New Beginnings

I’ve been on hiatus a bit from writing here. Thank you to those who encouraged me to start back up.

I needed to take the time to work on myself. It’s interesting reading and reflecting about my posts from last year…my mindset has definitely shifted. That’s the cool thing about writing - it reveals what we couldn’t think or talk through.

One of the important things I’ve had to work through is when forming resentments around a person or hating something about them. I learn that it’s generally a mirror of how I feel inside.

The thing I hate most about that person….is what I hate in myself.

Acknowledging it and then applying it when I get angry has helped me tenfold.

The resentment lifts and I can love again.

I hope it can help you too.

Long Game vs Short Game

Someone made a comment along the lines of ‘I need to be more flirty with creatives, it would help to advance my relationships with them.’ This person doesn’t understand my personal brand, and how much this is not a part of how I operate.

It got me thinking of ways to ‘get ahead,’ that don’t include much effort, perseverance or personal development.

1-Drugs/Alcohol as a way to induce a bond.

2-Using sexuality as a way to force a bond.

3-Blackmailing/rumors to gain an advantage over a competitor.

The above scenarios are effective in the short term, but if you look at the top folks in our industry their actions are quite the contrary.

Three ideas to consider as an alternative:

1-Listening, and observing others actions. People often reveal themselves if you are actively paying attention.

2-Connecting people who need to know each other. They will always remember your part in it.

3-Helping others achieve their goals. It will almost always come back ten-fold.

Play the long game.

INVITE: The Next Generation

Whenever you sit down with a senior executive and make an ask they usually will say "Great, I'll call so and so I've known for 25 years to get it done".

I am hosting an event in LA on October 1st that is meant to create a power circle within the next generation of music executives so that line rings true to us all one day. Join us for a cocktail to get to know your next collaborator. Invite below.

Benini has hosted previous events that have included attendees from CAA, Facebook, Live Nation, AEG, Vevo, WME, APG, Roc Nation, Redbull, Showtime, Keel, StyleHaul, Cut + Sew, Th3rd Brain and many more executives alike.

We are excited to partner with hosts Alex Valenti, USC alumni at Direct Management and fellow 'Cuse alumni, Caitlin Lytle at Pulse Music Publishing, for this event!

RSVP here.

Password is: NEXTGEN


Communicating to Emotion

You can borrow credibility, you can share previous successes and you can communicate with numbers. 

Those are all logic prone thought processes.

Logic isn’t what moves us though.

If it did, we wouldn’t overeat or spend money on items we can’t afford.  

Emotion moves us and alters our state.

Outside of Doctors and Engineers- communication through Emotion would seem to be a better route then logic.

Emotion based communication supports physical and mental well being, salesmanship, relationships and almost anything that can’t be easily measured. 

Where do you need to expend more emotional labor? 



Substituting Engagement

On the internet we can promote, like and comment. Often times we mistake these gestures as real successes or relationship building.

It’s passive, easy and done by many. The road is beaten down and well paved. 

The type of relationships that matter are built upon by showing up, supporting their work and/or emotional state and helping them win. It’s the most selfish selfless thing you can do. 

I often stub my toe on the unpaved parts of this road - but it’s pavement worth creating. 

What people don't tell you

Why has this person not responded to my call or email? Why did the hiring manager never let me know if I got the job? Why did this person ghost on me?

Here is a list of reasons you weren't privileged to see:

-I owed a favor to someone and I gave them the opportunity. 

-I didn't see any direct experience so I deleted your resume.

-I forwarded it to someone else who isn't as insightful as I am and I don't have the time to deal with this directly. 

-You followed up with me too much with no new or interesting information and you became a pest.

-The person above me is cutting the budget, we are about to go underwater but I don't have the authority to divulge that information to you.

-You don't look or sound like me.

-I don't understand your value.

Use this insight to keep moving forward. Where you create momentum is where opportunity lies. 

The Clutter Conundrum

We can all upload music, art, writing or creative marketing content.

We are all bombarded with information and attention seeking items all day.

You need to feed us, teach us, lead us and entertain us. If you help us we will buy-in. The duration of the buy-in will depend on how you use your influence and power. How you feed the flame.

Unless the Art you create is solely for you- the end consumer is determining your 'Arts and Commerce' license.

Keep feeding.

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The Third Door

I remember at SXSW Music Week 2012 I was a music business student and was underage. I was working on becoming the Concert Director at Syracuse University, making connections with music agents and getting an internship. The only problem was that everything was 21+. Going to all age showcases was not an option. Instead I had to sneak in backdoors, pay off people and talk my way through security lines.

I accomplished all three of those things. Had I settled for what I was allowed to do I wouldn't of had the opportunities I had years later. 

Julie Pilat has an incredible podcast titled the Idea Fountain where she interviews inspiring people that have rejected conformity. Her latest episode features author, Alex Banayan of The Third Door - who shares intimate details of how persistence and preparation led to mentorship by Larry King among many others. Highly recommend you subscribing here to this insightful podcast!

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Why I am reverse engineering my career

No one is a genius all the time. The people at the top of our industries aren't there because they were born with it, they just played the cards they were dealt smarter then the next person.

I looked at my role models and broke down their careers into tangible pieces. There were keystone habits these people had that led them to continued success. By putting their core attributes into my own life- I will be able to achieve similar, if not greater results.

For me personally there were three defining pieces I found:

-Those who are curious and seek out advice/assistance will always beat those who don't seek or ask.

-Those whose closest relationships are with the creatives and/or are the creative- hold the power. Artificial intelligence will take over most jobs but artistry is irreplaceable.

-No one is going to find and save you. You have to choose and bet on yourself.

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The Power of Vulnerability

I find that when I hold in the less than perfect parts of my life it doesn't do anything for me aside from giving me emotions of shame, anxiety and frustration.

Every time I am in a meeting and reveal something I’m not necessarily proud of, the other person almost always reciprocates a similar situation or action. A bond is now created that is below the surface and an impression is now formed where a relational foundation can be built.

Anyone that thinks being vulnerable is a sign of weakness is missing the mark. It's those interactions that are conducive to loyalty, trust and support.

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Nothing to lose

The number one reason people don't act is because they are scared. Fear is the most powerful emotion.

Action is the only way to move forward. Reading and knowledge will help for context purposes but until you are pushing the barrel up the hill yourself, you won't reap the benefits of the experience.

Lets make this a game. Get the door slammed in your face ten times this week, one time the door will actually stay open. It's not that scary - use this as your real world call to action. Email me at the end of the week with your progress.

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Political maneuvering

From my experiences and hundreds of stories from friends here are a few things to remember when you are dealing with politics.

-Association with certain people can hurt or help your cause. So much so that is can cost you a gig, client or deal. On the flip side you can gain a gig, client or deal. You will win and lose at this throughout your career. Accept this and move on.

-Every time words leave your mouth it is no longer confidential. Be comfortable with knowing that what you say will get out in one way, shape or form.

-Most people judge you based on your appearance. People will get opportunities because they dress and walk the talk. Even if you've put in more hours, these people will beat you- at least in the short term.

-You can break through to most people by killing them with kindness. This won't work on everyone but it's a good way to live life in general. No one has time for mean people.

Remember that politics are a game. Don't actively play it but be aware that it exists. It will empower you to find the confidence you need to move forward and succeed.

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I was having a conversation with a friend about connecting with people.

If you reach out in a conventional way you likely will be ignored, deleted or considered a pest. You weren't invited into their lives and they already have the preconception of you that you are going to ask for something. 

When I reach out in unconventional ways - real relationships are formed. My biggest inspirations in life are people who push the narrative forward. I feel obligated to tell them when they have inspired me. Just as I'd like others to tell me (if they actually feel that way). 

If someone has impacted you - tell them. Do it today and let me know how it goes.

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Finding the answer in Why

Seeing the end result of a #1 billboard charting artist, billionaire CEO or service that changes the way consumers buy goods/services is inspiring.

Often times these people and companies now have more fans, employment applicants and demand than ever before. The flock of birds go there believing that if they can be surrounded by these people they too will become that. I will argue that 99% of the time this doesn't work.

It is the 'Why' behind these stories that need to be studied and adhered to. Why did the artists P!nk and Eminem become mega superstars? Because during their climb to the top they pushed against the status quo. So much so that there are people who hate their guts, and people who are considered 'Stan' fans.

If I'm not making people angry or obsessive with my work…I'm not doing enough. 

For my Eminem & P!nk Stans' check out their latest musical collaboration below.

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