Four Reasons We Must Challenge Ourselves

Anybody who’s a fan of sports is familiar with the term “strength of schedule.” Strength of schedule refers to how good or bad the opponents of a particular team were at the time that they played them. So, for example, if my team was 1-1 and played against one team that was 2-0 and another that was 1-1, my strength of schedule would be considered stronger than another 1-1 team who played against teams that were both 0-2. The teams I played against had better records, so my team had a better strength of schedule. Continue reading

Tools of the Trade: Shure SM58 Microphone

One of the most frequent questions I get when I meet other artists is about the gear I use to make music with. It might even be the most frequent question I ask other artists as well. I think the reason we are fascinated with this is because it gives us an inside look into another person’s process. It also allows us to learn about new gear without using or purchasing it.

By no means do I consider myself an expert on gear, but I would like to start blogging more about specific gear I use frequently.  I will call this series of short blogs Tools of the Trade.

The first piece of gear I would like to review is the Shure SM58 dynamic microphone.  Continue reading

Why You Should Avoid People Who Push Doom and Gloom

The first time I ever messed with real estate was in 2006. After saving up some money, I decided to buy a distressed property. My plan was to take a few months while I wasn’t touring to have it rehabbed, then rent it out for some future passive income.

The plan seemed simple enough but there was one major flaw: I had never rehabbed a property before in my life. I had completed several smaller remodeling jobs in my own house, but nothing on the level of what would be necessary to finish this project alone. Thankfully a friend of mine, who had mentored me through the purchasing process to that point, had a contractor that he worked with and recommended me. This contractor had helped him with his previous property and was said to have been a good guy.

Unfortunately, the experience I had with that contractor was nothing like his. Continue reading

Ten Benefits of Blogging

I started blogging around 2008 or 2009, first on the Blogger platform before getting more serious and moving over to WordPress. Since that time, blogging has become a great tool for me. Although there are periods where I am too busy with other projects or touring to do it with regularity, it’s still had a strong presence in my career.

Over the years, I’ve met many people who have told me they appreciate my blogging. I’ve also met many other people who have been thinking about getting into blogging, but haven’t made the dive yet. These people, not totally sold on it, often ask me what the benefits of blogging are. So I want to take a quick second to talk about the benefits of blogging. While everybody may do it for different reasons, I will list the ten benefits of Blogging in hopes that it helps others understand how it might become helpful to them.

So, here are ten benefits of blogging: Continue reading

The Importance of Appearance

There’s a Kroger grocery store I go to all the time that’s about five miles from my house. The store itself isn’t located in a great area. In fact, it’s in an area that most might consider sketchy. For those who have listened to my podcast Super Duty Tough Work, this is the same Kroger that I mentioned has prostitutes near it and where I almost had to pull a knife on a guy for messing with me.

At any rate, I go to this store all the time. Aside from a mild argument between hood-rats and panhandlers, I have never had any real problems there. No fights, not much (if any) police presence there. The people haven’t necessarily been mean to me, but they’ve also never been nice. If I had to describe the people working there and the customers it would as indifferent; they really don’t speak to each other and don’t care about interacting one way or another. It’s just a grocery story in the hood where people buy their groceries and keep it moving. Continue reading

Five Simple Hacks To Read More

Although I hadn’t been a heavy reader until I stopped drinking, my reading habits have picked up every year since. Over the past few years I’ve gone from reading a book a month, to two books a month, and I just set my own personal record by finishing seven books already this month.

As I was knocking out the last two books, it started to really hit me that there was something different about what I was doing that allowed me to read so many more books than usual. So for everyone out there that is looking to increase their reading output, I want to share a five simple tricks that will allow you to read faster and finish more books. Continue reading

Anxiety and Fires of the Mind

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I recently had a conversation with a good friend about sobriety. I’ve been sober for six years now, but my friend has had some struggles staying sober for longer than a year or so at a time.  It seems like every time they start getting some momentum towards a life without alcohol, something really stressful would happen that would push them into drinking again.

This led us into a great discussion about what we both considered the main catalyst in our problems with alcohol–anxiety. Continue reading

How Kanye West and Donald Trump Changed Social Media Forever

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Earlier this year, we did an episode of the Super Duty Tough Work podcast titled The Ten Best and Worst Contributions of Kanye West.  One of the main topics we spoke about on this episode was West’s impact on social media.

We pointed out that one of West’s bad contributions to the game was his emotional nature on twitter, which often comes off as counter-productive.  Even though most people can’t agree on whether he’s being sincere or just trolling to get reactions out of people, we all can agree that it does get him a lot of attention. Continue reading

How I Learned to Love the Winter

One of my most vivid childhood memories were long trips from Columbus, Ohio to rural Alabama where both of my parents grew up.  Back in those days, before all the major freeways were finished, it would take us forever to get there.  We would leave before the sun came up and we wouldn’t get there until the sun was going down. Continue reading

The High Price of Doing Too Much

For several months in a row, I have had a feeing of uneasiness as it relates to my life. It wasn’t a constant feeling–I only felt it every now and then when I slowed down my work–but it was definitely there.

The main reason I didn’t notice it was that I was busier than I had ever been in my career. Not only was my schedule full, but it was full of meaningful projects that I had an emotional connection to and was excited about working on.

But something wasn’t right. Continue reading

Super Duty Tough Work – Episode 44: How to Approach People You Want to Work With

Whether it’s somebody with a household name or a local celebrity, we all come across people we want to meet and work with. The problem, is how do we approach them without making a fool out of ourselves? In this episode of the most infamous podcast on planet earth we dive deep and give you some rock solid rules for approaching the people you want to work with. These rules should help you become more successful before, during, and after you step to them. Let’s go!

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My First Lecture: How to Find the Opportunity in Adversity

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In 2015, I had the honor of being asked to put together a talk for the fourth annual Creative Control Festival in Columbus, OH.  The Creative Control festival is an all-day event that holds workshops and lectures on relevant topics for people who work in creative fields.  Since I had never done a public talk or lecture before, I was initially nervous about doing it, but I accepted because the opportunity was too great to pass up. Continue reading

What Progress Looks Like

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Three or four years ago, I used to hand write all the addresses when we did mail orders. Back then, it seemed crazy to think that one day in the future I wouldn’t be able to do that anymore. I was happy that anybody cared enough about my music to support it, so taking the time to write out everybody’s name and address was refreshing. It helped me make sense of who my fans were and what cities they lived  in. Continue reading

Six Years Sober

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Last year, my fifth year sober, I didn’t get to write my yearly sobriety post on my sober date, May 15th. Oddly enough, it wasn’t deliberate at all–it was because I was extremely busy at the time.  My latest album, King No Crown, had just been released and I was getting ready to head out on the road for a ten-week tour across the United States with Supastition and DJ Rare Groove.  I remember telling myself to sit down and write it the week before, but it ended up being impossible to get enough time (and enough quiet) to sit down and write it. Continue reading