5 ways to detect a poser

5 Ways to Detect a Poser in the Music Business

Often times I get a call from someone who says. “Uh, is this GotchaNoddin? …Oh, I’m so and so and I’m in the music business. I was hoping we could help each other out…you know, I make hits!“

“Ok,” I say…and start to ask my routine questions. What do you do? What have you done?  How long have you been doing this? Sometimes people will actually cut me off with accolades of famous people they know and on and on they go with, “Oh, I made a hit with this person or that person and I got some industry connections!”

While I appreciate this, I am more interested in learning what projects and things are being worked on.
It doesn’t matter who you know… it matters what you are doing.

You are not who you know but what makes you successful is the results in your life, how you go about achieving results and how many people you’ve helped. What I see lacking in the industry is heart and hard core common sense. I don’t know where it started, but for years there has been this ‘not enough’ mentality that there isn’t enough business to go around and that only a ‘select few’ can live their dreams in the music business.  On the other spectrum, I get many folks calling with stars in their eyes thinking that success and fame can happen in a couple days. The reality is that I have to get through many hard layers of ego and self promotion until I can get to the center of a person’s character.

Now this is the exact same thing you have to do as you embark on the journey of your music dream. Don’t believe what people tell you. In the music business everyone talks. The only way to determine who to let in your circle is by actually witnessing the results in their life to back up what they’re telling you.

Don’t worry about asking too many questions. That will get rid of the posers. It will also start great conversational interest and connection with someone who is not a poser.  The biggest point to make here is YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOU ARE TALKING TO – if you respect everyone you talk to, you’ll never worry about meeting the right people – they will always return phone calls and keep appointments.

Sometimes, I tick people off with my questions and putting people on the spot. But like clock-work they always call back a few months later. And the call goes something like this:

“Hey man, you think you could help me out. I still haven’t had any luck since we last spoke. My studio isn’t working right and I haven’t been able to work on my beats. I been trying tutorials and other people just aren’t giving me answers that help me.”

“Sure” I reply. “What do you think the problem is?” As I probe deeper I find out that this person has little experience, little knowledge and doesn’t know how to ask for help. I sit back and say to myself “Wow, this is the same person who said in our first conversation he’s got connections, makes hits and we should help each other out.. It’s a good thing I ask my questions!”

I cringe thinking about what many people’s “hits” must sound like who love to run their mouth, show up late to the studio, never return phone calls and have no consistency. If a person’s life isn’t consistent how is their music and music business going to be consistent? I know I sound harsh in saying this but its important to discern who people really are that you would like in your circle. All the sweet talking players who think they can smooch their way through, it’s conversations of honesty and being real that true connection can happen. How can any of us help each other if we’re not up front and honest from the start?

Now that I have painted a picture for you, what do the paintings of people in your life look like? Are they playing hardcore game, talk but no walk, name dropping but the results in their life don’t add up? These people are toxic to your success and interfere with your needed encouragement while on the journey towards your dream.

Tutorial: 5 Ways to Detect a Poser in the Music Business:
1) Consistency:
When someone calls the person you’re trying to work with, do they say “ahh man, why they calling me!” or do they respectfully say, hold on I got to get this call. How do they treat other people, friends and family when you are around them? Don’t listen only to what someone says when you meet them, watch for consistency in their life with others and you’ll see right through them on how they will treat you in business and as friends. This process takes time. Also, everyone goes through phases in life. Sometimes you may meet someone in an inconsistent phase of their life. 6 months later they call you and are constantly calling you. This is a good sign. It’s not about judging but watching and always being open and attentive, being understanding and not burning bridges works wonders for connections too.

2) Reliability: Reliability is never seen on the first meeting. You can talk about a lot of plans and ideas. Some people live in ‘ideas’. However action is the only thing that counts. As with consistency, reliability is on a day-to-day basis. Set appointments, times to talk, meet or attend events. Watch for patterns of lateness, promptness, ‘unexpected issues reoccurring’, do they show up, do they call? Consistency and reliability go hand in hand. Relationships take time, effort and continual pursuit. If there isn’t a great common ground then the effort may not be worth the consistency and reliability of yourself or the other person for that matter. Also look to see if they are consistent in other areas of their lives. If someone hasn’t been consistent a few times, maybe its time to give them some space. If the relationship is important to you, call them back in a few months to touch base. It could be a season of inconsistency for them. There are many seasons of inconsistency in our lives. These can change at any moment. In the present situation, this lets you know that they are more of an acquaintance rather than a potential business partner. Never start business partnerships until you have tested and established that they are reliable.

3) Integrity: One of the definitions of integrity is honesty. The word honesty these days seems pretty lame…  However, the results of dishonesty are flat out appalling. Let’s paint a picture of how important honesty is. If you are building a house and you decide to use cheap cement to cut costs, decide to do poor quality job in building the foundation and don’t put forth a quality effort, that house will crumble from the inside onto itself. This is the same thing that happens when surrounding yourself with dishonest, shady, inconsistent, unreliable, game playas. All the time and effort you put into building your music foundation and career will be destroyed from within itself. What is the opposite of cheap, ego-centric, poor quality and laziness? Surround yourself with encouraging, passionate and motivated people who enjoy the learning and growing process with you. You’ll then have lifelong friends and potential business partners as you achieve your goals.

4) Value: What is the value of the person you are meeting? Are they a giver, a taker, a friend or mooch? Are they always broke asking for money, asking you to make beats or record them for free? Do they ask you to do something and then respect your time and give something back? Or are they asking you ‘to put them on’ and ‘give them their shot’ but when the time comes they have nothing to offer, are not prepared or just simply flake? Or do they come prepared, asking questions and on time? It is important to determine the giver, taker, friend or moocher as soon as possible. This can avoid much wasted time. Consistency, Reliability, Integrity and Value all integrate together to form the character and trustworthiness of the person you are considering doing business with, partnering with or working with creatively. Time never lies and will always reveal the truth of your relationships.

5) Results: The last and most obvious is the results in someone’s life. This is the easiest to detect. I hear from at least 10-20 or more people a week telling me about how they run a record label. Before I can determine if I can help them, I first ask: How many artists do you have, how long does it take to put out a record, how many units did your last release sell, do you do production, mixing and mastering in house or is it outsourced? Often, I get the response “Well, I don’t have a label yet but I’m in the process of starting it”. OK, now we can get somewhere!

What are the results in their life? What does their music sound like? Does what they tell you about their business and music match up with what you see currently or is it where they are heading? This is SO important! I have seen so many people miss opportunities because they misrepresented themselves. The change that must be made is not to tell people where you are going but to tell them where you are currently, what you need help with NOW FIRST. Then the doors of what you need and where you are going can be established.

These 5 ways to detect a poser in the Music Business are important to reference when you are seeking relationships and also to reference in your own life. This is only a small part of what it takes to not just talk but to live your dream. If you love music and have a passion to do it for the rest of your life than making some personal changes to avoid posers should be easy.

If you are in the middle of a business deal or networking and are not sure what to do,

obstacle in your path

The Obstacle in your Path

“The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it” -John Ruskin
I once heard a story called, “The Obstacle in Our Path” that I want to share with you.

In ancient times, a king placed a boulder on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the big stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. On approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. As the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse on the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king saying that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder for the roadway. The peasant learned what many others never understand..

So what is the obstacle in your path? What’s the big boulder in the middle of your road to success?

The truth is we are all faced with some sort of obstacle along the way. For some it may be lack of money or education, for others a mental disability or kids to take care of. Whatever your obstacle is, don’t let it keep you from living your dream. No matter how long it takes, face that boulder head on and push it with everything you’ve got. Always remember, it’s the times when you want to give up but don’t, that you really see what you’re made of. Are you going to give up and quit or try harder, be more creative and dig your heels in?

It’s easy for us to commit to things that are easy or convenient but the result can be a long-term unhappiness with uncertainty of the cause. We can often cheat ourselves out of rewards simply wanting to avoid difficulty.

However, if we are willing to exert effort, we will reap great benefits.

The important lesson to remember is that work has its rewards. This is true in corporate settings, in your home, in your relationships, in every area of your life and especially music. If you are willing to pay the price, you can have the prize. The same principle applies to music production. If you are willing to work for the dreams in your heart you will be amazed by the person you will become in the process. If you want to reach any worthy goal at all or do anything significant, you will find you always have to go through a narrow place. Your narrow place may be walking away from negative relationships or putting yourself on such a tight budget you can no longer afford some of the small pleasures of life, such as a cup of coffee or a movie ticket. You may have to choose to work while others are entertaining themselves. These kinds of disciplines will squeeze you and press you, but they will also lead you to the broad places of success and prosperity. When you are pressed and squeezed to the point you feel you can hardly breathe, make sure to stay focused on the reward ahead.

Tutorial: The Obstacle in your Path
1) Find a nice quiet place to think undisturbed. Think through all the obstacles keeping you from your goal(s) of destination.. Write them down in no particular order. Do this as a brainstorming process. Get as much onto paper/document as possible.
2) After brainstorming, organize each obstacle by priority. Use a computer document for this task and save it in a location you will not forget.
3) Choose the top 2 obstacles interfering with your goals. Brainstorm 3 action steps you can take within the next 7-14 days. Follow this process for each obstacle and keep moving them out of your way..

If there is anything we can help you with, setup a free training consultation below.

become a talent plus person

Become a Talent Plus Person in the Music Industry

Everyone I know has talent. The guy who mows my lawn has a talent for edging. My brother has an intuitive talent with guitar. My mom has an almost bizarre talent with plants. I have many talents in the area of music and business administration and my wife, has a creative talent for cooking. But what makes someone take their talent and turn it into a career? Although my wife loves cooking, she’s told me she’d never want to make a business out of it because when it comes down to it, cooking is manual labor. Although she is talented at it, she’s just not passionate enough about it to put in the every day hard work it takes to establish it as a career. No, she loves her talent for singing and songwriting so much more….that she will sacrifice other talents to focus all her energy on one area of talent: Music.

It all comes down to two words: Love and Sacrifice.

In order to take a talent, and make it into a career you have to love it and you have to sacrifice. You have to love using that talent so much that you are willing to sacrifice money, free time with friends, other talents, opportunities, movies, tv time, partying and sometimes….ego and pride.

What are you sacrificing to bring your own talent to life?

Going back to John Maxwell’s 13 characteristics we covered in the Music
Article Talent is Never Enough, I want to take it a step further. Go over these again
and see how these characteristics benefit your specific talent.

1. Belief lifts your talent.
2. Passion energizes your talent.
3. Initiative activates your talent
4. Focus directs your talent.
5. Preparation positions your talent.
6. Practice sharpens your talent.
7. Perseverance sustains your talent.
8. Courage tests your talent.
9. Teach-ability expands your talent.
10. Character protects your talent.
11. Relationships influence your talent.
12. Responsibility strengthens your talent.
13. Teamwork multiplies your talent.

“Make these choices, and you can become a talent-plus person. If you have talent, you stand alone. If you have talent plus, you stand out.”

How do you make dedicated choices, day after day…month after month, year after year until you have accomplished your dreams? Continual sacrifice. Being able to say ‘No’ to the things that distract you from your talent and courageously say ‘Yes!!!’ to the things that align you with your talent, even if they scare you. I can honestly say, that I have sacrificed a lot in this music journey to get where I am today. And I am so glad I did. I’ve read hundreds of books on music & business, I’ve tore my hair out trying to figure out computer glitches and errors, I’ve sweated and labored over a mix to get it just right, I’ve had to learn leadership skills to delegate and put together a staff of sound engineers, I’ve spent countless hours on the phone mentoring young musicians and have become a better person because of it.

You just don’t wake up one day a successful person. No, it takes continual sacrifice and continual effort. But the rewards…. Ahhh, they are priceless indeed. And that’s why I wrote this course, so that others that love music can benefit from my sacrifice. It took over 13 years to write this course so other musicians that struggle with mixing and mastering could learn engineering and production quicker and with an experienced hand and ear to receive results and rewards faster.

I can tell you without boasting that I am not just talented, I’m a talent-plus person who is successful at what he does. It took time, persistence and sacrifice to have a value that others are attracted to and makes me stand out in a crowd. Are you a talent plus person or just someone with a talent; Do you stand out in a crowd? Or do you blend in trying to do what everyone else is doing?


Everyone and their mother seems to be doing music these days – how will you stand a chance with all the competition?

“Become a talent plus person. If you do, you will add value to yourself, add value to others, and accomplish much more than you dreamed was possible.”

Learn who you are creatively and how to use your unique talent and do what you want musically for the rest of your life.

If there is anything we can help you with, setup a free training consultation below.

talent is never enough

Talent is Never Enough

I meet people every day that have big dreams and visions. Our studio is continually flooded with calls asking the similar questions day after day.. ‘Everyone tells me my music is great but..’, ‘I’ve been in this music game since..’, ‘I have been working hard but haven’t..’, ‘How do I get results..The results I want?’

From personal experience and from many people I speak to, I have found something in common. If you’re not where you want to be and nothing is changing in your life, there is some piece of information you’re missing.

I read a book recently that really brought this point to life, the title? ‘Talent is Never Enough’ by John Maxwell. In his book, Maxwell echoes teachings of the Computer Music Production School and outlines thirteen characteristics which must be coupled with intelligence and talent in order to reach long-term success.

Belief, Passion, Initiative, Focus, Preparation, Practice, Perseverance, Courage, Teach-ability,
Character, Relationships, Responsibility, Teamwork

What makes you stand out from the rest? What motivates you every day to get up and chip away obstacles to get at your dream? Do you have positive self esteem to plunge forward never looking back or doubting yourself? How can you use every talent and resource you have, be it music, production chops, writing ability or a side business selling plastic frogs on ebay?

LOL, seriously though, how can you make it all come together for the completion and the attainment of one thing: Your passion/purpose in life?

The first thing that helps is doing research and finding what you’re purpose is – I’m not just talking about your music purpose but your passion/purpose in life. Now if you do know what you’re passion/purpose is, are you doing it to the best of your ability so when you look back 60-80 years from now you can think, “Yeah…I did everything I wanted to do…I lived an awesome life and I have no regrets!”

I don’t know about you, but I want to be one of those people. I want to say I did everything I wanted to do AND …I surprised myself. I HAVE accomplished more, gave more and helped more. I stood for more and I pushed myself passed what I thought I could do and I’m so glad I did..

I was amused when I first read over these characteristics because all of these elements are in our course. The Computer Music Production 7 Lesson Course will help you learn how to learn; which is teach-ability. This course develops your character and encourages responsibility by asking questions and working through each lesson until its complete. Following through with each lesson will strengthen your focus and build your courage as you face and learn things that most people have a lot of fear around. It takes perseverance to get through all 7 lessons and each home work exercise will get you to practice and hone your new learned skills that will excite a new found passion in you.  You’ll gain an initiative that you didn’t even know you were capable of. And when you’re done with each home work assignment you’ll send it to your personal student adviser who will teach you about business relationships and teamwork. And, after you are done with the course, you will have a new found belief in yourself.

This, my friend…is priceless. Your dream deserves preparation. Your dream deserves your commitment. We have so much knowledge about the music industry, technology and the creative process we are just looking for strong individuals to pour into.

“People who neglect to make the right choices to release and maximize their talent continually underperform. Their talent allows them to stand out, but their wrong choices make them sit down. Their friends, families, coaches and bosses see their giftedness, but they wonder why they so often come up short of expectations. Their talent gives them opportunity, but their wrong choices shut the door. Talent is a given, but you must earn success.”

Are you one of the few who has the guts to admit that you need help? We can’t do the work for you… but we can give you the tools and an opportunity. Don’t wait. Learning production is just the beginning of a successful career and talent is never enough..

Tutorial: Talent is Never Enough
1) If you’re interested in more details about the topic, check out the book, audio cd or kindle edition by John Maxwell: Talent Is Never Enoughblank
2) Do you know your passion/purpose in life? This is the core of who you are. You have talents that can help you achieve your goals. However, if you don’t know what they are, you’re missing out on skills that can help propel you forward.. and faster. Do a search on tests that can help you find your passions. In the meantime, read over and answer these 7 Questions to finding your True Passions
3) Are there production, mixing, mastering skills, talents, business development, promotion, networking that you know are not the best of what you have to offer give – what are you missing? Make a list of what you are missing. From there, research how you can learn or find the right people to help you in these areas.

If you need consulting on figuring what you’re missing or how to develop the skills to achieve your passions, contact us and