"I am not attached to becoming Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift level, famous Ed Sheeran, that kind of thing. I want to be able to make six figures or more with just my music kind of on residual things like Patreon merch sales, stuff like that performances. In the meantime, I think sometimes we have such a grand definition of success. It can really detract from your experience in the present to actually achieve that. So the way that I look at success now is every day I am taking another step towards the most important goals that will move me towards that." Luke Justin Roberts

Successful Musicians Podcast Episode 6


Interviewee: Luke Roberts


Interviewer: Jason Tonioli


Hey, this is Jason Tonioli. I’m a piano player that grew up believing it wasn’t possible to earn a living and support a family with music. I’ve proven that idea was wrong and I’ve met hundreds of other people who have found success with their music. This podcast features stories of musicians who have found their own personal version of success and fulfillment in both music and life. This podcast is meant to inspire musicians and help them believe in their abilities and motivate them to share their talents with others. This is the Successful Musicians Podcast.


Jason: Hey, welcome to the Successful Musicians Podcast! This is Jason Tonioli. I’m here with Luke Roberts “LJR” today. He’s a friend that I met down in Costa Rica, (which I’m ready to go back to, it’s like freezing cold here in Utah, ready for some warm weather.)

Luke and I kind of hit it off. We were down in Costa Rica with Modern Musician Mastermind Group and he’s a multi talented guy. He’s a musician but he’s also got super ninja moves when it comes to doing film and video or music videos, and he actually was willing, when we were down there to get up at like 5am and record a music video, with the Costa Ricans and the volcano.

The more I’ve talked with Luke, as I’ve gotten to know him, he’s got a very unique history and as he’s worked with tons and tons of musicians over time and wanted to bring him on the podcast and just kind of talk to him about what he sees as his success. As we dive in and maybe just tell us a little bit about how you ended up on this music journey that you’re on and how did you get to where you are today?

Luke: Thank you so much for having me, Jason. Costa Rica was such a blast. I think probably the biggest reason was because of all the people that I got to connect with and you were one of those people. So, that was one of the things. You never know who you’re going to actually stay in touch with after. I’ve been on a lot of trips where you feel like there’s this really cool connection that doesn’t actually materialize in anything later. It’s really high. So I’m really grateful for that. It’s also just an honor to be here to talk to you today. I hope everybody’s here to get some value on my journey. There’s so much value in hearing out other people’s stories and kind of how they got to where they’re at, how they define success and helping to really kind of changed a lot of the things that were going on my brain directly unhealthy that were keeping me from leading a life it was actually happening and actually also getting to the levels of success that I really wanted to.

My journey started when I was about 5. My whole family was pretty musical. I didn’t really actually want to play music, that wasn’t my big thing at the time. My older brother got a guitar because my dad was in a band and would always be like the roadies and everything, carrying in and out of the shows and starting playing guitar and I was like well I guess now I have to learn an instrument. So let me just pick the easiest thing, which is drums because you don’t have to do any complicated fingerings on anything, you know piano or guitar, with drums you just hit stuff, like just very simple, very obvious. This is gonna be the best thing. Easiest. So that’s what I did. I walked to the stage with the easiest instrument, but I have a lot of “drums are so hard” and “oh my, guitar is so hard, and now it’s like singing like there’s certain things that are hard for me to access and figure out how — singing, I’m thinking which is a corollary of growth. So that’s how it kinda started.

My brother kind of forms a band. I played a lot in church. That was probably one of the biggest musical things for me growing up because every Sunday there would be like 4 services, there’d be like small groups and stuff during the week– youth nights, worship nights, prayer nights, all that kind of stuff. And that ended up being a very foundational thing for me — it shows my identity, the whole Christian evangelical thing, kind of save the world by sharing the message of Jesus, trying to get people to like say that these words they believe that Jesus was the Son of God and he died to pay for our sins and now they believe that I can go to heaven after they die.

And eventually, as I kind of got older and went to college, things really seemed so much so I started off kind of kinda not bad way but more heavily on the apologetic, so I learned about survival, things like that. Anyway, over time, as I started to figure out what am I going to do as an adult, I was still kind of contemplating a lot and like what my parents wanted me to do.

So I actually went through grad school for mechanical engineering. I was an undergrad for mechanical as well. There was a scholarship program I was a part of. UMBC called the Meyerhof scholars. They really push you to go and get your PhD. So I was actually in the PhD program at the University of Maryland, working on autonomous aerobatics and navigation, flapping wings and miniature air vehicles, which are basically a fancy term for robotic birds. We designed this thing. We programmed it to do all sorts of different things. I was kind of in charge of navigational parts and making sure I had an algorithm, keeping it stable and also doing some flips and dives automatically. So you had to know how high it is in the sky, basically project out what its dive path would be based on how high it was.

The model that we created for this thing, basically the flat plate physics model, which is not the most accurate version of but anyway, it did pretty well for 30 people just more than enough of what we really needed it also.

So without sounding too overly nerdy on this, I realized eventually that like during all this stuff, I was gradually becoming more dead and less happy and actually more angry. As time went on, I was really unfulfilled. And I was listening to these podcasts as I would go to work in the morning. I thought that you were actually paid to go to grad school. Most people don’t know that in Steinfeld in the US , you will actually get paid a stipend to go and do your PhD. It is pretty awesome. So they actually paid your tuition and they pay like between 22 and $36,000 a year to go. It is an amazing deal.

I was really lucky to have that opportunity but for me I was starting to really die inside. This time, a lot of things were really falling apart — relationship with God and was really starting to unravel. I started to see this doesn’t really make sense anymore. From my experience that doesn’t match what I was told this slide was going to be like and I tried so hard to hold on it to try to make it make sense, to try to force an interpretation that would allow me to still have that foundation but in the end, I couldn’t honestly do that and keep my integrity intact.

So, I kind of like to lean on the very penance of the scripture that I followed about. “Knock and the door will be open to you.” To just really seek truth and I realized that God is truly true, there’s nothing that I have to worry about if I’m genuinely seeking truth. I think, I’ve grown, as I lost my faith as it was and I kind of got to where I am now, there’s a level which I have reconnected with some aspects of spirituality. It’s simply not an evangelical tradition or in any religious tradition at all but what that did was it allowed me to start to experience a much deeper meaning in the world because I could see kind of how everything was connected a lot more and how I wasn’t quite as isolated as I was starting to feel.

Anyway, after grad school, I actually quit grad school in the 4th year, only 1 year left because I was so upset ,so depressed, and so unhappy living my life for other people. I was about 26, I was like “This is it!!” My brother was really a huge thing in encouraging me to leave and like I was saying with a podcast, I was listening on my way to work. There’s this one called the strategic entrepreneur and the guy, every time they would end their podcast, retired, they would say “Don’t ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive.” Because the world needs more people who come alive.

And first, there’s this thought wow it was super cheesy, but it also really hit me as being really deep and true. I knew that for myself, like an actual way to think about what it is that makes you do that that is like what’s the thing that you would always do for the rest of your life even if you never got paid? And for me, it was three things. It was creating arts, empowering people and building relationships. So I started kind of from that point.

Whatever I do, it needs to fall into those three categories. I realized that I spent years in the engineering grad school, robotic birthing into that but it wasn’t really gonna make me happy. It was creating music, that was my greatest artwork so I went back to that. My brother was a huge part of encouraging me to pursue that.

I had some weird stuff there because his relationship was kind of challenging at the time and it was all a struggle. Eventually, “this is really who I am”. It took me a couple of years to really get into groove with that. I picked up video editing, videos and shooting and production along the way because a lot of YouTube videos, did a lot of YouTube covers, popular songs and stuff like that.

Some of the big things that changed for me was probably marketing my music stuff. A real fanbase that actually was doing things like when I moved into an apartment. I’m in charge of that stuff like contributing to, I believe, Patreon or GoFundMe campaigns. I just had an event last week that made cold baskets just cash happy. $200 stencils are just crazy. What am I actually doing with my music?

I have done a lot of self reflection and like trying to grow and working through my own personal stuff, going to therapy, trying to work stuff for some family, processing my loss of fate. There’s just a lot of deep pain and sadness that I was working through. And I realized as I was trying to put together songs, I probably have twenty five songs that might have made it on the album, and these are my kind my favorite songs back a little bit without working on these debut solo albums, I’m doing these side by series.

I didn’t know that this was what I was going to do. It’s just that I want to do originals, I’m tired of doing covers. So, I switched to doing original stuff, kept doing the marketing as I was doing the content development — could not manage that. So eventually I just decided okay, I’m just gonna go full time into making the album and that was my reality, first like delving into the depths of my soul from a very emotional standpoint.

When you’re going into the music stuff and really taking it seriously, you’re connecting with parts of yourself that maybe didn’t really give yourself access to before and I knew that was part of my damage was that I wasn’t really able to access the emotions that were more difficult growing up, the same way I think we’re people normally.

Doing this album and really putting like what my experience was for funds. As this is the most important thing obviously for the album, the right to try to connect with that became extremely emotional. It was very challenging to get through but also felt very healing and right. So it’s like all the songs disorganized any quarter of what I’ll do at a live show that I started to think that he’s really trying to decide like it’d be really cool to have a narrative series. As I stated to do the first one, the whole story kind of came together in terms of what this is really about.

It is about the transition from the person that I used to be with that old foundation of a very insecure fate. It was based on meeting a certain amount of needs that I’ve had from the trauma that I went through, basically.

So that’s the thing, dropping that fear. I don’t know what life’s gonna hold but I am not going to be controlled by this anymore. I’m developing this new person in me being the person that’s in charge of the community, the ideology of my fate, religious structures. That gave me such incredible freedom. It was also that time that I was really down with this massive amount of imposter syndrome. What gives this journey value, a sense of like true authenticity, and it was like well, it’s just, I believe that I am person and it’s very weird to navigate by going through this whole process and our creativeness and side by series which kind of like a bunch of short films that tell the story, even just central legitimacy, helped me to really believe my own story in a way that I don’t think I ever did when I was a Christian.

It was empowering things to me, so that I would actually go about creating the music and the live shows. In our first live show, I want to be able to communicate a sense of that possibility and greenlit people to experience that’s gonna be why I do music.

So obviously, there’s lots of ways in which I still have worked my own blocks and stuff like that. But music for me has been probably the great freedom to really connect with who I am at my deepest level, come the most alive and you find people that are really connected with a real community, obviously to storytelling on CVI YouTube tutorials where I’m at now.

Jason: You really never intended on being a musician. Did you grow up being told, hey, get a real job, you gotta go to school. You got to do all this stuff. That was kind of where you came from?

Luke: My dad would always use, “Do you want fries with?” That was a joke and ended up being more… to me it was not particularly hurtful because my dreams weren’t really attached to that.

My older brother, his dreams are very much attached to that so that ended up being a thing he had to work through, but now we’re in a better spot, obviously, part of the family but now we’re in a much better spot where our parents really do support whatever it is that we do, and they just want us to be happy. And they also seem like it is possible to really make things work with music in a way that they just weren’t really before it was a lot more difficult.

So they’re like I learned on the video production stuff. Of course that was a massive help. So I do shoot videos for other artists and that helps pay the bills and stuff like that as I don’t have enough money to invest in my own music. I’m not trying to do this if I don’t know if you have 300 hours, or even five. Oh my god, that’s so much money. How can I ever do that? Even though I do all the hard work or most of the hard work, I have a team and I still pay $1,500 per video and that’s way under what I should be paid. So hopefully, one day, I can pay a lot more to my team.

Jason: So awesome. It’s so interesting to just see how a lot of these people that are doing music don’t really have intentions of ever going down this path because as I talk to people. It’s so funny how these little things that you learn on your own as a hobby because you have to do it on your own figuring that stuff out. And all of a sudden you become like this jack of all trades with his toolbox, has all these crazy tools that most people never get to have to get pigeonholed by him just making acrobatic bird robot things to fly around. I mean, that’s cool, but I think all of the things you can learn along the way to get there can be applied to other things if you’re gonna put the pieces of puzzles together.

Luke: Totally. It’s amazing. It’s like the amount of things that I’ve learned now have kind of opened up by five different career paths. Like if I wanted to, I could be a social media marketer because I know how to run ads, set up ads, manage campaigns, all that stuff. I could also be just a content creator. Ideally I can do photography, get ticket brands and put it in photography form, I could do just video, as well. Also just like consulting, streamlining, like I’ve had to work so hard to streamline to maximize my personal efficiency so that I can actually do all these things.

I mean, even like how to do your own things like accounting and legal and obviously, for that stuff, I would never do that for the people because I’m not licensed and blah, blah. But like you just learned so much stuff that you can now show up in a way that allows you to help other people if you wanted to do like five different things. Very, very easy to do, even like video and photography. So if you don’t want to just be taking photos you might be saying, what is the story of this company? What is the message and the emotion that we’re trying to convey? How can we create that within these photos and how can we use that as a structure to create this journey and you want that all to flow together from the first ad that they see to the website all this other stuff? I make websites, too.

Jason: It’s awesome! You’ve had quite a journey here. I know with modern musicians you’re talking with a lot of different musicians every week that are coming in and they have aspirations from maybe they’re young, maybe they’re old. What advice do you typically give to them, if you were in their shoes, trying to say okay, if I’m a young kid, advice would you give somebody that’s thinking about doing something with music as a career?

Luke: I guess there’s a couple pieces of advice. The first one is if you know that is what you truly love, then you should go for it. I think one of the biggest challenges is that when you’re young, it’s hard to know what you truly want. And this is because it’s influenced so heavily by so many other people in your community to the point where you’re not even aware.

I think most people end up living their lives doing what other people want them to make them feel safe. Usually this is like parents, right? So parents, they want their kids to grow up being whatever something’s something. That’s what the parent feels like is going to be able to keep their kids safe and all the stuff. What the parent doesn’t realize is that this is actually operating way more so out of like the parents needs and the actual childhood like yeah, of course the child needs to survive or take care of themselves. But I think usually parents are way too attached to their kids’ success as the parent defines it. And that, depending on the type of upbringing and relationship that you had with your parenting style, makes it very difficult to see how you’re actually choosing even if you’re in touch with what you actually truly want.

So the question that I ask myself on a regular basis is like, well, what are my real priorities and why am I doing these things? Especially when it comes to somebody that’s asking me to do something or somebody is telling me something that I should do. If I’m doing it because this other person has told me to do it, especially if they’re part of that older community that I was a part of before and used to take as kind of like, really heavy inspiration for my decisions and I gave a lot of influence to, then I usually try to backseat that a good bit and make sure I’m making my own decision.

I also ask myself what do I want to do versus what my gut tells me? Also, sometimes like where’s my fear? Because fear, I mean, obviously, if there’s like situations where you’re physically in danger, that’s a different type of fear, right? Fear in general, like emotionally, is usually tied to desire. It’s like two sides of the same coin. And so if you’re looking at where your fear is, you’re almost always looking at something that you deeply desire as well. And the reason for that is because when you are afraid, it’s attached to a vulnerability, and vulnerability is attached to something that you deeply want and that opens up the possibility of you getting hurt.

One thing that Michael Walker said, which he doesn’t remember saying, but he thought through that was that “Fear is kind of the only thing that runs and it gets smaller as you run toward it.” So pay attention to where the fear is, usually going a little bit opposite of what your original community has told you, especially if they’re not in the world that you want to be in, if you are not succeeding. Like there’s no reason to listen to those people because they’re not doing what you want to be. Run towards your fear. Identify what that is. Figure out what desire is in there, what you really want, regularly reflect on that, spend time on that and also be trying to surround yourself with people who are actually doing the things that you wanted to and be as honest with yourself as you possibly can.

I was going to recommend everyone go to therapy but it’s so helpful to have somebody who is really intentionally looking at you and your journey without taking their own personal stuff. They do not have any attachment to what you choose to do or don’t choose to do, they’re giving you the most unbiased view that they can.

Those are the biggest things that I would recommend. And then try to recognize that you, try to work towards it sensitively yourself that you learn how to do anything. There’s no reason that will stop you technically from being able to be successful.

There’s tutorials online for everything you can possibly want to do now. So if it’s stuff like I didn’t know how to do my own accounting when I first started, my mom does the accounting like the work that I’ve done with my brother, we kind of work together with the same company before. First I’m just gonna ask her for some tips and tricks and stuff. And I realized that the servers that they were using XERO were fantastic. It’s cheaper. It integrates with almost everything. Like they have support lines, we just call them everyday. If they call you first, we call up like, hey, like you have any questions or anything. We want to help you get stuff set up. They’ll do stuff for you like coaching to do like this monthly subscription product and with all the automations that are out there, they show you how to set up these automations so that you’re not actually having to do all the work that a standard CPA would do. Just like all these rules. When a charge comes in, it just categorizes it to a certain type of thing based on what’s happened before and you can see like if the description includes starter pack merch or whatever that automatically buys that rule, they just double check just typing words or categories supposed to go through all this kind of stuff.

That’s everything from accounting to CGI, but most of the stuff I learned about video from a fan on YouTube. I have some friends who taught me a couple of things as well. So it was just like, let me look at what these people are doing that I’d like their video. Some of them you can see in the background. This is really cool. The video is like striding into the screen. And also just where’s the light casting on the face where the shadow is just trying to put your light there..

On top of that there’s literally somebody who has tutorials for almost every style of lighting .They’ll tell you what lights to use, like and show you how to do CGI and stuff like that, how to run all the different programs. It’s truly amazing so it’s very normal thing to be afraid of the massive amount of stuff you have to do and it does help to not know everything that you are going to have to learn because that will truly be overwhelming but once you actually get on the journey, If you’re clarifying your direction because you know what you want and you’re moving at that regularly then you turn to your purpose and your sense of direction.

Jason: I think we live in such a unique time, when you think of 20 years ago or 30 years ago where everybody thought oh, I have to go to college and that’s the place you can learn it. Learn to do pieces of that but he wasn’t you weren’t limited by those half dozen professors or whatever you’re gonna learn from. They had no way to be exposed to all these other things either. In the banking world news in terms of opera company, what we found is great and somebody can get through college and you can learn to jump through the hoops and they’ve learned some things but you weren’t prepared to come out and actually do whatever the thing was, no matter what even if you’d like majored in that thing. You have no clue how to be super useful in that thing.

It’s amazing to me that there’s so many people out there that think, Oh, I graduated, you know, you walk in through your diploma, that’s great. And all of a sudden, like, I swear more than half the people out there think oh, I’m all done and they never invest themselves when it comes to education ever again. I think it’s just such a sad thing with a lot of culture and even in the fear, like you’re talking about, we think, Oh, I went to engineering school. That’s my thing. Well, if you really love that thing, you’re gonna dive into it and you’re gonna go spend probably 1000s of dollars, you’re willing to spend 1000s of dollars on your education every year and all of a sudden, everything now when you graduate, walk across the stage and get your diploma.

It’s amazing to me that a lot of people just quit learning to that point, just assume that their employer is going to take care of that for them. To find happiness, that rarely happens and it’s why so many people end up being unhappy in their career or their job, and then they feel stuck because they’ve not learned how to actually learn in a lot of cases.

Luke: I think that brings up a really fascinating point, which is that people are obsessed with being safe and feeling safe. I get it. I think it makes a lot of sense. I have a lot of trauma that I’ve gone through and it’s terrifying to be in a situation where your body’s responding in a certain way that makes you totally freak out, shut down and things like that. But real life isn’t happening in the areas where you’re uncomfortable. That’s where real growth happens. If you prioritize being safe then you’re never gonna get to experience that you’re actually going to experience more fear long term by prioritizing being safe because you’re not learning how to actively face the situations that come up, you’re just trying to escape them as quickly as possible. You’re not learning the skills to be able to cope with that, to be able to move through it and eventually it’s actually part of a sense of empowerment in those moments in life, having a lot of meaning and power.

I think it’s amazing what the stats are in terms of how many people have been hurt and traumatized. There’s a book called “The Body Keeps The Score”. In the very first chapter, it’s like how many people have gone through some type of significance, physical or emotional trauma? It’s something like between all the different types. It’s like 30-50%of all people have experienced something like that — either being molested as a kid or something where they saw their parents engaging in physical fights, they got kind of aggressively approached by their parents to the point where their parents actually left a mark on them. These are like almost 25% or higher or 20% or higher for each one of those that you’re likely to have experienced as a kid.

And there’s the emotional neglect as well — like your parents didn’t know how to show up for you when you were developing emotionally. Their parents didn’t know how to show up for them and typically this manifests. The parents are super uncomfortable when you’re sad, hurt or angry and those types of more difficult emotions because their parents don’t know how to do it for them, so now they actually feel really uncomfortable when you do that as a kid. They ended up pushing this to human intention because you learn when your parents respond to you, when they’re super uncomfortable like that, that’s actually like there’s something wrong with you, that the way you’re responding to the situation with this emotion that this emotion is actually bad

Then you actually learn this conditional acceptance that in order to get the kind of attachment to security that you need as a child to feel safe, you actually have to show up in a certain way, which is like a very large modification of who you are.

This information that went in that was very important to tell you things, to give you these strong, difficult emotions, which are telling you how something’s wrong, you are learning to like to refresh and shove those down in a way.

Then, it becomes of paramount importance as you get older to really focus on being safe. Because all you’ve learned in the past, especially when it comes to this emotional stuff, which is directly tied with what you are, is that that’s not okay, that’s wrong, I need to shove that down and not pay attention to that. If I engage in that all of a sudden I’m really emotionally insecure, afraid.

What’s crazy is that our brains don’t actually perceive a difference between a physical threat and an emotional threat. It’s like an idea, it’s different from your current idea, your brain responds to the same kind of defensiveness like “Oh, I’m gonna put up my walls”.

And when you experienced trauma, what happens from a physical standpoint in your brain is that your brain creates all these chemicals and dumps them into your body, creating toxins your body wants, body experiences, all these strong emotions and sensations throughout the whole thing so the stomach feels tight, the chest feels weird, adrenaline orders through your body, and now these emotions motivate an action. This is really just to get you out of that situation to make you feel safe.

The problem is that you can actually take action, you learn a sense of helplessness and powerlessness and the part of your brain responsible for your sense of urgency doesn’t actually develop properly. And these hormones, these chemical systems keep pumping through your body and keep you in a state of hypervigilance.

Now you’re hyper aware of threats, to potential situations where there’s a lack of safety. So this gets really challenging. I think it was part of this, because there’s all sorts of when you’re in this kind of state, all things can be false positives in this kind of experience.

So when you’re trying to actually move towards what you want, oftentimes, there’s a lot of fear and associated with that and general things you don’t understand that we’ve just touched on a little bit of everybody’s experience with specifics that it’s different there’s also all the community stuff around that is reinforcing oftentimes that you shouldn’t do that so it’s terrifying to actually go in that direction as an artist.

That’s why if you can, that’s part of why they fear moving towards that is so important. You’re going to be able to actually make real steps towards true fulfillments if you’re doing that and that’s why they are dangerous, because you’re always gonna run into situations where you lose your job, or somebody leaves you that you thought was going to be your partner for life or whatever happens. Huge crises come up and if you don’t have the ability to process through the emotional strain and the maturity through that, it’s going to be like this. ” Okay, everything’s okay because I’m recording and then it gets too much work and then ahhhh crisis and you just crash and then slowly get back to that thing.

Jason: And then you get back to safety. You want to get back to the safe place that you felt comfortable in and I think really, it’s interesting to think there’s that risk management that I think through at a mature level as an artist, you’ve got to recognize, okay, most artists aren’t successful immediately. You are going to make enough money to support your family. And so finding that balance if you love music, and you want to do that, oftentimes, I don’t think it’s the right thing to just quit, you’re usually never the right thing to quit your job. Right?

It’s gonna take 10, 20 years of working at it and I think finding happiness or success even may just be a hobby for you and that’s totally okay. But kind of finding what is it that that brings you that joy, brings you that passion for the stuff you’re doing and not having enough money to be able to even do the stuff that you really dreaming about is probably even worse than not doing it at all because now I see people getting lost sometimes and not knowing what to do and then when they don’t have the money to do the cool projects or the videos like we were talking about, that just creates more problems when you get down on yourself.

So that’s why I think this is super interesting that you should have gotten your PhD in Psychology it sounds like to me. Last question to you. Just a short, quick answer. So for you, at least as of today, what does success as a musician mean to you? What does success look like for you as a musician?

Luke: That was actually what I was I wanted to touch on because I want to just say, I think for me, there’s two types of success. There’s the ultimate kind of goal of where I want to get to, and that is going on tour. I’d like to go on tour for 5 months a year or maybe more. Maybe 2 months, just because that might be more than enough for me. I would like to do that and pack up to do that and it kind of got venues that are 1000 people. If it’s more than that, I think that’d be great.

(33:21)I am not attached to becoming Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift level, famous Ed Sheeran, that kind of thing. I want to be able to make six figures or more with just my music kind of on residual things like Patreon merch sales, stuff like that performances.

In the meantime, I think sometimes we have such a grand definition of success. It can really detract from your experience in the present to actually achieve that. So the way that I look at success now is every day I am taking another step towards the most important goals that will move me towards that.

For example, right now what I do is I have goal trackers and Excel spreadsheets or Google Sheets. I just have it set up so that every column is a different day of the week. And the very first one was like the goals for the entire week. Spread them out and write down what are the most important things that need to happen, but the money each day, just trying to make sure for the day I keep that tab open, go back I type in what is the thing I just did. Notice like, Oh, I just did five things that aren’t actually related to this most important thing and so by the end of the day, if I do get to the point where I’ve actually accomplished that most important thing, I’ve actually succeeded and redefining that so that every over time, as long as the journey is regularly going up, that is really the success.

Eventually also having a metric for how the slope changes, right? The derivative, shall we say, for anybody math nerds out there? I want to just be at this level forever, right? And typically growth goes like this and then all of a sudden you’re like, I need to just kind of shoot up. Typically, it is really how it happened. So knowing where I can be more efficient, reflecting back on my past to where I am now. To see, like, am I actually doing a lot better than I was back then?

It’s so easy now to be like, I only made $1,000 this month, right? Just two years ago, I was like, I can make $3,000 a month. I don’t even know how to deal with all that money. That kind of something like seeing those things or being able to contrast those to have a clearer picture of where you’re at and instead of having just a streamed level of success which will always kind of creates a sense of shame if you just compare exactly where you are now and where you are then, without grounding the steps in between.

As long as I’m moving towards that goal every day, taking these real steps and slowly getting a little bit more efficient through reflection over time then that to me is success.

Jason: Awesome. Luke, thanks so much, I appreciate you taking time and hopefully you guys have gotten some value out of the thoughts that he shared. Will catch you on the next one.


Hey, it is Jason here and I hope you have gotten a lot of value out of this episode. Be sure to check out our show notes to learn more about our guest for today and if you’d like to support our podcast, there’s a few things that you could do to help us grow. 

First, if you hit SUBSCRIBE, it will help ensure that you do not miss future episodes. Second, if you SHARE this with your friends on social media, and send it via email or messages, this helps us spread the word as well. Third, if you leave an honest review, it really helps with the algorithm so that other people can find our podcast. 

Finding success and fulfillment in the music industry is possible. Looking forward to seeing you in our next episode 7.


How to Connect with the Featured Guest:

Our special guest for today is Luke Roberts “LJR”. He is a multi-talented musician with a very unique story. He is very skilled when it comes to doing film and music videos. 

Having a PhD in Aerobatics, let’s discover how LJR went from programming robotic birds to pursuing his creative process, writing, audio production, video production, business, and marketing.

What You’ll Learn

In this episode, LJR will share about his music journey on how he became a Meyerhof scholar, working on autonomous aerobatics and navigation, flapping wings and miniature air vehicles but gradually becoming more dead and less happy and actually more angry.

He also narrates the story on how he overcome impostor syndrome and living a fulfilled and happy life by running towards his fears.

Things We Discussed

  • LJR’s music journey
  • LJR’s career shift
  • LJR’s advice on a kid thinking about doing something with music as a career
  • LJR’s take on what does success look like for him as a musician

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