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TEM Blog

The Entrepreneurial Musician Blog by Andrew Hitz featuring articles on being an entrepreneur in the music business. Show notes for The Entrepreneurial Musician Podcast.

TEM147: Pivot, Persevere or Punt - A conversation with Lance LaDuke

Andrew Hitz

Lance LaDuke Jackass.jpeg

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TEM147: Pivot, Persevere or Punt - A conversation with Lance LaDuke

We all have three options when faced with adversity. The key is figuring out which is the best path forward for any given situation.

This week's guest, Lance LaDuke, is my parter at Pedal Note Media, my former colleague with Boston Brass and the co-host of my other podcast, The Brass Junkies.

What You'll Learn:

  • The lesson Lance shares with every freshman at Carnegie Mellon right as they walk in the door

  • Why I named it The Entrepreneurial Musician and not The Musical Entrepreneur

  • The reason to try something now is because it will never go exactly how you think it’s going to go (it might even go better!)

  • The three options we have when faced with adversity
    • Pivot (This wall is really tall and I’m going to keep going but in a different direction)
      • Example #1: Lance learning trombone in order to win the Boston Brass audition
      • Example #2: Boston Brass keeping up with the movement of the market by collaborating with both the T'ang Quartet and Imani Winds
    • Persevere (You hit a wall and you just keep pedaling)
      • Example #1: The beginning of Pedal Note Media when it was a ton of work and we were losing money (for a good long while)
      • Example #2: How the Modern Musicking Center at Carnegie Mellon University took shape after years of Lance not quite figuring out exactly what it should look like
    • Punt (I’m giving up on this task so I can spend my time on something else)

      • Example #1: A group Lance formed 20 years ago that was great and well received in its short life but wasn’t the right thing moving forward for a host of reasons

      • Example #2: A show Lance produced called "Lance Learns to Play" (which was great and even got him a meeting at PBS!) that was far too much work for the return so he pulled the plug

Links:

1. Help me get to my goal of $100 per episode on Patreon (only $20 to go!) by pledging as little as $1 per episode to support the show: https://www.patreon.com/tempodcast.

2. My next iTunes goal is 100 ratings and 75 reviews. Take just a minute to leave a rating and review on iTunes to help me get there. Thank you!

And finally, a huge thank you to Parker Mouthpieces for providing the hosting for TEM.

Produced by Andrew Hitz

Show notes for all episodes of TEM including topics discussed, links to all books and websites referenced can be found at:

http://www.andrewhitz.com/shownotes

Investing in yourself

Andrew Hitz

What a beautiful way of thinking about this. Every time I read a nonfiction book, I am investing in my business skills, musicianship or teaching abilities. Any time I read a fiction book, I am investing in my imagination.

I have taken plenty of online courses, attended conferences and master classes, and done any number of other things to invest in myself over the years. I had just never really thought of it that way.

But Ramit's framing of it will only help to ensure that I'll keep plugging away on my current book (Gary Vaynerchuk's Crushing It!) so I can get on to the next investment.

TEM146: Solving the right problem plus some thought on Gary Varynerchuk's latest book, Crushing It!

Andrew Hitz

Crushing It.jpeg

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TEM146: Solving the right problem plus some thought on Gary Varynerchuk's latest book, Crushing It!

Making sure we are attempting to solve the right problem plus thoughts on Gary Vaynerchuk's new book.

We are hiring an intern! Visit pedalnotemedia.com/intern to become a part of the Pedal Note Media family. Application deadline is August 1st so apply today!

Are you looking for a coach to take your career to the next level? Visit andrewhitz.com/consulting to join the many musicians who have used TEM Consulting to make more money and have a greater impact in the music business.

What You'll Learn in TEM146:

  • The main problem you should be trying to solve (a lot of us frequently don't quite get this right)
  • Some of my thoughts on Gary Vaynerchuk's fantastic new book, Crushing It!

Links:

1. Help me get to my goal of $100 per episode on Patreon (only $20 to go!) by pledging as little as $1 per episode to support the show: https://www.patreon.com/tempodcast.

2. My next iTunes goal is 100 ratings and 75 reviews. Take just a minute to leave a rating and review on iTunes to help me get there. Thank you!

And finally, a huge thank you to Parker Mouthpieces for providing the hosting for TEM.

Produced by Andrew Hitz

Show notes for all episodes of TEM including topics discussed, links to all books and websites referenced can be found at:

http://www.andrewhitz.com/shownotes

TEM145: Finding your creative personal rhythm (TEM Short)

Andrew Hitz

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TEM145: Finding your creative personal rhythm (TEM Short)

A TEM Short on the importance of finding a creative rhythm that works best for you.

Links:

1. Help me get to my goal of $100 per episode on Patreon (only $20 to go!) by pledging as little as $1 per episode to support the show: https://www.patreon.com/tempodcast.

2. My next iTunes goal is 100 ratings and 75 reviews. Take just a minute to leave a rating and review on iTunes to help me get there. Thank you!

And finally, a huge thank you to Parker Mouthpieces for providing the hosting for TEM.

Produced by Andrew Hitz

Show notes for all episodes of TEM including topics discussed, links to all books and websites referenced can be found at:

http://www.andrewhitz.com/shownotes

You're behind. So what?

Andrew Hitz

"Quitting merely because you’re behind is a trap, a form of hiding that feels safe, but isn’t. The math is simple: whatever you switch to because you quit is another place you’re going to be behind as well."
—Seth Godin

Yet another truth bomb from Seth Godin.

You are always behind so using that as the primary reason to bail on something is just an excuse. Try to get to the heart of why you don't want to continue so you can decide if that is in fact the best thing for you moving forward.

Don't fall for the trap.

Godin: How far behind?

TEM144: Evolving career goals and finding your personal creative rhythm - A conversation with composer Dale Trumbore

Andrew Hitz

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TEM144: Evolving career goals and finding your personal creative rhythm - A conversation with composer Dale Trumbore

Dale Trumbore is a Los Angeles-based composer, author and teacher.

What You'll Learn:

  • The very narrow definition of success Dale had for herself (with a self-imposed age limit!) and why she adapted that definition over time
  • How she moved to LA but deviated from her original plan of becoming a film music composer
  • Why creating your ideal community doesn't necessarily involve where you live any more because you can create that community online if you look in the right places
  • Why the uneven income of an entrepreneur meant she had to get good with managing her money at an early age
  • The time of day Dale is most productive and why she advocates for everyone to find their own personal creative rhythm
  • How she analyzes her past career goals in order to inform her new ones
  • Tips to make a great website (which Dale feels quite strongly about!)
  • How to craft a personal and relevant email when asking someone for something
  • The importance of developing your own creative process and how that helps you to ride out the rough patches

Links:

1. Help me get to my goal of $75 per episode on Patreon (only $11 to go!) by pledging as little as $1 per episode to support the show: https://www.patreon.com/tempodcast.

2. My next iTunes goal is 100 ratings and 75 reviews. Take just a minute to leave a rating and review on iTunes to help me get there. Thank you!

And finally, a huge thank you to Parker Mouthpieces for providing the hosting for TEM.

Produced by Andrew Hitz

Show notes for all episodes of TEM including topics discussed, links to all books and websites referenced can be found at:

http://www.andrewhitz.com/shownotes

Your actions are far more telling than your thoughts

Andrew Hitz

A mentor once taught me to evaluate my belief systems by observing my actions and not by examining my thoughts.

If you are an entrepreneur and you only work on your business a couple of days a week and yet you find time to watch Netflix every day, you believe you can succeed while prioritizing Netflix over your business.

If you don't have enough money to properly market your entrepreneurial endeavor and yet you go out for drinks every weekend, you believe that going out for drinks is more important than getting the news about your product or service to the very people it could help.

If you are always tired and don't get enough sleep and yet you spend a full hour on your phone at night before you go to bed, you believe that scrolling through Instagram or Snapchat is more important than that extra hour of sleep and the productivity boost it will bring.

If you hope to win a major orchestral audition someday and your first notes of the day tend to be at 1:00 pm, you believe that you don't need to play all morning long and can still beat all of the people who start practicing hours earlier than that.

If you are learning to improvise but you transcribe one solo a year rather than one solo a week, you believe you can learn how to play jazz by transcribing far fewer solos than just about anyone who came before you and successfully learned the language of jazz.

Let me make one thing very clear: It is very much okay to prioritize going out with friends every weekend over having a marketing budget.

The problem occurs when our actions don't align with our goals. And especially when we don't realize it.

So what can you do about it? Here are some steps I propose to make sure you are the same page with yourself.

Action Steps:

  1. Write down your 1-year, 2-year and 3-year goals. Be specific. Only specific goals are measurable and only measurable goals can get you into the feedback loop that is essential for success.
  2. Take a week to document your actions. How long are you spending doing each activity? Which activity are you doing during your most productive hours? Write it down. Consider this an audit of your behavior. Be brutally honest about it.
  3. Figure out exactly where your actions are not 100% aligned with you achieving your 1-year, 2-year and 3-year goals and write down what changes will help get them perfectly aligned.

I once heard someone say that when setting goals, people frequently commit to doing way too much when making one-year goals and don't commit to nearly enough when making five-year goals. That's why I suggest one-year, two-year and three-year.

But do whatever works for you!

And remember, a goal that's not written down is just a wish.

So stop thinking about what you should be doing and examine what you actually are doing and make sure those actions are aligned with your clearly defined goals. If you do all of the above steps regularly the sky is the limit!

 

TEM143: Learning by Doing (TEM Short)

Andrew Hitz

TEM143: Learning by Doing (TEM Short)

Turns out you can't learn how to play by basketball by reading about how to play basketball.

Execute > Expect failure > Learn from it > Execute again

Links:

1. Help me get to my goal of $75 per episode on Patreon (only $11 to go!) by pledging as little as $1 per episode to support the show: https://www.patreon.com/tempodcast.

2. My next iTunes goal is 100 ratings and 75 reviews. Take just a minute to leave a rating and review on iTunes to help me get there. Thank you!

And finally, a huge thank you to Parker Mouthpieces for providing the hosting for TEM.

Produced by Andrew Hitz

Show notes for all episodes of TEM including topics discussed, links to all books and websites referenced can be found at:

http://www.andrewhitz.com/shownotes

Begin in the Middle

Andrew Hitz

"Begin in the middle."

—Seth Godin

That's from yet another concise and to the point blog post from my spirit animal, Seth Godin.

How many times have you started watching a YouTube video, Instagram story or Facebook video and you end up clicking 'next' within 10 seconds.

There is lots of data that a whole lot of us do this most of the time. There is way too much content out there to consume for us to stick with a video, podcast episode, blog post, ebook or Netflix series that doesn't immediately grab our attention.

So when creating content we've got two options:

  1. Complain to anyone who will listen about how technology is ruining attention spans and yearn for the glory days when things used to be so much better and blah blah blah
  2. We can begin in the middle

As Seth challenges us to do in that blog post, begin in the middle. Begin with the good part. Provide value to your listener/viewer/reader as soon as you have their attention. They will always be happy you did.

As a side note, that is exactly what I love about Seth Godin's blog posts. They are "high protein" as I like to call them. He gets right to the point. Like, every single day.

And that is precisely why of all the blogs in the world, his is the only one I have delivered to my inbox every day of every week. I can't imagine life without his blog and a big part of that is because I don't have to sift through the pleasantries to get to the good stuff.

If beginning in the middle works for Seth, it can work for the rest of us, too.

TEM142: Successfully launching a nationally acclaimed music institute before you can even legally drink: A conversation with Buddy Deshler

Andrew Hitz

Buddy Deshler 1.jpg

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TEM142: Successfully launching a nationally acclaimed music institute before you can even legally drink: A conversation with Buddy Deshler

The story behind how Buddy Deshler successfully launched the Fredericksburg Brass Institute at the age of 20 and the lessons he's learned along the way.

What You'll Learn:

  • The characteristics that led Buddy to not only have such big ideas but the followthrough to execute them as a 20-year-old
  • Why Buddy built his team based on the people on the team rather than on the specific mission (since that mission can and will change)
  • How the first iteration of FredBrass was a good idea but the wrong format and at the wrong time (and how they couldn't have figured that out until they tried and failed)
  • How the benefits of being young and naive help with networking fearlessly
  • How Buddy approached asking (and affording) big names for the first FredBrass when it obviously hadn't existed before
  • The failed attempt at FredBrass expansion in 2016 and what they learned from it
  • How Buddy developed his product, The Entrepreneurial Student, a presentation that he offers to universities and conservatories
  • The difference between networking and relationship building

Links:

1. Help me get to my goal of $75 per episode on Patreon (only $11 to go!) by pledging as little as $1 per episode to support the show: https://www.patreon.com/tempodcast.

2. My next iTunes goal is 100 ratings and 75 reviews. Take just a minute to leave a rating and review on iTunes to help me get there. Thank you!

And finally, a huge thank you to Parker Mouthpieces for providing the hosting for TEM.

Produced by Andrew Hitz

Show notes for all episodes of TEM including topics discussed, links to all books and websites referenced can be found at:

http://www.andrewhitz.com/shownotes

Article: Sometimes You Win the Race Because Everyone Else Stops Running

Andrew Hitz

"A huge, incredibly un-sexy ingredient in my success is that I’ve simply kept going. For almost 10 years, I’ve written blog posts, replied to comments, and promoted things I created. I’ve done this almost every blessed week day. For 10 years." 
—Sarah Von Bargen from the Yes and Yes Blog

I stumbled upon this great post via future TEM guest Dale Trumbore's twitter feed. (Her interview is recorded and will be released soon. Don't miss it because it is awesome!)

Such a simple concept and yet so important to hear. The un-sexy key is you just have to keep running. I highly recommend checking out this article.

(Click the link in Dale's tweet below)

TEM141: How to deal with haters in just one sentence (TEM Short)

Andrew Hitz

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TEM141: How to deal with haters in just one sentence (TEM Short)

Some wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on dealing with people who criticize your art.

Links:

1. Help me get to my goal of $50 per episode on Patreon (only $6 to go!) by pledging as little as $1 per episode to support the show: https://www.patreon.com/tempodcast.

2. My next iTunes goal is 100 ratings and 75 reviews. Take just a minute to leave a rating and review on iTunes to help me get there. Thank you!

And finally, a huge thank you to Parker Mouthpieces for providing the hosting for TEM.

Produced by Andrew Hitz

Show notes for all episodes of TEM including topics discussed, links to all books and websites referenced can be found at:

http://www.andrewhitz.com/shownotes

TEM140: Outsource this at your own peril (TEM Short)

Andrew Hitz

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TEM140: Outsource this at your own peril (TEM Short)

This is one thing that as an entrepreneur you shouldn't ever fully outsource.

Links:

TEM139: Why You Should Almost Always Run from Traditional Record Deals - A Conversation with Ryan Kairalla

1. Help me get to my goal of $50 per episode on Patreon (only $6 to go!) by pledging as little as $1 per episode to support the show: https://www.patreon.com/tempodcast.

2. My next iTunes goal is 100 ratings and 75 reviews. Take just a minute to leave a rating and review on iTunes to help me get there. Thank you!

And finally, a huge thank you to Parker Mouthpieces for providing the hosting for TEM.

Produced by Andrew Hitz

Show notes for all episodes of TEM including topics discussed, links to all books and websites referenced can be found at:

http://www.andrewhitz.com/shownotes

Her Best Work is Behind Her

Andrew Hitz

I highly recommend Elizabeth Gilbert's book, Big Magic. It is a wonderful read that really helped my perspective on my art, my career and my life.

One of my favorite things in the book is her recognizing out loud that her best work is almost certainly behind her.

What does she mean by that? She is the author of the blockbuster best-seller turned into a movie starring Julia Roberts, Eat, Pray, Love.

She is right. There is almost no chance she will write another book that will sell that many copies, that will affect that many lives. Big Magic has been hugely successful and it hasn't been a drop in a bucket compared to Eat, Pray, Love. And they aren't turning into a movie starring Julia Roberts or Meryl Streep any time soon.

But so what? The only person in the world who can let that almost certainly accurate observation affect or even grind to a screeching halt her creative output is her.

She's the only one with that power.

All of us throw up roadblocks all the time. And its always for one reason and one reason only: fear.

The only surefire way to guarantee no one thinks the book after your blockbuster didn't live up to its predecessor is by never writing it! But that sure seems like a silly decision to make out of fear.

You might be saying, "If only I had the privilege of worrying about people being disappointed with the book (or album or movie or whatever) after my global smash hit!" Yeah, I don't have that problem either.

But we all can sell ourselves from time to time on narratives that are very similar. We would never say these things out loud to friends or colleagues because they would instantly point out that we were being ridiculous. But the crazy and terrifying thing is that we totally buy this bullshit when it is just a one-sided conversation in our head! Some possible examples:

"My performance of the Bach Goldberg Variations will never be as good as Glenn Gould's so why bother."

Here's the problem. No one wants another version of Glenn Gould's Goldberg Variations. (Full disclosure: His 1981 recording of that might be my single desert island recording of any piece of music in any genre ever.) But he already played that. Who gives a shit if some tuba playing podcast host thinks that's the gold standard? If you have a version inside of you, for the love of all things holy share it with us!

"I've always composed for choir in the past and really don't know anything about wind ensemble so even though I'm interested in learning, I know my writing won't ever be as good as John Mackey's or even my choral writing so I'll just drag my feet and never start, or at the very least never share it with anyone."

No, you won't speak with as clear a voice as John Mackey does when you first start writing for wind ensemble. But here's the problem with this one: Nor did John Mackey when he first started out! You know how John Mackey got to be "John Mackey" and Dale Trumbore got to be "Dale Trumbore" in the choral world: By composing their first piece and then composing another one. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Everyone has to start somewhere.

"I could never produce an album that sounds as good Dark Side of the Moon so I'll just stick to playing bass (even though my shifting passions really are leaning strongly towards producing.)

And you may already know what I'm going to say here, but Alan Parsons, who produced the Pink Floyd masterpiece Dark Side of the Moon, didn't start at that level. He was an assistant at Abbey Road when the Beatles recorded their album by that name and then went on to work on many albums in a variety of capacities. The point is he learned from some of the best in the business and wasn't intimidated that he wasn't a finished product the day he first walked into Abbey Road.


So take the road that Elizabeth Gilbert has and tell those internal voices that are always trying to derail you to go screw. Like any other skill, you get better at it with practice.

The world needs your art. So don't talk yourself into selfishly hiding it from the world.

TEM139: Why you should almost always run from traditional record deals - A Conversation with Ryan Kairalla

Andrew Hitz

Ryan Kairalla.jpeg

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TEM139: Why you should almost always run from traditional record deals - A Conversation with Ryan Kairalla

Entertainment lawyer Ryan Kairalla explains why it is the most exciting time in history to be a creator of anything and offers some actionable legal advice that all artists need to hear!

What You'll Learn:

  • Some of the myths about copyright law
  • Why Ryan’s best clients are the ones who ask a lot of questions (and why you can’t ever truly outsource the legal stuff)
  • What inspired him to write his book, Break the Business
  • Why signing a record deal is frequently a really bad idea
  • The evil that is a '360 Deal'
  • Why the ability to be quick and nimble in a business sense is the true advantage of being an independent artist
  • Why Ryan advocates for building your own music empire
  • LLC’s: Should you form one and why or why not?
  • How to find the right lawyer for you
  • When you should and shouldn’t form a nonprofit

Links:

Show notes for all episodes of TEM including topics discussed and links to all books and websites referenced can be found at:

http://www.andrewhitz.com/shownotes

1. Help me get to my goal of $50 per episode on Patreon (only $6 to go!) by pledging as little as $1 per episode to support the show: https://www.patreon.com/tempodcast.

2. My next iTunes goal is 100 ratings and 75 reviews. Take just a minute to leave a rating and review on iTunes to help me get there. Thank you!

And finally, a huge thank you to Parker Mouthpieces for providing the hosting for TEM.

Produced by Andrew Hitz

TEM138: My Best Piece of Advice for a New Entrepreneur

Andrew Hitz

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TEM138: My Best Piece of Advice for a New Entrepreneur

I recently was a guest on the Break the Business Podcast and was asked what advice I would give to a new entrepreneur. This was my answer.

Links:

Show notes for all episodes of TEM including topics discussed and links to all books and websites referenced can be found at:

http://www.andrewhitz.com/shownotes

1. Help me get to my goal of $50 per episode on Patreon (only $6 to go!) by pledging as little as $1 per episode to support the show: https://www.patreon.com/tempodcast.

2. My next iTunes goal is 100 ratings and 75 reviews. Take just a minute to leave a rating and review on iTunes to help me get there. Thank you!

And finally, a huge thank you to Parker Mouthpieces for providing the hosting for TEM.

Produced by Andrew Hitz

TEM137: How "Overnight Success” David Taylor Was Named to the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe List by Working 70-Hour Weeks for Years

Andrew Hitz

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TEM137: How "Overnight Success” David Taylor Was Named to the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe List by Working 70-Hour Weeks for Years

David Taylor is the CEO of Yorkshire Young Sinfonia and was recently named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe list for 2018.

What You'll Learn:

  • The hilarious story of how David came to find out he was named to the  2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe list
  • The genesis behind the youth orchestra he founded, Yorkshire Young Sinfonia, and the many ways it is different than any other youth orchestra in the world
  • How it can be really hard to give up control of things as your business grows
  • Why today is the greatest time in history to create anything
  • David’s definition of branding and why it is so important for both organizations and individuals
  • Why David uses the term relationship building instead of networking
  • The Gary Vaynerchuk 51/49 Rule (and how he used this rule to get a local organization to give him enormous financial support)
  • How to craft a pitch email that will actually get read

Links:

Show notes for all episodes of TEM including topics discussed and links to all books and websites referenced can be found at:

http://www.andrewhitz.com/shownotes

1. Help me get to my goal of $50 per episode on Patreon (only $8 to go!) by pledging as little as $1 per episode to support the show: https://www.patreon.com/tempodcast.

2. My next iTunes goal is 100 ratings and 75 reviews. Take just a minute to leave a rating and review on iTunes to help me get there. Thank you!

And finally, a huge thank you to Parker Mouthpieces for providing the hosting for TEM.

Produced by Andrew Hitz

TEM136: Deanna Swoboda Quotes

Andrew Hitz

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TEM136: Deanna Swoboda Quotes

This episode features thoughts on my favorite quotes from the conversation I had with Deanna Swoboda in TEM135.Quotes:

  • "I had designed a program, an assembly program, that could be turned into something that people would be interested in having at their schools. It was a program that music stores and music dealers were interested in collaborating with in terms of recruitment. Sam Pilafian really pushed me to organize that program into a business."
  • "Working in a nonprofit organization gave me skills, business skills…how to organize my thoughts of forming a business, and how to market, and how to plan, and how to organize."
  • "I think as musicians, sometimes we think about success, what success means to us individually. We really think it should be from point A to point B, and it should be very clean. In reality, it's the zig and the zag…the roads less traveled that you decide to take that have a direct influence upon your career."
  • "Really, at the heart of entrepreneurship is opportunity recognition. I think a lot of people may attribute their career to fate or destiny, being in the right place at the right time, et cetera, getting discovered or something, getting lucky. There is something to this. But I think that's a little bit of a passive approach. I really believe that it is that combination of talent, hard work, your work ethic, your attitude, and your determination and perseverance, and recognizing opportunities when they come your way."
  • "It's so important to be honest with yourself about what is truly going to make you happy. I think that it can change throughout life."
  • "Speaking of failures, I've had so many failures during my career. Without failures, there wouldn't have been self-improvement and moving into what's next. How do I do this slightly different so that it works, and it's a success."
  • "Everything leads to something else. Every person that you meet knows somebody else who might have an idea for you or be interested in what it is that you have to offer. Everyone and every one of their friends is a potential customer."
  • "You also have to communicate what makes you distinctive, and what makes your thing distinctive, and how you set yourself apart."

Show notes for all episodes of TEM including topics discussed, links to all books and websites referenced can be found at:

http://www.andrewhitz.com/shownotes

1. Help me get to my goal of $50 per episode on Patreon (only $8 to go!) by pledging as little as $1 per episode to support the show: https://www.patreon.com/tempodcast.

2. I am ONE REVIEW SHY of my next goal of 75 ratings on iTunes. Who is going to help me out by taking just a couple of minutes on iTunes and then emailing me to tell me they were the 75th person?

And finally, a huge thank you to Parker Mouthpieces for providing the hosting for TEM.

Produced by Andrew Hitz