Our guest this week is someone who wants to help new and aspiring composers succeed in the video game industry, the man behind Video Game Music Academy, Daniel Hulsman.
Daniel is a 33-year-old father of 2, living in Boston with a huge passion for music. He received his Music Education degree from the University of Delaware, but due to the economic crash, (Hint: Most art-focused people’s careers suffered) he had to shift careers and find a job that can support his family.
He had worked for several corporations that allowed him to learn more about marketing and management, which he has found useful when he started building his own website: VGMacademy.com
Daniel currently serves a public charter school as a Music Teacher for the past 4 years, all while managing a choir that records professional video game soundtracks twice a year.
(Recording professional video game soundtracks? Oh, you mean, THE COOLEST JOB EVER?!)
Ultimately, his goal is to create a stable, recurring stream of income online so that he can focus on his family, especially since his children are both still very young.
But here’s the thing, his website isn’t gaining as much traction, and sales are mostly from selling semi-related products — y’all know how frustrating that can be, right?
So what does he do?
Daniel sends us some hater-ade, a long email detailing his doubts, frustrations and surprisingly his hope that maybe – just maybe – we could help him become a successful online entrepreneur too!
We can tell a troll from a critic, and this man was no troll, he really wanted something better for his family’s future.
How would you respond to someone with this sentiment?
Well, look no further because this week’s episode is all about how YOU can turn a critic into a customer, why you are not for everyone and why that’s okay, and how to dispel that voice saying you are not expert enough.
This podcast interview is PUMPED y’all! So much action, insight and real-life struggles, it’s far too good to miss! 😉
You Will Learn:
- The difference between a troll and a critic
- How to turn a critic into a customer
- Are you expert enough to lead?
- Understanding your mission online
- Plus so much more!
Links and resources mentioned on today’s show:
Enjoy the podcast; we hope it inspires you to explore what’s possible for your family!
Get your FREE 30-DAY Membership in the Flip Your Life Community NOW!
You can connect with S&J on social media too!
Thanks again for listening to the show! If you liked it, make sure you share it with your friends and family! Our goal is to help as many families as possible change their lives through online business. Help us by sharing the show!
If you have comments or questions, please be sure to leave them below in the comment section of this post. See y’all next week!
Can’t listen to the podcast right now? Check out the transcript below.
Jocelyn: Hey, y’all! On today’s podcast, we help Daniel decide if he’s expert enough to start his online business.
Shane: Welcome to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast where life always comes before work. We’re your hosts, Shane and Jocelyn Sams.
We’re a real family who figured out how to make our entire living online. And now, we help other families do the same. Are you ready to flip your life? Alright, let’s get started.
What’s going on everybody? Welcome back to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast, it is great to be back with you again this week! Super excited to have another member of the Flip Your Life community on the show today. I’ve been looking forward to this specific interview all week, and you’re going to learn why here in just a minute.
Jocelyn: I’m pretty sure he’s talked about it like every single day.
Shane: Every single day. I’m so pumped up right now to welcome Daniel Hulsman to the show.
Daniel, what’s up man?
Daniel: Hey, how you guys doing? It’s really good to be out here and talking to you both!
Jocelyn: We are pumped to have you here, as Shane has mentioned.
Shane: I am super pumped to have you here!
Jocelyn: Shane loves telling stories, so I’m just going to let him take it away.
Shane: Alright, here’s how Daniel and I got together, okay?
Jocelyn: Something I should know?
Shane: No, no. This is a G-rated show, Jocelyn. Alright, so Daniel sent me an email during a recent launch. A few weeks ago, we opened the doors to the Flip Your Life community and started giving everybody out there a month for free. Daniel apparently heard this and signed up and you know, and he went through a couple of the emails and things like that. He had not joined yet, he had not joined the membership yet. So, I wake up one morning, and I get this email because yes, we check our emails, okay. And I get a message and the first line — what was the subject line on this?
Daniel: I’m just shaking my head over here.
Shane: I know, right. There was some hater-ade in this email, people. This is a critique, is what I’m about to show you, I’m not going to read the whole thing. But Daniel’s sends me this email and says two things — a little smug Daniel, I’m not going to lie — but it said two things: “One, your customer service link in this email leads to a 404 page.” So that is not a good sign when somebody pointing out a broken link.
Jocelyn: When your email starts like that it’s probably not going to go too good.
Shane: And he made the emoticon, it wasn’t even the Emoji. He actually used the type of symbols of a smiley face with a tear. That’s sad, guys, we’re supposed to have all this together, right? And then he goes on with this giant block text of paragraph about just all sorts of stuff he didn’t like in our marketing and things like that, but here’s what drew me in. Are you ready for this Daniel? This is the turn to the positive, this is the turn to the light side of the force.
Shane: So he’s critiquing all of our sales techniques and blah, blah, blah, and I just heard all of this skepticism in all of this stuff. And then he said, “And you gave me a heart attack on Episode 200 when you said goodbye because I did not want your podcast to go away.”
So that’s where the turn was and it says, “You are changing lives of people like me who want a better life for their families.” I read every word of this email and it was really long, and that’s the point where I was like, man, I saw something there. I was like, “This guy wants a better life.” Then he went on to say, “I’ve been struggling to get my website off the ground for a few years, and your story inspires me to keep trying.”
So, all of that criticism, all of that critique, when I got to the end, I realized it was just frustration. It was just a little frustration, a little skepticism, a little “Is this real?” and you’ve been doing this for a while, and I sent him a message back, my email. I purposefully had to write more words than you did.
Daniel: Oh, that was a good little novella.
Shane: Yes, yes. There was some massive… this was a no-sugar soliloquy.
Jocelyn: Oh, now we’re going to get tons of hate mail, so people will get to have–
Shane: Yeah, everybody will just send me hate mail now, like, “Shane will write me back if I do that!” Here’s what’s funny though. This is the difference between me and Jocelyn. I was writing this email, and when I was doing it, Jocelyn was like, “Are you still writing that guy back?” And I’m like, “Yeah, yeah, I’m still writing. I’m doing it!”
Jocelyn: I’m trying to talk to him about stuff, and get things done. And he’s like, “No, no, no, I’m writing this email!”
Shane: “No, Daniel is getting a message back from me.”
Jocelyn: I’m like, “Okay.”
Shane: I could have gone a thousand ways with this email. I could have gone, “How dare you find my broken link.”
Daniel: Or just deleted it.
Shane: Or just deleted it and I could have just ignored it. But I really just felt drawn, and there was potential there and you wanted something more, and that’s what we’re here for — that’s our mission. So basically I won’t read the whole soliloquy.
Jocelyn: Please don’t.
Shane: I won’t, I won’t. I won’t read this parable that I wrote you back. But in the future book, it will come out. But my main point was, “Are you going to let a link that goes to a 404 page or a sales page hold you back, and are you going to look back again in a few years from now and say, ‘Man, I’ve struggled for a few years and I’m done,’ or are you going to look back and say, ‘That was the moment I actually took action and took my next step.’”
And I challenged you. I just said, “Go join! It’s free for 30 days. You go look at every course we’ve got and you see if it doesn’t move you forward.” And I said, “Instead of critiquing our sales process, watch the magician’s hands. You’ve been struggling for a few years, and we have it. Maybe there’s something there. Maybe there’s something we’re doing differently.” I’ve got to read what you sent me back.
Daniel: Oh, yeah. Please go ahead, I was angsty. There was a long time of just reflection before I sent anything back.
Shane: I jumped up, man, and you can ask Jocelyn. I started going crazy and pumping my fist because I was so excited. You sent me this message back, and it said, “I started to spend a few minutes, trying to think of a clever yet grateful response to your candid feedback–” and I like how you said ‘candid feedback’ because if anyone saw this message, it was pretty candid.
Shane: And it says, “But I think I’ll just shut up and get started instead. Sounds like I’ve got some work to do. I just finished the form, I’m logging in, and when I get home, I’m printing your email and hanging it on my wall next to my computer. Thank you for the much-needed kick in the (blank)!” So I just want to say, you’re welcome for the boot print on the back of your pants.
Daniel: Thank you, sir.
Shane: And I am so glad that you are a member of the Flip Your Life community now, and that we turned a critic into a customer. After you followed up, and I saw what you have going in your business, I know that you’ve got a great, great potential to do something with it, okay, so Kudos to you, man.
Jocelyn: We love these kinds of stories so much because it’s just awesome. So many people want to point fingers at other people and say, “You’re doing this wrong, you’re doing this wrong.” But most of the time it’s more like a mirror. They’re looking back at themselves, and thinking, “My life is not perfect either.” None of our lives are perfect. So that’s the cool thing about this, is that we’re able to help each other and we don’t just give up on people. I mean, if you were like a blatant hater or…
Shane: There is a difference in a critic and a troll. I was actually very thankful you found that link. Before I wrote you back, I emailed our team and I said, “We’ve got to fix this link.” That’s how I started my email back to you, so I was actually really grateful that you sent email in the first place. It helped us, and I wanted some reciprocity there to help you back.
Jocelyn: And so we knew that we had to talk to you because of this crazy story, and we just love it when things like this happen, so thank you for being here today!
Daniel: No problem. And I’m sure my wife’s going to get a real kick out of listening to this as well because when I finally told her that you had offered to speak with me this morning, she was like, “Why?!” And then I had to tell her the whole backstory. And she’s like, “I am a little surprised that you sent that email, but sounds like you deserved your response.”
Shane: That is absolutely hilarious!
Jocelyn: Okay. If we’re being honest with ourselves, like everyone listening to this show, myself included, we’ve all done something like this. This is not something– we’re not trying to pick on you and say like, “Oh, you shouldn’t have done this or whatever.”
Shane: This is like when you get mad and you honk at somebody or give them a rude gesture on the highway for doing something you did a week ago. It’s all it is. I’ve seen so many emails like that. There’s a difference between a troll, and a guy who’s like, “Guys, I really like what you’re doing and I’d love to have it, too. And I think I could get it, but I’m frustrated, and nothing’s just working and I’m just trying to vocalize that, and I don’t know how to do it.”
Daniel: Yeah, I mean, I feel like I’ve been beating my head against a wall for years. The whole way that I started my current website, I actually bought another course, a $500 course years ago. I’ve been a longtime listener of that podcast, and I signed up. They’re very adamant, don’t skip any steps. As a good little soldier, I did all the steps and at the end I had ended up with this website and like a tiny little affiliate sale every now and then. And a website that I felt was nice, but it was a website, it wasn’t a business. I just didn’t know where to go after spending all this time pouring myself into this and years later here I am still not sure how to course correct.
Shane: Well, listen. You’re not the only person that’s ever done that. The next step is always the most frustrating step that never goes away. We’re sitting here figuring out our next step just like you are. It’s just at a different level. That frustration is part of the journey and hey, man, we’ll get you past it, and let’s get you to the next step and that’s what we’re here for so we can help you do that.
Jocelyn: The reason that we started this trial because we feel like there are so many people out there who are frustrated, and they don’t know what to do next.
Shane: Or they’ve been burned by that $500 course in the past and nothing happened. Like I got burned by a course like that! What happened in 2012, when I first started this, the first thing I discovered was Google ad marketing, like where you make a niche website that has like five pages and you put Google ads on it and the gurus all said you’d be a millionaire in six months.
Jocelyn: All that was before the big Google smackdown, they call it.
Shane: So I built a couple of these sites and, granted, it did make our first ad click, which was eleven cents that inspired us that it’s possible to make money online. But I’m paid a dime and a penny! If you can’t pay my groceries with this thing, you can’t even get the cart at Aldi! That’s a quarter. For anybody that has an Aldi, you know what I’m talking about here, you can’t even get the cart out at the grocery store for a dime and a penny. But what happened was — it’s so funny– I got frustrated, but once we figured that out, I bought another course about email marketing.
I noticed, not that that guy was email marketing for affiliates. I noticed that his email marketing was to sell his course on email marketing and he was selling his own product. That was really the epiphany that we had was, it’s not about partnering and JV Partnerships. That’s cool, that’s later. It’s not about affiliate links, it’s not about ad clicks, it’s not about Amazon and all that. You’re not going to make any money that way. It’s about figuring out how you can serve other people, creating a product that solves their problem and that’s what you promote. That may be the next step for you too. Alright, so rewind!
Jocelyn: That was a lot of information.
Shane: It’s still one of my favorite stories ever and it always will be, and I’m going to be so proud of you, not only because you joined, but I can’t wait to see you succeed.
Jocelyn: I can’t even express the joy that Shane had when you decided to join the membership.
Shane: Oh my gosh, when you joined the membership, I was like, “That dude joined. Holy cow, that’s unbelievable!”
Jocelyn: That’s his mission in life.
Daniel: You know what it was. It was the last line in your email. It just went off on me and then at the end, the last time was just ‘Finish’, with a link back to the form that I didn’t complete. That was just the word that echoed in my subconscious until I did it.
Shane: Oh yeah. I see it now. It just says ‘Finish:’ and then the form.
Jocelyn: I hope that, if nothing else from this story, I hope that people understand that we really do care about you and we want what’s best for every single person listening to this podcast. That’s the reason why we do what we do. Yes, we are a for-profit business. We have to pay our bills, but we want everyone out there to succeed, and that’s why we’re offering this free trial. So I hope that if nothing else, people understand that we really do want what’s best for every single one of you.
Shane: And I also realized too, there’s a lot of movement out there. People want to shut everyone out of their lives and all these gurus are like, “Well, if anyone hates you, delete them, and if anyone critiques you, screw them, and if anybody, whatever, whatever, whatever,” but like man, 90% of the people that even send you feedback, they’re just really asking you for some advice.
Jocelyn: And if somebody has taken their time to email you, even if it’s something you’d really don’t want to hear–
Shane: They care. They at least care.
Jocelyn: They care enough to send the email.
Shane: Love it, hate it, but never ignore it, man. Help somebody next time they send you a bad email, send them back and say, “You alright? What’s going on? Can I help you?”
Jocelyn: That being said, please don’t send us a lot of hate mail!
Shane: I can read through the fake hate mail guys. I know fake hate from real hate. Okay, so let’s do it!
Jocelyn: Alright. So before we get more into the story, let’s go back just a little bit. We want to know about you, your background, and what you have started so far online.
Daniel: Sure, so, by day, I’m a father. I live in Boston and I am a full-time music teacher at an inter-high school in Boston. I grew up in Delaware. Go Blue Hens! Our mascot’s a giant blue chicken, really exciting!
Shane: We have a mascot in the Kentucky school called, “The Hilltopper.” It’s literally a red pile of dirt. That’s what he is. The Hilltoppers and the Blue Hens can go to war.
Daniel: I don’t even know what to say about that. That’s so strange. But you know, why not? Sure. I graduated with my music education degree looking to be a music teacher, and then that was 2008 and then the economy crashed. All the arts jobs disappeared so I had to kind of scramble and figure out something else to do. I ended up working for Apple for a few years doing B2B sales, and then I just started nerding out on online marketing stuff after reading the Four-Hour Work Week. I ended up getting a job at a marketing software company called Hubspot.
Worked there for a year before getting back into teaching.
So it’s been kind of a bit of an eclectic journey professionally. But then on the side of that, two years ago, as I said, I started, you know, I did an online course and at the end of that I had a website for video game composers because I love video game music and I’ve always loved to do games and stuff.
Jocelyn: Okay. I need to just stop you right there because in your intake form, it says I manage–
Shane: ‘Intake Form.’ That sounds like he’s getting up for parole, and your intake form– “Your podcast application” would be better, probably.
Jocelyn: On the podcast questionnaire, how’s that?
Jocelyn: Okay. I just have to ask you about this because I don’t know what this means. Okay, it says, “I manage a choir that records professional video game soundtracks twice a year.” So let’s back the truck up.
Shane: That seems like the coolest job ever!
Daniel: Alright, sure. So I ended up by networking in the Boston scene here, which actually there’s an orchestra called the Video Game Orchestra in Boston and they started as a club out of Berkeley College of Music, and then they ended up becoming a full-blown professional orchestra that records the live music for video games. I happened to meet and befriend the guy who runs that. Over a couple of years, just because he knew I was a singer, I ended up getting pulled into a choir to record a trailer for a game called, “Final Fantasy 15.”
Shane: Are you kidding me? You sang on Final Fantasy 15?!
Daniel: I did. I sang on the trailer, and then I sang on 10 tracks on the soundtrack.
Shane: Dude, I am so glad you wrote me hate mail!
Jocelyn: Who gets this job?
Shane: Yeah, this is amazing.
Jocelyn: “Yeah, I sing on video games.”
Daniel: It’s a very fun thing to drop in a conversation. I’ve got to admit. I mean, you know, it’s very few and far in between, but the gigs are extremely fun. I’ve just wrapped up a second one or our first one for the year. It’s just a lot of fun. But the third grader in me is just elated. Every time I go into the recording studio and get the recorded video game music, I got the music pumping into my headphones, and with the school to sing– the instrument that I was trained on was voice. And so it, you know, I’m really thankful for that because now I get to go and sing on video games.
Jocelyn: My nine-year-old son would think this is the coolest thing ever.
Shane: Oh yeah, because he loves music, he loves video games.
Daniel: Then you know, he and I, we understand each other, then.
Shane: What’s cool about this, too, man, is I can see where this is going. One thing that people love about the Flip Your Life community, and once again there are needs for life coaches and business coaches, but everybody doesn’t have to be one. The variety of niches and our community is second to none. Like we have people, we talk about it all the time. We’ve got people doing everything you can imagine. Ninety percent of our people are doing something besides life coaching.
And you hear about this, I would never think, oh, there’s a niche for video game music composing. But even as you say this, we’ve got a member named Chris Greenwood, he goes by the name, Manafest. Really big Christian artist, awesome guy. His songs, though, one of the ways that he markets his music is he licenses it for games and licenses it for movies.
And now you’re actually recording original tracks for things, so there are so many niche markets out there that you wouldn’t think people would want to get into. But then you’re like, “Well, wait a minute, if you’re doing it and he’s doing it and somebody else is doing it, well, there are probably thousands of people that want to do it. Right?” And uh, that’s where this kind of came from.
Jocelyn: Okay, so your site is about this video game music, correct.
Daniel: Yup, to help new and aspiring video game composers.
Shane: What is it called? What’s the domain name?
Shane: videogameacademy.com, okay.
Daniel: You can go to either videogamemusicacademy.com, or you can go to vgmacademy.com, and it’ll redirect you.
Shane: You actually own a three letter domain?
Shane: Wow, that’s really awesome that you have that, you know what I’m saying? Because those are hard to get.
Daniel: Well, it was kind of those dot academy ones, I wasn’t that fast.
Shane: I got you, I got you, I got you. Now tell everyone a little bit about where your community is, because you’ve actually built a community, an audience around this. We’ve not monetized it yet, which is very common, right? So tell everybody else about the other assets that are around the website.
Daniel: Yeah, sure. So I’ve got an email list that has got currently over 2,600 people on it, which I feel pretty good about that number. I just obviously don’t know what to do with it at this point.
I’ve got a pretty sizable Twitter following of like 4,500 people or somewhere around there right now. But my thing that I really liked the most at this point is that I’ve got a private Facebook group that has just reached 1,000 members. It’s like a no-spam, no-self-promotion zone for people to get in there and get questions and ask help, but also engage in anything that’s going on with the website.
I’ve got a community challenge that I run over the summer. So this is the second time I’m doing it, starting in a couple of days in July. It’s a 21-day challenge for composers to get in there, and just write something, even just like a little tiny something. One little musical idea, just write something new every day for 21 days straight to make it a habit, and everyone goes in there. Last year it was awesome! Everyone posted, you know, put up a graphic for each day.
Shane: Is this free?
Daniel: Yeah, this is free! Yup!
Shane: Do you make them opt in to get in the challenge?
Daniel: Yes. Yeah.
Shane: Okay, that’s good. Do you create content regularly on your website? Like blogs or videos or anything like that?
Daniel: I used to, but this past year, to be completely upfront and honest, I’ve just been kind of burned out and frustrated. I feel like anytime I come back and pour energy into it, I feel like it’s misdirected, or it doesn’t really move the needle on anything. So this past year, it’s been pretty inconsistent.
Shane: Listen, you have no idea what you’ve got in your hands.
Jocelyn: You’re doing so many things right!
Shane: So many things right, so many things that other people can’t even figure out how to do or won’t figure out how to do. Like how to do a challenge, how to opt in for it, how to get them in a private Facebook group. And your audience? I mean you have 2,500 emails. Do you know how many people would drive to Boston and punch you in the face to steal 2,500 emails from you? You have this Facebook group with a thousand people, Twitter followers. You have an audience that you’ve built!
When Jocelyn and I launched our first product that did like thousands of dollars, we had less than 400 emails total, and it did like almost three grand in like the first week. So you’ve got the people, you’ve got the thing, you’ve proven that people want this, and these challenges, you’ve proven that people will opt in. It’s not a large stretch to just say, “Well, what if I charged for a challenge that got more involvement with me?”
Jocelyn: Or at the end of my challenge, I’ll give them their next step and I charge them for it? Daniel, this is not hard!
Shane: Yeah, you got this, man, dude. I want to talk about two things, first, really quick is fears and obstacles. Something’s holding you back because you’ve got the tools in place.
Jocelyn: What’s going on inside your head that’s saying, “I can’t do this?
Shane: What are you afraid of? What’s the fear that’s holding you back?
Daniel: The biggest thing is that I feel like– and this is again a part of the result of that original course. I ended up with a website and a community that’s really looking for someone. In some ways at least I feel like I’m not qualified enough to take people to the next step that they want because I’m not a full-time working video game music composer. I’m a music teacher. I know a lot of basics in terms of songwriting and composition.
But in terms of like a lot of the technologies that people want help with the digital audio workstations, people can spend and waste countless hours of time diving into the audio technology and the audio engineering part of it. And that’s just something that’s a huge time investment. I’m not able to become the expert on that as fast as I think I would need to be at this point. I feel like I’m in a lot of ways behind the ball of my audience in terms of the audio engineering component. But that’s the biggest thing: I kind of feel like in some ways I’m just not qualified.
In other words, I think I am. I think that I know a decent amount about marketing, I know a little bit about negotiating, which is something that comes up with freelancing. So I got some transferable skills, you know, music theory and that kind of stuff. But I just don’t know if I’m at a point where I have put myself in a position where I can be as helpful as I originally intended to be. I think I have really big and ambitious dreams. But then becoming a parent, apparently you have a lot less free time and energy. So yeah!
Shane: You have less time than the millennial on the beach in Thailand?
Daniel: You know, believe it or not, I have a little less time than them, you know. And that was the thing that shocked me. That was, I was definitely one of those, “I’m going to make it, I’m going to figure out how to manage this and make it work for me,” sort of people. But then I had a kid that didn’t sleep for two years.
Jocelyn: Okay, let’s push pause on that because that’s a different issue.
Shane: Let’s pause! Okay. We’ve pulled out a fear and an obstacle. The obstacle is kids that don’t sleep on time. We’ll get to that in a minute. Now the fear is this: let me do a mock conversation for you here, okay.
I walk up to you and I’m like, “Oh man, I would love to compose music for video games. Man, that’d be a cool job. I would love to do that, but Daniel, I think you could maybe teach me how to do that, but you know what? Like I just want to make sure that you’re even expert enough.”
So then it comes back to you, “You look at them and say, ‘Have you sang on Final Fantasy 15?’ And that guy goes, ‘No,’ and you look at him and you say, ‘I have. Sit down and listen.'”
Okay, so let me just dispel that: you’re expert enough! What you’re trying to do is what a lot of people do: you think you have to know every single thing ever about your topic. There are things that we don’t know about online business.
I meet with people that are very high level all the time in different spaces. I’m in a mastermind group with some ballers and they’re good dudes and we all do our businesses very differently and sometimes they say things and I can’t even wrap my brain around it, what they’re talking about. But that’s okay because I don’t teach that thing even though it’s still online business. What we teach is how to start, how to find an idea, how to get your website going, how to get your product created, how to get it out to market, how to start a membership site and create stable recurring income.
I don’t know anything about JV partnerships and affiliate marketing, but I’ve got a friend who’s made millions of dollars doing it, but I don’t teach that. I don’t have to teach that and I don’t have to go learn that.
You don’t have to learn all the digital audio mixing and stuff like that. You could partner with someone who sells that and be an affiliate for them though, and then you could teach composition, negotiation, how to get the job, how to keep the job, how to make sure they call you back because you’re getting called back.
You got to teach what you know and then point them to other people. We don’t teach people to do public speaking even though that’s a big part of some brands. Jocelyn and I, the only public speaking we do is at our own live events, we don’t have time to go do all that other stuff. But if I wanted to send someone to teach public speaking right now, I would send them to my friend, Grant Baldwin, The Speaker Lab, because he knows how to teach public speaking. But I’m not going to go learn how to teach public speaking just so I can create a course about it, that doesn’t make sense for us.
Jocelyn: Let me tell you, and everyone who’s listening, a secret. And it’s not really a secret. But you are not for everyone. We are not for everyone. There are people out there who say, “You know what, I’ve grown my business and you know, I’m making a million dollars a year, and your stuff is beneath me. Like I don’t know how to get to the next level, and you’re not going to be able to help me.” No, we’re not, because that’s not who we serve.
Shane: I don’t want to help you get to 10 million dollars a year. Fine, you’re a millionaire. You figured it out! You know what I mean? Like that’s not our point. Our mission is to help 100,000 people start their online business, and get to a point where they could have the decision to quit their job. That’s our mission is to help people start that journey.
Our mission is not to take the person from a million dollars to 10 million dollars. I’m not going to go try to figure that out. I’ll leave that to somebody else. Same thing here, don’t think you’ve got to teach all these other things. I don’t know the Video Game Music Act that requires you to have so many hours of certain degrees to teach people how to get into the industry. That doesn’t exist.
Jocelyn: Let me tell you what this is, though. This is you looking at yourself saying, “I’m not perfect in these ways, and I don’t want someone to point out those flaws,” and let me tell you how I know that because this is my everyday life.
Shane: Yeah, Jocelyn always does that. We might have a deficiency. Like, one of the things that we struggle with is leading our team. Jocelyn and I are very much like visionary, mud-on-the-wall, let’s go, let’s figure this out, and sometimes it’s hard for us to pull back and lead our team. But we have a really big team and we’ve got to actually go and sort this out. We have to be better.
Jocelyn: It’s just not something we enjoy doing. Therefore, we don’t want to do it.
Shane: But we do share our struggles with our community. We share our struggles on our podcast, and those struggles are just as valuable as someone who’s got it figured out. You could even talk about that. Listen, what if someone is a composer, and understands music because they went through music, and the band, and choir, and all these things, and they went to college, and they were vocal, and they learned how to sing.
What if the millions of people who do that never learned how to use these digital audio things? And now you can say to them, “I don’t have this skill, but I made it. I figured it out and I can help you do it, too!”
Jocelyn: Do you know what the beauty of having a community for this is? You don’t have to know all the answers. You are surrounded by lots of other people who are interested in the same thing and guess what? They might be strong where you’re weak. It’s just like our community. Like there are things that I’m not fantastic at, but there are hundreds of people inside our community, and a lot of them might have experience with it where maybe I don’t.
That’s the awesome thing, is that I can go in and say, “Hey, I’ve never done this, but our member, Kevin, has done this,” or, “Our member, Karen, has done this.” You know, I can pull out names of people who are an expert in this field and I don’t have to be. So that is the awesome thing about doing that.
Shane: That’s one reason that we always say people come for the content, but they stay for the leadership in the community, because the leadership guides them to what things that leaders don’t even know. Like I can at least point to you the direction where you need to go, and the community fills in gaps of knowledge because if we have thousands of entrepreneurs in one place that are dealing with the three-year-old who doesn’t sleep, that are dealing with the fear of being expert enough, that are dealing with how do I overcome this software plugin or whatever, then now we get to fill in the gaps and we get to work together and you can create that same dynamic.
You’ve probably seen this, I bet, in your community, haven’t you? Like people are talking about things and giving feedback that you didn’t even think of and conversations and challenges. Have you seen that in your community?
Daniel: Yeah, yeah! It’s funny that you mentioned that because you know in a way I haven’t needed to talk about the technical stuff in terms of the software in the Facebook group because a lot of times when people ask that question, which is not as often as I would’ve expected, but when those questions do come up, a bunch of people jump on them.
Shane: Exactly. And that’s why a community is really important in this kind of thing because what you have to do is say, “What CAN I teach people? That’s the most important question. “What problem CAN I solve?” And we so often get bogged down in the things that we can’t solve. “Well, I can’t solve this for them. Well, I can’t teach them this so I must not be sufficient,” but you are sufficient. You are good enough and you are awesome at these things.
You have to make a bulleted list of “What Can I Teach Them?” Well, I can teach them to the composure. I can teach them to negotiate. I can teach them where to look for these gigs because you’ve probably got an idea of that, you know, you can teach them all those things. That’s what forms the basis of your content and then your leadership with coaching or community and things like that, that’s going to guide them to the next step. And that’s what you are. You’re a lantern bearer on a dark path, you’re going down a path, you’re showing them where to go.
Jocelyn: You’ve already found the lantern.
Shane: That’s right, you got it. So you know where to go. You came back and got somebody else. Now, you’re taking them to where you were. And another thing I really sensed from you is you really want these people to do this. Like, you know this is awesome, and these people want to do it. And you’re like, “Man, I really would love for everybody to get to sing on Final Fantasy 15, right?”
Daniel: Yeah, I mean, one of the biggest kicks I got doing this challenge last year was that, I was blown away by — I was very clear with the community that I was really only looking for you to show up and write two to four bars of music a day. A few seconds of music, a little idea. People really just created some really beautiful, some really awesome tracks, and a lot of them were doing full-blown, completed tracks almost every single day. That to me was a huge win. There was so much really great music that came out of it. And I was just really happy!
Jocelyn: But here’s the problem. You pumped the brakes, you gave them something awesome. And he said, “Okay guys, see you next summer. We’ll do this again.” Daniel, stop it!
Shane: You’re like, “Look, I’d love to create a course, but I got to write some hate mail to Shane. That’s what I’ve got to do here.”
Daniel: I’ve got emails to write.
Shane: “I’ve got emails to write, y’all. I know we’re making great music, but I’m writing great copy here.” I love your mission that poured out right there. Your mission is to help people write great music. Your mission is to give them a doorway, an opportunity to go the next step. Your mission is not to teach them the mixer, teach them the thing, get them the job, all of that. The first step that you can teach everybody is that you can do this. because you do it every day in your classroom, you do it every day in your group, you do it on all these challenges. You can teach people to make music that’s changing their world, the people around them. They’re releasing new things into the world that never existed before, and then they have the opportunity to go the next step, And then they have the opportunity to learn the technology. And then they have the opportunity to apply for the job, but until they write that music, until it’s released into the world, they don’t have that opportunity. Your endgame for them might be to do what you’ve done, but you have to help them get started and give them the opportunity.
Jocelyn: And I’m going to tell you something. I talked about this a few weeks ago on the podcast. I feel like I can speak freely with you because, well, this whole podcast this week is kind of crazy.
Daniel: Yeah, it’s free, pretty free.
Shane: There’s been some free speaking.
Jocelyn: But here’s the thing. I talked about this, I think the 200th episode. You are being selfish by holding this gift back, so stop it. You have to do this. You owe it to these people who have a dream, who have something that they want to do, you’re being selfish by not giving them the next step.
Shane: Your mission is not to get people a video game job. That’s a result! Your job is to help people unleash music that’s inside of them into world through the conduit of video games. I play Fortnight with my son.
Shane: Isaac and I play all the time.
Jocelyn: Not so nice for me.
Shane: Yeah, Jocelyn loses about an hour and a half a day of her life, so we play Fortnite together. We play almost every day. I love the music at the beginning of Fortnite. I just love it, it makes me happy. But going back before that, before I had kids, and right up when we had kids, I played Halo, that very famous game. And I looked it up one day.
Jocelyn: That music haunts me.
Shane: Yeah, the music haunts her. It’s not just the music. I looked it up one day and it keeps all your stats, and me, my brother, and my two best friends from high school, we lived far apart from each other when we were adults, right? So Halo was a way that we got to connect every night. We got to get together for an hour before we had kids and we could actually play games and we got to connect virtually.
When I hear Halo’s music, I don’t just think of the video game, I don’t just think of the actual looked-up-in stats, ninety days of my life in actual hours, that I put into that game over a few years in Halo 3. I don’t think about that. I think of laughter, and I think of joy, and I think of all the good times and good conversations that I got to have with my brother who lived five hours from me, with my best friend who lived five hours from me. Like that’s what I think about.
If that guy doesn’t write that music that was the soundtrack of that game, then those memories don’t happen and that nostalgia doesn’t come back when I hear that music again. That’s your mission, bro! It’s the help these people unleash music that can be used in these games, not only for them, but for all the people that are going to hear it. You’ve got no choice, man. You got to do this and you are expert enough. There is no degree, there’s no certification that can make you more qualified for what these people need.
Jocelyn: And I want to say, too, before we move on from this, think about people that you respect as leaders, just in everyday life, maybe in online business, every different area of your life. Do you respect somebody more who is perfect and never makes mistakes, or somebody who says, “Hey, I don’t know everything, but I’m going to help you. I’m going to do the best I can to help you get to the next step,” and I feel like that’s why people follow us because we’re not perfect, we’re not polished, we’re just regular people who are trying to help other people have a better life. So, who do you prefer to follow?
Shane: Yeah, let me tell you a story about a guy. This podcast may never end. We’re going to talk for a while, we’re just sitting back.
Daniel: This is my first day of summer break.
Shane: You’re good. Alright, cool, man. Our kids are probably doing something right now. I haven’t seen them in about an hour, whatever. They’ll be all right. I can see the lake behind our house. So as long as they’re not going into that, we’re cool.
Okay, so I had a very influential man in my life who was a teacher of mine in high school. He actually was what made me even consider being a teacher when I got a history degree because he was my history and political science teacher.
He really taught me a lot about how to argue politics, and think about deep issues and you know, look at both sides, and not be so hateful like everybody is on Facebook these days and all this other stuff. He was very good at playing devil’s advocate and arguing socratically. But that’s not where he made the most influence in my life.
I actually took a media class and I got to be the director and producer of our school news show when I was a senior in high school. And I was a hoodlum! But when people see what I do now and my teachers, they’re like, “Wow, you’re not in jail! That’s pretty amazing.” And then when people see Jocelyn, like from her high school, they’re like, “Why did you marry that guy? Because he had very great potential to go to jail.” For him to give me a leadership position like that and give me that opportunity, it was amazing.
I so appreciated it because he knew that I had a passion for the video editing, the audio editing, and the production of it. I still have a passion for that stuff today with our podcast, with our videos and things like that. Here’s why this story is so related to what we’re talking about. He took the media class because he liked the journalism aspect of it. He liked the telling stories aspect of it. He couldn’t use a video editor. He could barely use a VCR. We’re going way back now.
He didn’t know which way to put the tape in the VCR. It would’ve been upside down, inside out and he didn’t understand how to use anything technology-wise. And we had got a grant, and they had bought us all this video editing stuff. So this was like professional tape editing stuff back in the day, right?
Daniel: Yeah. We had the same stuff.
Shane: Yeah. So we go in and he’s like, “Shane, you’re the producer, you’re the director. So you’ve got to figure all this stuff out. I don’t know how to do it, but I’m going to tell you how to organize the show. I’m going to tell you how to lead your team. I’m going to tell you how to do this.”
And we would sit in there. I would remember me sitting at the station just slaving, I would stay hours after school. I’d leave the school at like 8:00 in the night right after school. Loved it, editing the broadcast for the next day, and he never left me. He was always right there beside me, and it’s really emotional, thinking about it like right now, how much that changed my life because it kind of was a foundational thing for now, like what we do.
I always remember him just sitting there with his leg crossed, reading his newspaper and every once in a while, he’d look over and go, “Shane, how’s it going?” Or I’d look back at him and say, “Hey, do you think this story should go before this story? How should I edit this?” But I had to figure out the technology. He had no clue how to do it. But he taught me how to lead and he taught me how to put things in the right order and how to compose the show. And it didn’t matter if he didn’t know how to do the editing, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to use the technology.
You’re leading them and you’re teaching them how to compose and you’re pointing people in the right direction to figure it out. He gave me the instruction manual. I just had to read it. And that’s really what you’re doing for your people is you’re just leading them, and you’re helping them compose and you’re giving them the chance, the opportunity, and who knows what happens to those people 10 to 20 years from now? That’s up to them. You’re going to give them the chance and they’re going to pay you for it, and then some of them probably the minority are going to do something with it.
It’s going to be inspiring and it’s going to be world changing, and that’s going to be because you made the decision, “I am qualified to do this, and by God, I’m going to teach it.” Okay.
Jocelyn: Whew! That was a lot of information.
Shane: Oh my gosh. I’m sitting in here, teared up thinking about that guy, and how much it changed my life and it tears me up because I know we’ve changed lives, but not all of them, the minority because the majority can’t cut it. And if you’re in the majority, you need to get over in the minority, if you’re listening to this podcast. I know you can change lives and I know that everybody listening has something but they can do!
All that guy did was sit beside me and read the newspaper, answer a question here and there. He didn’t answer every question. He answered maybe one question a day. We’d sit there for four hours together.
Daniel: And he just gave you the opportunity.
Shane: And he just gave me the opportunity, man. That’s what everyone listening to this podcast right now has to do, is release what you know into the world and give people an opportunity.
Jocelyn: Okay, Daniel, we have said a lot of words.
Shane: Which, for an introvert like Jocelyn, this was like triple the word count of the normal podcast.
Jocelyn: I know, my word count for the day is over, so I’m not going to be talking anymore.
Shane: Oh, yeah. Now, my wife will not speak to me until tonight! I know that she’s going to go into her cave, watching Netflix and it’s over.
Jocelyn: Okay, but in all seriousness, alright, how do you feel about all of the stuff we just said? I know it was a lot to process, but how do you feel about that and how do you think that it can hopefully help you to move forward to the next step?
Shane: It’s not what me and Jocelyn think your next step is. It’s, what do you think your next step is?
Daniel: I think I need to stop trying to be everything and really focus on what I know. As I was listening and I had been thinking about this and going through the content in the Flip Your Life community this week, I think what’s kind of been slowly shifting to the surface is this idea that I know music theory, I know how to teach that. I know how to teach the basics of composing a good tune. And that’s something that is missing a lot in this niche.
A lot of people go towards the technology and they go towards the audio engineering and spent hours and hours and hours and making a really basic thing sound really complicated and expensive but the music is forgettable, so it doesn’t take it anywhere. So, I think I need to focus more on the piece that I know, and divorce myself from the piece that I don’t need to focus on.
And then I guess in terms of specific steps, I need to come up with a core product offer I can lead people to. Get them the end result of getting their music, getting music that is not only memorable but the music that they’ll like themselves the next day, which I think is like a huge pain point.
I think that I’m thinking of like a lot of the people who get into this niche, they have these composers that they’ve been listening to since they’ve been growing up. And there’s this one Japanese composer who is like the John Williams of video game music.
Shane: John Williams is the greatest composer of all time who did Star Wars — I just want to show my nerd cred.
Daniel: Well done, sir. Well done! Tip of the hat to you. People constantly are comparing themselves to this guy. They always hold him up as the example that they want to aspire to. He was fantastic at writing great melodies and he was fantastic at using, you know, really beautiful harmonies and then people go out and they write these like beats and there’s no melody, and they have no idea how to get over that hump. I think it’s just a piece that’s missing because they went to the technology but they don’t have music education, the formal education. The technology’s there, they have access to that. They’ve got a lot of resources to learn that, but not everyone went through a formal music education degree or knows where to look or what the problem is.
Jocelyn: Right. And I think that we can really help you craft your offer in the community. Like, that’s something that our community members can really latch onto and help you with because I really think that you need to launch something off this next challenge. That is really, really important. So we can definitely hash through all that.
Shane: And it could be ready in 21 days.
Jocelyn: Absolutely, yeah.
Shane: It’s already named, it’s the Video Game Music Academy, right? So you have to open a membership area, and your whole thing is give them the training they need to write these things, and then give them a place where they can share music for you to listen to so you can tell them what to do next. That’s it! That’s the whole concept of your membership, is that they need someone to show them how, a place to let people hear it, and some feedback, and then they can go and take the other courses that you make, like How to Contact the Video Game, how to submit your music, how to do that stuff.
Jocelyn: We will get into that inside the community a little bit more, and I wanted to touch on one other thing that we kind of glossed over. It was the time aspect because we’ve talked about this a million times. Everyone has the same amount of time, but here’s the thing: Once you can get clear on your mission, and you can get clear that you are enough of an expert or whatever mindset hurdle is holding you back, I promise that time will not be as much of an issue going forward.
Shane: You’ve been obsessed so far with how to monetize a product. That’s not exciting. But now, you have a passionate mission to reach into people’s hearts and unleash music into the world that can change other people’s lives AND maybe make those people a living. That’s deep, dude! That’s going to make you find the time, that’s going to push everything that’s taking up your time to the side, except the things that matter, your mission, your family, your focus. You’re going to see your calendar changed dramatically over the next couple of weeks. I promise you.
Daniel: Sounds good. Sign me up!
Jocelyn: Alright, Daniel.
Shane: I’m signing off. Jocelyn usually signs off, but listen, man, I am so glad that you wrote me that email! I’m so glad that you wrote it in the way you did, where it was a critic, but it wasn’t hateful. You let yourself be vulnerable there and you were like, “Man, I’m just frustrated, and it frustrates me that you’re doing this stuff.” I’m just really glad that you were also responsive to my feedback back to you and most importantly, that you took action because if you don’t take action, right, wrong or indifferent– I’m not going to say that that hateful email was right, wrong or indifferent.
But like if you don’t take some action, right, wrong or indifferent, nothing happens. You took action and it turned into another action, and then it turned into a better action and now you’re going to take even better actions going forward. And that’s how we all get to where we want to be, is just taking action.
So, hey man, I’m glad you’re in the Flip Your Life community, and I cannot wait to see how you change the world through this music business and it’s going to be awesome watching your journey going forward, Daniel.
Daniel: Yeah. Thank you, thank you both! And for anyone else who’s listening, who is not sure about whether or not to finish that form, shut up and do it. You’ll feel a lot better. Like I said, I’ve been through a course before. I was super impressed once I got into this. I mean, you know, everyone’s in there, everyone’s doing the work and I’ve been checking in every day and, the videos, and it’s like… it’s bulletproof. At the end of every video, there’s a giant yellow button telling you what to do next. I’m not confused. I know what I need to do, so I’m feeling better. I think I know what I need to do next now, and I’m looking forward to having you help me out craft my offer.
Shane: All right man. Awesome stuff, dude! Welcome to the community! Let’s get it going.
Daniel: All right.
Shane: Hey guys. Thanks again for listening. We hope you enjoyed today’s podcast. If you still need more help with any of the topics that we discussed today, or maybe you have a question about something that we went over, we have all the training and support you need inside of the Flip Your Life community.
With over 50 training courses on dozens of online business topics, active community forums, and live member calls with me and Jocelyn every single month, the Flip Your Life community is your opportunity to get the help and support you need to make your online dreams a reality.
And the best part is you can get started today for free. That’s right! All you have to do is go to flippedlifestyle.com/free, and you can get full unlimited access to everything we offer inside of the Flip Your Life community at no cost for 30 days. Your first month is absolutely free!
If you sign up today, you can get unlimited access to all of the courses inside of our training area, unlimited access to all of our community discussion forums, and you’ll get to attend our next two live member calls with me and Jocelyn, where you can ask questions about your online business.
And it’s all free for the first month. All you have to do is go to flippedlifestyle.com/free and start your free month today. That’s flippedlifestyle.com/free. We can’t wait to see you inside!
Shane: Before we go we like to close every single one of our shows with from a verse from the Bible.
Today’s Bible verse comes from Proverbs 11:3 and the Bible says, “Honesty guides good people. Dishonesty destroys treacherous people.”
Make sure you are always building on an honest online business that’s full of integrity and you treat people the way you would want to be treated.
That’s all the time we have for this week! As always, guys, thanks for listening to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast. Until next time, get out there, take action, do whatever it takes to Flip Your Life. We will see you then.