niche that actually makes your market a lot smaller. It’s easier to be a large fish in a small pond, than to try and be another fish in an ocean of other fish. That’s so much harder, so much harder, way more effort.

What’s cool is that sometimes you really have combined some new things that really do sound fresh. I believe there’s really nothing new under the sun, but there’s definitely some new combinations of things that haven’t really been done before or just sounds fresh. Right? It has a new spin on it. I don’t believe there’s really anything completely, totally stays original.

No, we all got it from somewhere. We all have influences. Somebody at some point started something maybe in the beginning of time, but there’s really nothing you can honestly call original now and that’s totally fine. That’s actually how some of the best creative people work is by using inspiration from other people and making it their own and giving it their own twist.

As a qualifier for if you have found your niche, is when you describe it to someone or when you say the title, do they know what it is? Is it descriptive enough? Is it accurate or are you being really artsy-fartsy and creative and trying to be witty or cute with it. That’s not the goal. We want to just be descriptive so that, hey, when people type this into YouTube, your music comes up.

There is a little bit of crossover between your micro-niche, and you’ll know it’s a thing if people actually search for that thing. If it’s not that thing, you may have for that… There’s that 2% of people who genuinely have created something new that hasn’t really been done before, and for that you have a little bit of a greater challenge because now you’re going to have to… You’ve started a thing.

Now people are going to have to get used to the name. They’re going to have to also identify with that name and say, “Oh, I like that kind of music.” They’re going to have to somehow find you. Your challenge is a little greater if you have truly stumbled across something very unique. And I have several students who really have, and I was like, “Yeah, you really do have something that hasn’t been done before, or you have a twist that is very unique and not many people are doing.” So for that you’re really going to need to follow the steps that I teach as much as you can so that you can really stand out and attract people to you.

What you might do is end up using more of the layer above that micro-niche. You might want to stick more with the sub-genre to first attract people and then start educating them in a way as “You found us because you love this sub-genre. This is actually what we really are.” As we get to know you and love you and trust you, and when you develop relationships with your fans, it’ll become more apparent that, “Oh, it’s actually a layer deeper,” right?

You find that all the time. If you listen to Spotify playlist, and people get very generalized, and sometimes you’ll hear songs on a playlist, you’re like, “How did that make it onto this playlist? That doesn’t even make sense.” So people get generalized a lot in things and it drives us nuts as musicians, but for the consumer, that’s how they’re discovering music is through some of those generalizations. So I think the key is become a household name in your little niche, your little genre, and then you can expand from there and become more well-known, get more exposure, but it all starts with that tiny little beachhead that we talked about and then expanding from there.

So this was really fun and thanks for hanging out. I hope you have a wonderful week and we’ll talk to you soon.

Episode #096: How Social Media Is Changing The Music Industry

This may be the most concise, yet comprehensive, description of where we are in the music industry and what may be the greatest opportunity for artists in the last 25 years.

At the end of the 90s, Napster changed the old music industry with illegal downloading of digitized music, and a few years later, iTunes capitalized on that by now selling downloadable mp3s. And just a few years ago, another shift happened when apps like Pandora and Spotify eliminated the mp3 with music streaming.

All of this represented just more taking advantage of the artist as new companies made bundles while artists got pennies. They’re all just another version of the record labels.

But, the problem the internet created by Napster, iTunes, and Spotify has also now provided artists with a way to finally control their own careers and make the money they always wanted without a record label!

In this special episode, C.J. breaks this down in such as way that you’ll be fired up and ready to go to work on marketing your music. Buckle your seatbelts because you’re in for a ride!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The impact of the internet and Napster
  • Sad tales from the road
  • Social media is the new music industry
  • Why being discovered doesn’t matter anymore
  • Dialing in your Facebook ads
  • Getting more gigs because of your strong social media presence
  • The superfan system
  • Creating merchandise to sell while having no inventory


“Social media is the single biggest game-changer for the music industry since it began.”  – @metalmotivation [0:05:01]

“It’s not about potential fans discovering you, it’s about you discovering fans.”  – @metalmotivation [0:10:37]

“If you have a musical brand that you can now push out to an audience and you know how to target those people, then you can build an online music business.”  – @metalmotivation [0:16:45]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Join the TOM 3.0 Waitlist —

Book a Call With Us —

Click For Full Transcript

00:21 CJ: This is CJ. I am the branding and mindset coach here at the Savvy Musician Academy. No doubt everybody has learned now that you simply cannot go on as you were before. This current crisis that we’re undergoing has really revamped the way everybody is looking at life, the way everybody’s looking at career, the way everybody is looking at possibility and opportunity. Think about that. So many dear, dear friends of mine play music for a living in that they play live events. They play live gigs at venues, in bars and the like. Well, that has all been shut down. All of it has been shut down. And so, now they’re scrambling to try and find other things to do to try and earn a living. As we always know, it’s artists, it’s creative people who always seem to get screwed. Screwed by record labels, screwed by media players, screwed by Spotify, iTunes and what have you.

Now even been screwed by the economy. So what do you do when something like this is happening? What do you do? What’s the challenge here for us? Well, you’ve got to build an online music business, and that’s the primary thing that has changed since the music industry experienced its last and almost detrimental revolution at the end of the 20th century. And that was essentially that you, your music, the music that you wrote could suddenly be distributed worldwide without your permission because of Napster. Napster changed the way the music industry was being handled. It essentially shut things down. Everything got shut down. Bands were up in arms over this, music was being distributed for free. And we understand that and we went through that.

The next change was when iTunes came out, and now they started to sort of capitalize on what was happening with downloadable MP3s and the iPod and all of these things begin to change that. So people were now buying and downloading music, but still the artist was getting pennies for what the tech companies were getting. Now the last one is streaming music. Now streaming is taking from the artist. Now, it’s great to get exposure and people are getting exposure on YouTube and the like. But now the music industry is what? What value is there right now for a record label? What can a record label do for you right now? Not a whole lot. Not a whole lot.

I know touring musicians, in fact, I did an interview with Lindsay Matheson who played in an international touring band. She said, in the discussions that she had with other professional touring musicians, that they were shocked to find out that the bus driver was making more money than they were. The bus driver was making more money than they were, and so oftentimes they have to go back. I know members of that band, when they get off the road, they have to go back and work in the bars or do some construction or whatever it is they have to do. There’s just not the type of profit or revenue that there used to be. Now what? Well, this is where the internet has begun to revolutionize things, even though it is the internet that caused the problem to begin with, in the sense that Napster began this MP3 download, file sharing thing, the internet is also the solution. It’s not just what created the problem, it’s also what is creating the solution.

However, something specific had to happen in the internet in order for us to be able to take advantage now of the power of the internet. You see, prior to social media, people were marketing things on the internet already. For example, Amazon started in the ’90s. So people were already using the internet for e-commerce prior to the advent of social media. In other words, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the like. So internet marketing had been around since the internet was born. However, we did not have the opportunities that we have now because of social media. That’s what’s important to understand. Social media is the single biggest game changer for the music industry since it began, and that’s a big thing for me to say, but I assure you that is the case and I’ll explain why that is.

Now, I have been in marketing for 30 years. 30 years I have been in design, advertising and marketing. My degrees are in this. This is what I’ve done all my life and now I help out with the Savvy Musician Academy as both a branding and a mindset coach. I work with our elite students on a one-on-one basis, helping them with their branding, their marketing, et cetera. I’ve done this. I’ve got my own pages that I do. So believe me, I have done this for a long time. Here’s the thing you have to understand, is that the internet prior to social media, do you remember the things you used to say when you first discovered the internet? Do you remember what you thought? You were like, “I wonder if so-and-so company has a website yet. I wonder if this band has a website yet.” What did you used to say about someone who was goofing off on the internet, wasting time on the internet? What did we used to say? How did we describe it? We said they were surfing the web. Surfing the web. Well, do we even say that anymore?

Does anybody say surfing on the web anymore? Absolutely not. Nobody says that, because the web, internet, is just a part of our lives now. So what do we say now when somebody is wasting time online? Well, they’re checking their social media, they’re checking their Facebook. So we went from surfing the web to checking Facebook. So everything now is down to the little screen. That’s why you see advertising and whatnot being spent there. It’s because all of the focus now is on the little screen. But think about how revolutionary this is because, prior to social media, you had no hope of someone discovering you online. How would they find you if you’re a band? It doesn’t matter how good you are. How would someone find you? How would they know where you were? How would they know that you even existed? Well, prior to social media, information on the internet is searched for. You search for information on the internet. That’s how you do it. So it had to be a key word search, but nobody is necessarily going to be putting into the internet your name because they don’t know who you are.

You see, prior to social media, information on the internet was searched for. Now I want you to really listen to what I’m about to say. Prior to social media, information on the internet is searched for. After social media, information is shared. I want you to contemplate that for just a second. After social media, information is not searched for, information is shared. For example, we’re got this virus going on, and I’ve used this example for years. It’s going to mean a whole lot more now because we’re dealing with this COVID-19, coronavirus thing. But if I had a flu virus, how many people could I effectively infect if I stood in the middle of Times Square as people are moving by quickly? Not very many people.

08:38 CJ: I can’t affect very many people if I’m standing out in the street, but what happens if I get on a boarded airplane that’s full? Every seat is full on a commercial airline flight and had that same flu, that same virus. How many people could I infect? A lot. You’re seeing this with the cruise ships. Quarantining the cruise ships because it’s a captive audience. It is a isolated audience, an encapsulated audience. That, my friend, is what social media is. Social media is the internet contained, because people have to have an account in order to be on it. You can’t be on Facebook without a Facebook account. Therefore, you are able to spread things virally on social media like you could not do prior to social media.

You look at something like YouTube. A lot of musicians focused their attention on YouTube thinking, really thinking the old way, just like the record industry was. The old way, the record industry was, “I hope I get discovered by a record label.” Now they’re on YouTube thinking, “I hope I get discovered on YouTube. I hope my video goes viral.” Not likely. YouTube, which is owned by Google, is a search engine. YouTube, which is owned by Google, is a search engine. Facebook is a share engine. Think about that difference. So the power of social media and why it has changed the music industry now is because it’s not about people discovering you, it’s about you discovering people. It’s not about potential fans discovering you, it’s about you discovering fans. Because what Facebook does is track all the movements that we make, all the things that we click on and engage with and have interest and passions about. Facebook keeps a record of that. Therefore, when you use the powerful Facebook ad manager, you can target the exact people who would love your music.

Man, you better be clapping your hands and tearing up your ceiling right now because that is the best news anybody could have given you since Napster did what it did. This is the single most important thing to happen since the end of the 20th century. The problem that Napster and the internet created at the end of the 20th century now has the potential to be solved because of what we have now through the power of social media. I want you to think about that, because now you can go direct to market. Now you can target people who like this band, that band, this person, eats that food, watches this, does that, and you can put your music video right in front of the most ideal person who want to hear it. Man, that’s powerful. That is absolutely powerful.

Now, I do a project myself. The other half of my life is motivational speaking. I want you to listen to this example really, really closely. I’m serious, man. I’m about to put horseshoes in your boxing gloves. I’m about to help you cheat the system if you’ll listen really, really closely right now. I have a side project that I’ve done. I launched it in Halloween of 2009. It’s called Metal Motivation: Daily Screams for Living Aggressively. Metal Motivation. Now, the other half of my life is being a personal development person, self-improvement, motivational speaking, that sort of thing. I target, however, people who like heavy metal, hard rock. So I’m targeting those people. So my short hand description would be, I’m like Tony Robbins meets Metallica. Simple. Tony Robbins meets Metallica. It’s called Metal Motivation. Now, I set that up again in 2009. Well, here was the challenge. How do I target people for that page? Well, because of what the Facebook ad manager can do, I can target them.

But try and target that sort of thing before social media, because nobody prior to Facebook would ever sit down at the Google search engine and say, “I wonder if there’s a heavy metal version of motivation. I wonder if there’s a heavy metal motivational speaker. I wonder if there’s a heavy metal self-improvement program.” They would never say that. What would they do? They would sit down at the search engine and they would say, “How to be more motivated.” And they might be a lover of heavy metal, but they’re not looking for a metal motivation. They’re looking for how to be more motivated, and so they’ll take the information from whoever it is, whether it’s a metal motivator or not. But how much more ideal would it be if they had a metal motivator? But they’re just not going to discover me on a Google search. With Facebook, I can discover them.

So what I do, because of the Facebook ad manager, it has different layering. So I can say, “Find me, Facebook, people who like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest. But they must also like, they must also like Tony Robbins. They must also have read the book Think and Grow Rich. They must also have listened to this motivational speaker or follow this motivational page.” So now I can run ads directly to people who love heavy metal and love motivational content. Think about that. I’m targeting people who love heavy metal and love motivational content. So now when I put my ads in front of those people, they click like. I spend, and this is something Leah teaches in her courses. Both The Online Musician, what we call The Tom Program, as well as the Super Fan System Elite Program. She teaches this very thing, where she spends $10 a day on bringing new people to her page. I do the same thing. I spend $10 a day, 24/7. It’s $300 a month. I don’t even think about it. It’s money I spend on my business. That’s my business.

I’m in business here. So I spend $10 a day on that advertising, and it brings me in about 150 on average new likes per day to my page. My page is over 130,000, so it brings in 150 or more new likes every day like clockwork. It’s anywhere between five to 7 cents per like. Very, very cheap and inexpensive. Why? Because I have my audience targeted in. I couldn’t do that with a Google search engine. I couldn’t do that with trying to get a viral video on YouTube. I’m not waiting for people to discover me, I’m discovering them. I’m targeting them. That’s why social media is changing the way the music industry is being done. Now, what this means for you is that if you understand who you are as an artist, if you have a brand, a musical brand that you can now push out to an audience and you know how to target those people, then you can build an online music business. You can build an online music business.

So instead of putting just your video on YouTube and hoping somebody comes across it, or bothering all your friends on Facebook and say, “Hey man, share my video,” no, you can go directly to the people who want to hear the kind of music that you make. If you play ambient music, just instrumental. We’ve got in our Super Fan System Elite Program, we’ve got instrumentalists, ambient players. We’ve got, I mean, weird stuff. We’ve got pop music, we’ve got rock music, we’ve got all kinds of players. And they all have an audience that they can reach. We’ve got people that are very mission-driven in their music, very mission-driven. I’ve got one guy in our Elite Program, he’s just a solo music player, but he’s very passionate about the environment and social causes. He’s the real deal, man. He puts his money where his mouth is, and so he has a message to go along with it. Well, he’s able to now find an audience specifically for him.

17:51 CJ: Even if, maybe you want to do a combination. Maybe you want to do both online and build up your local gigs whenever you’re allowed to start playing again, and it will come back. Local music is going to come back again. But you maybe want to do both, sell some of your merchandise, sell your CDs and vinyl records online, as well as maybe sell some of your shows locally, you can use the same show social media marketing tactics there as well. Imagine this. Now, let me tell you something. For five years I ran a music venue, a very big music venue in Texas. It had two stages, indoors and outdoors. I would run a dance band on the indoor stage. I’d run a rock band on the outdoor stage and switch them up, every Friday and Saturday night. So believe me, I know what it means to host local bands. I know what booking is. I know what bar owners and venues are looking for.

One of the number one things when new artists would come to me and say, “Hey, can you book me?” One of the first things I would want to see is their social media presence. What kind of following do they have? They were trying to rely on the bar’s following. If you really want to attract a venue, you really want to get booked locally, then you want a venue owner, a bar owner, to see that you bring people out. And you can tell them, “Listen, I’ve got a huge Facebook following and people will show up when I play. I have an engaged following and they will show up when I play.” Well, guess what? You are going to get booked. That’s why it’s in your interest to build your social media audience, create brand awareness. See, what most people do. They say, “Oh, I’m already on Facebook. Oh, I know social media.” No they don’t. They’ve got a Facebook page and all they got on there is their events.

There’s no engagement. There’s nobody commenting. There’s no life going on. They’re not posting anything. They’re not doing anything. They just set up a Facebook page because that’s what people do. That’s a recipe for failure, I promise you that. You can’t do it that way. There’s a way to market your music via social media. Any music, maybe you give lessons now in light of the fact that there’s a downturn in these things. And you need to make some extra money. You can use the powerful tools of social media marketing to build your personal brand and target people just in your zip code. Isn’t that amazing? Let me tell you how powerful this is. When you’re going for the little screen, targeting the little screen … I get direct mail, as you probably do too. I get direct mail to my mailbox, my physical mailbox, every day. Now, I’m serious about my nutrition. I do the ketogenic diet to be specific, but I’m very serious about my nutrition. But I’ll get direct mail postcards and mailers from fast food restaurants or pizza delivery or takeout places.

Would they bother to send me that mail? Because it costs them money to have it produced. It costs them money to design it, it costs them money to buy a mailing list, it costs them money to mail it to me. Would they bother? Wouldn’t they love to know that I don’t eat that food? But you see, what does it tell me that I keep getting these mailers in my mailbox? It tells me that their targeting options are very, very limited. In Facebook, you don’t do that. In social media, you don’t do that. Nobody receives my advertising or my post that is not specifically and specially targeted for exactly what I’m going to put in front of them. Well, yeah. If I’m targeting people who love heavy metal and love motivational content, if I put in front of them an ad that says, “Hey, I’m the Metal Motivator. Get daily inspiration for motivated people who love heavy metal,” guess what they do? They click like, because I’m not putting it in front of people who don’t like those things.

Again, this is so much better than the internet has ever been. This is why you can have an online music business. Because, again, think about this. It’s what we teach in the Savvy Musician Academy, the Super Fan. What’s a super fan? A super fan is somebody who’s just crazy about your music, so crazy about it that they’ll buy stuff from you. That’s a super fan. If you had 1,000 super fans, 1,000 people who really like you and really like your music and those people, those 1,000 people, spent $100 in a year with you, t-shirts, hoodies, CDs, vinyl, whatever. If that 1,000 super fans just spent $100 in a single year with you, that would be a six-figure income. If they spent just $100 a year, that would be a six-figure income. Again, I have built my Facebook page up to 130,000-plus. Leah, three or four times as that. All you need is 1,000 people who will spend $100 a year with you and you have a six-figure income with your music business.

Hey, let’s make it easier. 50 people. I mean, excuse me, 200 people spending $50. The same thing. But you can build it up so much more than that. You can go well beyond 1,000 super fans. You can do so much more. You couldn’t do that with just the internet, you needed social media. That’s why social media has changed the nature of the music industry itself. This is powerful. Absolutely powerful. Absolutely game-changing. I know we’re living in trying times. I understand that this virus thing hit us all unexpectedly. We did not see it coming. But here’s the big lesson learned, you need alternative means of income. You can’t just go by by that day job anymore. I think everybody’s awake to that fact now. Now is the time for you to launch and build your online music business.

Again, you can use this to help build your live music playing. You can use this to bring people out to your shows. You can do all of it if you can build your audience, create this brand awareness, get that audience engaged and maybe get some of them then I’m on to a dedicated email list and you stay in communication with these people, going live like I am now. Creating this relationship where people know you, where they like you, where they trust you, where they enjoy hearing from you, where they love your music. Those people will buy your shirts, they’ll buy whatever you want to put in front of them. And you say, “Well, CJ. Listen, man, I don’t have the money to get a bunch of inventory. How am I going to get a bunch of shirts made? How am I going to get a bunch of hoodies and hats and mugs and all these things made?”

You don’t have to. For example, we use print-on-demand services. I have a store which has well over 100 products. I’ve got smartphone covers. I’ve got hats. I’ve got shirts. I’ve got necklaces, ladies’ stuff, men’s stuff. I’ve got coffee mugs. I’ve got all kinds of stuff and I don’t have a single piece of inventory. Not one. I do it through a Shopify e-commerce store and that’s all hooked up to these print-on-demand vendors. If someone places an order, they make the shirt to order. They don’t keep an inventory either. They make a single shirt, a single hat, a single hoodie per order, and they ship it to them. I don’t ever touch the product. All I have to do is build an audience, get them to know me, like me, trust me, engage with me on social media. Then if I build them up and I give them value, if I add value to their life for free, they’re more than happy to get a shirt. They’re more than happy to get a hat. They’re more than happy to get a mug, to support what I’m doing. I call it wearing their attitude.

It’s awesome, man. It’s awesome. This is the power of social media. This is why social media has changed the face of the music industry. This is why you can create an online music business. Man, I hope the coin is dropping for you. I hope you understand what I’m talking about. Like I said, I’ve done this for 30 years. I know I don’t look that old. I’ve been doing this a long, long time. I’ve watched the internet. I started long before the internet, so I’ve seen it grow. Marketing, design and advertising and promotion, I’ve seen it grow. I was in the early stages of promoting on social media. I was doing it beforehand. So again, again, this is so important for you to grasp and understand. You have options. You don’t have to stay where you are. If you know where you are as an artist if you know who you are as an artist, if you know who your target audience is, and it may take some thought. But these are things we teach all at the Savvy Musician Academy.

One of the things that we’ve got coming up here very soon is something that Leah produces. She’s about to release the most upgraded version, which is The Online Musician 3.0. Or as we call it, TOM 3.0. It will launch here in May very, very soon. So if you want information about that and you want to get on the list, then I want you to go to that URL right there, If you are somebody who’s down the road. In other words, you got a pretty good following. You’ve got a website. You’ve maybe sold some music online and you’ve kind of plateaued and you need to go to your next level, then I want you to check us out at Go to, because then we can talk to you about our Elite Program.

You need to be an elite. Keep believing. Don’t give up right now. This is not the time to be discouraged. This is not the time to be fearful. This is not the time to be anxious. This is the time to advance. You need to go on the offensive. I know it seems scary out there. I know it does, but you can dissuade. You can assuage your worries, your fears and anxiety by taking action. Stay strong. We will see you guys soon.

Episode #095: Making Good Use of Your Isolation, Pt. 2

Part 2 of “Making Good Use of Your Isolation” gives you more pro tips on what you can be doing right now at home to expand your music business. With so many people at home and online, this is such a great opportunity for you to provide people with some normalcy while building relationships and increasing your sales. 

In this episode, Leah and C.J. discuss what you can be doing to reach more people and how to do it as effectively as possible. 

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Selling music vs. selling anything else online
  • Short-term vs. long-term fan building tactics
  • Optimizing your online store
  • Incremental long-term profits
  • Nurture emails
  • Spam email trigger words
  • Online concerts
  • A different approach to merchandise
  • Seizing this opportunity with people at home and online
  • Being an encouragement to others right now


“Something that screams unprofessional is one product page is using one font and one formatting and whatever and the next product page is a completely different font, different size, different color, different style images, different everything.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:21:30]

“Your goal is to just bump that little percentage up half a point at a time. Just continuing until you’re getting a really good take rate on that upsell. So, the devil’s in the details on those numbers, you don’t go for big numbers.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:25:59]

“The way to optimize it (your email), first of all, take a look at your open rates and take a look at your click-through rates. That’s really the starting point, when I’m looking to improve it, that’s the first thing.”  – @LEAHthemusic [0:27:13]

“Usually the subject line just needs to be changed, we need to try something else. Sometimes certain trigger words will end up in the spam, will cause your email to end up in the spam.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:27:29] 

“Sometimes the right shirt or thing to have is one that says something about the person wearing it.” – @metalmotivation [0:31:14]

“So many people are home, they’re online, they’re bored, you have the opportunity of a lifetime to capture their attention.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:33:17]

“Take advantage of this time to be encouraging. It’s not just about you going on to play, it’s about you talking to them, too.” – @metalmotivation [0:33:52]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Join the TOM 3.0 Waitlist —

Sam Morrisson (TOM Student) —

Book a Call With Us —

Podcast Episode #083 (Top 9 Marketing Metrics You Need to Know to Grow Your Music Business —

Click For Full Transcript

00:21 CJ: Well, welcome to the Savvy Musician Show. This is CJ Ortiz, I’m the branding and mindset coach here at the Savvy Musician Academy, joined once again by her eminence, your mentor, my friend and colleague, the lovely Leah McHenry. How you doing? 

00:38 Leah: I’m doing wonderful, great to see you. 

00:41 CJ: It’s great to be seen. 

00:43 Leah: Yeah, just saw you 10 seconds ago. 

00:45 CJ: That’s right. It’s good to see me, isn’t it? Well, listen, we had such a really really powerful time in this last episode that we did something we don’t normally do which is kind of change the plan. You know, sometimes this is the way life and business is when you’re an entrepreneur, Leah. You are changing the tire while the car is running down the road. 

01:08 Leah: That’s my life. That’s literally my life. Change the diaper while the kid is already running. 

01:16 CJ: We got into just what was built off of a post that you made just as the pandemic was starting to break out outside of China, had some foresight. You started to write out a list of things for people to do while they were in isolation to build their music business. It really went over well. And then you did a video about it on Facebook and then it changed the whole editorial plan for the Inner Circle magazine. I changed that because of it. And now we are doing a podcast. So we started to just go over this little list of things you said to do and all of a sudden…

01:56 Leah: Kaboom. 

01:57 CJ: It went deep. It went deep and the theme that really came out of that last one was about leaning in, which was to say that, hey, people are spending money, man. They are spending money. Not necessarily high-ticket items, not cars and houses and that sort of thing, but they are buying smaller things. Things that make them feel good, which a creative artist, like yourself or those listening to us, can produce. Whether it’s shirts, merchandise, music or what have you.

So, we got to the place where, and I’m going to share a student spotlight here in just a second, but we got to the place where we were about to get more into the e-commerce elements, specifically Shopify and stuff and you just kind of said “Hey, you know what, I could go really deep on this so why don’t we stop it here and we’ll jump to another episode” and so that’s what we are doing today. So, we changed it and added a part two to this very very important thing that Leah began on making good use of your isolation.

Before we get into that, this is a little student spotlight which is our little testimonial and this is from Sam Morrison, who is a student in the TOM program. TOM means The Online Musician, he writes “Win, I’m happy to report I’m finally seeing success from all I’ve learned from SMA. It’s been a lot of work, I’ve completely rebuilt my website and store” wow, that’s something you should be he should be doing, right? 

03:20 Leah: It’s huge. 

03:22 CJ: “I’ve started running Facebook Ads and created my first funnel. My email list is up to 1,118 people and this month so far I’ve brought in $439.58 in sales. It’s not change my life money yet but in a way, it is because I see that it’s possible. My biggest breakthrough was when I started actually putting a story behind my products. Copy is everything. I’m anxiously awaiting TOM 3.0, I’m REALLY wanting to jump into the Elite program and with things going the way they are I’m sure it won’t be long. Thanks, Leah.” Man, I love that. 

03:59 Leah: That’s great. On every level that’s great. 

04:02 CJ: That’s like a podcast in itself. 

04:05 Leah: Right. 

04:06 CJ: Hit all the topics we want to cover and mentioned TOM 3.0. 

04:09 Leah: Yep. Copywriting. Story behind the merch. 

04:13 CJ: Uh-huh, email list. 

04:15 Leah: This guy is going places, I can tell. 

04:18 CJ: Well, one thing I loved about what he said there is, “It’s not change my life money yet, but in a way, it is because I see that it’s possible.” 

04:26 Leah: Yeah, like 4 hundred and something doesn’t necessarily change your life until it starts becoming regular and every day you just keep doing it again and you keep doing it again. That’s what I said to my friend, Lindsay we were talking about in the last episode, who sold out of all her limited edition vinyl during the pandemic. She was nervous about… she didn’t know how it was going to go over, I was like launch it, just launch it, it’ll be fine.

And she sold all out of all of it and I’m like amazing, now you get to do it all over again. And this is it, right? It’s like that’s amazing, do it again. That’s amazing, do it again. Do it again. Do it again until you eat, sleep and breathe this. And that’s when you get really good results. Until it has become second nature to you, and you don’t even have to think about how to run an ad and you don’t even have to think about how to run a campaign and how to launch something, it’s going to be a struggle. That needs to become part of who you are.

You really have to adopt that as a person and then you really see the results. So, congratulations to this guy, congratulations to our students who are doing it, do it again. Lean in like we talked about, do not back off, do not take your foot off the gas pedal, it’s time to put the pedal to the metal and do more, not less. 

05:49 CJ: That’s huge. And again, like you said, to the outsider who looks in at it, Leah, who says “Oh, he just made $400 something dollars. You going to have a big music career with that?” You know a skeptic or a cynic would say. But he’s right, he goes yeah it didn’t change my life radically as far as paying all of my bills…

06:10 Leah: But it did. 

06:11 CJ: But now that I see what’s possible, that $438 will become $43,800, which will become $430,000 if he keeps on this trajectory. So, the most important thing is what is changing in him and for those listening, the most important thing is that something changes in you when you see what is possible. Leah, we finished the last episode where we started to go into one of the things you can do in isolation, which is to build or optimize your Shopify store. That turned into an in-depth discussion on just the power of e-commerce and where things are right now.

06:57 Leah: And I’ve got to say, let me just kind of kick the rest of this list off by saying I believe now having sold other things other than music is that music is one of the hardest things to sell because we’re just in a new paradigm and we’re still getting used to it. It’s a tough sell, it’s harder to sell that than other things. So, what I can tell you is that I feel prepared now for anything. Because I learned how to sell music, I learned how to sell a lot of it from home as an artist who is just a recording artist and doesn’t tour, I feel like because I gained the skills to do that, now everything else is easy in comparison. Like the easiest thing in the world in comparison.

I will never sugar coat that, okay? Selling music is tougher than selling candy or selling other things, it’s just the nature of it. We still have a culture of people who are getting used to buying online, there’s certain demographics, we have other cultures who are only streaming and so artists are having to be creative in other ways, selling merchandise, selling VIP tickets, selling experiences, selling Patreons. They’re having to think really outside the box and that’s what makes it tricky is for any of that stuff to work, you’ve got to have the foundation, you’ve got to have the skills.

You still need to develop yourself as an artist. You still, no matter what you’re going to do, I don’t care if you’re streaming on Twitch and video games at night and then gigging during the day, I don’t care what is is you’re doing, you must know your artist identity, you must know your brand, you must know your culture, you must know your niche, you must have a good website, you must understand social media and you must know how to grow an audience. I don’t care what you’re doing. So, I feel like if you can learn how to sell music, everything else will be so easy. I really wanted to start off by saying that.

In this training that you get from us, especially in The Online Musican 3.0, which every musician needs to start out with this program until you’re making three to five thousand dollars a month from online revenue or different streams of revenue, not gigging. Until you’re doing that regularly every month, you need to go through this program. Until you’re doing that, every musician needs to go through that program to build that foundation. It’s the foundation of the house, if you try to put a roof on before there’s even walls up, that’s not really going to work.

So, this is where everybody starts out. I just want everybody to understand that it is sometimes awkward, it is sometimes difficult, which is why I created the program because I did not know how to do it and every time I took a business course or every time I took an advertising course I felt like it didn’t apply to me and it was really awkward to try and apply abstract business ideas to something that’s art. Very difficult transition. Difficult to bridge that gap, so I created what I needed. I created what I wished I had and that turned into Savvy Musician Academy, that turned into The Online Musician, our flagship program.

And now we’re on the third iteration of it and updating it with all the new things that we’ve learned and the way the markets have changed and the way the platforms have changed and helping you develop yourself. This is what it is, it’s an artist development program that focuses really on your brand, your music, your image, your culture, the things that are going to be the launching pad for everything you do from here on out. Even though music is more difficult than other things, trust me, you learn that… and I always tell all of our clients and all of our students, if you take this training and really let it become second nature, there’s no reason why you couldn’t start a six or seven-figure business outside of this too.

It’s the type of skills that really permeate that really translate to the real world and that’s really what makes us different. And of course, what makes it different is it’s put together by somebody who is doing it. And that doesn’t just have to be me. A lot of our coaches are doing it, they’re either working for people who are doing it or they are musicians themselves who are doing it or they’re closely related to the industry. So, we all have our hands in the real world and we’re actually doing this, we don’t just teach it. I just wanted to start off on that foot as we go through this list because I think it’s important for people to understand, just to have that basis. 

11:39 CJ: No, it’s a valid point because we don’t want to be unrealistic in anyone’s expectations. I mean, the music industry in this regard has never been so easy, because before you had to be discovered and get with a record label and all that. Yes, it’s never been so easy because of the technology and the online element all these things, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. 

12:04 Leah: Right. 

12:06 CJ: It’s easier than it used to be, but it’s not easy. 

12:09 Leah: Yeah, well it’s like anything, you know when Tik Tok started, I don’t know if you know that app, it’s a brand new app, maybe not super brand new but it’s very very popular with the kids. It’s all like 15-second videos and stuff and people just entertaining themselves being stupid. I hear several months ago because it’s so brand new and there’s millions of people on there, all of a sudden, if you posted a video on there, it got a million views. People are like what this is crazy, I just uploaded a video and like 24-hours later I have like 3 million views, this is insane.

This is what happens whenever any new market opens up or new app opens up. So, yes, with this turning of the tide it’s never been easier to be heard, be seen and at the same time it’s also part of the newness and then over time what happens is it become saturated, it becomes flooded, everybody’s there and it becomes white noise. And now the algorithms have changed and there’s so much content they prioritize things that are already getting engagement. This is how it always works. It was the same thing on Instagram, same thing on Facebook. It’s always the way it is.

So, this is why you need to understand the basics and the foundational pieces of real marketing because if you think that you’re just going to have some wild success just because you are there, that’s the whole “build it and they will come” mentality, which doesn’t work long-term. You might get a fluke where you join a new platform  and the first two weeks something takes off, but you should never count on that. I just joined on there to see what it’s doing and I don’t think everybody’s always getting those types of views anymore at all. Suddenly it’s saturated. They always say, what is it like “marketers always ruin a good thing” or something? 

13:58 CJ: Yeah, yeah. 

13:59 Leah: So, now marketers and businesses, they hear about Tik Tok, now they’re all on there polluting the feed and skewing all the numbers and stuff. These things just don’t last. That’s my point is those kinds of flash-in-the-pan visibility, it doesn’t last which is why you need to know how to build a Shopify store. Real e-commerce, how to build an email list, how to build an audience from scratch, which I just did recently myself for my Mythologie candle business. You need to know how to do landing pages and you need to know how to dial in your culture.

All of those things are what is going to last. And if you don’t do that, it’s going to be really hard for you to sell a lot of music or sell anything. 

14:48 CJ: This is so important because it’s something that’s been on my heart as of late, because you see this sort of thing yourself on Instagram or what have you, these young e-commerce guys and gals that are selling info products or whatever, they’re coming out of the woodwork. 

15:06 Leah: Oh, yeah. 

15:07 CJ: Tons and tons of them. 

15:09 Leah: Their Lamborghinis and their jets in the background. 

15:11 CJ: And it’s all very short-term stuff. There is no long-lasting thing. They’re selling a tactic, they’re selling a gimmick, they’re selling something like that. So, I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing with Metal Motivation, for example, for 10 years. You’ve been doing yours for almost just as long. Leah started at the end of 2011, or…

15:30 Leah: Yeah, my first album came out 2012. 

15:33 CJ: Okay, so we’re talking a long time here. I remember, there was one of the TV evangelists up the street from a church I went to in Texas. One of the big ones that got caught in the scandals and all that back in the late 80’s. He had like thousands of people at his church and our little church had like three hundred and something. But our pastor, he was the cool one, he was a straight-up guy, he was a good guy and so I remember we were sitting in a meeting with him and someone had said “Pastor, what do you think about so-and-so, brother wonderful down the street? Who’s just building, growing by the thousands and thousands and we’re struggling to get any growth.”

And he said “Well, it all comes down to what you’re trying to build.” And it’s true, because that guy is long gone. But now the guy who had the 350 members, now he’s got satellite congregations all over the place and I think that church is now like 15,000 members or something. So, point being is that like in anything, if you want something long-term, and we say this in a lot of our copy, a long-term music business, not something short-term…

16:46 Leah: Sustainable. 

16:47 CJ: Right, sustainable. So, it’s built off of a brand. That’s what Leah is saying, because the listener might not be thinking about this, Leah. They’re thinking “Okay, tell me the secret software, tell me the secret trick, Leah.”

16:58 Leah: Yeah “Should I do Click Funnels?”

17:00 CJ: Yeah, exactly. Instead of really thinking through your artist identity, like she said, instead of really thinking through the culture, really thinking through the organic things that you can do, really thinking through your branding. These are the things that are going to matter, that are going to give you the long-term growth. Then what you grow into the email service that you use, the copywriting, the paid advertising and all this sort of stuff, man that just scales it. That just maximizes it, but none of that is going to work if you don’t have this fundamental stuff, not just in place, I mean fortified. 

17:41 Leah: Yeah. 

17:42 CJ: Like roots, grounded. You didn’t build your house on the sand, you built it on solid rock. And the solid rock is who you are as an artist and who your ideal audience is. Even though I know we’re supposed to be going through this list, I just really feel like where people are right now, Leah, because of this crisis, has kind of re-oriented them to where they’re like “Oh my god, I should have been listening. Now I’ve got to go back through all these podcast episodes.”

Because I guarantee anyone who listens to any one of our podcast episodes now, in light of this crisis, in light of the fact of being out of a job, everybody’s stuck at home and not being able to depend on things like you used to, I guarantee you would hear every episode differently. 

18:24 Leah: Mm-hmm. 

18:25 CJ: I guarantee you because you’ve got new ears to listen now because this crisis has changed the name of the game. Now, it’s changed it for everyone else out there, it didn’t change it at all for the Savvy Musician Academy and the TOM program, the Elite program or the Inner Circle. What it did, is it just made us more relevant than we’ve ever been. 

18:45 Leah: Yeah, we have a lot of students saying “I’m going to go back through the course again right now.” Because they have the time and they know, it’s like I really need to up my game. People are spending money right now, so the issue is not that. The issue is do you have your act together and are you in the position to actually make that revenue, and you don’t need a ton of money upfront to make it happen. There’s a lot of people not spending very much and they are still making money.

If you have an ad budget, that will help, absolutely. It’s going to magnify what you’re already doing. 

19:22 CJ: Yeah, well just to make that point, you don’t need somebody to pay you a thousand dollars right now. What you need is a thousand people to pay you $10. 

19:29 Leah: Right. Absolutely, that thousand true fan model, right? You have a thousand fans pay $100 or two thousand fans pay $50 or however you want to do it. However, you want to break it down, just like ten bucks here absolutely makes a difference. The average product on my Mythologie candles is only like a $20 product, if you look at the smallest one and the highest one. So, they’re not huge tickets items and it’s going crazy right now.

I think I’ll just say this too just to drive the point home, this new business, I just call it my fun business because that’s all I’m doing it for is for fun, it’s been the easiest thing I’ve ever done and I think because I’ve put in so many hours and done the hard work of solidifying all these e-commerce principles between like do I need to write an ad or write copy or write an email. I know this like the back of my hand. This is so easy, I know how to put together a new Shopify store and make it look amazing in 48 hours.

I can write these product descriptions, I know exactly what to include, I know what people are looking for, I’ve done my research, I’ve talked to people, I’ve polled them, I’ve posted pictures in groups and I’ve just asked them their opinions so I know the way they’re ticking and if you know the way people tick then you have such an advantage. That kind of brings me to the rest of this list, which is building a Shopfy store if you don’t have one yet, during this time while you’re at home or optimizing your store. That’s actually what we’re doing in my music business.

This whole last first quarter we were just doing a whole bunch of optimizing. If I had too many products, at one point I had way too many, so we got rid of a whole bunch and did like a spring cleaning. There’s all different kinds of optimizations you can make in terms of cleaning up your store. Making sure that every product page looks the same and uniform and so there’s continuity between them. Something that screams unprofessional is one product page is using one font and one formatting and whatever and the next product page is a completely different font, different size, different color, different style images, different everything.

That just screams unprofessional. Those are little tweaks and things that are kind of time-consuming that you might not always have time for, now is a great time to clean that up. Clean up your offerings, decide or create new offerings that you didn’t have before, hey it’s time to launch a new design on a whole bunch of different print-on-demand products or whatever. Now is a good time to do that. Making sure the formatting is good. Maybe you want to play around with some different apps that you haven’t tried and have been meaning to try, now is a good time to do that. 

22:12 CJ: Yeah, I mean one of the things that I think people don’t realize is just how versatile some of the software is and specifically Shopify, which is the premier e-commerce software. You can try other things, but there’s just more apps available for it, it’s integrated with other software, Facebook-friendly, so I mean it really is the best one, at least that’s the one that we’re recommending. 

22:39 Leah: Oh, yeah.

22:40 CJ: But again, that people can take advantage of this time, Leah, and really explore the possibilities. Like you said, even though music is one of the most challenging things to sell online, as we’ve said before, there’s so many things tied to the cultural aspect that they can get out there but then, as you said, once you get it out there you can now refine and optimize and do things. Maybe put together some bundle-like things, maybe the upsells, there’s apps you can do to upsell just like Amazon does.

Someone who bought this also bought this and also bought that as a recommended product and they’ll add it on their way through checkout. So, again, ways to increase the size of your order. So, talk about that, how somebody can improve the average order value. Because, like you said, your Mythologie candle thing the average order value is $20. 

23:39 Leah: Well, the average cost of the item is $20 but our average order value is much higher than that. Meaning, yeah they’re $20 candles, but they’re not only spending $20, they’re spending somewhere around $57 or something like that. And our average lifetime value, like the whole total of 5 weeks we’ve been open, between the pre-order and then this new pre-order, is somewhere around $67 which is significant. I am very, very happy with those numbers right out of the gate just launching.

And the reason that’s happening is because, well, first of all, we’re doing sample packs of stuff so people try it out and then find the ones they really like and then they upgrade to things later. So, that means they bought something last month and then they came back and bought something more this month. We call that a lifetime value, how much have they spent during the whole duration that they’ve been a customer of ours. And we actually did a whole episode a few back on the 9 marketing metrics you need to know.

We go really in-depth on these numbers that you need to know, including average order value and lifetime value and what those mean and how to get those numbers and how to track them. So, definitely go back and check out that episode. So that’s one thing you can do. You can do sample packs, you can do sample packs with music where it’s like a music sampler. You can do that, if you offer physical items or handmade goods, we have a lot of artisans that are musicians as well, they do handmade goods, jewelry, all kinds of things.

So, it’s about creativity, not about copying exactly what I’m doing. And the other way you can increase average order value is through simple things like upsells. So, there’s a lot of apps out there that help you do that or bundle apps where it’s like hey, if you buy these two or three items together, you’re going to save 10%, so they actually save money when they buy more. It’s just more of a psychological thing. That’s another staple of how you increase average order values, offer either bundle deals where they’re buying more volume or some kind of an upsell where when they’re in the checkout process and you offer them something else and they add it to their cart.

A small percentage of people will take that offer and at the end of the year it really adds up over time. So, your goal is to just bump that little percentage up half a point at a time. Just continuing until you’re getting a really good take rate on that upsell. So, the devil’s in the details on those numbers, you don’t go for big numbers. 

26:14 CJ: Yeah, it is. Again, you’re essentially learning the gory details of digital marketing and that’s where the real multiplication of profit comes from. You mentioned in the last episode about building your email list and, again, that’s kind of a general thing, you’re adding people to a list, but you’ve got to send them something. You teach about nurture sequences and all these sorts of things, so during this time of isolation what can somebody do about improving what they’re doing email-wise. 

26:49 Leah: Yeah, so if you’ve got an email list and you’re sending them nurture emails, that’s what we call them, where you’re nurturing your relationship, it’s all about real relationship. Maybe you send out a once a month newsletter or you’re doing it every week or you’ve got a pre-designed series of emails that when someone signs up for a free download or whatever, you’re sending them five to ten emails that you’ve already pre-written. The way to optimize it, first of all, take a look at your open rates and take a look at your click-through rates.

That’s really the starting point when I’m looking to improve it, that’s the first thing. Usually, the open rates are the first thing I try to fix. If I’m not impressed by it, I’m going to take a look at why. Usually, the subject line just needs to be changed, we need to try something else. Sometimes certain trigger words will end up in the spam, will cause your email to end up in the spam and there’s a lot of different free tools out there where you can basically put all your text into a tool and it’ll tell you if you have any keywords or trigger words in your subject line or in your email that could land it in the spam.

So, that’s another reason why people don’t actually open the emails because it didn’t get delivered properly. Things like that, absolutely now is the time to do that while you’re at home. So, that’s another big thing. Also, we’ve got a bunch of other things on this list. You can do online concerts and events. Tons of celebrities are doing that right now. Big bands, little bands, solo artists. I’m seeing people playing music in my newsfeed constantly who I never saw before, they are friends of mine and stuff and I’m like hey, everybody’s coming out of the woodwork playing music live-streaming right now, it’s great.

So, you could even charge for it, I’m seeing bands like, I saw Backstreet Boys is doing online concert, online events. Everybody’s doing it. So, that’s definitely something you can or should do during your time off. Could be interesting too if you have other bandmates, maybe you could find like a streaming app that allows you to stream from different places, that would be wild. And then on the more tech stuff, you can improve your landing pages, your opt-in rates and click through rates. Those are always things that are sometimes kind of a pain in the butt as an artist but you’ve got to do it.

It’s like brushing your teeth, you just have to do it if you don’t want your teeth to fall out of your head. So, if you don’t want all your marketing to rot and not be useful at all you’ve got to check up on that, make sure they’re healthy, that there’s nothing wrong with them and if your opt-in rates are really low, if you’re getting like less than 20% or something like that, definitely want to make improvements to your landing pages and opt-in rates. If you’re in our programs, we talk about that, we teach about that. Especially in the Elite program, where we’re really getting in-depth on those things. And then, I’ve got to write new ads or optimize your existing ads.

It’s about striving for excellence, you can do better. I guarantee you can do better. I can do better. I’m always looking to improve and test things and sometime they don’t win, so you’ve got to start over. You can create new merch. We already covered that a little bit and if you haven’t tried print-on-demand services, there’s a bunch out there and the huge benefit of that is you don’t have to… definitely it’s contactless, you don’t have to touch anybody, you don’t have to see anyone or shake hands or you don’t have to even have the merchandise in your garage or stored anywhere. They have it all for you and drop-ship it for you. That’s a beautiful thing. 

30:21 CJ: One of the things I like about that, Leah, is just what you said. I still see bands doing it all the time, they’re always trying to stock up their inventory. It’s so frustrating because certain sizes sell and you end up with all these mediums leftover or whatever. You don’t have to do that. You can start selling something now and one of the things that was really, really eye-opening, Leah, in the coaching group over this past year as I was working with students in the group calls, is a lot of them had just kind of their album cover or something about themselves.

You’ve had great success with that because yours is a very personality-driven brand, so it did well, but others were really struggling with it. So, I would challenge them to say, well, listen sometimes the right shirt or thing to have is one that says something about the person wearing it. That’s really the ultimate key. So, somebody doesn’t feel that personal pride, like one of your fans who walks around with the LEAH shirt, they want to tell people about that, you might have something that says something about the person. For example, in my shirts as Metal Motivator, my thing doesn’t say anything about me, it says “Motivated by metal” or “Eat, drink and be metal”. It says something about the person wearing it.

Sometimes a lot of these artists that we have in our group have really great lyrics, you know, really very positive lyrics and I said you can take any one of your lyrics, put that on a shirt and have that up for sale, I mean, today. Literally today. You don’t have to have it shipped to you, you don’t have to bring in inventory, whatever. You can literally take a line from one of your songs, put that on a shirt, put that on a store today and start promoting that to your existing list. 

32:15 Leah: Totally. 

32:17 CJ: Yeah, what she’s saying there about creating new merchandise, don’t just think it has to be your album cover or your band, it can be a lyric…

32:25 Leah: It can be a philosophy, a cool emblem of some kind. With my crowd, they love the Celtic culture, I could just put a cool Celtic knot and be done with it. That’s all they need, so it doesn’t have to be crazy elaborate or expensive at all. It’s a beautiful thing. Last couple of things we have on this list is you could do live streams daily or even weekly for your fans. Do it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, wherever you want to go, Twitch, wherever you are and wherever your fans are. Do those live streams.

I would be doing it except I’m super busy with Mythologie, my candle business and our launch for The Online Musician 3.0, otherwise, I probably would be doing something myself. So, in this case, you’re just going to have to take my advice and do it because it is working really well for so many people, they’re having great success with it. You have people’s attention now more than ever. So many people are home, they’re online, they’re bored, you have the opportunity of a lifetime to capture their attention. So, be doing that. 

33:27 CJ: Yeah, one of the things I would encourage them to do as a motivator, myself, is… Leah, I’ve got thousands of videos already recorded that I could post, but what people need right now is something more relevant. So, I have to go live. 

33:44 Leah: Yeah. 

33:45 CJ: I’m not a musician, but what I would tell these musicians who are listening, is take advantage of this time to be inspiring. Take advantage of this time to be encouraging. It’s not just about you going on to play, it’s about you to talk to them, too. You can sit there with your keyboard in hand, you can sit there with your guitar in hand, you can sit there, in Leah’s case with her harp in hand and you can have a little conversation with them and then just share some music with them.

But be inspiring, people need encouragement right now, they want hope, they want to have some sense of normalcy and friendship and this is a great way for you to do this in real time. And Facebook absolutely loves live video. I mean, loves live video. So, the more you do it, may be a little weird if you haven’t done this before, start now, maybe a little hit and miss and you may struggle, but if you just keep it up Facebook is going to start warming up to you and saying okay, let me share it to more of your audience. 

34:43 Leah: That’s right. 

34:44 CJ: It’s not just a one-off. Do it regularly. 

34:46 Leah: Yep. And last thing is just now is a good time while you’re home to make more itself. I mean, write a new album, write a new single, collaborate with other people online. There’s all kinds of apps and software out there where you can meet other musicians and meet in online meeting rooms and jam. Now’s the time to do that and create more stuff. Just go to create. I think that so many people are just stuck sometimes on like a mental hurdle that they’re stuck on, all these technical things or whatever.

Sometimes you’ve just got to take a breather from it all and just go create new music. Go create new art. I think that’s a great note to leave off on is make the most of this time. Again, we just want to reiterate to lean into your music business. Do not back off, this is the time. This is actually the opportunity of a lifetime for those who have eyes to see it. Many people are “Crying in their coffee” as they say and just like oh no everything’s going to hell in a hand basket. There’s others of us that are saying no this is an opportunity. There’s always opportunity during a crisis, there is. There’s always opportunity.

If you have eyes to see it and you’re willing to take that opportunity, work harder than everybody else, you will reap the rewards and when things get turned back on and we can leave our houses and the economy bounces back, you will see an incredible unleashing of all that hard work and a huge reaping of all those seeds that you just planted during this time. I’m confident that you can not only survive but thrive during this time. 

36:22 CJ: Amen. Amen or oh me. Very, very very good, Leah. Thank you so much, again. All this came out of that little post that you did and so glad that you wrote that and put that together. I know a lot of people are going to get a lot out of this, guys. Again, remember that, let that be your mantra here for the next month or so, lean in. In fact, until they release you from the lockdown and all this sort of stuff, let that be your mantra every day. I’m leaning in. I’m not going to whine, I’m not going to complain, I’m not going to worry, I’m not going to waste my mental energy on these other things, about my problems.

I’m going to spend my time leaning in on my music business because I believe that people want to hear from me. They want to hear my music, they want to connect with me. Build your audience, if that’s all that you do, just build your audience, get your brand awareness out there. There’s so much that you can do. Take advantage of that right now. Again, if you’re listening, please leave a review for this podcast. We read all of those reviews. Leave us some stars if they offer that. We would certainly love to hear from you.

Again, keep in mind that good things are coming, the new release of TOM is coming out. The upgraded version, TOM 3.0. Please get some more information right now at If you’d like to connect with us in our Inner Circle program, the most inexpensive way for you to get started to become a marketing master is to join the Inner Circle membership, it’s just less than $20 a month. Your life and your music business is worth at least that much. So, go to

We appreciate you guys. Leah, as your co-host,  I appreciate you. 

38:06 Leah: Thanks. I appreciate all of you guys listening and please do leave those reviews. We read them and I cherish them. Thank you, guys. We’ll see you next time. 

38:15 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

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

Episode #094: Making Good Use of Your Isolation, Pt. 1

Whether your work has been affected by the pandemic or not, now is the time to seize this opportunity to improve your online music business! People are still online shopping and with Amazon limiting it’s service, there’s a greater opportunity for you and your business!

In this episode Leah and C.J. discuss what you can be doing right now to expand your fan base and earn more with your online sales. There is so much information and tips they have for you that this is just part 1 of “Making Good Use of Your Isolation.”

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Leah’s booming candle business during the pandemic
  • Focusing on your specialty
  • Synching with your culture and posting more
  • Building your email list organically
  • Creating more YouTube videos
  • The major difference between YouTube and Facebook
  • How YouTube is currently changing
  • Improving your e-commerce store and sales
  • Online shopping has not stopped because of Amazon’s “non-essential” policy


“I like focusing on the things that you can do, things that are within your grasp, your control.”  – @LEAHthemusic [0:16:12]

“You’re not going to build any followers if you’re not posting anything… You need to understand your culture, because then you know what to post.”  – @LEAHthemusic [0:21:38]

“Focus in on what is the culture you’re trying to build, who are you and also think about what your fans have in common.”  – @LEAHthemusic [0:23:00]

“Because social media enables you to focus in on the culture, and if you can focus in on the culture then you have something more in common than just you and the promotion of your music.”  – @metalmotivation [0:24:03]

“YouTube is a search engine, Facebook is a share engine.”  – @metalmotivation [0:26:40]

“Put yourself in the shoes of someone. What are they actually searching for?”  – @LEAHthemusic [0:31:23]

“When we’re talking about making money in an online music business, Leah, e-commerce plays such a major role.”  – @metalmotivation [0:34:06]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Join the TOM 3.0 Waitlist —

Ben Stubbs (TOM Student) — 

Book a Call With Us —

Inner Circle Membership —

Click For Full Transcript

00:21 CJ: Welcome to the Savvy Musician Show. This is CJ Ortiz, I’m the branding and mindset coach here at the Savvy Musician Academy and I am joined again by my lovely co-host, the queen of marketing herself, her eminence as I like to call her, miss Leah McHenry. How you doing, Leah? 

00:38 Leah: Good, it’s super great to be back and talking about the music business, marketing all these things. I’m just happy to be here sharing. 

00:48 CJ: Well, and that is kind of a mouthful to say because you’ve got about I don’t know how many things right now that you are kind of focused on. You’ve got a candle business which we went over the details of, but that has just kind of taken on a life of its own. 

01:04 Leah: Yeah.

01:05 CJ: Now you’ve got this other empire you have to manage. 

01:08 Leah: Yep. Yeah, that’s number 3 so, I mean we can come back and circle back to that at some point if people want to know the updates, but yeah it is kind of taking off and going bananas. I wasn’t expecting that, I thought it would be this little side thing I did for fun and it’s really growing like crazy. So yeah, that’s turning into a whole other family business that we are going to do for fun and hopefully get it off the ground to the point where we are hiring people so I don’t have to be in there every day making the candles, I can just create stuff and then come back to my music and back to SMA to do the other things that I do.

But at first, of course, it takes an incredible amount of rocket fuel to get it off the ground, right? So you’ve got to focus, put energy, time dedication, blood, sweat and tears all have to go into getting that rocket off the ground. That’s what I’m doing. I mean everybody knows, 2020 for me I am taking a little more of a break from the music side in terms of I am not making albums. I’ll write if I feel like it but no pressure sort of thing. So that frees up quite a bit for me in terms of bandwidth. 

02:18 CJ: Right. 

02:19 Leah: And then we have Savvy Musician Academy, of course. And we are building that out too so that it is not 100% dependant on me as well. Because I am finding out where my skills really lie and what I’m really good at is creating new things. Creating constantly, whether it’s new products or updating the products or the programs we already have, doing research, those kinds of things that are a lot more in the product development side of things rather than in the maintenance side of things. So that is really where I need to be. And it’s the same thing in the candle business that I have that is just getting going, my best energy is spent creating new stuff, new collections, new scents.

And I really feel like it’s the same thing for most musicians. A lot of you are going to be the same where your best energy is spent creating new things. New music, new merchandise, new stuff. So that is where one day down the road when things become a little more financially viable and you’ve got regular income, having an assistant and having other people to fill in those gaps where that’s not where your best time is spent. I

t’s not the thing that only you can do, somebody else can certainly do those things and I think that is where you are going to see a lot of progress and the rocket really will take off when you get there because now you’re utilizing your genius zone. And I really do believe in that genius zone, being in your flow, being in your gifting, doing the things that you are really good at rather than doing the things you are mediocre at or are not good at at all. At the beginning, in this candle business, I am the one doing all the stuff I don’t really want to do. I don’t like pouring candles for 8 hours a day. That’s not my idea of fun. I like it. Making a few is very therapeutic.

So sometimes you start off doing the things you don’t love to do or want to do out of the gate and that’s okay. So I don’t want anybody to feel discouraged like “oh, I’m not doing the things that only I can do”, but that’s how it begins. That’s always how it begins and that’s okay. So unless you have a crazy amount of capital to begin with and you can hire people out of the gate, you are going to be in that position. But just know that you don’t need to stay there and the goal is to grow to the point where you can introduce somebody else in that position so that you can go do the thing that only you can do. I’m always mixing that up.

Doing that thing that only you can do. Only you can create the music. Only you can be the creator in this unless you are collaborating with other people and then that’s the way it is. So anyway, sorry to go down a rabbit trail here, but I just…

05:03 CJ: I asked. 

05:04 Leah: You did. And maybe people want to know, I don’t know. My life is strange. 

05:09 CJ: Well yeah and I am just glad you knew that it was the Savvy Musician Show that you were on today.

05:15 Leah: Yeah. 

05:16 CJ: Because of all this going on. You don’t want to be that artist that tours so much and they show up in Cleveland and they say “Hey Dallas”. You know…

05:24 Leah: Yeah, oops. 

05:25 CJ: So. 

05:25 Leah: Sometimes I do, I wake up and I am like “What year is it and who am I?” I really don’t know. So it happens, it happens. But I think, that is where…man I could go off on a tangent on random things right now but I think that is where having a routine can really help because that becomes your constant. That becomes…you know your morning ritual, your evening ritual, the things you just do every day, that grounds you, you know. It just does. I think that the crazier your life is, the more you need just those couple of little anchors that bring you back to earth so you just know who you are and you can remember your name. 

06:06 CJ: Well, you and I were chatting a little bit last night and you were sharing just some of the victory with the other business going on right now and so I commented to you “Oh, I bet you didn’t see any of this when you started out” and you were like “No, I didn’t”.  And I think that is a marvellous thing because the old mythologist talks about following your bliss and that is really what you did. You pursued your talent, your ability, your interest, your passions, wherever they may lead. And you didn’t know necessarily where they were going to lead, but you followed them because you’re being faithful to that calling.

You’re being faithful to that passion and talent and ability that you have and so look at all the wonderful things. And it was on the other side of taking that step of faith, right? Taking that and being willing to invest everything you have. Not faith in the sense that something is going to be done for you, faith in the sense that you believe in yourself, you believe in the principles that you were taught and learned about marketing and business building and all of that. And so you had confidence in yourself, confidence in the principles and you just said “After this, it’s up to life, it’s up to the market, it’s up to what the possibilities are”.

But, you know, with each new threshold that you cross, with each new mountain that you climb, you didn’t arrive. It was, well now you can see so much more from this new vantage point that you’ve reached and you’re like “Okay, well I’m going to take that same energy, that same passion, that same faith, that same worth ethic and apply it to that next mountain”. There have been no plateaus for you so far and that’s an important lesson, because maybe the people who we are talking to right now are not where you are. They would sure love to be where you are, but that’s not where they are right now. That doesn’t matter.

There’s still some mountain peaks for them to reach and they need to hear some of this. Because again, ladies and gentlemen, I know you’ve heard it a lot if you’ve been listening to this podcast or following Leah for any length of time, she wasn’t born into this, she was facing bankruptcy, stay at home mother, husband working in the construction industry, and it was not a good time. This was an either-or, life or death situation for her. And now it’s not. She’s not in that place anymore, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t still take it just as seriously as she did back then. And I think that’s the real lesson here. 

08:54 Leah: And, for what we are about to talk about too, making good use of your isolation, your time at home, all the extra time we have right now, government-mandated time at home, the exciting thing about this is that, just kind of tying in what I’m doing with my new candle business which is my sister brand, it’s very much related to my music in a lot of ways. A lot of cross-over in terms of audience and moods and vibes and all that. The list we’re going to share with you, things that you can do today, are the exact things that I’ve been doing to build this business and I can tell you, at the moment with what we’re doing, we are tracking, we will have a million dollar year. We will.

I mean, I said that a few episodes back, I believe that we will based on the numbers and the confidence I have because of the skills we have to do this, but now it’s actually happening. We are actually tracking, that will happen. So maybe even before the end of this year, I don’t know. I mean, there are cool things in the works, my mind is blown at the moment. And the way I made that happen is all the things I said in the previous episodes, but they are also the things that I’m doing constantly in this list that we’re going to share with you today. And the reason why I’m excited about this and why you should be excited is there’s simple things. They are things that are within your control. They are things that you can do if you can’t leave your house for 6 months.

You can still do all of these things and you can do it over and over and over again. A lot of them are free. Some of them don’t cost money and if you don’t have a budget for things like ads and stuff, all that means is you are going to be more creative with how you get your message out there and how you use organic engagement and reach that you do get. Obviously, the more budget you have, the more people you can reach, but I always see…any limitation I see is a challenge. And that’s how you have to look at it. That’s a limitation, well that’s a direct challenge for you to overcome. So figure out a way. Figure out a way to make it happen. I want everybody to get excited about what we’re going to share here.

11:16 CJ: Let me share a quick student spotlight to set this up. Because it really is an important topic and I’ll explain why that is. This is a little win from one of our TOM students, from Ben Stubbs, he says “I spent a year running FB ads and had gained some likes. After going through TOM”, which is The Online Musician “I learned how to run a much more successful campaign! I gained 100 e-mail subscribers in one week! Thanks, Leah and team!”. Now, when Leah is sitting here throwing out million-dollar figures, people may say “Well why is this person excited about 100 email subscribers?” Well because, for where Ben is, that is the first little mountain top that he has to reach and that is an important thing. 

12:05 Leah: Oh, heck yeah. I was so excited about my first 100 subscribers in my candle business. You think I’m not impressed by, you know 100 anything, I totally am. I am doing jumping jacks for joy. I was so excited about that. Never underestimate the power of just getting your first 50 people, 100 people. Then it’s like let’s double it. Okay? 

12:35 CJ: Yeah, it’s like I tell people whenever we talk about Facebook engagement, they’ll say “Well, I don’t want to post much because I have so many thousand followers but only 250 people have seen it, so it just doesn’t add up”. I say “Well, unless I put 250 people in your house”. 

12:53 Leah: Yeah. Then it’s a lot of people. 

12:55 CJ: Suddenly it’s a lot of people. But 100 people is going to turn into 1,000 which is going to turn into 10,000 and on and on. So Ben is on his way because he’s moving. If we can move it an inch we can obviously move it a mile. But Leah, recently as the whole virus thing really began to break outside of China, you took initiative, you went on our Facebook page and you wrote this post about the things that people can do. The quarantine type thing was just starting to begin, but you got ahead of the curve and you said these are the things that you can do while you’re in this time.

Now, at the same time I’m getting things ready for the next issue of our Inner Circle newsletter, which is our Inner Circle Membership, and I had a plan for other articles and things to be put in that and as I got closer and closer and this quarantine isolation thing kept developing, I just kept thinking no I need to change that, I need to change it. So at the last minute I said forget it. So I went back to your post and said let me flesh that out in article fashion whatnot and because this is just so so important. In fact, Leah, I just posted in our Elite group, my best friend, who is a very accomplished song writer producer and all that, great singer, he’s been doing cover songs. He’s classic country and one he just did is from a 1975 Rod Stewart song.

He’s got a beautiful voice and he does great production so he’s been playing these cover songs on Facebook. Producing them and just putting them out there. Not taking a whole lot of time but they sound incredible. People are just going bananas about his songs. I thought to myself, because he’s in isolation, right? So he has this opportunity to do these things. There’s any number of things that anyone who wants to build an online music business can be doing right now instead of griping, instead of worrying, instead of fretting. Leah, you put a whole truckload of things that they could do. Let’s start from the top. 

15:07 Leah: Yeah, and I love how you fleshed this out in the Inner Circle. And if you’re not a member, you want to be a member because we’re talking about a lot of the tactics, things that are changing a lot more social media-related stuff, rather than some of the bigger marketing more heavy-duty things that we do in our programs. This is something you can consume in a relatively small amount of time and we have it in multiple formats. We have it in written form, you hear CJ’s beautiful voice read the audio version. So if you’re on the go you can do that. And we also have mini-trainings in there every month.

Something new, we’re bringing on more outside guests and experts as well. Definitely join, it’s not very much at all per month. So go check that out, the link is in the show notes. So in terms of things that you can do to make the most out of your situation. By the time this comes out, we don’t know what is going to happen. It will be like 2 or 3 weeks by the time you hear this from the time of the recording, anything can happen. Anything at all can happen. It could get worse, it could get better, we don’t know. What I do know is that these are things you should be doing anyway and if you are still at home, if you’re out of work or all the different scenarios that are happening, these are things you should be doing and can do.

I like focusing on the things that you can do, things that are within your grasp, your control. For example, you can build your email list. You do not need to leave your house to do that. In fact, it doesn’t require that at all. How do you do that? There are organic ways to do that and there’s paid traffic ways to do that. In our program, The Online Musician, we really want people focusing on really nailing their micro-niche, their branding, website, mindset, a lot of these foundational pieces and organic social media, which is really free traffic. So, we really want you to focus on what can you do without spending money on ads just yet because if you’re not a developed artist yet, trying to put a bunch of advertising budget into something that is not solidified yet, is really just a waste of money.

You might get some data but unless you know how to interpret the data that’s not really helpful for you. So, we believe that you can do this organically. Obviously, you need some kind of CRM or customer relation management system. There’s millions out there, maybe I’m exaggerating, but there’s bazillions, well that’s exaggerating…anyway…there’s MailChimp, Drip, I use Drip. If you really want to go hardcore in e-commerce, Klaviyo is the gold-standard of e-commerce CRMs which I am going to be trying out pretty soon just to see how I like it. There’s Constant Contact, there’s… it doesn’t really matter which one you’re using. I will say if down the road, you want to get serious about e-commerce in terms of selling your music and merchandise then MailChimp is not the way to go but if you are getting started then absolutely. And I think, I forget how many subscribers you get for free before they make you start paying and do the upgrade, but one or two thousand somewhere around that ballpark.

So, you need to get going, right? They even have free landing pages now that you can use to get people to opt in. I wasn’t a fan before because they have limitations, you couldn’t put a Facebook Pixel and do things like that, but now they do. Use their tools. Use whatever you can and a lot of you have Bandcamp profiles. Now, they don’t have landing pages and stuff but anytime someone has ever purchased music from you, you’ve got their name on a CSV sheet you can download and put into MailChimp. They’ve given you their email address. You probably have one or two hundred names just sitting in there and you don’t even know it. A lot of people don’t even realize that.

19:15 CJ: Right. 

19:16 Leah: So building your email list any way you can through organic, I think that if you are not using paid traffic, you should be promoting people signing up for your email list. Maybe even 2 to 3 times a week depending on how often you’re posting. I like to say anything that’s promotional, do it about 20% of the time, or less. It just depends how often you’re posting. The other percentage is other stuff, so not promotional. But 2 to 3 times a week in various places like once on Instagram, one on Facebook, but people need to keep seeing it, so keep doing it.

So I really wanted to focus on that one point because that is one of the biggest things that will give you a huge ROI. It just will. All the crazy sales we are doing in my Mythologie business, which is the candle business, a huge portion of them are coming from email. I’m doing giveaways, I’m doing all kinds of things to continue building that as fast as humanely possible. So, there should definitely be an emphasis on that. Do you want to talk about the next point? 

20:26 CJ: Yeah, because I think the two relate and maybe… I like that you coached the previous one in the TOM aspect which is focusing on organic. Because this one is another one of those things where it’s an organic element as well. Even though paid traffic is obviously a primary way to do that. But how do you build your social following? 

20:55 Leah: Oh, yeah. So, I just did this from scratch all over again with Mythologie, so I start with nothing. Had no following at all. Obviously you have to have those accounts. I’m building my Facebook page and I’m building my Instagram. I do have a YouTube channel where I’m putting customer testimonials and I eventually plan to do some vlogging and stuff. But starting from zero, absolutely nothing. So, oh gosh, I cannot summarize everything you have to do to build a social following in one or two sentences 

21:32 CJ: No, I understand. 

21:34 Leah: But, first of all, start posting stuff. You’re not going to build any followers if you’re not posting anything. That’s for sure. And, of course, in The Online Musician, we really help you dial in what is your culture. We do that in the Elite program as well but as we refine our programs more, it’s a foundational piece. You need to understand your culture because then you know what to post. I think that’s where people get stuck, right? They don’t know what to post. So, if you know who you are, what your artist identity is, you know, what is your brand, what’s your niche, what books and movies and memes and quotes… what are all the things that people who listen to your music, what do you guys all have in common?

Surely you’re going to have a mixed bag of people, right? Because I have people who don’t listen to heavy metal that like my stuff and I have people who like heavy metal and don’t like my stuff. You get a mixed bag of people. But there’s something we all have in common, obviously, which is why they’re fans and why they’re all following. So, for me it has more to do with culture and the Celtic culture, the fantasy aspect of things. A lot of those people all would agree that Lord of the Rings is their favourite movie. A lot of them would agree on that even though they’re politically all over the spectrum, spiritually all over the spectrum, just so many different people. So, focus in on what is the culture you’re trying to build, who are you and also think about what your fans have in common.

Think of it like inside jokes. Like if you posted a quote from your favourite movie and it will be like an inside joke, like only people who watch Star Wars are going to get this. Right? That’s share-worthy because they are like “Oh my goodness, that was awesome”, “Oh, I love that scene”, or whatever. Only people who watch that or are huge fans of that are going to like it and want to share it. So, think of it in terms of that. What do you think, CJ, in terms of tips you can give?

23:33 CJ: Yeah, I mean I think what you’re talking about is probably the key, especially when it comes to organic, is to be really in sync with culture. I think with the recent student interviews I’ve done this really comes out, because it’s a big discovery, it’s a big “ah-ha”, it’s so not what the music industry used to be. Where you had the record labels would promote you and music magazines or record stores, or what have you. Now you’re trying to build your own audience and it’s like okay well it’s just me, my music and them, right? No. It’s you, your music, the culture and the both of you.

And that’s the missing thing that people don’t understand and why social media is so important in light of all that. Because social media enables you to focus in on the culture. And if you can focus in on the culture then you have something more in common than just you and the promotion of your music so that creates a relationship, that creates a bond to where they almost garner a sacred obligation to you. It’s almost like… it’s a beautiful debt that they have to you because you’ve participated in the lifestyle with them. You do a great job of this, Leah.

It’s a culture you both share, so when it does come to the place where you ask them to do something, whether it’s purchase something or get on a list it is so much easier. They don’t even feel like they’re being sold. 

25:02 Leah: Exactly. 

25:03 CJ: They’re glad to do it. 

25:06 Leah: Yep, exactly. That’s really good. Other things that we have on the list, you can finally get around to creating all those YouTube videos you’ve been meaning to do. With all your footage that you have already pre-recorded, vlogs, gigging, footage that your fans have sent. You can finally do all that stuff. That’s something you can do from your couch in your pyjamas. And it’s something productive that’s going to help build your brand awareness. 

25:37 CJ: And just as an almost irrelevant footnote to that, I saw a news story the other day which I thought was funny in light of the isolation from the virus. Retailers were saying, I think it was Target or something, that sales for just tops, were…

25:53 Leah: I saw that. 

25:55 CJ: Were way way up. As opposed to bottoms. Just goes to show you people are broadcasting…

26:01 Leah: That’s right, they’re broadcasting or they’re working from home so they still have meetings so they’re meeting on Zoom like we are right now. You can only see from the top up, so they are just buying shirts. No pants. In fact, they aren’t wearing pants at all. 

26:15 CJ: Oh my gosh, yeah I thought that was funny. 

26:19 Leah: That is funny. 

26:20 CJ: But yeah, get around to that YouTube video because… we don’t talk a whole lot about YouTube on here, only because it’s a search engine. THat’s a big thing that people miss, we did an article in, I think it was issue 9 of the Inner Circle was to differentiate between Facebook and YouTube. To say YouTube is a search engine, Facebook is a share engine. And the way Savvy marketing philosophy works we are more targeting an audience. That doesn’t mean that YouTube is not still relevant, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to have your content there.

So that is a good thing to do and I would encourage you to go back to the last point, which is obviously post that stuff on your Facebook account as well. 

27:05 Leah: Yeah, and you know YouTube is not so much my thing in terms of where I spend my energy and my time, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t . It all depends on where’s your audience hanging out. I think there’s a lot of people on YouTube, it just hasn’t been a focus of mine because I’m a recording artist, I’m not really doing a lot of gigs, I don’t have a lot of music videos. That’s just not where I put my time and energy, but if you are a very very visual artist, and I’d like to be. I’d like to do that a lot more in the future, but if that’s you, if you have a lot of videos, music videos and lyric videos and stuff, I just think you should really be working it for sure.

YouTube is harder I think, it’s more difficult to gain subscribers. Some of their algorithms, I just find it harder than any other platform. 

27:51 CJ: It’s changed a lot. Even for the big YouTube influencers, they’re raising hell right now because they are getting shut down. They build YouTube. YouTube built itself on the hard work of these content creators who are not stars, who are not celebrities, just video gamers and whatever. And now that YouTube is the size that it is, it’s now giving its newsfeed over to the major media networks and all of that. They’re getting first bids. So, everybody’s getting pushed further and further down the feed so now they are resorting to Patreon to try and make up for the lost ad money and that’s still a difficult thing to do because you’re giving so much to them on YouTube itself, it’s hard to now get them…

28:39 Leah: Yeah, to change platforms. 

28:40 CJ: Yeah, non-profit organization approach where they say “Hey, throw me 5 bucks over here because you love all my good stuff over here, I’ll put some content over here that you may not get over here” but it’s really more donation-based than it is actual sales. And it’s hard to target an audience, man. 

28:58 Leah: It is. It’s really hard. Even at SMA here, we really haven’t focused much effort over on YouTube and I’m like, man, maybe we should put more effort into it. We upload our episodes there, but we haven’t spent a bunch of paid ads, that’s one way you can do it but it’s a whole other beast, let me tell you. It’s not like Facebook ads, it’s completely different. There’s a lot of people who have not mastered it, which is why you don’t have as many advertisers over there, it’s hard. Google advertising is hard, it’s not like it was back in the day.

And then on the organic platform, it’s just tricky to get the algorithms to work in your favour so you really have to work off of the keywords, the descriptions, you can now put hashtags in your descriptions so that can help if someone’s doing a search. But it’s tough. 

29:47 CJ: Well, here’s… I can take a musician… I mentioned my buddy earlier, who is doing these cover songs and he plays in a particular kind of country style and I can take him, with one music video, which doesn’t have to be a professional music video, it can be him just playing in his living room and that’s what he did and they look great. I can take him as soon as I finish recording this podcast and if he sets up a little ad account with Facebook, which doesn’t cost any money, we can start running ads and targeting people to see his music video within 24 hours. 

30:30 Leah: Oh yeah, and you’ll have hundreds of views. And it’s dirt cheap. 

30:36 CJ: It’s dirt cheap. YouTube, you know how long you would have to wait before anybody even picks you up in a feed and you have to make sure that you’re putting in… for example when I’m handling YouTube for Savvy and I’ll put in some of, there’s the hashtag things you can put in but then there’s the keyword type thing. So people think, okay I’m going to do the keywords just like I do the hashtags. So, I’ll do #onlinemusician #something, no because that’s not necessarily what they’re putting in. Instead of saying just “online musician” you want to say “how to market my music”, “how to market my music online”.

31:23 Leah: Put yourself in the shoes of someone. What are they actually searching for. And this is what we do teach in The Online Musician, we have a module on YouTube, which is going to be totally refreshed by the time you guys get into TOM 3.0, there’s going to be a new refreshed module on this, updated. And what we do teach is you need to put yourself in the shoes of someone who is actually doing a search. Because like you said, YouTube is a search engine, so instead of just typing “country music”, I mean you could, but most people are looking for something a little more specific than that, so they might type in like…

I know sometimes I couldn’t even remember the name of the song so I’ve even typed in lyrics before. Like a line to a song because I couldn’t remember how it went or what the song was called. Details. So, that to something like a micro-niche, like I only want to find female-fronted pirate metal, or whatever, best of 2019, or whatever. And people will have playlists of this stuff. Other times people are looking for more of a mood-based thing, so it’s like relaxing music and you can find 3 hours of piano music all there for you. So, that’s another great use of YouTube, is putting together big long compilations for people using it as background music. So if you are an instrumentalist, we actually have a lot of instrumentalists in our programs.

32:42 CJ: Yeah, we do. 

32:43 Leah: We do. And they do very well. Some of them do very well for themselves. You could upload your entire album, if you haven’t already, or just create some tracks that are really long. An hour-long, two hours long. And you have to do the research. We teach you those methods in our module, how to do the keyword research, there’s some tools out there. But you can even just go and type into YouTube, let’s say I go “relaxing piano music peaceful rain sound”, something like that. Guaranteed if I type that in, there will be a million search results that come up.

And some of them will be playlists, some of them will be actual long tracks and everything under the sun. I just think this is something you could… now is the time, while you have it, you’re not distracted by going to work and doing these other things, now is the time to just dig in. Go deep and really figure it out. You know, we’re not going to get through this whole list in this one session because we’re actually going kind of in-depth on this, which I like. So, maybe we continue this on a part two pretty soon. 

33:56 CJ: Yeah. Okay, so obviously as artists, very concerned about performance and putting out their music videos and all that kind of stuff, but when we’re talking about making money in an online music business, Leah, e-commerce plays such a major role. Your side business now is exclusively an e-commerce business. It doesn’t even have anything to do with the music, but what brought you to this place, obviously, was being very successful in tying the e-commerce element to your music brand. So, that leads us to what people can do with their e-commerce aspect to their music business during this time of isolation. 

34:40 Leah: That’s right. So, and I will say, this is the crazy thing is, I’ve launched this business officially right at the beginning of the pandemic. Which was not the timing… I would never have chosen that, but that’s what happened and it has not stopped sales. We’ll put it that way, it has not stopped sales. Like I said, it’s going bananas, I think there are reasons why some people have a little bit of discretionary income. Not everybody’s lost their jobs either. But the way they are spending their money, and where they are spending it is different.

Right now, Amazon, as we record this, is only shipping “essential items” right now. So everyone else who is shopping for designer shoes and coats and stuff, that’s all being delayed. So, they are not really focused on shipping any of that stuff. Which means, that everybody who would be searching for those things, they are now going to have to go off of Amazon to look for that. So, people who would normally buy music, physical music or vinyl and merch and t-shirts and stuff, they can’t buy it on Amazon right now. So, they’re going off Amazon and they’re going to look at other e-commerce shops. This is good news for you and me.

It means that we actually have a lot more opportunity at the moment to really lean in. We can lean into it rather than taking your foot off the gas pedal. There’s a huge percentage of the population that’s still spending money, they’re just picking and choosing and it might be lower-ticket items, you know. So, I think the reason why even our candles are taking off during this pandemic and during this crazy economic shut-down… it’s going crazy and I think the reason is people still view small luxuries as a necessity. Like I’ve said to you before, CJ, I think people still buy lipstick right now, because it’s less than $10.

People still buy the little things that bring them comfort. They still buy alcohol. The alcohol stores, the liquor stores are still open. 

36:54 CJ: Oh yeah. It’s an essential. 

36:57 Leah: It’s an essential. You can clean with it. It cleans the virus, so you’re good. You’ve got a lot of vodka in your house. 

37:07 CJ: No, you’re really making a great point because… you and I share something in common which is these monster work ethics and of course, now that my kids are grown, unlike yours who are still at home, my “extra time” went into just more work. And so people are like “Well, you need some time off”. And I’m like you know what I take mini-vacations. That means I may just disappear in the middle of the day for 2 or 3 hours and for me, meeting with someone for lunch and just talking, like you and I talk offline…

37:42 Leah: It’s refreshing, right? 

37:44 CJ: It’s very, very refreshing. And I think, it’s the same thing with coffee, you mentioned lipstick, beer, Netflix, little subscriptions to things. These little things give us, they’re like little cheer-ups, it’s our own little therapy that we do. 

38:01 Leah: Little endorphin releases. 

38:04 CJ: Yeah, exactly. Little endorphin releases. I’m sure you’ve seen that meme where it says the therapist says to the lady “Ok, now what do we do when we feel it coming on?” And the lady responds “Add to cart?”. Therapist said “No, no, no, no, no, we don’t add to cart”. 

38:26 Leah: Retail therapy, right? Well, that’s a real thing. 

38:29 CJ: It really is. 

38:30 Leah: It totally is. But I think my… because I was really flabbergasted when the pandemic hit, we had already planned this pre-order and we had just launched and we’re like “Oh, crap, what’s going to happen? This is really uncertain now”. And it didn’t slow down, it ramped up. And I was like “What?” So I’ve been psycho-analyzing this whole thing and this is fascinating to me and I’m just trying to be fascinated by people’s behaviours like why is this working right now. I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like when the economy comes back and everything’s booming all again.

Like whoa, I’d better be prepared for that, but during this literal shut-down of the entire economy, why are people still spending money on little things like music and candles? They are because it makes them feel normal. Makes their lives feel normal, even if it’s not. They’ll do anything to feel like that. To get back in their comfort zone and sometimes those simple little luxuries like that help us feel that way. It’s that little dopamine hit. So, I think that’s why people are doing it. It’s a little gift to themselves and actually during this pandemic, too, I’ll say shout out to Lindsay Matheson, Lindsay Shcoolcraft who we’ve had her on the podcast and she did a Facebook Live with me, she recently last weekend, she is doing a new harp album.

Her and I text back and forth because we’re also friends offline, and she was asking me about, or telling me about her plan to do this little vinyl album launch during this time and she was a little bit nervous about it, but she sold out of all her vinyl, it was a limited edition thing. I think it was in less than 24 or 28 hours. And she was like it more than funded the whole rest of her album. So, it was just like holy cow, people are absolutely spending money. Your fans are still spending money somewhere, might as well be you. So, do not take your foot off the gas pedal, lean into it, go hard, it’s time to actually put your battle armour on and go to town on this.

Don’t back off. So, if Lindsay, who has a very specific niche, she doesn’t have a huge email list, she’s growing it, but she absolutely got a huge ROI out of it. She was texting me, she was so happy about it, I was so happy for her. That should tell you that you can do this during this time. You can actually be profitable during this time. 

41:08 CJ: You know, I’ve got to highlight that because back in our day, Leah, we would call that a prophetic message right there. In other words, it was something that needed to be said and there’s somebody or a lot of people listening to this right now who need to hear that “lean in” message. Because that’s not what they’re doing. They’re holding back, they’re fearful, they’re speculating. You’re projecting that if you’re in a bad situation that everybody else is in a bad situation.

I just saw somebody’s post earlier today and they said, posting from work, he said “Anybody else out here like me in a non-essential business working 40 hours a week?” And just comment, comment, comment, comment, everybody was at work. Some people were at home doing the work but they were all still working. We can think that the whole world is suddenly unemployed, they’re not. And these are people who are used to liberty, they’re used to freedom and sometimes making these little purchases are their way of saying “I’m still in control”. 

42:15 Leah: Yep. Oh, that’s true. 

42:18 CJ: You know what I mean? My life is not subject to these circumstances. So it’s almost a little bit of rebellion in people when the government is telling you to lockdown, you’re like “Well, I’m buying lipstick, then”. Your little Patrick Henry stand, you know. Give me lipstick or give me death. 

42:36 Leah: That’s great. That is so good. 

42:40 CJ: So build your store, I guess is what we’re supposed to say, but…

42:43 Leah: Yeah, well and honestly I am actually thinking, CJ, do we need to do a part two because I feel like if I start getting into this e-commerce stuff, it’s going to be…

42:53 CJ: You know what, as a fact, we’re going to make an executive decision right now. Because she and I already worked out what we wanted to do, so we’re going to not be able to cover everything on the list. We’re going to do that in the next episode. And then we’ve got something else after that about entrepreneurship that is going to blow your mind. So, let’s just continue on this train of thought. So, before we jump into then…we’ll push the e-commerce element into the next episode, we’ll go even deeper on some of these things, but like I said, I just really feel like somebody needed to hear that today about leaning in during this time.

And you heard Leah’s testimony, just if you think she’s unique somehow, oh it’s Leah and everything Leah does turns to gold, well then we just shared Lindsay’s testimony, too. What happened with her, and she just… I mean, she is still less than a year in Elite. She just left a major touring international heavy metal band, so she took a huge risk going on her own. When she did that, she immediately met resistance from people and challenges and it was a whole bunch of drama, she pushed through these things, kept working, kept doing it and then did this launch and like you said within 24 hours sold out to not a large list. Showing again, like we opened up with Ben’s little testimony there about getting 100 email subscribers, man. 

44:26 Leah: That’s where it begins. 

44:27 CJ: That’s all where it begins. 

44:28 Leah: Yeah guys, lean in, put your battle armour on, it is not time to back off. You go and press forward, that’s the call and we’ll continue that into the next episode. We’re going to continue on that note. 

44:42 CJ: Alright guys, once again, please leave a review for the podcast. We so appreciate when you take the time to do that. We read those reviews in our meetings, they’re very important to us. Keep in mind that we’ve got a TOM 3.0 launch coming soon, so you want to do what you can to keep up with that, go to Leah mentioned earlier our Inner Circle program which is at

And there’s more stuff too, but I’d be burying you in URLs right now. We’re staying extremely busy here at SMA because again we want to serve you and help you create that online music business. Never been a better time. Doesn’t matter what’s going on right now, still never been a better time so stay tuned for the next episode. We’ll talk more about what you can be doing now during your isolation. Leah, thank you again. 

45:34 Leah: Thanks, CJ. We’ll see you guys in the next episode.  

45:36 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

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

Episode #093: How To Reap The Benefits Of A Millionaire Mindset, Pt. 3

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 —

Sam Morrison (TOM Student) —

Book a Call With Us —

Inner Circle Membership —

The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class by Keith Cameron Smith —

Click 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: And they should be excited about it. I’m excited about it. 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 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, If you’d like to learn more about our Inner Circle program, you can go to 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

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

Episode #092: How To Reap The Benefits Of A Millionaire Mindset, Pt. 2

Continuing last weeks case study of “The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class” by Keith Cameron Smith, Leah and C.J. focus on the distinction of how one handles change. Musicians of all people, with the recent digitalization of music sales and the rise of online culture, should understand how important it is to not only embrace change but seize its opportunities.

Keith Cameron Smith says, “Learning to embrace change assures that you are becoming a person who can profit from life’s opportunities. The future belongs to those who can change with the times.” Does the future belong to you? If so, you’ll be checking out this week’s episode to find out how!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Building self-confidence
  • Embracing change
  • Profiting from opportunities
  • Using change to grow
  • Choosing the people in your life
  • Having an abundance mindset
  • You are the bright side
  • A mindset that adapts to change


“How do I build self-confidence? Little victories.”  – @metalmotivation [0:02:59]

“A choice is backed by belief that you can do it. A wish is backed by a doubt that you can.” (The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class)  – @LEAHthemusic [0:08:46]

“Change shows you what you’re made of. It reveals what’s inside of you.” (The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class)  – @LEAHthemusic [0:09:37]

“The number one reason people resist change is fear. Fear blinds you to opportunities.” (The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class)  – @LEAHthemusic [0:10:13]

“Learning to embrace change assures that you are becoming a person who can profit from life’s opportunities.” (The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class)  – @LEAHthemusic [0:11:13]

“Relationships are capital.” – @metalmotivation [0:18:19]

“No matter where you are in life, you can always think bigger.” – @metalmotivation [0:20:37]

“You will become like the people you spend time with.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:23:01]

“When you get into this abundance mindset, you realize how toxic so many people in your life really are.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:23:29]

“The less the people around you understand how success is achieved, the more they’re going to think you cheated to get it.” – @metalmotivation [0:24:48]

“If you want to look on the bright side, look in the mirror, because you are the bright side. And if you can’t say that to your situation, then you know you’re the problem.” – @metalmotivation [0:27:07]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Join the TOM 3.0 Waitlist —

Dawn Boudreau (TOM Student) —

Book a Call With Us —

Inner Circle Membership —

The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class by Keith Cameron Smith —

Click For Full Transcript

00:21 CJ: Welcome to the Savvy Musician Show. This is CJ Ortiz, the branding and mindset coach here at the Savvy Musician Academy. Joined once again by her eminence, my favorite music marketer, Leah McHenry. Leah, how are you?

00:34 Leah: I’m wonderful, thank you. And I just never get over the whole eminence thing, but it’s funny to me.

00:41 CJ: It’s so necessary.

00:43 Leah: Okay.

00:46 CJ: Well, when I first started this podcast I said, “You need somebody to talk to you so that you can be properly positioned for this,” so you didn’t realize it would be like on a throne.

00:57 Leah: No, I didn’t. Thank you though.

01:00 CJ: You’re welcome. But it’s good to know it doesn’t go to your head that you keep your wits about you and stay humble.

01:07 Leah: Yes.

01:07 CJ: Leah, you have a humility.

01:10 Leah: I’m sorry. What’d you say, peasant?

01:12 CJ: That’s right. You have a humility you can be proud of, right?

01:15 Leah: Thank you, peasant.

01:19 CJ: That’s right. All right. Let me, before we get into this, and I’m excited about continuing this discussion about the successful and the unsuccessful, Leah. This is revolutionary. And as we say from spiritual circles, those who have an ear to hear, let them hear, because this is a message you desperately need to hear right now. But let me share a quick student spotlight. This is from one of our TOM students. And when we say TOM, we mean from The Online Musician course.

Dawn Boudreau who writes, “#win. I was hesitant to share because it’s small, but Karen Connor encouraged me. For years, my CD Baby digital distribution royalties have been trickling. I’ve received $20 every six to nine months. I released a new album at the end of November and had been watching for the results. It was creeping up by pennies. Then on Tuesday, it jumped from $16 to $29. Then today, it jumped to $35. All the work I’ve been putting in is starting to have an effect. It’s a small thing, but also only one little corner of my music business. I’ve also started a group last week that has over 190 members. My Facebook page likes are getting closer to 1000. Now, if I can steer these folks to my email list, I’ll feel like I am on my way.”

02:48 Leah: Wow. Love it.

02:50 CJ: Little victories. Little victories, ladies and gentlemen.

02:54 Leah: It’s great.

02:54 CJ: Nothing will rewire your brain-

02:55 Leah: Very important.

02:55 CJ: Yeah, nothing will rewire your brain than little victories. People ask me all the time, “How do I build self-confidence?” Little victories, man. And make a big deal about them. You should do something really, really small, but act like you just achieved a huge victory. High-five yourself, yell, do something, keep yourself motivated and encouraged. Because with each one of these things, you didn’t get to this place of self-defeat overnight, it was by being torn down brick by brick, and we’re going to build you back up, brick by brick, with each little victory representing one brick in that new wall of self-confidence. That’s why we share these student spotlights.

03:36 Leah: That’s right. Yes.

03:37 CJ: And so, results are results because Dawn can scale that, right?

03:43 Leah: That’s right.

03:44 CJ: They can scale. In fact, that’s what we’ve been talking about, in essence, with successful and unsuccessful people, the difference between them. One aspect of this is about scale. And in the first episode, we kind of laid the groundwork for this, and just trying to get people thinking, don’t get triggered when it comes to talking about rich or poor, upper class, middle class, millionaire, and people who aren’t millionaires and poverty thinking and all. I think we laid that groundwork sufficiently. And so now, we’re coming into, again, going deeper now, deeper to uncover the essence of the way we need to be thinking about all aspects of life, and how a mentality of success operates, how it treats things like setback, change, possibility, abundance-

04:35 Leah: Obstacles.

04:36 CJ: Obstacles. So, Leah, take us into this.

04:40 Leah: Yeah, so in case you guys didn’t listen to the last episode, definitely go back and listen to that. It sets the foundation and the tone of this whole thing we’re doing here. I’m reading a very offensive and controversial book titled “The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class” by Keith Cameron Smith. I’m reading it to my children for our homeschool morning time, which is my daily time of impartation to them, just teaching them. We learn about whatever we want, we read, we journal, all kinds of fun things. I love it. And this book is fantastic. It’s simple enough, a child can understand it, maybe not in all the different facets, but they can understand the key concept here. And my mind is blown as I’m reading this again for the second time, maybe even the third time in my life. When I first read this book, we were poor and broke and the concepts inside this book had seeded my heart. They’ve seeded my mind for success in the future.

So, once I had my music and I had a product and something to sell and I went to work and doing the things, the principles that are in this book and books like this positioned me to have the character and just the right mentality to grow my wealth. And so, I want to impart this now to you. So, I’m going to read a segment from the book today. It’s distinction number eight and it’s called “Millionaires embrace change. The middle-class is threatened by change.” This challenges me because, as a creative person, it’s difficult when sometimes there are circumstances outside your control, and it feels like the ground is moving beneath your feet, and it’s difficult to have a launchpad sometimes when there’s so much change going on. And I want you to be thinking about all the challenges you’re facing right now, whether it’s algorithm changes on Facebook or on the social platforms or changes in your band member lineup, changes in your relationships, changes that are going on, the things that seem bad, and things that seem to threaten you. This is meant to challenge you, and this is challenging me.

“Millionaires embrace change. The middle-class is threatened by change.” I’m going to read this. “Change can be positive or negative. The problem is, we don’t know which it will be when the change first presents itself. People don’t mind positive change. They actually want positive change. The problem with the middle-class is that it assumes change will be negative most of the time.” They assume it will be negative. “Millionaires assume that all change, positive or negative, will benefit them.” And I can’t pronounce this guy’s name, but I’m going to try. “Nido Quibein says, ‘For the timid in our society, change is frightening. For the comfortable, change is threatening. But for the truly confident among us, change is opportunity.’ Learn to embrace change. How well do you handle change, especially unexpected change? Learning to deal well with change is a must if you are to become a millionaire. Millionaires embrace change because they know it always brings an opportunity for growth. People who are insecure resist change. People who are confident, welcome it. Millionaires are confident.” And if you don’t like the word millionaire, just substitute that with success or successful person. Okay?

08:10 CJ: Right.

08:11 Leah: “Confidence is acquired through preparation and hard work.” I’ll read that again. “Confidence is acquired through preparation and hard work. Confidence is the result of working on yourself. It is the benefit of proving yourself to yourself. It is knowing you can handle whatever comes your way. Confidence is believing you can do whatever you choose to. Choice versus wish. Millionaires choose to be rich. The middle-class wishes it were rich. There’s a big difference between a choice and a wish. A choice is backed by belief that you can do it. A wish is backed by a doubt that you can.”

Holy smokes. Let me just stop there for a second. How many musicians do we run into that are immersed in the self-belief of doubt and of limitation?

09:06 CJ: Yep.

09:07 Leah: There’s such a gem right here. The “difference between a choice and a wish. A choice is backed by a belief that you can do it. A wish is backed by a doubt that you can.” Let that one sink in for a sec.

“Doubt is a code word for fear. The middle-class is afraid it can’t or won’t become rich.” Or substitute successful in your music business or whatever. “What’s inside of you? A belief that you can do it or a fear that you can’t? Change shows you what you’re made of. It reveals what’s inside of you. If you get angry when change comes, it’s because you have anger inside of you. If you get worried when change occurs, it’s because you are fearful. If you complain when change happens, it’s because you are ungrateful. Millionaires don’t complain or worry or get angry when change occurs. They look for the opportunity it brings. Change always gives you the opportunity to grow and become stronger. See opportunity and change. People in the middle-class fear change because they don’t know if they are strong enough to handle it.

The number one reason people resist change is fear. Fear blinds you to opportunities. When you develop a confidence and learn to accept change, you will be able to see the opportunity it is bringing to you. Someone once said, ‘In times of change, the learners will inherit the earth, while the learned will find themselves well-equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.’ Change teaches us new things that we need to learn. And the more we learn, the stronger and more confident we become. Confidence is strength. The more confident you become, the more prepared you are to take advantage of opportunities when they appear. You never know when an opportunity may present itself. The middle-class thinks millionaires got lucky and were in the right place at the right time. It’s not enough to be in the right place at the right time. You have to be the right person in the right place at the right time, otherwise you won’t even see the opportunity. Learning to embrace change assures that you are becoming a person who can profit from life’s opportunities. The future belongs to those who can change with the times.”

I’ve been saying that for years. “The purpose of change is to change us. Learning to accept change is the first step to becoming more confident. Allowing change to change you is the real purpose of it. People are born to learn and grow. Change is life’s way of making sure we do that, and learn to fly. Resisting change is like an eaglet not wanting to leave the warmth and comfort of his nest. Eventually, Mama Eagle starts changing the warm and comfortable environment by removing her nice soft down feathers from the nest. Before you know it, sharp sticks and twigs are poking the eaglet. ‘Why are you doing this to me, Mama?’ he screams. Mama Eagle says, ‘Because it’s time you learn how to fly.'” You used that example in the last episode.

12:10 CJ: I was about to say.

12:13 Leah: That’s great.

12:13 CJ: That’s funny.

12:14 Leah: “Change is life’s way of teaching you how to fly. The next time you ask, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ remember Mama Eagle’s answer to her baby. Sometimes, we don’t know what we can do until we have to. Ask someone to think back to a difficult time of his life, when life threw him a curveball, he’ll probably say, ‘It was the best thing that ever happened to me.’ Almost everyone has an experience like that. Let’s learn a lesson from ourselves and realize that change is always meant for our good. Change is good. The quicker you learn the lesson, the sooner you will start enjoying your new strength. It feels great when you increase your confidence. Enjoy the feeling of growing and getting stronger. Embrace change when it comes, and learn how to fly. Millionaires embrace change. The middle-class is threatened by change.”

And I’m going to start a new career reading books on audible. I’m just kidding.

13:11 CJ: That’s right. That was really, really good. Yeah, that was kind of eerie how much he was using the exact same illustration.

13:19 Leah: Yeah.

13:19 CJ: And he said some other things there, which is stuff that I’ve said for years, and you mentioned that you say it yourself. I’d always used to say that being at the right place at the right time happens several times a day for those who are prepared and keep their head on a swivel. And frustration is your friend if it drives you out of the nest. So, one of the reasons why… This is an interesting factoid about why the middle-class resists change. They say that 5% of the population, the personalities of the population, are wired to be entrepreneurial, 5%. So, that means 5% are employing the rest of the world, for the most part.

14:00 Leah: Wow.

14:01 CJ: The majority of people, 65% are this, what they call just the steady types. They don’t like change.

14:09 Leah: But we need some of those people, too.

14:10 CJ: Yeah. Oh, you have to, you have to. They don’t like change. They don’t want… They want things to be predictable. So, an example would be the difference between the success of McDonald’s versus Burger King. McDonald’s doesn’t change things much. They stick with the essential basics to keep them going. They focus on the family, right? Heavy emphasis on children. And they use the primary colors: red, yellow, blue, that kind of thing. Whereas Burger King is all over the place, and so that you don’t know who exactly they’re targeting. They’re constantly changing things, so they struggle with success. Whereas, McDonald’s knows that the majority of the population wants primary colors, loves their family, lives paycheck to paycheck, doesn’t want things to change.

14:59 Leah: Yeah. Interesting.

14:59 CJ: They keep things predictable. The more predictable that you can be, the easier it is for the majority of people to function. So, some of that is good. We need predictability. I don’t want a world that’s unpredictable. I don’t want to wake up every day and wonder whether the transportation system is working or the sanitation system is working or whether my cops are going to be there today or not. Sure, we want that measure of predictability. But not resisting the change that’s necessary. Because like he said, there is opportunity in change.

So, people always ask me, and this is going to sound maybe counter, but I mean it in a different way because he’s obviously talking about long-term thinking. He mentioned earlier about long-term plans, 10 years and all that, is that people will, because I’m in a lot of success groups and all that kind of stuff and meetings and so, everybody talks about five-year plans and all of that. But I’ve learned over time that the best way to describe my approach to future planning is the two words, ‘seize opportunities’. Because SMA was not a part of my five-year plan.

16:13 Leah: Yeah, how about that? That was just out of the blue, right?

16:16 CJ: Just one of those things, right? Metal Motivation was not a part of my five-year plan. It was an idea that appeared. And so, the entrepreneur will look at it and say, “Calculate the risk” and say “is it worth it? Do I feel the idea has enough merit to go after it? Do I see future potential?” And so, they take that risk. They could be wrong. They could be wrong, but they understand that’s far, far better because there’s always something on the other side because they know that you can always keep doing it. I have somebody near and dear to me who kind of grew up in more of a blue-collar area. And so, her father is a really remarkable man. He did 25 years in the Navy, left the Navy to do 25 years as a school teacher, went from 25 years as a school teacher and is about to finish or just finished his 25th year as a deacon in a Catholic church. 25 years, 25 years-

17:13 Leah: How old is this guy? This seems, he must be like 100.

17:13 CJ: Yeah, He’s a, well, he’s just, I think he’s 91.

17:15 Leah: Wow.

17:16 CJ: 91 years old, but that was his goal to do 25 years, 25 years, and 25 years. Now, he’s got great pensions from all of these things, but what it… But this person knows me so well and knows I am so not that way. I am completely independent and entrepreneurial.

17:33 Leah: Wired so different.

17:34 CJ: Yeah, but to his experience… So, her experience too is that, well, he’s an institutional guy. I mean, what bigger institutions do you have than the U.S. Navy, the military, the public education system, and something as big and universal as the Catholic church? These are major institutions that have their pension plans and all of these things. I don’t have any of that. You know what I mean? I’m complete, I have never worked for a corporation. So-

18:05 Leah: You’re on your own.

18:05 CJ: Yep. I cannot go back into the workforce because nobody’s going to hire me. And so, I’ll always talk about-

18:11 Leah: I wonder if I could even get a job.

18:13 CJ: Exactly.

18:13 Leah: I don’t even know if I could get a job.

18:14 CJ: Who’s going to hire you? So, but I’ll always tell her that things like relationships are capital. I always say, “Relationships are capital.” I spent an hour talking to this person here. I’m so excited about it. She said, “Well, why are you so excited about it?” Because relationships are capital. I never know when something could possibly be an open door to something else. So, whereas somebody else is always checking their, I don’t know, their 401k stats or their pension stats, so they’re always looking at that because that’s what they depend on, I depend upon my own efforts. I depend on my ability to see and seize opportunity, to act quickly, to be flexible, and I recognize that relationships are capital, that everyone that I know, that everything that I know is capital.

So, I always want to be feeding, always want to be resourcing because I’m figuring, just like he did, that it’s seeding, it’s, I’m feeding myself for what could potentially come. And yes, that’s risky. Okay? And people are scared to death of the unknown. I get that. Leave a nightlight on if you’re scared of the dark, okay? I’ve got enough nightlight on. I’ve known, I’ve seen enough success in the past and I stay in my field of degree. People are like, “Man, you just do everything right.” No. Put me on a tennis court, put me on a golf course, put me on skis and you’ll see how much I don’t do everything right. I stay in my lane. I don’t go off and try to prove something and get myself killed. People say, “Why don’t you go ice skating? You want to go ice skating?” I said, “Hell, no.” This is why. Because, as of right now, there’s probably, there’s 0.00.5% chance that I will break a limb right now sitting in this chair. But the moment I put on ice skates and get on the ice, those odds just shot up dramatically.

So, I’m not looking for that adrenaline. I have the adrenaline of helping people break their limitations, and step out and increase a greater life. To me, that’s a-

20:16 Leah: Yeah. Not breaking their legs.

20:17 CJ: No. That, to me, that’s a whole lot more thrilling, helping people break the shackles of their mental chains than going out and doing-

20:25 Leah: Breaking your legs.

20:25 CJ: Yeah, go and breaking your leg. I’m not, and that doesn’t mean anybody else shouldn’t go do that. Do your thing, man. That’s the color of life. We’re all diverse. We don’t have to all be and think necessarily the same way. But no matter where you are in life, you can always think bigger. Like you said, Leah, it’s like, okay, replace millionaire with successful. What does success look like for you? And there’s no way you’re listening to this podcast… Again, there’s not one person, not one, listening to this podcast that has reached their potential. Not one.

20:56 Leah: Nope, no.

20:57 CJ: And that includes you and I.

20:58 Leah: 100%.

21:01 CJ: Right? So, that’s why we’re pushing the envelope. That’s why we’re pushing… One of the things that Leah and I get out of this and why we get so animated and excited, she’s reading to you guys from a book that she already read 10 years ago. And she’s reading it now. Back then, it was just kind of getting herself to think that way. Now, 10 years later, she’s done things that other people have dreamed about. And so now, that causes her eyeballs to change. Now, she’s reading the very same book, very same information in a different way, getting so much more out of it, and qualifying herself for her next level. Some of you guys would just like to get to where she was five years ago, let alone where she is now.

But her mind is already 10 years down the road. She’s already thinking down the road. So, what’s the big deal? Is it just her talent? Plays a small part. How much have you ever heard Leah on the podcast get into the actual production of her music? She doesn’t spend a whole lot of time talking about that. She’s talking about right-

22:09 Leah: And I’m not even good at it.

22:12 CJ: But your fans might disagree with you, but the point is, is that she’s, which she’s really passionate about. We have a verse that I love that says, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” So, I just need to hang around you for a little while to see what you’re all about, to see what you truly believe. So, when it comes to spending time with successful people, I’m going to spend my time with Leah. Because I hear what comes out of her heart. What comes out of her heart is more and more of a passion about exceeding limits.

22:43 Leah: Well, let me tell you something. When you start thinking more this way, and you’re reading books like this constantly, and you are having conversations with your kids and your spouse, you’re like, this is what you’re surrounding yourself in and you start to realize the people you hang around, you will become like them. You will become like the people you spend time with, and there’s even a saying that you are the sum of the five people you spend most time with. So, I made a decision a long time ago. I was going to hang out with really successful people. To this day, I still don’t know very many really successful people, but I hang out with them via podcasts, via their books, via their blogs. That’s how I hang out with them. They’re my mentors. They don’t even know they’re my mentors. And you also quickly realize that when you get into this abundance mindset, you realize how toxic so many people in your life really are.

23:34 CJ: Oh, yeah.

23:35 Leah: You start realizing how-

23:37 CJ: You must, you need to say that again. That is so true.

23:41 Leah: When you get into this abundance mindset, and you start realizing your own potential, it will be revealed to you how many people around you… It’s the crab in the bucket scenario. They want to pull you back down. And you need to stop spending time with them. It’s sad. And it can be lonely. Because you realize, wow, I can’t hang around most of the people in my life. This is actually really eye-opening and it’s sad. I feel a little bit… There’s a reason why I don’t have that many friends, to be honest. I don’t have that many because I have some lifelong friends and you have your relatives and stuff, but you can’t choose your relatives.

24:22 CJ: Right.

24:23 Leah: But so many people are going to be poison to your abundance. Because they’re so stuck in their poverty mentality and they’re so stuck in what is not possible for you and what is not possible for themselves. And so, your circle of friends is going to become a lot smaller, the more abundant-minded you become.

24:47 CJ: Yeah. Because the less the people around you understand how success is achieved, the more they’re going to think you cheated to get it. You know?

24:58 Leah: Yep.

24:58 CJ: They’re just, that’s going to be their assumption, because they think you are still like them. And if they haven’t done anything of significance, then if you’re doing something of significance, it must be for a reason other than hard work. Even if it’s by fate or magic or silver spoon in your mouth or whatever, you’re getting something you don’t deserve. They feel like it has everything to do with deserve. I hate that. Hate that word. Because everybody uses it. “I deserve better.” Really? Why? Why do you deserve better? And deserve in terms of who? The universe? God? The Force? What is it? Who’s supposed to give you this thing that you say you deserve better? Or that you say, “She didn’t deserve him” or “he didn’t deserve her.” Deserve has got nothing to do with it because I know some absolute devils who’ve got plenty of money.

25:53 Leah: Right.

25:54 CJ: So, deserve has-

25:55 Leah: The world isn’t fair like that.

25:56 CJ: Yeah. So who, so what’s… And I know some really, really good people who have had some really, really bad things happen to them, and are in some really, really bad straits. So, deserve has nothing to do with it but that’s how we think. And so, that’s when we start the blame game. We start playing the blame game. We start pointing fingers at everything else, everything external to us. We are the ultimate environmentalist. That don’t mean tree-hugging. Which is fine if you hug a tree, that’s okay. But environmentalist means you believe everything is determined by something external to you. So, even if it’s just, even if you can get down to class, genders, upbringing, anything that you can point to, a politician, whatever, the more they will have a part to play. But the more you keep the focus on there, then the less you realize and release the power from the one person who can truly make a change in your life.

And that’s you. Because everybody tells us to look on the bright side. But here’s the reality. If you want to look on the bright side, look in the mirror, because you are the bright side. And if you can’t say that to your situation, then you know you’re the problem. You should be able to look in the mirror and say, “I don’t care what circumstances I’m in. I am the bright side to my bad situation, because I can do something about it and I can do something about it now. I don’t need somebody to come save me. I can do this.”

27:32 Leah: Wow. Yes, this is good. I hope you guys are getting something really meaty out of this. I don’t think there’s any marketing podcasts that really go in-depth on this level. Certainly not in the musician space. So, this is really a treat. It’s a treat for us to be able to talk about it here, and I hope that you find it as valuable as we do. Because this is really the stuff that leads to lasting change and lasting results. No Instagram bot or tip is going to do what something like this is going to do. Change your thinking and that will change your life. Okay?

28:14 CJ: Exactly. I tell the students all the time, “The majority of the success is really going to come down to you.” And by that, it means not just doing the work. It means the way that you see everything. There is, I can’t… I’m sure a physics professor could come in here, Leah, and explain to us how that works, but in our third-grade explanation, we can observe it that if someone is in the right mindset, if they think this way, the changes happen. Not because it materializes magically, but because it changes so many things about us. Everything changes every aspect of how we operate physically, the way we… the time we get up, how much effort we put out, how long we stick with something. We don’t get discouraged. It all multiplies and compounds together to create the greater results than we’ve created in the past because we were limited by our thinking. “Stinking thinking,” the guys used to say all the time. And we don’t want to be guilty of it, so.

But as you said at the outset, it’s embracing change. Don’t be afraid of it. Embrace it. Don’t be limited by it because short-term thinkers, limited thinkers are afraid of change. And your greatest success, your next victory is on the other side of the change that you’re so afraid of, and you’ve got to attack it with ferocity. Resolved, meaning there’s no questioning in your mind. You’re seizing your challenges. You’re seizing change. Whatever’s in front of you, like a lion seizes an antelope. There is no second-guessing in that lion’s mind. It doesn’t sit there and wonder if he should do it, if anybody’s going to judge him. The lion’s not afraid he’s going to fail. He’s not fearful of success. He sees the line. If you were to behold it in real life, see it play out in front of you, your breath would be taken away at the ferocity, the violence of the resolve in that lion when it sees its prey. That’s exactly the way you need to be in the way that you think.

30:16 Leah: That’s right. I love it.

30:19 CJ: Okay. Well, Leah, I’m anxious to get into this next episode. We’ll save what we’ve got coming for the next episode. But again, as we said in the last episode, again, we’re kind of leaking out what’s up and coming. TOM 3.0, The Online Musician 3.0, about to receive its… When’s the last time it’s been upgraded? How long since TOM 2.0?

30:42 Leah: It’s been a couple of years, I think, since we really did an overhaul to it and just upgraded it. A lot needed to be updated. But I also, during that time, have been able to gather a lot of data of just things, kind of missing pieces of the puzzle where I think it will really help students make a significant change and impact on their music careers, and success that they have online, and moving toward making real significant money and have a lasting career. Because that’s what I’m interested in. I’m not interested in helping them make a quick buck today and then nothing tomorrow. I’m interested in helping them build an ecosystem where they launch a career online and they have multiple streams of income, because I don’t believe in putting all your eggs in one basket, and then helping them establish a real brand that’s recognizable online, a real brand that can grow.

So, we’re looking toward a sustainable model here. And so, that’s what The Online Musician 3.0 is all about. If you’re wondering what the difference is between that and our Superfan System Elite program, the Elite program is meant to be a very advanced marketing program. It assumes you kind of have some of these foundational pieces already in place. So, for that reason, we don’t accept a lot of people who do apply into that program because they’re just not ready for it yet. And so, The Online Musician 3.0 program is all about helping you establish those very significant pieces of the foundation. You can’t build a house without a foundation. Advanced marketing funnels and ads and all the ninja stuff and launches and all that. That’s like the decor of the house that’s putting on the windows and the roof and all of that.

But all of that just falls away if you don’t have that foundation. So, The Online Musician is that foundation. It’s your branding. It’s who are you, what’s your artist identity? Who is your ideal fan? Who are they? You better know everything about that fan. You better know what books they read, what magazines they read, the demographics, their psychographics, what’s their favorite movies, what’s their favorite video games? You better know all that stuff about them before you even start to go marketing, spending money on ads. And so, that’s just part of it.

But we’re going to deal with mindset. We’re going to deal with website. I believe that by the time you’re ready for our Superfan System Elite program that your website looks amazing. That should, to me, you should leave that program already having some of these big foundational pieces in place. And so, I’ve found that there’s a few holes in the program and wasn’t quite as comprehensive as I want these students… I want these students, by the time they come out of there, they should be making money, they should have a recognizable brand that they’re really proud of, and they should know exactly what the plan is, moving forward, for how they’re launching their music online and building a sustainable career that they love, whether they tour or not. How’s that?

33:45 CJ: Perfect.

33:45 Leah: Join the waitlist.

33:48 CJ: Yeah, so there’s more information. In fact, we got a webinar that you can register for. And you can get all of this information at And if all that we’re talking about is even too over your head and you’re like, “I don’t think I’m even ready for The Online Musician, well, you always have another option. And that is something we’re very, very proud of, which actually has kind of a little bit of both, fundamentals as well as some advanced material, in the Inner Circle Membership, which you can join right away. In fact, a lot of our students in TOM and in the Superfan System-

34:26 Leah: And Elite.

34:27 CJ: And elite are subscribers to the Inner Circle Membership. And you can go to and you get a cool, beautiful full-color magazine with that, full with interviews and tips and tools and motivational articles and latest updates, what’s happening in the changes of social media and marketing. You also get an audio version, read by me, and you get a mini-tutorial, a mini-course with each month’s issue and it’s pretty, pretty cool. So, go and check that out. But, Leah-

35:04 Leah: I recommend everybody should just subscribe to that, whether you’re in TOM or Elite, just everybody needs that. And the way that’s different too is it’s addressing a little bit more of the tactical stuff on a monthly basis and a different topic every month. Things that are not necessarily part of the fundamentals but stuff that we want you to know, and stuff that I think will be helpful and will contribute toward you creating more income for yourself. So, everybody should just go subscribe to that. It’s so affordable. Can you just find the money in your couch, please? And just do this, do this for yourself. You need to immerse your brain and your body and just immerse yourself in this, so it becomes second nature. So, that’s why we created Inner Circle. Go do that.

35:46 CJ: Yep. There you go. Yeah, it’s great to have some written-format stuff so that people can go back and refer to things. In fact, there’s even, go a little bit more in-depth on the student spotlights, not just sharing their wins, but asking about what happened, what was their latest victory, what determined that victory, what did they stop doing that created that victory, and what did they start doing that created that victory? And so, it’s a lot of really cool stuff in this inner circle membership. So again, To check out more about what’s coming up with TOM 3.0, Leah, let’s do this again. How about one more episode?

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 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 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

Episode #091: How To Reap The Benefits Of A Millionaire Mindset, Pt. 1

This episode begins a case study into the book, “Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class” by Keith Cameron Smith, and you might be asking yourself, “What does this have to do with music?” 

SMA’s focus is to equip you as an entrepreneur to create and sustain an online music career, and that means you have to start thinking differently about business and money.

For example, having a long-term mindset instead of a short-term mindset is not only one of the main distinctions that separates millionaires and the middle class, but also those who make it in the music business and those who don’t. Therefore, if you want a music career, you simply can’t think short-term.

If you start thinking with a “millionaire mindset,” then your approach to your music business will shift radically, and you’ll start to see new results as your thoughts and actions change.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s in this episode. “Gold,” Leah says, “ This is gold!” Your next step towards success is right here. This is it!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The importance of your mindset
  • Leah’s introduction to the book
  • Seeking wealth in every aspect of your life
  • A principle based strategy
  • Getting out of your own way
  • Thinking long-term
  • Seeking freedom over comfort
  • Becoming a whatever it takes kind of person
  • Self-dependence
  • Breaking the shackles of poverty thinking


“If you can move it an inch, you can move it a mile.” – @metalmotivation [0:3:31]

“If I could spend all of my time on one subject, it would be the way that you think.”  – @metalmotivation [0:05:08]

“Tips and tricks and tactics only get you so far and really, if you don’t have the right mindset, then they don’t even work anyways.”  – @LEAHthemusic [0:11:40]

“Change your thinking in a sense that you will begin to see increase in your life in all areas of your life, simply because you’re no longer standing in your own way mentally.”  – @metalmotivation [0:19:00]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Join the TOM 3.0 Waitlist —

Tracey Fores (Student Spotlight) —

Book a Call With Us —

Inner Circle Membership —

The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class by Keith Cameron Smith —

Click For Full Transcript

00:21 CJ: Welcome to the Savvy Musician Show. This is CJ Ortiz. I’m the branding and mindset coach here at the Savvy Musician Academy, joined, I’m so thrilled to have her back, the lovely Leah McHenry. Leah, great to see you.

00:34 Leah: Great to see you and great to be here.

00:37 CJ: Where have you been?

00:39 Leah: I’ve been around. Yeah, that’s been an eventful last month, my family, we moved, an international move actually back … from the United States back to Canada for a while and that’s always a bit of a gong show but we drove up here with my minivan, with all seven of us, plus two cats and it was a five-day road trip, that was fun.

01:05 CJ: Yeah. Yeah.

01:07 Leah: We all made it out alive.

01:09 CJ: Yeah, try to keep up with the pictures and I just … I couldn’t believe how quick and also, it seems like you had made that transition. No, I mean, great to have you back, of people I have been riding in, they’ve enjoyed the interviews though and so that’s been a blessing of sorts to be able to talk to students both elite and in TOM online musician groups. Man, just great, great stories about what kind of results students are getting and so, ready to hear more of that. In fact, I’m going to start with a little student spotlight here with one of our TOM students, Tracy Forest who writes, “Hashtag win. I know it’s small peanuts but I have to say this model really works.”

“I’m about four to five … four-fifths through TOM,” which means The Online Musician, “About to launch my website and I just ran my first Facebook like ad. I have limited funds so I’m only running the ad for about a dollar a day to a pretty targeted audience. In three days, I’ve gotten 25 new likes. Imagine if I had spent $5 a day. Again, it’s a very small win but I am just amazed how when we followed the program, we get results. I’m even more fired up than ever to keep pushing and to do the hard work. Thanks, Leah and SMA.”

02:33 Leah: That’s cool and actually, I like that dollar a day strategy too, when you’re first starting out because you’re not really losing much money at all and you get your feet wet and some people say if, by spending such a low amount, you’re actually forcing the Facebook algorithm to find the exact right people because you’re limiting them so they have to work with that budget and put it in front of the right people. I actually think it’s a cool way to start out. Good job.

02:59 CJ: Yeah, good job. I think what you say there also as it relates to psychology, has a benefit because like she did, she got a taste for victory.

03:10 Leah: Yeah.

03:11 CJ: Some people can’t imagine even moving it an inch, let alone a mile, so they get this taste of achievement. This, “Wow, it really works,” so what’s the first thought that hits you? What if I spent $5 a day?

03:22 Leah: Yes.

03:22 CJ: In other words, you may not have the resources but it doesn’t mean then … but look how interested they’ll be to spend more money once they’re able to acquire it. Good news is good news, no matter what and again, if you can move it an inch, you can move it a mile so good for you.

03:41 Leah: That’s right.

03:42 CJ: Well, Leah, I’ve done a lot of coaching as of late and I’m seeing a pattern and I’ve had, like this last weekend, sat with a friend of mine, a musician and we talked for maybe two and a half or three hours and everything that I told him about 10% had to do with software, technology, what have you. I had another conversation last night with a student. We went for almost two hours. Again, 10% was about technical things in regards to software or Facebook or what have you and these are two completely different people and two completely different situations with two completely different setbacks but what they share in common is the way that they think.

They were more in their way understanding then that how much they had to understand about their own psychology, psychology of the marketplace, why people buy, what are their expectations et cetera. It just kept bringing me back because I come from a motivational side of the street.

04:47 Leah: Yeah.

04:47 CJ: For me, the way someone thinks or believes or their concepts about what’s possible, what you should be pursuing is completely central to the success of an individual. So much so that I always tell people in my groups, in the audios and video stuff that I do, that if I could spend all of my time on one subject, it would be the way that you think, which is going to influence the way that you believe et cetera. We’re going to come back to a subject that has been really on your heart for some time now. Why don’t you open us up about … because some people can kind of get … when you talk about these kinds of things, people can kind of get a little weirded out because of their … maybe their beliefs and what not but that’s kind of the point, is to help them change beliefs, help them really discover what’s possible and what should their expectations and pursuits be.

When it comes to dealing with the successful, the difference between the successful and the unsuccessful, people can get really envious, people can get jealous, people can get political. They can get partisan.

06:02 Leah: Yeah, triggered.

06:03 CJ: Right, really, really triggered so why don’t you introduce us into this?

06:08 Leah: Yeah, well, I thought it would be a really fun idea to do a little series based on a book that I’m reading my children right now. It’s not a children’s story or children’s book but it’s something that I am incorporating into my morning time with them. If you don’t know, if this is your first time listening or you don’t know too much about me, I’m a mom of five. I have five kids and they’re all homeschooled so we’re all nerds around here. We’re pretty cool nerds but we’re nerds so I … one of the things I do with them every morning is I spend like a two to three-hour chunk. Sometimes in the past, it’s been much less than that. Sometimes it was 20 minutes but I try to make it a habit.

Right now, it’s much longer than that. It’s my impartation time where we do journaling. I get to impart to them wisdom, things, values. We read books, we read nonfiction, we read fiction. We’re reading The Fellowship of the Rings right now and then also, usually, some kind of nonfiction book. Something principle-based and it’s my time to … we get to learn about anything we want. This morning, we were also watching YouTube videos on aquascaping which is like an aquarium, building like a scene in an aquarium. Some of them are incredibly elaborate. They look like an enchanted forest and stuff like, I want to make one of these and so you know it’s very interest-led stuff. It’s an amazing time, I wouldn’t trade that time for anything in the world, it’s the best.

This is a book, I’m reading to them. It is simple enough that children can understand it and they’re genuinely … I mean, their age is five to almost 14. They actually … they’re paying so much attention to this. They are gleaning from it. They are like wow, they’re really learning it and I get to be the teacher me and explain stuff, which I love and it’s extremely rewarding, being able to share this with them. The title could trigger you. The title could trigger, okay? It’s called the Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class by Keith Cameron Smith. This is … if you’re watching on YouTube … we have a YouTube channel by the way if you didn’t know.

08:20 CJ: Yeah, right.

08:21 Leah: This is what it looks like, okay and we’ll put the link in the show notes so you can get a copy of this book. It’s a very short book. Each chapter is very short but the title … there should be some people who are like, “I’m done with this podcast,” because it’s like, what an offensive title. I think 10, 15 years ago, this is not an offensive title but now it is but anyways.

08:45 CJ: Yeah, now it is, right.

08:47 Leah: The whole point of this book is the distinctions, if millionaires and middle class bothers you, just change the words to successful and unsuccessful, okay? These are the top 10 distinctions between successful people who are financially abundant and unsuccessful people or people who are just scraping by and are not happy with their situation.

09:10 CJ: Right.

09:11 Leah: There are many people in the middle class who are completely happy being in the middle class. This book isn’t really for them. It’s for people who are not happy with that status and want abundance.

09:21 CJ: Right.

09:23 Leah: There are 10 distinctions in this book and I love them. This is gold and I will say what’s mind-blowing to me is I read this book years ago, probably … I don’t know, like a decade ago. I read it long before I’d ever made any money and there’s something interesting to me looking back and I think all those books that I read about the success mindset and books like this, Distinctions Between the Millionaires and the Middle Class, I didn’t make any money for at least five, six more years after that but I really do believe it seeded me. It planted the seed that grew into a harvest later on. Once I had a product, once I understood who I was, once I understood the skills that it would take and it’s like all of a sudden, it all came together but it came together years down the road.

That’s something he actually talks about in this book when we talk about thinking long term and actually that’s about what I’m going to read to you guys here in a second. Not everything that you do reaps the harvest right this moment.

10:28 CJ: Right.

10:30 Leah: Reading books like this is planting the seeds for … in abundant harvest later down the road. It could be years. It could be months. Yeah, that’s the interesting thing to me is that I read this book so long ago and I’m reading it now and it’s blowing my mind. I’m like, not because I’ve arrived, not because, “Oh well, that’s me now.” Not at all like that. It’s blowing my mind like … it’s the same way you read a book more than once and you get something completely new out of it. That’s exactly what’s happening to me and I’m being challenged by this book. One chapter in particular which I want to cover in the future like there’s one chapter that’s really challenging me in my thinking.

That’s the whole point of us sharing this with you in this episode is … the idea is to challenge your thinking. The idea is to take you out of your comfort zone and make you consider where you’re at right now that is actually an obstacle to your success. I can’t think of possibly anything better we can even talk about on this podcast because frankly, tips and tricks and tactics only get you so far and really, if you don’t have the right mindset, then they don’t even work anyway. This is the most valuable stuff we could give you.

11:50 CJ: Yeah. I think what people have to realize is don’t be moved by a title or the way something is phrased. Try to find the principle that’s involved here because nobody is suggesting you have to go and be a millionaire, whatever.

12:03 Leah: Right.

12:03 CJ: Now, however, if you taste some success, you’re going to want to see how far you could push the envelope so don’t be surprised if you’re thinking changes over time. However, the point is, is that there are principles of increase, there’s principles that you can increase in what you’re doing. That’s what’s important, is that how does this apply to your life? How does this apply to your particular music business? Now, we don’t have necessarily a whole lot of information from musicians or recording artists about this type of thing. A lot of major recording artists are messed up in the head or they got robbed of all their money from record labels or managers and find out they’re broke and in debt, right? Somebody squandered all their earnings.

The entertainers are not necessarily the best ones to consult when it comes to this but for those people especially those who are … and believe me to the upper, upper class, being a millionaire is nothing.

13:09 Leah: That’s right.

13:09 CJ: That’s … they look at somebody who just is a millionaire as middle class. You talk to the people in the billions and they’re going to look at somebody who’s just … who makes two million dollars a year let’s just say as middle class. They’re looking like-

13:24 Leah: Small fish.

13:25 CJ: Like $30,000 a year.

13:26 Leah: Yeah.

13:27 CJ: It’s all perspective. Now, again, don’t be put off because you’ve brought into it your particular bias about something, let’s get to the principle. Obviously, Leah just mentioned here that she’s instilling this to her kids so that means she wants something perpetuated in her own household. I’ve done the same thing. My kids are all grown but they’ve been raised that way. That’s why I call it a trailer park aristocracy. I want them to think long-term and I want them to think in terms of increase, that where you are is not where you need to remain and I understand like what Leah said that some people are content with being middle class but sometimes that content with being middle class is based on an ignorance.

14:14 Leah: Right.

14:14 CJ: That if they understood the actual threat to the position that they’re in because of the way …

14:19 Leah: Well, the economy even. When you’re relying on one income stream alone and that’s it, that’s all you have, you’re vulnerable. You’re so vulnerable. Your children are vulnerable. It’s not even just about like political ideas. We’re talking even the survival here, thinking about your children in the future. It’s not a good idea to put yourself in a position where you all are financially vulnerable. There’s an entire generation here, an elderly generation. They have no savings. They have no retirement and how are we going to take care of them? I’m not trying to talk about social programs or government programs. This is not about that but you are vulnerable if you are content, that’s how I see it.

15:07 CJ: Yeah, and again, so that’s the … it comes back to the obligation that you have to yourself. What’s the capacity of your resident gifting? If there’s a million people around the world that could listen to your ethereal folk rock, right? If there’s a million people around the world that would love your ethereal folk-rock, and would literally spend upwards of anywhere between $25 to $100 a year with you, because you nurture that audience and take care of them and you give them the music and the products and things that they would enjoy, well, then, do the math. You’re going to increase. It’s not about a lust for … See, some people will … Leah, will position themselves as … somehow, they’re more noble if they decry wealth or abundance or what have you.

16:06 Leah: Right.

16:07 CJ: Somehow that’s a more noble thing and suggesting that if you have abundance, well, you’re somehow evil, you’re somehow-

16:15 Leah: Materialistic, selfish.

16:16 CJ: Bad, right. Instead of thinking well, obviously, number one if you then as the person who thinks this way had more money and since because you’re so … have such a keen sense of good and evil, that it would stand to reason that you would be the most qualified person in the room to possess said money because you would obviously know better than all money how to solve the world’s problems and the other thing is, we’re seeing this right now played out in the political theater where it’s easy to slam the riches a big category and granted yeah, you got your doubles in there man. I mean, there are very, very bad people just like there are bad people in all walks of life.

17:00 Leah: Absolutely. Let’s talk about Monsanto.

17:03 CJ: Yeah, exactly. What the point being is that if you propose some sort of political system where every class, every kind of person no matter what their lot in life is being taken care of, well, that money has to come from somewhere.

17:22 Leah: Yeah.

17:22 CJ: It has to be paid for and so, yeah, what they want to do is tax the rich which is fine, okay, if you want to say that, that’s all fine. That’s all well and good but that means somebody has to be rich.

17:32 Leah: Somebody has the money and is doing something with it.

17:35 CJ: Right.

17:36 Leah: The money doesn’t go away.

17:39 CJ: The overall point here is that increase is going to be necessary on someone’s part and so, we’re not here to make an apologetic, we’re just kind of laying the groundwork for what we want to talk about because we feel like this is such an important topic, we’re going to spend a few episodes on it. It’s just important to get past the natural knee jerk reactions to a discussion like this. We’re not just talking about that. We’re talking the principles of increase, about what really makes a difference between being successful and being unsuccessful and like you said, especially when it comes to digital marketing for the online musician, and I see this all the time with my coaching calls, is that they get too fixated on a trick or a hack or method or a piece of software.

They don’t realize that like you said, there is a connection between the way that you think and even the implementation of some of these tricks or hacks. In the conversation I had last night with a student, even your copy because the copy that they read to me was technically good copy. If you open up a copywriter’s thing, but it wasn’t genuine to them. It wasn’t personal and so, the audience is going to feel that so that’s what we’re talking about, is to change your thinking in a sense that you will begin to see increase in your life in all areas of your life, simply because you’re no longer standing in your own way mentally.

19:13 Leah: Yes, and I think that’s important. Let me read a segment from this chapter and I think the next few episodes, I’m going to read a segment from a different chapter.

19:23 CJ: Okay.

19:24 Leah: These are the ones that really stood out to me, things that hit me. Now, I just suggest, go buy the book and read the whole thing, it only take you about 10 minutes to read one chapter. There’s 10 chapters. This first distinction is really important and I think that it’s … and I love this book because it’s principle-based which means you can apply it to anything and it just carries through time, it’s timeless. “Distinction number 10, millionaires think long-term, the middle class thinks short term.” I’m going to go over here to this one segment because I think it’s a little more relevant to all of us artist and creatives. It says, “Stretch your thinking further into the future.

The longer you can stretch your thinking into the future, the richer you will become. Most multimillionaires I know personally have business plans that reach at least 10 years into the future. When I first started thinking year to year, my income really started to increase. I ask myself questions like, how can I double my income this year? How can I legally pay less in taxes this year? As I’ve seen this principle of long term thinking in the lives of my mentors, it has challenged me to look further into my future. I know have business plans that go 20 years into the future. I spend time on a regular basis thinking about what I want my life to be like five, 10 and 20 years from now.

“Then, I create plans for how to get there.” I’m going to stop there for a second because I love this. We’ve actually talked about this in episodes in the past about how it starts with a dream then turns into a plan. It starts with imagination and imagining what the future could be like and what it is you want then taking that dream and turning it into plan and reverse engineering it. This for me is like … this is gold. This is a jackpot right here. “What would you like your life to be like 10 years from now? Think about it and start planning for it. Thinking long term requires patience. Patience is an asset in the life of millionaires. Impatience is a liability in the life of the middle class.” Do you have anything to say about that?

21:39 CJ: Yeah. Well, to be honest, I couldn’t have said it any better because you do literally see that, especially, when you have a debt-based economy where there’s easy money. If you have a credit card in your pocket that you can just pull out, you’re not thinking long-term so you’re robbing your future to furnish your present.

22:00 Leah: Right, financing their entire life.

22:02 CJ: Yeah, by that means and so people don’t think economically and so, it’s funny the distinction between the different classes is the ultra-rich are not necessarily big spenders all the time. Often times, read the old book, the Millionaire Next Door, you find that they were very, very frugal people. If anything, the millionaires understand money better. They understand economics better so they’re smarter with it whereas the middle class doesn’t understand.

22:36 Leah: Our friends and family I think are sometimes shocked to see that we drive a very inexpensive minivan because that’s not where we want to put our money. There’s no return on that. There’s no ROI on a Honda Civic or a Honda Odyssey. There’s no ROI on that so why would we put all our money there? Let me continue, I like this stopping to do commentary thing, this is fun. “Middle-class people want instant gratification.” I got to say something right now. This house that we just moved into, it’s a rental house because we want to build something eventually and we’re here for about a year. This house we’re in has an extra living room and the previous house we were in, there was one big family room and there wasn’t like a formal living room and a family … this one has an extra living room. I have no furniture in it.

There’s a rug on the floor. I don’t plan on buying furniture for it. Actually, I know what I would want but I’m not going to buy it. I’m going to actually leave it empty. Do you know why?

23:41 CJ: Why?

23:42 Leah: Because it reminds me of my goals and it reminds me that this is temporary and I’m going for something bigger and better and I’m not just going to finance my life and get a bunch of furniture in here right now. I’m leaving it empty because it keeps me slightly uncomfortable and reminds me, every time I walk in there, what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.

24:02 CJ: Right. Yeah, I’m similar in a sense … because I’m in a different season of life. My kids are grown even though I’ve got a couple with me, they’re adults and they’re doing their thing but we have a standard American house, a dining room and a living room and all that sort of stuff. Well, we don’t really use those rooms. I don’t use the living room. I’m either working or I’m asleep.

24:28 Leah: Or in the kitchen.

24:29 CJ: Yeah, I’m in the kitchen. So yeah, you use the kitchen, you use the bathrooms and you use the bedrooms. I’m not using the living room. I’m not using the dining room so it’s like okay, I mean, I could even go with a smaller home and my home would just be a standard home. There’s nothing … it’s a beautiful property, it’s a beautiful house but there’s nothing extravagant about it. I don’t got all the extra rooms and spas and all this kind of stuff. You have that same mentality which is to say that doesn’t mean I don’t want increase. It just means I have a higher purpose. I’m thinking like you just described ROI. What do I want something to give back from my investment?

25:11 Leah: That’s right. Okay. “Middle-class people want instant gratification. I was like that for many years. Whatever I wanted I charge to my credit card or put a little bit down and made the payments on the balance. Now, I wait for things that I want because my goal is more freedom, not comfort.” That’s where I’m at right now. “Rich and very rich people have developed the discipline of delayed gratification.” That’s a term that I teach my children. The phrase delayed gratification. “Millionaires do today what others don’t so they can have tomorrow what others won’t.” Rhymey. “The very poor, poor and middle class will never be free. More and more freedom is the goal of the rich and the very rich. They love to be in control of their lives. The very poor, poor and middle class have put control of their lives into the hands of others which ironically are the hands of the rich and the very rich.”

26:11 CJ: Isn’t that funny. Yeah, what’s the old saying, the borrower is slaved to the lender.

26:18 Leah: Yeah.

26:18 CJ: Right?

26:19 Leah: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

26:21 CJ: You’re living on a slave plantation of sorts because you don’t own anything for the most part. It’s all been financed. You’re just in long-term debt-based slavery and so, the difference between maybe the middle class or lower class and the millionaire is that the millionaire is very, very aware of that fact so he or she will work aggressively in terms of it, as like you said, delaying gratification for the ultimate goal of liberty not comfort. That’s luxury and ease as a deceptive voice, where you think that if I have all the accoutrements of what people perceive as successful, the big-screen TVs and all these cars and whatnot. Well, then that is somehow liberty. No, you’re financed to the gills, you’ve got the Best Buy card, you got the Visa card, the Mastercard, the American Express Card. You got this loan, that loan and you’re financing your life away …

27:28 Leah: You’ve just trapped yourself, yeah.

27:29 CJ: Yeah, so you got the big screen TV but you’re not free, you’re not at liberty to do what you want.

27:36 Leah: “Millionaires value freedom over comfort and because they do, they get both. Because the middle-class values comfort over freedom, they will never be free. Think long-term in every area of life. I want you to be aware that this principle of thinking long-term not only applies to your financial life but to every area of life.” And this is where I want new musicians to really listen to this, “It is wise to think long-term in your relationships when you do, you will show more respect to others and think from a win-win perspective. If you think short-term in your relationships, you’ll be looking for what others can do for you and end up using people as a means to an end.” It happens all the time constantly in the music industry, constantly. People are just saying, what can you do for me? How can I use you as a stepping stone? It’s gross.

28:26 CJ: Right.

28:27 Leah: “If you or someone who always uses people for your own gain then chances are, you will be a lonely person especially in your later years. Millionaires develop long-term relationships which also helps them with their long-term financial success. They think about how they can they best serve their families, friends and clients when you reach the end of your life, it is the relationships you have developed that make you truly rich. Ask yourself on a regular basis, how you can build deeper and stronger relationships with the people you love. Just as there are people who are very poor financially, there are also people who are very poor emotionally. People who can’t love or be patient or kind.

“People who can’t forgive and people who get angry easily are very poor emotionally. Focus on becoming rich emotionally as well as financially. Becoming rich in your relationships is more than success. It is significance. It is fulfillment. Financial success without relational fulfillment is not rewarding. Think long-term in your financial life and in your emotional life. It’s wise to think long-term about your physical health. If you do, then you will make the time to exercise your body and eat more healthfully. If you don’t think long-term in your health, you will neglect exercise and eat too much junk. Chances are you’ll become overweight and live with a low amount of energy.

“Thinking long term in your health empowers you with energy to become more successful financially. Every area of life is connected and thinking long-term in each area will improve every area. It is wise to think long-term in your mental life and mental health, too. What would you like to spend your life thinking about? Is there a certain subject that inspires you? What do you enjoy giving your mental energy to? People who spend their lives thinking about things that excite and inspire them live with incredible peace of mind. People who could be considered very poor mentally are those who complain and spend their mental energy on things they dislike.

“Mentally poor people live with a lot of stress. Would you like to increase your peace of mind? If so, then start thinking long term about your mental life. Spend your mental energy on the subjects you enjoy. Dedicate your life to the fields of interest that inspire you. Find a way to make money in the areas you enjoy thinking about. This is a secret of many millionaires. They do what they love to do to make money. This makes them rich mentally and financially. Think long term in every area of your life not just financially.” One more section here, “Set more long term goals. In order to move from the poor to the middle class or from the middle class to the rich or from the rich to the very rich. Just start planning your life further into the future.

“Set more long-term goals for your life. People overestimate what they can accomplish in one year and underestimate what they can accomplish in 10. When you have long-term goals, you will find it easier to develop perseverance. All millionaires have had to persevere through challenges in their lives. In order to see your dreams fulfilled, you have to become a whatever it takes kind of person.” Gold, this is gold. In order … I’m going to read that again. “In order to see your dreams fulfilled, you have to become a whatever it takes kind of person. Middle-class people give up when the pressure is on since they value comfort, they don’t persevere when the going gets tough. Millionaires go the second mile and the third and the fourth.

“They do whatever it takes to experience abundance since they think long-term, they keep on keeping on until they achieve abundance and freedom. Millionaires think long-term, the middle class thinks short-term.” Boom, mic drop. That’s why I’m reading this to my children. Can you imagine if your parents have read this to you and your kid.

32:24 CJ: Yeah, because you probably may have gotten your idea of scarcity and lower-class thinking from your upbringing. It brings up the point that fundamentally, I think what people have lost sight of, is that everything, for the most part, is economic in nature, especially relationships and family, especially. Now, you have to qualify the term economic. Economic in the sense that it’s what … it’s the way of means to perpetuate something so it’s survival.

33:00 Leah: It’s an ecosystem.

33:02 CJ: Yes, so think of a … exactly. Think of a family from the middle ages under … living under a tyrannical king in Europe, right? Hoppers. Well, they didn’t get married because they read a bunch of harlequin romances and wanted to find that somebody special and maybe have a couple of kids in a white picket fence. No. Marriage was an economic decision. That’s why there were dowries and all these, money had to be exchanged because it was … and if a family had too many daughters, that was considered liabilities, because they needed boys and to be young men, to do the heavy type stuff and protect the home and all that sort of thing. Plus the average lifespan of a kid was not that great.

The average lifespan of an adult wasn’t that great. You had to have a lot of kids. Decisions about marriage and family were economic in nature, the modern age. We’re marrying because it’s just a cool thing to do or because we grew up watching Hallmark shows and watching love stories and so, we want that. There is no … that’s why we can fall in and out of love and get married three or four times and so, the modern person is not very rooted in family. The modern person is an individual, it’s what they call Adamism where you think in terms of the individual. Therefore, if you’re an individual, then who do you see yourself in terms of in the larger picture. It’s usually not family or community. It tends to be government, political party, that sort of thing.

That’s why you’ll see literal family members split over political views because they identify themselves … when you see people talking about rights, than they do duties, you know that people see themselves more in terms of these sorts of things. So, if you don’t understand that by thinking long-term, this guy is not just being cute to say, “Hey, also think long-term about your health, think long-term about your relationships.” He’s not being cute. It is a comprehensive change in your world view. World view, the way you view the world. Yourself, what’s available, what’s possible, your children, your relationships, the long-term outcome of these things. What is your desired outcome?

Most people don’t think about that Leah because most people are short-term thinkers. They spend like they’re money like they’re short-term thinkers. They don’t live long-term so they end up with what, lots of debt, not a lot of savings, everything is right now. They’re just hoping that everything is going to turn out okay but now you got something like the virus and people talking about the economic fallout and what had been all of a sudden jobs are at risk and so people panic. Why do they panic, because there was zero preparation.

36:06 Leah: That’s right. Everyone is just cleaning out the paper … the toilet paper aisles.

36:12 CJ: Yes, so that’s I think a lot of people’s reality and the point here is not to shame anyone. That’s not the point here.

36:21 Leah: It’s to inspire you. We’re trying to inspire you here to motivation.

36:25 CJ: Yeah, because … I mean, it’s going to be difficult for you to … and this is the real point I want to get across to the musician who’s listening Leah because we can get to thinking … they’re talking so much about middle, upper class that, what does it have to do with music? What it has to do with music is that, you can’t go into something, as taught by the Savvy Musician Academy, which is solely based on you doing something for yourself in entrepreneurial fashion.

36:54 Leah: Right.

36:54 CJ: Not dependent upon institutions, not dependent upon social security, not dependent upon anybody else but your own effort.

37:03 Leah: Right.

37:03 CJ: You can’t do that if you bring into it a mentality that’s based in a system that’s based upon, depending upon institutions, depending upon credit cards, depending upon all of these other things, short-term thinking because what happens if your little ads don’t work in three months? Are you going to quit?

37:21 Leah: Are you just destroyed by that?

37:24 CJ: Yeah, are you just literally taken out or you’re a long-term thinker?

37:27 Leah: I feel like this type of episode, it’s so important. I wish everybody wouldn’t buy a single course from us until they listen to this episode because so many people are just looking for a quick fix. They’re looking for, give me the tactic, give me the hack so I can get a bunch of Instagram followers but they have no thought process, no mental headspace. They’re not even giving a thought to building a long-term sustainable career that actually protects them in any type of economy. They’re just not thinking like a real business person, a business owner and just like a healthy individual who thinks longer than next week. It makes me sometimes just think … and it’s not just musicians.

It’s a whole segment of the population but the musicians that I come across so often just want, give me a result right now and if I don’t get it, give me a refund, give me my life back. I’m going to write crap about you on Reddit or whatever the heck, and I’m just like, you feeble-minded, short-term thinker like with no vision in your life, no vision for the future, no vision for yourself, do you think that you’re going to consume this information and by the mere fact that you consumed it, something magical is going to happen? Absolutely not.

38:58 CJ: That’s entitlement. That’s the danger of luxury and ease because they think if I can microwave my dinner if I can drive down to the Best Buy and pick up a TV off the shelf, pay for it with a credit that’s almost maxed out, bring it home, plug it in and watch it, then the results should be instantaneous too. Again, if you’re going into something like we teach at the Savvy Musician Academy, it is completely dependent upon you. Yes, there’s great software. Yes, there’s coaches in some of our programs to help. All of that is there but it is you and you is determined by the way that you think. If we can unlock this possibility thinking, this prosperity thinking, this abundance and increase way of thinking, we won’t be able to hold you back.

It won’t be you getting motivation from us, you will have an endless supply of just absolutely high-octane motivation because you’re going to see that there are no limits to what’s possible for you, not just financially but in terms of influence, as an artist, to touch people. If you feel like your music can really impact the life of other people, even if it’s just entertaining them, making them laugh, giving them a time to escape, enjoying your music, you have a responsibility to do that and you can’t do that without the funds.

40:28 Leah: Right.

40:29 CJ: Therefore, the more that you have, the more that you increase, the more that you can do and the more you, then, become the inspiration to other people, to help unlock them. Break the shackles of poverty thinking from them and that if everybody thinks this way, it’s not greed. It’s not greed at all.

40:48 Leah: No. The more abundance there is, the more you can do for this world.

40:52 CJ: Exactly.

40:52 Leah: The more you can do for other people, the more you can provide not just for yourself but for your family, future generations, it’s just, you need abundance to do anything in this world. It takes money to do anything, so why not have more of it, why not learn how to become a very successful musician or creative whoever you are. Learn what it takes to become that person and then learn how to grow it and then learn how to inspire other people by it.

41:25 CJ: Well, and that’s what’s been inspiring even over the past several months, Leah as you did your last launch of your winter album at the end of the year and then went into your year-end sale and then even recently, starting the sister brand which we’ve covered in previous episodes of Mythologie Candles and that’s just been blowing up. Again, setting the example of not being satisfied and not for the sake of greed but you see possibility, you’re inspired by an idea. You see how you can increase your particular empire with the candle company and so you’re not going to sit, put it on the shelf. You’re going to take steps on it. You took a risk, you didn’t know everything that was going to be involved.

You were learning so much about candles, about the shipping because now you weren’t doing drop-shipping necessarily, so you’re taking everything. You got the kids involved. Steve, your husband was involved and so, it’s a learning process and you grow through this. It’s just, there’s so much that comes out of this. It’s not just money. There’s so much that is going to make you as a better business owner, as a better marketer, as a better everything through this and that only comes because there’s a hunger for it but there’s a belief in you. You’re not limited by the lack thereof. You’re not limited to unbelief and self-doubt and second-guessing. You’re willing to go after it. So, it’s a great example.

42:50 Leah: I couldn’t have said it better. Yeah, that’s exactly it. I’m seeing the possibility and I’m seeing the challenge and I get addicted to challenging myself and not everything is going to always win. I’m okay with that. That’s actually a chapter in this book which we’ll cover in the next episode. Failure is a good thing.

43:10 CJ: Well, if you don’t throw weight on the bar, you’re not going to grow a muscle. There’s got to be resistance and if life is not sending you some, then you need to bring some on yourself.

43:18 Leah: That’s good.

43:18 CJ: Sometimes it would be expanding and so, you’ve done that and we want our students and our listeners to do that. Expand. You need to stretch yourself. You need to do something more like this, the lady we started with, the student we started with if she spent a dollar a day. That’s a stretch, that’s big and $5 will be five times that but one day, they’ll get to the place where they’ll look back and say, I remember when I was just spending $5 a day. It does open up to possibilities, so that’s growth. You’re only going to grow by resistance so every day should be like a trip to the gym for you mentally. Every day, you got to subject yourself to the heavyweight of life’s resistance.

44:04 Leah: I had a relative who was asking me about all the different things, sort of like okay, so you got your main academy going, like yeah and they’re like, okay and you’re starting the candle business? Yeah. You have your music thing too. I’m like, yeah, there’s that too. She’s like, does your brain hurt all the time? I’m like, yes it does. Yes, my brain does hurt all the time. That’s exactly … it’s like asking, do your workout suck every time? Yes, they do. Right, they’re supposed to, right? That’s the only way you’re going to actually get a benefit out of it. Challenge yourself, you guys.

44:39 CJ: Exactly because either that, either your mind is occupied with troubleshooting your business and business growth or you’re occupied with triviality which carries its own burden or worry. There’s no way you’re living where you are right now, whether middle class, lower … there’s no way you’re living that way and completely content.

45:05 Leah: Yeah.

45:05 CJ: There’s just no way because …

45:06 Leah: I think you’re lying. People must be lying, who says that?

45:09 CJ: Yeah, because you might say, “No, I’m fine, I’m perfectly fine.” Okay, so if something happened to your car tomorrow, your car was wrecked, you’re telling me you’ll be perfectly fine. You don’t have any … you have all the money you need to have that car fixed immediately, get another car immediately, if you lost your job tomorrow, which a lot of people have experienced that, you’re telling me, you’re perfectly fine? No.

45:35 Leah: A relative has a medical emergency.

45:38 CJ: Yeah, you’re perfectly fine. Today, for example, this morning. Me and my daughter were kind of troubleshooting through some of her physical stuff. So, we really need to get some blood work done and so, they have …

45:53 Leah: Labs.

45:53 CJ: Yeah, they have walk-in labs they can go to so we’re getting a comprehensive female panel for her that gets everything from hormones to whatever and then I went ahead and do the comprehensive male panel, okay? Plus, we added some blood type stuff and not cheap. Not cheap at all but you know what, it’s not even a thought. It’s not even a thought. I said, no, that’s what we need, that’s what we’re doing so yeah. I’m not tripping, whereas other people would be like, “I can’t do that.”

46:25 Leah: I can’t do it. I just can’t do it. Yeah.

46:27 CJ: Right, so what are you going to do with your kid because in my case, I’m … to the consternation of family members and whatnot, I’m not rushing her to a medical physician because I know they have two solutions. Surgery and medication.

46:45 Leah: That’s right. Yeah.

46:46 CJ: That’s it but the majority of people’s-

46:48 Leah: A pen or a knife.

46:49 CJ: Yeah. Yeah, but the majority of people’s problems have to do with their physiology, has to do with nutrition and has to do with a lot of other things. My challenge to my daughter, I said, let’s zero … let’s make sure we’ve covered the fundamentals because you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a doctor only to find out, “Oh change your diet.”

47:10 Leah: Right.

47:12 CJ: That doctor wouldn’t even know what diet.

47:14 Leah: Yeah, start there.

47:14 CJ: Let’s start there. Let’s get that and so if there still have some challenges, then we can go and pinpoint things, so we’re being smart but at the same time, we’re not worried about it. It’s great to be in a position where if I need to something to take care of something for my kid, I’m not tripping about it or somebody else is hoping a disaster doesn’t happen to car, job or health or house, God-forbid so don’t tell me you’re content. You should be discontent and let the frustration settle in from listening to this podcast. Let it be like thorns in the nest, like a mother eagle putting thorns in the nest to drive the eaglets out of the nest. Otherwise, you’ll stay in the nest.

You’ll stay in this comfort zone. You’ll stay in this place, you’ll call half-ass bad-ass and you’ll sign a contract with mediocrity because you’re discomfort is comfortable enough for you to settle for the rest of your life. Don’t stay there man. We’re trying to push you out of the nest and that’s all I got to say about that, Leah.

48:11 Leah: Yeah, the end, leave us a review, goodbye.

48:16 CJ: Okay, so we have a lot more to say about this. We wanted to lay some groundwork and Leah has got some more great stuff she’s going to be sharing with us in the next couple of episodes here but Leah, we’ve got cool stuff coming up really, really soon. We’ve been kind of leaking it out through various posts but The Online Musician 3.0.

48:40 Leah: 3.0

48:40 CJ: The flagship, 3.0 upgraded. The best just got better.

48:45 Leah: That’s right. Yeah, The Online Musician has been our flagship program, comprehensive program I would say for musicians launching their music career online, growing an organic fan base mostly without paid traffic and this is just … this is going to be the newest iteration of it. I’m really excited about it because I thought it was comprehensive before but we’ve gone a whole step further. I’m making it even more comprehensive. In the past, we didn’t have a module on mindset. We didn’t have anything on websites and a few other big things, some particular social sites like Instagram and such and we’re adding all of that in here and upgrading, updating all of that.

It’s going to be amazing and this is really for … even I would say, even experienced musicians out there but especially for people who are really trying to get their music career off the ground. You’re not making three to $5,000 a month from your music yet, this is the program for you. You’re going to want to get on the waitlist for when we launch this program there will be a link in the show notes for that. Do we know what the URL is so we can call it out?

49:58 CJ: Explode your fan base?

49:59 Leah:, I believe is the right URL and you can get on the waitlist for that and if you’re already a TOM 2.0 student, I got you. You’re going to get a free upgrade to the 3.0 so we got you and I hope that you love it.

50:16 CJ: Remember it, ladies and gentlemen. You got to say thank you when somebody does something nice for you, so say thank you, Leah, for giving me a whole … because this is …. we say upgrade. I mean, when you did, so much has changed on Facebook, in different softwares and all the stuff since then that you have to keep upgrading things because this stuff is always changing but like Apple does. Apple doesn’t say, “Hey, you need to upgrade your iPhone, come on in, we’ll give you a free one.”

50:51 Leah: Yeah. No, they don’t do that, which we did.

50:56 CJ: So, you’re going to give … listen, so if you are already a TOM 2.0 student, you are going to be automatically upgraded to version 3.0.

51:07 Leah: That’s right, and if you’re not in this program, yeah, you’ll hear all about the details. Just go sign up for the waitlist. Again, if you’re not yet making three to $5,000 a month from your music online, you need this program. That’s all there is to say about it. It’s very comprehensive, we’re covering everything from mindset which is like 95% of your success to launching your album online, all the different things you need to do, building different revenue, streams of income. We are talking about specific social media platforms and just the whole nine yards of everything I’ve done to build a six-figure music business from home without touring.

If you tour, that’s icing on the cake, man. One day when I tour, my career will probably double, but everything I’ve done up until now, I have done without touring so what are the possibilities for you? I’m going to leave on that note. Go join the waitlist, it’s going to be really exciting.

52:04 CJ: Well, thank you guys for joining us. Again, please leave a review for this podcast. We love hearing from you. We read your reviews in all of our team meetings. If there’s some stars there, click all of them. Go to our Facebook Groups, if you’re part of them and be sure to leave us a comment or suggest a topic for a future episode of the Savvy Musician Show. Leah, thanks again and let’s do this again.

52:27 Leah: All right, onto the next episode.

52:29 CJ: Take care.

52:31 Leah: Bye.

52:32 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 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 reach of 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 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