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For those of us who work for ourselves (and for those who aspire to), there’s a phenomenon that people don’t often talk about because it’s assumed that we’re intended to be performing and achieving high levels of success at all times. However, sometimes there are periods of feast and famine in our businesses, especially for those of us in creative professions. My colleague Rich Litvin has shared his observations on this with a nod to Hugh McLeod’s “Sex and Cash Theory of Creative Work” — and I really resonate with this. The basic notion is that the creative person has two kinds of jobs — the first being the fun, sexy kind (those projects and clients we love to work with), and the second one is ensuring that we have enough cash flows that the bills get paid each month. Sometimes the task at hand covers both bases, but not all the time. So there can be a tense duality between the need to make a living and the need to follow one’s passions. You can’t run a successful, thriving business if you have no money and your only thought is “I NEED money!”. read more…

The Quiet Passing of a Giant

The music industry has experienced whBeatles_and_George_Martin_in_studio_1966at seems like an unprecedented string of losses since the year began. Add to that list, a legend in Sir George Martin who passed a few days ago at the age of 90, and was considered by many to be “The Fifth Beatle”. Sir George was perhaps among the most talented record producers, music arrangers, and A&R men of all time. He was a true master at his craft — he pioneered all mann
er of unique things artists could do in the studio — and truly co-created with the artists he worked with to amazing results.Unusual things like running the tape backwards to create new sounds as in “Tomorrow Never Knows” or adding in unique instrumentation like strings over “Eleanor Rigby” and “Yesterday” or weaving a mellotron into “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite”. And as gifted as he was and a master at his art, equally important is how well-loved and respected he was by all who had the chance to meet and work with him. I’ve never heard a bad word said about George by anyone throughout his career which is telling; quite the contrary. read more…

From Seinfeld to Bieber: How to Engage the Right Celebrity for Your Business?

Celebrity involvement with Celebrities (1)brands and commercial enterprises has become so commonplace that there’s even a buzzword for it: “star-ups.”

From Jay Z and Tidal to Jessica Alba and The Honest Company (not to mention Ashton Kutcher and, well, just about everything!), celebrities love working with companies they resonate with.

But that doesn’t mean getting a celebrity on board is easy. Struggling startups, for example, may not be ready. Even well-funded, established companies should have a meaningful reason to partner with celebrities and be able to offer sufficient cash, equity, or something else that’s meaningful and incentivizes them to want to participate. read more…

How to Pay Attention to the Whispers When Vetting a Connection?

You know that feeling deep in your gut; the one that tells you not to trust the person you’re talking to? Trust it–it almost always has critical information to share with you if you listen.

I’ve had several occasions in my career where my gut told me not to work with someone. But, because I was in need of the work at the time, I ignored it to my peril. It was always a mistake.


I once worked with a startup that had just secured investors–a startup’s dream, of course. Without warning, the CEO completely disappeared; he left the country. He never responded to anyone, and he didn’t pay the consultants or principals what he owed them. He just left and cut off all communication without explanation to anyone involved. read more…

Jay Samit: Disrupt You, Master Personal Transformation (Part II)

Jay SamitThere are very few people who have worked as successfully across as many industries as Jay Samit has, and he wanted to share that knowledge and help people on their journey. That is why he wrote the bestseller Disrupt You, Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity, and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovations. Throughout this book, Jay explores the importance of personal disruption. “You really have to say, what is limiting you in this limitless world? My mom had forged my birth certificate and put me in school a year early. I was always the smallest and the scrawniest, therefore I hated sports. As a grown up at 40, I had no interests in sports; followed none; played none; knew nothing about them, because at 4 and 5, I hated it. How silly is that? At 40, I finally disrupted myself and said I will learn to master a sport” Jay writes. read more…

Jay Samit: Disrupt You, Master Personal Transformation (Part I)

Jay Samit is the CEO of SeeChange International, a lJay-Samit-headshot-2014-squareeading multi-screen video services company. A dynamic entrepreneur, Jay is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on disruption and innovation. Described by Wired Magazine as having the coolest job in the industry, he’s raised hundreds of millions of dollars for startups, sold companies to fortune five hundred firms, and has transformed entire industries. Jay has been an executive at three of the major content companies, as well as couple of leading tech companies. He’s revamped government institutions, and after three decades continues to be at the forefront of global trends. Jay’s list of partners and associates includes the likes of Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, and Steve Jobs. He is the author of the bestseller Disrupt You, Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity, and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovations. read more…

Gail Zappa: Tireless Champion, Wonderful Friend

Pascal-Le-Segretain-630x420Gail Zappa recently passed away from cancer. Gail was a unique person, perfectly suited for her role as advocate and champion. She just didn’t hold back. She did not censor herself and went for everything she did with gusto. It’s a huge loss for her family and friends.

Gail, the wife of musician Frank Zappa, was a role model and a tireless champion on behalf of her husband and children for many years and has been a protector of Frank’s estate. She was compassionate, extremely smart and creative advocate and champion, and over time, she became an outspoken advocate for artists to retain their rights and their masters.

read more…

Spotify Could Go Away Overnight And No One Would Care

1Although Spotify was able to get its foot in the door early, the presence of companies like Apple Music, Amazon Prime, and others means that the historically un-profitable streaming service either needs to find away to differentiate itself from the competition or risk crashing and burning.


Op Ed by Kelli Richards

Before Apple Music was ever announced, it had already sparked controversy. Word on the street was that Apple wasn’t just trying to create a killer product — it was going for Spotify’s jugular.

Reports spread quickly of Apple working hard behind the scenes to convince record industry executives to kill the freemium model upon which Spotify has essentially built its audience.

read more…

What’s the Difference Between a Coach and a Mentor?

Business - Besprechung in einem BüroWe hear a lot about coaching and mentoring — for good reason. As Zig Ziglar famously said, “A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.” The words “coaching” and “mentoring” are often treated as if they’re interchangeable, but they’re not.

No matter your stage, both mentors and coaches can be valuable resources. What’s the difference between the two? How do you know which is needed? read more…

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