2020: A Year in Review

Well we’re finally here โ€” the end of 2020! Let’s all breathe a collective sigh of relief.

I don’t think anyone will be sad to see this year go. But for me, as difficult as this year was, there were still some very positive things I want to acknowledge and celebrate. As I took a look back last year and the year before, I want to take a retrospective look at some of the things I accomplished in 2020.

Perhaps one of the biggest ironies is that the year really started to pick up around September and was a mad dash until the end of December. In that time, I recorded the bulk of this year’s podcast guest spots, so you never know when good things are gonna happen!

Before I dig into all the things I did do, though, I want to take a moment to acknowledge something that didn’t happen. For the first time in 5 years, I opted not to publish a new list of “100 Awesome Independent Album and EP Releases You Probably Missed” for 2020. There were any number of reasons that I chose (not) to do this; partly because of the Covid-19 pandemic, partly because of different projects I worked on and the time commitments associated with them, and partly because my heart may possibly have not been totally in it. Sometimes we have things we need to take a step back from, and this year my “100 Independent Albums” list was one of those things.

Music is still core to my identity and brand though, and isn’t going anywhere; if you want a taste of the list, though, here’s 2019’s list, which itself includes links to all the prior ones. I hope to have the musical fire back in me in 2021, so here’s to looking forward to some phenomenal albums and EP’s next year!

So, with that, here are a few of my biggest highlights for the snafu that was 2020.

January

My girlfriend took me to IKEA for the first time!

Though I didnโ€™t get my annual pic with Arlan this year, on a similar note I got to congratulate my friend Bryan Landers for joining Backstage Capital as its new partner! So thatโ€™s something. Always be celebrating others.

Was so humbled to be able to literally voice my support for my friend & ally Espree Devora on her โ€œWomen in Techโ€ podcast. This was a great way to start my “recording spots” for the year. (Sheโ€™s since become the icon for the new Clubhouse app!). ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ

Started this year out with a bang! My article โ€” โ€œThereโ€™s Life After Failureโ€ โ€” was shared by my friend Bobby Umar into his network and ended up getting featured on the front page of an aggregate blog. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

February

I got my first real taste of going viral on LinkedIn. It wouldn’t be the last time (more on that below!).

Visited Denver, Colorado for the first time with this beautiful girl! โœˆ๏ธ

Denver has amazing food!

And mountains! ๐Ÿ”๏ธ

Started the “I Am Vow” graffiti thing again… (I might need to write an entire article just on this alone…stay tuned…) ๐Ÿ˜‰

Went skiing for the first time! I did…ok. ๐ŸŽฟ

And Boulder has cool socks!

Back in Atlanta, had a fantastic meeting with the brilliant David Lightburn of Atlanta Ventures and the Atlanta Tech Village down at ATV (before Covid!). Looking forward to our next chat in the beginning of 2021!

Wonderful Valentine’s Day with this one โ€” made her a collage. โค๏ธ

I had my first call of the year with Aly Merritt. Little did I know what that zoom call would lead to!

Aly mentioned that she was working on a project and could use some help leading it. It was secret, though, for the time being.

The project?

Track captain for the Tech/Fintech track for TechStarsโ€™ inaugural Atlanta Startup Week! More on that later!

March

Covid-19 hit and we all began to understand that life was going to change pretty drastically for a long while.

I recognized that I may have missed my calling as a VC-inspired parody writer. Aileen Lee graciously put up with my ridiculous humor ha! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Had my first virtual coffee (via Cuppa, thanks KP!) with Whit Anderson. Whit and I would spend the rest of the year building out an awesome dialogue around startups, no-code, networking, and the Atlanta tech scene!

Got retweeted by Gary V. to 2M people โ€” my notifications subsequently blew up. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ“ˆ

Started celebrating Shabbat! ๐Ÿ•ฏ๏ธ๐Ÿ•ฏ๏ธ

The beginning of a consistent calendar of calls with Mubs โ€” things started cooking. Mubs and I started having consistent chats โ€” this would lead to exciting things later in the year.

The first of a yearโ€™s worth of awesome calls with my friend Dale Dupree, the master of the Sales Rebellion.

Published an article looking at why one of my posts went viral on LinkedIn. It seems that this would continue to be a theme throughout the rest of the yearโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ“ˆ๐Ÿ“ˆ

April

I made my second #AdamMarxParodyProductions creation โ€” Hunter Walk continues to put up with my humor as well. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Chelsea made the best challah French toast!

Love April 19th โ€” always a special day since Mom and Dad have the same birthday! ๐ŸŽ‚

I started to really run my LinkedIn experiment on new strategies โ€” with legitimate viral success! ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ“ˆ

Had an amazing opening call with my new friend Dr. Julie Gurner. We discussed the opportunities on LinkedIn, how to build great relationships, and possible projects together. Saw this pop up in my Twitter feed later that night and was just so humbled by the kind words! (She continues to tweet similar things and Iโ€™m so bowled over by the positivity every time she does!).

Did my first webinar, thanks to my LinkedIn friend Emmanuel Ndifor. We talked about how current students on campus could lean into social media tools to build out their networks and prepare for virtual job interviews when campuses and career centers remained closed. Discussing networking, branding, & how to build influential relationships from scratch was especially critical to helping students navigate the first steps of the job market during a time as difficult as the pandemic. ๐ŸŽฆ

Great call with Wayne Sutton and so humbled by his kind words!

May

My brother turned 21 and I felt old. ๐ŸŽ‚

Then I launched Branded Background (include link) with Mubs on Product Hunt! Out of a series of discussions that we had over zoom grew the idea that we could apply branding to all the zoom calls that people were having (and that were multiplying by the day!). I wrote about the reasoning for building it here. So we went heads-down for a week or so and kicked it out the door. It ended up doing 334 votes on Product Hunt!

We got some pretty cool traction and feedback from the Twitter and PH crowd that day! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ™Œ

Got retweeted by Product Hunt!

What really surprised us, though, was the response we got on it from the LinkedIn community.

Our final stats for the end of the day were pretty good for my first launch on Product Hunt. (We continued to rack up about another 150 votes after the initial launch day). ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ‘

Chelsea is part Cherokee, so I took her to New Echota here in Georgia โ€” the last Cherokee capital east of the Mississippi River. Heritage is important.

Mom bought a new house and helped her move in! Itโ€™s now become our home away from home. ๐Ÿ 

June

June was a little thin since we did our best to basically stay inside and be safe. But…moved into a new apartment! Still waiting to have our official housewarming party, but the new place is looking pretty good.

Cast my early vote in the primaries for my friend Jon Ossoff. ๐Ÿ—ณ๏ธ

Then road trip to Tulsa, OK to visit my Chelseaโ€™s mom! We had the puppy in the back and he loves car rides. (Donโ€™t worry, we were safe and socially distanced the whole time). ๐Ÿš—

Found out that Alabama canโ€™t decide if it allows dogs or notโ€ฆ

Had my first Sonic Drive-In burger ever! ๐Ÿ”

Went to Joe’s Sno Shack โ€” apparently it’s a Tulsa staple and it’s pretty damn good!

July

Headed down to the beach in Florida for a week away! Again, believe me that we observed social distancing pretty strictly; we drove, rented a house, brought our own food, didnโ€™t eat out and stayed far away from everyone on the secluded beach. Was nice to have a few days outside Atlanta. ๐Ÿ–๏ธ

Called on my alma mater Brandeis University to stand up for what was right. They answered in kind.

Here’s the piece I wrote about the whole experience.

Got an awesome gift from my friends Niv and Nick over at Shrug Capital!

I got ordained…in Ohio at least. I had to reassure my grandma thereโ€™s no religious context to it and Iโ€™m still a nice Jewish boy. ๐Ÿคฃ

My friend JB sent me a copy of Arlan Hamiltonโ€™s new book!

I was super humbled to guest on Olga Kirshenbaum’s “9 Minutes of Creative Wisdom” podcast to talk about the intersection of money, creativity, networking, & branding! ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ

The episode would drop later in the year.

I was listed on LinkedIn influencer Derick Mildredโ€™s list of โ€œ120 Rising Stars & Upcoming Influencers to Watch on LinkedInโ€! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ™Œ

Here’s a link to Derick’s original LinkedIn post!

August

We had a major storm here in Atlanta, but I earned the name I shall be buried with:

Adam the Branch Slayer! ๐ŸŒณ

Helped my parents launch their official company website! โš–๏ธ

Guested on the “Digital Introverts” podcast with Godwin Chan. recording should be out early next year! ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ

Celebrated this gorgeous girlโ€™s birthday! The pets were there too. ๐ŸŽ‚

September

Had a great time guesting on Bob Clarkโ€™s show โ€œThe OnFire B2B Podcastโ€ to talk about networking and branding in the B2B space! ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ

It was one of the highlights of my year to sit down with LinkedIn super-influencer and my dear friend Rachel Beck on her podcast to discuss topics close to my heart like mental health, diversity, empathetic relationship-building, and my own Jewish identity. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐ŸŽ™๏ธ

We broke the hour-long discussion up into multiple bits and I was thrilled to drop the first one just before the Jewish High Holidays this year.

Part 2

Part 3

October

Voted early on Day 1!

I finally decided it was time for a chance and a new image.

Celebrated one of the anniversaries I am lucky enough to celebrate with this wonderful girlfriend. It was one year ago October 19 that we met and the rest is pretty much history. โค๏ธ

Recorded a LIVE guest spot on Simon Squibbโ€™s show! Had a killer time talking networking, branding, core relationship cultivation techniques, and lending some of my expertise to a startup that live-pitched Simon and me! ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ

Was finally able to announce the work I had been doing with TechStars since Aly Merritt brought me on in February! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ™Œ

So proud of my brother for writing his first screenplay โ€” and letting me read it! I had a few edits, but couldnโ€™t put it down and read the whole thing in one night โ€” yeah, itโ€™s that good.

And if that wasn’t all, immensely proud of my parents for having their case picked up by FinLedger! Mary Ann Azevedo wrote a pretty amazing piece. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

The story was even the lead for that week in the FinLedger newsletter!

November

Joined my friend Mubs again for another launch โ€” this time for the election! We launched HowManyPeopleVoted.com to try to keep track of the breakdown of officially counted votes in the 2020 U.S. general election. ๐Ÿ—ณ๏ธ

We started trending on Reddit! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

And then we got featured on the front page of Refdesk!

I was so immensely excited and humbled to work with TechStars on their inaugural Atlanta Startup Week! We ran it virtually from Nov. 9-13 and were able to pull together an amazing list of guest speakers for the Tech/Fintech track!

I wrote all about it here! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ™Œ

A couple highlights for me were seeing my mom speak on Day 1 about what it takes to have good company culture and the efforts that need to be made to keep it inclusive and respectful of everyone. Moderated by my friend Stefanie Jewett and also featuring my friend, LinkedIn influencer Elaine Jacques.

I was also able to lead my own panel and discussion, though the recording hasn’t been uploaded yet (I’ll update when it is!).

I had the pleasure of sitting down with LinkedIn influencer Cory Warfield, entrepreneur Jake Tital, and film-tech veteran Kate Atwood โ€” all close friends of mine โ€” to discuss what exactly it takes to build a magnetic and influential network from scratch. We drilled down into the nuances of networking, brand, what really works, and what really doesn’t, and what founders really should know about building their own networks.

And I wrapped up the week with a surprise guest spot during one of the last blocks for the event, a great talk between LinkedIn influencers Judi Fox and Dale Dupree โ€” also people whom I’m truly inspired by โ€” around branding, marketing, and how to build a persona that works.

My mom hung one of my paintings in her office. ๐ŸŽจ

And hung the other one in one of the main hallways.

I had a killer time guesting on Bob Sieger’s podcast “Coffee With Bob” after meeting him through my friend Rachel Beck. It’s true what they say: the more people you know, the more opportunities you see pop up! In fact, Bob had reached out to me after he heard my recording on Rachel’s show (as did others!), so I’m continually grateful to her for that opportunity. ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ

Bob and I connected immediately and it wouldn’t be our last time collaborating. ๐Ÿ˜‰

December

Began December with a bang as I guested for the second time that week on a great cast where I could lend some value and expertise!

I had met Joey Womack through my work with TechStars on the Atlanta Startup Week (he’d also been a track captain and long been on a list of local “people to know” at the top of my list) and we had such a great conversation during the wrap-up captain meeting that he invited me to guest on his massive Goodie Nation #GivingTuesday live broadcast! ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ

We talked all about the best ways to build concrete relationships and I shared some of my own most unbelievable stories that Goodie Nation community members could really find actionable! He brought in so many talented guests to speak that he had to break it into two recordings lol! I guest on the first recording and come in around 5:23:15.

Here’s the link!

I came back again that week to do another video cast with my friend Bob on a very special holiday-themed live episode of “Coffee With Bob” and it was a blast meeting the other guests. Looking forward to catching up with them in the new year. ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ

I published my article “How I Went Viral by Ignoring One of the ‘Rules’ of LinkedIn” on the LinkedIn experiment that I ran all through the spring time. ๐Ÿ“ˆ๐Ÿ“ˆ๐Ÿ“ˆ

In it, I described how I used certain tactics in particular, one often recommended against โ€” in my LinkedIn strategy to rack up more than 1.6 million post views over just about 12-15 posts.

Mubs and I redesigned HowManyPeopleVoted.com for the Georgia Senate runoffs!

And it was retweeted by Georgia State Senator Jen Jordan! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ—ณ๏ธ๐Ÿ™Œ

I wrote about our decision to redesign it here. It’s important to stay involved and we knew this was a project worth continuing forward on.

Celebrated my sister’s 26th birthday! ๐ŸŽ‚

I turned 30. ๐ŸŽ‚

Voted for the third time this year.

Had an awesome time guesting on the “Progressholics” podcast with Devesh Tilokani. ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ

Here’s the link!

Recorded my last guest podcast spot of 2020 with my friend & LinkedIn influencer Luke Williams on his “30 Conversations with Entrepreneurs” event and had an awesome time wrapping up the year discussing how people can begin or continue to build incredible networks in 2021. ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ

I’ll definitely be back for another chat on one of his casts!

Celebrated one year for the second night my girlfriend and I love to celebrate…which happens to also be my parents’ anniversary, funnily enough.

And this year they celebrated 40 years!

Took Chelsea to the Chattahoochee Nature Reserve on one of her break days to see some birds and plants. It was a great place to socially distance and she loves the outdoors!

It flurried a little in Atlanta. โ„๏ธ

One of my favorite bands Eve 6 liked one of my tweets โ€” pretty good way to round out a tough year. ๐ŸŽธ

Reflecting on 2020

This was a hard year for everyone. There were a lot of challenges to overcome. But I’m grateful that at the very least I have people I love around me as I move into my 30s. Perhaps a little cliched, but that’s how I feel as this year draws to a close.

Even with this crazy pandemic, 2020 was a marathon year for me. I guested on numerous podcasts, launched multiple projects, and coordinated for a major tech event. I began building my brand around the Zero To One Networker persona and philosophy, and look forward to seeing that grow in the new year. On the personal, I formed wonderful memories with those closest to me.

As I said last year, no plan ever survives the battlefield. So while there were things I wanted to accomplish this year, I know they’re well on their way to happening next year. I’ve grown as a creator, builder, entrepreneur, and most importantly, as a person. As I move into a new decade of my life, I’m excited to see that continue!

2018: A New Year with New Goals

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Perhaps the last picture I’ll post with my trusty iPhone 4S

2017 is over and 2018 is now here. Thatโ€™s a good thing; last year was a tough one. A few very close relationships ended, and after a few years, I closed my first company. But I also learned that there is life after failure.

So here we are now in the new year, and Iโ€™m excited to start working on a bunch of new things. Here are some of the things youโ€™ll see from me in 2018:ย 

  • ๐Ÿ˜Žย ๐ŸŽธย Iโ€™m working on a new music project (company?ย ๐Ÿ˜Žย ). Thatโ€™s right โ€” after a badly needed six-month hiatus (maybe longer?) from actually running a music-startup, Iโ€™m gathering feedback on a new idea which is incredibly exciting. So far, feedback has been very positive. Discussions with a select number of artists as well as a few journalists, founders, and confidants have yielded an ever-clearer perspective on how this can grow. Iโ€™m excited to read more people into this as the year progresses.
  • ๐Ÿ“ย Iโ€™m working on editing a very special document that Iโ€™m extremely excited to finish. Iโ€™m a word-nerd, and in editing this piece, I can honestly say itโ€™s been one of the most challenging and rewarding things Iโ€™ve done in my professional writing career.
  • ๐Ÿ“ย ๐Ÿค˜ย I have an avalanche of new music articles written and in the works which I canโ€™t wait to see published. Some of these will shake things up (I hope), but hey, whatโ€™s the point of being a music journalist if youโ€™re not a little punk about it?ย 
  • ๐Ÿ“ย ๐Ÿ“ฝ๏ธย Iโ€™m working on writing a rough draft of a screenplay (no, really!). Last year, I was kicking around an idea which I thought could be fun to work on, and over the last week, Iโ€™ve started mapping out characters and basic scene dialogue. Iโ€™ve never done a screenplay, so I am more than happy to have collaborators!
  • ๐Ÿ™‹ย ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธย ๐Ÿ™Œย ๐Ÿคย I will start driving harder towards being more central to the discussions on sexual harassment and how to fix the issues we have before us. This is less of a โ€œmeโ€ thing, and more something I am incredibly passionate about; I am open to collaborating with anyone on projects which will help with the goals of creating a paradigm with more meritocracy, equality, and egalitarianism.ย 
  • ๐Ÿ˜Žย ๐ŸŽ™๏ธย Iโ€™m incredibly excited (and flattered) to have an invitation to be on a few podcasts starting this yearย โ€” because I donโ€™t talk enough as it is ha!
  • ๐Ÿค”ย ๐Ÿ“ย Iโ€™m working on plans for a new guide which will (hopefully) excite word-smiths everywhere; more on this project in the coming months.ย 
  • ๐Ÿ“ย ๐Ÿ“–ย Iโ€™m writing a pseudo-review of a book Iโ€™ve been reading which has changed my perspective on so many things, and has similarly confirmed a lot of the mantras which I try to live my life by. This will be out by the end of January.
  • ๐Ÿ“ย ๐Ÿค I will be releasing many new articles in my Minimum Viable Network series.
  • ๐ŸŽธย ๐Ÿ˜‰ย Iโ€™ll be doing more work with artists (some have asked me to manage ha!)ย โ€” maybe thereโ€™s a producer-credit in my future.ย ย 
  • ๐Ÿค”ย ๐Ÿ“–ย  There are a few of my past articles which I have been toying with revising into a rough pitch for a book. Letโ€™s see what the year brings.ย 
  • ๐Ÿ˜„ย I will be exploring more speaking opportunities.
  • ๐Ÿ˜Žย ๐Ÿค˜With the 2017 list out, Iโ€™m ready to start working on the new โ€œ100 Awesome Independent Album and EP Releases You Probably Missedโ€ list for 2018.
  • ๐Ÿ˜„ย ๐Ÿ™Œย Iโ€™m excited to start having * Many * More * Conversations *ย โ€” Iโ€™m all about creating new things, and I look forward to picking up new projects throughout the new year, both with current partners in crime and new draftees.

Thank you to everyone who helped me pull through 2017. Your support means more than you know. Now, on to 2018!

***

Find me on Twitterย @adammarx13ย and letโ€™s talk music, tech, and business!

Jay-Z’s Tidal “Freestyle” Was Basically a Hissy-Fit

A couple of days ago, during one of his Tidal concerts, Jay-Z went on a rant, and basically laundry-listed a bunch of people whom he felt have been wronging artists in the music industry. He called it a freestyle, but that’s not really what it was. To anyone who’s not a Jay-Z fan (and probably to many who are), it came off as a hissy-fit.

Jay-Z at one of his TIDAL concerts

Jay-Z at one of his TIDAL concerts

It’s not surprise that Jay-Z and company have been having a hard time of it with their new Tidal streaming service. I posted about their launch here, and then followed up with posts on criticism of Tidal from folk band Mumford & Sons, famed producer Steve Albini, and the sudden removal of their (now former) CEO Andy Chen. It’s been a tough couple of months for Tidal, yet instead of putting his head down and working to find a solution to differentiate his music service, Jay-Z thinks it’s a better tactic to antagonize the competition. Though it might make him feel better in the moment, it comes off as petty and juvenile. He looks like a kid throwing a fit for not getting his way.

In his “freestyle,” Jay-Z attacked not only other music services (Google, YouTube, Apple), but called out a few people by name (Jimmy Iovine). Jay-Z asserts that he came into the music game as an independent…which may be true, but that was more than a decade ago, and the musical landscape has changed a hell of a lot since then. The same rich people he’s insulting are his peersโ€”I don’t think he goes home at the end of the night wondering if he’ll make enough money to tour next month.

Frankly, watching him play the victim is getting tiresome. Jay-Z needs to accept the fact that running a music streaming service may in fact be more difficult than he had originally thought. So stop whining about it, put your head down, and work out the problem until you have a solution. That’s how everyone else does it. Getting up on stage and attacking your competitors doesn’t make you a good business person. It make you appear socially and strategically tone-deaf.

Here’s the (mainly) full text from Jay-Z’s rant:

“…So I’m the bad guy now I hear,

because I donโ€™t go with the flow

Donโ€™t ever go with the flow, be the flow…

Pharrell even told me go with the safest bet
Jimmy Iovine on for the safety net
Google dig around a crazy cheque

I feel like YouTube is the biggest culprit
Them niggers pay you a tenth of what you supposed to get

You know niggers die for equal pay right?!?
You know when I work I ainโ€™t your slave right?
You know I ainโ€™t shucking and jiving and high-fiving, and you know this ainโ€™t back in the days right?

…You know I came in this game independent, right?

TIDAL, my own lane, same difference

Oh niggers is skeptical about they own shit
You bought nine iPhones and Steve Jobs is rich…”

Why I Practice Singing As Much As Pitching

Image courtesy of HamptonsAudioVisualRentals.com

 

Years before I started practicing my business pitch as a CEO, I was practicing how to do two other things in front of people: speak publicly and sing. Exercises in public speaking began as early as grade school, and served me well during science fairs and group presentations. However short-lived my science career turned out to be (another story for another time), the science fairs on the county and state levels bolstered not only a comfort, but an enjoyment in speaking before a crowd.

As I entered high school, though, I began to do something else just as seriously: I began to sing. I began to practice singing as often as I could, and not just in the shower. I was practicing with headphones, a microphone and amplifier setup so I could know exactly how my voice sounded coming through a loudspeaker (of sorts). I was doing the band thing with my friends, and we were going to conquer the world. That meant I needed to be able not only get up in front of a crowd and make some sort of sound come out of my mouth, but I needed to be able to control it.

I needed to be able to control every aspect of my voice: the tone, the inflections, the power, the breath, the range, and the melody. That’s what it took to be a lead-singer and/or rockstar, and that’s what I was going to do. I couldn’t have known it at the time, but all that practice for my music careerโ€”understanding the qualities of my voice and what it was (and wasn’t) capable ofโ€”is proving invaluable well beyond my intended career as a musician.

I’ve blown my voice out numerous times in the past exploring new ranges, techniques, pronunciations, and vocal styles. I’ve had days where people inquired about my “laryngitis.” But it’s ok, because a day later I’m all ready to go again, and each time I nail a new song and find the delivery that works for my voice, I get to know my own talkbox a little better. With that discovery comes a deeper understanding of how my voice sounds to other; its melody, its tone, its inflections. (It also has helped with my breathing, which is something I believe every public speaker should continually work on).

But the most important thing I’ve grown to have a deeper understanding of is the power and range that my voice can have. That’s something that transcends the rock stage and applies directly to my trajectory now as a CEO. Speaking comes with the territory, and having a notion of my range and potential power is like having an ace up my sleeve. I know how far I can push myself before my voice disappears under too much strain, and I what I can now do to avoid that blowout.

I practice singing any number of things as I continue to test my voice and its boundaries: post-grunge, alternative rock, ska punk, pop, metal, classic rock, rap, reggae, male vocals, female vocalsโ€”anything that piques my taste and can give me more of an edge. In retrospect, practicing singing has been as much of an advantage as practicing my business pitch. I would suggest to anyone who spends time speaking in public to start singingโ€”really singing: really try to nail that melody, try to match and control your breathing, find the inflections that work best for you, and find your own power.

Besides, we all wanted to be rockstars at some point, right? Maybe there’s still time for some of usโ€”maybe all of us.