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Buy Apple Stock (and other bits of advice I wish I was given)

By Justin Gray (Songwriter/Producer/Founder

They definitely say that making mistakes is part of growing. Some mistakes can be avoided, and some mistakes are inevitable. Advice is a funny thing. When you need it you don’t get it, and when you don’t want it everybody seems to have it. How to cut through the noise of good versus bad advice is a real trick. If I were to somehow travel back in time and speak to 25-year-old Justin, on the verge of becoming a "professional" music producer there are definitely some things, and some insights that I would share in my more than 20 years of experience in this crazy business. Normally we pick five things as tent poles for this blog. But having survived this business for as long as I have, I feel like we need to expand that and make an exception this one time. If I were Marty McFly and could somehow get into my 1984 DeLorean, and travel back in time to mentor my is what I would have said to me all those years ago. Cue Huey Lewis...

Every Decision Will Be The Right Decision - You may feel like you’ve made a mistake, or that a decision you made did not have the anticipated outcome. You will discover that the biggest decisions can have the least impact, while completely secondary thoughts lead to the biggest opportunities. Don’t get obsessed and paralyze your decision making anticipating an outcome. Rarely will it work out the way you want. Trust the process and go with your instincts. Que sera sera. Cherish And Respect Your Relationships - You will create lifelong relationships if you cherish them with everything. Amazing relationships will be mutually beneficial to everybody involved. Identify the ones that believe in you. They will be your ride or die for as long as you decide to do this. Nurturing and growing together is the ultimate form of success. Never go into any relationship with an expectation of what YOU will get out of it. Always go into a relationship from the position of "what can you do" to make someone else's life better. Give more, and expect nothing in return. It just feels good. Learn And Grow - It’s so easy to become complacent and just stay in a place that feels comfortable. No growth comes from a place of comfort. Always continue reaching and pushing, even if it feels painful and difficult. Always keep your DAW up to date…Always listen to current music…Buy Apple stock. Be Cool - Don’t be a jerk. Nobody wants to work with jerks. If the energy feels off in a session, it’s because it probably is. That’s OK, you don’t have to think that every session is going to be life-changing. Sometimes the ones that you think will be, are not. And sometimes the ones that you don’t give a second thought to change your life. Better to just enjoy yourself and stop taking things too seriously. Funny thing about life…no one gets out alive. Don’t Worry About Money - Never make money your motivating factor. Every project that you do for the "money "will backfire. Trust me. Not only will you not enjoy yourself, but all you are doing is selling your time for cash. There is no long-term return on that investment. Trust me! Don’t Be Precious - In other words, don’t let your ego dictate your decisions. You don’t have to win every creative argument. You don’t always have to be right. Leave room for the fact that somebody else also has a vision, while trying to serve the song exactly in the same way that you are. Acknowledge your energy in the room, and serve others by maximizing your contributions. Always Be The Bigger Person - Leave every single human interaction better than you found it. If a relationship goes off the rails, accept fault, move on and hopefully over time whatever it was that caused this kerfuffle will repair itself. Letting somebody else win, while knowing in your heart the truth is freedom. Life is too short to hold grudges. Negative energy affects the person who’s harboring it, not the person to which it is aimed towards. So let that shit go and move on. Forgiveness is for the forgiver...not the forgiven. The Coda: Unfortunately I can’t go back 20+ years to mentor that young eager and motivated wannabe songwriter and music producer. But what YOU can do, despite how old you may be, is to try and understand the fundamentals that every decision you make, regardless of the outcome, is the right decision. Listen to your inner voice, it will never lie to you. See you next week and keep writing them hits


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