Red Dog Music Group

Red Dog Music Group

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

5 Ways To Develop A Mentor Relationship With Your Professional Hero

So you met your hero in your industry and want the relationship to move past awkward coffee conversation? You're looking for a mentor relationship.

The key is not to ask how you can get them to be your mentor, but how you can get them to want you to be their mentee.

So check it out...convenient faux-wisdom...

1) Always talk in terms of their interests.

Everything you talk about should be in terms of the things they do and are passionate about. If you can get them talking about their problems and concerns, you now have grounds to approach them with meaningful conversation that, more important than solving their problem, lets you show them how insightful you are. INSIGHT is more important than SOLUTIONS. Creative thinking is highly valued in the beginning because half the time you don't have the built-up mutual respect to make you rproposed solution seem legit.

2) DO NOT BE A GERM (pronounced gurm | n: one who is likely to freak out if they meet someone they admire.)

Highly important here. Your heroes are regular people who have worked hard and reached a point of acclaim in their industry. Pay them a compliment to get it out of your system and then value their time by earnestly learning from their stories and being an engaging conversationalist. There is nothing more awkward and disrespectful than spending your entire coffee date sopping over their achievements and live-tweeting everything they say.

3) Stay on their radar

This is a fine art. Walking this line is tantamount to balancing on fishing line stretched across the Grand Canyon. The key to this is the practice and development of high social intelligence.

Social Intelligence says that, in social interactions, we can become more acutely aware of the ''vibe' or 'temperature' of the conversation, and based on this observation, can make decisions as to when to engage the other party again based on that 'temperature.' So basically, PAY ATTENTION to how they react to the conversation and use that to determine if you have an open door. It's harder than you think :).

4) Help them develop Psychological Distance

Psychological Distance is a practice that many leaders use maintain autonomy from their subordinates. It's the establishment of a clear hierarchy, clearly putting the mentor-to-be in a superiority position. If you want to reel in a mentor, help them feel some autonomy and authority. Make sure they feel that you respect their position and that they are clearly the superior and the 'guru.'

5) Ask

I know it sounds simple, but after a few respectful coffees full of insightful conversations that clearly carries undertones of respectful deference from you and kind authority from them, broaching the topic of you shadowing them in their job is not inappropriate. If you have skills to offer, you may be able to make their lives easier. Once again though, check the temperature of the room. It takes awhile, but if they keep having coffee, and it gets less awkward, that's a great sign.

Servant Leadership. Permission Marketing. Create a Vacuum.
Psalm 62:1-2

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Product or Service?

Music is a product, right?


Music is now a service. The song, sold by way of ANY store, doesn't really matter. It's what happens once you buy it that matters.

I'm listening to You Give Love A Bad Name (Bon Jovi) as I write this. I never bought this song, but I have listened to it 15 times writing this blog because it performs a service; it fires me up.

We HAVE to stop thinking of music as a product. Let's find new ways to make music a service. How do we give listeners the emotions they want quicker, easier, and more effectively? And how do we get them to pick OUR emotional catalyst over the others?

That's the new direction. I'll race ya.

Servant Leadership. Permission Marketing. Create a Vacuum.
Psalm 62:1-2

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Free Candy

Free candy is fun, right? Who doesn't take free candy? Especially if it is your favorite kind.

So what if the free candy helped you make a friend?

-"Hey, I got some free Snickers! Want one?"
-"Thanks bro, I appreciate it! What do you do?"
-"I'm an artist. You like jazz/fusion? Here's a free album!"
-"Sweet dude, thanks!"

Would you go see the show of the artist who gave you the candy? Would you make a remark about the album if it was 'remarkable?' Would you Instagram and tweet a picture of the cool album cover next to the candy?

I would. Every day of the week.

Servant Leadership. Permission Marketing. Create a Vacuum.
Psalm 62:1-2

Monday, September 23, 2013

Day Trading

Why do we swap the extended for the instant? The delayed for the immediate?

Are we that microwave'd of a society? In a world where connection is the greatest asset businesses have, and the most powerful force for promoting new music, why do we settle for the immediate?

Seth Godin wrote in his blog recently "In the connection economy, the thoughtful, patient, mature and modern approach wins out. Because connection is built on trust and generosity, not on snark and short-term wins."

Let's apply this to the music business, which happens to be a business that thrives off of connections and their apparent authenticity. Why would we celebrate the surface-level coffee conversation we had with an executive as a victory in networking? When they begin to confide their problems in you, that is a victory because that opens the door for you to innovate for their benefit...and eventually yours. Do not expect them to give you something, like a job. Try to give them something, like a solution. That will CREATE you a job.

Why do we day-trade instead of invest for the long-term? Invest in human capital, people are worth your time and authenticity and vulnerability.


Servant Leadership. Permission Marketing. Create a Vacuum.
Psalm 62:1-2

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Friendships and Business Relations

This is the plight of nearly every great entrepreneurial venture, every gifted initiator, every sage-innovator and every sub-par middle manager who has a desire to see those he cares about furthered in their careers.

Business relationships defined previously by friendship are dangerous. This is obvious. They are kryptonite to reputation and poison to brands. What may not be so obvious is the underlying cause to the majority of this danger...the personal and evetual perceived threat to livelihood.

If we dig deep into why most business relations that began as a close friendship have unwanted and adverse friction, it is simply the fight or flight instinct taking over. When we feel an attack coming on, that is, the opposition to change or 'improve' or 'adapt', we seek to stamp it out.

When it is our blood-brother leading that charge against norm, we feel this instinct even more deeply. It becomes a personal offense.

Is this not true? Let's take a moment of self-reflection. The last time you felt that rise in your gut to hastily protest some proposed action, and your best friend proposed it, is it not because you were ultimately more scared of the outcome and threat to your livelihood (however you define livelihood in that moment) than the weight of your trust for your friend's intentions and knowledge?

That fear outweighs everything you knew of your friend. But ask yourself this? What is most important for the end game? This moment of instinct or my relationship?

Please always pick the relationship, regardless of whether you continue to do business together. That is what life is about.

Servant Leadership. Permission Marketing. Create a Vacuum.

Psalm 62:1-2

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Built To Assist - Easter Eggs

I am sure you all are familiar with the term 'easter eggs.' White, oval breakfast food turned objects of pursuit by your adorable eight-year old niece on Easter, or projectiles subsequently smashed against your house by the angsty local teenager who didn't get invited to the egg hunt.

In this case, I am actually referring to the finding of something, not necessarily an egg. In the video game culture, gamers refer to bonus items or activities that have to be discovered in each scene as 'easter eggs.' They help the player deviate from the scenario for short a time to keep the playing interesting and earn helpful bonuses. It gives the gamer a moment of unexpected challenge that isn't detrimental to the overall result of their performance in the game.

In day to day life, it is the bonus question on the test. It is the opportunity for a safety in American football. It is the opportunity to teach your little boy how to air up his bike tire.

These actionable bonuses are everywhere in the music business. Wherever you are in your career, looking for the additional tasks and pursuing them, despite the additional labor, will undoubtedly benefit your client and paint you as cool-headed over-achiever.

Never let additional labor or challenge from your colleagues dissuade you from pursuing an obscure, yet potentially profitable opportunity. Be comfortable changing the plan, and having the ability to seal a deal at a moments notice is nothing to spit at.

Servant Leadership. Permission Marketing. Create a Vacuum.

Psalm 62:1-2

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Built To Assist - Comfortable Ambiguity

In the music industry, you may never have a real job, 9am-5pm. Are you ok with that?

If not, you might want to look into another career.

Because that is exactly what this industry is: a commitment to career-lifestyle that encompasses every corner of your life.

No other industry is this way. So how do we, as humans who crave consistency, survive and thrive?

You have to do your work for a bigger purpose. Music cannot be your all in all. It will never fulfill you. Personally, I am a Christian, so I believe that I should do everything I do for others and, in turn, to turn recognition for success back to God and His grace in my life.

I would recommend this way of thriving. But, for many people, they work for their children's futures, philanthropic purposes, or the satisfaction of fully serving others. As long as you keep your eye on something above simply music, something more glorious and divine-purposed, you will always have fuel in the tank and be comfortable with the ambiguity of our particular industry.

Because, then and only then, success that is normally defined by money, stature, or finite means will hold no allure for you. You will see the purity in labor.

Servant Leadership. Permission Marketing. Create a vacuum.

Psalm 62:1-2