Make This The Year You Rock. No Excuses.


When a rock star steps on stage, it’s game on. There are no excuses.

Despite a blizzard that closed schools, canceled flights, and closed highways, Pearl Jam played Calgary’s Saddledome last month. Most bands would have probably conveniently rescheduled, but Pearl Jam was going to play even if only a few hundred people could make it. It turns out 14,000 fans made it.

Despite vitriolic hatred between the members of the band, The Eagles always gave their fans the very best. Even when Glenn Frey and Don Felder were planning a fist fight after the show, the band always rocked. They put the bullshit aside and gave it their best.

The year is coming to an end.

You can wipe the slate clean, and start fresh in 2014.

Make 2014 the year you rock. No excuses.

Thank you for all of the support and feedback over the past year. I’m tremendously excited about the chance to share a new book with you in 2014. It’s called Start You Up: Rock Star Secrets To Unleash Your Personal Brand and Set Your Career on Fire. I’m really proud of it. The advance copies just arrived and will be going out to reviewers over the next few weeks. The book is an examination of the habits and traits of rock legends, and a guide to put them to use to elevate your career and make you happier, more successful, and more rewarded at what you do.


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If You Want To Achieve Perfection


black guitar volume

Axl Rose spent $13 million and twenty years of his life to create Chinese Democracy. It was a total bust.

Their debut album, Appetite For Destruction, was recorded in two months for a total budget of $370,000.

Simplicity rocks.

Apple has perfected simplicity in design. And it isn’t easy. It is a real challenge to resist adding more features and buttons and words and offers.

The real geniuses amongst us are not the ones who add things to projects. They are the ones who take things out.

Some of the greatest songs in rock history are just three simple chords and one powerful emotion.

So if you want to get every little detail perfect, your only smart option is to limit the number of details.

It’s simple.

Order the marketing book Brand Like a Rock Star with one click here, and get started on the quest to create a simple yet powerful brand for your business, large or small.



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Make Your Customers Cry


It’s okay to make your customers cry.

Creating a bond between your brand and your fans requires a key ingredient that most businesses forget about: emotions.

Emotions aren’t touched by convenient hours, free parking, knowledgable staff, and lots of selection.

Emotions aren’t touched by a limited-time-offer sale that ends this Sunday.

Emotions aren’t touched by your giant inflatable gorilla on the roof or your stupid “boss is away” sale. Yeah, I’m lookin’ at you, car dealers.

Brands that inspire emotions win.

Canadian discount airline Westjet proved that again this holiday season with their second annual Christmas Miracle. Watch the video as they made their customers laugh, cry, smile, and hug. Watch the emotions pour out.  And remember… this is an airline. Aren’t we supposed to hate airlines?

How will you touch your customer’s heart today?

What message will your marketing send?

Do you have the guts to make your customers cry?

The marketing book Brand Like a Rock Star can help your business grow into a brand that rocks by touching the emotional hot buttons of your customers. Learn how legendary musicians created lasting brands, and apply those lessons directly to your business. You can order Brand Like a Rock Star with one click right here.

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How Rock n Roll Helped Free Nelson Mandela


Little Steven introduced me to Nelson Mandela.

Not literally, of course. But it was Little Steven’s Sun City project, created to encourage musicians to boycott South Africa, that first made me aware of Nelson Mandela. Thanks to Sun City, I learned of a man who will stand as one of history’s greatest forces of change. But Sun City was only the beginning.

I vividly remember the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute at Wembley Stadium in 1988, while he was still in prison. Stevie Wonder was set to play the concert, when a missing disc containing all of the synthesizer parts for his set went missing. Stevie had to back out of the show, and left the stadium in tears because he was unable to perform in honor of Mandela. I remember watching Bryan Adams and Sting and Eurythmics, and being especially moved by Peter Gabriel’s “Biko”, a song about anti-apartheid activist Steven Biko. I remember Paul Simon’s Graceland combining pop music with traditional South African rhythms, and how moved I was by “Homeless” with Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Change happened quickly in late 1989.

The Berlin Wall fell in November. And then, in February of 1990, Nelson Mandela walked out of Victor Verster Prison a free man. It was televised to the world. The mythical Nelson Mandela was free at last.

He went on to not only change his nation, but change the world.

Yesterday Nelson Mandela died. He was 95.

Thanks to Little Steven, Bono, Peter Gabriel, The Special AKA, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Arthur Baker, Bob Dylan, Run-DMC, Lou Reed, Jimmy Cliff, and many others, my generation was made aware of an imprisoned hero. And thanks in part to the pressure and awareness brought about from their songs, that freed man made the world a much better place for all of us.

If you ever doubt the power of music, just look to the story of Nelson Mandela.

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Three Questions To Answer To Create Advertising That Works

steve and book

Great advertising is never about the product, service, or business.

Great advertising is about the customer.

Just like a great song feels like it was written and sung just for you, great advertising speaks to your heart, your goals, and your dreams.

Yet 99% of the ads you see, hear, and watch today will be about the business who bought the ad. They will talk about the things that matter to the business.

Sad, really. All of that wasted money.

If you want to rise about the clutter and create advertising that actually works, ask yourself a few questions first.

What emotion do you want your customer to feel?

What personal challenge does your product help them overcome?

How does your business make your customer’s heart sing?

If your advertising speaks to my heart, my needs, and my life, then there is a far greater chance you’ll open my wallet.

Brand Like a Rock Star examines marketing and branding through the experiences of rock legends like Kiss, Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga, The Grateful Dead, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, and many others. It is available from Amazon by clicking here. If you have someone in your circle of friends who is in business and loves music, you just found the perfect gift for them this holiday season.

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