How I Got Paid My First $5 As A Musician

So it is the end of my Berklee 5 week summer program.

Soooo much has happened and I feel a bit overwhelmed on what to communicate here.

What stories do I tell you? How about my first time getting paid.

On the last weekend, I attended an open mic and sang for 1.5 hours because no one else showed up. So… I just kept playing. I sang a few originals, a few covers, and then… It was pretty hard to come up with material beyond the songs I had.

So I looked over at a table and asked a mom and her daughter if she’d like me to sing her a personal song.

Girl: (in a shy tone with a smile) ok.

Me: Tell me how old are you?

Girl: 12

Me: Do you know what you’re dream in life is?

Girl, uncomfortable: Uhm… no…

Me, in a soft tone: What do you enjoy doing?

Girl: I like playing sports?

Me, pausing a second for her to open more: What kind of sports?

Girl: Soccer and basketball.

Me, with a big big smile: Ok, that’s all I need.

She smiled and relaxed. And I began.

Then I went into a song for her… I poured my heart into the song and the advice I gave her was to follow her soul out doors. And never to sit in a cubicle, as her heart was designed for the outdoors.

It touched her deeply.

At the end of my set she came up to me and gave me a $5.00 bill. It was the first time I had gotten paid as a musician. I danced for her.

The Journey to my first $5.00 bill looks like 8 months of the most brutal training and personal growth of my entire life. I will tell a story about what it took for me to get here soon.

And also notice that the $5.00 would not have happened if I didn’t reach out to connect with someone in the audience. I could have done what most would have done. “Shoot I don’t have anything else, I guess I’m done.”  And stopped playing.

But I find the gold is usually in the extra step I create for myself, by reaching out and doing more.

How about Berklee?

“I thought I was good at music, and then I came to Berklee.”  – Dane

My goodness was it hard. I felt like I was thrown in the middle of the atlantic ocean during a storm with one of those shitty uncomfortable strangling orange life jackets.

I could swim a nice calm lake. I learned a little to swim you know… But not this kind of ocean!

Music was eating my soul! LOL.

Not only was the content hard, but I was surrounded by 17 year olds. I was a 32 year old guy. Thankfully I didn’t identify with my age, but with my heart, so I still felt at home.

People asked me why I came sometimes. “My mind was aware of the age gap, yet my heart told me to come.” They usually smile or commend me.

I’ve often followed my heart outside of the convention of society.

This has been one of the loneliest times of my life. The good kind of lonely. The kind of lonely that its just me, my guitar, my vocal chords, and 17 year olds I can’t really hang out with for too long.

I’ve found my edge, again. I feel extremely potent and powerful. Southern California made me soft. But I’ve got that pure energy of creation back. Pure explosive masculine creation. I’ve got back to the energy that I had when I started 16 companies.

The kind of energy that feels like I can bend reality to my will.

Which I do, often.

The best way I can describe how I feel is this…

I live inside my own inner world no matter what the outside world looks like. That world looks like guitar/music/singing/creation/changing the world/practicing/etc… And no matter what is around me… I stay in my inner world. I only let things in that match my inner world.

This is how I started the 16 companies btw. I only let in what served me. It’s a pretty useful skill I’ve developed. I can filter thoughts in and out, I can block things that don’t serve me, and just move forward on autopilot towards my dreams.

People often ask how Berklee went. I’d say as humbly as I can… it totally changed my life. It has obliterated any idea for the concept of “only talented” …

I saw talent showed up consistently in the students who practiced the most.

How To Get Good At Guitar

Advice From Person Number 1: After being wholly shown up by the third bad ass guitarist I played with, I approached him humbly and asked how I could learn to play like him.

He kindly said: Oh dude practice with a metronome.

And even showed me what to do, next. I took mental notes.

Advice From Person Number 2: This guy had chops and could play like a bad ass… I asked him if he’d teach me. We sat down in a practice room and the first thing he pulled out was a metronome app on his phone.

Advice From Person Number 3: After soloing back and forth with one of the guys here. (And by soloing I mean I shredded a couple notes) … I asked him how I could play like him. “I want to play like you, how do I do it.”

He pulled out his phone and showed me his metronome app, and said, 1.5 hours a day with this app.

I started playing with a metronome and have noticed how solid my practicing has become. It is still very difficult for me to load up the app for 1.5 hours and play everyday.

Every great guitarist was EAGER to show me how to improve when I asked for help. I felt very supported. I’ve found that the most successful in any field feel lonely in their talent and love when people ask for help. That was me in business. That seems to be these kids with guitar.

The bad ass musicians all put their hours in, period. They built the neural pathways to become good.

With all the other demands. The music theory, writing songs, vocals, guitar composition, practicing the songs, performance ensembles. I hardly had the time for myself to practice what I wanted. I was doing Berklee’s bidding for 5 weeks. Which is what I signed up for!

But then I dropped one class after lots of thought and meditation. It sucked and I wasn’t having any fun. They were asking me to sing and site read a very complicated piece of music. It was way beyond my level. I raised my hand and said “This is a very advanced piece.”

To which the teacher said… “This is an advanced class”

I asked myself if I would ever need to learn this skill they were teaching. My heart said just leave you’ll have more fun. So I did.

One morning while walking to class it hit me and I remembered sucking at business for a good year in a half before things clicked. I fully accept my “suck period” for music now. I’m in the “suck period” for music. Haha.

The bar is now set so high I can’t even see it. And my God is that exciting. Music is a craft I could study for the rest of my life and still not get to the end. My primary challenge is truly to figure out how to get my hours in and enjoy myself along the way!

I can’t wait to start publishing music to the world. I’ve been dreaming up a marketing strategy to expand the reach of my music around the globe. We shall see what the future holds!

Thanks for READING friends!

Doing My First Jingle For A Brand Or Company? Here’s How It Happened.

Long story short.

I was so excited to go to an open mic and practice performing.

I got there.

And… it wasn’t happening.

“Ah well… I thought. I’ll just get an uber home.”

(I get into the Uber car with my guitar).

Uber Driver (Looks at my guitar and my Berklee strap): Hey there, are you attending Berklee?

Me: Yes.

I was feeling incomplete from not singing at the open mic so I went on to ask…

Me: Is there anything on your heart I could sing to you about, I like to sing songs to people about things on their heart.

Uber Driver: No not really, nothing good or bad.

Me, sensing there was more underneath the surface: Is there anything that has you even a little worried I might be able to sing a song about.

Uber Driver: Ah yes, actually. I’m starting a new company and I’m really worried about it. I’m making an Organic Margarita.

I was smiling inside knowing that I would be able to help him with this business venture. And I was excited to sing to help him.

Me: Well let me sing you a little song.

I went on to sing him a song. And when we got to the destination… I stopped. He turned around with a soft, disarmed, happy look on his face… I was honored.

He said, “Can you write us our first jingle for our product?”

“Sure. Why not?”

This is another example of following my heart. There were 4 open mics to pick from that night. I had a feeling to pick the one I did. And it wasn’t actually running anymore when I got there. The first direction of my heart was a “no,” but in it I found another blessing.

And the journey continues!

How I Listen To My Inner Voice & Follow My Heart While Being Terrified

There are a number of key concepts I’ll be touching on in this post.

  1. How I Listen To My Inner Voice
  2. How I “Transcend & Include” Aspects Of Myself
  3. How I Take Action In The Face Of Deeply Paralyzing Doubts.
  4. How I Keep Inching Forward… While Still Feeling Lost.

In the first two weeks, I’ve had many beautiful experiences here at Berklee.

Auditions I Did: 3
Professors Who’ve Asked To Meet With Me: 2
Public Performances Given: 2
Songs Written: 3

There is a lot to share… but for now…

Let Me Share One Story.
How I Listened To My Inner Voice & What Happened.

One of the first auditions I did was for the “Vocal All Star.”

During a big class one of the teachers announced.

“Students, we are holding a vocal all star audition this evening and we encourage you to audition if you’d like too. It’s a great experience.”

My inner critic: Haha, that would be fun, but you know you won’t get in.
My inner voice: I don’t care, I’m doing it, there is a reason that I will understand later. It’s not about getting accepted, it’s about playing with your full heart. Go and do it. You’re a mother fucking champion. (Yes, that’s what my inner voice said).

Over 175 of the most talented vocalists at the program all auditioned. Only 10 were picked. I thought why not give it a shot and see. So I signed up.

Later in the evening…

It was audition time. I entered the room.

Me: Hi! How does this work?

The Judges: Would you like a note?

Me: Huh?

The Judges: A note so you know what to sing.

Me: Is that how these things are usually done?

The Judges: Yes.

Me: No that’s ok, I’ll just listen to my headphones for a second.

I decided to sing Cross That Line by Joshua Radin.

I put on the song… heard it… got the note… then paused my iPhone.

Me: Can I listen to this in one ear while I sing?

The Judges: Smiling… you don’t get that on stage… so you don’t get that now.

Me: (Gulp). Ok. Let’s do this then.

The tension in my body was building… as I closed my eyes. Completely shut. I didn’t want to see a thing.

I opened my mouth to sing… but found my body shaking in terror… mostly in my arms… they were trembling… I felt my arms… in awe of the way my body was responding…. What is this? Is this fear? No. It’s adrenaline with fear. I smiled inside and chuckled at how my body was responding to the situation. I had a smirk on my face. I got really happy, knowing how far beyond my edge I was… I took a few deep breaths to sing…

Body was still shaking…

Damn…

I took a few more breaths…

Body still shaking…

Damn…

After about 20 seconds of deep breaths… I was still shaking… so I just decided to go for it, while shaking.

I opened my mouth to sing and sounded… vulnerable. Very shaky. Then I botched a part, completely choked, laughed out loud, apologized, and then said… hold on I’ll finish quick. Then I finished.

When it was over, I opened my eyes smiling wide and asked enthusiastically.

“How did I do?! Did I get in?!”

I looked at this women to the left who had the perfect facial expression. You could tell she was trained to not hurt peoples feelings. She just looked and smiled with the fake-est smile eyes I’ve ever seen.

“We will let you know by tomorrow, thank you so much!”

I thought to myself… hrm… they’ve done this before. This is pretty fascinating. I didn’t care about winning. I cared about playing. For me it was never about getting in. I knew I wasn’t getting in. I was just really happy to be here and trying. It was so fun.

Now let me tell you deeply I’ve been rewarded by going to this audition.

When I came into the room instead of giving a bland introduction… I decided to “Transcend & Include” my past.

Usually when I introduce myself I just say…

“Hi my name is Dane, thanks for having me.”

But over the last week, I was feeling incomplete when I would do that. Instead of transcending and including my past, I transcended and excluded it. I didn’t let anyone know anything about me.

Transcend and exclude gets me into trouble. I notice it does for other people too. You can feel the pain of people when they try to transcend and exclude trauma from their past. “Oh my X boyfriend was an asshole. Oh my hometown sucked. My last job was a real drag.” They try to exclude it. But it doesn’t produce wholeness.

The real integration is to transcend and include. “My last boyfriend was a great learning experience for me, I’m grateful it happened.” “My hometown taught me a lot about what life can be like in certain areas.” “My last job was a great stepping stone for me to find the next thing.”

I’ve found transcend and include is a great way to feel whole.

So anyway, here’s what I said. I dropped some bad ass shit. I decided to include my past.

Me: (With A Big Ass Smile). Before we begin this audition I just want you to know something. My name is Dane Maxwell, I’m 32, I started 16 companies in my twenties, and then my heart woke up, so I walked away from everything and I stand before you now. A late bloomer to music. Thank you so much for having me. My heart is so happy here.

One Of The Judges Stops Me: Did you say 16 companies?

Me: Yes.

The Judge: Here is my card, I’d love to talk to you. It would be great to spend time.

I sent Tom and email.

Tom replied and said this…

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 2.39.14 PM

So you see, the audition wasn’t for my acceptance as a vocal allstar. The audition was to meet Tom. Tom knows a lot of people in music. He’s introducing me to a few really important connections.

When I got this email, I started weeping.

Me: Oh my God, I might actually be able to do this. I might actually be able to succeed at music. (Tears started flowing in spades).

Here I am at Berklee, with so much doubt, but I keep taking action, and I’m being rewarded. If there was anything that was helpful for me in entrepreneurship, it was my ability to move in the face of fears that paralyzed others.

Most everyday I wake up and wonder… “Can I really do this?”

But I just keep moving forward.

It’s hard. But what the fuck else am I going to do? Settle on the call of my soul? No thank you :-)

How did it all happen?

By listening to my inner voice, and not my inner critic. And by transcending and including my past.

Now just a quick little comment on those of you who might be saying… “That’s great for you Dane, I didn’t start 16 companies in my twenties.”

If that’s you thinking this, I’m really sorry, you’ve missed the point. Anyone could have stood in front of him and transcended and included their past, no matter what it was.

Stay tuned for more updates coming soon…

Surrounded By 17 Year Olds – Getting My Ass Kicked & Kicking Ass At Berklee

My first day of Berklee was overwhelming. I found myself so happy my body was shutting down.

As I was waiting at the check in line I couldn’t help but notice how young everyone was…

“Shit… how am I going to relate to these lesser humans?” I thought…

I mean… you don’t really become a human being until at least 18, right?

LOL.

One of the moms in line turned to me and said…

(Yes, parents were there checking children in…)

Mom: Are you here for the program?

Me: Yes.

Mom: That’s great, how old are you?

Me: 32

Mom: Oh I wouldn’t have thought that at all. (Hinting that I looked young. I was desperate enough to believe her.)

Me, thinking to myself: Yes! Ok one point in my favor. This won’t be so bad.

Then as we were waiting in line and I approached to sign in… one of the berklee staff came up to me…

Berklee Staff: Are you a parent checking a child in.

Me: No.

(WTF).

Then… I got my photo ID card taken and proceeded on through.

Later that evening I proceeded to the singer songwriter open mic, and watched many brilliant little beings perform. They were all so cute and young. I had just worked out my vocal chords at the vocal olympics in Nashville for a week, and was under orders to rest at least 24 hours. So I missed singing that night. But my time is coming and I won’t be missing another time.

There was this brilliant 17 year old who sang a song that just rocked me. Her voice was that only of an angel. I didn’t think she was human.

Afterwards I walked up to her to ask…

Me: You sing like you’ve had vocal training…

Her: Yes..

Me: It shows, you were incredible to me.

Her: Thank you, I’ve been training for 10 years.

Me, thinking to myself: Shit, she’s been singing since 7. This is nuts.

Her: I’ve been training in something called “Speech Level Singing” so it really helps.

Me, making a mental note.

I raced home to look this concept up and found people like Seth Riggs and a PDF on the concept. Then I realized my vocal coach in Nashville was mentored by this guy, and I was just trained in speech level singing all week in Nashville. Haha.

Nice!

Then while at another open mic, I was sitting next to this kid who looked like he must be 10 years old, and he was just crushing his acoustic guitar while waiting for his slot.

Me: How old are you?

Kid: 16.

Me, thinking to myself: Shit, was I that little looking when I was 16?

Me: How long you been playing?

Kid: 2 in a half years. I got started late.

Me, thinking to myself. WTF. He started late? LOL

Me: You’ve got chops bro, keep after it!

Then it came time for my audition.

I went in an played a song by Joshua Radin called Cross That Line.

I botched the guitar part a few times, but for whatever reason the heavens blessed my voice during this audition. I couldn’t believe how good I was sounding to myself.

After the audition the teacher said…

Teacher: You have a great voice. Have you considered trying out for vocals in addition to guitar?

Me: (Quivering…) You think I have a great voice?

Teacher: Yes.

Me: Do you mind if I let that compliment in for a minute?

Teacher: Go ahead.

Me: Crying… thank you so much… I’m really receiving this.

Teacher: Oh absolutely, take it in!

Now let me back up for a second… this is the school of mother fucking Berklee. So for example… For them to say I am a great guitar player would mean I would have to be a mini-eric-clapton. Like so good. Every kid here can shred with their eyes closed.

For a faculty member at one of the best music schools in the world to compliment my voice… finally made it real to me.

I’ve had countless people compliment my voice. But something about this felt so undeniable.

And this concludes my blog post on getting my ass kicked and kicking ass at Berklee!

More to come soon. If you have any desires for me to write on anything send me a PM or comment below, I’ll be sure to try and include it.

Feeling Defeated On Day 3: How I Broke Through

My day started off with practicing my set list of songs. I’m not really good at them yet, but I keep at it. My fingers are starting to get used to the guitar.

After practicing…

Then I got on a session to clear some feeling beliefs with my mentor and coach Doug.

During our session we discovered and cleared a deep feeling belief around feeling like “Why express my heart (aka sing) if bad people can come at anytime and kill and steal my soul?”

Yeah… lol. Those gosh darn irrational feeling beliefs.

Then I went into my vocal lesson and felt totally defeated. I did a good job at the lesson but I could barely get through it. I was feeling so defeated and I couldn’t figure out why. I did a pretty good job and we sang along and learned a song by Josh Turner called Another Try.

It was a little lower than I’m used too but I got through it.

Because I’m doing two lessons a day, in the morning we worked on my low register.

I was able to make do and handle the song pretty well. Now don’t get your hopes up that I’ll be sounding like Josh Turner anytime soon. But it was really a fun song to practice and try. The subtleties of his voice on this song are pretty nuanced, and it’s a great song to practice the the vocal fry technique.

But for whatever reason, I was leaving depressed. I felt like I couldn’t really sing. I wanted to know it was so hard! Even though I did a good job, it just felt like my throat was locking up, and I couldn’t figure out what was going on?

“Did I eat gluten somewhere?”
“Did some bastard feed me soy? Does that even matter?”
“Was it the cheese on that delicious tasty cheeseburger I had last night? I knew I shouldn’t have had cheese!”

I practiced sitting and trying to feel into the energetics of this using the NEDERR process from my mentor Doug.

(Note: NEDERR is ridiculously cool, let me know if you’d like me to do a blog post on it)

I couldn’t get anywhere with NEDERR, I was stuck. My throat was getting tight and I was starting to panic because I knew in the afternoon vocal lesson I was going to be working on my “High Mix” range (Ed Sheeran type stuff, yikes!)

I didn’t think I could do it. I was so worried about hurting myself. I’ve been so worried of hurting my voice because I did earlier in my life.

So I pulled out my emergency contact Elizabeth for a call. I only call her during emergencies if I really need help.

She has the ability to tune into my system and help me navigate energetics when I can’t name them myself.

Elizabeth: Hi Dane so what’s up?

Me: I need you to tell me what’s going on with my vocal chords. Are they soar? Why do they feel like they are in pain? Did I injure them? What’s going on?

Elizabeth: (As she tunes in…) They might feel soar, but they are actually really excited, like two clydesdale championship horses about to be unleashed. The pain you think you feel is actually the resistance you have to letting your voice be liberated. Just let go and let your voice sing.

Dane: So I have not injured my chords?

Elizabeth: No, your chords are find, it’s the neck that is tensing up that is causing you all of your problems.

We were on the call for about 50 minutes processing and releasing tension in my throat.

But it worked.

My voice began to feel liberated. I went into my vocal lesson in the afternoon and worked on my high mix. I sang the song by Lenny Kravitz Fly Away.

I got to play in my high mix and practice the song. Because I had a great vocal coach helping me, I was able to hit the notes. There’s a part in the song where he hits a big ass fucking High C note. I never dreamed I’d hit something like that in my mix. I can in falsetto, but in my mix?

But I did, and I did like 10x. And it felt really good.

But the interesting thing is, to explain how we hit a high C in in my mix register… he was explaining a bench press metahpor… How much rest when you max out your chest… and we would take a couple minutes break between hitting the high c.

Then go right back into hitting it again.

My voice feels great today and afterwards. It’s almost like my vocal chords respect me for letting them “Fly Away” if you will.

I am humbled to have this kind of vocal range. From the low Josh Turner to Lenny Kravitz. I’ve got a lot of work to do to really refine and be able to do this on my own. I’m no where near performance ready. However, I’m grateful to have a coach to show me how to do this with the proper technique.

I’ve increased my range by close to an octave with this guy. It’s really a dream come true.

Now I am just being patient with myself while I build the resilience to do this more often.

Then in the evening I went to another songwriting thing and listened to more songwriters perform at The Listening Room.

And afterwards, at around 10PM, I worked with a top speech pathologist to stretch my vocal chords and increase their overall health. I’m learning how to separate the muscles in my throat, lower my larynx, increase strength, and gain refined nuance over my throat. I want to master all the dimensions of my throat and I’m doing a pretty good job.

Tonight I just got to the point where I can feel my two vocal folds come together and I can separate them while breathing and making a sound at the same time. Pretty neat stuff.

And Just to give you a little high level perspective at all the people I have in my corner supporting my vision to become a musician.

Here’s what I did today.

Morning with life coach
Morning with vocal coach
Afternoon with another life coach
Afternoon with same vocal coach
Late evening before bed speech pathologist

I’m moving at a fast pace. I’m now at Berklee and things are going well! I’m surrounded by a bunch of little kids, hehe.

More stories to come!

 

 

Following My Dreams, Day 2: Full Of Miracles.

My day started with picking out my cutest “Mew Mew Mew” T-shirt. I put it on promptly and got many compliments on it. I thought, “Hey, personality seems to pay here in Nashville.”

Then later when I boasted to a friend about my cool shirt… he confirmed that “People are nice here.”

And boy does having an open kind heart pay dividends. I got into my vocal training 10 minutes early. While I was waiting… I met the front desk person and a guy sitting in the lobby waiting for a lesson too.

I decided to open conversation with everyone with lots of happiness in my heart.

Because I decided to speak and connect with people…

I learned something bad ass, that the barbershop quarter yearly competition is in Nashville, and it happens to be here the same freeking week I am here. I felt the presence of another miracle while I’m on my musical journey.

Divine timing! Miracle #1.

Yet… can you imagine what I would have missed if I didn’t connect with these people? If I had stayed in my bubble…

For those of you who know me, you know how absolutely passionate I am about this group. I’ve wanted to sing barbershop since I was a wee young lad, and I find that it just happens to be here the same week I’m doing vocal training.  Yay for signs that I’m on the right path… bitches.

During this convo… I found myself sitting next to an older guy with a guitar. I turned to him and beamed happiness as I said, “Hello! I bet your pretty good with that thing.” … “Him: Oh, I don’t know, I’ve been playing for 50 years, I know a thing or two.” … I said, “Can you play me your prettiest chord progression?”

“Oh jeeze, that’s hard.” He said…

I smiled and said… “What’s the first one that comes to mind…” to make it easier on him.

He went ahead and played for me.

So by having an open kind and happy heart, I learned of the miracle timing of the barbershop quartet and then learned a cool chord progression.

Plus one bonus for an open kind heart.

It appears the same beautiful heart that was slaughtered in the cruel middle school… is now working really well. Haha.

As I’ve been practicing with my voice and guitar… I’ve had a couple crippling Feeling Beliefs I’m working through. (I can explain feeling beliefs later).

The first feeling belief gets in my way when I’m worried about hurting my vocal chords. You see I was very fragile growing up. Getting sick often. Almost dying at child birth, then nearly dying in my sleep. I was barely surviving. That left a “feeling belief” that felt as core to me as my DNA. Feeling beliefs are so strong you can’t just change your thoughts, you have to go into the repressed emotional imprint… and they can be hard to visit, find, AND feel.

But I’m clearing it.

First feeling belief: I am no longer a fragile man.

The second feeling belief gets in my way while I’m playing music. I find myself getting stuck and stopping. My body going numb. And when this happens, I use the NEDDER process which I learned from my mentor Doug… I find that my body is trying to stop me from fear.

When I tune in, I notice the words of my feeling belief are…

Two: You no longer have to make money.

I start to shed a few tears. You see… I’ve crushed money for 10 years of my life. Everything I did was money focused. I didn’t waste time on twitter followers or telling people about my twitter followers, I spent all my time cranking cash. Every activity was cash focused. I didn’t even go into me email inbox while in business, I just did things that made lots of money.

So “everything I do must make money,” got engrained into my habits.

But now I’m breaking this one, too, hehe.

As I break these two feeling beliefs, I enter into more power, potency, and freedom in music.

So anyway… now it’s time for my second music lesson, but I’m as nervous as if I were standing in front of real life moose.

So I go and take a nervous piss. The same I used to take before my hockey games in high school.

During my voice lesson I do some pretty cool stuff. The vocal coach tells me at the end, “I think you might be more gifted than we both thought.”

Coming from the guy who trained Taylor Swift, that felt pretty damn good.

Yeah, it felt really nice. Miracle #2.

I walked out of the vocal lesson feeling really relaxed because I pushed myself beyond what I thought was possible and I did it well. I thought “Wow, I’m much more powerful than I thought.”

Then I went home to practice guitar to my fav songs. Then I got tired all of a sudden and took a nap.

When I awoke I got a text and it looked like I missed my vocal lesson by an hour, I had it in my mind wrong. I thought my lesson was at 4! But it was at 3!

“Fuck me,” I thought… And I left to the studio the odd chance he might have a 4 available.

When I got there the front desk gal came out and I showed her a sad face and said “I’m so sorry, you can bill me for that hour if you need.” … “No Dane it’s ok, this happens all the time.”

Me: Do you have any more lessons with Brett today?

Her: No, he’s totally full.

Me: Shoot, I guess I’ll miss a lesson.

Her: Yeah he’s booked for the rest of the week.

Me: (Thinking… crap I just screwed up and missed a critical chance to develop my voice… hrm… nothing will stop me… what can I do instead…) Do you have another coach I could see right now?

Her: Let me see.

Then… I had a lesson with one of his other coaches. Success! I found a way to get what I want. I usually do if I’m committed enough.

After my vocal lesson I went to see some songwriters.

So I went ahead and went to a place called the Blue Bird Cafe, where peeps like Taylor Swift were discovered. I discovered there was a fucking two hour wait to get in. Apparently people make reservations online a week in advance for this place. I look inside and think this crappie looking place has a week wait? Grrr… I was really hungry. And I had to wait 2 hours to get in.

So I had a choice, go and eat and lose my place in line, or starve and wait. I wanted food and to also see these song writers.

Being my awesome self, I went ahead and approached an extremely cute girl who was waiting in line and as I got closer I saw she had a wedding ring on… darn…

Me: Hey, can I ask you a favor?

Her: She flashes deer in headlights (who the fuck is this guy and what does he want?)

Me: (While stunned by my approach… before she can reply, I said) “I’m sorry, let me explain… [pause] I see your wedding ring… and I’m not hitting on you.”

Her: Haha I know.

Me: (Few!) I was wondering if I could give you a $20 to save my spot in line while I went and grabbed some food?

Her: You don’t need to pay me, I’ll save your spot.

Me: Great!

Then I went ahead and got some food. Then I came back and waited for 1.5 hours to get into this place and listen to some singer songwriters. I found their songs to be ok. They all used the same progressions and predictable melodies. I found myself bored but learned a lot.

While I was waiting in line I made sure I talked to everyone around me to learn as much as I could.

I got a couple new artists to listen too, a bunch of books to read, and top places to visit in Nashville from the other passionate people waiting in line. Man I love having an open heart people are so willing to help me wherever I go.

I’m sure you wouldn’t be surprised If I told you I happened to sit next to a music agent who’s looking for talent.

I got his card. I doubt I’ll use him. My internet marketing skills will build my brand. I don’t want to share my revenues with an agent just yet.

What a day! Thanks for listening.

Following My Dreams: My First Day Off To Music School At Berklee In Boston

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as WHO you become by achieving your goals.” – Zig Ziglar

WOW. The day has come. I’m off to music school. If you only knew what it took for me to get here. If I told you everything, I’m sure many would not be interested in going down the same path.

I’ve had to face some serious fear, lets just say that.

I’m leaving my amazing friends in Encinitas, CA to pursue my dream of being a singer/songwriter in Boston.

Before I go to Boston I’m stopping in Nashville to get training by the same music coach who trained Taylor Swift and other top performers.

I’ve been pretty excited…

Everything was cool up until the day I had to leave. I could hardly pack. I was having a hard time staying in my body. I reached out to a few friends to ask them for help as I was desperate. I couldn’t seem to stay in my body. It felt scary and bad. The sensations were too intense for me… so it was kicking me out of my body.

After getting to talk to a close friend of mine, I realized the feeling I was experiencing was a love so intense I couldn’t yet process it.

It turned out going to music school was more of a gift than I thought.

Here’s the best way I can describe the level of love I was feeling in my body.

Imagine you are a father and you have a son. But then you lose your son at an early age. Then you forget about your son. Then 20 years later, you remember that you have a son, and you are going to visit him.

How much love would you have for that son?

When you saw your son for the first time in 20 years, would you cry? Would you sob?

That is what has been happening to me. And this metaphor is the best way I can describe it.

So who is the son?

That son is the retrieval of the deepest part of my heart in all things music.

If you are someone who has to dissociate around their feelings, or is often numb, I’d be very interested to know what your true calling is once you retrieve access to the deepest parts of your body, again.

Now that I’m in Nashville and on the road, I have a deep peace in my heart. I couldn’t stay in Encinitas anymore. I had to go after it with all my heart. And now that I’m on the path, I feel the sense of peace that reminds me how on purpose I am.

I became so powerful in business. And I loved business. It was a great avenue for me to find my sense of belonging. I was a leader, a figurehead in my industry, and well known at conferences…

But when my heart woke up, I realized I couldn’t be in business anymore. I felt trapped. I’d walk around the same conferences and feel like I was a ghost. Business was not where my heart wanted to be. Business was a place I tried to prove my “value” as if I didn’t already have it.

Now that I have discovered my true value, now I don’t have anything to prove to anyone, and feel complete in myself… music is the “thing” that has the greatest pull on me.

My first day of vocal lessons with this top vocal coach were really profound. I hit some good notes and am looking forward to more trainings. This should be a good prep for my trip to music school!

 

 

Welcome To The Blog Of Retired Serial Entrepreneur – Dane Maxwell

Hi, my name is Dane. I started around 17 companies in my twenties and am now retired.

In the heated world of entrepreneurship, I have attained what less than 1% of entrepreneurs ever do. Total passive financial freedom in companies that grow without me.

What’s more, is my companies are ran by teams who get to live amazing lifestyles and work from anywhere.

Because of the remarkable people that run my businesses… it allows me the freedom to explore my heart more.

My next move is getting into music as a singer and songwriter.

I’m excited to share my heart with you just as soon as I practice some more.

Music has proven to be more humbling than I imagined.

Stay tuned, and if you’d like, you can opt in for my upcoming Album.

If you have any questions for me, you can ask them in the comments below. I’ll be happy to share more and write blog posts about my life, how I did things to get where I am, and what I believe about the world.