Have you ever thought of yourself as more than a musician? Do you see possibilities beyond the song others don’t see?
In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I pass the mic with author, entrepreneur, musician Andy Seth (A-Luv). He shares about his new book and album, Bling, his content marketing agency Flow, his meditation practice, and a great deal more.
- 00:27 – The Antidote & Spirit Searcher Vol. 1
- 01:14 – Publishing to Medium for 365 consecutive days
- 01:42 – Comedic tribute to the 80s music project
- 02:08 – Something special for episode 200?
- 03:15 – Growing up in a motel in L.A.
- 05:35 – The life-changing power of spirituality
- 10:04 – “Safety net” advice and whether to take it
- 17:32 – What is Flow?
- 25:29 – Bling
- 33:01 – What’s the last YouTube video you watched?
- 33:09 – What is Andy’s daily routine like?
- 35:19 – Is there a connection between meditation and success in business?
- 39:52 – What is the biggest challenge Andy has overcome?
- 43:36 – Andy’s greatest victory
- 47:15 – Andy’s book recommendations
- 51:32 – Andy’s special offer for you
- 53:28 – David’s three key takeaways
- 54:41 – News and updates
- 55:37 – Listener comments?
- 57:18 – Get in touch with David
David Andrew Wiebe: Hey, it’s David Andrew Wiebe with The New Music Industry Podcast.
Following up with some of the news items from last week. Episode 435 of The Antidote podcast is live. I mentioned last week that I would be on the show, and you can now hear the interview at TheAntidoteRadio.com.
I was on the show with my friends Carla Olive and Frederick Tamagi. I think it turned out great. They featured some of our music there. Apparently, it’s syndicated to something like 60 FM radio stations. Excited to see what the results of that might be.
So, if the Spirit Searcher, Vol. 1 compilation is something you’re interested in, I would love for you to go and have a listen. I’m sure you can find it anywhere. Spotify, Deezer, TIDAL, Amazon. Wherever you look, you should be able to find it.
I continue to plug away at my coursework, of course, and I just made the commitment to publish something new to Medium every single day for the next 365 days beginning July 28. That’s insane.
This is something I’ll probably be sharing more about in an upcoming episode but if you’d like to follow along and see what happens, you can find me on Medium at medium.com/@davidawiebe. It’s kind of like my Twitter handle.
With my current musical project, which I also touched on last time, it’s a comedic tribute to the 80s. I’ve started working on the David Bowie style track.
There are a few other tracks, you know, that are the style of Robert Palmer or Van Halen or what have you. Of course, I’m not looking to create something that’s so close to source material that I end up in a lawsuit. That’s not the goal. But I’m always putting my spin on things and I think it’s going to be pretty cool when all is said and done.
Okay. So, for today’s show, some of you probably noticed that this is Episode 200. And you might be asking yourself, “Okay, D.A., aren’t you going to do something special for Episode 200?” And the answer is, honestly, today’s episode is special. It’s special enough. It’s more than special.
You may have heard me refer to myself as an author, entrepreneur, musician. Right? That is a true statement. Though, if I really wanted to, I could give myself a different tagline. The thing is, I can’t think of a better tagline that better encompasses everything I do.
So, I know I’m building this up quite a bit, but I found another person who identifies as an author, entrepreneur, musician. Super cool! And because we had a lot in common, obviously, that proved to be fertile ground for discussion.
And to use a fancy word, “extrapolation,” which I like to think of as the process of taking an idea and imagining what isn’t already there, we obviously had a lot to share. So, Episode 200 is special. And I hope you’ll soak up every minute of it. Let’s get into the interview.
Interview with Andy Seth
Today, I’m chatting with award winning entrepreneur and all round, fascinating human, Andy Seth. How are you today, Andy?
Andy Seth: Fantastic.
David Andrew Wiebe: Awesome. Love your enthusiastic response. Sounds like we have a lot in common. And so, this can be an exciting conversation. You grew up in a motel in LA from the ages of zero to 14, your family went bankrupt. And this is where you discover that following the status quo wasn’t going to serve you. I think entrepreneurs often have that moment of clarity but what was it specifically that wasn’t working for you?
Andy Seth: Well, there was a lot packed into there. Growing up in a motel and being Indian, first of all, you might think we owned it, we did not. We just lived in it. I grew up there for 14 years of my life from zero to 14. The kinds of things that you’re around and what’s happening in life that you would live in a place where you pay rent week to week, you know, I think there’s a lot that I saw and experienced that made me realise pretty young the difference between just even having money, not having money, having safety and security. We saw a lot of people who were abused come live in the motel. You can imagine what we saw, right?
David Andrew Wiebe: Yeah.
Andy Seth: I think for the most part, childhood was innocent until it wasn’t. And when we went bankrupt, that’s really when it wasn’t. I was lying to creditors and saying my parents weren’t available. I would see that when they would call to collect and see the letters and stuff. I think that’s really what woke me up to oh man, something’s wrong. I just didn’t know any different before. Things kind of sucked but I didn’t know that it sucked until we went bankrupt. I realised that something’s wrong. I’d say that was a pretty pivotal moment in my life.
David Andrew Wiebe: Yeah. I think you expressed it very well. In my understanding of human psychology, at some point we all have that wow-there’s-something-wrong-here moment. Oftentimes, early in childhood. Maybe somewhere between four and six. Eventually, you have that realisation. It could be something small but suddenly you have that awakening that, “Huh. Everything’s not quite right.”
Andy Seth: Ah-huh. Yeah.
David Andrew Wiebe: Now, on your about page, it says education, entrepreneurship, and spirituality showed you a life you never knew existed. I love the statement. The part that caught my attention the most was spirituality. So, what was it about spirituality that was so life changing for you?
Andy Seth: I think I’ve probably gone through a number of fits and starts when it comes to spirituality. I grew up in a house that was Hindu but my parents, like, they were really open about me exploring religion. And so, I mean, my educational path, I did end up going to a Lutheran School for a little bit before I went to Boston College, which was a Catholic school. I’ve obviously been around the Hindu faith for quite a while. And so, I’ve been around religion but it wasn’t until 201 when I had sold my last company, it was the biggest exit I had had. I went through like this time of I’ve got money, I’ve got time, and I’ve got the ability to do a lot of things but I felt like this is it. I know it was cliche today and I knew it was cliche then. I was like, I know everyone’s told me money isn’t everything, and it’s not, but at the same time, there’s a great deal of happiness that does come when you have resources. There is truth to that. It’s just that when I finished this work, I had nothing left. I didn’t have this next purpose. And so, I really felt empty.
I was unfortunate. My family is from India but we’re specifically from a place called Rishikesh, which is the birthplace of yoga. I still have family there. One of my uncle’s is a really, really successful businessman. He’s also quite spiritual. And so, I went back to India, really, just to kind of take some time and do a little bit of asking questions of my uncle. Like, how does he balance this world of being really materially successful, but yet he’s got this vibe where like, if he lost it all, somehow, you knew he’d be okay with that. There’s something about him. I was like, I got to learn how to do it. And so, I went to talk with him. And you know, when the student is ready the teacher appears type of situation. That’s totally what happened. He’s sat on this wisdom for all this time and never really brought it to me but I wasn’t really ready until that moment. He helped me connect a lot of dots that I was struggling with.
The biggest dot that I struggled with was, how can I be so aggressive and ambitious? In some ways, I’m a monster when it comes to the goals and ambitions. I don’t mean monster, like I’m mean. I mean, I’ve just got that drive. It’s innate and it’s fired level. It’s not that tame. And I enjoy letting that out. And yet, at the same time, I don’t want to be suffering for what I’ve achieved or not yet achieved. And that’s what was happening. I was driving, I was suffering. How do I get rid of the suffer piece? That’s what my uncle helped guide me along and really showed me. It was so transformative that that’s actually the influence for the book that I ended up writing. It’s a parable but the main character is influenced by me. And then the guide is influenced by my uncle.
David Andrew Wiebe: There’s so much there, I could say by way of comment. I guess I relate to the spiritual journey a little bit. I’ll start there. I was brought up in a Christian home and went to church for the first 30 years of my life. Things started changing a little bit after that. I don’t know how to quite express it in a way that people would be able to relate necessarily but I just started digging. I started looking for something more than the confines I had been brought up in. And then, I had those discoveries. And, you know, maybe it’s a trope to say or give this example but Steve Jobs went to India, had a bit of awakening of his own. So did Alanis Morrissette and many others.
Andy Seth: Yeah.
David Andrew Wiebe: I think there’s something to that, you know.
Andy Seth: Yeah, for sure. Well, you know, along those lines, The Beatles when they went back 50 whatever years ago, they went to Rishikesh.
David Andrew Wiebe: That’s right.
Andy Seth: They went there. And so, the ashram that they had actually gone to is kind of in ruins but it is still there. Yeah.
David Andrew Wiebe: Another great example there. Yeah. I also liked what you shared about advice coming from people with a safety net. I don’t know if my listeners even know this but Music Entrepreneur HQ is completely self funded. I have received some financial support along the way for some very specific things such as editing for my book. But other than that, it’s my money being poured into it. And my only safety net is that at all times I’m aware of what sources of cash are available to me. But I’d love to hear your perspective on this. What’s the downside of getting advice from people with a safety net?
Andy Seth: First of all, can I just say props to you for like the homework that you did. I love that you asked me this. It’s usually something I inadvertently will bring up, if at all. If you’re a listener, first of all, respect to the to the host. No wonder you listen to the show. And second of all, your listener, the people that vibe with me that I vibe with, haven’t come from anything, haven’t had the kinds of resources, haven’t had these, like, let’s just call them, you know, their advantages. I think the word privilege has gotten like kind of twisted up so I’m not even going to mess with it. But like, there’s advantages one has. And believe me, I have worked hard to give advantages to my kids. I just didn’t have them. But here’s what I started to learn.
See, I went to really high-end high school. I went to a school called Culver Military Academy. It’s one of the most prestigious high schools in the nation. Huge endowment. People like George Steinbrenner, who own the Yankees went there. I met incredible people. And so, when I saw where everybody was, you know, people were coming from different places but I definitely came from a way different place. That place cost $25,000 a year and I got a full scholarship. I also got a full scholarship to Boston College. So, like, for me, I wasn’t the same in that sense. Right? But it was a levelling playing field that I could now go and compete. But when I say like, be careful of advice that you get from people who haven’t had a safety net, I say that because if you don’t have a safety net, there’s some things that people will advise you on that are just stupid. They’re stupid. You wouldn’t do that.
If you don't have a safety net, there are some things people will advise you on that are just stupid. Click To Tweet
Let me give you a very specific example right now. Education is worldwide, one of the equalisers and a great way to break poverty. Well, let’s unpackage that a little bit more because what’s happening today is a college degree doesn’t mean you’re going to make a ton of money. It in fact doesn’t have a correlation to that but what it does is if you don’t have a college degree, the jobs of the past that used to be still pretty good paying jobs have gone away. So, having a college degree doesn’t pay more than it used to, but not having a college degree pays less than it used to. And therefore, there’s a great divide between the earnings of someone with a college degree and someone without a college degree. As a result, what you’re seeing are a lot of people who are spinning off and saying college is useless, it’s worthless, you can go get this information online, etcetera, etcetera. In a way they’re not wrong. Yes, you can get it. But look, is everyone going to be a successful entrepreneur? No. And what they’ll say is no, I’m not saying it’s for everyone but basically, they’ll come out and say like college is bullshit. And sorry, I didn’t know if I could cuss.
David Andrew Wiebe: Go for it.
Andy Seth: But college is BS. That’s not true for everyone. And the people that are saying this, some very famous people, like one of the people that’s saying this and he’s kind of caveated a little bit of this, but Gary Vee who’s an entrepreneur, I think pretty much everyone around the world would respect.
But this is one area where Gary’s wrong. This is an area where his advantage in life and he’s going to say, you know, “Well, I was the son of immigrants.” Yes, all that stuff is true, but like, your father had a business. And that business was one that you had a job in. And you had a job no matter what you were doing. You got a job having terrible grades.
Well, let me tell you what it sounds like when you have terrible grades and you don’t have parents who can employ you. You don’t get a job. You don’t go somewhere. You can make all these kinds of arguments, but like.
So, when you hear Gary Vee or anybody say, you know, college isn’t worth anything, or it’s not as crappy. In some regards that’s true. There are definitely disciplines in college that do not lead to high income careers.
But if you have no safety net and you come from a background of poverty, this is definitely one of the highest probability routes you can go.
Entrepreneurship is a very low probability route. I’m an entrepreneur. I also got my education and I started my first business that’s tax paying when I was 13. And that first business was nine years long. It wasn’t like, “Oh, I started a little business.” No. I had a proper company. I was paying taxes. It was a multimillion-dollar business by the time I had finished with it.
So, I’m telling you as a young entrepreneur who didn’t need to go to college, who then started two more businesses in college and sold those while I was in college, I still finished college. Why? Because the risk of not finishing was too great. The risk of staying poor was too high.
So, that’s one of those things where I’m not saying you should or shouldn’t go to college. In fact, I’ve created apprenticeships for low-income youth who don’t go to college. What I am saying is, it’s not the answer for everybody to say like college isn’t for everybody.
And when you get advice from people that have had safety nets and you try to follow it and you don’t have one, the risk is a lot higher than they’re making it sound like. You might never make it to where you imagine yourself because you follow the advice of somebody who’s not telling you the truth.
The truth about their situation, the truth about, you know, I bought my first house at 25, they say. Well, I did buy my first house at 25. It’s because I sold a company. And the house I bought was for my parents so they could retire. Well, when my friends were 25, they got their down payments from their parents.
Let’s talk about really what it looked like. You got money from your parents to buy your first house. I bought my parents their first house. There’s a big difference in what I’ve done and my advice, and what other people have done.
And so, I know I resonate with people who haven’t had the safety net because I talk like that. I come from that. My advice doesn’t sound all pie in the sky. My advice sounds really practical because that’s what I believe will get us out of the situation. And there’s not enough voices out there saying it. There’s too many voices encouraging what is otherwise, advice for the privileged.
David Andrew Wiebe: I love that you said that. I think we’re totally philosophically aligned on this. If people come to me and they’ve been listeners of Gary Vee for however long, look, I know you’re a hard worker, I know you work your face off every single day. Just go for a movie, get out in nature, go to the pool, do whatever it is you do to unplug, you’ll thank me later. Because at every turn, I’m reminding people, take care of yourself. If you don’t exist, your business doesn’t exist, your music doesn’t exist, and you will die with your best song. We don’t want that. We really want people to be able to express themselves fully and die empty, as Todd Henry says.
Tell us a little bit about Flow. It’s an agency providing branding, content marketing, managed live chat and customer outsourcing, all things I love to geek out over by the way. But there are some interesting nuances to the whole thing, especially around your training program. Share about that.
Andy Seth: That’s what I just briefly touched on where I’ve created an apprenticeship program for low-income youth. I had this vision after selling my last company. I’ve helped over a thousand low-income kids go to college on scholarships now. Kids just like me through my non-profit work. I have a non-profit that I’ve served for a long time called Minds Matter. And then, I was the board chairman over at KIPP Colorado schools and expanded those school systems. So, I’ve worked in the low-income youth population for many, many, many years. I was seeing kids that were highly capable, high aptitude, you know, and college just wasn’t going to be an option for them because of their financial circumstances or just life circumstances. And their job options, as I mentioned, are not good. I was like, “What are you going to do about that?” That’s a problem that I see and I’m not doing anything about it. I didn’t see that many great non-profits addressing the issue. Once you’re over 18, non-profits kind of tend to taper off. I was like, you know, but 18 to 24, you’re ripe with opportunity but your options are not awesome. And so, what can I do about it?
And so, I created this apprenticeship and content marketing. I said, there’s a huge demand for online marketing services. No one cares what your degrees are. They just want to know can you do the work and deliver results. I’ve hired them myself. Plenty. Very different than my last business in wealth management where people very much care about the degree, but the marketing especially digital marketing, people don’t care. I would be hard pressed to see what anybody’s degrees were in the space so I knew that. I believed I could teach really great young people how to take their strong writing skills so I’d hire them for being great writers and to teach them content marketing. And by the end of that program for two years, while working a full-time job and getting paid for their full-time job. So not this like they got to pay to go to school which they can’t afford to do because they actually have to bring an income or they can’t take internships. This is a full paid job plus they’re getting educated in the Approach Program. After the two weeks, they make 40 grand. And by building that, I’ve created a marketing company that uses, you know, this talent pool that’s so untapped but rich. And I pay very bluntly, a lot less money than my competitors for equally or higher talent and definitely more loyal. Because people will hire an English major out of college and have to pay at least probably 50 grand, 50-55 for them, who doesn’t know anything still when it comes to content marketing, they just have a degree in writing. Well, guess what? I’m training my people up and I’m paying them a lot less. And as they acquire skills, they make more until the point where they can get to 40 grand and then they’ve got a career path ahead of them that’s pretty standard by any industry in marketing, right. I’m paying a lot less getting at least that quality output. At least. And I say at least because I have a two-year training curriculum. I can tell you that an English major coming out of college is not getting a two-year training curriculum. They’re getting pretty much on boarded for two weeks and then they’re getting, you know, basically do your job and they’re learning on the job. Well, mine are learning on the job and getting two years of curriculum. And they get mentorship. And they have milestones at which points they get make more money when they achieve them. So, my competitive advantage I’m very open about is I’ve tapped into a labor pool. And by educating them, I help them with their own lives but I built a much more profitable business. As a result, my services are way more affordable. You can put my services up against anybody who does similar services. Were going to be more affordable and crush from a result standpoint. I would actually put my live chat team, which is all my agents, those agents are the apprentices. I would put my live chat team up against any single company’s live chat agent, any single company in the world, and also your chat bot, and I guarantee that if we couldn’t beat them… Well, I will say we will beat them. And if we didn’t, then nobody would hire us. I’m telling you. That’s how good these kids are. And I shouldn’t call them kids because they’re adults. But like, that’s how good they are. They just needed someone to believe in them to say, “I see you. I see what you’ve got. And I’m going to take what you’ve got and we’re going to make something out of that. I’m not going to take what you’ve got and squander it and try to convince you that instead, you should be doing this really crap job. No, I’m going to take that and I’m going to make money off of it. And when I make money off of it, you’re going to make some too. And the amount that we’re going to make together is going to give you a career path.”
I’ve got two apprentices graduating next month making 40 grand, both of them under 24. We’re not working what did not go to college. And that to me is a massive competitive edge. And there’s so many other things I’ve built into the business but this is really important because it ties thematically to where I come from. You understand what I believe in. And now when you understand that, you say, “Well, if I’m going to hire a marketing company, right, like, why wouldn’t I hire one that has a social mission and is more affordable and can deliver me results?” We still live by results. Make no mistake about that. And that’s why I’m saying I would put my team up against anybody’s in the world on this. We are quick as a society to ignore this labor pool. We’re quick to criticize them. Like, “Oh, they just got to work harder.” Yeah. Well, if they started with the safety net somebody else had, yeah, they could just work harder and be where you’re at. But let me tell you, these kids work hard. They just need somebody to believe in them, to see them, and to train them. The worst thing for low-income youth is that one bullet point on a job description – two years minimum experience required. That’s the laziest employer bullet point in the world, man. It’s so easy. Because what it’s saying is, look, I don’t really want to teach you all this stuff. Just come in knowing something. Yep, that’s exactly right. Well, my apprenticeship program is two years for a reason. I got you. I’ll take you on for those two years. I’ll make sure you make money. I’ll make sure you got a career path. You just got to come to the table with everything you’ve got. I can’t do this alone. Me and my team are 100% of our 50. Those apprentices got to be 100% of their 50.
David Andrew Wiebe: It’s super cool. And like what an amazing way to give back as well. I don’t know if my listeners know, but all I have is a certificate in discipleship in college. After that, I was done. No more school for me. I was horrible in school. I’d be off doing my own thing, drawing graphic novels and mazes and doodles and filling binders with lyrics. I mean, that’s what I did in my junior high and high school years.
Andy Seth: Imagine if somebody would have seen that in you, the artist in you, creative in you and said, “You know what? Not only do I see that talent, I’ve actually got a job that can help you make money off of that. And even if you don’t do it for the rest of your life, you’ve at least got a safety net now with a career option at a minimum.”
David Andrew Wiebe: Exactly. I mean, that would have been so cool. It’s awesome that you’re offering that. That’s the same opportunity that I would love to create for others, too. Now, you knew, and you’ve already brought this up that I’d have to talk about Bling, which is a book and an album. Normally, I try to come up with a creative question here but I feel like it’s really a story unto itself. So, tell us all about it.
Andy Seth: Yeah. One of the reasons I was so excited to be on your show was because we have this in common. We’re both authors and musicians.
David Andrew Wiebe: Yes.
Andy Seth: Well, it seems to be a very rare combo.
David Andrew Wiebe: I think it is.
Andy Seth: Right? Yeah. Basically, I wrote this book, Bling. When I wrote the book, I got towards the end. And like I said, it’s a parable. I got towards the end and the main character goes through this transformation. And the main character in the book is a rapper. He goes through this transformation, has spent all this time in India, starts hearing these, you know, different sounds that are Indian sounds and fuses them with the soul and the energy and the vibe of hip-hop, and creates this kind of, you know, new magnum opus album. All kinds of other beautiful things unfold for his life towards the end of the book. It’s a book of transformation and self development, self growth. But the music, as I was writing that, I started to hear it. I started to hear it and I was like, “Yo, that would be dope if that was there.” Like, this instrument and this instrument, you know, I was picking up like, just a little sitar. And I was like, “Oh, if you could put the sitar over this kind of a B like, that will be hot.” And as I was hearing this, I actually called my dad after I’d finished writing and I was like, “Hey dad, what’s the instrument that sounds like this?” And he would explain it to me. “What’s the instrument that sounds like this?” Because I don’t know the names of them. Or I didn’t then. I didn’t know the names but I knew the sounds growing up, that’s what he would listen to. And so, I was asking him for those explanations. And so, then I went and look them up. And I was like, “Gosh, this would be so cool. Maybe I’m supposed to put this as an audio book.” That was my thought. I’m hearing the sound. Maybe I lay this as a score to an audio book. So, I went googling audiobooks scores. And sure enough, there’s some websites out there that have all this music that you can lay as your score for an audio book. When I clicked on stuff, like nothing was what I was hearing. Then I was like, “Can I just make this?” Here’s the context. My business that I mentioned from when I was 13 to 22, I was a professional DJ. Like, yes, I started in house parties and all that but I was headlining by the time I was 18. I was headlining six nights a week in Boston. I was also promoting clubs and taking a cut of the door and the bar. I was heavy into that. And so, my ear is really good. I have a really good trained ear. But I’ve never made music. And so, as I’m hearing this, I’m like, there’s got to be a way to do this. I bet I could assemble a team. And as long as I can communicate what I’m hearing to people who can technically put this together, and we can work together as a collaboration, but they’ve got the technical skills, I’ve got the sound, I bet we can put this together. And so, I assembled a team. Before I actually assembled the team, I had that idea. Like, I can make the music. I said, “Well, if I’m making the music, I already write and personally I write rhymes. I don’t publish them but they’re just, you know. Kind of like, it sounds like what you were doing, but you’ve taken it a lot further. I was writing rhymes on my own. I was like, “Well, I can write. Let me get somebody who would write with me. And I bet you we could write a song.” I was like, “Well, if I write a song, why don’t I just make a whole album? Well, if I make an album, that’s kind of like a soundtrack to the book.” And then my head exploded. I was like, a soundtrack to the book. I was like, wait a minute, books, get turned into movies, movies get soundtracks, but books don’t get soundtracks.
David Andrew Wiebe: That’s right.
Andy Seth: I mean, either it’s a terrible idea which never happened before or I might be on to something. I didn’t really care whether it was a terrible idea or not. I wanted it to exist. I wanted it to exist. And so, I felt like I’m going to create it. So, chapter per chapter, the Bling book, every chapter, and the blink album, chapter per chapter, track per track. Same titles of each chapter and each track. So, when you hear the music it’s all influenced by that chapter. It’s not obviously like verbatim words but it’s an influence from that chapter. So, if you hear the song and you’ve read the book, they work in tandem. You can’t recall lyrics, but you’ll recall the lessons that I’m teaching because we know music is way easier to recall. We can recall lyrics from 10-20, whatever years ago, but we’d be pretty hard pressed to recall a paragraph of a book. Right? So, music has that power.
If I’m a creative in the “business of spreading a message” … I say, quote, unquote, because actually this isn’t my business, right? It’s music and writing are passions. They’re not my only business model. But if I’m in the business of spreading a message, why should I limit it to one medium? Let me use the medium at my disposal now. And so, that’s where I got the idea to create an album and I assembled a team. Truly went on to YouTube, found like different artists that I really loved that it could fit this kind of vibe that I was thinking about. There’s like a Spanish singer on one song and I, I wrote some like the bridge, and I wrote the hook in Spanish because I wanted to flex a little bit of my Spanish skills. And I found this lady from Cuba, who’s a beautiful singer, Karen Ender, and she’s saying like… So, you know, I brought all this team together to really take my vision and to start to translate it and really get it refined. And now, I mean, we’ve got this beautiful album. From my knowledge outside of kitty books, it’s the first book with the soundtrack. Like I said, if you know, actually tell me. I haven’t heard of it. But when my team went looking for it, we couldn’t find it. But the book went number one bestseller, pretty simply went on the first day within some number of hours, went to number one bestseller. I think as of right now, there’s like 80 5-star reviews on Amazon, which is kind of cool. And the album has, you know, spins in 36 different countries. I got Shazam in Belgium last week, which blew my mind because I was like, first of all, how’s my music playing in Belgium out loud? And second of all, someone’s Shazam it? That’s cool. Then, yeah. That’s the story of it.
David Andrew Wiebe: No, I love that. I think that’s exactly how an entrepreneur would think, right? Like, I’m working on a project as well, where it’s going to be a single. And then I thought, well, if I’m going to release a single, why not put out an EP. If it’s an EP, why not put an album? If it’s going to be an album, why not put out one with bonus tracks? If I’m going to put out one with bonus tracks, why not put out one with instrumentals? Musicians don’t always think that way. But guess what? It’s on the podcast now. So, there you go. There is a little bit of secret sauce and magic that you can make happen. And the idea of an album and a book, I have that too. Not this year because I got more books to write and I’ve got five books already. You can tell that’s a big part of my hustle. But yeah, I think next year I’m going to begin looking at that possibility.
Andy Seth: Very cool.
David Andrew Wiebe: Yeah. Shifting gears a little bit, I’ve got an exciting group of questions that give listeners a better insight into who you are, what you faced, and specific takeaways they can action. What’s the last YouTube video you watched?
Andy Seth: Joe Rogan and Jordan Peterson?
David Andrew Wiebe: There you go. And what is your daily routine like?
Andy Seth: I’m up pretty early. I’m up at 5:00 to 5:15. I meditate for an hour and a half every day so I have a really deep and strong meditation practice. I do some breathing exercises. Wim Hof, if any of you have heard of Wim Hof Method. Actually, I wrote an article. I went down to Mexico and did some training on the Wim Hof Method. My article actually is like page one of Google for whenever you look for Wim Hof Method or Wim Hof Method review. So, that’s a big part of my life there.
I have two little kids and a wife. And so, you know, we have like the family time, get everybody ready. I tend to do all the fun kid hang out and get them ready and all that stuff. I’m sitting down at work by 8:39. And then, I have a full day of work. I’ll usually break and take and workout at home. Now that we’ve we’re in this COVID era, I workout here. And then join the family for dinner, hang out, etc. And then usually at night, my wife tends to go to bed pretty early. She’s usually in bed by about nine-ish. And so, I stay up till… Well, it’s probably too late these days. I need to rein it back in but I’m usually up till about midnight to 12:30. I don’t sleep a huge amount, which is a problem because when I don’t sleep well, I’m less able to get to the flow state and flow state is a very big part of my work life. The first, you know from 8:30 or nine till 12, there’s no interruptions and no distractions. I’m only working on flow state. And in fact, my whole leadership team is assigned that. There’s no Slack. There’s no email. There’s no phone call. There are no meetings for my entire leadership team from eight in the morning till noon so that they can work in flow state. So, sleep is one part of recovery, which is needed. So that’s why I say it’s problematic that I’m sleeping less. I need to probably take an extra hour. But then I hit the sack from there. So that’s a pretty average day.
David Andrew Wiebe: Got it. You know, I don’t know how to phrase this question exactly. You mentioned meditation. I know, it’s kind of a big movement in entrepreneurship right now as well. I also knew somebody who I think got up at 4am and meditated for three hours or four hours or something like that. Is there any connection between that and…? I think there’s sort of thought movement that there’s some correlation between that and success in business but do you think there’s a connection there?
Andy Seth: Yeah, for sure. But maybe for a couple of different reasons. I think there’s the tactical skills that one builds and enhances through meditation. The skills of concentration, for example. Concentration is just being able to hold your focus for a prolonged period of time. Concentration is also a fundamental skill if you’re trying to work in flow state and if you’re entertaining in flow state. Maybe you’ve been on flow state by doing your music, right? I wrote Bling in five days, for example. Intentionally triggering flow state for the whole day for five days. So, my book was done in five.
Meditation builds certain skills. It builds the ability to also create space in between thoughts. And when you can create space in between thoughts, something else pours in. Ideas, intuition, inspiration, that’s what pours in. It’s very difficult for any of those three things to pour into you if you’re constantly having thought after thought. Think of it like music actually. just instance we’re both in that area. If you stacked note upon note upon note, you just have a cacophony of sound. You wouldn’t have music. What creates music is creating space in between notes. With no space, there’s no music, there’s no harmony. It’s just buzz. That’s the same thing with your mind. When you have thought upon thought upon thought, there’s nothing that can be let in. There’s nothing innovative that can be led in so you have to create that space.
I found, for me, the meditation that works for me, is one that goes from a thousand thoughts to one thought. I’m very goal oriented. And so, my meditations that I learned while I was in India are goal focused. I found it personally nearly impossible to go from a thousand thoughts to zero. So, a thousand to one, totally doable. One to zero is like this infinite improbability to me.
David Andrew Wiebe: It is.
Andy Seth: Right? I think people resonate with that. In fact, not to like plug stuff. But I mean, if somebody’s interested in what I’m talking about, it is very clearly laid out in my book, the meditation I’m talking about. I also have a free download of a guided meditation that will walk you through this if you go to my website, AndySeth.com. And so, it’s there for you to learn this goal-based meditation because I think that one of the reasons people are so turned off, myself included for all those years was, we were asked to do something that was like an advanced level.
When I learned about meditation and going to India, one of the things that kind of blew me away was meditation is actually the equivalent of the word sports. It’s like saying to somebody, you know, “What sport do you play?” If you ask them, “Do you meditate?” And it’s like, “Okay. Well, yeah. I play a sport.” “Well, which sport do you play?” “Okay, I play soccer.” “All right. Great. At what level?” “Oh, I was varsity.” “Okay. What position?” “I was left wing striker.”
Now you understand what somebody does, but if you ask somebody, “Do you play sports?” It’d be like, “Sure.” Well, that’s the same in meditation. There are so many different types of meditations. People don’t know that. They think meditation is one thing. They think it’s a headspace app. It’s one way of meditating. But meditation is like sport so there’s so many different variations. And then there’s different levels. There’s beginner, intermediate, expert, etcetera. And the one that I found, the one that I teach is meant for people who are very ambitious, very driven, and need a goal, and need to get something out of it. That’s why I can spend an hour and a half. Before when I was doing the empty your head thing, I couldn’t get past like seven minutes.
David Andrew Wiebe: Very eloquent answer. Loved it. What is the biggest challenge you’ve overcome?
Andy Seth: Unquestionably, it’s mastering myself. There’s no challenge that would be any bigger. I don’t mean that like to be fuzzy. The things about myself, I’ll give you an example. When you look at archetypes of humans, you know, Carl Jung had created kind of an initial set of archetypes. Lolly Daskal has made some really cool updated archetypes in her book, The Leadership Gap. You know, when you look at archetypes and you say, “Okay. This is one way to cut human beings and look at them.” There’s a particular archetype that for Type A highly driven people, there’s a set of archetypes, and the one that I’m particularly most like has these great strengths. Right? It’s like I have great vision and I’m great at implementing. I can explore really well and translate those things. But I’ve also got a shadow self. And that shadow self is my ego.
I talked a lot about this in my book is the difference between ego and soul. But that ego as a mofo. I look at the ego like this little, like, dude that lives inside of me. He’s constantly talking and narrating the world and telling me about everything it sees, how he doesn’t like this, or how this person should have done this, and always talking to me. It’s like my best friend because I listened to him. I listen to him constantly. But his advice is horrible. His advice and intent is always from the wrong place. It’s to look good, or to prevent shame, or to not be afraid. The intent is always wrong. And so, when I say to conquer myself as the biggest obstacle, the biggest obstacle is getting that ego to speak less loudly and to get the true me. I call it soul call, whatever you want, to speak louder because that soul has no negative intent. So, it’s not trying to drown out the ego. The ego wants to drown out that stuff. So, when I sit in meditation, or sometimes, frankly, I’ll just sit and think, or I’ll sit and not think. I’ll just sit but I’m trying to let my soul speak louder because it’s so quiet and the ego is so loud. So, the conquering of that voice to get to really, the true intent from myself is always going to come from love. Love is always going to be the answer from the soul. It has no other interest. There’s not even an opposite. It’s just love. But to get to love is really complicated when you have an ego that has a bunch of needs that have to be met. The better I can be at quieting the ego and getting it to sit down and to not influence my decisions, the better I am.
David Andrew Wiebe: Yeah, I get it. The human tendency is to look good or avoid looking bad. And that’s from a psychological perspective as well as I keep referring back to. So, when that tendency is there, we don’t listen from a place of emptiness as we should to others. We listen from a place of I like it/I don’t like it, it’s good/it’s bad, it’ll work/it won’t work. You know what I mean? As I’m sure many of my listeners struggle with that when they listen to a podcast. We’re delivering incredible value every single week and we know it, but are people going to act on it? Are they going to hear it in a way that empowers them? That’s the real challenge.
Andy Seth: Yeah, for sure.
David Andrew Wiebe: What’s the greatest victory you’ve experienced?
Andy Seth: There’s accomplishments and there’s a victory. A victory feels like a final destination. And so, I’m going to tell you just very truthfully, I’m not sure I’m totally bought into their being a victory. I think the purpose for me is self-realisation. It’s to realise my life’s full potential. There’s a road of victories or achievements along the way. I think there’s a level of like recency bias. I would point to something maybe more recent. I could point to simple things like, you know, in this last quarter during COVID, I over doubled my firm’s annual revenues. That’s a pretty proud achievement. But is that a life type of victory? Well, that might be small compared to a year from now when we quadruple the size of the business, right? So, like, I don’t know. But I think the big aim for me is self-realisation and being able to maximise the potential I know I have and to feel that that’s the big accomplishment that there’s so many accomplishments I’ve had that didn’t matter to me. Like, I got there and I was kind of like, “Yeah, cool.” Pat on the back. Move on. Those were not real victories. It’s the few victories where I’ve actually felt it. Like, whoa. I can’t believe this is happening right now. This is my life. And that happens to me more often on a daily basis during this portion of meditation when I do gratitude because I look around and I’m not the richest guy out there. I’m not the anything guy out there but I do look at my life like, “Yow! This is my life. This is my life. Are you kidding me?” I’m playing at a game at the highest level or one of the highest levels. Like, that’s my life now. That’s a victory every day for real though. Like not just, you know, yeah, I’m so grateful. I’m telling you like I feel it. When you feel it, that’s way different than hitting a milestone and kind of moving on, which is pretty much most people and most of my own life I’ve definitely been. But with a few moments where I feel it are usually in like quiet gratitude. And when I feel it, that’s the victory. It’s because that’s what all this is for. Ultimately, you want to feel something. Right? You’re not trying to just acquire something. You want to feel that. And if you feel fulfilled, you don’t really care what did it. You just want the feeling. And that’s the victory to me.
David Andrew Wiebe: I like that answer. It reminded me of the time I played my first show with my band, it was an outdoor gig. It went okay. It didn’t go amazingly. We were playing to some punk kids. They were there for the band that was there before us who were super fast and punk rock. Someone stuck around for us. But at the end of it, I felt empty. It was kind of just like, “Is that it? That wasn’t it.” I love live performance but that wasn’t it. So, I had shows where that went the complete opposite, where it’s like, “Wow. I was able to put it all out there. My whole being. All of my emotions, all of my expressions were out there.” That show was not it. So, I definitely get where you’re coming from.
Our listeners are highly growth oriented and love learning about new resources. So, are there any books that have helped you on your journey?
Andy Seth: Oh, my gosh, man. So many books. I will tell you, this kind of goes back to the safety net conversation. I’ve never had anybody in my life who I would consider a mentor, who’s really like put me under their wing and taught me something. It’s just never happened. And maybe it’s because I’ve had a big ego that wouldn’t be welcoming. I don’t know but I certainly wasn’t born into it. Where I found this “mentorship” are in authors or in books. I read constantly. I’m a binge reader. I speed read. I binge read. I don’t know all the shows. I do keep up with music a lot but definitely not on shows because I read. So, books that have impacted me. I mean, I could pick them apart. There’s so many that have impacted me. I think if we were talking about growth, right, so we’re talking about people who want to grow. And when you say growth, are you talking about business or personal?
David Andrew Wiebe: You know, that’s a wonderful question. I think people are looking to grow in all aspects, especially their music career, right. But I think because the podcast is very much about marrying music with business, which I feel still kind of new, right? It might be 10-15 years old but until recently, there was no consciousness of this idea of “Oh, I can merge entrepreneurship with music in a new kind of way.” So, yeah.
Andy Seth: Yeah, okay. Yeah, I got you. If we’re talking about it from that standpoint, I think the book traction by Gino Wickman has got to be on your list. He codified a system called the entrepreneurial operating system (EOS). I run my businesses on it but there are thousands and thousands of very, very successful entrepreneurs, very successful entrepreneurs, who have switched to this system.
My company’s multimillion dollar company and I run it on this system. There are friends of mine who have equal sizes, bigger sizes, 10 plus million-dollar sized companies and they switched to this. I ran a political campaign on this. My non-profit runs on it. It’s not that Gino is a genius and if Gino ever listened to this, “Sorry, bruh. But you’re not a genius.” He was took all these years of books and packaged it up into one. All the things that I’ve had to read painstakingly and pull from and pull from and build into a system, he put into one system. So, if you were to read one quintessential book on how to run and build a successful business, that’s the book. That’s the one. Because there are thousands and thousands of entrepreneurs who have built wildly successful companies on this operating system. Everybody else can write a book about how they’ve scaled their business and whatever but they don’t have the testimonials of that many companies. My own friends do it. My I’ve done it in three or four different organisations myself. So, that would be the book, I would say.
I also think there’s greatness in learning from, you know, people who are like champions. Phil Jackson wrote a great book called Eleven Rings. He’s the most winningest NBA coach in history. Eleven championships. He also won two championships as a player. That guy figured something out. If you’re at all a sports fan or just like to learn from the best, Phil Jackson’s book Eleven Rings is up there for me as well. I could keep going on to be honest with you but I feel like maybe that’s two.
David Andrew Wiebe: No, that’s awesome. I love hearing all about that. And I went and got the Traction Kindle myself. I know about Gino Wickman. I know about the book. I haven’t read it yet. So, it’s time for me to get on that. This has been an amazing conversation. And maybe we’ll have to have you on again when you have your next crazy idea about music and books or maybe something even beyond that. Maybe there will be a movie. Who knows? But thank you for your time and generosity, Andy. Is there anything else I should have asked?
Andy Seth: No, no, no, I appreciate it. I do want to make an offer to the listeners though.
David Andrew Wiebe: Yeah.
Andy Seth: That is if you text me, I’ll give you my phone number, if you text me and you text this number, the first three people that text, I’ll sign an autograph and put my book in the mail and ship it out to you personally. So, here’s the phone number to text. It’s (646) 495-9867, (646) 495-9867. Text, “Feel me flow.” “Feel me flow.” Three words. Text, feel me flow. That way I know what’s going on here. It’s not some spam number. We’ll get you that book. And if there’s anything that you are interested in that I’ve talked about, whether it’s the meditations, if it’s my music, the central place to look for everything is AndySeth.com. This is my personal website. I write maybe not as many books as you. I’ve got two books but I do write and publish weekly content that’s free and I write it myself. So, if you go there you can check that out. My album is everywhere music is. It’s under my artist name, A-Luv, A dash L-U-V. And so, if you want to check my music out, just be ready to turn up the bass man. I put weights in that thing so enjoy it but you’re going to love it. It’s super kid friendly. My own four-year-old and six-year-old at the time when I made the album. Like they know every song. Every lyric to every song and its intention. I want that message to spread, but it’s banging. So, check that out too.
David Andrew Wiebe: Very generous, Andy. Thanks so much.
Andy Seth: For sure.
David Andrew Wiebe: And it’s time for three key takeaways from this episode. As always, you’re allowed to have your own. You can have your own takeaways. Those are the best ones. These are the things that stood out to me.
- Number one. Plans fail for lack of counsel. But with many advisors, they succeed. But you still need to be careful who you’re taking advice from, especially if it’s coming from someone with a safety net you don’t have because even the best tips in the world don’t apply to every situation. And no one can see the entire picture without standing in your shoes.
- Number two. Bling was a parable that became a book and a musical album. Do you have any projects that could translate well to different mediums? Could you get more leverage out of something you created just by seeing it in three dimensions? Or as I like to say, by extrapolating. The idea might just be worth exploring.
- Mastering yourself is the greatest undertaking and quite possibly the most valuable challenge you can personally overcome. What can you do to get mastery over yourself? What habits could you develop? Would it be more vigilant around sleep, meditation, and exercise? Will you do these things regardless of how you’re feeling? What structures could you put in place to ensure you follow through on what you’ve committed to? Leave your comments in the show notes.
News & Updates
It’s time for news and updates. So, the doors to my 60-day program closed August 1st. Today is July 30th. You can do math, can’t you? So, that’s right. There isn’t a lot of time left regardless but whether you want to learn about that program or just receive updates or learn about some future opportunities, which are coming, they’re going to be pretty cool, I would suggest joining my email list so you aren’t left out.
Now, you also get a free weekly action plan when you join. Did I mention that? So, go to MusicEntrepreneurHQ.com/join. Sign up. You will be greeted by a series of emails talking about who I am and what Music Entrepreneur HQ is all about. Of course, it’ll ask you some personal questions such as, “What are you struggling with right now?
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Now, don’t come back to me and say I didn’t tell you what to do, or how to do it. I get that you might not be in a position to do this right now. And I can appreciate that. Whether you’re walking, running, exercising or driving to work.
But it does make a difference. It is important. And though we know content doesn’t always get engaged with these days, could we be a little different? Could this community be a little different? Could this Music Entrepreneur community start being action takers? Is it okay if I call you out on that? Action takers really are the ones that make things happen in this world. I feel passionately about this. No action. No difference. Right? And you might tire of me saying this, but it’s who I want to attract to the community. So, we want to attract to our community.
If you aren’t on board, then you’re off board. There’s really no middle here. We can get this done. It’s easy. It takes a couple of minutes. So, go and get this done.
Get in Touch
As always, the best way to get in touch with me conveniently and quickly is on Twitter. My username is @DavidAWiebe. Thanks for joining me today. I’m David Andrew Wiebe and I look forward to seeing you on the stages of the world.