My Desktop

I had a lot of fun┬áthis evening┬ámaking a custom header for this site. It’s as close a representation I can make at the moment of my actual desktop and the man in front of it. I tried to keep everything to scale by comparing it to the sketch pad, on my desk, then in the digital image.

  • headphones (nicer than mine)
  • Boss TU-12H tuner
  • Strathmore sketch pad (spiral on top for this leftie)
  • Pilot G-2 ball-point pen
  • Android phone
  • a pile of guitar picks
  • M-Audio Fast-track Pro USB audio interface
  • iMac (nicer than mine, but with actual wallpaper)
  • Olympus LS-10 audio recorder, on and recording
  • Canon G11 camera
  • Boss DD-5 digital delay pedal
  • Tazo Chai tea
  • chocolate chip cookies

Simplify Life With My Rule Of Three

Having a baby was the best thing that ever happened to this overcommiter. It meant I had to let go of all the illusions I had that I was going to get to those 117 projects, commitments, opportunities, dreams, and distractions.

Anais Pics
Maile, Anais, and I in front of my parent's house in DC

When you have a baby, it quickly becomes obvious that you can really only do two things if you’re the 9-5 breadwinner: 1. Do your job and 2. Be with your family. If we sort that list by priority, instead of time, it’s 1. Be with your family and 2. Do your job. Either way you slice it, that’s about all you have time to care about effectively.

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you get to do a third thing. What’s your #3? It took me some time to let go of the illusion that I was going to be able to do more. I barely have time to 1 and 2.

So there’s only one choice left for me in life: What’s my #3 going to be?

My #3 is music. It was my #1 for a long time, but I’m much happier with it as my #3. Because I love it so much, and am so attached to the dream of making it, I let go of everything after it.

My #4, was a dream I nursed of making a name and business for myself doing Web work. And I do keep a very small bit of freelance Web work going, but knowing that it’s not my #3 means I don’t torture myself about not doing more speaking, writing the book, and starting the business.

Family Time Rocks! In The StudioI still have my 4, 5, 6, 7, 8… and I get to them when I can. But I don’t fret over not getting to them anymore. And having a baby is the best excuse in the world to turn things down, guilt-free. It’s so easy now to say, “I would love to, but I can’t”. As Bob says,

Life is sad
Life is a bust
All ya can do is do what you must
You do what you must do and ya do it well

If I want to stay up a little later, I don’t wonder what I should do. I do my music. And I love it. It’s what I want to be doing and my time is scarce, so I’m more strategic about it now that I ever was when it was my #1 and I didn’t have any deadlines or need to be efficient and resourceful.

So even if you don’t have a baby, I bet you have a job and a family. And if you’re wondering how many other things you can be truly effective at, it’s 1, not 3, not 7, not 34 or 117. So stop expecting that of yourself and enjoy saying no because it means you get to do what you must do, to be who you want to be.

Cut the agonizing and the chaos from your life by answering this: If ou can only do one thing with your hour of free time a day (when you’re lucky) what is it? Because everything else is distraction.

Search For Infinity

30 Questions: Define My Niche

  1. What is your primary market?
    Adult album alternative (also triple-A, AAA, or adult alternative) is a radio format album-oriented rock format, its roots may have been established sometime during the 1960s from what was called underground music and later progressive. The radio format has a broader, more diverse playlist than most other formats and tends to appeal more to adults than to teenagers. Less-played tracks are also common. Musical selection tends to be on the fringe of mainstream popular music and rock music music genres such as alternative rock, alternative country, jazz, folk music, world music and blues. The musical selections tend to shy away from hard rock and rap music. Some Triple-A stations bill themselves under the slogan “World Class Rock”, “Quality Rock”, or “Finest Rock”. Music selection also includes tracks from albums that are not singles, which leads to the enhanced and larger playlist. -Wikipedia broadcast mostly on FM. A spin off from the
  2. Who is your competition?
    Damien Rice, David Gray, Jack Johnson, Bruce Springsteen, Dave Mathews, Iron & Wine, John Fogerty, Spoon, Tom Petty, Toots & the Maytals, Jimmy LaFave, Lyle Lovett, Micheal Fracasso, Ryan Adams, Kelly Willis, Patty Griffin, Donovan, Suzanna Choffell, John Dee Graham, Beck. – KGSR and my sense of competition http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_adult_alternative_artists
  3. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the leading companies in your particular market?
    Similar to county, in that airplay is the big money earner. Right now, adults are buying more records in ever-increasing numbers, so this is a growing market for the first time in many years. The goal is to write a classic song. If you do, you can get it cut a dozen times. – Eric Beall, Making Music Make Money
  4. How can you imitate those strengths?
    With a real solid alt band and presentation.
  5. How can you exploit the weaknesses?
  6. What strategies have been used successfully in this market previously?
  7. What does your target audience look like?
    Baby boomers http://images.jupiterimages.com/common/detail/11/82/22778211.jpg http://peacecorpsonline.org/messages/imagefolder/cateandwaynehillard.jpg http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2005/06/09/biz_beach_1006_wideweb__430x268.jpg
  8. Is you market growing or shrinking?
    Growing.
  9. In what city or cities are most of the companies in your market based?
  10. What are the advantages and disadvantages of your current location?
    Many local artists.
  11. What segment of the market is the most crowded with with competition?
  12. What is the most under-served part of the market?
  13. What reactions are you getting to our songs?
  14. What part of the market is reacting most positively?
  15. Which is reacting with the least enthusiasm?
  16. What are the musical strengths and weaknesses of your catalog?
    Many styles.
  17. What are your strengths and weaknesses as a business?
    Not defined.
  18. How can you best utilize your strengths?
    Write classic songs.
  19. How can you best compensate for your weaknesses?
  20. What information do you need to compete in you market?
    How to break in, get championed, get exposure, find good partnerships.
  21. How can you get that information?
    Learn the industry.
  22. More importantly, what relationships do you need to have in order to compete?
    Jay Trachtenberg, Jodi Denburg, Jeff McCord
  23. How can you meet those key people, or people that know the key people?
  24. What relationships to you already have?
  25. What are you doing now to establish you songs in the marketplace?
    Post songs and things to my blog. Sometimes advertising.
  26. Is it working?
    Some.
  27. If so, why?
    It’s quick, cheap, easy, creates a connection.
  28. If not, why not?
    Not regular, post or marketing.
  29. What equipment or supplies do you need in order to operate effectively?
    Email manager.
  30. How much money do you have to depend on you business?
    1-3k/yr
  31. What’s the biggest obstacle to your success?
    Informational–Lack of knowledge regarding the industry or business in general?