I remember when I was younger I imagined that the geniuses of the world would provide us the ability to create anything we imagined without barriers. I thought how cool it would be to have a device that had all the things most important to you. And, how liberating it would be not to go through so many political and bureaucratic red tape to get things done.

Well, we’re here! The smartphone, the Internet, GarageBand, Kickstarter, Google. Anything you could imagine you’d need to start anything is within reach.

So, why are we not reaching?

I’m scared as hell!

Not, that I’d fail. I realize that now. But, that I will succeed. And, people will expect those same results from me.

Well, this shall be the year of succeeding. Even when I fail it will be a success. Because, that meant I took action.

Here’s a blog post from Seth Godin that is perfect  http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b31569e2019104fc1e82970c


It’s been a challenge today. My wife is sick and we were supposed to go to a New Year’s Eve concert at the Sanctuary in McKinney. Instead, I’m taking care of my bride. And, I feel grateful for having someone so wonderful to care for.

However, I can’t use that as an excuse not to honor my personal commitments. Just as I tell my students – “life gets busy. But, you have to do the work.” So, I’m doing my bare minimum, today. I practiced stick control for 10 minutes and I wrote this blog post.

What is one thing you can do to honor your commitments, even with no time?

Everyone has New Year’s Resolutions and I’m no different. One trick I learned is to write out your goals as if you’ve already accomplished them. That helps with owning the actions and steps it takes to achieve them. Another thing I learned to know what goals to pursue is whatever scares me the most is likeliest to be the most nurturing for my soul.

So, here is the short list of my goals for 2014:

I earn $4000+ per month
$1200+ of that is outside my current jobs
I no longer work at Starbucks
I work as a studio drummer and percussionist
I play gigs that honor myself and my wife
I write a blog post every day
I create and post 1 new podcast episode per month
I have a full teaching schedule with great students
I have 5 or more coaching clients participating in an 8 week bootcamp
I give a talk about making music your business
I am invited to do clinics, workshops, festivals and events where I either perform or speak

Why do I want these goals? I have always wanted to realize my dream of being a professional musician. I know that I have the skills. I also know that I get in my own way. I’ve used other people, consequences, self-limiting beliefs as excuses not to go after my dreams. So, no more. I still want to honor my wife and my family, tho. This is how I can do both.

Playing music and helping other people grow are my biggest areas of purpose. I don’t have to play in bars to play music. And, I don’t have to be a starving artist either. My pursuit in honoring my music while honoring my family and helping others do the same is the start of my life fully realized. It will also open new opportunities I never thought of.

This all came from reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Actully, this came from years of study and many sources but the result is the same: I will live my life more fully! Resistance is my enemy and I do battle with it daily. Future posts will contain my struggles and victories over resistance on my path to a better life.

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006 RMP: Maylee Thomas – Musicians: How to Give More of Yourself and Win

Welcome to Season 1, Episode 6 of the Rip’s Music Podcast where we make your music your business. In today’s show we talk about giving more to your art.

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Are you playing like it’s your last gig?

Do you use your gifts daily to make the world better, even if not directly related to music?

And are you giving all of yourself to others and your art?

Gospel singer, Maylee Thomas, talks about her 25 year music career, starting the Love Life Foundation, and how she and her husband built the Guitar Sanctuary to immerse themselves in their passions and make music their business.

Watch the Video:

Maylee Thomas

In this interview:

  • Find work to sustain your music and your life
  • Always have a product
  • Don’t forget the EPK (electronic press kit)
  • Keep your name in front of your audience


  • Offer quality – always
  • Turn a personal tragedy into energy for change
  • Be bigger than yourself and serve others


  • Don’t be afraid
  • Refuse to allow people to intimidate you
  • You don’t need anyones’s permission to do something great

Click here to visit Maylee Thomas’ website or the Maylee Thomas Band on FaceBook.
Click here to to find out more and about the Love Life Foundation.

How To Embrace Risk for an Exciting Music Career: 005 CJ Thompson

Is your focus on stability preventing you from being fully happy? Are you taking enough risks in your musical career and in life?   And, is your practice routine opening doors to new opportunities or narrowing your skills and sabotaging your career? Today, I talk with guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, CJ […]

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Turning Pro w/ David Borenstein in 004 RMP

How to Become a Successful Professional Artist/Musician – 004 RMP

Are you being true to yourself with your art?

Have you defined whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional?

How can striving for security negatively affect your work and your life?

And, how does sacrificing your art for money affect you in the long run?

Turning Pro w/ David Borenstein in 004 RMP

Turning Pro w/ David Borenstein in 004 RMP

Today, I chat with painter, David Borenstein.  He is a prolific fine artist and has been a professional painter for over 50 years! He has copied over 90 oil paintings directly from the Great Masters, and has original paintings in major galleries all over the world.

Let’s listen, as David shares how his obsession to paint allows him to travel the world, live like a gypsy, and make his art his business.

In this episode, David shows us some key points to being the artist you want to be:

Look for ways to earn using your unique skills.
Balance the commercial and the creative.
Study the masters.
Teach better students.
Work towards a bigger purpose.


Here are some insights to today’s talk with David Borenstein.

Look for ways to earn an income using your unique skills as an artist, even if it’s small. David was drawing people on the street for the train ride home. You could busk with your buddies, take on students, or record other people’s music as a side man.

You don’t have to wait to make it big to be a musician or an artist. Sometimes, you have to take on other jobs to survive. And, that’s ok. But, if being an artist is your chosen purpose in life, you have to integrate supporting yourself and staying true to your art.

David talks about balancing the commercial and the creative. You have to eat but, it’s also your duty to create great art. If, we aren’t pure in even the more commercial aspects of our music, then people lose trust in us as artists.  Think about other artists who seem to only care about the money.  Compare them to those whose songs or paintings stay with you for a lifetime. If you give of yourself fully, even in a commercial setting, the money will follow.

David reminds us to study the masters. Learning what great artists have done before not only teaches better techniques, but allows us to create from an inspired place. Legendary drummer, Tony Williams, once said that learning exactly what drummers played on their albums allowed him to play what they didn’t, thus developing his own sound and a new approach to the instrument.

If you have students, teach better ones. Look for ways to share your knowledge at a higher level. It’s easy to stay with beginners because we have the material down. Plus, there will always be new ones. But, that’s a surefire way to stagnate.

Do you have a student that is moving into intermediate level playing? Bring them in to teach some beginners with you. Create an apprentice relationship. Give them a discount on their lessons or split the earnings from the students they teach.  It will re-enforce the apprentice’s knowledge, allow you to add more students, make time to focus on higher level students, increase cash flow, and build recognition for yourself.

Teaching at a higher level will also improve your own abilities and inspire you to create better music.

One last thing David mentions, is to

. His goal is to open a fine arts academy overseas, where he will paint masterpieces and take on higher level students. The galleries, the students and the portraits, all are in line to get him closer to that dream.

My dream, is to create a business around helping musicians achieve their dreams. This podcast, seminars and workshops, even someday opening a professional music academy are ways for me to achieve that goal. My personal practice, performing and teaching are tools for me to give better content and art to the world.

How are the activities you’re pursuing helping you achieve your goals and get you closer to that dream?

Stay True to Your Music & Your Family – RMP 003 Jerry Rizzi

Could teaching others help you learn more?

Is your belief system strong enough to keep you in the game?

And, are you being smart about your current situation?

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My guest is Jerry Rizzi, an active composer, teacher and performer.  He has studied under some of the best artists from a variety of genres, including: famed bassist, Jimmy Garrison of the John Coltrane quartet; and classical cellist, Seymore Benstock.

Jerry has worked with legendary jazz guitarist, Joe Monk, and is active in both New York and Texas music scenes. He maintains an extensive private music teaching, recording and performing schedule.

His new album, Driftwood, can be found on iTunes and his website – www.jerryrizzi.com

In today’s show, Jerry talks about:

  • Using routines to keep up with chops and non-musical tasks.
  • Matching the funds with the creativity.
  • Money from other sources doesn’t have to take away from the art.
  • Being committed and staying true to yourself.
  • and, Recalling the impact you have on others.

Today’s show now has VIDEO!


Watch and listen as Jerry Rizzi shares his life as a busy musician and single dad.

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002 Tero Potila

What opportunities are you missing out on by focusing too much on your band? What can you learn from sales people that could really help in your music? And, how does saying ‘yes’ build up your confidence and value when so many others will tell you ‘no’? Listen in as […]

Overcome Your Fears to Get More Gigs – RMP 001 Peter Champagne 1

Welcome to Season 1, Episode 1 of the Rip’s Music Podcast. In this first episode I interview bassist and long-time friend, Peter Champagne. We discuss his experiences as a freelance bass player and how he overcomes the challenges of making a living as a gigging musician. Are you struggling to […]

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