I'm heading home on a plane as I write this. I'm somewhere
over the midwest after giving a speech last night at the Berklee
School of Music in Boston. I was very impressed with the questions
from the student body and the faculty. The questions centered
more on perfecting their songwriting and production craft
than they did on TAXI.
showed me that they were serious about their careers in music.
More importantly, it showed they were looking externally for
information that could help them add more arrows to their
quivers and ensure their success. They know they will have
to be really good at what they do in order to succeed in this
may seem silly, but I ask myself if I'm really good at what
I do nearly everyday. Sometimes, several times a day. I usually
don't do it out loud, though. My staff might be tempted to
give me their opinions!
don't think I ask myself the question because I'm terribly
insecure (am I?). I ask it because I'm highly passionate about
what I do, and I want to make sure that I do it well today,
and even better tomorrow. What I "do" is run TAXI. Actually,
that's just the day-to-day manifestation, not the core. What
I really do is strive to perfect a system that enables you
to get better at what you do.
TAXI is about getting deals, but let's face it, not every
member is ready to get one yet. We can help by giving you
the vehicle and the tools, but that will only take you so
far. The best thing you can do to reach your goal is to become
exceptionally good at what you do. "Kind of good" and "pretty
good" simply aren't enough in this business.
ask yourself, "Am I really good at what I do? Am I an exceptional
songwriter? Do I know everything I need to know to successfully
compete in this industry?" Take my advice. Ask yourself in
you're flipping burgers for a living, you can get away with
being mediocre. That may also be true if you're selling shoes.
Some occupations don't require you to be excellent at what
you do to get by. But there really isn't such a thing as "getting
by" in the music biz. You either make it or you don't.
take that back. Many of you already have day jobs. Some of
you have careers you enjoy. Maybe music is just a hobby for
you, albeit, a hobby that you love passionately. Maybe success
for you is getting a song placed in a movie or getting an
instrumental piece on a network show. Nothing wrong with that.
Good goal. But, you know what? You're still going to need
to be really good at what you do just to accomplish that.
can you get there? Maybe this simple prescription will help.
I call it the One Percent Rule. Actually, a book I read called
it the One Percent Rule, but I can't remember which one. So,
as far as you're concerned, I'm the genius who thought it
you improve your skills just one percent each day, then you'll
be 365% better at the end of a year. Pretty dramatic results
without a Herculean effort.
out the list of books on the back of our feedback form. Buy
one. Read it for one hour a day. That should give you at least
a one percent notch-up each day. After you're finished with
the book, do the songwriting exercises in it (if it has them)
for just an hour a day. When you've completed the exercises,
start listening to one hour of contemporary hit radio each
day. Diagram each song's structure. Make notes about lyric
ideas and twists. Figure out what made each song a hit and
write it down.
I ask you... is one hour a day too much to ask for a 365%
improvement?!? I think not.
been doing it for years. I spend at least an hour every day
reading a book or magazine that helps me in my quest to drive
the perfect TAXI. Almost every aspect of TAXI has either been
created by or improved with what I've learned in those one
hour increments. It really works.
when I look deep inside myself and ask, "Are you really good
at what you do?" I can honestly answer, "Yes, I am, but there's
always room for improvement."
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