Thursday, August 31, 2006 


Whatever you want in life,
you must give up something to get it.
The greater the value,
the greater the sacrifice required of you.
Everything has a price.

There's a price to pay if you want to make things better, and a price to pay for just leaving things as they are.

Nothing worthwhile ever comes easily.
Work, continuous work and hard work,
is the only way to accomplish results that last.
Use your imagination more than your memory to achieve success.

There is no success at bargain basement prices.
The highway to success is a toll road.

©2006 by Max Steingart

[Madalyn’s Note: Words just couldn’t be more true. There are no shortcuts. Well, unless you hire me for consulting. Just had to throw that in! I see people on this list who are working their asses off (you know who you are!) and they are making things happen. They are climbing up the ladder of success. You can too. Grab every opportunity. Seize it. It’s not easy. You have to give up things in order to move up. Give and take. You have to decide if it’s worth it to you. You can stop at nothing or stop short.]

Monday, August 28, 2006 

Madalyn is currently reading...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 

Act to Create It

by Jack Canfield, America's Success Coach

The thing that most separates winners from losers in life, is that winners take action. If you want to live your dreams, not only must you decide what you want, turn your dream into measurable goals, break those goals down into specific action steps, and visualize and affirm your desired outcomes — you must start taking action.

I recommend making the commitment to do something every day in at least three different areas of your life that moves you in the direction of your dreams. If one of your goals is physical fitness, make a commitment to do some sort of exercise — aerobics, weight training, stretching — four to five times a week for a minimum of twenty minutes. I read recently that if you simply go for a 30 minute walk four times a week, that would put you in the top 1% of those people getting physical exercise! If your goal is financial independence, start saving and investing a portion of your income every month with no exceptions. If your goal is to write a book, write for a minimum of one hour every day.

Don’t Let FEAR Stop You
Most people never get what they want because they let their fears stop them. They are afraid of making a mistake, looking foolish, getting ripped off, being rejected, being hurt, wasting their time, and feeling uncomfortable.

Fear is self-created by imagining catastrophic consequences that have yet to happen. It is all in your mind. In fact, you can actually scare yourself by imagining negative and harmful images. But simply stop the catastrophic thoughts and images, and the fear goes away.

Rejection Is a Myth
One of the biggest fears that stops people from asking for support, guidance, advice, money, a date, a job, the sale, or anything else is the fear of rejection. In fact, it’s been known to literally paralyze people. They become tongue-tied and refuse to reach for the phone or get up and walk across the room. They break out in a sweat at the mere thought of asking for what they want.

I have come to realize that the whole concept of rejection is false — that rejection doesn’t really exist. Think about it for a moment. If you asked someone to join you for dinner, and they said no, you could tell yourself that you had been rejected. But think about it. Did you have anyone to eat dinner with before you asked them? No! Did you have anyone to eat dinner with after you asked them? No! Did your life really get worse? No. It stayed the same!

Act As If
One of the secrets of success is to start acting like a success before you are one. Act as if. If you had already achieved your dream, what kinds of clothes would you be wearing? How would you act? How would you treat others? Would you tithe a portion of your income to your church or favorite charities? Would you have more self-confidence? Would you take more time to spend with your loved ones?

I suggest that you begin to do those things now. When I decided that I wanted to be an “international” consultant, I immediately went and applied for a passport, bought an international clock that told me what time it was anywhere in the world, printed business cards with the words “International Self-Esteem and Peak Performance Consultant,” and decided I would like to first go to Australia. I bought a poster of the Sidney Opera House and placed it on my refrigerator. Within one month, I received an invitation to speak in Sidney and Brisbane. Since then, I have spoken and conducted trainings in over 20 countries and continue to expand my business around the globe.

Start acting as if you already have everything you want. Most people think that if they have a lot of money, they could do the things they want to do, and they would be much happier. In fact, the reverse is true. If you start by creating a state of happiness and abundance, then do the things you are inspired to do from that state of being, you will end up having all the things you ultimately desire.

You may not be able to fill your closets with expensive Italian suits and designer clothing, but why not invest in one or two really great outfits, so that when you do need them, they are there. When you dress like you have already made it, you will look the part, and successful people will naturally be attracted to you and invite you to participate with them.

The Law of Attraction states that you will attract to you those things that match your state of being. If you focus on having gratitude for what you do have, you will feel rich, and you will attract more abundance into your life. If you focus on what you don’t have, you will send out a message of lack and you will attract more lack into your life.

For more on The Law of Attraction, I highly recommend watching The Secret, a ground-breaking, feature-length movie presentation. The Secret reveals how to apply this powerful knowledge to your life in every area from health to wealth, to success and relationships.

© 2006 Jack Canfield

Jack Canfield, America’s Success Coach, is the founder and co-creator of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul and a leading authority on Peak Performance. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at

Monday, August 14, 2006 

What's Fair In A Record Deal

By Chris Standring of A&R Online

I recently re-read Courtney Love's famous "rant on the major label cartel", a fascinating and inciteful criticism of the major record company contract system from a signed artist's perspective. If you haven't yet read this you can read this here in the A&R online reading room.

For those of you who are not up on this drama, Courtney Love sometime ago expressed her dissatisfaction with her own record deal and artist deals in general, deeming them to be corrupt, an "act of piracy" and exploitative. She goes on to say that it would take millions of record sales for an artist to recoup promotional money spent in order to see any money at all from record sales. It is a very long, yet thoughtful essay on the music business seen through the eyes of a successful artist. I would like to offer my take on this subject if I may indulge myself, and offer a personal opinion on what changes might be made in order to exercise a more fair record contract situation.

Courtney is absolutely right when she talks about artists not making money from record sales. I think that first I should quickly point out (for the benefit of lesser experienced artists) that there are two royalty sources that an artist is technically able to benefit from. The first (and courtney's main concern) is "artist" royalties. These are royalties due to an artist from record sales. Usually an artist can be offered anywhere between 10 to 20 royalty points depending on his/her credibility etc. The second royalty source is "mechanical" royalties. These are royalties payable to the songwriters. Last time I checked the statutory rate was around 7 cents per song (possibly changed again by now). A songwriter who writes 100% of an album's worth of let's say 10 songs will therefore make 70 cents per album sold. This is payable from record one. It is therefore extremely beneficial for artists to write the music they record!

Anyway, the only real drama with mechanicals is that labels somehow get away with paying artists only 75% of the statutory rate, which means labels are effectively witholding 25% of the copyright income. There is absolutely no reason for them to do this apart from the fact that they have always got away with it! This is one thing I would like to see changed. Very successful artists can usually negotiate 100% of stat. New artists, very very rarely.

Let's go back to our "artist" royalties because this is where ALL the problems really lie. Let me explain what the problem is really all about.

Let's say a major label has just signed your band "The Ahmesh Conspiracy" and offered you an exhorbitant amount of money. Your attorney has negotiated an artist royalty of 15 points. Traditionally not bad for a new artist. Here's the way it works...

Every single promotional penny spent on promoting your record, be it video costs, indie radio promotion or retail programs etc, is recoupable from your royalty points in some way, depending on how your contract is set up. Some things are charged to the artist at 100%, some 50%. What this means is that in order for you to recoup let's say $100,000 in promotion, the record company will have to receive income almost 10 times that amount before you clear that recoupment. (Don't forget, you the artist don't see a penny until your recoupment is clear). How is this so? When $100,000 of income goes to the record label, only 15% of that goes towards your recoupment. You are recouping at a snail's pace because you are recouping at 15% of the pie! That means that realistically, you can never really make money because if records are selling well, the label will continue to spend X amount of promotional dollars which in turn gets recouped at the 15% snail's pace. It's a complete joke! While you are going more and more in debt, the label may be making millions! It takes an Elton John or Mick Jagger to make artist royalties.

Pretty frightening huh? So how have artists been existing up until now and what is there to hope for?

Firstly, the smarter artists become hip to the fact that they HAVE to write their own material. Secondly, once they have a hit record, if they are really smart they will have their attorney attempt to re-negotiate certain things in order to keep everyone pacified. (Let's face it there is nothing more counter-productive than a reluctant artist!) One of those things may be to "clean slate", which essentially means to have the label wipe their recoupment bill from a previous record. This is only possible from an artist with a very successful CD however. There has to be a tremendous amount of positioning to pull this off.

Aside from living off publishing income (mechanical royalties) a successful artist can always tour. The more successful an artist is the more the band can be "guaranteed" high performance fees. A successful artist touring can command thousands of dollars per show which record companies do not take a hand in. This is important revenue for artists.

So this is the way it has been up until now. I say "up until now" as nothing has changed yet, but with people like Courtney Love going to court over this, things may indeed take a turn, whether it be now or later. I would personally like to see two important things changed in standard recording contracts:

Firstly, regarding artist royalties, artists should be able to recoup at (at least) 50% (50 artist royalty points) until their debt is paid. Once their debt is paid, then a lower artist royalty rate might then be acceptable. The sheer fact that labels recoup from artists at such a pathetically low rate means that there is no hope for artists to make money this way. There has to be a new higher percentage to recoup at.

Secondly, regarding mechanicals, as I mentioned before, I would like to see it made illegal that labels can even offer 75% stat. It HAS to be 100%, non negotiable.

Finally, and something I want to say that Courtney will probably disagree with, is that labels should make the lion's share. Why? because I believe that anyone who stumps up the money in the first place should make the larger percentage. Otherwise artists should do it on their own (and of course are doing that now, but usually with complications as there is little money to play with). I am more than happy to see artists sign a record deal where a record label makes more money than them, especially if an artist is new, undiscovered and needs a huge promotional break. That takes a ton of money. Money artists don't have on their own. That's why we have record deals. HOWEVER, this aside, I want to know I too can not only eat, but make good money if I am signed to a label that has me signed to a contract for 7 frickin' albums!! That's a long long time to be tied up let me tell you. Especially if CD's are selling and you 'aint collecting!

So, sure, I want to see big changes, it's high time! I think it has to be in perspective that's all.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006 

Check out Madalyn's new e-booklet!

Using Myspace to... create a buzz @ a music conference
by Madalyn Sklar with Georgia Moncrief

If you are looking for a great resource with practical information on creating your own buzz at Myspace, look no further. Madalyn Sklar provides concise information that will help anyone looking to capitalize on the ever growing Myspace phenomenon.

What's covered in this e-booklet:
* Image & Branding
* Myspace page examples
* Tips on what to do before, during and after a music conference
* Detailed example on how to track friend requests

What is an e-booklet?
It's an electronic booklet (PDF) you can download, read and print. It's not a book. It's a booklet! Just concise and to the point. No fluff!

Order your copy here!

Friday, August 04, 2006 

Madalyn is currently reading...

Hey everyone,

I was watching a program on TV about this amazing young man who made his first million at age 14. I was wow'd! So I just got his book and am impressed with what I've read so far.

I love these kind of books! I love to read success stories.

Rock on,
Madalyn Sklar
~providing one-on-one indie music consulting & coaching~

Thursday, August 03, 2006 


The only way to start to improve your life is to start.
Once you're sure you're on the right road there is no need to plan your journey too far ahead.
Don't burden yourself with doubts and fears as to the obstacles that may bar your progress.
You can only take one step at a time.

You don't need to know all the answers in advance.
Just maintain a clear idea of the goal you want to reach and the answers will come in their own time.

If you can get up the courage to begin,
you'll have the courage to succeed.
It's the job you never start that takes the longest to finish.
Go after what you want and you'll get it.

©2006 by Max Steingart

Madalyn’s Note:
These words are so true. Much of your success lies with you starting something. Just do it! I love that famous Nike quote. Why is it that so many people have a hard time just doing it? Is it fear of the unknown? Fear of failure? Or my favorite, fear of success. Yes, of success. Sometimes we are held back because we are not sure we can, should or want to succeed. Erase the doubts. Just do it. Get the courage and just do it. If you want it just do it. From there things will fall into place. But nothing and I mean NOTHING will happen until you just try and do it.

Why not now?

Rock on,
Madalyn Sklar
~providing one-on-one indie music consulting & coaching~



    Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach & consultant, blogger, social networks expert and author. She has spent over 15 years helping independent musicians and music business professionals achieve greater success. Her motto is: working smarter not harder. She also founded, the oldest + largest online community of indie women musicians.

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