10 Quotes To Help Us Stop Resisting Something We All Go Through

changeThere is one thing that is constant in life, that is change. The sooner we recognise that nothing remains the same, the sooner we let go of attachment and we can start living and learn to enjoy change.

Why is it Difficult to Change? We are always searching for a state of permanence, we want things to remain the same. We want certainty. This certainty is the same certainty that at the end of the day will make our lives dull, lifeless and conformed.

How do we Make Changes? By understanding our fears and insecurities we are better placed to make the change we want or need to make in our lives. We must meditate on what we really want and why. Once we have discovered the truth we must take action.

Change is in Understanding the Big Picture – Too often we get caught up in day to day trivialities of life and forget the bigger picture. It is only when we take the time to stand back and put things into perspective, we can change our focus of what really matters and make things happen.

Change and Life – Change is the only thing we can really predict with any certainty. When we understand everything is in a state of flux our wisdom grows and we can enjoy life.

Change is How we Perceive Things – Our beliefs and attitudes have been molded over many years. To be free of any influences we must acknowledge and release these mental states that hold us back from new experiences, and a fresh way of living.

Lao Tzu and the Buddha both recognised that we must not get attached to things as this limits our existence and makes change difficult. Attachment restricts new experiences and ideas cannot enter. Being open and empty allows the individual to accept alternative ideas, possibilities and change. We must empty ourselves of any existing beliefs and attitudes so that we can be filled with new exciting and sustainable opportunities. Change is a constant and we must recognise this as such. By sticking to past ideologies, beliefs and models that are flawed we are hurting only ourselves. By coming to terms with and addressing our potential with a fresh approach we can realise a new reality and future that benefits all. Here are some great quotes to get us thinking about change and changing…

“This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds. To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of dance. A lifetime is like a flash of lightening in the sky. Rushing by like a torrent down a steep mountain. What is born will die. What has been gathered will be dispersed. What has been accumulated will be exhausted. What has been built up will collapse and what has been high will be low.” Buddha
“I’m not going to change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything. I’ve always been a freak. So I’ve been a freak all my life and I have to live with that, you know. I’m one of those people.” John Lennon
“I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.” Stephen Hawking
“The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.” George Bernard Shaw
“In a progressive country change is constant; change is inevitable.” Benjamin Disraeli
“It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.” Isaac Asimov
“Any action is better than no action, especially if you are stuck in an unhappy situation for a long time. If it is a mistake at least you learn something in which case it is no longer a mistake. If you remain stuck, you learn nothing.” Eckhart Tolle
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Wayne Dyer
“Anytime you have a negative feeling toward anyone you’re living an illusion. There’s something seriously wrong with you. You’re not seeing reality. Something inside you has to change. When we have a negative feeling we usually project this onto someone or something else. I am right, they have to change. No. The world is all right. The one who has to change is you.” Anthony De Mello
Article by Andrew Martin editor of onenesspublishing and author of One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…

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STEPHEN HAWKING: How To Build A Time Machine

By: Stephen Hawking / Source: Mail Online

All you need is a wormhole, the Large Hadron Collider or a rocket that goes really, really fast

Hello. My name is Stephen Hawking. Physicist, cosmologist and something of a dreamer. Although I cannot move and I have to speak through a computer, in my mind I am free. Free to explore the universe and ask the big questions, such as: is time travel possible? Can we open a portal to the past or find a shortcut to the future? Can we ultimately use the laws of nature to become masters of time itself?

Time travel was once considered scientific heresy. I used to avoid talking about it for fear of being labelled a crank. But these days I’m not so cautious. In fact, I’m more like the people who built Stonehenge. I’m obsessed by time. If I had a time machine I’d visit Marilyn Monroe in her prime or drop in on Galileo as he turned his telescope to the heavens. Perhaps I’d even travel to the end of the universe to find out how our whole cosmic story ends.

To see how this might be possible, we need to look at time as physicists do – at the fourth dimension. It’s not as hard as it sounds. Every attentive schoolchild knows that all physical objects, even me in my chair, exist in three dimensions. Everything has a width and a height and a length.

But there is another kind of length, a length in time. While a human may survive for 80 years, the stones at Stonehenge, for instance, have stood around for thousands of years. And the solar system will last for billions of years. Everything has a length in time as well as space. Travelling in time means travelling through this fourth dimension.

To see what that means, let’s imagine we’re doing a bit of normal, everyday car travel. Drive in a straight line and you’re travelling in one dimension. Turn right or left and you add the second dimension. Drive up or down a twisty mountain road and that adds height, so that’s travelling in all three dimensions. But how on Earth do we travel in time? How do we find a path through the fourth dimension?

Let’s indulge in a little science fiction for a moment. Time travel movies often feature a vast, energy-hungry machine. The machine creates a path through the fourth dimension, a tunnel through time. A time traveller, a brave, perhaps foolhardy individual, prepared for who knows what, steps into the time tunnel and emerges who knows when. The concept may be far-fetched, and the reality may be very different from this, but the idea itself is not so crazy.

Physicists have been thinking about tunnels in time too, but we come at it from a different angle. We wonder if portals to the past or the future could ever be possible within the laws of nature. As it turns out, we think they are. What’s more, we’ve even given them a name: wormholes. The truth is that wormholes are all around us, only they’re too small to see. Wormholes are very tiny. They occur in nooks and crannies in space and time. You might find it a tough concept, but stay with me.

Nothing is flat or solid. If you look closely enough at anything you’ll find holes and wrinkles in it. It’s a basic physical principle, and it even applies to time. Even something as smooth as a pool ball has tiny crevices, wrinkles and voids. Now it’s easy to show that this is true in the first three dimensions. But trust me, it’s also true of the fourth dimension. There are tiny crevices, wrinkles and voids in time. Down at the smallest of scales, smaller even than molecules, smaller than atoms, we get to a place called the quantum foam. This is where wormholes exist. Tiny tunnels or shortcuts through space and time constantly form, disappear, and reform within this quantum world. And they actually link two separate places and two different times.

Unfortunately, these real-life time tunnels are just a billion-trillion-trillionths of a centimetre across. Way too small for a human to pass through – but here’s where the notion of wormhole time machines is leading. Some scientists think it may be possible to capture a wormhole and enlarge it many trillions of times to make it big enough for a human or even a spaceship to enter.

Given enough power and advanced technology, perhaps a giant wormhole could even be constructed in space. I’m not saying it can be done, but if it could be, it would be a truly remarkable device. One end could be here near Earth, and the other far, far away, near some distant planet.

Theoretically, a time tunnel or wormhole could do even more than take us to other planets. If both ends were in the same place, and separated by time instead of distance, a ship could fly in and come out still near Earth, but in the distant past. Maybe dinosaurs would witness the ship coming in for a landing.

The fastest manned vehicle in history was Apollo 10. It reached 25,000mph. But to travel in time we’ll have to go more than 2,000 times faster

Now, I realise that thinking in four dimensions is not easy, and that wormholes are a tricky concept to wrap your head around, but hang in there. I’ve thought up a simple experiment that could reveal if human time travel through a wormhole is possible now, or even in the future. I like simple experiments, and champagne.

So I’ve combined two of my favourite things to see if time travel from the future to the past is possible.

Let’s imagine I’m throwing a party, a welcome reception for future time travellers. But there’s a twist. I’m not letting anyone know about it until after the party has happened. I’ve drawn up an invitation giving the exact coordinates in time and space. I am hoping copies of it, in one form or another, will be around for many thousands of years. Maybe one day someone living in the future will find the information on the invitation and use a wormhole time machine to come back to my party, proving that time travel will, one day, be possible.

In the meantime, my time traveller guests should be arriving any moment now. Five, four, three, two, one. But as I say this, no one has arrived. What a shame. I was hoping at least a future Miss Universe was going to step through the door. So why didn’t the experiment work? One of the reasons might be because of a well-known problem with time travel to the past, the problem of what we call paradoxes.

Paradoxes are fun to think about. The most famous one is usually called the Grandfather paradox. I have a new, simpler version I call the Mad Scientist paradox.

I don’t like the way scientists in movies are often described as mad, but in this case, it’s true. This chap is determined to create a paradox, even if it costs him his life. Imagine, somehow, he’s built a wormhole, a time tunnel that stretches just one minute into the past.

Through the wormhole, the scientist can see himself as he was one minute ago. But what if our scientist uses the wormhole to shoot his earlier self? He’s now dead. So who fired the shot? It’s a paradox. It just doesn’t make sense. It’s the sort of situation that gives cosmologists nightmares.

This kind of time machine would violate a fundamental rule that governs the entire universe – that causes happen before effects, and never the other way around. I believe things can’t make themselves impossible. If they could then there’d be nothing to stop the whole universe from descending into chaos. So I think something will always happen that prevents the paradox. Somehow there must be a reason why our scientist will never find himself in a situation where he could shoot himself. And in this case, I’m sorry to say, the wormhole itself is the problem.

In the end, I think a wormhole like this one can’t exist. And the reason for that is feedback. If you’ve ever been to a rock gig, you’ll probably recognise this screeching noise. It’s feedback. What causes it is simple. Sound enters the microphone. It’s transmitted along the wires, made louder by the amplifier, and comes out at the speakers. But if too much of the sound from the speakers goes back into the mic it goes around and around in a loop getting louder each time. If no one stops it, feedback can destroy the sound system.

The same thing will happen with a wormhole, only with radiation instead of sound. As soon as the wormhole expands, natural radiation will enter it, and end up in a loop. The feedback will become so strong it destroys the wormhole. So although tiny wormholes do exist, and it may be possible to inflate one some day, it won’t last long enough to be of use as a time machine. That’s the real reason no one could come back in time to my party.

Any kind of time travel to the past through wormholes or any other method is probably impossible, otherwise paradoxes would occur. So sadly, it looks like time travel to the past is never going to happen. A disappointment for dinosaur hunters and a relief for historians.

But the story’s not over yet. This doesn’t make all time travel impossible. I do believe in time travel. Time travel to the future. Time flows like a river and it seems as if each of us is carried relentlessly along by time’s current. But time is like a river in another way. It flows at diff‑erent speeds in diff‑erent places and that is the key to travelling into the future. This idea was first proposed by Albert Einstein over 100 years ago. He realised that there should be places where time slows down, and others where time speeds up. He was absolutely right. And the proof is right above our heads. Up in space.

This is the Global Positioning System, or GPS. A network of satellites is in orbit around Earth. The satellites make satellite navigation possible. But they also reveal that time runs faster in space than it does down on Earth. Inside each spacecraft is a very precise clock. But despite being so accurate, they all gain around a third of a billionth of a second every day. The system has to correct for the drift, otherwise that tiny di‑fference would upset the whole system, causing every GPS device on Earth to go out by about six miles a day. You can just imagine the mayhem that that would cause.

The problem doesn’t lie with the clocks. They run fast because time itself runs faster in space than it does down below. And the reason for this extraordinary e‑ffect is the mass of the Earth. Einstein realised that matter drags on time and slows it down like the slow part of a river. The heavier the object, the more it drags on time. And this startling reality is what opens the door to the possibility of time travel to the future.

Right in the centre of the Milky Way, 26,000 light years from us, lies the heaviest object in the galaxy. It is a supermassive black hole containing the mass of four million suns crushed down into a single point by its own gravity. The closer you get to the black hole, the stronger the gravity. Get really close and not even light can escape. A black hole like this one has a dramatic e‑ffect on time, slowing it down far more than anything else in the galaxy. That makes it a natural time machine.

I like to imagine how a spaceship might be able to take advantage of this phenomenon, by orbiting it. If a space agency were controlling the mission from Earth they’d observe that each full orbit took 16 minutes. But for the brave people on board, close to this massive object, time would be slowed down. And here the e‑ffect would be far more extreme than the gravitational pull of Earth. The crew’s time would be slowed down by half. For every 16-minute orbit, they’d only experience eight minutes of time.

Around and around they’d go, experiencing just half the time of everyone far away from the black hole. The ship and its crew would be travelling through time. Imagine they circled the black hole for five of their years. Ten years would pass elsewhere. When they got home, everyone on Earth would have aged five years more than they had.

So a supermassive black hole is a time machine. But of course, it’s not exactly practical. It has advantages over wormholes in that it doesn’t provoke paradoxes. Plus it won’t destroy itself in a flash of feedback. But it’s pretty dangerous. It’s a long way away and it doesn’t even take us very far into the future. Fortunately there is another way to travel in time. And this represents our last and best hope of building a real time machine.

You just have to travel very, very fast. Much faster even than the speed required to avoid being sucked into a black hole. This is due to another strange fact about the universe. There’s a cosmic speed limit, 186,000 miles per second, also known as the speed of light. Nothing can exceed that speed. It’s one of the best established principles in science. Believe it or not, travelling at near the speed of light transports you to the future.

To explain why, let’s dream up a science-fiction transportation system. Imagine a track that goes right around Earth, a track for a superfast train. We’re going to use this imaginary train to get as close as possible to the speed of light and see how it becomes a time machine. On board are passengers with a one-way ticket to the future. The train begins to accelerate, faster and faster. Soon it’s circling the Earth over and over again.

To approach the speed of light means circling the Earth pretty fast. Seven times a second. But no matter how much power the train has, it can never quite reach the speed of light, since the laws of physics forbid it. Instead, let’s say it gets close, just shy of that ultimate speed. Now something extraordinary happens. Time starts flowing slowly on board relative to the rest of the world, just like near the black hole, only more so. Everything on the train is in slow motion.

This happens to protect the speed limit, and it’s not hard to see why. Imagine a child running forwards up the train. Her forward speed is added to the speed of the train, so couldn’t she break the speed limit simply by accident? The answer is no. The laws of nature prevent the possibility by slowing down time onboard.

Now she can’t run fast enough to break the limit. Time will always slow down just enough to protect the speed limit. And from that fact comes the possibility of travelling many years into the future.

Imagine that the train left the station on January 1, 2050. It circles Earth over and over again for 100 years before finally coming to a halt on New Year’s Day, 2150. The passengers will have only lived one week because time is slowed down that much inside the train. When they got out they’d find a very diff‑erent world from the one they’d left. In one week they’d have travelled 100 years into the future. Of course, building a train that could reach such a speed is quite impossible. But we have built something very like the train at the world’s largest particle accelerator at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland.

Deep underground, in a circular tunnel 16 miles long, is a stream of trillions of tiny particles. When the power is turned on they accelerate from zero to 60,000mph in a fraction of a second. Increase the power and the particles go faster and faster, until they’re whizzing around the tunnel 11,000 times a second, which is almost the speed of light. But just like the train, they never quite reach that ultimate speed. They can only get to 99.99 per cent of the limit. When that happens, they too start to travel in time. We know this because of some extremely short-lived particles, called pi-mesons. Ordinarily, they disintegrate after just 25 billionths of a second. But when they are accelerated to near-light speed they last 30 times longer.

It really is that simple. If we want to travel into the future, we just need to go fast. Really fast. And I think the only way we’re ever likely to do that is by going into space. The fastest manned vehicle in history was Apollo 10. It reached 25,000mph. But to travel in time we’ll have to go more than 2,000 times faster. And to do that we’d need a much bigger ship, a truly enormous machine. The ship would have to be big enough to carry a huge amount of fuel, enough to accelerate it to nearly the speed of light. Getting to just beneath the cosmic speed limit would require six whole years at full power.

The initial acceleration would be gentle because the ship would be so big and heavy. But gradually it would pick up speed and soon would be covering massive distances. In one week it would have reached the outer planets. After two years it would reach half-light speed and be far outside our solar system. Two years later it would be travelling at 90 per cent of the speed of light. Around 30 trillion miles away from Earth, and four years after launch, the ship would begin to travel in time. For every hour of time on the ship, two would pass on Earth. A similar situation to the spaceship that orbited the massive black hole.

After another two years of full thrust the ship would reach its top speed, 99 per cent of the speed of light. At this speed, a single day on board is a whole year of Earth time. Our ship would be truly flying into the future.

The slowing of time has another benefit. It means we could, in theory, travel extraordinary distances within one lifetime. A trip to the edge of the galaxy would take just 80 years. But the real wonder of our journey is that it reveals just how strange the universe is. It’s a universe where time runs at different rates in different places. Where tiny wormholes exist all around us. And where, ultimately, we might use our understanding of physics to become true voyagers through the fourth dimension.

 

The Power of Thought & Laws of The Universe!- (Law Of Attraction)

15 changes you should try to aim for in 2014

Resolutions? Fuck them.

It’s tough to hold on to them. Let’s aim for changes instead.

I am game. Are you?

Let 2014 be your blank slate. So what then, do you want to put on this slate? What do you want to make for yourself this year?

This is life man. It’s all about making good decisions and change for the better. Let’s let go of resolutions cause they’re annoying and easy to fail.

Let’s make a change now. Let it be so that at the end of 2014, you’ve developed new habits.

Here are 14 changes you should try to aim for in 2014:

1) Cut down on social media. Stop mindlessly surfing Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. You’d have a lot more time in your hands then and also become more aware of what’s going on around you.

2) Read more. Read more books. Blogs too, but make sure they add real value. Go to your library.

3) Appreciate being alone.

4) Stop being so pissed and upset over little things. Do you want some totally, uncontrollable event ruin your entire day? I don’t.

5) Stop procrastinating. Just get off your ass and do something. Do one thing first, then let it flow. It WILL flow.

6) Meditate.

7) Let go of toxic friendships which aren’t doing you any good any more. Seriously, dump the friends you don’t need.

8) Loving yourself with full compassion, because you don’t really need others to give you that.

9) Exercise more.

10) Appreciate the art of doing absolutely nothing.

11) Eliminate shyness. Don’t hold back on socializing.

12) Lower expectations.

13) Create.

14) Have fun in everything you do. Because most of us forget to.

WRITTEN BY Alden Tan HE HAS A GREAT BLOG CHECK IT OUT  http://alden-tan.com/about-me/

Want to jump start your changes this year? Check my books out. I’m pretty sure they can help you out.

How to Score the Next BIG Hit: 5 Marketing Tips From Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop”

How to Score the Next BIG Hit: 5 Marketing Tips From Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop”

Written by Lukas Camenzind With over 7 million copies sold, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” is one of the highest selling singles of the past few years. But WHY was the song such a huge success? And what can you learn from it if you want to score the NEXT big hit? Here are 5 key insights: 1. It’s A Single Did you know Thrift Shop was the 5th in a series of singles released from The Heist? The first single was “My Oh My” (released December 2010). It completely failed to chart. About a month later came “Wing$” (released January 2011), but it didn’t really catch on either. Then, “Can’t Hold Us” (released August 2011) as the third, and a year later “Same Love” (released July 2012) as the 4th single… …but it wasn’t until AFTER “Thrift Shop” (released August 2012) blew up in October of 2012, that the previous songs climbed the charts, too. So what’s the lesson? Release and promote a series of individual songs. And: If it’s not a hit, switch. Don’t keep pushing a song that’s not getting any traction on its own. Keep releasing new songs until one catches on. 2. It’s Different If you don’t want to drown in the sea of new releases, the first challenge for any (new) artist is: How do you stand out? The simple answer: Be different. “Thrift Shop” IS different: It’s an ode to resourcefulness and getting fabulous even when you can’t afford to touch the luxury items that rappers usually talk about. In fact, it’s the exact OPPOSITE. The lesson: If you want to get noticed, don’t do what everyone else is doing. Dare to be different. You will alienate some, but connect more with others – and that’s what matters in the end. 3. It’s Fun As Jonah Berger shows in his book “Contagious: Why Things Catch On”, funny stories are among the most likely to go viral (because humor is a high-arousal, positive emotion, which makes it highly shareable). And “Thrift Shop” IS a fun song… about a “controversial”, but not-so-serious topic: Whether you are a thrifty-hipster or not, it’s safe to have an opinion and fun to “argue” about it. So, remember: Even if your music isn’t comical, don’t take yourself too serious. Make sure it’s fun to talk about your music, if you want anyone to share it. 4. It’s an Anthem Thrift Shop is not just a song – it’s an anthem. Why? Because the song is a symbol that captures the ACTUAL cultural phenomenon of the cash-strapped hipster (by choice or not), on the hunt for vintage clothes. Here’s the good news: If you want your song to become an anthem, too, you don’t need to start a whole new movement. All you need to do is draft behind a trend that’s ALREADY happening within the audience you want to reach. Write a concept song with a clear and focused message, and you’ll have a better chance of it becoming an huge hit like Thrift Shop. 5. It’s Visual With “Thrift Shop”, the song’s message doesn’t just come across through the music and lyrics: The music video (currently at over 430 million views on You Tube!) communicates the song’s concept visually: It’s fun, different and out-there, and captures what the song is all about. In todays online world (where everyone’s attention span is short), using stunning, extraordinary visuals to go along with your music is crucial. If you want your next song to be a big hit – or at least more successful than your previous song – don’t skimp on the visuals. Now tell me this… Why Do You Think Some Songs Become HUGE Hits? And What Are You Doing To Increase Your Chances Of Scoring The Next One? Leave a comment and let me know! Author Bio: Hi, my name is Luke and I have two passions in life: music and marketing. Have you ever wondered why some artists fail, while others have HUGE success online? If you’re a talented musician, I want to help you reach and engage more fans. To find out why some artists fail while others succeed, download my free report now: http://bit.ly/posteram

How to Score the Next BIG Hit: 5 Marketing Tips From Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop”

Written by Lukas Camenzind With over 7 million copies sold, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” is one of the highest selling singles of the past few years. But WHY was the song such a huge success? And what can you learn from it if you want to score the NEXT big hit? Here are 5 key insights: 1. It’s A Single Did you know Thrift Shop was the 5th in a series of singles released from The Heist? The first single was “My Oh My” (released December 2010). It completely failed to chart. About a month later came “Wing$” (released January 2011), but it didn’t really catch on either. Then, “Can’t Hold Us” (released August 2011) as the third, and a year later “Same Love” (released July 2012) as the 4th single… …but it wasn’t until AFTER “Thrift Shop” (released August 2012) blew up in October of 2012, that the previous songs climbed the charts, too. So what’s the lesson? Release and promote a series of individual songs. And: If it’s not a hit, switch. Don’t keep pushing a song that’s not getting any traction on its own. Keep releasing new songs until one catches on. 2. It’s Different If you don’t want to drown in the sea of new releases, the first challenge for any (new) artist is: How do you stand out? The simple answer: Be different. “Thrift Shop” IS different: It’s an ode to resourcefulness and getting fabulous even when you can’t afford to touch the luxury items that rappers usually talk about. In fact, it’s the exact OPPOSITE. The lesson: If you want to get noticed, don’t do what everyone else is doing. Dare to be different. You will alienate some, but connect more with others – and that’s what matters in the end. 3. It’s Fun As Jonah Berger shows in his book “Contagious: Why Things Catch On”, funny stories are among the most likely to go viral (because humor is a high-arousal, positive emotion, which makes it highly shareable). And “Thrift Shop” IS a fun song… about a “controversial”, but not-so-serious topic: Whether you are a thrifty-hipster or not, it’s safe to have an opinion and fun to “argue” about it. So, remember: Even if your music isn’t comical, don’t take yourself too serious. Make sure it’s fun to talk about your music, if you want anyone to share it. 4. It’s an Anthem Thrift Shop is not just a song – it’s an anthem. Why? Because the song is a symbol that captures the ACTUAL cultural phenomenon of the cash-strapped hipster (by choice or not), on the hunt for vintage clothes. Here’s the good news: If you want your song to become an anthem, too, you don’t need to start a whole new movement. All you need to do is draft behind a trend that’s ALREADY happening within the audience you want to reach. Write a concept song with a clear and focused message, and you’ll have a better chance of it becoming an huge hit like Thrift Shop. 5. It’s Visual With “Thrift Shop”, the song’s message doesn’t just come across through the music and lyrics: The music video (currently at over 430 million views on You Tube!) communicates the song’s concept visually: It’s fun, different and out-there, and captures what the song is all about. In todays online world (where everyone’s attention span is short), using stunning, extraordinary visuals to go along with your music is crucial. If you want your next song to be a big hit – or at least more successful than your previous song – don’t skimp on the visuals. Now tell me this… Why Do You Think Some Songs Become HUGE Hits? And What Are You Doing To Increase Your Chances Of Scoring The Next One? Leave a comment and let me know! Author Bio: Hi, my name is Luke and I have two passions in life: music and marketing. Have you ever wondered why some artists fail, while others have HUGE success online? If you’re a talented musician, I want to help you reach and engage more fans. To find out why some artists fail while others succeed, download my free report now: http://bit.ly/posteram

How to Score the Next BIG Hit: 5 Marketing Tips From Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop”

The Future of Music Marketing: Direct-to-Device

The Future of Music Marketing: Direct-to-Device

Digital marketing has only been in its current form for the last decade. Despite the application of digital marketing within various industries, the majority of initiatives and campaigns have focused on the idea of direct-to-consumer (or within music as direct-to-fan). The focus lies solely on cutting out the middleman and reaching consumers directly. The current conventions of digital marketing within the music industry focus on basic direct-to-consumer tenets but these ideas are now beginning to become obsolete. With the rise of hardware-focused technology such as the smartphone, the relationship between an artist and fan is facilitated through their devices. The new way to reach fans will be direct-to-device. A Real Meet and Greet Reaching fans in decades past was simple because there wasn’t a technological barrier. Fans were able to go to a local record store, buy an album and connect with the artist through their music and their cover art. The anticipation of finding out what an artist was like was emoted through interviews, television appearances and fan magazines, which told you what your artist’s favorite color was. Fans were able to connect with their favorite artists and support them through items such as zines. The Riot Girl music movement of the Pacific Northwest found its strongest support in zines from around the country between its two epicenters, Olympia, WA and Washington, DC. The scene quickly spread across the country by and large due to the network of fans. Marissa Meltzer offers her take on how the word of the Riot Grrl scene spread in her book, Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution In Music (22). “In those pre-Internet times,” she wrote, “word spread through the punk community via zines, letters between pen pals in far-flung music scenes and bands going on tour.” As Internet use became more prominent amongst fans, the way artists used technology to communicate with their fans changed the scope of how music is sold. Introducing Topspin In 2007, Topspin launched their direct-to-consumer software, which was available to artists by invitation only. Topspin introduced the concept of direct-to-consumer to the music industry using their easy-to-use software comprised of a central dashboard. The suite of software offered tools such as an email for media widget, allowing fans to enter their email address for access to an exclusive piece of content, such as an MP3. Topspin took a simple idea and suite of tools and was the first company to make them for the artist instead of the record label. By utilizing the technology the company provided, artists were able to market their music directly to fans. They could offer music and fan packages directly to their super fans. With the email tools, they were also offered a chance to educate themselves on email marketing. As the old model of distributing music was disrupted, artists such as Eminem, Brian Eno and the Beastie Boys used Topspin to release their music. When Eminem released his last record, Relapse, he had a few special packages that were offered to fans on his website. They were able to choose from special packages, which included limited run t-shirts, special memorabilia from the album and prints autographed by the rapper. One of the most successful features offered by Topspin was the ability to use their technology to bundle certain packages and sell them directly to fans, as was the case with Eminem’s album release campaign. As artists increasingly used Topspin, they were able to cut out the label directly and sell their music on their own. With this sort of power, the artists are able to communicate directly with fans through their music. However with the rise of artist applications, the way an artist communicates with their fans is changing yet again. Artist Applications As the focus of digital marketing switched to direct-to-consumer initiatives, there was a shift in how artists communicated with their fans online. Suddenly the need to be on social networks such as Myspace, Facebook and Twitter were a main focus of digital marketing teams. Artist focus was directed to two areas: their websites and their social networking profiles. The focus shifted to fan aggregation and retention within both areas. Content management systems such as NING or WordPress offered artists ways to upgrade from static websites and offer fans ways to not only communicate with each other but with the artists directly. By allowing fans a central portal to communicate, their audiences were all pooled into a location where they could effectively promote upcoming initiatives such as tours or album releases. As more and more artists shifted focus to their social networking profiles, the need to be able to creatively promote their initiatives became more relevant. Fans were looking for new and innovative ways to hear and share their favorite artist’s music. Innovation came in the form of one off applications, which supported a certain marketing driver for an artist’s campaign. While there are many artist application examples to choose from, the execution and originality of the use of these technologies is key. When Slash from Guns ‘N Roses was about to release his last album, Apocalyptic Love, there were standard tools used to market the music such as Topspin. The originality behind the use of his marketing campaign came in the form of an application called, Slash360. The application was developed by Mativision and showcases both the music from the album and provided the fan a compelling interactive element: a 360 degree view of Slash in the studio with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators performing tracks off of the new album. This sort of application use case as both a native application for iOS and a creative way of engaging fans with the use of a mobile application was a great way to showcase the future of mobile marketing. Most of the application use cases audiences are familiar with are the standard artist application which is basically an extension of their website. These native applications really have no use other than the power to send push notifications to their audiences. If artists or their digital marketing teams, were more willing to extend themselves beyond the basic applications they would be able to participate in the new form of engagement and leave the stale ideas behind. As artist-to-fan communication evolves beyond social networks, it is crucial for digital marketing to shift its focus to the future of music marketing: direct-to-device. Snapchat, WhatsApp, and More? Data is the most valuable asset to an artist. It can help show them who their fans are, where they are located and the amount of them who actually engage with their content and purchase items from them. Since data is so valuable, marketing initiatives, which focus on how to collect these data insights, are increasingly valuable. As social networks such as Facebook close off access to valuable data, the value in driving traffic to the artist’s central point of information their website is becoming more prominent. Distribution points such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, are seen as places where you post content to either engage with artist specific content (Youtube videos for example) or links to blog posts on the artist’s website. A way of collecting valuable data besides on an artist site is through either partnerships with applications or partnerships with platform service providers through specific marketing initiatives (a campaign with Creative Allies for a poster promotion for example). Snapchat is the perfect application for the multi-tasking and short-lived memory of the millennial generation. Their audience takes snaps of themselves and sends them to each other with the promise of the content deleting itself automatically after a certain number of seconds. With the release of their new Stories features, the application is allowing artists to focus on the content of the messaging with their audience. For example, an artist could debut 15 seconds of a new single through the application without worrying about a fan sharing it online because of the unique deletion feature. WhatsApp is another example of an application with significant data collection and massive distribution. The application, according to their Crunchbase profile, is a “cross-platform mobile messaging app, which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS.” By partnering with a messaging application, an artist would have the ability to directly communicate with fans through their smartphones, which is the future of marketing for both music and every other industry. An artist could directly communicate with fans through the application without ever having to go through Facebook or Twitter again. As more and more fans use their mobile devices for every facet of their lives, a marketing campaign should take into account the new way of communicating. An artist with the ability to send push notifications to an audience they have specific information about will be a more effective way to promote an album. If you had the ability to geo-target push notifications based on a fan’s location, the messaging and data would be more complete. An artist with deals within applications such as Snapchat, WhatsApp, and other popular mobile applications will have the ability to distribute their content more effectively to a fan’s device. A device they have with them for the majority of the day and something they use in their daily lives. The ability to have such deals in place is something few artists are really taking advantage of and using to message their music. There has been a lull in the past few years within the digital marketing field. Everyone uses the same tactics to sell music to their audiences with a comparable number of sales each time. As the technology of applications and devices advances, marketing tactics should shift to the consumer’s behavior with their device. The future of music marketing is direct-to-device.

The Future of Music Marketing: Direct to Device

How to Get Endorsements or Sponsors for your band, tour, record, etc.

While conducting music business industry panels across the country, I’m often asked one question more than anything else: “How do I get an endorsement?” Other variations include “How do I get a sponsor?” or “How do I get free stuff?”

My philosophy is that if this is your point of view, you’re probably already doomed. Sponsors (whether music instrument companies, beer, or clothes, etc.) don’t care about what they can do for you. They care about what you can do for them – or rather, what you can do together. So to begin with, you have to switch the mentality from “What can I gain from this?” to “What can we gain from this relationship?” Below are a few things that I recommend in your approach:

Ask, straight up: There’s a saying that “the answer is always no until you ask.” In the music industry, there are three kinds of people: those who make things happen, those who wait for things to happen, and those who wonder “what the heck just happened?” Don’t wait for an opportunity. Create it by initiating contact, networking, or asking the right questions that will get you a lead, information on how to get a sponsor, etc. Don’t be afraid in emailing, calling, or scheduling an appointment to do an in-person presentation on why they should sponsor you. That being said…

The Approach: Find a way to be unique, succinct, and intriguing with your initial contact. My rep at the largest music instrument company in the world says that he gets 300-500 emails a week asking for endorsed artist information. So why did he pick my band, The Slants, out of all of those? Because we focused on the company, not ourselves.  We offered a new target audience that they weren’t reaching, we had a unique angle to our music and branding, and they would benefit from working with us. Find a way to explain why you are the “first, the only, the original” of what you do. If you need help, try 15secondpitch.com to help your approach.

Offer an Idea (or 3): Offer an idea right away that the said company could benefit from or that you two could do together to bring more business for everyone. If you are adding value to them from the start, they will be more inclined to listen to you. Make everything more about “we” than just “me.”

Try Untapped Industries: Getting sponsors/endorsements is like rolling a snowball:  once you get started, it becomes easier and more people will start to pay attention. Often times, if the sponsor you’re working with is happy, they’ll refer other companies to you. To get your start, try companies with less competition. For example, try local businesses that you already frequent and see if they’d be willing to do some cross-promotional marketing. Also, smaller indie music instrument companies are often untapped compared to the big brands you see at Guitar Center.

Use Existing Resources: Have everyone in your band or circle of friends create a contact list of everyone they know: where they work, what position, etc. Use those contacts as a start; their company might not be able to help but they might know someone who can. All things being equal in life, people would rather do business with their friends.

Make it a Sales Call: Treat every contact like you would a sales call, because essentially that is what you are doing. Same exact method because you’re selling your music, your tour, your band. If you want them to “buy” through giving your product or cash, then you have to give them a reason to. Create a list of the top 3-5 reasons why they would benefit from giving you what you’re asking for. Are you providing a good return on investment for them?

Don’t Expect Free Stuff: Most endorsed artists through Fender, Gibson, Pearl, etc. don’t get free stuff (unless you’re talking world class level audiences), they get discounted stuff. Even at that, it isn’t about just getting product. It’s about creating a lasting relationship where you can build an audience together with that company.

If you want some more tips or you have some to offer yourself, feel free to comment below or hit me up at simon@laststopbooking.com

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Simon Tam is owner of Last Stop Booking, a full service agency that offers tour booking and music consulting services. Simon has appeared on stage at over 1,200 live events and has traveled North America presenting ideas about the music industry. For more information and to see Simon’s blog on music industry advice, please visit www.laststopbooking.com