Suz is a mindset coach for music industry professionals looking to gain clarity on their goals & find a better work/life balance.





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#40 | Music-Preneur Spotlight: Tommy Darker

Would you say that to yourself? 

Tommy Darker reveals the ups & downs that lead him to start Whiise, why he leads with kindness, and the reason he decided to create a new kind of music conference with WhiiseCon, which kicks off on November 28, 2018.

Whatever you go through, just think of it not as a problem but as an opportunity…

You’re listening to Episode 40 of the Music-Preneur Mindset Podcast.

Hey there! You’re listening to Episode 40 – Music-Preneur Spotlight: Tommy Darker.

I’m your host, Suz – a mindset coach helping music-preneurs see past their next single or project in order to work towards creating a sustainable career in music.

I’m so excited for today’s episode, as it’s Season 2’s first Music-Preneur Spotlight – my interview with Whiise founder, musician, and academic lecturer – Tommy Darker.

Tommy, as he’ll tell you, started off in the Army and eventually found himself learning the ins and outs of the music industry. He embodies what it means to be a music-preneur not simply because he is a large force behind the movement of the Music-Preneur Era in the music industry, but because he understands the importance of experimenting and taking action in order to see what works best for his strategies.

He’s managed to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time and he has done so through disciplined and focused action, as well as creating some incredible, foundational daily habits that serve his goals.

His latest endeavor, WhiiseCon, is a virtual music conference that kicks off on November 28 and runs until December 2. He’ll dive in a bit more about that in the interview, but before I start us off, I want you to be aware of this truly unique event and encourage you to go to the show notes to register for free!

But without further delay, I’ll let you get to know Tommy better as I’m sure there’s a lot that will inspire you from our talk. Here we go…

SUZ: All right everyone so we’re here with Tommy and you just heard me speak a little bit about his amazing journey thus far, but I always think it’s better to hear people tell us in their own words how they got here and what’s going on with them now. So Tommy, why don’t you tell us a little bit about what led you to where you are right now and what you’re doing these days?

TOMMY: First of all, I’m really excited. Every time I’m talking with you it’s always great so I’m excited about this conversation and I hope people get value out of it.

So that’s really a question that you know could take like days of me talking about the journey. It’s about … when people ask me about my age I’m saying I’m thirty one and it’s like how have you managed to do all these things you know to that age. So it’s always, I’m always humbled to to see that people actually think of done quite a lot. For me, looks like continue a lot of things happening and I’m just a putting… setting goals and then trying to achieve them so this is this is my life, nothing more than that, but other people seem to find exciting.

So I started at the age of eighteen right after high school and my dream was to become a military to join/become professional military police and I did that. Was pretty good at school and had really good grades at school so I entered military school. After two years of being stuck there, training and studying and all the stuff that they do in the military, I ended up being a professional, so I was a professional military policemen and knew all about guns and radios and defense plans and things like that … exercises… pretty exciting stuff, you know, makes a tough person… makes you tougher. I was pretty irresponsible when I was younger so that was one of the reasons why I joined the army – to become a more responsible individual, yes, but also the financial stability was pretty great.

So that gave me some time and space to start exploring other things I like which was traveling, it was music, so I started writing music. It was in my spare time obviously, you know nothing serious. But then I got an invitation to join NATO in Belgium. So I’m from Greece and I joined the headquarters of Europe for NATO was in Belgium and I ended up being becoming a head of security at the headquarters at the age of twenty five.

So that whole experience was great but I could see the life, you know, running like in front of me – it would be the same thing the same circle. So I took, you know, I made up my mind and I decided to take this passion of mine which was making music and try to turn this into a full time thing which now, looking back like six years later, the whole thing was actually the best decision of my life. It was quite easy to do I was saving money for you know I sold everything I had my car, my furniture and I was recording music, I was releasing music but it was all you know just hobby.

And then I went to London and since then I’ve been exploring music and marketing and you know ways of having a career through music. I started publishing a little things online and people found that interesting, so invited me to teach at universities listed as when using my work for their dissertation and essays and I realized there was a lot of demand for that. So then one thing led to another, I started teaching at Berklee College of Music and different places.

It was an amazing you know six year period where last year I founded my start-up right now, Whiise, along with two of my most brilliant students from the University of Westminster in London. So that whole thing is probably continuing for me and you know it make sense that I joined the military, I didn’t quite like it or I could see myself just being in the same situation for years then I took the next step which was my passion but then I started exploring it.

I ran out of money along the way twice, but I made quite a lot of money which I invested back in my ventures, and then I started teaching and meeting more people, and then I got two of my best students and we created this start-up which continues to grow and evolve, and now amazing things happen, so yeah I guess that’s the whole journey.

SUZ: I think it’s interesting that you had said you went into the military and you know you needed some discipline and then I’m sure it sounds real listeners like well you need to discipline but then all of a sudden you like gave everything up in like follow your dreams, but I think what people don’t really realize is how much discipline it takes to be that free. You know you need to have discipline in order to dream big, because they really do go hand in hand.

That’s what I love about your story that, you know, it might seem to people WOAH he did a total 180º but it really did kind of you’ve already set the stage you know back when you were eighteen to be able to do this stuff you know if you think about it.

TOMMY: You know, I love this this analogy. I think thinking of myself as a character in my own movie, where just yeah, as a character there’s something always missing in the movie and then this character’s trying to find that thing and the journey of the whole movie is about that character trying to find what’s missing and to become complete. So usually that how the story goes, and for me as a character that would be independence. That would be independence – doing what I love and making sure that I do have money for it and I do have time and space for it and I don’t ask for permission.

So I guess that character of mine is full now despite, all the difficulties because as things go bigger the problems get bigger as well not just you know the joy but it’s great now.

I feel complete in the fact that I wake up in the morning and I feel great about what I’m doing is something that I believe is success, it’s called success. But I guess that thing, you know the discipline thing that you mentioned, I had a lot of discussions with my clients like for me comes natural now. But I guess it’s because of trained myself for years to be disciplined and to just do what I have to do. But a lot of my clients struggle with that and then they’re artists.

I’m consulting not because of money I’m consulting because I I like helping people and all the clients are artists that have these issues with how do I get myself down to work and how do I keep myself motivated. I don’t quite believe in motivation and discipline – I think it’s all about building habits it’s something that I’ve learned from you as well, that you just create a habit.

You identify what’s important for you, you make sure you find a way to keep yourself accountable – either to an app or to a human being or something – and then make sure you do it again again and it comes natural.

The whole motivation thing, it’s problematic for me. So you don’t have to be disciplined unless you create habits that you do every day and then it comes natural. Like even the smallest things like me waking up in the morning and pulling out my yoga mat and then exercising for fifteen minutes everyday.

I don’t plan to become a bodybuilder, but I think it’s a good way to start your day and haven’t missed it for days. I think it’s a few weeks that I’ve been doing it. Before, I would just think about this in the morning – I don’t even think about this I don’t think I’m disciplined because I know if I stop for three days it’s gonna become difficult again, so just keep up with the habit.

It’s kind of, yeah, maybe baby steps and then you start building up a lot, so that’s my take on discipline or motivation, you know, it’s probably a myth.

SUZ: Right, I think they all… I think you know habits you know they take discipline and you have to be motivated to keep them but I think given your training you know it is something that’s just so ingrained in you that it doesn’t feel like ‘Oh I have to be disciplined’ or ‘somebody has to like kick my butt to make me do this,’ but you understand the deeper importance of these habits so like your discipline is just like ingrained and you have found habits that serve you and that you’ve seen you know how well they serve you so to you it’s like ‘well yes, why wouldn’t I do this?’

You know having that training that you had, I think that you know set the groundwork and I think it’s something to be said for people that don’t necessarily start with music you know right away, they they take different paths and I hear from some people you know they get frustrated when even later in life, even later than twenty six years old seeing, ‘oh I want to pursue music’ and I’m like well look at all the time I wasted doing something else, why didn’t I figure this out sooner?’

And it’s always like… it’s not wasted and you know this is just a perfect example of everything that you’re doing right now there will be a reason it’s serving you for your music career you know it’s not wasted, it’s not ‘why didn’t I figure this out sooner’ – you figured out when you figured it out

TOMMY: Exactly, I mean you’re spot on. We’re accumulating experience, we’re accumulating things that we don’t like and we just start discarding things and adding more things to the whole salad of life! So it’s like yes, everything is helpful you either succeed in something and you realize that this is the way to go, or you fail – not not fail or you learn.

You learn that this is not how it works or this is not what I like, but it’s all helpful, so yeah.

SUZ: Yeah and so the first time I came across you I’d say it was almost about probably two years ago. I actually went Google to find more like-minded people, I wanted to see who else was talking about music-preneurship and who also was talking about, you know, habits.

TOMMY: Thank you, Google.

SUZ: So I started searching and I typed in ‘music-preneur’ and immediately your September 30, 2015 article for Medium popped up and it was called An evolution unfolding: how to prepare for the music-preneur era, and I was like ‘oh my goodness! Somebody’s talking about this!’ and it was an amazing article, and that’s when I basically started you know following you and – not maybe stalking you online, I wouldn’t say stalking…

TOMMY: Don’t worry – I’m doing this too

SUZ: But I definitely became a huge fan of everything that you had to say and I love your articles on Medium. And so I’m just curious when or how did you come to the realization of seeing yourself as a music-preneur? You know you didn’t say, ‘I’m just going to you know record some songs,’ you know, you’ve been able to build this into a real business so… music-preneur – like how did you come to understand that this was like a ‘musicpreneur era’ that we all had to prepare for?

TOMMY: Hey, I guess this is the way that most things start – it’s out of need or out of despair. So when I decided I was going to quit the army, and I didn’t quite know what I’m going to do next, I knew it would be something around music. I started looking around and then stalking other people myself so I can get educated on how I can market the songs that I created.

With the very first moment where I had the demos and then somebody walked in my room and they were like ‘ah! Whose music is that?’ ‘Oh it’s my music!’ ‘Why don’t you record it?’ and this and that – I was scared so I went there, I recorded music, and then the question becomes, ‘how do I put this in front of more people?’ so I can get more opinions and then ‘how do I properly make money with this?’ since I’m gonna start quitting my job, ‘how am
I’m gonna survive after that?’

So it was necessity, and I started understanding that obviously if you try to go for a label or to convince people that you are the right person for their engine, you know, you can be the right gear for the engine… for me it’s a waste of time it’s just like you’re nobody – nobody knows you. You haven’t released anything, you’re trying to convince people – that’s like a dream, it’s not something tangible that you can do. So I don’t think it was realistic.

So I started looking for ways that I could market my music or make money from it and so I started educating myself. And that was again in my spare time when I was getting paid, you know, by NATO, and it was a really good salary.

I had quite sometime available, so by checking out what other people were talking about and some people are still… these people, are still there, you know, they’re still these big marketing people that are talking about music and I love that, the fact that they’ve stayed and they haven’t quit, but in general it was me looking around and looking around business models and the Lean start-up and so many other concepts the start-up world was using, so I was not a typical musician that dreams to become part of a label. So I started thinking, ‘how can I create a business? Oh, and the product is going to be music.’

So I guess that’s how everything started and from there it was all about experimenting. So I would see what somebody’s doing, I will try to decode it and then I would model that same system, the same funnel, the same visuals – I would just basically copy everything and try to adjusted to my needs and then try to see if that works for me as well, and that gave me some pretty good results.

I realize that certain things even if you copy them word-by-word they don’t work. There’s a different idea and now I realize that was marketing research and it makes sense that nothing works the same way.

You know if you copy something, you’re not gonna have the same results. There are so many parameters to this that change the results. But that was a great experience and I had the time for that, before I quit, and when I decided to quit I just started accelerating – I knew that there was no way out, and it feels great knowing that there’s no way out.
There’s no plan B – there’s nothing else. You either do this or you die or you go back home and you become a barista and you become miserable, thinking about the dream you once had and you never followed it.

So yeah, I started trying stuff and by connecting with a subject, by realizing that, ‘Hey there is this pattern here’ – entrepreneurship this and that – you start seeing the bigger picture after a while so that that’s the great thing about mastery.

When you start mastering a subject, you start seeing patterns, you start identifying things that don’t look quite right or something is unusual here and, ‘why did this happen? So let me try to find this… thing how it works,’ so it is getting quite interesting after awhile you start seeing patterns.

So this is when I saw that yeah there’s momentum here – there were a few people talking about entrepreneurship in music and every year it’s the start getting more more, so I started using the word ‘music-preneur’ because why not? I mean it’s a word that didn’t exist, so I started using it, so yeah that’s how everything started.

I started seeing patterns and it’s interesting when people see you talking passionately about something they invite you to write more guest articles, and then I got invited to talk at Midem, in this big music conference in France, and that article that you’re talking about that was the the article that Midem asked me to write so they could publish that so they could promote me as a speaker and that went pretty well.

And then I ended up writing a whole huge essay about business models which ended up being taught at the University of Westminster, Berklee College of Music, Full Sail University and now I’m turning this into a book, so yes things were… there was a natural progression in all these things and yeah, I’m so glad to see that today, unlike six years ago, so many people are thinking entrepreneurially.

I’m so glad to see the musicians thinking in terms of running a business and it’s not for everybody, you know, some people like being hobbyists, and that’s totally fine, but whenever somebody really dreams of making a living from music I think thinking like an entrepreneur is the way, the only way, to go.

SUZ: Right, like I said when I found… I was like oh my goodness a kindred spirit! Because the same thing was happening over here in the states where you know when I started the Rock/Star Advocate four years ago and I’m like, ‘okay this, like this is what’s missing,’ like it’s the mindset, it’s seeing yourself as an entrepreneur,’ and everyone, was like, ‘yeah no we’re good, thanks.’

Like, ‘we don’t need this, we don’t need therapy, we don’t need any self care we don’t… please stop,’ and then I was like… and that’s kind of like, what… two years into it, I was having clients and I was making some progress, but really fighting for each and every client, like really trying to knock down the door and explain to people why this was important, and that’s kind of what led to my Google search.

I was like, ‘is there anyone else out there???’ There are so many people out there that, you know, they could have the smarts or the ideas and they put it out there, but to have that and also be a genuinely good person and somebody who likes to support people, I get why you’ve built what you built, but I want you to tell our listeners why… you know, you saw these patterns and you were able to see okay music-preneurship is where we’re going, this is what needs to happen… what stopped you from just doing it yourself?

Like why create something like Whiise? Why go further and start educating other people? You know, I’m not a musician so I feel like it’s natural like I want to teach what I know but for musicians, I’m always so in awe of people like yourself who you could be selfish about it and keep this all to yourself and just focus on your own career – what made you want to create something like Whiise and help others?

TOMMY: First of all, you should have seen me – I’m humbled for what you’re saying and I thank you. It’s yeah, sometimes it’s good to hear from another human being saying that what you’re doing is great you know you’re a kind person, thanks. You know there’s so many doubts in people and in everyone and sometime you not sure if what you’re doing makes sense or if it’s the right thing so thank you.

SUZ: Of course!

TOMMY: That’s a boost of confidence! So, I guess the short answer is because I care. Because I want to make sure that some other people could learn from what I failed at or what I learned that worked so I guess it’s that. I wanted to share things because, why keep it for yourself? Why not make this world a better place by getting more people to do
things that work for them and maybe they can have a better life? So that was the the initial reason.

I’m always thinking about my mission in this world and know what I’m doing and I’m the most privileged person, all right? I’m a white man in the western world like, oh my gosh what a privilege!

So when I’m thinking about this, and I’m telling my brother as well who is now an entrepreneur too, like we’ve we’ve got a responsibility for everything we have, we’re not from a rich family but we never starved, we never had anything against us, but oh my gosh what a privilege this is! And we should do whatever it takes to actually make this world a better place, leave some legacy.

I want to make sure that this world is better for our children, for everybody else, and then that’s why you will see that in everything that I’m doing, I’m always trying to be a little bit more open, share a little bit more, and be more charitable.

It’s – I care. I think it would be unfair if we kept everything for ourselves, so all these goodies the things you’re learning, the things the people you come across… like why not share it?

Connect people. Why not make the world a better place? So it’s not a thing that’s a fetish of mine – I wanna be huge and then my name will be all over and you know become the next… but no it’s just human beings around the world suffering, so if I can do one thing well – which is music and teaching – I want to make a difference with that. Not just be good at it and then have a salary and then have a family and then that’s it.

So I’ve sacrificed a lot of things to reach that level where I would not think of like this is my project this is about me. No, I mean now it’s about the world, so whatever I’m doing I’m just trying to think of the impact that this will have in the whole world and if this makes sense or if it’s a, you know, just like stroking my ego or something.

I wanna make sure it’s it’s about others. And if I end up having some global influence I wanna make sure I put good use of that influence, because this way there’s no you know assholes being out of that and known by millions of people and saying things that don’t make sense.

You know what I’m talking about right? We’ve seen people like this right?

SUZ: Right, no, absolutely and you know I’ve always known you to be somebody that you know things globally, thinks inclusively, and you know that’s why I just wanted you to share for for some of our listeners that might not know, you know, they just see somebody who’s like he’s you know he’s done a lot, he’s really successful yeah, great, but I wanted them to be able to hear you know the human behind it that.

You always come from a place of service and community and so you’ve done something really interesting. When I created this podcast Scott Doucet, of Podcast Bay, suggested that I only interview musicians rather than “industry experts” because he said, ‘oh, you know there’s enough of those out there.’

With WhiiseCon, you’ve kind of done that with music conferences, where you’ve given the platform to musicians to teach and inspire other musicians, so tell us how WhiiseCon came about and why you decided to do it that way.

TOMMY: Right right exactly. Again, you see something that’s missing and then you’re just trying to to fill the void. First of all the whole idea it’s nothing original and nothing to do with me, it’s more amazing people that you and I know and they’ve done things in the past that are awesome and I just reached out to them and I said, ‘hey, could you help me build something like this? Like build something like what you’ve done but with this twist?’

So these people, that everybody knows is Steve Palfreyman, dude I love you if you hear that, and Bree Noble, Bree, you’re doing an amazing job inspiring women!

And so these two people have created these online summits where they invite industry experts and you were invited, I was invited and everything’s online – it’s a conference, has a conference-like structure, it’s online, it’s recorded so you can have time to promote the material and then make sure everything is curated and the value’s amazing…

That’s what I started thinking – that there’s so many expenses that real conferences have to suffer from and traveling and all these people around the world that never have the chance to actually meet these speakers because they have to travel to New York, to Cannes, to London – like what about people in Southeast Asia and African countries, Latin American countries that cannot travel to get these people in these popular conferences are in a specific place around the world… so that’s what I thought, that was the first thought…

The second thought was, ‘what about musicians talking in music conferences?’ Like, come on! Is it just industry people in there… is that the holy grail? Those people from the the commercial world telling you what the music direction is going to be in the future?

Like, come on! Let’s talk about the people that are doing it and the people are suffering for it and they’re doing it pretty well. So that was the second idea, just bring only musicians no industry people.

We have already a lot of conferences and they’re brilliant, but the type of value you get from the story of the musician the has been through this pain of, you know, in doubt – ‘how I’m gonna survive now?’ And now they’re at this point where they can influence people and inspire people… what about these people? What about these amazing artists?

So that was the initial idea – again bring only artists from all over the world, making sure here’s a disclaimer, making sure there is 50/50 gender split strictly and also making sure there’s diversity. So we can have equal representation and people from all over the world being heard so now we’re talking with some countries that probably they never had the the mic, you know, to talk on a global level.

I wanna make sure that it’s not just the UK and the US talking, I just want to make sure everybody has a voice. So that’s one thing, and the second thing is that 100% of proceeds of that conference will go to charity – the two charities that we’re going to support and give 50% of the proceeds to each charity is about women in music and it’s about music education in developing countries.

So these these are the two causes that we support to make sure that we push the agenda towards 50/50 gender split and musical instruments and music education in countries that are not in the western world and they probably needed more, you know, than the UK and the US.

So this is the conference theme – we’re gonna talk about inspiration, what it took for these people to get to where they are right now, what made them successful, what they did differently, how they approach failure, what they think about success and some interesting stories. There’s some people that actually cried while recording the interview and that was honest talk, that was not just a person trying to look sensitive for public image, that was a person opening up.

SUZ: What you’re doing is brilliant, when you told me about it’s like my first thought is like, ‘why hasn’t this been done?’ or ‘why isn’t it being done more often?’ and so I’m so happy and it doesn’t surprise me that you’re the one to do it, because it really is just such a great idea, that it’s like, yeah there’s lot of great industry experts out there and it’s really important to learn some things that you don’t know, but to hear it come straight from the horse’s mouth, as they say, by somebody who’s been through it who is coming from your perspective who is the musician, who’s done the work, who’s maybe reached the milestones that you’re hoping to reach one day, and they’re telling you, ‘here’s what works for me, here’s what didn’t, here’s what I experienced, here’s what I struggled with,’ I mean
that’s really invaluable and it’s such a special type of education to have and so I really just think the whole thing is just is brilliant.

I love the the message behind it, and you know everybody listening please please please go check this out all of the information is in the show notes go to and it’s just phenomenal what you what you guys are doing, I’ve no doubt it’s going to be a huge success!

TOMMY: I mean we try to keep it free, so if you want to attend as each interview’s broadcasted on on a specific day, all you’ll have to do is just go to the website, register and you get access for free to all the interviews.

There is going to be something I’m going to try for the first time, if you want to get the recordings and some additional cool take aways and some other stuff then you can upgrade, get a VIP ticket, but it’s going to be very cheap, so the people of the world can actually buy this and all this money again goes to charity, but we’re gonna try or something else… there’s going to be an alternative way of payment.

I hope that this there’s no bad surprises with this because we’re trying to figure out the whole integration so that the customer journey can be amazing and seamless, but it seems that this the plan:

There is going to be an alternative way of payment – people can either pay the $20 and get the the V. I. P. pass or they can invite a set number of their friends to join WhiiseCon and get access to the V. I. P. pass this way. So if you invite more people to join you can get free goodies, you can get a V. I. P. pass and instead of paying with money, so this is something we’re gonna try so people invite others and pay for the ticket – that’s also gonna be awesome – because all the money goes to good cause… but, yeah, we’re gonna try that element of a rally to see if people are actually willing to invite others, even with a small bribe, like this.

SUZ: That’s amazing and you know it’s a bribe but it’s also… it’s about building community so it’s incentivizing them to do something that’s even more awesome – is to share it with their friends and do their friends a favor by saying, ‘hey this is super valuable!’ Yeah I love it, I love everything about this, and and I wish you the best with that.

I don’t see how this can be anything short of tremendously amazing so I can’t wait to tune in. I’m so excited that we got you on this podcast that you can tell people about it because it’s really special and it’s something that I hope more people decide to take action on in their own messaging and the work that they do. I think that’s wonderful.

We are about to get to our rapid fire questions, our four final questions that we ask every guest. These questions are different than the questions asked in Season 1, we are now in Season 2 so you are actually my first guest I’m asking these questions to, gotta switch it up for Season 2!

So if you could choose one super power what would it be?

TOMMY: Ooof! What a tough question! Super power? Alright, here we go, I’m not sure if this is a super hero power or a curse… I would like to transmit thoughts to people’s minds so if I hear somebody through the super power that they’re sad, or they are doubting about themselves, obviously that would have a lot of problems if you hear somebody thoughts… but anyway anyway let’s just keep it simple… I would just try to help somebody in need and tell them some comforting words that would either motivate them or give them some confidence to go through what they’re doing.

As if you know maybe the form would be that they make these thoughts and although I’m transmitting it to them, but it will come as their own head you know talking back to them… so maybe that’s it…

SUZ: I love it, like a mental Bat Signal. I love it.

TOMMY: But, if I give them bad advice than I might lead them to do something they don’t wanna do, so that might be a curse, but anyway that’s what comes to mind. I don’t know…

SUZ: I like it, it’s like a mental Bat Signal and you’re just like, ‘somebody’s in need I’m gonna send them positivity and strength,’ I like it.

My second question is if time travel was possible what’s one lesson you would like to go back and tell yourself. I’m sure we all have a lot of them, but what’s one thing you can just be like, ‘Hey Tommy, you should just know this for the future, I would like you to know that,’ what’s something you want to tell yourself?

TOMMY: Well you know that’s very interesting because I’m asking the same question on WhiiseCon so these these globally known musicians, they’re answering this very same question. So yeah, I’ve got some amazing answers and I don’t think I can I can actually you know get any close to them…

But I would say, ‘Dude, yeah you’re actually going to make it, you’re going to be happy. Don’t worry – all these things that you think are problems, in the future you’re going to be a master of them, you know, they’re gonna be nothing. You will see other people having these problems, you’re gonna be like, yeah that’s not a problem. That’s gonna be you. And you’re going to achieve that by going through shit and by failing and trying stuff and having rough times where you doubted yourself, but eventually you can overcome all these problems.’

And that’s what I’m telling myself right now, I’m 31 and talking to you, you’re ten years old, and I’m still telling this to myself, that whenever I’m going through like a pretty rough time – and it’s quite a few of them, you know, per week, it’s a few problems popping up -but I’m always reminding myself that yeah this is not gonna be a problem in the future because you will have mastered it. So all I want you to do is whatever you go through, just think of it not as a problem but as an opportunity to learn and this is something that’s going to make you the human being that you dreamed of, you’re gonna be proud of yourself.

I’m proud of me, I’m proud of you, just keep doing what you’re doing, all these doubts will turn into beauty.

That felt like a confession.

SUZ: No, I love it, thank you for being vulnerable to share that because it’s so important to understand perspective, you know whether it’s telling our ten year old self that or like you said even still today reminding ourselves that this will pass, it’s passed before and it will pass again and I think that’s really important, so thank you.

This one’s a little bit more fun – living or dead, three musicians that you would like to have for dinner. Like who would you… you can invite anybody, they will say yes, who do you want to sit around the dinner table from? Three musicians.

TOMMY: Alright, gosh, alright alright David Bowie. The only person that I got so connected with that I cried when he died, so definitely David Bowie, huge inspiration. John Lennon – I would like to hear speak Liverpool-ean I would obviously have a chat with him and see what it takes to be him and maybe Johnny Cash cause he’s a badass… I mean so many other people like come on can I add a fourth one? Jimi Hendrix come on… I would just like to spend time with him and see what it feels like to be him.

SUZ: That sounds like an epic dinner and I hope I am able to be a fly on the wall… my super power would be invisibility so I could hang out.

TOMMY: Ahh… actually can I switch super powers?

SUZ: So my last question, this actually will always stay the same. I asked this in Season 1, too, this podcast is all about taking action… what’s one thing you would like our audience to go do? Each week I usually have like an actionable for them, but this being an interview, I always like our interviewee to give the action. What should they go do?

TOMMY: Be kind to themselves. That’s not something that you do, that’s something that you exercise, so I wouldn’t give them an actionable advice. You can get advice about anything, or you can find YouTube videos on how to do this or that. But when it comes to beating up yourself, everybody is doing that.

Whether you come from the western world or from any other part of the world, we’re all beating ourselves up, for small things that don’t eventually matter. So what I would tell people, and I’m telling this to myself and to my family as well, like be kind yourself.

You know just think of somebody else telling you these problems and what would you tell them? Would you tell them their idea is just shit, what you just did didn’t make no sense!

No, you would be kind to them. Just be kind to yourself as well. So that’s what I would tell them.

SUZ: I love that and thank you so much this is been awesome! I am so happy that I got you on my podcasts because I’m such a huge fan of your work and I love that we can just talk about this in a way that you know not a lot of people talk about it – in a way of service coming from a spot of kindness and community and I just I love… I could talk about this stuff all day with you so thank you for being here, and I know you’ve got a lot going on getting prepared for WhiiseCon, so I won’t keep you, but I just thank you for taking the time to speak with us about this and about sharing your your life lessons and your journey with us.

TOMMY: What can I say, Suz? Like you are the real deal, you know? All I have to say is for people listening to your podcast just stick with Suz, bring more friends to Suz, what she’s doing is terrific and she is needed and she’s a voice that needs to be heard more so just do your friends a favor and invite more people to listen to Suz’ podcast and all her work and buy her Planner and make sure you stick around with this girl because she is amazing thank you for having me.

I hope this episode has inspired you to focus more on community and on being kinder to yourself. Such important messages that we forget all too often as we get caught up in vanity metrics and outside pressures.

If you’d like to learn more about Tommy and his incredible company, Whiise, head on over to the show notes – – and all the links to his work and how to connect with him can be found there.

I also encourage you one last time before I leave here today to go check out WhiiseCon.

It’s free, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Should you choose to upgrade your ticket, your money will go to 2 worthy causes – so again – winning. All of the info can be found in the show notes – once again,

Thanks so much for tuning in. If you’re looking to figure out your next steps, find time to balance everything on your plate, or work on being kinder to yourself as you go after your goals, let’s talk!

Email me at anytime:

Until next time, Rockstar! Have a wonderful week and I hope to see you back here next week so we can get grounded to get rising! Take care.

Key Highlights

  • How Tommy got his start in music [02:10]
  • His thoughts on motivation [07:32]
  • How he realized this was a Music-Preneur Era [10:56]
  • Why Tommy doesn’t keep his knowledge to himself [17:45]
  • Why he created WhiiseCon and how it’s different [22:21]
  • The super power he’d most love to have [30:18]
  • The lesson he’d go back and tell his former self [31:31]
  • The 3 musicians he’d invite to dinner [33:53]
  • The one thing he’d like YOU to do [35:10]




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