1. Keep Your Boots Muddy. Even though many artists & entrepreneurs are doing some “great” work these days, it’s the “extraordinary” work that’s getting the attention and making the big bucks. This should not be new news to you. Your fans, your followers and your customers are now demanding superior products, outrageous service and tear-jerking, sidesplitting, jaw-dropping entertainment. And if you don’t give it to them, they have the entire world in the palm of their hands where they can find it. If you expect your tribe to spend their (limited) time spreading the word about you, then go the extra mile, step up your game and give them outrageous & extraordinary work! This is not the time to hold back—it’s the time to get busy, get sweaty, jump in the mud and get filthy, grimy dirt under your fingernails. These are the days of the crazy artist and the fearless entrepreneur. And if what I’m saying is resonating with you then this is YOUR time! No kidding! This is YOUR time! Don’t waste it. Make something extraordinary happen!

2. Grow Your Tribe. Whether you’re an artist or entrepreneur, if you want to make a decent living at this you’re going to need a tribe, a fan base and a following. Never stop interacting and engaging with your fans, readers, followers and customers. The world may have shrunk but choices for entertainment, information and commerce have expanded to the stratosphere. Maintain a frequent flow of communication with all your past, present and future followers. “A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.” —Seth Godin

3. Re-Connect With Your Confidence. Confidence Is everything. It trumps experience, rivals talent and beats the beans out of a good education. Re-read my blog “Confidence Is Everything.”

4. Don’t Fake It! People are attracted to the truth, especially these digital days when everything is so transparent. If you speak the truth in your art, music, business, writing, etc. your fans and customers will follow you, support your mission and join your tribe. If you try to “hype it” you’ll lose them forever.

5. Help Others Triumph: Giving and receiving are different aspects of the same energy. And in our willingness to “give that which we seek,” we keep that energy circulating in our lives. Make sense? Give more of yourself. Your listening, time, money, art, ideas, coaching, contacts, empathy, etc. could easily change someone’s life forever.

6. Detachment: Remain detached from the outcome: You’re an artist and unlike others, you are privileged to have a endless stream of ideas & possibilities constantly flowing through you. Why would you be stuck on one outcome, only to eliminate a billion other possibilities?

7. Don’t Worry About The Economy, it’s out of your control. Just make intelligent choices regarding your investments, spending and debt.

8. Improve Your Computer/Tech Skills (especially mobile). There’s no excuse. Today’s learning curves are much shorter and the technology is much easier to learn. You’re smart, you can do this.

9. Review Your Support Team (staff, mgmt., agents, sales team, coaches, consultants, techs, bandmates, etc.). Don’t flinch or choke on this one. If personnel changes need to be made, don’t be afraid to make them. As an artist/trep YOU are the CEO of your world.

10. Prepare For Battle! The 3-heartless enemies of every artist and entrepreneur are waiting to take you on every day: Procrastination, Distraction and Doubt. When you hear the bell, come out swinging!

11. Meditate! Learn to tame the beast between your ears. I’ve said it a million times, I began meditating daily in 1985 and the balance I’ve found in my life between the hoopla of showbiz and the silence of my soul is astounding. If you’re a subscriber to my blogs I’ll be glad to send you my personal guide to a simple meditation practice. Just drop me a note: michael@jmichaeldolan.com. Again, you must be a subscriber. (Subscribe here)

12. Don’t Do Anything Stupid! The awesome, crazy, unpredictable, independent life of an artist/trep is the only life for us, right? Don’t screw it up!

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