Artists are Gladiators

8pm Warriors, Art, Creativity, Failure, Social Media 1 Comment »

Artists are Gladiators - 8pm Warrior Aaron Biebert

Artists are the new gladiators.

In a wealthy world, they are paraded around the internet “stadium” to get thumbs up on Facebook and YouTube if they are worthy, pinned to Pinterest if they make you look smart, or retweeted so you have something beautiful on your timeline.

But only the few. The loudest. The most fierce.

Only the ones who learn to be marketing agencies and artists at the same time. Only the artists who are willing to spend every waking minute fighting for your attention.

In the end, most die poor and forgotten in a world that likes to focus on no more than 5 people at a time. Just like gladiators.


Artists fighting to the death, are you not entertained?

I am not.

Artists are the new gladiators. In a wealthy world, they are paraded around the stadium of the internet to get thumbs up on Facebook and YouTube if they are worthy, pinned to Pinterest if they make you look smart, or retweeted so you have something beautiful in your timeline.

I am sad.

As a manager of musicians, husband to an artist, and filmmaker, I watch with horror as so much talent is wasted and people with gifts are slowly exiting their arena, ending the fight to make the world more beautiful and interesting.

Others strengthen their resolve and give up hopes of having a family, buying a home, or retiring. Instead they live with parents, pack into group apartments and live off Ramen noodles. All so that you can enjoy free music, cheap art, and pretty photos to look at.

This is reality.

 

We are losing something. We are turning the world into an ignorant land of McDonald’s and Ikea.

“That looks handmade, I’m sure I can do it myself. Will you make a tutorial? Can I get the recipe? Are there free tickets? Do you ever have sales? Will you price match that artist over there? They are cheaper.”

Cheaper?

Yes, we have made the world cheaper. Instead of paying our talented neighbors, we mass produce billions of one designer’s product, overseas, as we turn our eyes away from our neighbors and back to our Netflix, top 40 radio, and microwave dinners. The taste makers tell us how things should taste.

This will make us sick. It has made us sick.

Then what shall we do?

 

Don’t take pride in your cheapness, take pride in what you’re buying. Rediscover craft and the craftsmen. Yes, it costs more, but it is an investment in our culture, a shared sacrifice for a richer world.

Turn off the radio and TV. Listen to something new. Discover an amazing short film on Vimeo. Never buy your jewelry at Target. Stop eating at Subway or Chipotle. Limit the number of times you feed your kids chicken nuggets or Mac n Cheese. Buy something meaningful for Christmas, not just the easy choice from the Top 10 list you saw on the plane.

Know the name of who makes your food, music, art, and photos. Get to know them.

They are dying for your attention. Honor them tonight.

Aaron @Biebert

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Are You Proud of Your Battle Scars Yet?

8pm Warriors, Bravery, Failure, Motivation 4 Comments »

I had dinner with my brilliant friend and fellow Milwaukeean Phil Gerbyshak the other night and he showed me the largest scrape I’ve ever seen. It went from his hand up the entire length of his arm…biking accident in Portland. (Wouldn’t be surprised if my buddy Robert Caruso had something to do with it, he’s trouble.)

8pm Warrior - Proud of Scars

It made me think.

 

It’s amazing how people are so proud of their scars once the pain is gone. I know I am.

I immediately dove into the lake the other day after my phone fell out of my pocket and off the boat. I somehow managed to grab it in the depths of the lake before it sunk to the bottom.  The phone was ruined, but I was so proud of it when I came back to the surface.

Proud of my broken phone?

 

Someday will I be proud of my big failures?  Will I be proud of the many mistakes I’ve made?

I’m not sure.  Some of these events are still so painful.  However, I will be proud I kept going…kept fighting forward.  The scars will be proof.  They will remind me of where I’ve been, who I am, and how I got to where I am now.

Precious reminders.

 

If you’re still in pain over your failures, I wanted to drop you this note tonight and tell you that someday you’ll be proud of what you’ve gone through.

We are warriors.  These battles we fight are painful.  Most quit.  We get hurt.  We have scars.

Be proud of them tonight,

Aaron @Biebert

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3 Gifts for the Entrepreneur in Your Life

8pm Warriors, Attention Era, Family, Giving, Goals, Loneliness 14 Comments »

What to get the entrepreneur in your life?

For my birthday (which is today) or Christmas, loving family and friends sometimes ask what they should “get” me.  Last year, I asked for support in digging a well for a village in Africa.  This year I’m asking for something closer to home.

I get to work with some of the most talented video artists on the planet.  There are even more waiting eagerly in the wings, demo reels in hand.  It’s my job to keep them busy and it’s never easy.

For my birthday, I’m asking my friends and family for their help.

Below are three ways you can help me and other entrepreneurs chase their dreams:

Aaron at Milwaukee Art Museum

 

1) Seek to understand their chase

 

Just like it’s nice to understand that a farmer needs rain or an athlete needs to win, entrepreneurs appreciate being understood too.

Leadership can be lonely.

Many of them are risking their retirement, friendships, and health to follow their dreams.  If you care about them, join them on the journey.  Follow their business on Facebook.  Subscribe to their blog.  Have discussions with them more than once a year on their birthday.

(Personal note:  this is my life goal if you want to understand what drives me every day)

 

2) Share their story

 

In the Attention Era, even well funded marketing campaigns get lost in the shuffle. Small business owners don’t have a prayer without help from their family, friends, and happy customers.

If you see a friend of yours doing remarkable stuff, share it.  We all lose when we let great work go unnoticed.

(Personal note:  for my friends looking to help, it will make my day if you share one of our videos with your network)

 

3) Refer people to them

 

In the “old days”, it would have been unheard of to travel to another town’s general store if your own town had what you needed.  We have to stick together and referrals are one way to do it.

Since I don’t sell to consumers, I personally don’t ask my friends or family to buy our video production services.  However, I do love when my friends tell their marketing friends about me.

Many people prefer to buy from people they know and trust.  Help your friends know and trust your other friends.

  • Make introductions
  • Write Linkedin recommendations
  • Encourage people to shop locally

 

The entrepreneur in your life doesn’t need more sweaters, ties, or birthday cards.

They need you…to care more…not just on their birthday.

Give a great gift tonight,

Aaron @Biebert

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How to Accomplish Amazing Things With Your Life

8pm Warriors, Bravery, Failure, Goals, Motivation 10 Comments »

I know great people that haven’t done so well over the past five years.

They have no life insurance, health insurance, pension, or 401(k). They get sick, but they don’t go to the doctor. In pain, but they push on.

Some call them crazy. Others call them ignorant.

“Why work 80 hours a week for yourself to avoid working 40 for someone else?” “Why don’t you sleep more?” “Why don’t you get a stable job?” “Odds are you won’t make it anyway.” “You have a one in a million chance.”

The odds are against them. It’s true.

However it’s also true that the odds were against every single person in history that did anything amazing, brave, or beautiful. They were all crazy. They all ignored their odds.

That’s why they made it.

Their odds were one in a million, because THEY were one in a million.

They left the family business to pursue their risky passion for writing, like my brother-in-law. They took big risks in uncertain times, like my friend Claudia did with her dental practice.

If you’re still reading this, you probably have seen similar stories.

You might be having doubts right now. The last couple years have been really tough on leaders and entrepreneurs.

If you’re like me, you’ve had many failures. You’ve wondered if it’s the right course. Yet we press on.

For every “one out of a million” story, there is always a second person who had the skill and passion to make it too. They just quit too soon.

What makes for amazing stories, are the people who didn’t quit when everyone quit on them.  They are the Thomas Edison’s who failed 10,000 times to invent the light bulb.  They fight like Steve Jobs, who got kicked out of the company he started, but still kept on pushing forward.

If you believe in what you’re doing, do not quit.

That’s how you accomplish amazing things with your life.  That’s how you change the world. If you love what you do and passionately pursue it, the rest will take care of itself.

Have an amazing night,

Aaron @Biebert

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Thankful for the Bad Times

8pm Warriors, Failure 7 Comments »

“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”

-Friedrich Nietzsche

I don’t need to list the many challenges we’ve all faced, but the last couple years have been challenging times for many 8pm Warriors.

We’re not dead.

We’re getting stronger.

That’s something I’m thankful for today.

Thanks for a great year of connections, ideas, referrals, and friendship.

I am thankful for you tonight,

Aaron @Biebert

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Social Media Myth Busters

8pm Warriors, Marketing, Social Media 4 Comments »

My friend Phil Gerbyshak (@PhilGerb), along with some of his friends (including my buddy Robert Caruso aka @Fondalo), just produced a free e-book to bust a couple social media myths.  It’s called “The Naked Truth of Social Media” and I enjoyed the quick read.

Here are a couple of the myths busted:

Myth: Every business should be using social media.
Myth: Nobody cares what you had for lunch.
Myth: There is a “right way” to do social media.

Some of the brilliant myth busters involved in this project:

  • Susan Baroncini-Moe
  • Chris Reimer
  • Erika Napoletano
  • Brian Clark
  • Keri Jaehnig
  • Jason Falls
  • Tom Martin
  • Ari Herzog

They certainly provided some interesting viewpoints that are worth discussion.  If you’re interested in this quick read, you can download the e-book here at SocialMediaNakedTruth.com.

Have a great night!

Aaron @Biebert

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There is so much I don’t know…

8pm Warriors, Giving, Social Media 11 Comments »

Some days I feel like I’ve got it all figured out.

I know what I need to do.  When I need to do it.  How it should be done.  Sometimes I even think I know what others should do.

Other days, I remember the truth…I honestly don’t know that much.

What I do know, I will use.  When I use what I know, I will learn new things.

What I learn, I will share.

 

If you share too, we’ll all learn more quickly.  It’s the power of team.  The power of social media; of “us” versus “me.”

It’s the power of our 8pm Warrior community.

Share something tonight,

Aaron @Biebert

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Don’t Just Prepare Yourself to Make Important Decisions in Life

8pm Warriors, Bravery, Business Opportunities, Family, Leadership Thoughts, Teamwork 16 Comments »

Life is full of important decisions we need to make.

“Should I get married?”  ”Should I start a business?”  ”Should we have a baby?”

Just when you think you’re done with the tough decisions, they get tougher.

“Should I get divorced?”  ”Should I close my business?”  ”Should we pull the plug?”

Last month, a friend of mine had her pregnant sister (Emily) rushed to the hospital. Major problems.  Heart stopped.  Coma.

Now this:

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Dear friends,

This is Emily. I am overwhelmed looking at all the posts saying you are praying for me and my family. Thank you so much. I am very blessed! I have been at home for four weeks now with around-the-clock supervision–gaining strength, and able to see this screen! :)

It feels strange to share this on facebook, but I want to give you an update so you can pray specifically if you wish…:

Two weeks ago, I had a 20-week ultrasound. The doctor told Andy and me that our baby will not live. The doctor further said that continuing the pregnancy is a huge risk to my life, so she recommended terminating the pregnancy. Our baby’s heart is still beating.

Last Thursday, we had another ultrasound which showed more fluid in the head than the previous ultrasound – not a good sign. However, the doctor seemed less urgent about ending the pregnancy at that appointment. We had my family with us to hear the details themselves and to be with us in case we had to make a decision then.

We have been praying and thinking and talking with each other and with our pastors and family and friends. Our current plan is to watch my health closely and to again have another ultrasound this week and see if baby’s health continues to go down or not.

Prayers for wisdom, patience, and peace of mind would be very much appreciated.

Love,
Emily (and Andy)

P.S. We are open to your thoughts and advice too.

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Some life decisions are too difficult to make alone.

Everything we’ve learned up to this point in our lives will not be enough. When faced with the really difficult decisions in life, we can’t trust ourselves.

We are weak.  We are blinded.  We need more…

We need others.

 

If you have big plans for your life, be prepared.  However, you’ll need more than education, experience, guts, or money.

You’ll need your fellow warriors by your side.

Don’t prepare yourself to make the important decisions in life.  Prepare your network. They’re the ones you’ll need.

Begin the preparations tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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