Embracing The Chaos


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We spend much time and energy trying to organize our crazy lives.

We look for our happy place.

We search for Zen.

Yet most of the time, it eludes us. Life is never perfect. There are always those variables beyond our control that mess things up. There is always chaos.

Instead of fighting the forces against you, maybe you should embrace the chaos.

One of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll albums ever was created amidst a ridiculous amount of chaos.

Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album is one of the rock era’s best (and best-selling) albums, with over 40 million copies sold. It spawned hits like “Don’t Stop”, “Go Your Own Way”, “You Make Lovin’ Fun”, and “Dreams”. It not only won a Grammy award, but it also won a place in the music collection of a generation.

But at the time of the recording, the marriage of John and Christine MacVie was falling apart. Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks were also breaking up, constantly fighting, and stopping only to work on songs. Drummer Mick Fleetwood wasn’t immune. His wife Jenny had an affair with his best friend, and their marriage was in serious trouble. Aside from personal strife – or maybe as a by-product of dealing with it – most of the band was heavily addicted to drugs at the time.  The only constant in the studio was a steady supply of cocaine and booze.

So how, from such insanity, did one of the greatest albums of all-time emerge?

Stevie Nicks said that the band made their best music when they were in the worst shape. Buckingham acknowledged that the tensions between the band members led them to create a sum greater than its parts.

Chaos inspired some of the greatest music ever made.

There are only so many variables in business and life that you have control over. The rest is beyond your control, and the odds are that much of it is chaotic.

Change the things you can. Then embrace the chaos.

Suppliers will let you down.

Deliveries will be late.

The artwork won’t look right.

Your flight will be late.

Someone valuable will quit.

There will always be chaos. Let it inspire you to create your own best-selling album.

Order your paperback or Kindle version of Brand Like A Rock Star now and start learning how the experiences of rock’s legends can help make your business more profitable and successful.

The image above is by Hugh MacLeod. He has a brilliant ability to capture complex thoughts in simple cartoons. You can enjoy and purchase his work at I can’t say enough good stuff about his art.

Fleetwood Mac, Uncategorized 1,142 Comments

Let Bob Dylan Help Write Your Advertising

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With stunningly few very rare exceptions, the greatest songs in rock history use colorful, interesting, and unique words and phrases.

Those colorful words and phrases engage our brains and paint vivid images in our minds. We can’t forget them.

Let’s look at this section of Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone”:

You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns
When they all come down and did tricks for you
You never understood that it ain’t no good
You shouldn’t let other people get your kicks for you
You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Ain’t it hard when you discover that
He really wasn’t where it’s at
After he took from you everything he could steal.

Frowning jugglers and clowns doing tricks? A chrome horse and a diplomat carrying a Siamese cat on his shoulder?

Yes, those are the somewhat confusing words to the song that Rolling Stone magazine listed as #1 on their Top 500 Songs Of All Time. Those are words and phrases that capture your subconscious and demand that it pay attention.

Great advertising does the same thing!

For example, let’s compare those cryptic Dylan lyrics to the script to what many consider the best advertisement of the past decade, the famous Old Spice “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” ad:

Hello, ladies. Look at your man. Now back to me. Now back at your man. Now back to me.

Sadly, he isn’t me, but if he stopped using ladies scented body wash and switched to Old Spice, he could smell like he’s me.

Look down. Back up. Where are you? You’re on a boat with the man your man could smell like.

What’s in your hand? Back at me. I have it, it’s an oyster with two tickets to that thing you love. Look again. The tickets are now diamonds.

Anything is possible when your man smells like Old Spice and not a lady. I’m on a horse.

Starting now, make a vow. Rid your advertising of the words that your competitors are using. Eliminate as many of the usual “advertising” words as you can. Throw away every single cliche you can find.

Instead seek out colorful and dynamic words that shatter your prospect’s mental filter and dive deep into their memory, so that when they need whatever it is you sell… they think of you first. And nobody else matters.

When you are creating advertising – whether it is radio, print, TV, outdoor, or interactive – you are writing songs. Just like Bob Dylan.

How does it feel?

Click here to order Brand Like A Rock Star today and start building a stronger brand right away, using the core marketing strategies of legends like Bob Dylan, U2, AC/DC, Grateful Dead, Nirvana, and many others. It is available in paperback and Kindle download.

Bob Dylan, Old Spice 103 Comments

Father’s Day And Business Advice from Gene Simmons


I have a confession to make…

I’m not the world’s biggest KISS fan. That title might go to my good friend and noted KISS marketing veteran Michael Brandvold. Click on his name and you can grab a free copy of his ebook The KISS School of Marketing. 

But I am a fan of KISS. I enjoy their music, but I particularly love the band because they have been so good at branding themselves and marketing their act.

Gene Simmons is as much a marketer as he is a musician.

Here are five things Gene Simmons totally gets about marketing that most businesses never fully grasp:

1. It is okay to offend people, even large numbers of people. In fact, it is wise to do so.

2. Offending large numbers of people nearly always clarifies your brand and endears you even more to the segment of the population that loves you.

3. Getting noticed is more important than anything else. If you never get noticed, you’ll never be a rock star. Get people to pay attention and then focus on being great at what you do.

4. Always put your name on everything you do. The KISS logo is on every imaginable piece of merchandise, from condoms to coffee shops. And the show Gene Simmons Family Jewels is never promoted or mentioned without his name attached to it.

5. Failure rocks. It is an integral part of success. Not everything you do will strike gold, so do a lot of things. When something sticks, it will stick big time.

Since it is Father’s Day this weekend, Gene also has a few thoughts on that topic:

“Be thankful. The next tie you get, the million-and-oneth-tie… that one? Just smile. The intention is good. We don’t need things anyway. And your straight, so stop pretending you know anything about fabric.”

If you are in LA for Father’s Day, you can buy a ticket to the Father’s Day bash at Gene’s new restaurant, Rock & Brews in El Segundo.

By the way, Gene Simmons was kind enough to endorse Brand Like A Rock Star. I’m thankful for that. You can download the Kindle version or have the paperback home delivered here.

And if you are hesitant to spend $5.99 on the book, download Chapter One for free first and get yourself hooked. It is available as a pdf by clicking here and it could not be more FREE. Chapter One deals with AC/DC and their legendary consistency. You’ll want to use that same consistent approach to building your rock star business.


Gene Simmons, KISS 181 Comments

The Rock Star Start-Up Guide


Launching a new business from the ground up is a daunting task, one that eats many people alive before a business ever takes off. It is no wonder that most small businesses never get off the ground, let alone shed the “small” and become huge successes.

The start-up process has a lot in common with the struggles that a musician goes through as they begin the quest to achieve “rock star” status, and there are some great lessons that start-up businesses can take away from the careers of legendary rock stars. Here are three cool examples of the rock star/start up connection:

1. Get Noticed First.

The Sex Pistols were the creation of producer Malcolm McLaren, and McLaren need to get his new band talked about. So to launch their song “God Save The Queen”, McLaren had the band play live on a barge sailing down the River Thames in London, right past the House of Parlaiment. The stunt got tremendous press coverage in England! Millions of people were thrilled with the band’s anti-royal stance, and millions more were put off by their antics. Things got so crazy that the company contracted to press the band’s vinyl album had to turn down the contract because their own employees refused to be involved in the Sex Pistols album. The PR paid off in a major way, and “God Save The Queen” became a huge hit. The Sex Pistols, despite only having one album to their credit, made it all the way to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

In the start-up world, one of the first challenges is getting noticed. There are countless other businesses trying to get people’s attention, and most of them have more money and resources than you do. Take a lesson from the Sex Pistols and capture people’s attention in a way that they can’t ignore.

2. What Makes You Special?

Wicked Lester was a struggling rock band in New York in the early 70s. Like thousands of other bands, they thought they had what it takes to be the next big thing. They had good musicians and songwriters, and a great lead singer. Yet nothing was happening for the band.  Before breaking up, Wicked Lester gave it one more shot. They changed their name, changed their look, and took to the stage in full comic book make-up as KISS. In less than two years, the band was embarking on their first world tour. They had their struggles as KISS for sure, but the path from obscurity to stardom was paved by the band’s unique difference. They wore make-up. They took on comic book personas. They blew stuff up on stage. KISS was a band that gave the world something it had never seen before.

When starting a new business, one of the first goals needs to be to establish a unique position relative to your competition. What makes you so special? Why should anyone remember you, let alone chose you over their existing options? Don’t be afraid or apologetic for what makes you different. Instead, celebrate and flaunt what makes you special. Rock it.

3. Find Your Passion!

You can’t fake it. At least not for long. When you are passionate about what you are singing about, the game changes. Bob Marley is a great example. He made reggae music because it was a part of his culture and his religion. Because Marley was so deeply connected to his music, he never wavered. He didn’t sing a disco song because disco was popular. He didn’t sing a duet with the top female pop singer of the day. Bob Marley did nothing to be rich and famous, aside from being true to the music he loved.

Are you that passionate about your start-up idea? Or will you be distracted by the lure of quick profits and easy money by compromising your core values? If you aren’t passionate enough to stay true to your values when it is inconvenient and costs you money, then you probably aren’t passionate enough to win.

The book Brand Like A Rock Star has 20 chapters filled with tips on how to build a stronger brand and better business by using the core marketing strategies of rock and roll legends. You can download the Kindle version instantly for $5.99 or have the paperback delivered straight to your door.


Bob Marley, KISS, Sex Pistols 228 Comments

The Rockepreneur


If you’re a rock star, you’re an entrepreneur.

Think about it.


The rock star begins with a lyric or melody in her head… nothing tangible… just a concept.

The entrepreneur starts with an idea in his head… no bricks or mortar… just a concept.


The rock star has to pay her dues, playing clubs and bars and getting seen and heard by those who can elevate her career to a higher level.

The entrepreneur has to pay his dues, bootstrapping his new business until he has the clout and wealth to elevate his business to a higher level.


The rock star creates music because she has to. Creating music comes from within her, like creativity is a part of her DNA.

The entrepreneur creates businesses because he has to. Almost every entrepeneur is a serial one, creating and building and selling businesses like it is a part of his DNA.


The rock star has to shut out the critics, because everyone has an opinion. The rock star listens to her inner-voice and silences those who want to shut her down.

The entrepeneur has to shut out the negative influences, because everyone thinks they are brilliant. The entrepreneur listens to his inner-voice and silences those who can’t see the future.


Unleash the rock star within you and learn how the core marketing strategies of legendary bands like U2, AC/DC, Bob Marley, Eminem, The Grateful Dead, and Bob Dylan can make your business rich and famous. The Kindle version is just $5.99 or you can order the paperback for home delivery right away.


Uncategorized 171 Comments