This may infuriate some friends (and even some business colleagues), but I have to say: I’m not a conspiracy buff.
Of course conspiracies exist, but I don't buy into the popular hits. I don’t believe that three bankers run the world, that terrorist acts are inside jobs, that US elections are fixed, that man-made global warming is a prefabricated hoax, or that aliens with reptilian bloodlines are taking over. (Ok, maybe this last one isn’t that far-fetched given the headlines lately.)
My rejection of the above, taken as a whole, likely puts me in the minority among U.S. adults these days. This argues for (among other things) a curriculum overhaul in American schools, addressing our illiteracy in civics, history, science, and more—but that’s another topic for another occasion.
How, you might ask, have I come to embrace such a heterodox worldview, given the ubiquity of urban legends? Well, I was schooled early. I was exposed to many conspiracy theories in my early music days, my favorite of which was the “Paul is dead” controversy surrounding the Beatles.
I was hacked again this week, which gives me a wonderful opportunity to elaborate on an earlier post on the subject.
One nice thing about having your email accounts hacked from time to time is hearing back from old friends and business colleagues around the world whom you haven't been in touch with for years.
In my case I can't say that everyone on my spammed contact list was entirely pleased to hear from me—or who they thought was me—but their responses have got me thinking. Hundreds of folks are now wondering how I've been able to start so many multi-million-dollar home businesses this year AND successfully sell cheap meds on the side (while maintaining a consulting practice & blog and re-launching my music career).
Well I've decided to exploit this opportunity and share my trade secrets in a new book, How You Can Make Millions From Getting Hacked & Spammed In Your Spare Time. (The first step will be "Don't give up that AOL account.") Subtitle: Business Lessons From Viagra.
While we’re on the subject, I’ve been thinking about different kinds of identity theft. One kind has been going on in the music world for decades: bands doing reunion tours with only one member (or NO members) of the original band.
So many thoughts after seeing Eight Days a Week, Ron Howard’s documentary on The Beatles’ touring years! Any Millennials who just don’t get the big fuss about this band should watch it.
Between 1963 and 1966 these four mop-tops generated more fan hysteria on a larger scale than any other musical performers in world history (easily eclipsing the glory days of Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley). And this film captures that.
Eight Days a Week also gives us a good idea of what made this band simultaneously the biggest and the best popular music act ever—AND perhaps the most effective small business team in the last half century.
As I’ve been pointing out for the last decade—on this blog and previously on www.tompeters.com—The Beatles did so many things right as a small company:
• The Fabs were radical innovators who took career-threatening risks to promote their “product.” They burned the rulebook for what a band had to look like, sound like, and act like. From image & fashion to song composition to record production to album packaging and more, The Beatles forced rivals onto a new playing field.
Street performing for tips ("busking") continues to provide me with insights on life and business.
I played the street decades ago but recently took it up again on weekends, initially so I could earn a few bucks as I learn to play slide guitar. But it’s become the gift that keeps on giving.
Here are a few more realizations I’ve had—in addition to lessons I’ve posted here and here. These aren’t quite blinding epiphanies, but notions I’ve previously considered that have been resoundingly confirmed.
1. Perseverance, resilience, stick-to-itiveness is a habit or trait that’s woefully underappreciated. (“Grit” is the trendy term for it.) We all know the value of talent. But talent can be developed and enhanced over time, and perseverance is the key. You gotta keep at it.
After doing some research on what songs topped the record charts 50 years ago, I discovered—as I wrote in a recent post—that the Top 10 songs on today’s Billboard’s Hot 100 compare quite favorably to the Top 10 a half century ago.
That was a surprise to me, given that artists like The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Lovin’ Spoonful, and Supremes were in their prime, releasing some of their finest records then. Yet too many vapid, empty-calorie hits (like “Sweat Pea”) dominated the 1966 singles charts and made me appreciate our current batch of hits.
My conclusion was that while in 2016 we clearly don’t have hit songs of Beatles’ caliber we also don’t have the cringe-worthy mediocrity of “Hanky Panky” and “Wild Thing.” For example, the #1 song in the US this week is “Closer,” a very respectable offering by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey. In case you can’t get past its slick production, here’s the tune performed by Walk Off The Earth, a quirky Toronto band that we hope to see at the top of the charts soon.