Good morning, Believe Nation, today’s message is experiment. Over to you, Elie Goulding.
♫ I wake up every morning ♫ Entspresso keep me going ♫ I wake up every morning
It’s key to everything, or it’s key to what I do. I wouldn’t be here without experimenting like crazy. I like so many different types of music and I hope that I could get away with including all of those different influences on my first record, and I think I got away with it and maybe on my second as well.
“Experimentation is everything for me as a musician.” – Elie Goulding
But I mean like, I would say that I’m a pop artist and play pop music, but it’s not without a lot of experimentation and also risking writing something that maybe isn’t very good or is silly, you know.
My voice is my instrument, so sometimes I sing things that just sound crazy, but then one take out of 20 will be really, really cool and I keep that one and then that’s that, so yeah, experimentation is everything for me as a musician.
Evan: I think extermination is that the key to success not just as a musician, not just as an entrepreneur, but in general, in life, you need to experiment. You need to take the ideas that you have in your head and go out and try stuff because if you are not experimenting, then what’s happening?
Then you’re just living life by the book, you’re just doing things that other people tell you to do. You’re doing the same things over and over and over and over and over again, you’re not trying anything new and so your life becomes this boring repetition day in and day out and that sucks, especially as a creative entrepreneur who wants to go out and make a difference.
“In general, in life, you need to experiment.” – Evan Carmichael
So I want to address what I feel holds people back from trying from experimenting. The first part is I think people are just afraid of being judged, they’re afraid of failing, they’re afraid of putting themselves out there and trying something new and it not working out and people are going to laugh at them or they’re going to be embarrassed and that is not the way to live your life.
If you look at successful people, the further and further ahead they get, right, the more and more success they have, you’ll find that those super successful people, they don’t care about how other people perceive them. I am not doing what I do because I’m worried about other people’s judgement.
“You need to take the ideas that you have in your head and go out and try stuff because if you are not experimenting, then what’s happening?” – Evan Carmichael
And the people who are at the bottom, the people who never get ahead, the people who continually struggle, are the ones who are always afraid of how other people are going to judge them. You’re going to make mistakes. You will try things that will not work out and the key is, you need to start building that muscle.
You have to start building that experimentation muscle, because when you put something out there and it doesn’t work what happens is you grow stronger. When you take an idea from your head and you put it out there and you try, every time you do that, you grow stronger. Every time you care a little bit less about somebody else’s opinion of you, you grow stronger, and you have a choice every single day.
Every single day you have a choice to either grow stronger or shrink back down. Every time you get an idea and you do something about it, even if it doesn’t work, you grow stronger, you build that muscle so you can do it again and next time with more power.
“You have to start building that experimentation muscle, because when you put something out there and it doesn’t work what happens is you grow stronger.” – Evan Carmichael
Every time you get an idea and you don’t do something about it and you shrink down and you tell yourself why you can’t do it, and you’re worried about other people’s judgements, then you get weaker and you reinforce that story. Either way, you’re reinforcing a story to yourself that you can do this and you can be strong, or you can’t do this and you’re weak.
And every day you have an opportunity to reinforce either story, and I want you to start playing here. I want you to start feeling like you are powerful. I want you to stop caring about what other people think of you and I want you to start, when you get an idea, doing something about it.
And it doesn’t just happen overnight, at least from my experience it isn’t just like you know what? Tomorrow, I don’t care what anybody thinks of me. You could say that, but actually believe it? I don’t know. But you can do it in steps.
You may not be able to go and lift this huge weight but you can work your way up there and every day you get a little bit stronger and so every little tiny micro-win is still a win that makes you stronger and lets you move one step forward.
The second thing about experimentation I think holds people back is they feel it has to be perfect, it has to be the perfect thing, it has to be all worked out before they ever get started, and that is not the path. What you have to understand is most of the learning that you’ll get, most of the figuring out what it’s going to be comes from actually trying it.
Whatever idea you have, you can’t just come up with it in your head and write it down on a piece of paper, you have to go and start doing it and you’ll learn by the doing of how to adjust. So as an example, one of my instructors here trying to dance salsa wanted us to practice storytelling in our classes, so instead of coming in and just teaching how to do a turn in salsa, she’s giving a story around it, maybe it’s her own story of how she learned, maybe it’s another student’s story about how they learned it, and the difficulties they may have had, and how they came through it, because her goal in being an instructor here is not just to teach people how to be dancers and learn a certain move, but to build people’s confidence, to strengthen their soul, to become better humans, to take what they learned here, the feeling they get, and have that have a ripple effect out on the rest of their life, that’s her goal, that’s what she wants for her students.
“What you have to understand is most of the learning that you’ll get, most of the figuring out what it’s going to be comes from actually trying it.” – Evan Carmichael
She wants to be one of the best instructors of all time for her students because she had a profound impact on their life, and not just teaching them subject matter. And so she experimented, she had this idea and she did something about it and at the start, it wasn’t working so well.
Her stories were long, they didn’t have the right theme, it was hard for people to understand, she was summarizing instead of going deep into the material. It wasn’t a great first start, but that’s to be expected.
And she got some feedback and there was one particularly harsh message that came from one of the students that said, “I would rather go with this other instructor because this one is, you spend too much time storytelling, and I’m not getting value from it,” and I showed it to her and it was really, really you know, hard to take in because when you know that you’re not doing a good job and then somebody shows it to you, right, here’s what this person said, it can be really hard, but to her credit she didn’t stop and she kept working and she kept getting better and she kept practicing and she kept adjusting and she continued to experiment, to the point where, earlier this week, she had an amazing class.
One where everybody left on such a high that they’re going to remember for the rest of their week, the rest of their month, maybe the rest of the year, that class they had with her and she transformed in the class from just being a dance teacher to somebody who was having a profound impact on the lives of her students and that happens in everything that you do.
You are going to suck at the start, expect it. That’s okay, but don’t let that hold you back from trying and experimenting. You go out out there, you try something, you adjust, you tweak it to see if you like it.
So many of you have these plans in your head of these great ideas that you have and you do nothing with them. Get them out and try. Stop worrying about what people think. Build that muscle that gets stronger, and realize that the learning comes from the doing, not just the thinking.
“You are going to suck at the start, expect it. That’s okay, but don’t let that hold you back from trying and experimenting. ” – Evan Carmichael
So the question then today is I’m curious what are you guys experimenting with right now that’s pushing you to be better, that’s pushing through some limited beliefs you might have.
What’s the hardest thing you’re experimenting on right now. Leave it in the comments below, I’m going to join in on the discussion.
I also want to give a quick shout out to Norz Szanto. Nora, thank you so much for picking up a copy of my book, Your One Word, I really, really, really, really appreciate it and I hope you’re enjoying.
So thank you guys so much for watching. I believe in you and I hope you continue to believe in yourself and whatever your one word is and I’ll see you again tomorrow morning for another shot of Entspresso.
♫ I wake up every morning ♫ Entspresso keep me going
Evan: Hey Believe Nation, if you want a little bit more inspiration on experimenting, I think these bonus clips will help you.
I stopped listening to music after Kurt died because it was so emotional just hearing it. I didn’t want to hear it on the radio, I didn’t want to play it, I didn’t want to join another band, and then after a while I realize that it was the one thing that was going to help me get through everything so I started writing lyrics and I started writing songs and I went and recorded this demo tape.
♫ When I talk about it ♫ Carries on reasons only knew When I talk about it ♫
A record company called and said, “Hey, we want to release your record.” I said, “That’s a demo, that’s not a band. That’s a thing I did by myself in five days.
Interviewer: And you play every instrument?
Yeah, so then I started to think, Wow, maybe I will try this. I’ve never been the singer of a band.
Interviewer: Was it a tough transition from drummer to front man?
Absolutely, it took years, man, it took a long time.
Interviewer: It’s interesting the way it starts, there’s some moaning at the beginning.
Of which one?
Interviewer: The first song on the record.
Interviewer: Don’t know the titles, no one told me the titles, just heard the record, it is called, look at that exclusive, perfect. Yeah, you said birthday in it a lot. But that’s a very mature progression sonically to add those moaning sounds as opposed to being that Disney person you’ve been known to be over the years.
Sure, but I mean I’m
Interviewer: It’s not a bad thing.
No, of course, I think it’s more me being able to experiment, you know, going into the booth and actually having the confidence of actually being like, “Alright, let me try this, let me see if this works,” and messing around with melodies or just harmonies, or as you say, moaning.
Interviewer: It was, isn’t it, kind of ?
I guess that’s the right term for it in a way.
Interviewer: I think so.
But yeah, no in a way, I think I really was able to just play and that was fun.
Interviewer: You write in your book, ’cause you’re talking about the art of writing and planning routes and everything, you say, “Magic exists, but often requires some planning.” But you were talking about writing, I think it seems also apply to the music even like you have some planning, but there’s that room for improve.
Well said, absolutely so. Yeah, all that effort of study and I always said that the early records that the three of us made together, we were experimenting, we were learning how to play our instruments, we were learning how to write songs, we were learning how to arrange, especially through say, Farewell to Kings Hemispheres, we were learning so much about arrangement and orchestration in the sense of a three piece rock band all of that gathered together and then by say, Moving Pictures was 1980, so we’ve been together six years by that time and then we gelled and all of those studies, all of those courses of study that we went through together with pure innocence and pure enthusiasm suddenly they became a unified approach that Moving Pictures and from then on carried for us and then as that time, even from that time, yeah, we continued to experiment absolutely with different kinds of songs, different kinds of arrangements, orchestrations of all kinds, different producers, there’s another good example.
You can get comfortable working with the same producer and some people do their whole career but we always felt we wanted new brains to pick and new criticisms and new enthusiasms, just new opinions.
In late 2012, I worked on a book launch for Tim Ferriss. He wrote a book called The Four Hour Chef. It was his third book, it was published by Amazon and because it was published by Amazon, we found out at the very last minute, about six weeks before launch, that it was going to be banned by every major bookstore in the United States and this is pretty much the worst thing that can happen to you if you’re doing a traditional book launch, ’cause that’s where books are sold.
So how do we hit The New York Times Best Seller List? How do we move copies if all the traditional marketing stuff is out the window? That leaves growth hacking, right? How do we do this, how do we treat this book like a start up that we’re creating from nothing? One of the first things we did was a bit torrent giveaway.
We gave away something like 250 pages of the book. Videos, photos, all sorts of extra stuff. It ended up getting downloaded I think about three million times. It drove 250,000 people to the Amazon page. It was the single most effective thing.
I’ve worked on close to a dozen bestsellers. It was the single most effective thing that I’ve ever seen in the history of book marketing, and it came from giving a sizeable portion of the book away and so it was this proof for me that the traditional marketing, the untrackable, the untested things aren’t working anymore and we want to experiment, and we want to try new things.
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