WHY I SOLD MY BUSINESS (read time 6:33) June 1, 2010. I have never made a decision in my life that has provoked me to do so much soul-searching for such a long time. However, after 33 years of nurturing, nudging, prodding, caring for and watching my baby (Music Connection magazine and its highly trafficked websites) grow up to become the most beloved musicians trade mag in the industry, I have decided to step down as president of the company and resign my post as co-publisher/executive editor. The truth is, I simply sold my half of the company to my business partner Eric Bettelli, who will assume the mantle of CEO effective immediately. Make no mistake, I’ve reached this decision with a genuine sense of peace and gratitude, and EB and I remain best of friends—more like real brothers. Plus, I feel confident that I’m leaving the company with an impeccable reputation of integrity and service to the music community, a variety of outstanding products to offer musicians and a super talented and committed staff of great individuals committed to supporting Eric and sustaining MC for years to come. I’m very proud of that fact that MC (in it’s own humble way) has truly made a real difference in the lives and careers of thousands of musicians and music people all over the world. Even so, in the past few years I have felt closed in, trapped and consumed by my own creation. There are so many opportunities that have come my way over the years and so many ideas that I’ve wanted to persue & develop. However, I have always felt locked & shackled to the one creation that has made me a good living for so many years and I’ve always used the excuse that the day-to-day commitment of growing Music Connection was paramount over any other intriguing possibilities that came my way. On the one hand, being the publisher/editor of an extremely respected Music Biz rag has always had many awesome perks and I have met so many interesting and colorful people. To some, I’ve given up a dream job and in many ways that’s true. Never the less I  have always been haunted with the following question: ”Are you willing to risk who you are for who you could become?” My answer has always been a resounding YES! The best analogy I know that explains my recent feelings is my favorite quote by Anais Nin: "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." Since I first conceived the idea for MC in 1977, I’ve often wondered what the end would look like. I Started Music Connection magazine for three reasons:1) To help musicians sort out the challenges of the biz.2) I was 28 yrs. old and my music career was in limbo and I needed a career breakthrough. I figured if I started the mag I could get up close and personal with A&R execs, publishers, musicians, etc. That part worked beyond my expectations!3) There was absolutely nothing like MC anywhere—so why not? I really wanted to get the mag going and then let it run itself while I continued to pursue my own quest for music success. However, it didn’t quite work out that way. Once we launched the first issue I quickly got caught up in the hoopla of running a business and couldn’t stop the momentum. That was three decades ago and unfortunately my music career took a back seat to my day gig. I say unfortunately with reservation. Although my music career plummeted, MC eventually took off and became successful. Perhaps even more successful than my music ever would have—who knows? I do know that writing blogs and books has taken the place of writing songs, and leading seminars and giving lectures has taken the place of performing. An exchange I accept with gratitude. What I’ve Learned:— I’ve learned to embrace the unknown: that the recent changes in the music biz have been (and continue to be) larger than any I’ve ever seen in all of show biz and I love the way technology has altered the course of our industry. Who would have thought that two computer geeks, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, could ever impact our industry (and world) as much as Lennon and McCartney. The only difference is the medium.— I’ve learned that truth triumphs over rhetoric: The way I see it, although things have changed in our biz, it’s those things that haven’t changed that are still the most important; talent, connections, commitment, persistence, honesty to your Self and practice, practice, practice till your fingers are on fire! — I’ve learned that original music is an expression of emotions and who am I to critique or judge anyone’s feelings. Personally, I either like a song or I don’t. However, having had the grand opportunity to listen to every conceivable type of music on the planet for the past three decades, I have arrived at a profound respect and admiration for any artist in any medium who follows his own creative spirit and expresses his talent with honesty and abandon. — Finally, I’ve learned to speak less and listen more (many would disagree with that statement). Somewhere in the murky mist of the past few decades I began meditating (circa 1985). I’ve been attempting to tame the beast between my ears almost every day since then and I must say that the balance I’ve found in my life between the hoopla of rock & roll and the silence of my soul is astounding. I’m not sure who I would be without that one simple practice in my life. What I’m Taking With Me:— A head full of acquired knowledge about publishing, people, music, business, money and responsibility. And a heart full of acquired wisdom about struggle, empathy, generosity, flexibility, friendship, respect and love. What I’m Leaving Behind:— All my promises kept and my affairs in order.— A slew of good products for the great staff of MC to exploit and share with the music world.— An open door to endless possibilities and forever opportunities.— A prayer and good wishes that MC will continue to grow and contribute to musicians and music people for many years to come. What I’ll Miss The Most:— The standard answer to that question is “the people” and that’s true for me. I’m proud to say that I’ve made more friends than enemies in this business (former employees included) and I believe most of those friends will be with me for life. I’ll especially miss the great staff of MC; an extremely talented family of folks committed to helping music people achieve their dreams.— I’ll miss the excitement of holding a brand new edition of Music Connection in my hands, “hot off the press.”— I’ll miss the process of publishing: Taking words, graphics, ideas and designs and going public with it. Whether in a magazine, a book or a website, I absolutely love the creative and innovative process of publishing. Too bad it has to be shackled to the advertising dollar. What I Won’t Miss:— Firing people. Especially good people who really loved their job at MC. In 33 years, it was the worst part of my job. I would agonize and procrastinate for weeks, often months, before I ultimately did what I thought was right for the company. I apologize to those who felt that sting. What I Plan to Do (I just heard God laughing at my plans!)Even though I put my 10,000 (Malcolm Gladwell) hours in the publishing world, and even though I’ve published three books, two different magazine titles and 792 issues of MC, plus 5 or 6 different websites, and even though I could easily (in my sleep) publish ANYTHING, I think I’ll try a different direction for a while. I still love the entertainment business and I plan to spend my time doing what I love most: writing, teaching, leading seminars on a variety of subjects, public speaking and keynotes. Perhaps I’ll even achieve the honor of giving a TED speech someday. However, the thing that’s tugging at me the most is something I’ve always loved to do, and that’s helping and coaching individuals through the minefields of their lives and consulting with groups, companies and corporations who are looking for a breakthrough in the areas of achievement and performance. So I’m already in the process of creating a company to help others solve their problems. The company is called The Probity Group and it’s a creative “think tank” specializing in innovative solutions to impossible challenges. It’s a consulting/coaching company that draws on the brainpower, practical experience and intellectual leadership of an awesome staff of committed problem solvers in order to accelerate extraordinary results and arrive at exceptional solutions. Our intention is to lend some insight and a helping hand to individuals, groups, organizations, companies, corporations, or anyone that can use some centered guidance and thought leadership. Sound like fun? Wanna play? Gotta problem you want solved? Gotta project you want to move forward? Just e-mail me your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you: michael@jmichaeldolan.com.  Sometimes I feel like I sold out back then in 1977 when I traded my music gig for an office job and sometimes I feel like this is what I was meant to do. However, music is like a trusted friend who is forever on my side and always beckoning me to “come out and play!” I cherish my ability to play and perform music as a gift, one that I never, EVER take for granted. And I constantly acknowledge my parents for making me practice! practice! practice! Whether it was piano, drums, guitar or singing they never let me off the hook. I love to sing and play with experienced, seasoned musicians whenever I get the chance. However, even though performing music is always in my heart, it is seldom on my to-do list. But that’s okay, because whenever I do get the chance to play, my soul sings with joy, my fingers scream in agony, my heart pounds with excitement and I can’t catch my breath from laughing so hard—because I’m having so much fun! To my friends, family, the great staff of Music Connection and all those who have enjoyed MC for the past three decades, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for filling my life up with such challenge, and my soul with such joy. Peace & Love Forever,Michael
J Michael Dolan

WHY I SOLD MY BUSINESS (read time 6:33)

June 1, 2010. I have never made a decision in my life that has provoked me to do so much soul-searching for such a long time. However, after 33 years of nurturing, nudging, prodding, caring for and watching my baby (Music Connection magazine and its highly trafficked websites) grow up to become the most beloved musicians trade mag in the industry, I have decided to step down as president of the company and resign my post as co-publisher/executive editor.

The truth is, I simply sold my half of the company to my business partner Eric Bettelli, who will assume the mantle of CEO effective immediately. Make no mistake, I’ve reached this decision with a genuine sense of peace and gratitude, and EB and I remain best of friends—more like real brothers. Plus, I feel confident that I’m leaving the company with an impeccable reputation of integrity and service to the music community, a variety of outstanding products to offer musicians and a super talented and committed staff of great individuals committed to supporting Eric and sustaining MC for years to come. I’m very proud of that fact that MC (in it’s own humble way) has truly made a real difference in the lives and careers of thousands of musicians and music people all over the world.

Even so, in the past few years I have felt closed in, trapped and consumed by my own creation. There are so many opportunities that have come my way over the years and so many ideas that I’ve wanted to persue & develop. However, I have always felt locked & shackled to the one creation that has made me a good living for so many years and I’ve always used the excuse that the day-to-day commitment of growing Music Connection was paramount over any other intriguing possibilities that came my way.

On the one hand, being the publisher/editor of an extremely respected Music Biz rag has always had many awesome perks and I have met so many interesting and colorful people. To some, I’ve given up a dream job and in many ways that’s true. Never the less I  have always been haunted with the following question: ”Are you willing to risk who you are for who you could become?” My answer has always been a resounding YES!

The best analogy I know that explains my recent feelings is my favorite quote by Anais Nin:

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

Since I first conceived the idea for MC in 1977, I’ve often wondered what the end would look like. I Started Music Connection magazine for three reasons:
1) To help musicians sort out the challenges of the biz.
2) I was 28 yrs. old and my music career was in limbo and I needed a career breakthrough. I figured if I started the mag I could get up close and personal with A&R execs, publishers, musicians, etc. That part worked beyond my expectations!
3) There was absolutely nothing like MC anywhere—so why not?

I really wanted to get the mag going and then let it run itself while I continued to pursue my own quest for music success. However, it didn’t quite work out that way. Once we launched the first issue I quickly got caught up in the hoopla of running a business and couldn’t stop the momentum. That was three decades ago and unfortunately my music career took a back seat to my day gig. I say unfortunately with reservation. Although my music career plummeted, MC eventually took off and became successful. Perhaps even more successful than my music ever would have—who knows? I do know that writing blogs and books has taken the place of writing songs, and leading seminars and giving lectures has taken the place of performing. An exchange I accept with gratitude.

What I’ve Learned:
— I’ve learned to embrace the unknown: that the recent changes in the music biz have been (and continue to be) larger than any I’ve ever seen in all of show biz and I love the way technology has altered the course of our industry. Who would have thought that two computer geeks, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, could ever impact our industry (and world) as much as Lennon and McCartney. The only difference is the medium.
— I’ve learned that truth triumphs over rhetoric: The way I see it, although things have changed in our biz, it’s those things that haven’t changed that are still the most important; talent, connections, commitment, persistence, honesty to your Self and practice, practice, practice till your fingers are on fire!

— I’ve learned that original music is an expression of emotions and who am I to critique or judge anyone’s feelings. Personally, I either like a song or I don’t. However, having had the grand opportunity to listen to every conceivable type of music on the planet for the past three decades, I have arrived at a profound respect and admiration for any artist in any medium who follows his own creative spirit and expresses his talent with honesty and abandon.

— Finally, I’ve learned to speak less and listen more (many would disagree with that statement). Somewhere in the murky mist of the past few decades I began meditating (circa 1985). I’ve been attempting to tame the beast between my ears almost every day since then and I must say that the balance I’ve found in my life between the hoopla of rock & roll and the silence of my soul is astounding. I’m not sure who I would be without that one simple practice in my life.

What I’m Taking With Me:
— A head full of acquired knowledge about publishing, people, music, business, money and responsibility. And a heart full of acquired wisdom about struggle, empathy, generosity, flexibility, friendship, respect and love.

What I’m Leaving Behind:
— All my promises kept and my affairs in order.
— A slew of good products for the great staff of MC to exploit and share with the music world.
— An open door to endless possibilities and forever opportunities.
— A prayer and good wishes that MC will continue to grow and contribute to musicians and music people for many years to come.

What I’ll Miss The Most:
— The standard answer to that question is “the people” and that’s true for me. I’m proud to say that I’ve made more friends than enemies in this business (former employees included) and I believe most of those friends will be with me for life. I’ll especially miss the great staff of MC; an extremely talented family of folks committed to helping music people achieve their dreams.
— I’ll miss the excitement of holding a brand new edition of Music Connection in my hands, “hot off the press.”
— I’ll miss the process of publishing: Taking words, graphics, ideas and designs and going public with it. Whether in a magazine, a book or a website, I absolutely love the creative and innovative process of publishing. Too bad it has to be shackled to the advertising dollar.

What I Won’t Miss:
— Firing people. Especially good people who really loved their job at MC. In 33 years, it was the worst part of my job. I would agonize and procrastinate for weeks, often months, before I ultimately did what I thought was right for the company. I apologize to those who felt that sting.

What I Plan to Do (I just heard God laughing at my plans!)
Even though I put my 10,000 (Malcolm Gladwell) hours in the publishing world, and even though I’ve published three books, two different magazine titles and 792 issues of MC, plus 5 or 6 different websites, and even though I could easily (in my sleep) publish ANYTHING, I think I’ll try a different direction for a while.

I still love the entertainment business and I plan to spend my time doing what I love most: writing, teaching, leading seminars on a variety of subjects, public speaking and keynotes. Perhaps I’ll even achieve the honor of giving a TED speech someday. However, the thing that’s tugging at me the most is something I’ve always loved to do, and that’s helping and coaching individuals through the minefields of their lives and consulting with groups, companies and corporations who are looking for a breakthrough in the areas of achievement and performance.

So I’m already in the process of creating a company to help others solve their problems. The company is called The Probity Group and it’s a creative “think tank” specializing in innovative solutions to impossible challenges. It’s a consulting/coaching company that draws on the brainpower, practical experience and intellectual leadership of an awesome staff of committed problem solvers in order to accelerate extraordinary results and arrive at exceptional solutions. Our intention is to lend some insight and a helping hand to individuals, groups, organizations, companies, corporations, or anyone that can use some centered guidance and thought leadership.

Sound like fun? Wanna play? Gotta problem you want solved? Gotta project you want to move forward? Just e-mail me your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you: michael@jmichaeldolan.com. 

Sometimes I feel like I sold out back then in 1977 when I traded my music gig for an office job and sometimes I feel like this is what I was meant to do. However, music is like a trusted friend who is forever on my side and always beckoning me to “come out and play!”

I cherish my ability to play and perform music as a gift, one that I never, EVER take for granted. And I constantly acknowledge my parents for making me practice! practice! practice! Whether it was piano, drums, guitar or singing they never let me off the hook. I love to sing and play with experienced, seasoned musicians whenever I get the chance.

However, even though performing music is always in my heart, it is seldom on my to-do list. But that’s okay, because whenever I do get the chance to play, my soul sings with joy, my fingers scream in agony, my heart pounds with excitement and I can’t catch my breath from laughing so hard—because I’m having so much fun!

To my friends, family, the great staff of Music Connection and all those who have enjoyed MC for the past three decades, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for filling my life up with such challenge, and my soul with such joy.

Peace & Love Forever,
Michael

COMMENTS


Posted By Suza Leon
Anais Nin Rocks!
A fiend of mine just started a magazine and I'm finishing writing and recording a new album while working a full time day gig at Santa Monica BMW. I can relate on many levels! Very inspirational article! Wishing you lots of luck and many Blessing on your new adventure! Bloom on!


Posted By Charles Brent
Michael's leaving MC
Dear Michael......... I have always felt that most successful people, get trapped in their own success. They also have an identity that is difficult to give up. Their success becomes like driving a car, and it becomes a rote existence and they keep doing it as it is easy, they have it all together and everyone keeps acknowledging how good they are doing. I have always felt that it was a very dangerous trap that very few people can "escape" from. If anyone that I have ever known, could make the "leap of faith" YOU ARE THE MAN...... Much love from your partner & friend......CB Brent


Posted By Barbara Bentree
A lovely signoff
I came to this blog just recently and of course I was very interested to hear about your move out of MC. This is a wonderful example of that "move toward deeper meaning" that we all begin to feel in "middle age." One of the true gifts of getting older. Thanks Michael for many years of articles, reviews, and musical hookups during my years in LA. MC was a light in the darkness for many of us musicians and the Music Career Breakthrough Series was just that. I'd love to be a part of the Probity future... Barbara


Posted By Soni Carrington
Tribe&Coaching
I'm already a big fan. I'm part of your Tribe and would love to be part of your coaching. I truly need guidance in this entertainment maze. I appreciate you stepping from behind the Mag. MC. to more up close and personal with Probity. It would be and honor to receive guidance from someone as caring as you. Best, Soni Carrington.


Posted By Ken Kragen
Graceful Exit
J.Michael: Wow! What a beautiful piece of writing and such a graceful exit. Very inspiring. Remember that everything in life happens for a good reason and embark on this new adventure with the same sense of wonder and dedication that you did in 1977. I know you will have a magnificent future. Ken


Posted By Mosley
I wish you great success
Thank you Mr. Dolan! I’ve absolutely loved Music Connection for at least the past 20 years, in fact I would not be in the music business if it wasn’t for MC. I wish you great success with your new Probity business.


Posted By Arbauch
Way to go!
Way to go Michael! You have finally broken through the glass ceiling of liberation! 1) I would really love to jam with you. 2) I sure could use some coaching. Let’s connect soon! –RA


Posted By Steven
Great Creation!
Michael, Congratulations on your decision to continue to risk, expand and grow. You wrote a beautiful and inspiring piece. Music Connection is a great creation and I know that Probity will be too. Best of luck with that! I share much of the drive you describe behind the creation of Probity and am eager to follow your progress. Take care and be well! Steven


Posted By Gary Stephens
Life is so valuable
Michael, You never cease to move me. I still remember my very first interview with you almost like what seems to have been like 12 years ago. Back then you were so gracious as you still stand today. I remember telling you during my first interview at Music Connection that no matter even if I didn’t get selected for the job, you could still call me anytime to help with Music Connection Magazine if you were in a bind and I would be there for you. It was because of your energy that I was moved to offer such a availability, not realizing that you would call me the next day. lol Mike, bottom line is, your the best and you have the most amazing wife. Nancy is a true GEM. And you know what? Life is so valuable, and the most important thing in life is to have the freedom to dream, the freedom to travel, and the freedom to be just you and what you want to be, so I salute you for that. You will always be one of my GREATEST friends of all times.


Posted By Mitch
Endless Success!
Hi Michael–I want to wish you endless success and happiness in the next chapter of your life. What you achieved with Music Connection continues to resonate! And thanks for your longtime support of me, going back to Michael Levine PR, through Levine Schneider and onto MSO! You have always done right by us…All the best! Mitch.


Posted By Jonathan Wilson
Thanks for your work
Michael, A moving parting letter on your blog regarding your decision to move on to fresh ventures. I have enjoyed (occasionally advertised) MC for about 28 years. (Damn, I was just a teen when I started reading it). Anyway, thanks for your work over the years. Look forward to things yet to come. Best, Jonathan – Jonathan Wilson GuitarViols, Inc.


Posted By Mandi
LOL!
Hi Michael…just read you’re moving on to the next chapter in your life and I wanted to wish you the very best and congratulate you for following your heart. If I can ever be of any help, please don’t hesitate to call on me. John Braheny always has said that I’m one of the best problem solvers he’s ever met. LOL! I’ve always been so proud of you and Eric and what you have accomplished with Music Connection! After all, I was there from the first lay-out! The best of luck to you with your new endeavors! – Peace, love & light… Mandi


Posted By Debra
solving problems
Hey Michael, I read about your leaving MC and your blog post about your new adventure. I don’t know if you remember me, but I’ve met you at various music conferences on the circuit. I’d be interested in talking with you about your new venture. I’m a certified business coach as well as certified in NLP and Hypnosis. I’ve always liked the idea of a think tank type environment and believe that I can contribute in some way. I’m on the road for speaking engagements in NY, CT and Nashville but will be back in my office June 8th. Please give me a call and/or shoot me an email. I look forward to solving problems with you! (btw, one of my coach/mentors says, “Good coaches solve people’s problems. Great coaches help them create bigger problems!”) Warm regards, Debra


Posted By
next venture
LOVE THIS!!!! So I am no longer looking for integrity anymore—in people, events, situations or politicians. It’s too easy to fake. I am now watching out for random and spontaneous glimpses of Probity in who ever I meet and what ever I do. Here’s to your next venture/”ad”venture……Thanks for Music Connection!!!!…..God’s blessings and peace to you and yours, Ronee Martin,


Posted By Mark Volman
wonder & inspiration
Michael Great news.. Change is never life threatening, but our life can feel threatened if we don’t change. When I started college in my middle 40′s and acquired the skills necessary, which have allowed me to pursue a life as a professor and mentor for hundreds and hundreds of young aspiring students. Personally I have never felt more gratified at my accomplishments. It might be singularly the most important thing I have ever done. It started with a decision to make changes. It was scary, but it put me on a path of self-discovery It has helped me on the path to becoming what I hoped I would become a complete person. Physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. To really stretch ourselves we must challenge ourselves. Through the noise of the world you heard the gentle voice. the voice that suggested alternatives. You will be affected forever by this moment. What a joy. What an opportunity. To become the best possible version of ourselves It has been my experience that this was what changed me forever. You have every thing you need to begin this journey Focus, perspective and vitality. Clarity direction, continuity, and integrity in your life. Life should be a rich and rewarding experience. Fill your life with wonder and inspiration. This is your time of abundance and should be lived with passion. Good luck and blessings Mark Volman


Posted By Mark Volman
wonder & inspiration
Michael Great news.. Change is never life threatening, but our life can feel threatened if we don’t change. When I started college in my middle 40′s and acquired the skills necessary, which have allowed me to pursue a life as a professor and mentor for hundreds and hundreds of young aspiring students. Personally I have never felt more gratified at my accomplishments. It might be singularly the most important thing I have ever done. It started with a decision to make changes. It was scary, but it put me on a path of self-discovery It has helped me on the path to becoming what I hoped I would become a complete person. Physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. To really stretch ourselves we must challenge ourselves. Through the noise of the world you heard the gentle voice. the voice that suggested alternatives. You will be affected forever by this moment. What a joy. What an opportunity. To become the best possible version of ourselves It has been my experience that this was what changed me forever. You have every thing you need to begin this journey Focus, perspective and vitality. Clarity direction, continuity, and integrity in your life. Life should be a rich and rewarding experience. Fill your life with wonder and inspiration. This is your time of abundance and should be lived with passion. Good luck and blessings Mark Volman


Posted By Todd
"Think Tank"
Congratulations, Mike. hope your excited? you have a whole new chapter to WRITE now? I would love to be part of your “think tank,” so keep me in mind when you put this all together. if you recall, I used to work for a senator and have run several political campaigns, plus just got off sitting on the L.A. Film Commission and Sports and Entertainment Commissions. So if can be of any assistants to you, please let me know? your friend, Todd


Posted By Lawerence
CONGRATULATIONS!
Hey Mike, I just got the announcement from MC that you are moving on. I want to say CONGRATULATIONS on your many years of success with MC, and thank you for your years of service to the music community through MC. Best wishes on your new road! Please keep in touch. peace, Lawrence


Posted By Joy Novie
years of information
May 29, 2010 at 3:05 pm Hi Michael, I got the newsletter and read your blog entry. I just wanted to wish you well. I have been a reader and fan of MC going back to the days when you were on Hollywood Blvd! Like you, I had to put my own career aspirations on hold while I took care of staying alive. Anyway, I wish you the best of luck in your new venture and I wanted to thank you very much for the postings you and MC gave me, in addition to the years of information and pleasure from the magazine itself. All the best, Joy Joy Novie Executive Director SPONY


Posted By Joy Novie
years of information
Hi Michael, I got the newsletter and read your blog entry. I just wanted to wish you well. I have been a reader and fan of MC going back to the days when you were on Hollywood Blvd! Like you, I had to put my own career aspirations on hold while I took care of staying alive. Anyway, I wish you the best of luck in your new venture and I wanted to thank you very much for the postings you and MC gave me, in addition to the years of information and pleasure from the magazine itself. All the best, Joy Joy Novie Executive Director SPONY


Posted By Ruth McCartney
still rockin
Hi Michael, What a milestone! Although you must be sad about leaving Music Connection behind, I agree that there are many more connections to be made. Congrats. We are still rockin’ on with iFanz.com – we have 5.7 million people in the system now! All the best, Ruth McCartney


Posted By Kathleen Wirt
moving farewell
Hi Michael, What a lovely, well-written, moving farewell! I wish you all the best on the next part of your journey:) Cheers, Kathleen Wirt


Posted By Rich May

I can’t imagine what MC will be Like without you!


Posted By Deb Pomeroy
first subscriber
Dear J.Michael, I was one of your first subscribers and your magazine introduced me to many great friendships over the years. Whether it was joining a new band, auditioning, or just going out to clubs to hear great music your magazine was responsible for me getting there. I am also a friend of your sister, Julie, whom I think is just a fantastic person as well as a musician. God Bless you and your family in your new endeavor. Deb Pomeroy


Posted By Tris
Fantastic Piece
Hi Michael, I just wanted to say that is a really fantastic piece you wrote about leaving MC. Really moving. I wish you luck with your new endeavor, Probity! Tris


Posted By Jess
Gorgeous Post
A truly gorgeous post my friend! Wishing all the joy and success in this adventure! Can’t wait to hear all about it! All the best, Jess


Posted By Jason
Ultimate timing
Hi Michael, Music Connection was a staple throughout multiple stages of my entertainment career, you should be very proud of your accomplishment and success with the paper and its online presence. Although I think you may have hit ultimate timing for your new idea, Probity. I would love to meet you as well as discuss your new venture in further detail. May all be well. Jason


Posted By Bruce
Good Luck!
“Good Luck in Moving on from Music Connection. Advertising with you helped keep my studio in business for 18 years. I’m sure you’ll thrive in whatever you choose to do next!” Bruce


Posted By Jim
Musci Connection
Hi Michael: Congrats on your next big thing. I read your article on page 9 in the new issue of Music Connection and wish you all the best. Please ring me up anytime I can help. You and Music Connection have been very helpful to my career. Best, Jim


Posted By Billy Block
Working for MC
Michael, It was a pleasure and an honor to work with you at Music Connection. My wife and kids still talk about randomly running into you on a street car in San Francisco. You have done well by many and leave a legacy that will live on! All the best! Billy Block

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• Circle of Influence (0:41)
• Total Recall (0:7)
• Romancing The Stone (0:39)
• My Big Ideas Love Me (0:11)
• Smart People Are Not Very Good (0:23)
• Slip Through The Cracks (0:33)
• What You’re Left With (0:23)
• Opportunity is Everywhere (0:31)
• Rattle The Cage (0:27) 
• The Wow Factor (0:23)
• Bye Bye Middleman (0:13)
• 15 Things You Probably Suck At
• Your Move (0:11)
• Your Grand Canyon (0:39)
• Better Start Swimming (0:31)
• Your Video (0:16)
• ad infinitum! (0:19)
• Keep Your Enemies Close? (0:27)
• Quack! Quack! Quack! (0:13)
• When You Need Answers (0:19)
• Hunger Pangs (0:17)
• Just When it Starts Working (0:14)
• Family Ties (0:19)
• Disrupt Your Datebook (0:21)
• What They Really Want (0:31)
• There’s No Way (0:23)
• Discontent (0:19)
• This Too Shall Pass (0:13)
• Anticipation (0:31)
• Waiting For Others to Arrive (0:15)
• 3 Things Guaranteed to Make the 2nd ½ of 2016 Better.
• Sailing Solo (0:33)
• Future Forecasting (0:17)
• Should I Stay or Should I Go (0:21)
• Aspirations (0:17)
• Obsessed! (0:43)
• Never Underestimate Me (0:19)
• Your Outrageous Victory Cry (0:57)
• Shameless (0:9)
• Unpacking PR (1:00)
• Superman’s Fortress of Solitude (0:31)
• The Directors Trap (0:19)
• Bang Head Here (0:23)
• Too Small to Fail (0:7)
• The Good Hunt (0:19)
• Bumper-Sticker Wisdom (0:17)
• Diversion (0:09)
• Farewell Sweet Prince
• Blitzkrieg Breakdown (0:27)
• Insist on It! (0:31)
• That Relentless Inner Struggle (0:21)
• Little League (0:17)
• Incessant Marketing (0:25)
• I thought it would be easier (0:18)
• Ready or Not (0:08)
• Hiking Boots Optional (0:21)
• Sticky Note #4
• Killing the Darlings (0:19)
• THE POINT (0:33)
• Avant-Garde (0:27)
• LEAP! (0:15)
• A Beautiful Struggle (0:23)
• Hoping vs. Knowing (0:43)
• The Haunting (0:10)
• Yawn (0:07)
• No Growth, No Glory (0:16)
• Getting Through It (0:15)
• Three Major Shifts in Showbiz (0:19)
• No Time to Wallow (0:25)
• Eyes Forward (0:23)
• 6 Ways to Make 2016 Better
• Daily Resolve (0:15)
• Business As Usual (0:19)
• You’re Headed in The Right Direction (0:19)
• Surefooted (0:15)
• 4-Things That Will Always Clog The Drain (0:19)
• Sticky Note #3
• Basketball POV (0:27)
• Think Outside The Box??? (0:15)
• Iron In The Fire (0:21)
• Your Magnificent Garage (0:33)
• Worthy Works Lives!
• Sticky Note #2
• Why Your Winning Formula is a Loser (0:27)
• Dreaming in The Drivers Seat (0:21)
• Managing the Madness (0:31)
• The Towel Toss (0:29)
• More Money Please (0:21)
• Back to The Bucket (0:23)
• 5 Building Blocks (1:13)
• A Fool’s Errand (0:13)
• More Better Different (0:23)
• NO WAY! (0:21)
• Road Warrior (0:13)
• How To Play “Kick The Can” (0:31)
• Retreat! (0:47)
• Trust Your Tribe (0:29)
• Empty Vessels (0:9)
• "Yeah but…" (0:15)
• Determined (0:13)
• Who Cares? (0:23)
• The Fish And The Dog (1:00)
• 4th ¼ Reminders (0:31)
• The Waiting (0:17)
• Food Fight! (0:29)
• Amateur’s Argument (0:17)
• Sticky Note #1
• Nothing Could Stop Maurice (0:33)
• Monkey Marketing (0:23)
• My Personal Choice (0:29)
• Get Naked! (0:9)
• Game On (0:19)
• The Answer-Free Zone (0:49)
• Where’s The Bottleneck? (0:19)
• Canary in a Coalmine (0:19)
• Tough Choice (0:7)
• Caving In (0:15)
• Cuckoo’s Nest (0:27)
• Strategy (0:19)
• Feed The Wolf (0:21)
• Silicon Valley (0:49)
• Hard Times (0:47)
• Victory's Grand Roar (0:17)
• The Cavalry Isn’t Coming (0:29)
• Own It (0:7)
• By When? (0:19)
• Lifeblood (0:29)
• The Upside (0:19)
• Tongue Tied (0:9)
• Weighing Facebook (1:19)
• Head In A Box (0:29)
• Help! (0:13)
• It’s Not Your Fault (0:27)
• Grand Illusion (0:29)
• TV 2.0: Blue Shirts & Open Windows (1:31)
• Dropping Out (0:13)
• No Stinking Manual (0:27)
• Freak Flag (0:23)
• THE BELL (0:47)
• Babysitting (0:31)
• Invaders From Mars (0:7)
• Powerful Fuc#ing Words
• Anything Goes (0:19)
• Oscar's Lesson (0:21)
• Too Old To Tango? (0:51)
• No Regrets (0:19)
• That Chinese Curse (0:21)
• Your Trump Card (0:19)
• When There's a Hole in Your Boat (0:9)
• Red-Hot Honey (0:29)
• UNWAVERING (0:15)
• Ruts & Grooves (0:19)
• 10 TIPS? (0:19)
• What’s The Real Problem? (0:23)
• CRUMBS COUNT (0:15)

2014 Posts:
• 8 Ways To Make 2015 Different
• Dig Deeper
• The Right to Sweat (0:13)
• IGNORED! (0:11)
• FRIDGE MAGNET (0:9)
• MONKEYS & RABBITS (0:37)
• MISGUIDED (0:13)
• GLOW (0:21)
• We're all Wizards (0:23)
• CHEESE (0:21)
• 2nd FIDDLE (0:19)
• THE RIGHT WAY (0:11)
• Crucial Connection (0:9)
• Mission Accomplished (0:15)
• UFO’s (0:13)
• 9 Career Killers
• STURDY SHOULDERS (0:17)
• Weasel & Whine (0:17)
• Choke, Stall & Flinch (0:21)
• MEDIOCRITY (0:29)
• THRILL RIDE! (0:49)
• Very, Very Soon (0:15)
• Spit’n In The Wind (0:17)
• IT’S SO EASY (0:15)
• WATCH & LEARN (0:49)
• More Than A Game  (0:19)
• Edgy, Crabby & Restless (0:17)
• YOUR AMAZING COMBACK (0:27)
• THE NEXT LEVEL (0:59)
• The Most Important Thing (0:29)
• ABANDON SHIP? (0:41)
• PROMPTS (0:41)
• Robin Williams (0:21)
• Answer Free Zone (0:39)
• Best In The World (0:49)
• F_CK IT! (0:51)
• Nearly Impossible
• It’s Rigged (0:19)
• BORED (0:27)
• Permission Granted (0:31)
• Gag Me With A Spoon (0:43)
• I’m Not Sure (0:23)
• Do What I Do (0:43)
• HALFTIME (0:41)
• The Artist Rested (0:27)
• The Money Seminar (0:13)
• STRUGGLE (0:27)
• GOT GUTS? (0:21)
• THE TURN (0:53)
• Tune Your Sitar (0:19)
• TIGER IN THE VILLAGE (0:41)
• Lost In Translation (0:43)
• License To Choose (0:21)
• I Can’t Help You (0:29)
• SABOTAGE (0:20)
• BANGING YOUR HEAD (0:21)
• UBUNTU (0:39)
• IT’S PERSONAL (0:23)
• Breakfast With Champions (1:13)
• Todays Forecast (0:15)
• Oh No! It’s Cracked (0:17)
• DRUNK MONKEYS (0:29)
• When Your Bones Grow (0:41)
• HIGHWAY 1 (0:23)
• TWO VIDEOS, 3 LESSONS
• TAKE IT PERSONALLY (0:17)
• The Next BIG Step (0:13)
• DON’T FLINCH! (0:19)
• The Pixar Pitch (0:35)
• FREE COOKIES (0:23)
• Oh, That Story (0:29)
• THERE’S NO EXCUSE (0:43)
• TWO GENIUSES (0:21)
• DAWDLING (0:29)
• CRAZIES RULE (0:49)
• OLYMPIC HEAD GAME (0:53)
• PACK OF LIES (0:19)
• WORK ON IT (0:27)
• WHACK THE PARROT (0:37)
• Hard To Explain (0:19)
• Seduced, Wooed & Choked (0:17)
• ROLLING IN THE DEEP (0:29)
• RIDE THE ROCKET (0:31)
• Hunker Down, Take Heed, Get Muddy (0:29)
• Better Safe Than Sorry (0:13)

2013 Posts:
• 7-Ways To Make 2014 Better
• Refried Art (Read time 0:29)
• Don’t Bogart The Good Stuff (Read time 0:30)
• YOU'RE GROUNDED! (Read time 0:25)
• Beat The Bush! (Read time 0:27)
• BREAKDOWN (Read time 0:19)
• 30 DAYS! (Read time 0:21)
• THANKS!
• WHAT RU WAITING FOR? (Read time 0:19)
• Ahead Isn’t Far Enough (Read time 0:27)
• The Field (Read time 0:37)
• Knee Jerks (Read time 0:23)
• What’s At Stake? (Read time 0:27)
• #1 Hit (Read time 0:41)
• ZIP LINE (Read time 0:43)
• GRAVITY (Read time 1:27)
• See’s Candy (Read time 0:31)
• NO SH%T! (Read time 0:57)
• FLYING SOLO (Read time 0:53)
• Consider The Ganesh Factor (Read time 0:27)
• Fishing In Your Private Pond (Read time 0:27)
• Why It's Taking So Long (Read time 0:53)
• Best Pizza In The World (Read time 0:51)
• 1st Impression  (Read time 0:19)
• Smart People Are Dumb (Read time 1:13)
• THIS WEEK (Read time 0:31)
• Must-Have, Must-See (Read time: 1:17)
• R U APPROPRIATE? (Read time 0:21)
• Screaming To Get Out! (Read time 0:49)
• Dangerous Assumptions (Read time 0:41)
• BLEACHERS FILLED (Read time (0:57)
• I'M NOT RIGHT FOR THIS (Read time 0:47)
• REDO (Read time 0:27)
• BRAVER, STRONGER, SMARTER (Read time 0:47)
• Sins Of Artists & Treps (Read time 0:29)
• Modus Operandi (Read time 0:49)
• A Dozen Mid-Year Reminders
• Isn’t It Ironic? (Read time 0:27)
• MY WAY (Read time 0:19)
• FILL THE VOID (Read time 0:27)
• SLOW DANCING (Read time 0:39)
• KILLING THE GOOD STUFF (Read time 0:27)
• A PETTY REMINDER (Read time 0:31)
• THE BIZ (Read time 0:57)
• TIME BANDITS (Read time: 021)
• Gatekeepers Begone (Read time 1:00)
• Spaced, Frozen & Dogged (Read time 0:31)
• EAT LIGHTNING (Read time 0:57)
• QUESTION & DOUBT (Read time 0:51)
• THE RIGHT THING
• SHOWTIME (Read time 0:51)
• OBSCURE BARVERY ( Read time 1:07)
• LEAP OF FAITH (Read time 0:29)
• That Time’n Thang (Read time 0:57)
• LIVING WITH ANTS (Read time 0:27)
• ROMANCING THE STONE (Read time 0:51)
• PLAYING SMALL (Read time 0:51)
• FLY IN THE RED ZONE
• ART + COMMERCE (Read time 0:43)
• A FLEETING GLIMPSE (Read time 0:47)

2012 Posts:
• 7-Ways To Make 2013 Better
• MIRACLE ON 34th (Read time 1:13)
• FAIL-SAFE
• FOLLOW THE LEADERS (Read time 0:39)
• ABSENCE OF FORMULA (Read time 0:51)
• Beginners Mind (Read time 0:43)
• 35 DAYS (Read time 0:47)
• THANKS!
• INDUSTRY MELT DOWN (READ TIME 1:37)
• Your Tired Strategy (Read time 0:27)
• FADE TO BLACK (Read time 1:27)
• DEEPER TRUTH (Read time 0:47)
• Blow Away Distraction 2012
• Unseen Unsold (Read Time 0:49)
• FILIBUSTER (Read time 0:30)
• Got Something To Prove? (Read time 0:37)
• R U OUT OF YOUR MIND? (read time 1:13)
• NO BIG SPLASH (Read time 0:27)
• Modus Operandi (Read time 0:49)
• DETACH (read time (0:31)
• PLAY BIGGER (Read time 0:17)
• DON’T GIVE UP (Read time :037)
• ALL TOGETHER NOW (Read time 1:03)
• R U READY? (Read time 0:47)
• EVERY SINGLE DAY (Read time 0:51)
• The New Marketing Dept. (Read time 0:23)
• O Captain! My Captain! (Read time 0:57)
• THE WORKHORSE AND THE FILLY (Read time 0:21)
• KEEP YOUR BOOTS MUDDY (Read time 0:37)
• When UR Best Effort Fails (Read time 0:29)
• STEEP CLIMB (Read time 0:27)
• SILENCE OF CHAMPIONS (Read time 1:13)
• WHY IT’S NOT WORKING (Read time 0:31)
• THE BUCK STOPS HERE (Read time 0:51)
• WE ALREADY TRIED THAT (Read Time 0:29)
• CHOOSE ONE (Read time 1:09)
• COMMIT NO PETTINESS
• LEGWORK (Read time 0:15)
• ARTISTS vs. ENTREPRENEURS (Read time 1:03)
• 5-YEAR SURPRISE! (Read time 0:43)
• MID-YEAR TO DO LIST (Read time 0:53)
• ALL IN (Read time 0:33)
• WHAT IF NOTHING CHANGES? (Read time 0:21)
• WADDA JACKASS! (Read time 1:07)
• WHAT ARE U SO AFRAID OF? (Read time 0:57)
• DON’T THINK! (Read time :31)
• Why incumbents rarely invent the future (Read time 1:13)
• THE BOX (Read time 0:33)
• STAND UP IN THE BOAT! (Read time 0:27)
• YOU’RE DREAM’N! (Read time 0:57)
• KNOWING (Read time 0:33)
• CONCEALED CONCERNS (Read time 0:47)
• TAMING THE $$$ BEAST (Read time 1:17)
• FAKING IT (Read time 0:17)
• STAYING POWER (Read time 0:47)
• 0:20 SECONDS OF INSANE COURAGE (Read time 0:51)
• GRASS (Read time 0:41)
• WITH BLOODY FINGERS I WRITE ON (read time 0:27)
• I'LL DO ANYTHING BUT THAT! (Read time 0:47)
• ASS ON THE LINE (Read time 1:37)
• MARKETING BLUES (Read time 0:47)
• THE LONG RUN (Read time 0:39)
• CREATIVITY TO THE RESCUE (Read time 2:07)
• THE RACER'S EDGE (Read time 0:41)
• NO WAY NO HOW! (Read time 0:27)
• THE SMART MONEY (Read time 0:25)
• YOU’RE CRAZY! (Read time 1:19)
• DANCING WITH YOUR DEVOTEES (Read time 0:39)
• LIBERTY!
• NO DOUBT (Read time 1:17)
• WHAT EVER YOU DO, DON'T TURN AROUND (read time :39)

2011 Posts:
• GRAND FINALE!
• 2-DOZEN WAYS TO MAKE 2012 BETTER!
• DEAR PRUDENCE (read time :43)
• COMPLAIN ALL YOU WANT! (read time :23)
• IMAGINE (read time :57)
• WEEKENDS (read time :33)
• PIXAR LETTER (read time 1:03)
• RESISTANCE CAN KILL (read time 1:37)
• AMATEURS vs. PROS (read time :57)
• REQUIEM FOR A HONEYMOON (read time 1:09)
• CAN YOU FEEL IT? (read time 1:47)
• BRANCUSI'S VICTORY CRY  (read time :57)
• SAIL AWAY (read time :43)
• ARTISTS RULE! (read time 1:23)
• USE IT OR LOSE IT (read time :53)
• START HERE (read time 1:27)
• UNCERTAINTY (read time 1:19)
• STOPPED BY CALAMITY (read time 1:37)
• ART (read time :57)
• AUDACIOUS & UNSTOPPABLE (read time 2:37)
• WRITERS BLOCK (read time 1:47)
• BLOW AWAY DISTRACTIONS (read time :31)
• WAY OF THE CREATIVE WARRIOR (read time :27)
• GOOD BYE LADY LUCK (read time 1:53)
• CONFIDENCE IS EVERYTHING (read time 1:23)
• DEADLINE OR DIE! (read time 1:53)
• THE WIZARDS CLOCK (Read time :47)
• CREATIVE PRIVACY (read time :43)
• THE KOBE IN ME (read time 1:13)
• READY, SET, GO! (read time :47)
• EVE OF DISTRACTION (read time 1:29)
• KEEP YOUR FEET UP! (read time 1:09)
• JUST ONE MORE FOOT (read time 1:57)
• MY MUSE DOESN'T CARE (read time :39)
• MISUNDERSTOOD (read time 1:19)
• DUMP IT! (read time 1:19)
• IS IT WORTH IT? (read time :49)
• THE 24 HOUR RULE (read time 2:21)
• MONK ON THE MOUNTIAN (read time: a lifetime)
• “IT” (read time 1:37)
• BORN TO SHOW (read time 3:37)
• THE STING OF REJECTION (read time 1:13)
• LESSON FROM A ROCK STAR (Read time 0:27)
• THUMB POWER (read time 1:59)
• EXPOSING THE WIZARD (read time (1:13)
• HEY, WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA? (read time 1:37)
• THE WAITING WARRIOR (Read time 0:41)
• PLAY AT YOUR OWN RISK (read time :57 sec)
• AUTONOMY HIGHWAY (read time :35 sec)
• LIMPIDITY (read time :45 sec)
• WHY I MEDITATE (read time 1:00 min)
• YOUR SHADOW AGENDA (Read time 0:59)
• WHY I SOLD MY BUSINESS (read time 6:33)
• BARENAKED PROBITY (read time 1:47 min)
• THE FANTASIES OF POSSIBILITY (read time 4:17 min)
• THE TUG OF WAR (read time 5:09 min)