How did you get the idea for your business?
I started out as a mixer for people around town, but I always had a strong passion for informing others. I would often explain how to use the software and hardware to the artists I worked with. Eventually, I would start working myself out of jobs.
“If people are learning from you anyway, you might as well try to charge for it.”
Then I met this guy named Nathan Adam, who was a professor of recording at MTSU. He was talking very loudly about ProTools at Demos’. I invited him to see my studio, along with a couple of recordings I was working on at the time.
Nathan was recording a lot of tutorials for his students and asked me if he could come and record me some time. “You’re a natural at this. The way you say things is soothing, informative, and it’s not intimidating.” Those were the words he said to me. That made me believe that this was something I could do.
I found an available website called mixcoach.com and asked Nathan if he thought I should buy it. He said that if I didn’t buy it, he would.
How did you make your first sale?
I did a niche video called Jazz and Big Band Mixing because that’s what I was working on that day. I’ve made dozens and dozens of dollars off of that one.
What’s unique about owning a business in Murfreesboro?
Murfreesboro offers a strange angle that people who live in California can resonate with. Ask anyone who lives within a hundred miles of L.A. where they live, and they’ll say, “I live in L.A.” It’s a very similar situation with Nashville and Murfreesboro.
I can tell people that I work in Nashville because or that I’m Nashville-based because I might as well be. As internet speeds get faster, the world gets smaller and smaller. I don’t have any problems working out of Murfreesboro, the price of living is lower, and the price of running a business is lower.
What keeps you up at night as a business owner?
Imposter syndrome. It’s very real. One day, I’ll have people send me money to use for whatever I want because they believe in me. I’ve had a guy ask if there was anything I needed that he could do for me, just because he wanted to contribute to what I did. Someone bought me an iPad because I mentioned, in passing, that it would complete my setup.
I wake up every morning and wonder, “What are they going to think once they realize I have no idea what I’m doing?” We all have to deal with insecurity. It’s just how we manage it. Don’t take away the insecurity. Just give me a healthy way to deal with it.
What’s it like being in the middle of a pivot when you don’t know exactly where it’s going to end up?
It’s a rollercoaster. I’ll have days where I’m brimming with confidence, but the next day I’ll wake up and say, “It’s cold here; why did I move back here from California?”
I was starting to get out of my morning routine back in California. I had a mindless, healthy morning routine: read my bible, read a book, pray, meditate, that sort of thing. When you’re in a pivot, when you’re not close enough or far enough from anything, you’re just in no man’s land. You’ve got to swim to something, and I think that’s what keeps me going. It’s not as in the forefront of my mind as I’d want it to be, but I’ve got to swim towards something because I will not float and let everything drift to me.
If you could wave a magic wand and take away one problem from your business, what would it be?
Personally, for me, it would be a lack of clarity. My ADD, I wish I could take that away. Instead of seeing it as something I have to live with, I have to see it as a superpower. ADD has its benefits, like being able to speak into many things.
With my personality, I can sit down at my desk to get my work done for the day, see that Chrome needs an update, then spend the next few hours talking to tech support. But when I get into the zone, I’m unstoppable. I wish that were something I could direct with more control.
If you could take a time machine and go back to when you first started, what would you tell yourself?
I think my ego was a problem when I was younger. My early awards and achievements inhibited my ability to learn back then. I didn’t want to be a teacher to the little guy; I wanted to be a teacher to the elite.
What’s a podcast, book, or website that you would recommend to other business owners?
I don’t mean to sound like a cheerleader, but Graham Cochrane’s YouTube channel is rock solid. It’s just Graham Cochrane, and he’s got some solid stuff on there.
For books, I’d go with The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John D. Mann. It’s a story told in parable form where a guy that can’t seem to get ahead talks to this mentor, and the mentor tells him these stories, that sort of thing.
What do you use for your to-do list?
There’s something about physically striking through something, and when I’m serious, I write in on paper. When you use the calendar app and have something set for 12:00pm, it just gets dim, and you forget about it.