Self-Care For Entrepreneurs & Indie-Musicians.

One of my absolute favourite entries that I’ve written so far is: The Glorious Hustle.

In fact it might be my number one favourite blog entry.

The funny thing about hitting the wall health-wise is that you easily end up going back into the same patterns of behaviour once you feel better.

This month I’ve had the flu but I’ve still been “hustling” and only stopped once I was forced to physically.

I guess that should turn me into a 21st century icon especially if I die of exhaustion.

When you exit the system and become an entrepreneur your rights are directly linked to whatever portion of the market you are able to reach.

There is no union or government department ensuring that you only work so-and-so many hours or that you have an x amount of paid holiday days or sick days.

Whatever percentage of the market that you manage to reach and expose yourself to decide as a demographic whether or not you deserve a holiday or time off due to their purchasing power.

The best thing that can happened to you as an independent artist is that the entertainment establishment gives you a call and want to hire you to do some work for them, this gives you a proper salary and you’ll know upfront what you are dealing with.

It will also give you a spike in online engagement and sales if a major outlet writes about you. This will be instant and very noticeable.

Most of the time though there will be a direct relation between how much time that is spent online and how much money you make. 

I’ve been very lucky since I don’t work alone but have a manager and representation, however these last few months I’ve had to be very active online myself since there has been lots of health issues within my family. This means that I’ve hardly touched my instruments since I’ve been busy promoting my videos and music online in addition to spending time reading and watching videos updating myself on all sorts of changes in the music world.

Pledge Music for example now find themselves in the middle of a scandal and Spotify has changed some of the services that they offer unsigned artists, which are things that I wouldn’t know about if I hadn’t been reading myself up on certain things.

My sponsored video was also the result of me finding out about an online site connecting brands and YouTubers, a site I didn’t even know existed.

Posting updates and being active online raise awareness of your product and results in tangible sales, this then obviously means that you lose out on potential sales if you turn off your gadgets and don’t engage! You also need to have something to sell and this should be of the best quality possible which means lots of blood, sweat and tears when it comes to creating quality content….

Being accessible and “open” might result in extra opportunities and work coming your way since people who follow you gain insight into your charity work or interests, so cutting yourself off from the online world as an artist is a bad idea especially since fans and followers love to connect directly with you as a creator.

So how on earth do you then manage to have some me-time?

  1. If someone offers you some sort of establishment contract you’ll have some sort of financial predictability. You’ll have access to infrastructure and increased exposure for your brand, in addition to the networking-opportunity that comes with it. Considering how much money the establishment have access to I personally see this as the best option, even though you’ll probably have to deal with difficult attitudes and personalities if signing a record-deal.
  2. If more of your followers sign up to your Patreon and/or PayPal. If 10.000 of my subscribers on YouTube signed up to my Patreon for 1$ each it would change my life, sadly though I’ve seen people with millions of subscribers on YouTube have only a few hundred signed up to their Patreon. Whether you engage in crowdfunding or a sign up model you’ll never get the majority of your followers to sign up, not even half of them. We started my first crowdfunding campaign due to suggestions from Facebook fans, but we got a bit annoyed afterwards when we had to persistently campaign in order to reach our goal (which we did) since the majority of those who had suggested crowdfunding did not sign up for it… What happened to all of those who promoted this as a good idea? Much talk, not much action.
  3. The only immediate solution that I see when it comes to me-time is: AUTOMATION. The other day I decided to try Facebook’s scheduled posts. While I was officially active on my profile I was actually keeping my brother company as he was eating his afternoon supper. I was reading a bedtime story for him, but officially I was posting online. Likewise this morning I woke up to a spike in statistics here on my blog since my latest blog post was scheduled to be published at 01:11AM, which I’ve now set as my “publishing time.” In an ideal digital-world it would be possible to automate across all of your various social media profiles for free. Sadly that isn’t the case yet.

If how much money you make is directly linked to how much energy you spend online (without your reach being restricted on social media) then it goes without saying that you can never disappear.

I’ve now heard it repeatedly said that the old model of artists creating something and then vanishing for a couple of years is over.

Just like your social media activity has to be consistent well so does your artistic output. This works well for those who just put things out there, not so much for perfectionists who believe in quality over quantity.

It might even make it less common with creative “masterpieces.”

The whole aspect of you having to be a “social media” person as well will reward characters that aren’t totally socially retarded which also might reduce the amount of masterpieces produced in our time since it is unreasonable to expect that talent or genius should go hand in hand with “agreeableness,” “openness,”etc;

I also see an increase in individuals online becoming upset if they do not get an instant reply when they contact an artist/business. It is in fact very telling that Teespring (the company that I work with on t-shirts) have a system in place that makes the service as close to instant as it gets.

Because of people’s detachment to the production and delivery of goods they seem to think that no effort is required in the stage of production or delivery. Everything ought to be instant!

I receive lots of videos/music from other musicians all the time and that has always been the case. We as a team have also been approached by people who seem to believe that we have the power to get people endorsement deals, even record deals.

Sometimes people have reacted in anger as if thought they are entitled to priority time-wise when we have so many other things to be concerned about both in business and privately.

Every single revenue stream has to be monetised when you aren’t part of the system and it might even prove to be a good idea to share pictures and updates about your life outside of music. I started a blog because there was a demand for it.

This obviously blurs the line between who you are as a person and who you are as a professional person, I see no way out of this because what people expect from their artists and public people have changed so dramatically. Even sharing your artistic process and recording sessions is now a thing. It is all about being accessible as an individual.

The establishment is not static either and have suffered enormous financial losses these last few years due to the digital revolution. Everyone regardless of stature has a social media presence and I do get the overall impression that you somehow have to be extra-likeable and extra-nice if you are very skilled professionally or famous as if thought people are looking for asshole-signs.

People are weird, yet what people want colours where businesses go.

Once again I see AUTOMATION as the solution to me-time.

It will also satisfy the market’s desire to get instant replies and attention once social media platforms offer more diversity when it comes to automated responses.

AI to the rescue.

 

Online Hauntings, Abuse & Ethics.

Lats year I decided to phone up a good old friend of mine who I hadn’t really spoken to properly in ages. It was a great chat but it was also an educational one for me, since my friend couldn’t get over the fact that she had been in an abusive relationship. She kept on going and going and going about this negative experience.

It confirmed to me that when a negative experience is true, the victim of it (whether the person(s) like(s) to consider themselves a victim or not) will never get over it, or might ease out of it after first mentally obsessing over it, only to then talk about it on “repeat” with friends or family members, before finally letting it go.

After this act of emotional “processing” the trauma or negative experience falls into the psychological “archive” department and might be re-ignited due to association if a similar situation occur in the future. Thankfully the memory goes into “sleep mode” or retreats to a dormant state, even though it is still there, buried within the mental jungle.

Just like I’ve witnessed other people get stuck in this sort mental and emotional  “loop,” I also experienced something similar after the successful “trolling” of me online back in 2015.

When I first became aware of that it wasn’t just me that was accessing my social media profiles I had my list of suspects, which is probably why I was just annoyed but not necessarily alarmed….

I previously wrote about how the number of shares on my blog entries were drastically reduced over night, after my birthday entry in 2015. I had previously also spoken about how lame it was that I had issues with promoting a military-themed music video in late 2013.

As far as the social media “trolling” was concerned I thought that a friend of mine was pulling my leg, and thought at first that it was an American editor character. When I realised that maybe I was mistaken, I had another prime suspect that had lurked in the back of my mind for quite a while; an industry character that I had worked with in the past, who also works on programming and was/is involved with a confidential project for the U.S.Government.

(Talk about the perfect storm for a conspiracy theory).

Last on my short list was another show biz character who is involved with a cult notorious for spying on its members…

If anyone of my readers watched the TV show “Hannibal” you might remember the “alternative” (to put it mildly) friendship between Graham & Dr.Lecter. For those who have read a little bit about criminal profiling it isn’t uncommon for guilty people to express their concern and be remarkably helpful, even towards those that they’ve hurt.

Visiting the families of those they’ve killed is one example, feigning empathy.

It was therefore not strange that I suspected some show-biz characters that I had bumped into…

At a certain point though it really started to piss me off that someone was having a laugh on my behalf, trolling and pestering me big time, without me being able to get the weirdo to stop. I actually suffered from sleep -Apnea for a little while, since I had no idea who was messing around with me.

Was it a dangerous criminal from the high-security prison I had performed in? Was it a bored Google or Facebook employee? A bored NSA or GCHQ employee? A random fan with tech-abilities? A crazed, mad show biz person obsessed with my person for whatever psycho-reason?

There was no way for me to know.

My misery reached its peak when I was in the mountains of Norway and it dawned upon me that whoever was tormenting me probably knew where in the world I was due to my phone. It was a low point where I stayed awake the whole night and even decided to put a knife under my pillow, just in case.

After succeeding in frightening me the nuisance stopped after 5 months.

I wrote about the experience and certainly talked about it.

It seemed like the insanity had come to an end, but I was still wondering what on earth that whole thing had been about, since I never really figured out who was behind it.

In 2016 I noticed some awkward things, but just brushed it aside. I took screen shots and shared these online if there was anything weird and just kept on going with my “secret project.”

In 2017 I started to wonder if my online stalker had left me at all, or if the person in question had just gone into “stealth mode” since I was logged out of my Instagram account repeatedly without me doing it. I even experienced my Instagram starting to live a life of its own, while I was on it. My computer also had some strange moments, but I did not really think too much about it and just shrugged it off.

Then in November 2017 I was catapulted straight back into how I felt in 2015 when the social media craziness erupted once again while I was in Norway to attend the funeral of my grandfather … What ensued was even worse than last time, and it hit its peak after some blog entries I had written about the current U.S.President in December 2017, which made me wonder if I was being stalked by a total Trump/Conservative hater, who now had even greater reasons for loathing me. I also started to ponder if I was dealing with a “machine,” or simply put a “bot,” since some of these can be programmed to literally “haunt” you online.

You feed information to the machine and the machine throws it all back at you, or can use it against you somehow.

I have/had a hard time believing all the trolling was/is simply “machine-based” though, I’m pretty confident there is/was some flesh and blood behind it; which would be the case regardless as someone sent this thing my way.

Crazy.

I have no idea why I was targeted. It would be easy to say that it was politics but that wouldn’t ring true for 2015.

After the Facebook scandal I deleted my account since it then dawned upon me that my data could have ended up anywhere. If my data was abused, which I’m guessing was the case, I’m guessing once again that it was all done “in the name of research.”

If I wasn’t the only target then I’m guessing that we’ll see massive law suits in the future from angry social media users pissed off that their personal relationships were compromised, their data used against them and their emotional well-being manipulated by invisible “trolls” online.

What you put out in the world comes back to you. Especially un-ethical behaviour if it is on a large, organised scale.

 

The Death Of Privacy & Humanity.

Google already secured access to patient data from the NHS in England. (I mentioned this on my Instagram when the news was  fresh). Facebook wants to do the same: Facebook wants to know everything about you. The official reason is of course that this is all being done for the greater good … this is always the official reason behind any social and governmental adjustments….regardless of the consequences or lives lost in the process….

I guess I was one of those who had my feed manipulated (if you read the article I just linked to, you’ll see what I mean); I noticed it though and figured it out straight away. I experienced having all of my social media tampered with; in fact this has been an on and off issue since 2015. Back then I thought I was being pranked by someone I knew; before it finally dawned on me that it could have been anyone. I wasn’t sure if I was being targeted by a real person or a bot run amok, if I was dealing with one individual or several, and hopefully I’ll never know, since I was really freaked out by my digital stalker. To be or not to be human, it matters little, the effect is the same if you get spooked out online. It should be possible to use social media without acquiring a phone-phobia. I changed my passwords several times daily, but to no avail. And in the end I figured that I could might as well share what I was reading online and write about all sorts of things, since privacy is completely dead.

It has been dead for a while due to how people use their gadgets, and share private conversations and photos.

The gigantic, global, people-registers that have been created should frighten people far and wide. I’ve deleted my personal Facebook account and rarely use my phone anymore, which is being stored in a completely different part of the flat where I live.

Meanwhile Elon Musk warns about a potential future A.I. Dictator; what he describes though sounds an awful lot like God; who knows your thoughts, your feelings, your social network, all your whereabouts, a God that you can never escape from or hide anything from. What he describes has already been described several times through the ages; so if you believe in spirituality, then this is rather a power-shift, where humans try to be smart by creating their own God, bypassing the original system, revolting against the established, celestial, universal order.

I doubt that Musk’s trans-human vision will bear fruit, unless he and his ilk can figure out a way to control the weather and the cosmic super-powers. For all we know we might be heading for a reset, since the planet has been reset several times before. I personally believe that this tech of ours has to be destroyed before it kills us in one way or another.

To put it this way; if an ideal employee can be created to do manual tasks, then why on earth will a human work-force still be needed? We are possibly looking at a future where we make millions of humans redundant, at a point in time where there is a problem of over-population. There should be no need to point out how that issue probably will play out.

Dramatic climate change might be the best thing that can happen to humanity and the planet.