Dave Lukas Chats with Jonathan Mann
146: A Lesson in Discipline from the “Song-A- Day-Man,” Jonathan Mann
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Jonathan Mann. I first met Jonathan at the Fireside Entrepreneur Retreat. I was curious as to why I saw this guy walking around everywhere with a ukulele in his hands everywhere he went. And then, one evening, at dinner, I was even more surprised to see him announced and come up on stage.
It turns out, Jonathan is known worldwide as the “Song a Day Man.” He’s been featured on CNN, Time, and a ton of major outlets as well as performed at various TED events, not to mention being hired by companies like Dr. Pepper, Novartis, Gartner, and others to create a unique memory for the events.
Jonathan has a written a new song and posted the video of it every day since January 1st, 2009. That is well over 3000 songs and by the way a Guinness world record.
Talk about Misfit Entrepreneur who created an awesome business by doing something people thought were crazy, I knew as I soon as I saw him on stage that I had to have him on the show the share his experience and what he’s learned on his journey.
@Songadaymann on Twitter
Jonathan has known that he wanted be a song-writer since he was 12 when he got his first guitar. He was obsessed. It was all he thought about and did. But, as he says, he “sucked at it for a long time.” He says he has no real natural talent, it just happened because he has stuck with it for so long. He kept writing songs all through high school and college.
He would struggle with writer’s block and finding inspiration. He would always have the urge to create and express himself, but would get blocked because of this. He would have moments where nothing good would come out. In the winter of ’08, he was 25 years old, it was the height of the financial crisis, he was unemployed, and Jonathan got handed a flyer for a thing called “Fun-A-Day,” a global art project where people make a piece of art each day for 30 days in January.
He decided to do a song and video on YouTube every day for January. It went well and he had a fun doing. He decided to do it for a year. Once he accomplished that, it became his life and mission. He is now over 3800 days straight (10 years!) and going and has received the Guinness World Record.
Talk to us about Discipline as it takes a tremendous amount to do what you do…
How has doing this helped you grow as a person? Anything changed?
What is an important business lesson you’ve learned from your journey?
At the 27 minute mark, Jonathan has a unique take on chances and creativity….
It is easy to shoot yourself down before you even start, but if you think of it this way. Each chance you have is precious and if you don’t take it you lose out on that chance. A lesson is that there are always more chances. If you take just one big chance a year, it has a tremendous weight behind it and in your mind huge ramifications. But, if you have 365 chances, they have less weight, but you have more chance to succeed in larger ways than if you miss the one big chance.
Tell us about the business you’ve built around Song-a-Day?
How do you find inspiration?
At the 40 min mark, Jonathan tells us about his latest project, the ISO. Initial Song Offering.
Over 3000 songs, which one is your favorite?
Tweet This: “It is easy to shoot yourself down before you even start, but if you think of it this way. Each chance you have is precious and if you don’t take it you lose out on that chance. A lesson is that there are always more chances. If you take just one big chance a year, it has a tremendous weight behind it and in your mind huge ramifications. But, if you have 365 chances, they have less weight, but you have more chance to succeed in larger ways than if you miss the one big chance.”
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