Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Your inner compass (series)

In my Weeding out creative crushers post, I talked about how family dynamics, cultural and social programming do not always support the development and living of a creative life.

Most of our behavior is guided by our belief system or values, filtering our  attitudes and actions. I refer to this as a  "inner compass",   Have you had that "feeling in your tummy", or said "I can feel it in my gut"?  These values chart the course, direct which paths to take. Pointing us toward health, as well as telling us in a variety of ways if we are in danger, safe, or if something is good or goes against the grain of who we are.

Being Aware:
During this next week, be aware of your "inner-compass" and when you notice it.
 Being aware  is step 1.
The act of actually physically writing things down, helps you to gain clarity and focus and is Step 2- engaging your senses.

3) List 5 the names of people you admire that you have met .
Next to their names list which traits or values these people have that you admire.

4) Which of the traits listed on your admirer's list, do you want to cultivate in yourself?

5) List the names of 5 people living or dead that  you WISH you had met.
 What traits do these people have that you admire?

6) Look at the traits from #1 and #3. What traits do you find in these people, that you can look for in your friends?

7) Write your name down on the list.  Next to your name write down 5 traits from #6 that most resonate with you.    These are the values that guide YOUR direction, opinions and decisions.

 By writing down the values  that are most important to you, and making your decisions based on what is aligned with your inner compass will help bring purpose, direction, happiness, and wholeness.

What was the #1 value you came up with?  I look forward to reading your responses in the comments below!


Photo Credit:

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Weeding out Creative Crushers

I just had a “mom” visit.  
Those of you who are still enjoying face time with mom, you either smiled or cringed inside when you  heard me mention a “Mom visit”.
My mother passed away 4 1/2 years ago, and during our time together we shared really amazing beautiful time, and some very frustrating tumultuous times. 

I found myself having moments of frustration during my partner’s mom’s recent visit.  I realized part of my frustration was based around I didn’t have MY mom to fuss with, and that terrible wave of sadness worked its way back into my awareness. 
You might wonder what the heck this has to do with a business strategy blog for creative people?

Family dynamics are tricky for most of us, especially as artists- there is all the cultural and social programming that comes along with it.  Depending upon your growing up environment, many parents put their expectations upon their children, and often the compliant children seek careers and relationships based upon what they have been taught, not being encouraged to develop a career or passion based on what is important to them.

  In rare instances  young artists encouraged to be artists, there are often conversations that go something like, “well isn’t that nice, but what are you going to do for a REAL JOB”? 

We carry that negative “programming” along with us subconsciously; As we grow up these little reinforcements  gather & fester in our subconscious creating a undercurrent of non-support which whether you chose to admit it or not results in our limiting ourselves both creatively and successfully.
We start to believe somewhere that this isn’t a “real job”, or I will never be like “______”.   Suddenly,  4-5, 10 or even 20  years later they are still playing at the same little local clubs,  small galleries or flea markets.
 Often spending more money trying to get people to come to the event,  Never leaving that little “backyard pond” they just tread water and often never really break even.  Do you find yourself stuck in the same little pond and wondering why?  Do you wonder what you should be doing to change things up?

Or are you someone who isn't interested in doing the work, you just want to paint, or  just write songs, hoping that if you put it out there, you will be discovered. Really? The "discovery" people are not looking for artists hanging out in the small pond, they want to see that you are progressing your career on your own.

If you want to change things up,

Give yourself a little homework assignment- take a blank piece of paper, list times in your life when you have heard feedback that didn’t support your desire to persue a creative career,   maybe it was your mom, dad, school teacher, or someone at a show asking “what do you really do”  or “that isn’t what normal people do for work”.  My mom used to tell me that people with low expectations, and unexceptable social behavior are artists, NOT her daughter!  

List as many people as you can think of and what they said. 
Let the creative crushers out of your subconscious and take a look at them.

 Post one in the comment section below- In my next post we will talk about
How we can take steps to help you move forward.  If you don’t want to wait until the next post then lets talk!



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

We are all born superstars

 I watched a 60 minutes interview before the 53rd Grammy telecast  featuring Stephani Germonatta.  

Stephani, is a  University of New York drop out, who began studying piano at 4, and went to a catholic girls school, where she was bullied and felt she never fit in.

You look at her in this 2006 picture you don’t notice anything particularly interesting or memorable about her right?  Fortunatly, Stephani knew this too...

Most of you probably do not even know about Stephani Germonatta, but more about her tireless alter ego who has been touring for the better part of 3 years Lady Gaga, the Alexander McQueen boot wearing fashonista who totters around from award show to award show.
 When Gaga performs, I am consistently reminded of other artists. A carefully blended compilation of 5 or 6 mega stars that came before her, artists who all intimately knew their own brand, and applied it  quite successfully to their business.
 Gaga, is a self-proclaimed student of art, fashion, and claims “I am the master of the art of fame”.   Studying the artistry of others, while being a creation all her own.
When you watch Gaga at the piano, you see, Elton & Freddie Mercury. On stage, Cher, Madonna Alice Cooper and a little Wendy O Williams.  All of whom were ALSO experts of their own brands.

She preaches her mantra of self-empowerment, and self-acceptance, and it draws the masses to her in droves like bee’s to honey. To her emotive tear stained fans she testifies from the stage: “Tonight- reject anything or anyone who has ever made you feel like you don’t belong, Free yourself of these things tonight!!” She speaks these words from her heart, as one of them.  They view her as their queen,  and she lovingly refers to them as “her little monsters” are devoted to her.

   Gaga presents herself as a piece of living performance art, not simply a pop star, or even queen.  
She is a self proclaimed academic when it comes to music and fashion,  every piece of clothing, make up, and props, she has completely researched and studied the reference of it. Who inspired it, to help reinforce the story or concept she is selling.  At the VMA awards wearing nothing but raw meat and accompanied by several discharged gay service men, she explained this was her commentary on don’t ask don’t tell. 

Her outrageous outfits are a brilliant distraction to keep people from asking questions about her personal life.  “as part of mastering the art of fame" "is getting people to focus on what YOU want them to pay attention to”. Gaga warns “What most artists do wrong, is lie to their fans, “I am not a liar, I build good will with my fans, I am just like them”.
The sociology of how people got, kept, and lost fame, allows her to maintain a certain privacy without feeling them feeling like she is withholding anything from her fans.  Whether it’s performing Paparazzi covered in stage blood, hanging “dead” above the stage, answers the question you might wonder- What will she look like when she is dead? Gaga explains,“Everyone wants to see the decay of the superstar, we live in a age where people want to see someone who has it all, lose it all”.
 It’s dramatic and the masses eat it up so fast that Forbes magazine predicts she is on track to make 100 million this year.

Gaga is a graduate student who uses messages that resonate deeply with her to weave into a persona for the masses and it remains to be seen whether she will have the staying power of the giants that came before her, for hear and now it's great theatre, and a master class on what is essential to the making of a mega star.

How do you utilize themes important to you to differentiate your brand, and grow your fan base?
 I would love to hear your stories.


60 minutes Anderson Cooper:

Photo credits:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Getting started on Twitter Pt2

In Pt.1  of my getting started on Twitter posting we discussed several benefits of using Twitter, followed by 4 steps for you to get started.
Are you still on the wire about tweeting? Let me help you  finish your tweet instructions by reading this post. Then, you can follow the step by step instructions which begin with Pt 1   and  join the 18 million other users who are using a free service to build brand recognition.  as well as  synch your updates to your other social media platforms.

Pt 2 - WHAT's NEXT?

5.  Link Twitter to update your status in Facebook: Go to 
to link your Twitter page to your Facebook profile page.  Then, you can Tweet your  status updates from your mobile device or computer, saving LOTS of time.

6. "Follow" lots of people:  Twitter like many other Social Media sites works best when you are engaged in dialog with your "friends" or in the case of twitter "followers".    Locate a minimum of 100 people to follow by clicking on the who to follow tab. *don't just follow ANYONE, follow your fans and individuals & businesses that are in your personal network,  that will help you grow your network and fan base. Get started by following me

7. 3 tweets a day:   Simply ask yourself: What are you doing? Remember, Tweets are sharing the bits of info that happen to you between blogs and monthly newsletters-
NOTE:  DO NOT OVER PROMOTE: Remember tweeting isn't about shouting to the world "Come to my Show" or "Buy This"  you are building relationships with people, and there is so much more to what you do every day than just yelling at people to buy something.

8. Comments and Re-Tweeting:   As you add to the list of people you are "following" or "friending"  you will find "Tweets" that you might want to comment on or share with others.
If you want to comment on a Tweet someone else has posted you can do so by typing @followed by their user name  for example:  if you wanted to comment on one of my tweets you simply type your message and include @guitartam and it will turn up directly in the replies section of my twitter dashboard. Remember: this is a public posting that everyone will see
Private messages can be sent by clicking the messages tab and selecting the individual you want to message.   re-tweet a message you like by typing RT before the tweet then copy and past the message into your text window and send.

Now, you you have a complete Twitter getting started guide-  I would love to hear your thoughts on Twitter in the comments below.  If you want to maximize the success of  your social media campaign program, let's get started!

Tweet w/ you soon!

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Getting started on Twitter Pt1

PART 1 of 2:

Twitter is another in the arsenal of social media tools that are a essential part of a creative person's online "tool box". 

It is probably the  easiest social media tool to use, and one that many are afraid to use, simply because they don't know how it works. 

 I am going to help remove the fear barrier and present  a two part posting to help you understand and USE twitter. 

Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers who are known as followers.  Twitter is also a awesome way to connect with new potential fans, while building a relationship with your current fans.
You can use it from a mobile device and can also synch it to your Facebook profile and update both sites at once!  Twitter  updates are all about the things that happen between email and blog posts- these "little things" are what connect you to the other people around the world that love the same things you do.


  1. It's free
  2. w/ over 18 million users It's the 3rd fastest growing online social media site.
  3. Your connected to your fan base and interact w/ Tweets, direct message & replies however you DO NOT have to follow everyone that is following you!
  4. Build brand recognition- A great tool to build your brand presence, you can connect to thousands. and there is NO limit to the number of people who can follow you (ie: Lady Gaga @ladygaga has 7,955,672 followers and is following 144,989)!
  5. You can synch Twitter with Facebook to link your status updates, keeping your fans (regardless of which is their favorite platform) up to date AND saving you time by not updating multiple platforms!
With all these great benefits how do you get started?

  1. Select your User Name (Remember to keep your branding consistent, so use a name that matches your website or myspace for consistency)  The name you use is picked up in google searches.
  2. Get a quick overview:  quick video 
  3. Sign up @ 
  • Follow the few sign-in steps entering user name, password & your email
  • Twitter helps you by searching your address book to see if anyone else you know is already using twitter. You also have the option to send a email to your friends.
  • Make sure you take the time to set up your profile, include a picture (it shows up w/ your tweets) your bio and a link back to your web site.
      4.  Link to your Mobile  If you have a good text-messaging plan and a high tolerance for receiving loads of text on your mobile.  You can also simply opt into receiving text from a few select people.  

 To text from your phone- send messages to 40404 and they are sent directly to your twitter feed.

To direct message (DM)  friends who are following you using your cell type "d" followed by their user name.

If you want to get started, follow me @guitartam and tune in to my Pt 2 of this blog post for more tips and Twix using twitter! ;-)
If you are interested in organizing and prioritizing your brand and social media then click here
and let's getting started!

Have a Twit-wific day!


The Twitter Book

Photo credits:
What have you done in your life: