carypierce

YOU CAN'T DO THAT

(This is an excerpt from a book I am working on about Being Creative for a Living. I will post a new chapter most Fridays… I genuinely hope this blog inspires you… thanks for following)

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Get used to hearing that.

Better yet - get used to ignoring it - becuase you can do just about anything.

            My band, Jackopierce, was told for years: “we don’t book acoustic duos;” “we don’t do seated shows;” “we don’t do non-smoking shows.” “You can’t do that.” So we just quietly, slowly, kept growing our fanbase across the country to the point where we could dictate our terms instead of being dictated to.

            You can do just about whatever you are willing to put your mind to - period.

            You’ve heard the stories.. Sylvester Stalone took his script, “Rocky” to over 1,000 different people. He actually sold his dog to stay alive. Everyone told him he could not sell his script nor could he EVER dream of starring in the movie. “Rocky” was eventually made for $1.1 million but grossed $117 million. It was nominated for 10 Oscars and ended up winning 3 - including best picture. It also spawned 5 sequels.

            Roger Banister was told he could not run a four-minute mile. It was a physical impossibility. His legs would explode from the pressure and impact. In 1954 he broke the four-minute mile. Now high school kids do it. 

            Sell bottles of water? Sell expensive coffee? Make a record? Write a screenplay? Make a movie? “You can’t do that!”

            Bah! Yes you can.

 

 

 

WORST CASE SCENARIO

(This is an excerpt from a book I am working on about Being Creative for a Living. I will post a new chapter most Fridays - or as close as I can get… I genuinely hope this blog inspires you… thanks for following)

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We don’t have to be scared. 

But we are scared - a LOT. 

We are scared to start a new company or launch a new product. Scared to leave our current job for a better one. Scared to pick up the phone and call that girl. Scared that we’ll show up to the party and not know anyone. 

Some fear - like running across the highway at rush hour - is healthy fear. 

But I would contend the number one fast and slow killer of dreams is fear.

Tony Robbins says “we’ll do more to avoid pain than to gain pleasure.” 

We know going to the gym and getting in shape will bring us nothing but pleasure - but we’re scared it will be painful working out. It’s easier to have another couple donuts (less pain). 

We’re so scared.

But what’s the worst thing that could happen?

When I was going through my divorce, I was in serious pain, was in deep debt and thought I was in real trouble. I was paralyzed. 

A good friend asked me, “what’s the worst thing that could happen to you.” I thought long and hard about it. If everything fell away and I had nothing - no house, no car, no income - what would that look like?

It’s important to define your worst case scenario. What does the WORST CASE SCENARIO look like for you? It may not be as bad as you think.

For me I thought long and hard about it. I would have to move into my parents house. It would be incredibly humiliating but they would not let me starve. I don’t need any new clothes. I could take public transportation but I could probably borrow one of their cars a lot. It would not be great but things could be a WHOLE LOT WORSE than that. 

Once I realized my worst case scenario, I was able to stare it in the face - see it for what it was, and then move on. 

Regardless - if it’s worse or better than you think - it’s good TO KNOW WHAT IT IS. 

When embarking on a new endeavor and you’re scared, anxious, unsure just get real clear on your worst case scenario. Define it, stare it in the eye, shrug your shoulders because you are now free to move on. Like the monster that doesn’t exist under the bed - it can’t scare you anymore. This might be one of the most freeing things you ever do as an Artrepreneur. 

GET OUT

(This is an excerpt from a book I am working on about Being Creative for a Living. I will post a new chapter every Friday - or as close as I can…Thanks to all my new Followers who found me through TuneCore. I genuinely hope this blog inspires you to grow whatever it is you wish to grow).

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Nothing can replace FACE TIME. Plant Seeds. Send out Ships.

Financial Coach, Rick Ruby, said “if you’re spending most of your time behind a desk, you’re not doing business. You gotta get out there, take meetings, meet people.”

            Great advice.

            I just got back from”exploratory” trips to both Santa Barbara, CA and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for Jackopierce Destination Shows we have coming up (June 8 SB, Aug 17 MV - working on SM for Oct ‘13). A more detailed explanation of Destination Shows can be found here: http://carypierceblog.tumblr.com/post/20535571990/a-bit-of-history-of-destination-shows  

And more info can be found in our store: www.jackopierce.bigcartel.com

I have spent a LOT of time researching online. I’ve looked at tons and tons of pictures of hotels, rental houses, venues and places to see/things to do but nothing could replace going to these places, meeting these people face to face, walking the properties where the events will be held. Nothing comes close.

            My manager had put a lot of calls into places for me to go look at but nothing compares to meeting someone face to face and seeing things for real.

            I got more done is the days hanging with the local experts than I would have in weeks of trying to figure things over e-mail and scouring websites. They gave me the scoop on the places to visit, the restaurants to eat at, the things to do and the hotels to recommend. I also had the opportunity to walk to property and spend some time talking over the details of our Destination Show. I could now see the event unfolding.

———————-

Other “Get Out’s” 

      I was talking to an artist in Dallas about producing her record. She invited my wife and I out to her show. While I was there, I saw the owner of the club. We chatted for a bit and he mentioned that he had thrown Jackopierce’s hat in the ring to play an extremely lucrative festival. I immediately called our manager and got him to work on getting us the show. He did. We got it. We got paid extremely well, sold thousands of dollars of CD’s, T-shirts, played in front of over 5,000 people and had a blast! I’m glad I “got out” that night and saw that guy!

———————-

            I love to go to Nashville every 2-3 months. I leave at 7am and I’m in my first writing appointment by 10am. I write for 2.5 days straight, take meetings in between, have lunches, dinners and I’m back home - only 2 nights away from home but I probably get more creative work done than I might in a month in Dallas - or if even if I lived in Nashville. Each trip costs about $800 but every one is paid back in spades. The more time I’m there and the more I write songs, and the more face time I spend with my manager, the more things seem to happen.

GOOD FRIENDS ARE HARD TO FIND

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Take good care of them. You will need them. Work on relationships - they take work.

I have good friends that held me accountable to write this book. They hold me accountable in my marriage, in my career, as a husband and a dad.

            They also inspire me and challenge me. They give me perspective and insight. They see strengths and weaknesses that I don’t see.

            When I wrote this, I was in Nashville on a songwriting trip with 2 of my friends (Jon Abel and Patrick Ryan Clark) from Dallas. We shared hotel rooms. We had a blast.

            We’re all Dads - with 8 kids between us - and we were laughing so hard at the Wendy’s late-night drive thru, you’d think we were all 16.

            I meet with Jon Abel and Creede Williams almost every Friday morning at 6:30am. Regular, scheduled time with these guys is crucial for me a Creative, as a husband and as a dad.

            They know me and know what’s going on now.

            It’s no wonder that there are so many groups of Creatives that get together in groups around the world on a regular basis.

            An old proverb says, “Iron sharpens iron.” We all need to be sharpened. I need it regularly and consistently. 

RELISH REJECTION

(This is an excerpt from a book I am working on about being creative for a living. I will post a new chapter every Friday - or as close as I can. Sorry about last week.. )

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Being kicked-out, broken-up-with, hurt, humiliated - can all be great things.

Many of you have heard of Rhett Miller. He is a a great solo recording artist and the lead singer of Old 97’s. Well, back in the late 80’s Rhett was a Dallas wunderkind. He was releasing his first CD, “Mythologies” on the Carpe Diem label.

            Carpe Diem was an independent label that was housed out of a tiny independent CD shop called Van Gogh Records. The owner of both, Allan Restrepo, is still a friend to this day.

            Allan broke my heart.

            I was amazed by this Rhett Miller phenomenon. Rhett was on the cover of our weekly paper, the Dallas Observer. The entire cover was a close-up of his face - and it was (and still is) a good-looking face. I was in awe of this high school senior. I was a freshman as SMU (across the street from Van Gogh) and I used to go in there daily. We (Jackopierce) were trying to make our first CD, so I would riddle Allan with questions - questions about producers, engineers, studios, photos, graphics, CD duplication, posters, marketing.. on and on and on. We (Jackopierce) were dreaming of making our first CD. But one day Allan had come to the end of his goodwill rope. He literally escorted me out of his store saying, “Cary - I’m kicking you out of my store. I cannot make this record for you - you’re going to have to figure it out on your own.”

            I was heartbroken that my buddy and mentor kicked me out of his store. But it turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me. It forced me to go out there and learn how to do it myself.

            Robert Kiyosaki talks about the necessity for anyone in business to have experience in sales. He says you need the experience of being rejected more than you are accepted. Really good advice. I agree. Get used to it. People reject you for a million different reasons. I’ve learned to not avoid it but overcome it.

            Keep swingin.. keep going. Most folks don’t. They cower at the first sign of rejection and never go back out on the field. That leaves more room for those of us who are willing to take the licks, dust ourselves off and get back out there in the game.

FIRE IS GREAT IN THE FIREPLACE

(This is an excerpt from a book I am working on about being creative for a living. I will post a new chapter every Friday).

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That initial spark of excitement is awesome - but it’s long-burning coals that really keep things cooking.

FIRE, IF NOT PROPERLY HARNESSED, CAN BURN YOU &/OR BURN YOU OUT.

            Relationships rooted only in lust and physical attraction (fire) generally do not last. Those based on a solid foundation of friendship, respect and love can last well after the initial “fire” of excitement has turned (hopefully) to lifelong burning coals.

            I like fire. We all like fire. Most of us Creatives like to start fires - get things going. We get high on the rush of starting something new, But fire has its place - and things don’’t really cook until the embers have spent some good time turning to coals. This is the right kind of heat for cooking. Flames on a grill can burn the heck out of your meat and leave the inside blood raw.

            But we NEED fire. As Creatives, we thrive on new Ideas.  We love having a spark. We love having it catch on and then  fanning the flame.

            Fire is vital to survival and it is also deadly. Proceed with caution.

            Successful people have learned how to harness and channel fire (and the fire of others) towards getting things done.

            Some people say “Ready, Aim, Fire.” Some say, “Fire, Ready, AIm!” and some just say “Fire!.” A lot of us (me included sometimes) just run around saying “Fire, Fire, Fire.” Then we collapse. Once the fire is gone, we’re not interested anymore.

            But in the words of John Mellencamp, “Oh yah, life goes on.. long after the thrill of living is gone.”

            A lot of things in the music business have to be planned at least 6 months to a year out. Other things, like writing songs can be done in a matter of minutes. With YouTube, FaceBook, Myspace, Twitter, blogging - you can write a song (or an album), record it and have it up online - available to billions of people in minutes. There’s a LOT of “Fire”-ing going on - maybe too much. Everyone’s got their own TV show, radio program or record label. You don’t have to sign some big record or publishing deal to get your product out there. With the “inter webs”, your audience is now infinite and has very few boundaries

            A friend of mine is an advocate of the theory that it takes you 10 years to really have a grasp on something - to really” start “making it” in a particular field. He went out to LA after college and duked it out as an actor - all the while writing scripts, short-stories and his novel on the side. He even had a day job working for a well-respected TV Production Co. He did not quit his day job. Turns out the 10 years finally paid off. He now owns and runs a production company with his former boss. They have several successful shows, screenplays and he finally finished and published his novel, That’s some long-burning coals. That’s not what the 18 year-old kid who heads to LA wants to hear. They want Fire. Fire is great! But all the greats are continuing to make a living from their long burning coals.

THREE OF US IN A BOAT

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Today I’m going to dissect one of my songs I wrote when I was 19. 

I grew up in Westport, CT and used to run into into this girl from the neighboring town of Weston. She was pretty and sweet and I liked her from afar. Once I went off to college at SMU in Dallas, I thought that would be it. 

But the first day of freshman orientaton - who walks in the door? This girl, Ray. It was fate! We were meant to be together! The only problem was this little detail of her having a boyfriend. Hence - the song: “Three of us in a boat… doesn’t look like this boat’s gonna float….” It was our first jackopierce original. www.jackopierce.com

Jackopierce is my band that I started with Jack O’Neill at SMU in Dallas in 1988. Next year will be 25 years of JP. Wo. “Three of Us in a Boat” can be found on our latest album, “Everywhere All The Time”:

Everywhere All the Time - Jackopierce

I loved you and you know it

So I wrote this song just like Farley Mowat

(Farley Mowat is a Canadian author who wrote the book, “The Boat Who wouldn’t Float.”)

For a little while I was your dual lover

(there was another guy involved - Jerkface. Well I was really the Jerkface. Her boyfriend got sent home from school to go to rehab and I saw opportunity).

I knew this would happen one way or another 

Looks like I’m gettin ready to swim

The chances of his walkin the plank are lookin pretty slim

(this is maybe the fastest line that I’ve ever sung. It’s a lot of fun live and I think you will enjoy it when you hear it. I just realized that in this verse I resolve to give up. I’m the one jumping! Why didn’t I push him out? It’s more fun this way. I had moved on anyway. He could have her).

Three of us in a boat

Doesn’t look like this boat’s gonna float

Three of us in a boat and it won’t float

(I have a fantasy of making a video of this song (the reggae version). It would be Jack and I wearing a cardboard boat costume with a very pouty, tall, disinterested super model type between us. Everywhere we go, we have to go together. We get in and out of cabs together, in elevators, try to walk up stairs, go into restrooms. Genius) 

Hope you have some agility

Hope you have some aquatic ability

(Jack and I were both in the ATO fraternity at SMU. It really was the foundation of our career. Pretty anywhere we would play, 20-40 of our brothers would come out. We had some tradition at the house for Big Brother night where we had to go swimming. Aquatic ability was essential. That’s all I’m gonna say).

We all know this is your ship my dear

Don’t say a word it’s perfectly clear

I’ve got my suit on – I’m goin in

(I often say “Speedo” and get a good chuckle. I was a swimmer throughout my youth and wore many a Speedo. My fave was the star and stripes BiCentennial edition. My sister had the one piece to match. From grades 1-6, I lived in North Harbor/Sandy Springs/Atlanta and we had neighborhood swim teams. I remember all the other kids would eat powder Jello but our mom would make us Gazpacho (cold tomato soup). I also did 2 years at Staples HS in Westport, CT as a “diver” on the swim team. I was a rare bird that could do a back flip and walk on my hands. Since diving was considered one of the swimming events - and the swimmers were only able to compete in x amount of events… the team literally needed a guy to jump off the board. Woody called it “falling with style.”

With a heart as fragile as mine why did we even begin

(yah - I ‘m a sensitive guy. I was asking for it)

I’ve found new days of sunshine

(this line used to be “I miss my Ray (her name) of sunshine.” Wow. That was pathetic.) 

Looks like we’re in for nasty weather (should have said you’re in for nasty weather - she and boyfriend started fighting over phone).

But if you’re meant to be than you’ll stick together

Don’t come cryin to me when your horizons turn dark and grey baby

(remember that scene in Swingers when the old girlfriend FINALLY returns his call? But she’s too late. He’s got Heather Graham on the other line. He’s moved on. Things started to get rocky with her beau so she calls me up and wants to “see what I’m doing.” Uh uh girl. You chose him - good luck.. I’m out.




GET UP EARLIER

(This is an excerpt from a book I am working on about Being Creative for a Living. I will post a new chapter every Friday - or as close as I can…Thanks to all my new Followers who found me through TuneCore & other places. I genuinely hope this blog inspires you to grow, learn and have FUN).

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I have a silly saying: “It’s hard to get out of bed when you’re still in it..”

 If you really want to get something done, get up a little earlier than everyone else. Once you actually get out of bed and get moving - there’s a magic to being one of the only ones up. You’ve started your day - you’ve started your life.

            Master legal-thriller writer, John Grisham, wrote his first book by waking up every day at 5am to write for 2-3 hours before work (he kept his day job). He did this for three years. He started his next novel the day after he finished his first - and since 1988, he’s written a novel a year. There are over 235 million of his books in print.

            Most of the great leaders of all time got up early.

            Time to get up.

FAIR HAS 4 LETTERS

(This is an excerpt from a book I am working on about Being Creative for a Living. I will post a new chapter every Friday - or as close as I can…Thanks to all my new Followers who found me through TuneCore. I genuinely hope this blog inspires you to grow whatever it is you wish to grow).


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Take fair out of your vocabulary. It is possibly the most ridiculous word in the English language. Take it out.

FIGURE OUT WHAT “WORKS FOR YOU.” DECIDE if a decision is “amicable,” “agreeable,” “equitable.” Figure out if something “makes sense” for you.

            When I hear people, “that’s just not fair” it drives me crazy.

            Of course it’s not fair. Nothing is fair because “fair” does not exist.

            My interpretation of what’s “fair” will always be (even if only slightly) different than the guy next to me.

            Some people want to be taller. Some people want to be shorter, skinnier, bigger, lighter, darker. Some people want more “success.” Most people want “mo money.” A lot of people think that when they don’t have the things they want that life is “unfair.”

            So many people who have “made it” in this world being Creative did not get stuck in the “fair” game. They knew from the get-go that things were not fair and they went about creating anyway.

            To sit around and worry about what’s fair and what’s not will not get you what you want.

            To shake your fists “why?!” at the gallery owner that puts the “inferior” art of the “cool guy/cute girl” instead of yours into his gallery - or to sit around and wonder why everyone hates your book are bad questions to ask yourself.

            Ask a bad question - get a bad a bad answer.

            Quit asking “why” and start asking “How” or “What.”

            Instead of “why did I not get into that festival?” start asking “how can I get into that festival?” or “what do I have to do to get more shows on my calendar?”

            Instead of asking “why am I so fat?” start asking, “what do I need to do to lose weight?”

            I just saw the movie, “Flash of Genius.” It’s based on the true story of inventor, Bob Kearns - a Creative that invents the intermittent windshield wiper for cars. Ford steals the idea. At one point in the movie, he is offered $300,000 (this is 25+ years ago) to settle. The lawyer (brilliantly played by Alan Alda) and Kearn’s wife urge him to take the deal. Alda implores him,  saying that Ford will bury him in paperwork for the next 10 years, He says fighting them will turn him grey and old. But since the Kearns wants Ford to do what’s “fair” and admit that they stole from him, he declines. Eventually he is offered THIRTY MILLION dollars to settle but he refuses again.

            His battle started in 1969 and did not end it until 1995 (36 YEARS LATER) after spending over $10,000,000 in dollars in legal fees. When he invented the wiper, he was a happily married 42 year-old-man and a father of six kids. When he won his nearly $30,000,000, he was divorced. He would die 10 years later at 77, of brain cancer complicated by Alzheimers.

            A lot of people spend their lives trying to “even the score” - while the successful ones are out there doing what they can to make the world a better place. Some through invention, some through charity work, some through influence in industry or government. When things don’t work, they reassess, make changes, and forge on. They took fair out of their vocabulary a long time ago.

SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF

(This is an excerpt from a book I am working on about Being Creative for a Living. I will post a new chapter every Friday - or as close as I can…This photo below is not of me).

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People do not become obese in a day.

People do not usually go broke in a day. Books, screenplays, records, etc are usually not written in a day.

            I have to sweat a lot of small stuff or my business ventures would fail.

            Especially in this recessed economy, we see that a lot of people in a lot of companies did not sweat the small stuff. They were too focused on the “big picture” - too focused on growth – more, more, more. More employees, more product, more manufacturing. But a lot of people were not sweating the small details like: demand, cashflow, savings, prudence, frugality, taking it slow.

            Yes, I am a Big Picture Guy. I envision a new CD or an event and have people handle a lot of the “small stuff.” But to completely ignore the small stuff is a big mistake. Great companies are usually great delegators. They get others to do the stuff they are not best at - but ultimately they are responsible for how those employees perform.

You always gotta keep your finger on the pulse.

            I love the popular book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.” Great stuff. But I think it has given license to a lot of us to think of ourselves as “big picture” thinkers and forget about all the small stuff that goes into any major (or minor) undertaking.

            Even with my kids, it’s the small stuff that matters. It’s spending enough time with them to notice things about them. Has one of them picked up some new words or a new habit? With kids it’s all about the little things: little gift, a little time spent, an encouraging word.

            There will always be a constant battle between sweating and not sweating the small stuff. Accept it.

            For a lot of wealthy people, it’s all about the small stuff. It’s about budgets, curbing spending, splitting meals, forgoing a new car or clothes or trips. It’s about not overpaying when you’re out with friends - not being the “hero” by picking up the check (something I used to do all the time.)

            If you think Millionaires are all out having caviar on their yachts, you need to read the “Millionaire Next Door,” by Thomas Stanley and William Danko. They make it really clear that, for the most part, American millionaires are, indeed, sweating the small stuff of budgets and expenses. For most of them, that’s how they became millionaires in the first place. They drive used Fords, buy suits off the rack and wear Timex watches.

            If that’s not enough, read just about anything that Warren Buffett says. He’s ALL about the small stuff.

            Here’s to playing “small!” ;-)

KNOW UNTIL YOU KNOW OTHERWISE

(This is an excerpt from a book I am working on about Being Creative for a Living. I will post a new chapter every Friday - or as close as I can.)

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I don’t want to come off metaphysical or airy-fairy here but you have to Know that things are going to happen.

I knew when jackopierce (my band - www.jackopierce.com) started, that we would eventually make records, travel in a Tour Bus and sign to a major label and publisher.

            Often things will not turn out exactly like you “knew” they would. Then you “know” different.

            Successful people Know. Others hope, dream, scheme, wait, wonder.

            When you Know something is going to happen, you can see it in the distance and you have something to aim for. You’re just working towards getting “There” because you can “see” the “There.”

            Apparently, airplanes are of- course 90% of the time. But they usually get to their destination.

            They get there because they know where they are going.

            Know where you are going. Know until you know otherwise.

THERE IS A SEASON.. TURN, TURN, TURN

(This is an excerpt from a book I am working on about Being Creative for a Living. I will post a new chapter every Friday - or as close as I can.)

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To Everything

Turn, Turn, Turn

There is a season

Turn, Turn, Turn

And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die

A time to plant, a time to reap

A time to kill, a time to heal

A time to laugh, a time to weep

A time to build-up, a time to break down

A time to dance, a time to mourn

A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

A time of love, a time of hate

A time of war, a time of peace

A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

 (adapted from the book of Ecclesiastes by Pete Seeger)

Remember that things are seasonal. In producing a record, there is the season of writing, then the season of recording and then the season of mixing and then the season of all of that being over. The next season could be more shows, writing a book or giving a talk or seminar - or all of it at once.

            With kids it’s easier to gauge seasons and keep track of them because you are slowly enjoying where the child is now but knowing that soon he will sit up, walk, talk and then demand a cell phone.

            Parents with kids who have grown and left home are in a new season.

            Living in Dallas, the seasons are not nearly as dramatic as they were growing up in Connecticut. When it was winter, it was WINTER - cold, rainy, snowy and dark. When spring started to poke through - it really buoyed your spirits and made you even more anticipatory. I remember those first May evenings where you would catch a bit of warmth in the air. It was awesome. It was the “Promise of Summer.” 

            Give yourself the gift of knowing that everything is seasonal.

            You’re in an uninspired season right now? OK. That should not keep you from working but it will pass. You’re in a season of little or no work? OK. That should not keep you from creating either.

            You’re a living being on a living planet that is completely based on seasons. Things are born. Things die. Things get stronger while others wither. Sometimes it’s rains and sometimes it’s clear. You, too, have seasons and that’s ok.

            In an abundant season? Relish it. Write about it. Remember it – so when it passes, you know It will re-“turn” – turn, turn.

USE SOMEONE ELSE'S MAP

(This is an excerpt from a book I am working on about Being Creative for a Living. I will post a new chapter every Friday - or as close as I can. this chapter gets sent out from Santa Fe, NM as I wrap a 2.5 week family vacation. The sky looks just like this picture. I love this town. I hope to put on a Jackopierce Destination Show here next summer.)

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Until you find your own way.

You used your parents’ map of how to walk and talk. You used your older brothers and sisters’ maps. You’ve used authors/speakers/coaches/mentors’ maps to get you here.

            I used The Beatles, Bob Marley, James Taylor, Tom Petty and hundreds of other songwriters’ maps to learn how to write songs.

            I used Sting, Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, Bono’s and a lot of other performing artists’ maps to learn how to perform in front of a crowd.

            When I was really young, my sister and I used to perform songs from Chorus Line, Annie, Oliver and others. We’d drag my parents down to the basement. We’d have costumes and all.

            The band, Vertical Horizon, used our map for a while. We loved them and took them everywhere we could as our opening act. They picked up a bunch of the stuff we were doing. They followed up with a lot of the venues where they were opening.

            We would study the schedules of bands that were playing where we wanted to play: Widsepread Panic, Samples, Blues Traveler and countless others. I just did it the other day with Katie Herzig’s schedule. I was checking to see if she would be in town to write while I was in Nashville. While I was on her site, I saw a bunch of dates/venues listed that caught my eye. I sent a list to my manager and asked him to check them out.

            But sometimes nobody is doing what you’re doing or what you want to do. Or they are doing it too differently or going after a different audience. You have to go out on your own and then be followed or become the next cautionary tale. You have to chart a new map.

            Until then, it’s OK to use someone else’s as a guide. We all do on our way to charting new ground for the next guy.

DON'T WORK FOR ANYONE

(This is an excerpt from a book I am working on about being creative for a living. I will post a new chapter every Friday - or as close as I can).

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…unless you are learning something. And you can learn from ANYONE. Therefore you can work for anyone and learn something.

"YOUR PLAYING SMALL DOES NOT SERVE THE the world.*” Even if you are learning what you don’t want to do - you must always eek some lessons out of trading your life for a wage.

            If you are working at McDonald’s - you are working in the most successful franchise in the entire world. Their systems are unmatched. The opportunity you have to deal with EVERY walk of life is priceless - both behind and over the counter. I bet you could learn a lot from the guy that owns the franchise, too.

            If you’re a valet, you can learn a lot about service, humilty. You can get in shape. You can make a lot of contacts. If you’re a waiter or bartender, you will learn so much about human nature, service, poise, sales and also make friends and contacts.

            Always learn - you always can. Don’t miss out on all the great lessons all around you.


* quoted from Marianne Williamson

DON'T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB

(This is an excerpt from a book I am working on about being creative for a living. I will post a new chapter every Friday or as close to it as I can get to it ).

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Do what you love but keep your day job. It is paying the bills while you create your masterpiece.

My buddy and mixing/mastering engineer, Rob Wechsler, loves to build and rebuild classic muscle cars. Producing, mixing and mastering records pays the bills and it’s his first love but without his “hobby,” he’d probably go nuts. I know there are times when he just wants to throw the towel in on the music business and focus on cars full time. But he’d be miserable and he knows it. 

            And there are times when he’s spent so many hours under, in or around his cars that he just doesn’t want to see them anymore. He wants to be immersed in music. Conversely, there are times when he’s mixing or mastering music - staring at computer screens for hours upon hours and all he wants to do is go work on his cars.

———————-

            So much great creativity happens in the “in-between.” On your way to work. On your way home. While you’re working out.

            A lot of us have this fantasy: “if I could just quit my job, find a cabin in the woods with no distractions - THEN I could really be creative. I could write my book, paint my masterpiece, think up my next big idea.” I bet you $5 you’d finally get to your cabin and be completely uninspired.

            The creativity usually comes to me while I’m involved in other things - not when I’m in some creative “oasis.”

            Yes - spending time away is GREAT to refuel, replenish, reinvigorate, relax, etc. but don’t get in the habit of thinking that nothing can be done until you get there. That is an American Myth. The media and advertisers are AMAZING at convincing you that you can have it all if you just buy this or travel there. This is a BIG reason why we do not have TV in our home. I don’t want to be told all day by shows and advertisers how much I am missing in my life.

           John Grisham is the author of 30+ books that have sold over 250 million copies. As a young lawyer, he committed himself to waking up everyday at 5am to work on his first novel, “A Time to Kill.” He did this for THREE YEARS. The book was rejected by TWENTY EIGHT publishers before someone gave it a modest 5,000 copy first-run. The day after he finished “A Time to Kill”, still a lawyer, he started on his second novel, “The Firm.” Not long after that, he was able to quit his day job but it kept him alive while he wrote his first 2 masterpieces. He created it in the stolen moments - the time he created for himself. The rest is history.

            Don’t quit your day job… yet! 

Infinity… and beyond!

(This is an excerpt from a book I am working on about being creative for a living. I will post a new chapter every Friday).

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Your audience is infinite. As Creatives, we are often able to create an experience and duplicate it.

WHEN I WRITE A SONG, I’VE CREATED AN experience for myself that I want other people to experience. I can only play in front of so many people - but I can record it and EVERYONE can experience it. The coolest part is that the experience does not make the trip to the listener. They get to have their own, unique experience from the song or the album.

            Not only is the amount of songs infinite - so is the amount of experiences people can have.

            As a Creative, you are limited by really nothing. Getting around your so-called limitations usually leads you to be more creative.

            I’ve realized that shows are great but they are finite. We can only play so many shows per year - and we are required to show up.

            Blue Man Group is genius. They can duplicate what they do because 1. They don’t speak or sing  2. They are painted blue - they can be anyone. 

            Stomp, Cirque Du Soleil* and so many others are the same. . They duplicate their shows all over the world.

            We are also in the business of Duplication. I get to create experiences for people that they can take with them anywhere in the world. We duplicate CDs and booklets. We also duplicate them into digital form.

            Music is infinite. The only cap I can put on our music is that there are only 6.7 Billion customers.  In my world that’s close enough to infinity. AND that number ONLY GROWS. Every second there are more people on this planet than there were last second.

            Music and video are sold and circulated 24/7, 365. Anything that can be digitized is infinite: Photos, Books, Movies, TV Shows, Music, Audio Books, Software - the list goes on and on.

            It used to be you needed someone to publish your stuff - or put your CD out or whatever. Today anyone can release anything on the web immediately - for free or for money. There are no limitations – you’re bound by only by infinity.

 

*I’m a HUGE fan of Cirque Du Soleil and how they illustrate that just about anything can be done. I’ve seen several of their live shows and movies and have never been anything less than thoroughly entertained and totally inspired. It’s just incredible.

INCREDIBLE FEEDBACK on new Platform

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I just played my second StageIt show last night and just got some incredible feedback. Stageit is a new website created by my friend, Evan Lowenstein (of Evan & Jaron Fame). The site allows you to put on a “show” from anywhere and sell tickets. People can interact with you while you play, request songs, and even tip. For me it’s a HUGE blessing that I can play for people and still be able to have dinner with my family, put my kids to my bed AND still come home and hang with my wife before bed. Follow me on FB or Twitter so you’ll know about the next one. Last night’s show sold out. SUPER COOL! 

Anywho - here’s the feedback and THANK YOU SO MUCH for being part of what I do. I love writing and making music and playing it for y’all and I LOVE being able to provide for my family. THANK YOU!! 

FEEDBACK from www.stageit.com SHOW 4-25-12 (Chats that go on while I’m playing.. This is just a tiny glimpse - there were almost 400 posts during the 50min show)

bridgettekMy kids are standing on chairs, dancing and singing - this is so much fun for us all!

keith_wallaceCLAP CLAP CLAP

brette_peytonlove it!!!!!!

jonfreedbergAWESOME!!!!

jonfreedbergthanks Cary!

princess_kimberI’m reminded of why I loved him in the first place. It’s been too long.

jpjayhawkCary’s dad is killing me on the Top Tippers Board! Can’t you just raise Cary’s allowance or something? 

princess_kimberdangit, I’ve really missed you Cary, seriously

erinlaneyENCORE!!!!!!!!!

chip_larkinI love how much Cary enjoys performing, singing, and playing. It is so evident on his face and you forget that when you don’t see him often

atxkeith - I dare you to tip him 50,000 notes

chip_larkinthis is awesome

matthew_nelsontrue I do like that only a few get to see it

steveb66woohoo!!!

princess_kimberthat just makes it far more special

atxGREAT GREAT GREAT show, Cary. You are one of the best solo (and band) performers ever

keith_wallaceCLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

brette_peytonthank you, cary! made my night!!

steveb66That was awesome!!! Thx!

chip_larkinThank you, thank you, thank you

hcfthirdelect-ra-city

chip_larkinThat was absolutely amazing

craig_collinsGreat show thanks Cary!

chasWhens the next Cary show via Stageit?

princess_kimberthank you, that was amazing!

matthew_nelson tipped 20 notes.

chasThat was awesome!

jmsmolkothank you, that was awesome!!

atx tipped 50 notes.

jpjayhawkMay the road rise to meet you?

p_squaredthis was excellent! thanks so much 

markrjonesWe need a full hour next time!

gena_griffith_baileyirish prayer

atxMay the Road

markrjonesPLUS encores

chip_larkinRoad

keith_wallacemay the road rise to meet you

jmsmolkolove this song!!! thank you!

jpjayhawkThis is one of my favorite JP tracks on CD.

jmsmolkohope you will come to philly this fall or even better DE, check out world cafe at queen in de

fearlessblissWhat a great experience please do this again!

princess_kimbertake care all

kinnick8great show see you all next time

jpjayhawkGreat “meeting” everyone.

ncdawgHope to see you all in Asheville!

chasI’ll be back for the next StageIt show with Cary…all around awesome!

chip_larkinI love the community that was on here tonight

chip_larkinChas, one of the things that I have loved about StageIt is the quality people that are on here watching my favorite musicians

chasYeah, it no doubt has enhanced the experience and just proves what a cool bridge music can be across the miles and among strangers

chip_larkinvery well said

chasI hope he keeps it up …I’ll be back for his next appearance if so

chip_larkinI can’t wait for another show from Cary on here. This one was amazing.