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The Modern Artist Breakthrough – I SEE THE LIGHT!

Jamie-legerIn his always enthusiastic style, Jamie Leger offers practical advice for overcoming what he calls the Starving Artist Syndrome: The Modern Epidemic for Artists and Creators.  

First I must acknowledge and thank you for all your feedback and support-it has been incredible, and as always, I’m proud to be on the other end-serving you with the best stuff I can. Hopefully, some of it is even good!

If you want me to deliver the rest of this training series directly to you without you having to do or remember anything later, go here and signup and i’ll send you each lesson and mission automagically, so you won’t miss a beat.

Now, In the last training module you were introduced to a fellow Artist (Recording and Performing) named Johnny. You learned about and were taken through the beginning stages of his transformation from an Artist who was just sort of getting by, stuck in a rut, to a Modern Artist in control of his career, his income, and his lifestyle.

If you have not completed module 1 - get the briefing and mission here.

If you have not complete module 2 - get the briefing and mission here.

It feels good to be all caught up! Now where were we...

Today you are going to witness Johnny’s Breakthrough.

We’ll be picking back up where we left off with Johnny’s story-and highlighting the major AHA’s, along with the practical strategies we deployed in his career that allowed him to literally “break through” that thin panel of glass that had him boxed in for so long, unable to smash through. Just teetering on the edge of that next level… (sound familiar?)

Last time you saw how he began to embrace the additional responsibilities in order to enjoy the additional opportunities of our new economy. By this time in his journey-Johnny had started to nurture and develop the Entrepreneurial Skill-set so that he could fully enjoy the beauty and the promise available to him as a Modern Artist, as a leader in the new economy. In the Creators Economy.

It’s important to reiterate the fact that as an Artist and Creator, you are a LEADER in both our culture, and in our global economy. This isn’t a “Feel good” idea without substance or merit. It’s not hyperbole or empty motivational fodder.

As you evolve your mental models and make your transformation from starving artist to MODERN Artist you will notice other Artists, friends, people who you know, like, and care about, stuck in primitive thinking patterns and outdated paradigms… You may look around and see someone you know, perhaps even respect-doing something as “vintage” as dropping $15,000 to professionally cut a 6 track Studio EP, WITHOUT an established marketing strategy, a basic blueprint, or a roadmap action plan…

You’ll see colleagues create and print physical press kits, discs, dvds, posters, t-shirts by the thousands because they thought they should… “But the dude said i’d get a big discount, isn’t that a smart investment…? Isn’t THAT thinking like an entrepreneur???” He may even retort.

“Sorry brother, i’m afraid it’s not.” Is what you’ll empathetically tell him. Help him if you can, but don’t try to force the issue, and it’s probably best to just smile and nod unless he’s open and receptive to your feedback.

Your perspective is unrestricted and unhindered by “Traditional” limitations. THAT’s what this is all about, that’swhat it means to be an Artist and Creator in the Modern World. You’ll see opportunity for creativity and innovation in everything you do. In every experience and encounter-new ways to generate additional value. Your focus is always and simply directed towards adding value to the quality of life, to the people around you, through your stories and your talents, and your ability to see solutions and possibility where others see challenge and limitation. But Jamie, what if my friend asks me “well, what should i have done, or what would i do- instead of dropping 10k on a few professionally mixed and mastered songs…?”

Again, remember grasshoppa, you mustn’t become defensive. The goal is to encourage him/her exercising their own creativity in coming up with effective, practical, MODERN ways to communicate the message to the people it’s intended for. Instead of blowing our piggy-bank on a few album cuts and a garage full of shrink-wrapped jewel cases, you first go connect 1-1 with 10 people you know-or who are already fans of yours, and ask them if they’d support you by paying you $10 this month to get exclusive access to the one new song you’re going to write, record, and promote this month??

Why not use the Crowd funding model to help you strengthen the bond between you and your fans, to support and motivate you to produce work, and to actually FUND your very ability to develop yourself as an Artist, and to actually CREATE your content. Though you may have gotten some insight on some level thus far, and you may even think this is common sense… The jump from traditional, academic, “standardized” thinking like this to really embrace, adopt, and implement these modern and expansive modes of thought-isn’t a small shift in perception… It is a Transformative Breakthrough. It will remove barriers and alert you to new ideas-along with actionable strategies, throughout any form of feedback and in any kind of environment you are in.

This is profound. I say it without doubt or hesitation. The MODERN Artist Breakthrough is about Artists and Creators becoming EMPOWERED by fully realizing that they are in complete control. They, we, me, YOU, are in control. It comes with a responsibility, but the modern world IS the creators paradise.

You to learn a few things, but the good news is that there is indeed a proven path you can follow. Throughout the rest of these training modules you’ll be  learning how you can make the 8 breakthroughs, how to avoid the Artist Growth Traps that sap your energy and can sabotage your efforts. You’ll learn how to begin to develop the Entrepreneurial Skillset, how to leverage Grassroots Artist Marketing, and utilize the Tools of the Modern Creator – as well as a give you a proven 7 step strategy to make a lot more than ends meet. You’ll be learning how and what it takes to claim control of your lifestyle, your artistic freedom, and your level of income.

Alright, Now Back to Johnny.

Johnny and I got to work. For a little while it was sort of like picking quills out of a horses leg, but eventually Johnny came to see from a much more accurate perspective in terms of what had happened, why things were the way they were, and then grew excited as he begun to really understand the approach we were going to take to realize his vision and take things to the next level.

The fact that he understood the importance of getting the mindset and the attitude right from the beginning was impressive and made things much easier.

Now let’s highlight that this is a huge factor in Johnny’s success, and a valuable insight worth remarking on. Without the recognition that the attitude and mindset needed to be in the right place, any strategy or plan we tried to implement would more than likely fail to produce maximal results.

We had to take baby steps at first…

At first Johnny was hesitant… He intellectually “understood” the importance of mindset, clarity, building marketing systems, structuring campaigns, tracking ad dollars, managing projects and expenses, etc. but he sure wasn’t thrilled to be discussing it… He was still a little bit resistant. Sort of like the way my dog suddenly forgets how to walk, jump, or be carried, whenever i attempt to get her into the bath!

It’s this awkward, two leg drag and two legs airborne shuffle-converting into this nerve-racking mule-kick maneuver that has luckily, yet to sterilize me as a man.

It’s a little bit of a dance, but i prefer carrots to sticks… so I bought the beer, and we got to work.

Note: EVEN though he knew how important it was, AND he consciously acknowledged it, there was still some traces of resistance…

It can be hard, harder than you may think… But after peeling all the layers back, we finally got to the bottom of his reluctance to fully embrace these breakthroughs in mindset and technique. See, at the root of it-Johnny feared that this would destroy who or what he did as an artist… “It seemed too rigid, or structured, my fans wouldn’t like it… It wouldn’t really be any fun, or at least not as much fun…” Johnny thought things like, “I just make the music, i’m not a salesman, it just doesn’t seem like, well, me…!”

Very normal reactions, I assured him.

I tried not to act like i’d heard it thousands of times-and that it was such a debilitating, perhaps the single most debilitating form of sabotage that Artists and Creators subject ourselves to… As tempting as it was, I knew that wouldn’t help him feel heard… Instead, i started to ask some more probing questions…

Here’s where the AHA’s are usually made, and although they are obvious, the client almost always proves his limiting belief as being just that, it’s important to set up the frame of mind for him to be in, and the attitude they have when the reach these conclusions. Human beings are creatures that highly value trust, and thus, even if you are someone who has the right answer, and the other person internally knows it, it doesn’t matter if the person doesn’t trust the person he is confiding in or consulting with.

It is a strange fact. But that’s why i’ve learned to position this “diagnostic realization period” in the dialog – in a way that makes the CLIENT feel A. that they thought of it and came to it on their own, and B. that all the elements are their to feel trust and confidence so the client or student can TRULY gain the greatest benefit, and optimize their chance at maximal results.

This “I see the light” part of the conversation is very critical for you to have. If my job was to provide you with “information,” then this additional legwork would be a waste of time and effort. But the fact is that when i’m serving my clients or students-my job is to influence transformation. To cater to and give MAXIMUM effort, benefit, and results to those few who are committed-and who’ll work as hard as me to create help them maximize their results. The residual impact that one great success story can have on their circles of influence and in their communities, is far greater than 10 partial success stories. Go and be that one story in YOUR town, for YOUR global tribe.

Our job as artists and creators is to unlock that ora of success and possibility and cultural, community, local-influence that beams brighter than the darkness or the non-sense. It’s a tremendous honor to play a part in this process, but it requires a two sided effort.

So Johnny was starting to notice the negative impact that his fuzzy ideas and burrowed unconscious beliefs were having on his circumstance, and it didn’t help that he really didn’t KNOW how to manage a business, or develop his entrepreneurial skills, either.

Johnny Started To See The Light – In 3D!

Ah, but Johnny came around. He saw the light. And in making these concrete shifts in attitude and approach he soon found how much additional fun, effectiveness, and cohesiveness this difference in attitude made. It didn’t hinder or limit his creativity in any way. In fact it allowed him to develop greater levels of creativity and expression because he could see the WHOLE picture as one COHESIVE experience that he was really creating. The process of doing it, the packaging of it, the promotional methods were combined to assemble his collection of tools to have greater creative potential, more valuable capability, and more profitable results.

He was beginning to to think in 3D. He was beginning to build a 3 dimensional brand. He began seeing how all the dots connected and how important it was to account for not only the “what” he did, but also the “why”and the “how” that he and his band-did it.

It was all an artistic expression of his brand. The message, the connection, the experience he was creating. Now johnny was beginning to think like a Modern Artist running a Content Business.

We put on our entrepreneurial hats, and started looking at his numbers-making small adjustments, and everything started to improve geometrically.

He’d never really tracked or broken stats down like this before.

He was performing on average 1 show per week with his band at local and regional venues, and they were getting around 20+ fans that consistently came to see them play.

His mailing list was about 700 hundred strong as was his twitter and Facebook following.

When he went to play shows they were usually making 5-10 cd sales and collecting around 15-20 new subscribers.

•Now, there are a lot of metrics to break down here, but I don’t want to scare you off yet, so let’s just focus on the cd sales, which at this time were the bands secondary source of income. Performing and lessons on the side were his primary.

“Forget about cd sales for a moment…” I told him.

“What is the M.O.P. in that effort anyway”?

***Continued below.


{For those of you who may be new to my work, I assign “Missions” at the end of a lesson, and that’s the front end of what i call your “M.O.P.”}

M.O.P. – (Mission, Outcome, Purpose) A mission is a clear task and/or project that covers the most specific action steps of any given outcome or result you are working to create.

Your MOP, (Mission Outcome Purpose) is a mental framework that can help you if ever you are confused about what you are supposed to be working on, and are bouncing around in several different directions trying to make a decision, or are uncertain of what you should be focusing on next.

When you get too bogged down in the details of any mission, you’ll come back to your Objective (s) – the underlying intentions, or Outcome – the final results. Inner vs. Outer… Whichever you prefer to focus on, or what is most applicable for the specific task…  (Two sides of the same coin)

And, if there is any further question about your “O,” you can further clarify the direction with your ultimate “why,” your Purpose for the overall task or project. Many times you won’t need to spell this stuff out consciously, but it can certainly provide you some insights you may not have had-when you “dumb things down” to this level for things you automatically do-at current.

While it’s clear that tying your shoes requires no consciously defined M.O.P. I.E. Your mission is to “tie your shoe,” your outcome is to “get your shoes tied,” and your purpose is to walk with greater ease and comfort, and not trip and fall on your face…

Don’t overcomplicate it. It’s just a tool for consciously clarifying the WHAT, the FOR/To accomplish, and the WHY you are doing any task or project.

It is relevant and useful because it will allow you to identify and distinguish the important aspects of the work you are doing, to hone in on the impact points that’ll have the greatest leverage. This can sometimes become unclear, especially working on digital based projects. It’s something that you can use if it helps, but don’t worry too much about it if you use something else. Whatever works for you!


The Mission in Johnny’s case here-was to supplement his other income sources and build the bands fanbase in the process.

Instead of approaching this with the question-‘well how do we sell more CD’s…??’ A FLAWED MODEL… ;P


We approached it from a completely different angle…. Yikes~!

What we focused on was developing a Grassroots Music Marketing program and a Superfan Conversion System. (Things you’ll learn about later)

Instead of adding additional mentions of their album-available at their merch table, we called upon our entrepreneurial skillset to embrace greater opportunity. Leveraging digital technology and the automation of building an online membership site, we quickly created a complete sales system-using virtually no new content, and costing zero dollars. We exploited being LOCAL as an advantage that we would utilize and very quickly we had a recurring sales machine.

How did this “virtual sales machine” work, i’m sure you’re asking?

Well, we simply recorded a few videos and attached them to a series of pages that led them through the experience of their EP that told the story of their music, and gave them some “behind the scenes” footage for a few songs. They talked about the songs and what some of them meant to them, how the ideas were born, and added this extra content packaged together, for free-in exchange for a new subscribers name and email address.

In return they developed a bond with new fans. After the free content series ended they recorded a video that basically asked them to support them if they liked the band and the art they were creating. They had a few options that fans choose from-but their primary offer was to purchase a “backstage pass” which cost $25 a month in exchange for the new content they created that month, and for them to basically “See what the band did next..”

Now, look closely, because although this sounds simple-there a lot happening there. They were charging $25/month for Johnny and the band to CREATE THEIR CONTENT, and further both their career and artist development! Yet it was a total win-win because what they were purchasing was a behind the scenes view of their journey. These were LOCAL supporters, who’d had a real life connection with Johnny and the band, and were joining them in support of their vision. PEOPLE want to help PEOPLE. They want to support you because they like what you’re doing, and they like you. But you gotta give them a reason to.

Now, perhaps the coolest part about this system was that we leveraged the digital technology, and the tools of the modern creator and we turned content into currency that made them recurring income every single month, for them simply doing what they would already be doing.

We printed out what i call your “golden tickets” that they would give to people that they’d meet on the street, or anywhere else…

This little invitation was an offer for them to experience the band and their music for free by visiting their offer page (“lead magnet”) via direct link or QR code.

Thus, all they had to do was focus on the CORE. 1. Connect with someone who might like their art. 2. OVERDELIVER with their content. 3. Reciprocate. Ask them to support them if they liked the free gift they gave them. 4. Elevate the engagement and always focus on the experience.

Now, their is virtually no cap on how many new fans you can add to this music marketing system. And keep in mind that this is just the first level of engagement in your funnel.

Not only is there multiple avenues to earn extra income through, such as licensing, sponsorships, crowd funding, VIP fan days, virtual concerts, inner circle parties, house concerts, new merch etc. etc…. There are all kinds of creative ways you can add offer tiers. Products and services at various price points and levels of interaction.

Starting to see what i mean?

This is where the Superfan Conversion System comes in. And that was next. Basically the same thing as your front end music marketing system, but a little more sophisticated, the Superfan conversion system offers multiple engagement and offer tiers, and is focused on primarily creating lifelong superfans!

What Johnny quickly learned was that he was actually doing himself a disservice-based on a misunderstanding what the Entrepreneurial Skillset really was,  and how Marketing as a Modern Artist really worked.

The ear to ear AHA smile cracked when he realized the benefits that true Clarity and Focus would have on every aspect of his career and his life.

Advertising and marketing can become complicated in other industries for many reasons.

But for CONTENT Businesses, for you as a Modern Artist, it’s primarily about one main thing…

Communication. And the thing is, that It happens whether you understand that or not.

Go Johnny, Go Go Go!

While johnny had some profound discoveries he was able to connect to the real reason he was sort of stagnating in the first place… He was afraid to step out of his comfort zone, and he didn’t have a reason that compelled him to put himself out there. He was thinking in very limited ways instead of expansive ones.

But who can blame him? Can you say that you are fully leveraging your content, your assets, and maximizing the effort you are making, pushing yourself into uncomfortable territory on your own accord?

It’s not quite as easy as it sounds… and those of you who are thinking that “well that doesn’t apply to me…” are probably missing some blind-spots that just about everyone has in some way shape or form. Especially those who are more experienced and have been around for a while.

He wasn’t thinking practically, consciously, about what he COULD do; instead he was thinking restrictively about what he COULDN’T… Or WHY he shouldn’t. Through getting clear and focused on those 4 simple-yet profound questions, he sparked a whole new force of energy and passion for his music, for who he was talking to, why he loved doing it, and what he was actually saying!

He learned that he needed to think like an entrepreneur and develop the entrepreneurial skillset, because it was up to HIM to run his business. All in all, If he wanted to call himself a Professional, he needed to manage his brand like one. Consequently he learned to enjoy marketing his message, he found he was actually pretty good at it when he got a bit creative and put some intention behind it. He began to cherish all the interaction he had with his fans as a huge privilege, and they responded favorably as well!

The business and marketing aspects became a fun little game he got to play, in addition to his art, and which he was in TOTAL control of! His renewed enthusiasm sparked a slew of creative marketing and publicity ideas and everything poured out of him at his shows. This positive contagiousness snowballed into bigger and bigger turnouts, more and more sales, better venues, and a substantial online following that he cultivated and grew a committed relationship with.

All of it became apart of his work. He was able to shape a more precise and congruent experience of his art, PLUS he was able to develop more meaningful, more valuable relationships with his fans and followers.

I’ve Got The Power! Duhn, duhn, da-da Duhn I’ve Got The Power!

Johnny learned the power was always at his fingertips. HE was always in control. Johnny learned the unstoppable force of Clarity and Focus.

It’s easy to get overloaded, overwhelmed, or to overcomplicate the sheer volume of tools, technology, tactics, conflicting advice…

It’s to easy to listen to the voices and people around you who cause you to doubt your capability, or your possibilities, and your unique artistic expression that has never before, nor will ever again exist…

But It is up to you to be an instigator. To resist the resistance.

It’s your JOB to tell the stories, question the patterns, create your ideals, prove what can be done, live your FRICKIN DREAM!

Seriously… It’s up to you.

I hope you’ve had at least one major insight from the last two modules and have gleaned some wisdom that you can apply right away from Johnny’s story. I encourage you to write this down and implement it as soon as possible.

The moral of the story is that a slight shift in perspective, answering some very simple questions, gaining a little clarity and focus and putting those seeds to work in a practical way completely altered Johnny’s career and what he’s been able to accomplish in the world and with his art.

Consequently, Guess what Johnny’s new nick name became?

You guessed it… JOHNNY ON THE SPOT!

Johnny’s now a thriving Modern Artist, a MusicPreneur, and there are thousands more roaming around the globe making people sing, dance, laugh, cringe, make love, and transforming lives through the power of the gifts they’ve been given.

They have no need for a traditional record deal-as they’ve woken up to the fact that this was never their TRUE intention or goal anyway. It wasn’t fame or fortune they were really after! Their calling, their passion, and their purpose went deeper and through persistence they’ve been able to experience the holy grail of our emerging economy… That’s the promise of the Modern Artist.

ENDLESS Freedom and Fulfillment Doing What They Love, for Those that Love What They Do!

Does that sound like a nice “idea” to you? Does that resonate with you?

Do you REALLY want to be like Brittany Spears? Last I checked, she wasn’t doing too well… But I haven’t checked in a while.

In Conclusion

The communication formats, the distribution channels, multimedia storytelling, and your single most valuable asset, your INNER OS, these are your CORE tools. You must learn how to use them to generate traffic, build and engage your audience, and create a community around your content.

Our industry is still in its infancy, I mean there are SO many solutions, SO many ways for us all to get involved and BUILD it up exactly the way we want!

The more savvy, the more opportunities you will be able to both SEE and act on. Modern Artists create their own luck. Remember that Johnny, and the other stories you’ll be learning about throughout this series-aren’t much different from yours. They don’t have much more “special ability or talent” than you do, nor do they have any more resources than you could get a hold of if you got clear and focused, formed the right strategy, and built a solid plan.

Keep learning and applying what you can from this training series and I look forward to getting that note from you one-day sharing what you’ve been able to accomplish through some idea or insight I may have helped spark for you, or ANY kind of success you’ve been able to achieve for that matter!

I want to brag about you to the rest of the community! Go be THAT guy or gal!

Lastly, let’s highlight the major Breakthroughs that made the difference for Johnny’s career.

The first breakthrough was in making the shift from a limited, everything is just stuck the way things are, Starving Artist mentality… to an expansive thinking, innovative, solutions focused Modern Artist mentality.

Second major breakthrough was that he acknowledged he needed to develop the entrepreneurial skill-set, in order to embrace the additional opportunities available as a Modern Artist, he needed to embrace the additional roles and responsibilities required to take advantage of them. (You’ll learn some practical ways to do that in  the next module.)

The third Major breakthrough Johnny made was that he consciously, and fully accepted responsibility for being the CEO of his content business. He was no longer just running a band, he was leading their content business. He was now the creator of his fate, the designer of his lifestyle, he became a self-reliant professional. The fourth Major breakthrough was that he embraced the leadership roles and responsibilities as a leader of his tribe of fans and followers.

The fifth Major breakthrough was that he committed to mastering the tools of the modern creator, starting with applying the prescribed regiment of Grassroots Music Marketing strategies we had mapped out.

The sixth Breakthrough was that Johnny made the effort to invest in developing a 3 Dimensional Brand, that he wasn’t just developing the music he was writing, but also himself as a person as well as the experience he was providing for his fans.

The seventh breakthrough was that Johnny made the shift from thinking he had to do it all alone, all by himself, and went from DIY to DIWM. Do it WITH Me.

We created an optimized environment, a success structure that offloaded a lot of the tedious responsibilities, and leveraged a team to help support him and his band get to the next level.

Lastly, the Eighth major breakthrough is that we created a much more sturdy business model, on the foundation of multiple streams of income that leveraged automated systems and multiple levels of engagement, multiple levels of pricing, multiple sources of traffic, etc.

I’m truly proud to be serving thousands of Modern Artists and amazing Content Creators like yourself with the trusted, time tested, tool and skills training. If you want in, sign up for the rest of the series as well as receive more proven strategies and valuable content served fresh on the regular. Yours Gratis!

I will email you as soon as the next post is published without you having to remember to check! Again, go here and signup-and i’ll send you each lesson in this training series directly to your inbox so you won’t miss a beat.

Be Your Best,

A Modern Artist and The Content Business Architect for Artists and Creators

Your Mission #3: In the comments section below please share the biggest breakthrough (s) you've had or have begun to have thus far?