Hello, and welcome to the curious man's podcast. I'm your host, Matt Crawford. And I am the curious man. I started this show to ask experts and authors, questions I liked the answers to, if you'd like answers as well, I invite you to join the show. Remember, a day where nothing is learned is a day wasted. Today we're speaking with musician, entrepreneur, business coach, mindfulness enthusiast, and co host of the subtle art of not yelling podcast, though small. Bill small. Welcome to the curious man's podcast. How are you today?
I'm great. Thanks for having me.
Very excited to have you on. We're going to talk about a lot today. But before we jump into all of your interest and endeavors, I want to jump back a bit and I want to start at the beginning. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in New Jersey.
We're in New Jersey,
a little town called Glen Ridge.
Okay, I know Glen Ridge. Yeah, you know,
pretty close to Manhattan, and I lived in Montclair for a little while.
And growing up, what did you did you have any grand visions on what you want it to be and what you wanted to do?
Oh, absolutely. I announced when I was 12, that I would be a professional musician. Really. And luckily, my parents didn't like send me to military school, they actually thought that that would be okay, if I could figure out how to do it. And that was that
any particular discipline?
Oh, you know, I think like, Well, maybe not kids today. I know, when I was a kid, everybody I knew we all caught what I would call the Rock and Roll bug in one way or another. You know, and just wanted to play music. And I think I think I wrote my first song, which thankfully, I don't remember when I was about 11. And that was something I always messed around with, and got serious about at some point, and started trying to have bands. And I really started, I think, because I found out that I could sing, and then I liked it. And I love the way it feels. And then I started playing guitar and a little bit of piano, mostly because that way I could accompany myself losing. So then, if you're the singer usually ended up being the front person of a band. So I did that for a really, really long time.
When was your first official band started? How old are you?
Oh, wow, I remember one when I was like 1213. And I started. Oh, man, I had a friend who I think was a year behind me at school who was a drummer. And I played guitar. And we needed a bass player. And that was I was at my next door neighbor's house. And we're talking about this. And I said, Yeah, you know, trying to have this band, and we need a bass player. And he said, Well, I'll do it. What's a bit Shall we explain that, and we found him a cheap bass. And he actually went on to become a really, really fantastic musician. And we played together for the next decade. Wow, to Texas together and played for a while down here. And you know, the journey goes on.
I'm always fascinated, because I picked up guitar when I was 15 for maybe like two years. And it just wasn't something that stuck with me. And I was always amazed. I couldn't understand. I'm like, why is it for some people that it's just something that clicks for them and speaks to them? While others? I mean, everybody loves the idea. I don't think there's anybody out there who wouldn't love. I mean, if you could sing, you could sing a lot of people have to work at it. Some people I think if you just don't have that natural voice, but I think everybody would love to be able to play some type of instrument. And there's so many things that we waste our time on. So if you could you know if you could just devote an hour or so every other day trying to learn to play an instrument. I think we'd all love that. But just some people we just don't stick with it and some like yourselves, it just calls out to you. I just was always amazed that what made it click in certain people's minds and what didn't click and others.
Yeah, it always, it felt really natural to me. I can't say that I progressed rapidly as a guitar player. Because of my focus for solos, really just playing songs, wasn't necessarily playing lead guitar and all of that didn't really come to later. Whereas I knew kids in high school who could play rings around me when it came to that kind of stuff. But I knew I could get up and play and say You do fine.
And was was music something that you pursued in school?
It was I actually did not go to college immediately. Because I was unsure of how to pursue what I wanted to do. And I thought that I would probably go and just waste my parents money by drinking too much and not doing well in school. And I actually my parents moved around a bit when I was in high school. So I graduated high school in Oklahoma. Wow. And, and I think part of what I really needed to do was just go back to New Jersey and New York and sort of finish what I started. So I did, I went back there, I got a job in New York City, and I helped a friend build a recording studio and Passaic, and had played in a couple of bands, and out, spent a couple of years doing some version of that. And then when I ran out of gas went to Berklee College of Music for a couple of years to pursue getting better at the craft.
And what was that? Like? I mean, I always, I think, you know, I worked in a bar for a lot of years, and you have these, these neighborhood or these restaurant bar, you know, bands that play all these little circuits for, you know, neighborhood bars, and Brooklyn and Staten Island and jersey. And I just, I would assume that doing that, and obviously, then going and get a classical education in it are two very different things.
Well, the good part is that Berkeley is, is what's considered a contemporary music school. So most of what you study is jazz music. So contemporary music as opposed to I mean, you can study classical music and traditional music if you want. But you don't have to. So it's, it is more centered around what you're actually going to be doing when you leave school.
So what field of music when you after you went to college to Berkeley? What did you envision yourself doing for a living?
That's, uh, you know, I wish I had a great answer. I think like most of us, and probably even like a lot of young people today, maybe their version is a little different. I probably had some wide eyed fantasy in mind that I would go out and I would keep writing and playing and playing in bands and do whatever. And somehow that would turn into something that I could make a living, but I didn't really have a very thought out well thought out plan for that.
Well, it's, I think everybody can relate to that right, Bill? Because you think Alright, if I get good enough if I have the talent, right, build it, they will come right.
Yeah, they don't think we do? Yeah. And so I think I'm more just followed, whatever music felt good, whatever band felt good, whatever. musical expression felt good. That's really what I chased for decades. And along the way, at least in those first in that first decade after school, I think, chase that I had a lot of jobs, as a lot of young people do. When they're trying to play music, they have jobs doing something that's not musical at all. I did a lot of that. And then somewhere in the late 90s, I just decided that's it. Any any money, I think from now on, it's going to be from music in some way. So I was a vocal coach for a while, which is what I studied in school. So I just took what I learned and tried to help other people. I'd always I've worked in and out of recording studios already for a long time, even before I went to school. So at that, and that was the time when recording equipment was getting affordable, and something that you could have in your house. So I started building project studios and doing, you know, some producing and some engineering for people. And then I grew up because we were so close to New York City. I grew up in theater, and had a lot of really great experiences, both on stage and then on the tech side of theater. And so that helped me get other kinds of jobs, you know, like stage managing shows and building venues and doing all kinds of stuff. So I did a lot of things in the entertainment business. I didn't do a lot of them twice, because I found things that you As I pulled it off, and it was fine, but I didn't really like it. And then fast forward to now I pretty much found the things that I like to do the most. And I try to stick to those.
So let's talk about and I love going back to that and just kind of that progression because I think so many of us, when we see people who are successful in whatever it is they're doing, kind of get a little dissuaded. And, you know, think about, oh, look at these people, they have it together. And you know, they have dialed in, and they don't realize the the many steps that took and sometimes decades, and all the hard work it took for those people to get there and the mistakes, you know, so we kind of think about ourselves in a negative light, you know, you know, I should have my shit together by now I should, you know, this is what I want to be doing. And I'm not doing it and it ends up being that kind of just freezes you in place because you're too busy complaining or thinking that you're not doing something right. When you look at these people who are successful and not realizing the struggle they had to get where they were.
Yeah, the comparison game. You never win. Yeah, ever. And my story and my trajectory, and my path is not the same as anybody else's. And it can't be, and nobody has their shit together. And I've never met anybody who has their shit together. They may look like they do. And it may seem like that, but it probably seems like I have my shit together. I don't any more than anybody. Now, maybe I do. If you're 25. And you're looking at me at 55? Yeah, it probably seems like I have my shit together. And I better have a little bit. You get what I mean? Like, it's never what it appears to be on the outside. And and you can't compare. It's always apples and oranges.
Great. I mean, so all these moving parts that you have the you know, when did you really get into the business side of music?
No, it's funny. I think I thought I did. I actually did, I did have some kind of realization, or I heard somebody say it, or I read a book or something that led me to believe oh, wait a minute. I'm an independent musician. I have a business. What do I do with that? And mostly, I think I didn't know what to do with that. Really? Maybe I still don't I'm not sure. But what I did come to realize, maybe much later, probably after I started coaching people in their businesses is that no matter how prepared you are, to go out in the world, and do the thing that you learned to do or that you love to do. You're rarely prepared to run a business. Even sometimes, if you have all of the sort of structural tools, yeah, maybe you know how, maybe you have an MBA, or maybe you took enough business classes that you understand basic finance and how to deal with money and things like that, that still doesn't necessarily mean you're ready to run a business. It's a It's not easy. And it doesn't really even matter what field you're in. It's not easy.
You know, just thinking about, I have a day job. So I have a safety net, I have a 40 hour a week. Job that gives me benefits gives me a pension. I've been doing it now already for 25 years. And there have been many things I have always thought that I would like to do. And now I'm doing it. But even before this, I'm 45 years old. But the thought of stepping outside of that comfort zone of kind of walking that tightrope without the safety net, was something I have a family was just something that I never even thought that would be possible because you know, how would I support my family? What happens if the idea I had really wasn't that feasible, again, to your point? What the hell do I know about actually running a business? I work in a business and I'm good at it. But running in is very, very different. And you know if I fall on my face, I'm taking all these other people with me. So it's not just me on the tightrope. It's me and my wife, my kids in a stroller, and that's a little difficult. So I think so many of us are just petrified to kind of step out and try that because You don't have that comfort level of that that stability.
Well, that's completely understandable. I think I never had that ever, I've never ever had. And the two times that I might have come close to it. We're both in the coaching field where I was working for other people. I was I was actually employed was an employee. And both of those companies disappeared, they both went under, you know, no, I wasn't running that company and had nothing to do with it. But what it made me realize is that this may not be true of your gig. But for a lot of people, it's not anything for my dad, my dad's a great example of this, my dad expected that he would work in his industry for 40 years or 50 years, and he would retire with enough money to live however long he was gonna live and do whatever he wanted to do, right. That's what his dad did. But that's not what happened. The world changed. And by the time he was in upper level management in his business, every company he worked for got bought out by a bigger company. So he'd have to go find the next one, and the next one, and you get to a certain age, and you can't really get hired anymore. And he didn't know how to freelance wasn't even in his his lexicon. And what it made me realize very early on is that to some extent, I don't want to freak you out.
Please freak out. There is no secure. A great isn't Yeah, you're right, know
what's gonna happen a heck, we all just went through this giant, crazy pandemic thing. You know, no, I didn't see that coming. You know, there is no real security, for our jobs or anything else. If you have something and you like doing it, it's great. And I hope it lasts for as long as you want it to last. But there's this weird line between, I don't think everybody's cut out for self employment, or running their own business, and thank God, because then some people who do have their own business need to hire people would be in big trouble. And I also don't think that having a job and then having other things you want to do, whether it's music, or, you know, I have a friend who's an avid, competitive mountain mountain biker, right? He couldn't do that, to the level he does, if he didn't have the job that he has. But the one thing doesn't preclude him from the other. I had a, I had a friend, have a friend who was also a client of mine for a little while. He sounded a lot like your situation. And then he'd been in the same job for a very long time was actually really close to retire it. And when he retired, he get a really great deal. It basically, I think it's a state or a federal job. So he gets his paycheck for the rest of his life. But he was really hating it. And he wanted to quit. Because he's a, he's a very talented visual artist. He's a painter. And he's also a really good guitar player, and songwriter. And he said, Man, I just want to quit, I want to quit early. And I know it's gonna mess up my, you know, my money. But I just want to go paint and play music. I said, Well, are you painting or playing music right now? He said, No. So great. Why don't you do those things, and then see. And within a year or so of having that conversation, he had more commissions for paintings than he can keep up with that for him. And I know over the last five years, I played on three records that he was involved in. And last year or the year before, I'm kind of losing track of time now. He retired at his full pension, you know, full benefits, made it all the way through.
I'm fortunate that I think I'm in the middle of those two situations. And it's it's funny, you're talking about this because I say this a couple I've said this a couple times on the show, but also I was watching a Dave Chappelle interview. And his father I think, was talking to him about becoming a teacher or something like that and saying to him that you know, you're going to have a steady income, you know, maybe only make you know $75,000 a year, but your benefits vacation is that the other thing, and David said to his father well, but I really want to be a comedian. And I figured out that I only need to do you know, even if I'm not that successful of a comedian, I only need to do this many shows. And I can make the same amount of money as being a teacher, but I'll be happy. And I say to my kids all the time, you know, if you're not doing something that you're happy with, it doesn't matter how much money you make. Now, fortunately, it does the job I'm in, I actually do love it. Now. 25 years later, you know, it's starting. I'm older, I work construction. So obviously, you know, being out in the cold all the time, it's getting a little, a little old. And that's why I started to pivot toward this, because I wanted to have interesting conversations with people like yourself, those conversations weren't out there. So I decided, let me start, let me create the forum for that. And at first I said, Okay, well, obviously, I'm not just going to start this, and people are going to want to listen to this show, and I'm going to make a boatload of money on it, maybe I'll never make any money on it. But I think so many people also don't do those things that they want to do, because they also look at it that well, if I'm doing this, to justify my time, I should, there should be some type of monetary reward to that. And of course, you know, if you want to play guitar, if you want to be a band, there's nothing wrong with having a garage band, when you're 50 years old. If you love playing music, or if you love painting, you love creating something, don't let you know, we waste so much of our time on a daily basis watching a movie that we've already seen or doing, you know, maybe frivolous things that, hey, if you really want to do something, create something, then don't let anybody stop you and go and do and dedicate that time. Right?
Yeah, yeah, no doubt. And, you know, I think you made an interesting point there about, about why, you know, well, I'm not gonna get paid for it. So why should I waste my time doing or, you know, something to that effect. And, and even when you've been doing maybe something you love, like music or art or whatever, and getting paid for it, sometimes that getting paid for it can overwhelm the reason why you actually wanted to do it. And, and I don't know, you know, I actually, I'm kind of amazed, truthfully, by people who are really good at just doing one thing. You know, I have friends, I have a couple of friends who are they, they play music, and that's pretty much all they do. And it's great to awesome. I've always been interested in a multitude of things. And, and I think that's great, too. And, and I also think there was a time, you know, we talked about the sort of fantasies you have of what being a professional musician mean, what does that look like? All of that? I think I thought for a while that that wasn't okay. Hmm. And if you're, if you're going to be a musician, and that's all you should do. I've since changed my mind about that. But I do think there was a time when when it felt like that. And I feel like for it for anybody, you know, you have your job. And yeah, you want to have a podcast, have a podcast to play guitar, play guitar, you want it whatever you want to do, you should do.
You know, that's the funny thing. You talked about money and how that could kind of be the overarching reason and kind of taint you know, the original purpose. And again, I was listening to somebody, and they were talking about if you want to do something a little different. And the first thought in your mind is, you know, well, how long is it going to take me to make some money off of this, then you might want to rethink doing it. Because if you're, if your initial reason to do something is solely to make money off of it, then isn't that just like a nine to five job that some people are stuck in, if that's the only reason you're doing if you're not doing it for the joy of it, that you enjoy what you're planning to do, and you get fulfilled from that. You might want to rethink it, folks.
Yeah. You know, I've met a couple of people who they play money like I play guitar. You know what I mean? Like, that's a game for them. They play businesses and money and making money and all that in a way that I don't. They view it differently. They feel it differently. It's not the same. I think those people are unicorns. I don't think there's a whole lot of But yeah, I always tell people, both music and coaching, I don't do either one of them for money. That's not why I show up. But you do have to pay me.
I worked on Wall Street for about a year. And bless you, oh my God. You know, so many people around me, Bill, I mean, making easy money, but just staring at a screen all day long. And just looking at those numbers. I just want it to jump out the window. And the fact that I made it so long amazes me to this day. But, you know, there's just again, you know, some people are wired one way. And so yeah, it's just hats off to those numbers people. It can't have I cannot sit still and stand in one spot all day long, I would just jump out of my skin. But talking about that, and talking about the mindset, so you have something called the artist mind. What is that?
Yeah. But that's, that's the name of my business. And I am, what I like to say is, I'm a business and personal coach, because I could say I'm an executive coach. No, if that sounds fancier, it's the same. It's the same thing to me. Mostly, I work with business owners, and when you own a business, business and personal, they're all mixed up together. You know, it's part of your life, even for you. I mean, how much time do you spend at your job? Exactly. You know, it's, it's a part of your life. And whatever is in the way in one area is probably in the way in both.
I think so many people don't realize that. And I give talks, and I will tell people, you know, especially when we do school groups, and I will say I hate to break this to kids, but Monday through Friday, if you talk about the commute as well, you will with the people you work with more than than your loved ones at home. So hopefully you enjoy what you do. And you like the people that you work with? Because if not, that's a long haul every single day, for decades. Absolutely.
Absolutely. And, you know, it's just, we talk a lot these days about work, life balance, all that kind of stuff. When you look at it as one thing. It's life, it's all life. It's all a part of your life. And if there's something about it, that's not working, the place to look is rarely outside of you
know, and especially with you know, going through COVID Now, for so many that line is blurred even more because now we don't have that physical separation where okay, I walk out of the house, I get on the train or the bus and then when I walked through the doors of that business, now I'm on now I'm in the workspace and I walk out of that workspace. I know I could shut that I could shut it off now. Now so many people are working from home. I don't know how they balance it bill. You know you're in you're in the house if you have a young child and he's screaming What do you I can't help you right now. You know if you have a dog on the carpet Right? Like there's just now that it just so blurred Now it's everything is together how do you how do these separate I was talking to people who you know work from home and it's basically they wake up and while I'm home alright, let me just take my coffee and walk into the office now they're working they started work like an hour earlier than they were taking emails two hours after they're supposed to stop. So did that.
Good. They never learned the boundaries around that. And they probably will as they go. I have almost always worked for about almost a week
was a tricky fan.
Hi, goes back and forth. I lived in Nashville for a little while. And we're all over the place. We get everywhere in my workday was weird. You know, I would I didn't get up early in those days. And I get up I do whatever I did, you know, run some errands, do whatever. I'd work until dinnertime, have dinner, hang out watch TV, and then I'd go back to work at you know, 1112 o'clock or till three in the studio and then start again. I don't do that anymore. Having a kid will cure you.
I think I think part of it is being able to establish boundaries with people. Let's face it. People aren't good at that anyway, sometimes, both in their personal lives and with work and just being able to Say, Hey, listen, you know, I don't I promise you if you text me, after business hours about a business thing, I'm probably not going to respond to you. If there's an email, I might see it, but I'm not going to do anything with it cuz first of all, what what what's gonna happen anyway? Yeah, you know, nothing's gonna get done. So, but that's taken a while that that takes some some learning.
So artists mind why that title, what does that mean to you?
What does it mean to me? Quite honestly, I was reforming my business and I needed a new name. And I created a course with a friend of mine back in probably 2010 called the artistry of life. Because our, our sort of supposition for that was that you create your life. Even sometimes, when you don't realize that you're doing it, you're creating your life. It's not happening to you, you're happening to it? And what if we could look at our lives as a creation, instead of something we're stuck with, or something that just happens to us. And I am an artist. And I spent a lot of time talking about and dealing with the mind, both mind and other people. So it just made sense. But those things together.
I love the fact that you said that that way. Because I have always been amazed. You know, sitting on the couch, let's say getting home from work. And this is by no means a critique on anybody because I'm in the same situation sometimes. But I would just think, you know, all right, I get up in the morning, get on the bus, I go to work, I do my job. I come home and for so many of us, we look at it that okay. My purpose for the day is now over. At least one maybe you're single, right? Okay, I did what I was supposed to do. Like there's an imaginary checklist, right? This is what I'm supposed to do as a useful human being is go to work every day, and do this job. Okay, check. I'm done. I'm good for the day. And now, the rest of this time is mine to do, you know, with what I will, which is maybe sitting around watching TV, or maybe going to the gym, hopefully doing something else, right? Then we have children, you know, we're married. So now my job is to come home and now feed my kids help them with the homework, bring them back forth here or there. And for a lot of us so many, I think there is nothing in that equation. That is to do something that is useful to you, or kind of moves you down that river of life in the direction that you want to go. It's kind of just writing the current. And I will say that if again, if there's something you want to do, if you want to paint, if you want to record music, if you want to start a podcast, write a book, whatever it may be, even if you're just doing something simple, just paddle a few strokes a day, in the direction that you want to go, what a difference that can make. And you can be the creator that you're talking about Bill instead of just kind of riding that current wherever life may take you.
And, and really, it's a viewpoint to look at your life as something that you're creating, whether you're making some kind of art or have some kind of side projects or not. It's it's also the ability to I knew when I had kid, what ad kid what kind of what kind of language is that? I forgot now to speak the English language. When we Wow, when we had a child, I realized that, you know, we had a we had a kid pretty late in life. And so I thought, wait a minute, you know, I get to have this be however I want. And I want to spend time I want to make sure that I'm around to spend as much time as I can with this person. I'm not gonna have this person forever. It's gonna change like crazy. And, and so you know what, when I'm done, I might just go sit on the couch with my kid for a while. But it's a it's a very conscious choice. It's not like I'm flipping the offs. Does that make sense? Yeah. 100%
And yeah, yeah. And again, I mean, listen, we all need time to sit down. Listen, if Jaws is on TV, I'm watching it. And I've seen it 50 times he's gone onto the boat. Come on, I gotta watch it. But absolutely. So that is a choice. But, you know, just pointing out because so many people and I will say this, the people who work I will say this to my children, because they're talking about school. And obviously, when you're young time is infinite, right? But people who are, you know, oh, you know, it's Wednesday, or I two more days, hang on a second. This is five days of your week. This is a job that you might be doing for 30 years. You're wishing your life away by waiting for Friday. So three days of the week or two and a half days is is all that you get that you look forward to? That's a problem. Yeah, it's a problem, we need to change that.
And you know, it's interesting, because I mentioned my friend who had his job, and he was hating it. And he started painting, and he started playing music, which he already knew how to do both those things you didn't even have to learn, he just had to engage again. And the minute he did that his job got better. Because he wasn't spending his whole day at work, thinking about how he was wishing he was doing something else.
So you have business coach, as one of your titles, but again, like you said, business and personal. They're always involved. And so I have to ask you, I mean, is it solely just for business? I mean, if somebody doesn't own a business, and they want to talk to Bill small about the artists mind and kind of how to change that look on their life? I mean, isn't that something that you do as well?
Absolutely, yeah, perfect. I just. And truthfully, when I started, I worked for a company in Austin, Texas, that was supplying coaches for a couple of authors who had you know big followings. And, and I had all kinds of people up to all kinds of things, I found that I just really connected with people who had their own businesses. And mostly because I've had mine for so long. And I found that that that was a lot of fun for me. And so I just kind of went that direction, but I'll help anybody if they need help.
Sure. And artists mind you've been doing that for 20 plus years? Correct.
I have been coaching people for 20 plus years.
And so what is when you created that, what is the mission statement of artists mind?
While Chase, I think he caught me, I think he caught me with my pants. You know, it's mostly to help people get out of their own way.
What do you think is different about the way an artist looks at life as opposed to a business owner?
Well, I don't know if this is true across the board. I would say that. It's back to that conversation about it's a creation of creation, right? Yeah. Oftentimes, people get it in their heads that I don't know, I think we spend too much time thinking about spreadsheets sometimes. And yeah, you have to have your ducks in a row. And you have to do appropriate things with your bookkeeping and your finances and everything else. But there's so much more to having and growing a business than that. And even if it's just who you are as a leader in your business, whether it's just you or you have employees, whether it's how you communicate with people about your business or in your business customers, your vendors, your kind of contractors or employees, all of those things. Well, where did they come from? They come from you. And I think most artists tend to be an artist mindset tends to be about growth and improvement. I don't I actually don't know any artists who are always trying to be better at what they did. The day that I make a record, I don't have issues with that I wouldn't do something different. You know, that's the day I'm gonna hang it up. Because there's nowhere to go. It doesn't mean I don't think it's good and I'll let everybody Listen to it. But I've never done anything where I think, oh, you know, that thing. If I had it to do again, I wouldn't do that difference. Or that song shouldn't have been on that record. That wasn't a good choice. There's always that sense of wanting to improve, and wanting to grow. And it's so important.
Well, I have to say until you said that to me about creating your life, you know, and just as soon as you said that, it was kind of the thought that so many of us look at life as something that happens to us. Yeah, right, just like we're just floating around. And for the most part, we have a little bit of control, right? We have, you know, maybe some type of plan, but for so many of us, our plans never worked out the way we want them to. So it's like, you kind of get this, this feeling of, well, you know, I can make a plan, but who the hell knows where life's gonna take me? Right? Instead of plans
ever worked out?
Exactly. Yeah. I mean, very, very few. God bless him, I get a place to start. But that sounds boring. To me. Also, we have to live in for 45 years, if you've made a plan, and everything goes according to it. That's kind of fucking though.
And it never happened early afterwards. Yeah, at least not in my life. And I'm sure, I don't know anybody that's ever happened to, you know, a plan is a great place to start. And you got to know that it's gonna get messed up between now and the end. But you know, look, maybe I'm not even right. What if I'm not, I'm gonna tell you that. When I tell every single client, that if they want to work with me, they have to take the case, they have to take on the idea that you are 100% responsible for everything in your life. And it's all coming from you, even if you don't know how or why. Or it doesn't make sense. You just take the case, that good, bad, otherwise, it's all coming from you. And I'm not going to argue that that's the truth. It's just the most powerful place to stand. It's the only place where you're in the driver's seat. Otherwise, you're a victim of your life and your circumstances, the economy, the pandemic, that this the that whatever. And that sticks.
Right? I'd rather be in the driver's seat. And if we make a wrong turn in Albuquerque, well, let's see where it brings us.
What led you to the subtle art of not yelling podcast? And what is that about?
Well, I have dabbled in marketing various things on the internet for quite a long time. And over the years, I've coached some people in internet marketing. And I've been around a lot of people both who are both successful and wildly unsuccessful at that. I've probably taken most of the courses, learned all of the stuff that they tried to tell you about it. And got so fed up with all of it, that I quit entirely for five, four years. You couldn't you could barely find me on the internet except me. I mean, I have a website. And you could see what I was playing on Facebook, right. And then this pandemic thing happens, and I'm home. And how I've been getting clients is being out in the world, meeting people. And that wasn't going to happen. So I started to dip my toe back in those waters, almost immediately got completely fed up with it again. And I met this young guy named Miles Hanson. And we started having a conversation one day, we spent about 90 minutes railing against all the things we can't stand about internet marketing, the way it's taught the tactics, the way people talk about it. The thing we like to call bro marketing. And after that 90 minutes, I was like, I love this guy. He's great. We're getting along really well. We had a couple more conversations and in one of those. I think Miles said he was thinking about having a podcast and quite honestly, it had been something I've been thinking about. Are you familiar with clubhouse? Yes, yeah, that's social clubhouse. I've been dabbling around with that. And I realized that doing what you and I are doing right now. This is the best possible way for me to present myself for me to create I'm gonna use the dreaded word content. It's the best way for me, it's the most natural for me, it's the most fun for me. So I was looking for more ways to do that. And I thought, well, maybe I should have a podcast. But the thought of having a podcast all by myself, I mean, my hat's off to you, sir. I just, I couldn't, I just couldn't do it. I knew it would be something that I would run out of gas. And Miles said that, and I said, Well, me too. Why don't we do it together. And so we talked about it a little bit, and decided that where we got to with it was we're both creator. We're both we both tend towards being more introverted and extroverted. And neither one of us is comfortable with the standard, or traditional or most talked about ways of promoting oneself out in the world. So what we came up with was the subtle art of not yelling, how to grow a business, without having to be the loudest person in the room. And what's that, what that's turned into his conversations with all kinds of people, musicians, marketers, coaches, all kinds of folks about what they do, how they do it, how they keep it together, how they're, how they're growing, what's in the way, what gets in the way, what works, what doesn't, it's been a while.
I love that I love the fact that, you know, there is a lot of noise out there, or let's say, a lot of podcasts. I mean, I think there's so many people have them. And there is a lot of competition out there. But I am a firm believer in collaboration, over competition, and I feel that if you find a niche that, you know, fulfills a certain need. And if that's the knee that you want it to fill, well, then you're you've done your job, you know, and there's plenty of nonsense and noise out there. You know, and harmful stuff out there as well. And, you know, between opinionated people who maybe want to put out some poison in the air. And I just feel that the more positivity and at least the more knowledge that's out there, the better and hopefully people will pick it up and share it. At least that's my hope. And you know, that's, again, why I was looking forward to the conversation with you, because it's just, you're such an eclectic dude. And also just, you know, mindfulness enthusiast, and you can hear it. But when did that come into your life? How did you discover the art of mindfulness? And you know, how has that affected you?
Well, you know, when I was a kid, I used to pretend to meditate. Really? Yeah, I didn't know what that I didn't know how to do that. But it sounded cool. So I'd sit there cross legged, somebody walked by the room, I close my eyes and look like I was. I didn't know what that was. When I actually when I was in college at Berkeley, I took a philosophy class. So philosophy of Zen and Tao isn't, and our teacher about three classes in taught us all a really simple meditation technique, which we did together as a class, then I think, every class, we'd end every class that way. And that became something that I started doing at home. And continued that on and off for quite a while, kind of fell away from it for a while as well. I've always been interested in, in Buddhism, not, not just because of meditation, just lots of other reasons, but I'm not particularly religious, or interested in picking up a religion. And then, a few years ago, it just seemed like the right thing to pick up again, I realized that a lot of what I was talking to with clients about was about awareness, about being aware of what's actually going on in their heads, being aware of that voice, that saying nasty stuff to them all the time. And that that voice isn't actually them. It's just the voice in their heads. But until you make that distinction, it's really really difficult to pull that apart. And most of the time, that voice is just yammering away up there, and we have no ability to step away from it. So, really, for my own benefit, I just do decided to start a regular meditation practice. And it also became something that I have all my clients engage in. Because I think it's, it can be really, really beneficial. And the more that I go along that path, the more it helps me and the more that I get disconnected from the a hole that is yelling at me. And, and you know what, if I if just by saying that, and somebody's hearing it, it can give them one moment where they can step back from that voice and get that it's just noise. It's not real, it's not even the truth. It's just a monkey going to town in their heads, if they get one moment where they step away from that, then that's a good thing
that I love, because, and this is not to minimize any struggle that anyone might be going through. But so often when we're going through something, and it could be quite traumatic, and I've gone through some stuff as well, and just speaking personally, but we think we are so unique, and that nobody could possibly understand that which we are going through until you talk to other people have gone through similar things. And then you hear you know, what they've gone through how they talk to themselves in their head, like you're speaking about, and you realize, wait a second, I'm not the only one who has this voice in my head saying these horrible things to me. You have that too. And then all of a sudden, you have that community. And now you can talk about now you realize, well, you okay, yes, I went through that same exact thing, after this happened to me, and oh, when that happened to you, you felt this and then all of a sudden, it's this weight that is lifted off your shoulders. So yes, I hope that anyone out there listening to this conversation? And if that gets through to them, and hopefully they'll find someone that they could talk to about it. But yes, you know, we all have these inner struggles with ourselves. And I think so many of us don't realize that.
Well, you just you just unraveled compassion. You know, we live in a world especially right now, where we do feel very divided from each other people have wildly different beliefs and about lots of things. And when you can get the humanity of other people, even when they don't agree with you, or you don't agree with them. But you can get at that basic level, that they are just another human being trying to get through this crazy human being thing called doing the same way that you are. It opens up space for compassion. And by compassion. I don't mean agreement. You don't have to Yeah, yeah. But it changes how you show up in the world.
So what drives Bill small when he wakes up in the morning? What, what gets you going?
Well, I'll tell you what, one thing is conversations like this.
I love it.
You know, somebody asked me on a podcast not long ago, what do you create? And I thought, wow, okay. Music is the obvious answer. Yes, I do create music. And my other answer was conversations. I create music and I create conversations because even with my coaching clients, essentially, we're having a conversation. That's what we're doing. The idea is that it's a conversation that makes a difference. Yes. So I think it's music, it's conversations that make a difference. It's seeing what version of my kid is going to be himself on any given day. I think it's seeing what version of myself I can manage to show up as every single day. And I am deeply curious about what's gonna happen next.
I'm digging everything you're putting down. right there with you. Now, this that's a perfect segue because as we wrap up the interview, I always like to ask my guests. Is there anything you've read lately, that you've really enjoyed?
Anything I read lately, that I really enjoy it? You know, I'm gonna, I'm gonna admit this in public, you know? Your fellow Jersey guy, I feel like I'm safe. I have not been doing a whole lot of extracurricular reading at the moment. I got that. But I have every morning when I'm on my way back from dropping my kid off at school, isn't that the best by the way? It's awesome. I've been doing a bit of podcast listening. And there is a there's something there's a singing from a podcast I was listening to. That struck me so much. I came home and wrote it down immediately. Okay. And, and it's right in front of me. So when you ask that question, I just immediately it's what I thought. And it has a lot to do with what we were just talking. Well, if you can see the river, you're not in the river.
Oh, man. That's good. I'm ready to even though. I like that. And just so you are aware? I just changed that question. So going forward, I will ask, is there anything you read or listen to lately? That you've enjoyed, so thank you for that. I liked that. Wow, that's good. That's deep, don't don't? If you could interview anyone from history, who would it be? And why?
I can interview anyone from history. Oh, would it be and why? Abraham Lincoln? Oh, yeah. I think because here's a guy who, at least by from what I could tell, was dealing with some incredibly complex cultural issues. And he navigated the waters in a really interesting way. And literally changed the direction of a nation. He probably didn't know he was doing that. But I think it'd be, I just would really love to see if I could get inside his head for a bit.
And just thinking about the Team of Rivals, and him bringing in all of those people that were against his ideas, and making them fight for it as well. And also listening to what they had to say. The, the way, he suppressed his ego, not all the time, because he was a human being. But he tried. Just amazing, and the line that he had to walk. And then grant after him just to kind of win, though, you know, you know, you don't want to win the war and lose the peace. And obviously, a lot of people have questions with reconstruction everything after the fact. But man, that was one hell of a problem.
Yeah. You know, there's probably other people have other people popping into my brain like crazy now, but that was the first one that popped to mind that
I like so. Bill, where can people find out more about you your work, what you're working on? And how do you like to communicate with fans? We know obviously, your ideas of the internet, but social media website, what's the best way for everyone to find all things? Because there's a lot of them, folks? Bill smile?
Yeah, there's a few. I think the two best places to go or you can go to my website, which is artist mind.co. Or you can find me on Instagram at mind art coach?
Well, Bill small, this has been a fantastic conversation. And again, this is why I started the show. And I have to thank you because this was a bit of a of an experiment for me. Normally, I have authors on and I do a lot of research before I have them on. And it's kind of like almost talking about how that, you know, money can kind of lead your creativity. Not that talking about money here. But sometimes when I do all of this research, I feel like I have to include so many different things and it can almost kind of strangle the conversation because I'm almost getting nervous that okay, I'm not bringing this up. I'm not bringing this up. So for this interview, I just did a brief research into what you did. And then I just said, You know what, I'm just going to ask the questions as they come and just have as free flowing a conversation as I can have and This has just been so liberating and so enjoyable. It's like we just sat down and we're having coffee and just you know, Hey, what did you know? Where did this come from? And, you know, Where'd you grow up? And what do you want to do? And I just I thoroughly enjoy this and thank you for coming on the show and, and jumping into this conversation with me.
Well, I am honored to have been your guinea pig
pleasure was all mine sir. Thank you so much. I hope you enjoyed this episode of The Curious man's podcast. If you'd like to find out more about the show, please visit us at the curious men's website.com or you can tweet us at TC MPC tweets. Give us a follow leave your comments or questions there and I will get back to you. Thank you so much for listening, sharing. And thank you for your curiosity. As they say in question not f is a question not answered.