The #1 Rule For A Profitable Business

Of the handful of millionaires that I have met as a result of business success, they all had one thing in common… Their business model was extremely “simple.”

By simple, I mean it wasn’t overly complex with lots of variations or product choices. They found maximum value (need) in the market and delivered a high quality solution.

Not only was their product elegant, their operation was efficient and organized. It’s certainly not sexy, but they printed money.

Not to say rocket science can’t be profitable, but most business owners aren’t Elon Musk.

The #1 Rule for a profitable business

Follow me on Periscope and Snapchat?

I’ve been testing out a few of the newer platforms lately to get a better idea of how they might work (or not) for Gigable.

I’ll be doing a “scope” (as the kids call it) on Periscope about various topics. You can follow me @mechlin.

Also, starting snapchating and posting some moments to my story. It’s very cool and fun, even for an old guy.  My kids think it’s hilarious that I’m on Snapchat.

You can follow me by snapping this image:

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Don’t Mistake “MVP” for Casual Experiments

Let’s be honest. We want a quick win. Everyone wants a quick win once in a while.  We come up with a great idea and try to figure out the fastest way for that idea to generate money.

This is a huge trap. Building the next Facebook over a weekend and showing it to a few friends does not equal the next $100b company.  But somehow, we believe this may happen.

The truth is; you need to work it hard.  You need to fine-tune the unfair advantage, distill the massive benefit statement and get more people bought in today than yesterday.  How many more?  I don’t know, but more every day and then the day after that.  Get one more believer than yesterday. Then two more the day after.

Make sure you crystalize your vision.  How does this idea/product/service/song resonate when 1m people are looking at it or even using it?

When you perform a casual experiment or side project, you are thinking small at the start.  This is normal.  Will this idea work?  Will anyone care? You do yourself a disservice by dabbling.  Sure, go ahead and tell a few friends.  Are they being nice or are they excited and want to share it? Don’t mistake this process for MVP (Minimum Viable Product).

Someone wrote about getting 10 paying customers you DON’T know.  They will be very honest with you. Once someone pays even $1, they want value in return. The value exchange should be very clear and they should be happy to tell you they are satisfied.  Once you have 10 paying customers you don’t know, throw gas on the fire and go full throttle.  Now you are entering MVP-land. It’s the ONLY way to gain critical mass and call it a business.

Gigable Update June 2015

It’s been 18 months since the official launch of Gigable. What started out as a simple crowdfunding concept has evolved into musical brand that people are recognizing.

The best part about it personally, is how much fun we’re having. So many of these projects can get heavy and grueling (especially when there’s very little progress), but this project is very inspiring each and every day.

Last Saturday, we had our 5th official sell-out show. The feedback so far is amazing.  People really love going to a comfortable setting to discover new music that moves them – which most don’t expect. They also like to meet the artists and get a chance to talk about their own stories.

We’ve added Gigable Radio as a new feature on the site. I’m really excited about this, since it allows us to easily add songs we’re discovering and share with the Gigable audience. We want to put the music first and introduce great music in a way that’s fun and local.

Very soon, we will be adding a download store so that anyone can buy exclusive tracks from the artists who have played Gigable shows. All of this should culminate to a curated experience so that music fans will “tune in” to Gigable to find great music and emerging artists.

We’re also about to kick-off Gigable 2.0!  This is the first major project to improve the platform and streamline some features.

We’re going to add promoter tools for easier management of email lists. Also, we’re integrating with Facebook so fans can easily login and engage with Gigable shows and artists and share with their friends.

This is all needed, however the big deal in my mind will be the mobile app! The mobile app should really promote more widespread use of the platform with fans. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but let’s just say this should bring everything to a new level.

Feel free to ask questions about Gigable or about the emerging artists that we’re discovering!

#SXSW via #meerkat and @mazzeo

So I couldn’t get down to Austin, TX this week to partake in South-by-Southwest. I was pretty bummed, but I think maybe I may have caught some of the best conversations despite being in Chicago.

Last week, I saw a post on Product Hunt for Meerkat.  Meerkat is a live video streaming app, mobile-to-mobile. It uses your Twitter login and when you start a stream, a tweet is sent with a link to the live feed.

So, I happened upon a few key players streaming from SXSW like Gary Vaynerchuk, Sarah Evans and someone I’ve been looking to meet, Matt Mazzeo.

Via Meerkat, I caught Matt’s daily “lowercase office hours” in the lobby of a hotel where he does quick interviews/discussions with founders and other influencers during SXSW.

Today’s session was pretty great and he even did a quick discussion with the Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis’ agent.  Very cool impromptu conversation about a movie in the works for Mikhail Gorbachev.

Here’s a quick recap of the startups he put on his “hang”.  Hopefully I’ve captured the correct elevator pitch for each of these:

Homerun – Killer stories about sports players built on their stats

Rex.is – Great stuff curated by interesting people

Class.travel – Worldwide travel rewards program

Snowshoe – Plastic ID that uses smartphone screen for recognition

Humin – Contacts stored in a more human way

Clinton Foundation – not a startup but a mention, none-the-less.

Looking forward to more great stuff from @mazzeo on @meerkat!

How To Boost Your Productivity With This Simple Routine

Being self-employed is hard. Sure, there is no boss, but then again no one is giving you tasks.  You have to take it all on and prioritize and make sure the right stuff is getting done.

It gets very stressful and I’ve struggled with minor (and no-so minor) bouts of anxiety.

I’ve done a bunch of research and tested various types of meditation.  Many creatively ambitious people including; Jerry Seinfeld, Howard Stern, Tim Ferris and many others have discovered a secret.

This is it – and it’s pretty simple.

Two, 20-minute mediation sessions each day.  One in the morning and one in the late afternoon.

The morning session will clear your mind from all the noise and “to-do’s” that are on the list and give you the focus to start knocking them out.  The afternoon session will refill your mental and emotional gas tank and you will feel refreshed for the second part of your day.

Try it for one week and see the results.

If 20 minutes is to long, start with 5 or 10.

Just sit in a chair, close your eyes and picture a flame.  Focus on the flame and take deep breaths. Open your throat and breath through your nose. I like to hum which also helps my focus and vocal cords (I’m a singer).

You will likely have many thoughts running through your mind (like this is boring).  Just set all thoughts aside and focus on the flame.

The benefits are astounding.

Focus and energy are the firepower needed to be productive in any field, job, creative outlet, etc.

Let me know how it goes!

Free SEO Webinar on March 4, 2014

As I have been discussing digital marketing strategies with my clients, I have discovered that there are many new SEO changes that need to be considered.

I have compiled some notes on several discussions and created this webinar.  The webinar is open to anyone and free.  Please join me on Tuesday March 4, 2014 for an hour. There will be some time for Q & A and I’ll pack in as much as possible within the hour.

Register now for the webinar.

The Master Of Vocal Therapy

Mark BaxterMark Baxter is a hero.  He has been working with vocalists for 25 years and helping them create great performances and more importantly, saving their voices.

Mark has worked with thousands of singers at all levels.  He’s worked with Johnny Resnick (Goo Goo Dolls) Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) Gary Cherone (Extreme) Scott Weiland (Velvet Revolver) and many more.

I had some vocal issues pop up when singing with the Van Dammes and I contacted Mark to find out what was going on.  We went through a few sessions and figured out what was happening.  After a few sessions, he gave me some exercises to workout the vocal cords prior to singing and they have worked like a charm.  I even did a few gigs with inflamed vocal cords due to allergies and survived!

Kudos to Mark and his commitment to singers everywhere.  Check out his YouTube channel for a ton of helpful exercises and vocal therapy information.