#64 | Music-Preneur Spotlight: Eli Lev | The Rock/Star Advocate

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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#64 | Music-Preneur Spotlight: Eli Lev

Trusting Your Inner Compass.

In a world of singles and buying followers, Eli Lev is walking his own path as a global citizen, connecting with people around the world with his music & storytelling.

If we’re in the business of creating relationships with our listeners through music, then we should also be in the business of creating relationships with people that will help our music get out there to the world.

You’re listening to Episode 64 of the Music-Preneur Mindset Podcast.


Hello! You’re listening to Episode 64: Music-Preneur Spotlight: Eli Lev.


I’m your host, Suz – a mindset coach helping music professionals get clear on their goals and find the time to get it all done while maintaining a healthy work/life balance.


Today’s episode spotlights one of my favorite artists and community builders – Eli Lev. Eli has only been doing music full-time for a little over a year, but you’ll hear from our interview how he’s managed to accomplish so much in that short period of time.


He is a Neo-folk singer-songwriter and has opened for Shooter Jennings and Ellis Paul, performed at DC’s renowned 9:30 Club & the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage and has been covered by Paste & Skope magazines. He is currently on tour and all links to his music and socials can be found in the show notes.


If you’re a fan of this podcast it should come as no surprise to you that a lot of his success has been linked to his ability to prioritize and focus on his fans and staying true to his message. He’s learned from his mistakes and he’s not afraid to take the advice he’s given an implement only the pieces that align with his chosen path.


I especially loved talking with him about his latest releases. Eli has embarked on releasing a cohesive series of 4 EPs, and since the recording of this interview back during the Thanksgiving break last year, he has since released 2 of the 4 to a growing following and thriving Patreon community.


Take a listen to our conversation about what it means to truly build a community and why it’s ok if industry professionals don’t listen to your music right away. If you like what you hear, know that these topics and more will be covered in depth at this year’s Music-Preneur Mindset Summit so be sure to stay tuned to the end for more details on that event!


Without further ado, I present to you my conversation with Eli Lev.


Suz: Thank you so much for joining us today! I’m really excited to pick your brain, so to speak, about what you’ve been up to music-wise because it’s just really different than what a lot of other musicians are doing these days, so thank you for joining us!


Eli: Thanks! It’s great to connect with such a connected and creative soul as yourself. I’ve been listening to the podcast so I’m really excited to talk to you and pick your brain about how you make things happen, so it’s gonna be it’s gonna be a cool little show we’ve got.


Suz: I’m very excited and thank you, thank you for tuning in. One of the things that I loved – I LOVE your website, first of all, and your whole brand as a whole is so cohesive and it’s so easy to get a sense of who you are as an artist and the type of music you put out – everyone who’s listening all the links will be in the show notes – but I highly suggest the first link you go to is check out Eli’s website.


What I love is you immediately bring the visitor on this adventure, and we’ll jump into the the project itself that you’re working on, but, you know, really giving them a strong call to action, enticing them to join your newsletter, and to really make it an experience for them. And I just really love that you did that, so we’ll get into that in a moment. What I also found interesting, and I’m sure you an Ariel Hyatt have spoken about this as well, with such a
singles heavy environment you’re putting together a four-album behemoth that’s inspired by the Navajo nation’s Four Cardinal Directions which is SO fascinating.


And each album is focused on a different direction. You have, you’ve put out, All Roads East and most recently Way Out West. It’s just so interesting to me, what, I know it is inspired by the Navajo nations, but what made you decide, “I’m gonna put out four albums.” Like walk us through that process because I’m just so in awe of what you’re tackling right now.


Eli: Sure, so the four-album EP idea comes from me wanting to be part of a story, of an adventure, of a journey which I felt like I’ve been on with music and that’s where that welcoming page on my website comes from because I want to connect with the listener, and I want to, kind of, bring them along on the journey.


And that’s what really makes me move and feel supported is having, you know, a friend and a family and a community base, so if that resonates with somebody that probably means that not only will they connect with my story but they’ll connect with my music because that’s pretty much one and the same with me which has been nice.


The singles-driven culture that we have, I totally understand it but it confuses me. It makes me feel like I don’t have grounding or I don’t have footing I don’t know where I’ve been or where I’m going. And I really need a space where I feel comfortable and I feel like I know where I’ve been and where I’m going and I know the steps to get there.


And that’s why – so I was the eighth grade language arts teacher on the Navajo reservation for three years and that four directional cosmology really stuck with me. I incorporated that into my lesson plans and class. I even decorated the classroom with like four directions with like the writing process.


Suz: Haha I love it!


Eli: So it was like really neat and nerdy teacher stuff, but, you know, it just it kind of became part of my fabric. And, you know, East is the first direction because that’s obviously where the Sun comes up, so that makes sense. So this life-giving force would be where we face to start our path and our journey and get all of our energy from.


It actually goes clockwise, so it goes East-South-West-North, but for me, I wanted to do like two different sides of my music so All Roads East is this beginning of like, you know, Americana, Rock, Blues, Folk-based and then my next album Way Out West it’s kind of like other direction – really introspective, big folk melodies, detuned banjos like mandolin arpeggios… strange stuff, so I want to give two sides of that music and then continue with that, but always having like steps and paths along the way. So it’s really kind of grounded me and also given me a clear path forward, so for me it’s wonderful. It’s a really nice way to have everything makes sense.

Suz: I love that! And, you know, I love the authenticity, and you just let it organically…what’s inside of you and what makes you feel comfortable because you know I say this to artists all the time that yes the “data” does show us certain things and so you know when people ask the industry experts, “What do I do?” And we say, “Well, you know, release singles this is the market,” it’s important to be able to separate yourself from that and not necessarily knock the advice because that has its own validity in certain areas but say, “Does that work for me? Here’s where I’m at and here’s where I get most excited, here’s where I feel the biggest connection with my audience, so does that advice where I’m at?”


And I like how you were able to – you know what exists and you know what the data is but you were able to, you know, step into your own and say, “I’m gonna do my own path this way,” and I really respect that.


Eli: That’s exactly it. I mean it’s not that I’m not putting out singles like, for example, each of these are five-song EPs, so I’ll have a lead single and then I’ll release the EP with another single. So I’ll have, you know, two singles for each album, so I’m still connecting with that, you know, industry kind of standard and the direction the industry is going, but it just allows for me to go deeper. It allows for the listener to go deeper, and I’m excited about my next
two albums even though I have no idea what they’re going to sound like!


Suz: Haha right!


Eli: So it’s just a really cool thing to keep me focused, but you’re right, I mean you still do have to kind of connect that to how other people view music and how other people want to consume, you know, music as well, so that’s a good thing to keep in mind, too.

Suz: You’re mixing it! You’re making it your own and doing your own spin on it, and I think that’s really great. And what I also love is that you don’t know what the the future albums might hold and that is so important, too…


Eli: Yes!


Suz: Because you didn’t wait to put out your first one. You didn’t do All Roads East until you had every single thing planned for all four EPs. You took action and I think that’s the most important thing. I know that it can feel scary for a lot of people, but to take that action and figure it out as you go, I really commend you on that. I think that’s super important.


Eli: If people see that I’m in the middle of this process then they’re more likely to kind of connect to that story and see like, “How’s he going to get through this?” Or, you know, “What’s gonna happen with this next album because he doesn’t know and I don’t know and I feel like we’re right at the edge here!”


You know? So it’s like really a process of discovery and I’m going through it with, you know, the professionals and the listeners, and my family and friends from all around the world, so it’s really really cool thing, yeah.


Suz: Yeah! It’s a wonderful way to build community and that’s another thing that I think, for other artists to keep in mind is that – you know, I’m always saying to artists, “Let people in on your process.” You know, a lot of us just innately don’t want to share our “mistakes” or things that hold us back, but really, if you could just share that journey, that’s where that community comes from.


And I love that you call yourself a global citizen. I love that that’s how you identify.


Eli: Yeah, no that’s my political statement, you know? My political statement is that music can really bring folks together. It’s a way to break down boundaries and barriers and ideas that we hold ourselves to and it’s just really a cool process to use that as a communicator as well.


This last video I did this “Chasing Daylight” video where people sent in kind of like thirty second clips of themselves singing along to the song, I mean these people are from South Africa, Jordan, Canada, England… all over the world and now they’re all kind of Facebook friends. Like I get messages from them like, “Oh yeah! That girl from South Africa sent me a friend request!” Or, “Yeah now I’m hanging out with that one dude from Canada!” And it’s
just so cool to see that that’s a possibility. So I really wanna follow that thread, you know, see where that goes.

Suz: That’s so great. You’ve mentioned before, I think you’ve only been a full time musician for about two years now?


Eli: Really, I mean I started Eli Lev Music, LLC officially a year ago.


Suz: Oh! Happy anniversary!


Eli: Yeah within a year maybe… Oh thank you! Thank you! Yeah it’s been, it’s been a wild ride but it’s been … I mean probably a year before that I was doing shows and just kind of thinking about maybe doing music full-time, not sure.

Suz: Gotcha.


Eli: Yeah it’s just been a year officially now, so…


Suz: Well I think it’s fantastic and you’ve certainly accomplished a lot in that year it’s definitely hasn’t been any time wasted here and some of your more recent releases have been featured on CBS Radio, Buzzfeed, Paste Magazine – did you hire somebody for that? Did they come knocking on your door? Did you knock down other doors? What was kind of your overall approach? Because I know there are a lot of different schools of thought out there in terms of, you know, how steady you should be in terms of following up with people and others are just – keep your head down do your thing and they’ll come find you.

What’s been your experience?


Eli: Sure, I love the question and that’s why I was really looking forward to connecting with you because I feel like you have that same kind of mentality that I do, which is just like this huge kind of energy of hopefully putting it towards what you kind of want to have happen.


Suz: Right.


Eli: And whether you do it the best way or not just this kind of, this source of just believe in yourself, you know what I mean, and belief in your goal can go a long, long way.

Suz: Oh yeah!


Eli: So just that like first initial thought of like, “Okay I’m gonna do this full-time,” and then really putting my head down and grinding and trying to figure out what that meant was a really big starting place. It was a lot of research. From that research, I understood that there are certain people and certain connections – I pretty much created my own record label with just finding the right people for certain things.


Ariel Hyatt has been awesome with just, you know, PR but also pointing me in the right direction in the industry. Meeting the right people at the right time has been one of the most important things in my businesses growth in just one year. A lot of it is meeting people, making connections. A lot of it is, I call, “polite persistence.”


Suz: Haha yeah! I love that.


Eli: So, you know, you send email and of course you’re not going to get a reply because they haven’t heard of you. You send another email and, oh they’ve heard of you, but they’re still not going to reply. You send another email, and it’s like, “I heard of you from another place since last time you emailed, so maybe I’ll reply back this time still not giving you what you want.”


Suz: Right.


Eli: And then maybe the fourth or fifth email, you know, you work on getting that booking or you work on getting that TV show, but really it’s just having you know a spreadsheet – “Who am I trying to contact? What are my goals?” And then just politely following up until you hear back from them. No one has sent me an email saying, “Don’t email me ever again,” yet. And if they did I’d be like, “No worries! You won’t hear from me again!”


Suz: Yeah, exactly! What’s the worst that can happen? I mean those follow-up emails are so important.


Eli: The backdrop to the polite persistence is having a presence, an online presence where people can go and see that you are serious about your craft. So each one of those follow-up emails I only got a response because they went to check out my website. They went to check out the YouTube videos. They looked at the Instagram. They looked at the Facebook.


They saw that I’m touring and doing shows. They saw that, you know, I’m working with people in the industry, so that’s the backdrop to me reaching out personally. All of those things kind of work together, and I understood that very early on – that people want to see that you’re serious about the music because if you’re not putting the effort and time into, you know, creating a brand or creating like a cohesive thought, why would they put that
energy into your…into your story either?


And I think that’s one thing that really attracts folks to the actual sound and the songs is they’ll check out all that stuff first, and then they might listen to the music. Do you see what I’m saying? So it’s not music first and then let’s talk. It’s like, let’s make sure you have everything together and it looks nice, and then I’ll check out your latest single.

Suz: Right. Well because I mean we’d like to think that if you’re going to put in effort to, you know, create an album or record a song, I mean this isn’t always true, but like the assumption is like, “Okay you probably know what you’re doing. You’re certainly more talented than the person sitting at the desk.”


Like that’s the overall assumption, you know, like for me, for instance, I’m not, besides my very short stint in an a capella group before getting kicked out because I missed rehearsals to go watch Friends… besides that piece of my life, I’m not a performer, so I’m not going to concern myself so much with judging somebody’s work because they can do what I can’t do.


But I do want to know that if I am going to put my time and energy into somebody, as you said, are they going to meet me at least half way? So if this is somebody that cares enough to, as you said, have that backdrop there, that really does go a long way. And as you said, unfortunately on certain sides of the business, it’s not music first because what do most of the industry people know and when it comes to music?


Eli: Yep.

Suz: You know there are a lot of them that are performers, but majority it’s like they want to know they’re working with good people.


Eli: Right.


Suz: And people that aren’t going to make them want to pull their hair out.


Eli: Right! And professionals!


Suz: Which isn’t always a guarantee.


Eli: Yeah, definitely. I like the fact because I know you’re in the industry, you know what I mean? You’ve done this, you’ve been around the spokes, it’s just nice to hear that you’re kind of like on the other side of the curtain from where I am.


Suz: Right.


Eli: And it’s just nice to hear that you’re kind of like, you know, you’re corroborating what I’ve been thinking. That’s why I think things have been working!


Suz: Yeah I mean, you know, it’s not to take away from the person’s talent. Like I’ll have clients and they’ll say, like “What do you what do you think of my music?” And you know, for the most part, I always, I love the music of the artists I work with but I’m also – I don’t have those skills.


So for me, not to sound a certain way, but it doesn’t take a whole lot to impress me musically. It does however, take, you know, a certain degree to impress me as somebody who can show up and somebody that can put in the work and be a professional.


Eli: Mhm.


Suz: Whether I like it or hated it doesn’t stop me from being able to do what I need to do to help you and that’s going to be the same for a publicist, it’s going to be a thing for booking agent… obviously you want the person to be engaged and enthusiastic, but there are times where I can be enthusiastic about the person, you know? I never take on a client that I’m not crazy about.


Eli: Right.


Suz: But what I am enthusiastic about might always be different.


Eli: I feel like that’s actually a really important concept for musicians that, you know, we pour our heart and soul into our sounds, in our lyrics, in the arrangements, and it’s all there and it’s incredible. And then we think, “Why isn’t anybody listening to it?” You know what I mean? Is nobody hearing this? Is nobody understanding how brilliant it is?

And it’s like, it is brilliant and it is amazing and you’ve put all the effort into that recording as you can and well done, but it only starts there.


Suz: Right.


Eli: That’s the beginning.


Suz: Right.


Eli: You know what I mean? That’s not the end – putting out the music. It’s okay now you have to make fifty million, not fifty million, you know like fifty connections. Now you have to connect with fifty people and they have to bring in another ten people and you know you’ve got to do five videos…


Suz: Right.


Eli: And you’ve got to, you know, make your own community and you’ve gotta get the branding going on. It’s just like that’s just the beginning, so people can actually connect to that to that sound, and that’s, I think, that’s a really liberating concept so musicians don’t feel like people don’t like their music it’s just they need a lot more to connect these days, I think.


Suz: Right. Well, I mean it’s just like anything else, you know, there’s no… this is why even when you look towards the major artists, or, you know, I always like to use film as as a comparison because when you compare two major artists, to me that’s more apples and oranges that comparing indie music to film because it’s such a different approach when you get to the major labels… But, you know, if you look at film it’s like if Jennifer Aniston puts
out a movie they don’t just open it up in the theaters.


Eli: Right.


Suz: She’s doing interviews, she’s updating you on who she’s dating, she’s talking about the people in her life, you know she’s schmoozing, and it’s part of it. If I can care about Jennifer Aniston and then I want to see her succeed, I’ll see a movie even if it’s not my top thing. I’ll still get something out of it. I’ll still enjoy it because I enjoy her, but it will keep me from writing off, if she decides to depart from her normal thing and do something different.


I’m still going to go see it because I want her to succeed. Yeah I feel like between my Friends comment and now her as my example I’m not… I don’t stalk Jennifer Aniston she’s just the first thing that comes to mind.


Eli: Hahaha is she coming out with a new movie? Are you helping her with a new movie?


Suz: I have no idea! I have to check my diary when we’re done. But, you know, you have to see it as it’s a full package.


Eli: You’ve heard of the one thousand fans model?


Suz: Mhm.


Eli: And maybe it’s not exactly one-thousand, maybe it’s two-thousand, or maybe it’s less, who knows, but having less fans that care more about you is what I’m going for rather than having, you know, millions of people who might have heard my song once but don’t really know who I am.


Suz: Right.

Eli: And I’m totally happy with that! If I can if I can find my own little, you know, niche, my own little town, my own little village, and we’re all kind of working together and doing this music song project thing like that’s paradise to me.


And then just being able to sustain myself through music, that would be awesome. And, you know, I’m just figuring it out. I’ve just been in the game for a year/two years now, and so I have a lot, a lot to learn I’m just I’m understanding what is resonating with people. And the feedback they’re giving me is that, “Bring us into your process,” you know? “Connect us to that music, to that journey, and we’re here for you.” You know, like if you rely on us just as much as we rely on you for music then we can have a nice conversation, and so that’s just really adapting to what people are kind of like, you know, sending me energy wise, so that’s been a really important lesson I think.


Suz: A lot of people tend to become you know bull horns where it’s like, “Okay now I got to tell you it’s out! It’s out! It’s out! And here’s the music, here’s the music!”


Eli: Yes.


Suz: Where a lot of it, like eighty percent of it is about listening. And it’s like, “Here it is, now what do you want from me? And how do you want it from me? And what do you want more of?” And, you know, it’s a lot of listening to get people on board with what you’re doing.

Eli: In our modern-social-media-driven kind of consumption economy, people are feeling a little bit probably like they don’t have control over events around them or their Facebook feed or, you know, it’s a lot of stuff being thrown at people.


And I feel like if they just have a little bit of agency or a little bit of chance to even click a survey or respond to a story or repost something or, you know, be involved in the music that would make them feel a lot more connected and a lot more willing to share what we do as musicians, instead of telling someone just listen and share, maybe we can be like what does this remind you of? Or tag a friend who you go on a road trip with and this would be a great
song or you know any kind of thing like that. That really perks people up and it’s like, “Oh! I can actually be involved in this.”

And again, I’m just figuring this stuff out. I’m not an expert by any means. I haven’t figured out the golden trick yet, but that’s just again the ideas that I’m getting back from from friends and family and fans, so…


Suz: That really is. I don’t know if there’s any other golden secret besides that. It’s really, you know, letting them be a part of the journey is what it’s all about whether it’s directly in the music, or as you said, the process leading up to the music. You know I think it’s great, I think, you know, all of us have been fans before, you know, we’ve all had those artists that we would do anything for.


I once chased a limo for like five blocks when I was eight years old because I just assumed TLC was gonna in that limo.


Eli: Hahaha!


Suz: Because I didn’t know how the world worked apparently, but you know just to have some sort of experience with somebody that you admire really goes a long way when they ask you for that feedback. I mean when TLC did fan mail…


Eli: Yeah!


Suz: And said, “If you write to us will put your name in the liner notes.” Like, oh my god! So I mean that’s huge and I think we forget how excited we get when an artist we really like you know asks something of us, so I think that’s really great.


You’ve obviously learned a lot in the last year but for somebody who, you know, cares deeply about being authentic and you know is willing to go against the grain in certain aspects to do something that fulfills them creatively, how do you balance that – like how do you not get any sort of disdain for having to learn certain aspects of the business? Does this stuff interest you? Or like how did you come to terms with knowing that you had to kind of wear a couple hats?

Eli: Yeah, I guess, you know, back in the old days, you know, you’re a really good singer, you’re a great, you know, musician and somebody just came in in a limo and took you in and did everything else for you. You know and all you did was just you know drink and you know party and and play music and play shows and and that was it and have band friends, but those days are over.


Part of it is just understanding the necessity of it, like whether I like it or I don’t like it doesn’t really matter it’s just part of getting my music out there. And getting my music out there makes me happy and that’s my goal, therefore this is part of that goal.


The other part of it is I actually love figuring things out like I’ve actually had to learn, you know, you’ve had to learn Photoshop, you’ve got to learn, you know, like iMovie now and like editing videos. I’m like using Google drive, you know, I’m like what’s a press release?

Let me write my own press release! And what’s a bio? I gotta write that! It’s like it’s ridiculous so much stuff you have yo do.


Suz: Yeah.


Eli: But each one of those things is a learning process, and each one of those learning processes is a chance to grow and understand a little bit more about the industry, so part of that is really just understanding that it’s part of the business and figuring it out is the most effective way to get my music out to the right ears.


That idea has really allowed me to dive in and get to work really and understand that that’s what I need to do to get my music out into the world. And it’s fun you know? Like it’s hard, but it’s fun and then when I actually do get to the songs I can kind of put that aside and then this just get back to the craft as well, so it is a balancing act.


Suz: Yeah I mean I think it’s all in perspective, you know, like you said you could look at it as, “UGH! Now I’ve gotta learn this again,” or it’s just like, “Alright like it’s a puzzle,” and you know as a creative it’s like let’s put this picture together and figure it out.


You have to accept the emotional roller coaster as an entrepreneur and if you can already accept it rather than pretend it’s not there, then it makes the dips and even the highs when they kind of come unexpectedly, they can be jarring too, and as long as you can brace yourself for it, it makes it a little bit easier to tolerate.


And I think that’s really important just looking and it like, “Well this is what I signed up for and I’m gonna take the good, bad and the ugly, and I’m gonna try to make the best out of each piece of it.”


Eli: It’s a mind shift change just like you’re saying like if we are creatives then we should be able to change to whatever medium requires us to be creative in.


Suz: Right.


Eli: And if we’re in the business of creating relationships with our listeners through music, then we should also be in the business of creating relationships with people that will help our music get out there to the world.


So I feel like that mindset is a really big important step, too – having that sit down conversation with yourself being like, “This is part of it. If I can make this fun and engage myself one hundred percent that’s going to be a lot more helpful and lead to a lot less resistance.”


Suz: You know, one of the things in terms of building this community, and I’m sure mindset plays a big piece of this, your Patreon page, in again a fairly short amount of time, you’ve been able to really grow a community on there.


And I loved your welcome video and how you, you know, explained again – explain the process and explained, you know, what goes on in your life as a full-time musician and where does your income come from and all that stuff. How did… again was this something you put research into or was it trial and error? What do you feel has been the biggest help for you in terms of growing your Patreon community?


Eli: Sure. Well, thanks for checking that out, that’s great!


Suz: Yeah.

Eli: Thank you for watching the video and stuff, too. That’s been, I don’t think I would be able to survive this long without that community. We just hit one hundred patrons last month actually, so I released my upcoming album first to that community and got some great feedback, so it felt really good. You know like first I release things to my inner circle on Patreon and then I get the positive feedback, and I feel confident and comfortable enough to release it to the world after. It’s a great system.


Just like Patreon and just like Twitter and just like Facebook page I started at zero and that’s the hardest place, you know what I mean? It’s like, “Ugh – do I really have to do Twitter? Ahhhh!”


It’s like no you don’t but just throw it up there, you know what I mean? Put up the account you’ve got it there, you got the same handle, and then I saw Patreon and I was like these people have thousands of patrons and they’re making so much money and they have millions of followers there’s no way I could get there! You know?


Suz: Yeah.


Eli: But I was just like let’s just see. Let’s put up a page and I started with ten close friends and family before I even advertised it and they were like ‘Heck yeah!’ and then slowly about month per month – every month I reached out to maybe five or ten people on a personal basis.

And I was like, “Hey I’m doing this Patreon page;. I would love to have you join,” and some of them were all for it. Some of them didn’t want to do a monthly subscription which I totally understand, so don’t take it personally.


It’s all about finding the right people who want to interact with me on that platform. I mean, as you know, Suz, like some people are email people, some people are phone people, some people don’t want to hear from you but they’ll send you a three hundred dollar check, you know in a second. It’s kind of funny.


Suz: A ‘no’ isn’t exactly a ‘no’ to supporting you, it’s just, as you said, everybody has their own method and medium in which they prefer.

Eli: Exactly and some people can’t send money but they will share every single thing that I do on social media.


Suz: Exactly!


Eli: So it’s really just people kind of choose how they want to be involved and being okay with that as an artist is also a kind of important thing and to not take things personally. That Patreon page has actually been a really big growing point for me, personally, as an artist and in a relationship with my community to understanding what people like and what people need and how people prefer to connect.


Suz: Absolutely and you’d started to mention this in the beginning of our conversation, you know, how we both have this outlook when it comes to opportunities that it really has to do with the energy you have around it and your focus around it – are there certain routines or habits that you do to keep your energy or your mindset in a certain place? Or is it just innate like just something that’s just always been innate inside of you?


Eli: So let’s let’s pull back the curtain a little bit shall we?


Suz: Hahah.


Eli: The first year where I hadn’t started the business and I was just doing music, I was doing shows full-time and that was the most important thing, then you know maybe a little bit of social life, and then, you know, my health at the bottom of the pyramid.


Suz: Right.


Eli: And of course that’s totally opposite how it should be, but, you know, we all do this where we think our business and our livelihood comes first, but it’s just… it’s kind of like a little bit of a trick that we tell ourselves.


Suz: Right.

Eli: So this year after my LLC formed I was like, “Alright, if I’m really going to be in this and starting a business, really the most important thing is my health and my sanity and my spiritual and mental and emotional and physical well-being.


Then I need to make sure that I’m spending enough time with my family and friends, and then, you know, I can concentrate on the music that makes me happy and, you know, sustains me economically. That looks like meditation in the morning, jogging and biking two or three times a week, eating right and cutting out bad foods and drinking less alcohol because that dehydrates me and makes me not sing very well, you know?


Suz: Right.


Eli: All these things have really been slowly coming together that have been helping me create a more balanced and more easy lifestyle and, you know, just because we really want something doesn’t mean we have to run ourselves into the ground as you’ve talked about in your first podcasts. I really liked how you made that clear. Like you do not have to like hurt yourself, you know what I mean, to be happy.


Suz: Right.


Eli: It’s just counter-intuitive.


Suz: Right!


Eli: So yeah and it’s taken a lot of effort and a lot of planning to work that into my schedule and without that I don’t think I would be able to go as far as I have through the business and entertainment-wise either, so I think that’s a really good question to ask.


Suz: Yeah I think it’s important because I know people listening are just going to be like well how did he figure so much out in the beginning? And I think a lot of it has to do with how you approach things. It’s a huge, huge piece of the puzzle for sure, so I want to thank you for letting us into the behind-the-scenes, you know, sometimes when people are starting to build some traction they don’t like people poking around seeing what’s behind the curtain,
so thank you for allowing us to do that.

And we’ve reached our rapid-fire question portion. If you could choose one superpower, what would it be?


Eli: My one superpower would be to connect through music with pretty much anybody who is listening. So if I could create a sound or an energy or vibration to somehow make a connection with somebody who was on the other receiving end of that, that would be amazing.

Suz: That’s awesome. So if time travel were possible what’s one lesson you’d like to go back and tell yourself?

Eli: When I played “Roxanne” when I was fifteen years old at my high school talent show and messed up terribly, I’d go back and say, “Don’t worry. There’s another hope for you. You will rise from the ashes like a Phoenix and make better music down the road!”

Suz: That is amazing hahaha. Alright you get to invite three musicians, living or dead, to your house for dinner – who do you invite?

Eli: I would like to probably invite Bob Dylan just to make it really uncomfortable for everybody. Then I’d like to invite probably Mozart?

Suz: Okay.

Eli: To understand, he was kind of like the first business, like music businessman and get his thoughts on how he used the patronage model.

Suz: True.


Eli: And then okay, so Dylan, Mozart and let’s get Thom Yorke in there too, just to make it really strange and weird.


Suz: Let’s!

Eli: There’d probably just be a lot of like eye movements and grumblings going on in the table and then I’ll just, you know, keep serving different courses, but I still think that’d be a very cool experience for everybody.


Suz: Oh my gosh.


Eli: Quite the personalities at one table.


Suz: Yeah! So my last question, what’s something that you’d like our listeners to do.


Eli: I would like them to download your 3-Day Get Sh*t Done worksheets because it’s awesome and I’m on day two and I love everything about it.


Suz: Okay, your royalty check is in the mail, thank you very much!


Eli: People should go to your website and download that 3-Day Get Your Shit Done worksheet. It’s awesome! I highly recommend it.


Suz: Thank you, thank you very much for that, and I will – like I said that royalty check is in the mail.


Eli: Thank you!


Suz: I appreciate the shout-out. But really, seriously, thank you for coming on and sharing some insights for somebody that is you know a fairly newly-minted music-preneur but somebody that’s really taking the right approach to knocking this down.


And I have no doubt that you’ll continue to grow this exponentially because I love your outlook and I love your approach to everything that you’re doing. And I love your music so you’re about to have one more patron to add to the list.


Eli: Thank you! Yay!

Suz: I really enjoyed listening to All Roads East and so I look forward to Way Out West, and links to both of those EP’s will be in the show notes, so be sure to check them out!

Eli: Thank you, Suz! Thank you for the support. This has been awesome. You rock! Let’s keep it going.


I could talk to him all day long! I want to thank Eli for his time and his willingness to peel back to curtain a bit and share what he’s learned and what tips have worked for him in order to see results from his efforts.


And special shout out to Ariel Hyatt of Cyber PR for putting us in touch. If you want help finding your audience and tightening up your brand and online presence be sure to make an appointment with her! Links to her work are in the show notes.


I’d love to know what your biggest take away was from my conversation with Eli. What’s something you’ve walked away with that you can implement in your career beginning today?


Feel free to tell me in the comments of the show notes page – www.therockstaradvocate.com/ep64 – or send me an email – suz@therockstaradvocate.com and let me know!


If you’d like additional help and support on these topics and more join us THIS SEPTEMBER 26-28, virtually or in-person, at The Music-Preneur Mindset Summit where we’ll discuss everything from properly preparing your content before you pitch it, to engaging a lucrative and wildly enthusiastic fanbase, to prioritizing your focus on a day-to-day basis and so much more!


More information and a link to tickets and the full list of topics are available in the show notes page, www.therockstaradvocate.com/ep64.


As always, I thank you for listening and I’m here if you have any questions. Email me at anytime: suz@therockstaradvocate.com.

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

  • What inspired Eli’s 4-series EP release plan
  • How he decided to go against the advice out there on releasing singles
  • How he went about getting people to pay attention to his music
  • Eli’s take on building a community around your music
  • How he approaches the business side of things
  • Eli’s experience on building his Patreon
  • Eli’s chosen super power
  • A lesson he’d go back and tell himself
  • 3 musicians he’d invite to dinner
  • His actionable for you this week: Take my 3-Day Get Sh*t Done Challenge

Links/Rocksources

  • Theme music brought to you by DC-based Indie/Pop band Sub-Radio
  • More podcast episodes can be found here
  • You can download a copy of the episode’s transcript here
  • Start your adventure with Eli here on his website
  • Listen to Eli’s All Roads East here
  • Listen to Eli’s Way Out West here
  • Join his Patreon here
  • Check out Ariel Hyatt’s Cyber PR services & resources here
SIGN UP FOR THE 3-DAY GET SH*T DONE CHALLENGE HERE

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