That’s why these guys are successful–a great lesson to learn

That’s why these guys are successful–a great lesson to learn

When I posted An open letter about art and money to Pat Flynn and Darren Rowse about a week and a half ago, I really never expected them to read it. Those guys are super successful and undoubtedly very busy. But yesterday I heard from both of them via Twitter (I’m @GaryLRebholz, and you’re invited to follow me there). I tweeted about that post yesterday, and both of them responded to that tweet. Not only that, but Darren visited the site and left a long and super useful comment at the end of the post. If you’re struggling with the same issue of balance between your art and making money that I talk about in that post, then you really should go and read Darren’s comment. He makes some great observations and offers valuable encouragement.

On top of that, Darren discovered that my blog was blocking some users from commenting, and giving the message that they were suspected bots. So, as if he hadn’t already given me enough time, he helped me work through the cause, tested the fix, and then posted his long comment. He didn’t have any reason to do this other than that he’s a true professional and simply a nice guy. And that, I think, is exactly why both of these guys are so successful. They are genuinely interested in helping people succeed.

Boy helping another boy up a hill
When someone offers a helping hand, well, it means something special

As valuable as Darren’s response to the letter is, what I find even more valuable is the lesson he’s teaching me simply by example. If he was only interested in my money, there would be no reason to go so far to help me as he did. At least not without first pocketing some sort of consulting fee. But his approach, as I’ve learned from listening to hours of his podcasts, is to help people first, make a dollar second. Pat Flynn follows the same game plan. And that’s the valuable lesson for me, and maybe for you. It also provides guidance toward an answer to the question I was asking in that post.

Those guys don’t make everything about money. First they provide countless hours of valuable content for absolutely free. Second, and only after they’ve already done tons of educating, they offer various paid ebooks and courses. I hope to do the same here. I hope that you find the content I share here valuable either as entertainment, or practical advice and techniques. And at some point, maybe there is a monetization model that will work for me.

The same with my music. First I’d like to put it out there for you all to hear (you can hear it on my other website, Then, maybe, you’ll enjoy it enough to support me if even just with a nice note of encouragement to keep making music. With enough support and encouragement, maybe I can convince music publishers, libraries, and supervisors that they should place some of my music in their projects. That would all be great, but it has to start with the genuine love of the art. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in “making it” that we lose track of the simple fact that most of us didn’t get into it for the money. We got into it because we love music. Or we love writing, or drawing, painting, dancing, or whatever your particular art is.

As for making money, Darren says, “Keep it at the front of your mind but don’t let it stop you.” The “it” he’s referring to is this struggle. The battle in your mind between creating great art and “selling out” for money. No one wants to be a sell out, and yet, we all want to eat. He’s saying that as long as you keep asking yourself the question of whether you’re focusing too heavily on the monetization, then you can keep reminding yourself that the art has to come first. Serving people comes first. Making the world a better place through music or other art is vitally important. Possibly more so now then ever. And if we can do that, then money can come to us guilt free through our creations.

I’m not one prone to being a fanboy, but over the past several months I’ve become a follower of these two guys because of the value they bring and offer up for free. The fact that they both took the time to contact me about that article and actually offer me–and you–value when I have nothing really to offer them only solidifies my respect for them. It feels good to see guys like that succeed, especially when we see all of the not-so-nice-seeming people who have succeeded in politics, business, and other areas. So my humble thanks go out to both of them.

Finally, as I mentioned, this blog had been blocking some readers from leaving comments. If that happened to you, I’m sorry about that. I was able to identify the cause of the problem, and I removed it. So, everyone should be able to leave a comment now, and I hope you all will. That’s one way to make this site really come alive.

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