All Access Blog

Taylor Swift and Other Top Artists Stand United Against DMCA & YouTube

taylor swift 2In the past couple of months things have been getting more heated as a coalition of over 180 top musicians have aligned to complain about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The 1998 law governs the way big internet companies can use material uploaded by their users. As technology has progressed over the past two decades, the artists’ stance is that their royalties have been diminishing relative to the many new devices and services that have sprung up in that timeframe. And in tandem as they’re making their voices heard about concerns suggesting that the DMCA is broken in today’s terms, they’re taking aim squarely at YouTube as a primary example of how this structure no longer works for artists (if it ever did). read more…

Life Gets Easier When You Operate in the Zone

Many of us run our lives off “To Do” lists — and have issues managing time, priorities, and eliminating distractions. We’re all over the place and our attention and mood is scattered, stressed and we’re inefficient. It doesn’t have to be that way! We can increase our productivity and save our sanity when we operate ‘in the zone’ more of the time. When you are in the zone, you are focused, firing on all cylinders, getting things done, accomplishing your goals, meeting expectations of yourself and others, all while staying in a calm, neutral place emotionally. You feel good because you’re taking care of what you need to and are honoring your commitments to yourself and others; you’re doing what you said you were going to do. There’s no greater sense of satisfaction than that! I know that’s been my experience.

Here are a few tips for getting in the zone: read more…

Becoming the Person You Want to Be is Simple but It’s Not Easy

triggersI had the rare privilege of spending time with Marshall Goldsmith a couple of months ago courtesy of my mentor Alan Weiss at an event that Alan hosts annually called the Million Dollar Consulting Convention. Marshall was the Keynote speaker at Alan’s event this year, and is in high demand as one of the most successful executive coaches on the planet. He’s the author of many terrific and insightful books like What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, and he was delightful and very generous in his time with us. Marshall was kind enough to provide us all with copies of his latest book Triggers: Creating Behavior that Lasts & Becoming the Person You Want to Be”.

I read a lot of books on self-improvement and personal growth, and Triggers offers fresh insights that I haven’t come across elsewhere to this point. read more…

The Importance of Taking Regular Breaks

vacationYou work hard; we all do. But at the same time, I’ll bet you don’t play hard; most of us don’t. We live and work in a culture that would happily take all we choose to give and more — and often does. AND we have a life beyond our work – really and truly! read more…

May the Force Be With You

You know that old saying by Woody Allen that “Showing Up is 80% of Life”. Well I’d argue that the other 20% (maybe more!) is HOW you show up that really determines whether you’re going to be a ‘hit’ or a ‘miss’ in terms of the impact you have on others. Leadership is more than about showing up, and it’s more than just a mindset — it’s your presence, your intention, and the energy you bring to your interactions. read more…

Close Encounters with Prince

princeWe lost a unique legend and pioneer last month in Prince’s passing. The man was multi-dimensional, and though he was revered as an artist by many, he was so much more — and I think the other facets of who he was and his contributions will be revealed as time goes on. I was fortunate to have interacted with Prince on several occasions during the past couple of decades, and I’ve been reflecting on those experiences over the past few days. I never really shared much ’til now about these interactions because he was fiercely private, and I respected and honored his desire for that. read more…

Sexy vs Cash Projects

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…

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