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Running Water Will Erode Mountains

I know it can be hard to keep trying to achieve a dream without seeing any success, so here’s a personal story to help you keep at it.

Along my journey I’ve picked up so many skills trying to “figure it all out”, that I’ve grown as a person; in, and outside of music.

Specifically, one of those skills was getting out of my comfort zone.

Generally speaking, I’m a pretty introverted person. I actually used to cherish the fact that awkward silences didn’t bother me, but as I’ve learned the importance of networking, I know it’s not about me and my comfort, but about the value and relationship I’m providing to others.Get Noticed

I have to be willing to be that extrovert, especially if my number one goal is to GET NOTICED.

This past weekend, my effort to be extroverted and get noticed finally paid off a little.

As I’m sure you have learned by now, picking up a new skill isn’t as easy as it seems, and often, you have to learn something else before you learn how to do what you wanted do in the first place.

For producing, one of the not necessary, but helpful skills to know, is being able to play the piano.

Because of this, I decided to start taking piano lessons. (It actually ended up being the same place I went when I was around 6 years old. It’s crazy how life is cyclical like that)

Short story even shorter, a few months later, the business was sold to a gentleman by the name of Anthony Mitchell.

Naturally being a little skeptical/curious about the eventual changes, I talked with the previous owner about this new guy’s background. She said he had a lot of experience in production and recording “in the industry”, so you know me…I  was All…About It.

Once he arrived, one of our first conversations went over the fact he wanted to transition this primarily instrument/vocal lesson school, into a full fledged recording arts school…music engineering lessons and all!

As a little background, I already take engineering lessons at another studio…but hey… what’s one more, right!?

Remember earlier I said my job was to GET NOTICED, so I made sure to let him know everything I had going on, and dropped some of those trigger words to let him know I knew what I was talking about….

“Oh yea I love using compression on my snares with a long release to bring out the tail…” haha

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Yea it was a stretch…but we actually had a good conversation, even going into the recording techniques of D’Angelo’s Black Messiah (great CD btw).

Fast forward about a month and a half…

Different schedules, vacations, and whatever else, led us to not crossing paths…until this past weekend.

I have to be truthful at this point. As much as I harped on being an extrovert and going out of your way to be known…I reverted back to my old ways.

I was about 10 mins early for my lesson, so as per usual I sat in the waiting room, but unlike before, I just sat there…silent.

On the inside, since I hadn’t heard anything more about the music engineering class, I was beginning to think it wasn’t going to happen, or at least any time soon.

Still, I realize now that I should’ve gone about it in a different way, and spoke up more.

Either way, once it was time for my lesson I walked into the room not saying anything more than “hi.”

I had my lesson

…but as I was about to walk out the front door to leave, I heard Anthony call out, “Hey Trent, come here, I want to show you something.”

I proceeded to walk into the next room over and was amazed to see a full soundboard, monitors, and dual screens with Pro Tools loaded up ready to go!

THIS DUDE ACTUALLY CAME THROUGH!imgres

I mean it wasn’t anything too crazy, but just seeing that soundboard made it seem “professional”.

He then told me the lessons were gonna get started soon, and wahh wahh wahh…

(I think I zoned out a little at this point, but only because I was thinking about the possiblities..)

but what happened next is why I NEEDED to write this blog post.

After chopping it up for a little bit he said,

“I’m going to train you…free of charge…so you can start teaching the class…”

WHAT?!?!

I’m thinking, “so you’re telling me I don’t have to pay for lessons…I get trained by someone who’s ‘in the business’, AND I can end up making money from this..”

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….

To wrap things up and put a nice bow on it, first off thank you for reading through this story.

I also want you to know that I’m in the same boat you are. We’re all trying to make something of ourselves, and sometimes it’s hard, and that makes it sooo important to acknowledge the little successes that come along the way.

Hopefully, if you’re at a point where things just seem to not move like you want, or think they should be moving, know that it’s only a matter of time.

Running water will erode mountains…


Thanks again, and if you enjoyed this story, please sign up to my newsletter HERE, and as a gift for signing up, I’m sending you a spreadsheet to see

How Many Song Plays You Need,

to Get the Amount of Money You Want.

If you’ve ever wondered how many song plays you needed to get in order to make $50k, $100k…$1 million…then check it out and see for yourself!

Thanks,

Trent

What Do I Give My Fans?

Let’s face it, building your own website and fan base is hard.

…I know first hand.

You’ve probably heard the old adage, “Give. Give. Give,” but how exactly do you know what to give?

Check out this video by Jeff Walker on how he figured this out in his early beginnings…

 

 

P.S. Be sure to let me know what YOU WANT in the comment section below!

You Call That a Comfort Zone?

No, THIS is a Comfort Zone

Comfort Zone

Just Don’t Get Stuck There…

 

I Have Powers No One Else Knows About

Last night, my fiancé and I watched the Academy Award winning movie Birdman. If you have some spare time and spare change, I would recommend picking it up at your local Redbox. While it doesn’t particularly grab me in a way that makes me want to watch it multiple times, it does give a refreshing story that contrasts the summer blockbuster season we are currently in. At the end, I could tell my fiancé wasn’t a fan, but nonetheless, for me, seeing the continuous shot technique used throughout the movie makes it worth $1.27…or whatever Redbox raised the price to these days.

Anyway, I wanted to discuss a particular theme that was brought up in the beginning of the movie. When you get introduced to the main character, Riggan Thomson, you see him levitating in his dressing room. It’s later discussed, helped by the conversation between him and his inner “Birdman”, that he is different from everyone else in the world. It seems as though he has played this superhero on the big screen while having actual super powers in real life. While questions and dialogue pop up throughout the movie guiding the audience think more and more that he is the real deal, there is a scene that makes you wonder if any of this is true. Does he have these powers we were made to believe, or is he just wacko in the middle of a nervous breakdown?

Unfortunately, or fortunately, the director leaves that distinction up to us. We get to make our own conclusions in the same manner we make our own conclusions about ourselves. I’ve found that while I’m in the process of following my dreams, I’m met with questions from myself and others on if I am in fact the “real deal”. Do I actually have the talent to succeed? Do I actually have the drive and consistency to succeed? Am I crazy for even trying this?

Since in my cases we do not get the instant gratification we desire, it can be disheartning to feel a power inside yourself,  yet have no one else recognize you for it. While I know that success is only seen by others years after hard work it is put in, I’ve learned that no matter what, I have the power to make my own conclusions about the journey to get there. I know I can do it, it’ll just take some time before everyone else sees it too…and I’m fine with that.

 

Your Biggest Asset

Yesterday, I shared a video about the importance of time. It went on to explain that our time is in fact our biggest asset. When looking at professional soccer, basketball, or baseball players, we lose sight that they had, and still do have the same amount of minutes in a week as anyone else to spend working on a craft. They are only in that position because of how they spent their time previously. The beauty is that no one person in this world is gifted with extra time, but the difference comes in how you spend each minute of your day. We all have the same capacity for success, though it only comes when value is created by putting in the work now to see the rewards later. So do you spend your time “chilling”, or do you spend it working towards some goal?

Spend your time according to its value in the same manner you would spend your money. I know this may be an unpopular stance, but I don’t buy Jordan’s because their value does not match the price tag in my eyes. They look nice sure, and if someone gave them to me you’d see me in them the same day, but I won’t spend that amount of money for something that doesn’t return the same value. That’s just bad business.

The next time you find yourself getting caught up in facebook, twitter, or even watching TV, ask yourself if you really value that more than doing something to reach your goals.

Checking Out

Today is my last day before vacation starts. I didn’t think I would have the temptation to check out mentally yet, but boy was I wrong. When learning the game of baseball they always tell you to run through to first. Don’t do it half-assed. Unfortunately, I don’t always take that to heart in all of my endeavors.

It’s Friday. It’s nice outside. I’m off from work next week. Those are all facts. I can change how I feel though, and what that means to me. I have a job to do today, so let’s get it. I know, easier said than done…Gotta strive for something right?

 

P.S. Let’s go Wizards and Orioles!

Water

You Need it to Live

This morning I woke up feeling unbelievably tired and groggy. As you know from yesterday’s post, I go to the gym in the morning before work. In the past, if I felt tired whatsoever, I knew it was a sign that today’s gym session just wasn’t meant to be. I figured it would be a bad workout anyway, and not worth my time. Thankfully my feelings have changed, and not to mention I wanted to keep my recent streak of going to the gym alive. Today at least, was a success. I was able to pull myself out of bed an make it to the gym in a reasonable amount of time.

The part of this story I want to focus on though, is why I was tired and groggy. Last night, I went to my friend Buscemi’s apartment to fix up a song we were working on (It’s going to be a hit record by the way). One of the choruses got out of wack, so he wanted me to rearrange it to be in time with the rest of the song. I figured, since I was going over anyway, I might as well make a night of it and bring something to drink; some adult beverages if you will.

The night went well, a little too well in fact. We fixed everything and people were really feeling the song, but I also ended up drinking more than I probably should have, and got dehydrated. This brought up another unsuspecting challenge I have to talk about, but I’ll save that for another day. I tried drinking some water before I went to bed, but the damage was already done.

Water is needed to live of course, but water is also needed to perform optimally. I woke up in the morning and did what I had to do, but as you can imagine, it definitely wasn’t the best it could have been done. I found that just like I needed water to make my morning easier, I also needed to get my “mind right” in order to make my journey to fulfill a dream easier. If having the right mindset isn’t your issue, don’t be afraid to examine what else you might be missing. Find what might make your life easier. Find your “water”.

Who Are You?

Music Producer Extraordinaire

Last week I caught up with someone I haven’t seen at the gym in forever. In fact, the last time I saw him I was still going to the gym in the afternoons. I’ve since changed my routine to go before work, but it’s always refreshing when one of them decides to transcend their after work gym time habits, and see what it’s like on the other side. We are few, but we are strong…Still, then and now, we were, and are, only acquaintances; the type you nod your head to in order to show familiarity from that one time you might have spoken to each other, for a total of 5 mins, months or years ago.

Anyway, we again struck up a conversation about a new training class he was taking. He referred to it as a beastly workout that isn’t for the faint of heart, providing the caveat that just as anything else in life, you do get out what you put in. For myself, I am still trying to get “cut up” for the summer, so I was down for anything that would help. He then asked the customary, “What’s your Facebook? I’ll add you and let you know when the next demo is.” I proceeded to let him know my name, even making sure he added the right person. You can never be too safe, I mean who knows what trouble my doppelganger could be getting into.

Once the request was sent, and not a second later, he then asked, “Oh you’re a music producer? Now I have two professions listed on my Facebook profile. The first job is of my current 9-5, and the other is as a music producer at Just Dreamz Entertainment. I must admit, it was a little jarring to hear this said aloud. The way it hit my ears just felt so unnatural and naughty, but yet so right. I realized then, that if this is something I truly want to accomplish in my life, I have to believe it my damn self before I even can fathom others to see me that way as well.

After giving him full disclosure that music was just a “hobby” for now, I made sure to say it’s the plan to do it full time in the future. I don’t when when in the future it will happen. I also don’t know how it will happen. I do know that if I confidently believe I am a music producer already, I’ve already made it half way there.

Why Fly When You Can Ride In Style

Even Birds Know How to Use UBER

Today I saw something that made me go WTF…literally. While I was driving on the highway this morning, I saw the most random thing. On the car next to me, going 60 – 65 MPH, was a bird perched on top of its back bumper. It was a tiny brown bird, probably unassuming in any other situation. I would assume I in fact have probably seen this bird Deal with itbefore, never knowing how special it truly was. As I drove closer. it turned its head toward me for a slip second. I could only imagine this was the bird’s way to make sure I knew it was real. It wanted to make sure I told of it’s travels, only adding to its legend. As I continued to look on in amazement, I could only picture the gif of sunglasses covering the bird’s eyes saying, “Deal With It.” Unfortunately, right as I had the idea to capture this once in a lifetime moment with my phone, the car whizzed past, forever out of my sight, and into that of another unsuspecting viewer.

Sometimes, even birds need to catch a ride. If you are trying to accomplish a goal, do some research to see who else has made it in the field you are pursuing. Use them as guides and mentors so that you are not trying to duplicate work that is already out there for consumption. [bctt tweet=”Don’t try and expend energy flying when there is a perfectly good ride in front of you.”]

When the Lights Are Brightest

Will You F*** It Up?

I was watching Draft Academy this morning and wondered this very question. Shane Ray, a projected top 10 pick at the time, was cited with DUI and marijuana possession charges the week leading up to the draft. Conventional wisdom would say he has to be the dumbest person ever. While I somewhat agree, I do make the distinction that this was a dumb decision, not necessarily the act of a dumb person. I must admit though, I don’t know the specifics of the incident or the circumstances, but I do know that when there are millions on the line, it’s probably better to not put yourself in those situations…but hey, that’s just me.

Even though it could have been easy to write this kid off, the next scenes proved to be the more important part of the story. Chris Carter, a hall of famer with his own well documented off the field issues, came to see him in the moments leading up to the draft. He reminded Shane that once he forgave himself, it was now time to become great. Once he was able to move past this mistake, it was now time to show everyone the true potential he had.

Sometimes it’s easy to write off someone, even yourself, when they or you make a mistake. Even if not one single person believes your potential, you believe in your potential. Mistakes come and go. Make a decision to learn and move forward.

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