Guides
February 14, 2018

How to advertise a tour on Facebook

Getting people to show up to stuff is HARD!! And nothing sucks more than putting in a ton of effort into planning an event and busting your ass to get everything set up, only to have 14 people turn out (12 of which are your friends and their roommates who were all on the guest list). I've been there, and I'd love to help you avoid that pain if I can :) Now, I'm not a promoter and don't want to be one, but I have run some ads promoting tours for Periphery, A Day To Remember, Intervals, and Self Help Fest among others, and wanted to share what's worked for me with them. To keep this from being a million words long I'm leaving out some details, but this is the basic approach. And although I titled this article "How to advertise a tour," this applies to any kind of…
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Videos
December 2, 2017

Have you actually ASKED for what you want??

My friend Steve Rennie has a great saying: you don't ask, you don't get. It sounds so simple, but be honest: are you REALLY asking for what you want? I mean this in the most straightforward, literal sense - are you actually contacting the people who can give you the opportunities you want (a job, freelance work, influencers you want to partner with, etc) and straight up asking them for what you want? I bet you're not! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mWw4G4vuk8 I get it, because I've been there too - it's not easy for fun to ask for things (especially when they involve money), but you've GOT to make it a habit if you want to hit your goals. Because very simply, if you sit back and wait for things to come to you, you're gonna be waiting a long fucking time! That is just not how the world works - the world…
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Thoughts
November 12, 2017

“Success” is an empty goal

If you want to slam your head in a door when you see the Gary Vee fanboys’ HUSTLE!! GRIND!! #ENTREPRENEUR posts on Instagram — this one’s for you ;) There are currently 10.6 million Instagram posts under #hustle: the “hyper-achiever” trend is out of control. And aside from being a generally annoying internet sub-culture, the truth is that chasing “success” — where “success” is defined as being a larger-than-life, work-23.5-hours-a-day charismatic #entrepreneuer — is dangerous, and it’s just plain dumb to ignore that truth. What nobody seems to want to acknowledge is that achieving “great” things — the kind of things people write Fast Company articles and Medium thinkpieces about — almost always requires some extremely difficult sacrifices. And I don’t mean trivial stuff like waking up a little earlier than you’d like to or foregoing a camping trip with your friends — I mean the truly painful shit like your physical and mental health, family, and relationships. Permanent, irreversible stuff that keeps you up at night and haunts…
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Videos
October 22, 2017

Stop making excuses!

I did a lot of embarrassing, cringey shit when I was younger, but probably the most shameful was my habit of making excuses, shifting the blame and passing the buck. When I came up short in life — didn’t get the job, got dumped, got a bad grade, etc — it was always someone else’s fault. They didn’t get it, they were out to get me, I was doomed from the start because of … you get the idea. And the reason I’m so horrified that I acted like this is because it’s the ultimate in self-defeating, self-limiting thinking — it’s the epitome of a loser’s mindset and I can only begin to imagine how much I held myself back because of my small-time, defeatist attitude. https://youtu.be/m7g6-PYiL0o Why? Because it’s effectively giving up control of your life. When you shift the blame for your failure and cite things beyond your control, what you’re really saying is that you don’t control…
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Guides
September 30, 2017

How to make money from writing

Ironically, I've been struggling to write a catchy intro for this post, probably because I feel like a post about writing should be well-written. But I keep coming up short, so I'm just gonna cut to the chase: If you're one of the many people who have asked me how to make some money off your blog or creative writing, ere's (almost) everything I've learned from 10 or so years of "professional writing." And for those of you who are asking "who the fuck are you and why should I give a shit what you think," here's my best answer: I've been blogging since 2008, written somewhere around 2500 blog posts, written for Metal Sucks, Substream, and Terrorizer among others, and have done a ton of ghost writing for business outlets like Virgin, IBM, and Entrepreneur. With that out of the way, I'm gonna give you some bad news first -…
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Guides
August 20, 2017

How to make a DIY marketing plan

You know what creative people are really good at? Making stuff. And you know what they are usually really, really shitty at? Selling it! I get it - for most people making stuff is fun, selling stuff isn't (I love it, but that's why I do marketing for a living). But good products don't sell themselves, so if you want to get any kind of traction for your work - your art, book, blog, band, t-shirts, whatever - you're gonna have to get good at marketing. And that's exactly why I'm writing this long-ass article-- it's a complete blueprint for non-marketers to make a simple but super effective marketing plan that works for any kind of product or service - it's a simplified version of the same approach I've used to sell a shitload of digital products like Nail The Mix and Getgood Drums, physical products like Horizon Devices' Precision Drive or A…
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Guides
August 14, 2017

How to NOT eff up your education

Let's be real: college is a big deal. Not only is it usually expensive as shit, in many ways it sets the tone for the rest of your life. The stakes are high and it can definitely seem overwhelming, but the keys to successfully navigating college are the same simple things that you hear me repeat a lot on this site: stay focused, grind hard, and work on building authentic relationships with cool people who will help you level up (aka networking). And yes, I get it - most of this is probably stuff you’ve already heard from parents and teachers and you might not want to hear it. Maybe you think it doesn't apply to you, but I assure you that it does - you are not special. And I didn’t listen to my parents or teachers and you probably don’t either, so I’m going to say it again…
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Guides
August 7, 2017

Real talk about starting a clothing company

I know a few things to be true: That many of you are interested in starting a clothing company, that the apparel business is hard as fuck, and that there is very, very little information out there on the actual tactics of building a brand or the day-to-day operations of running the business. There's plenty of fluffy interviews with vague advice like "follow your passion," but almost nothing about how to actually DO the shit it takes to get there: design the right product, build a brand, and convince people to actually give you their money. I don't have any experience working for a cool streetwear company, but I did spend about four years doing design and marketing for Abercrombie/Hollister a few years back when they were crushing it (I designed a few hundred Hollister girls shirts and spent months in Asian factories getting shit made), and I learned a…
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Guides
July 23, 2017

Why you should go to college (with a few exceptions)

If I have one regret in life, it's that I didn't go to college until I was 25. I'm very happy with my life today, so I guess it's all good - but I always wonder what would have happened if I didn't drop out of college when I was 18, after one quarter. How many years of frustration and failure would I have avoided? Because the next 5 or so years were NOT fun for me. I spent most of them working shitty dead-end jobs at print shops (if you've ever worked in one, you know it's fucking soul-crushing), trying desperately to get a job that didn't make me want to put a bullet in my head - and getting almost zero traction. I wanted to be a graphic designer, and I spent every waking moment on nights and weekends teaching myself. I kept telling myself that I didn't…
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Alumni Profiles
July 13, 2017

Alumni Profile: Gavin Van Vlack of Burn

Back in the day, at least in the circles I traveled in, the idea of being into punk and any kind of athletic pursuit was like petting the cat backwards... it just wasn't an option. Sports were for jocks, and jocks were NOT punk! But now that's all changed, especially in the hardcore scene - hardcore and fitness go hand in hand, especially the more intense flavors of fitness like jiu-jitsu, muay thai, Crossfit and powerlifting. Go to any BJJ academy and count the number of guys and girls with a bunch of tattoos who change into a Judge or Black Flag shirt after class... you'll lose count fast! It makes sense to me, because in my opinion a core element of hardcore is self-improvement, fearlessly looking in the mirror and asking yourself how you could be a better human - and in my experience there's no better way to…
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