How Hacking Music Works - In 1 Image

Wow! Almost 700 subs in a few weeks of testing the newsletter. Thanks for tuning in. Thought I'd break it down to its essential core. What is Hacking Music?

Theres a lot of things it is...

  • Is it 15 years of best bits to help unplug artists from the magical thinking and mythology MOST music artists succumb to. Oh yeah.

  • Is it loaded with Business Models for the new music marketplace. Yes

  • Is it a tested collection of habits used everyday by headliner level artists? Absolutely.

  • Artists having Ecom Sales 1K days again and again? Yes it is.

  • Is it project management tools for Artist Entrenprenuers? Well, Yes.

  • Is it over 200+ Force Multipliers? Hell yeah.

  • E-commerce store in the top 8% of all the E-Commerce stores? Indeed.

  • 1000s of Sync licenses? Yes.

  • Artist launching the releases debt-free and profitable from sale #1?

  • Is it a collection of Strategic Frameworks? definitely

  • Is it our best takeaways after winning some awards: American Music Award, Nominated for Song of the Year, Nominated Video of the Year? Yes it is.

  • Is it what we learned after being heard on 22 singles, 15 charted in Billboard top 10, 6 that reached #1? Yup.

  • Is it No bullshit, Real World, 100%Actionable? Yes, yes and YES.

But at the end of the day. This is it. THIS is Hacking Music in 1 simple image.

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If your into education nerdery it looks like this.

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If this makes your tail wag, you may want to grab the Free "Laying The Foundation - Removing Limiting Beliefs" 

Book 1 in The Hacking Music Series (E-book Edition) Details the components of a strong foundation in the music marketplace for artists and entrepreneurs. This collection of mindsets, habits and forced multipliers help unplug artists from the magical thinking and mythology many music artists succumb to and replace them with the pieces of a foundation that artist can build on throughout their career. This is the foundation that we will build upon in the coming books in the Hacking Music series.

Below is the original preface from the book that Jeff McMahon, Wade Sutton and myself authored. I hope it strengthens you.




In writing this book, we have four primary goals:

1. To help those in the music business learn how to focus their efforts in a way that leads to greater success in the music industry.

2. To assist those in the music business in understanding the importance of and differenc- es between Right-Brain Thinking, Left-Brain Thinking, and Whole-Brain Thinking and how they impact a career in music.

3. To show those in the music business why the business aspects of music are just as important as the creative components when attempting to sustain a career.

4. To provide those in the music business with ways to better execute strategies and manage projects so as to avoid feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.

Many artists pursuing a career in music struggle without a plan, making decision after decision based solely on how they feel in the given moment. There is no focus ... and no strategic intent. The end result is a failure to reach career milestones - the “dream,” as it were. Hit songs are never recorded, concert tours are never launched, and those ever-elusive awards are never, well, awarded. The lessons in this book will provide you with skills and concepts to help you identify your destination, plot your course, and sail your ship toward success.

If we were to use an image to represent these goals, it would look a lot like this:

Books on finding success in the music industry are, at minimum, frustrating. The business is constantly changing; just when you think you’ve got it figured out ... it turns upside down again. CDs turn into downloads, purchases become streaming, and the book you bought just a year ago on how to be on the “cutting edge” is obsolete and outdated.

If you are looking for a book on the creative or musical side of the business or some sort of music instruction, this book is not for you. We’ve purposely avoided focusing on the artistic creative part.

But how you think, plan, build and execute the business of being an artist will always be relevant and essential. This is exactly what we focus on with this book.

In his 2011 book, Fooled by Randomness, in the chapter titled “Lecturing Birds on How to Fly,” Nassim Taleb uses birds as a metaphor to explain how time is often spent teaching particular tasks that are inherently self-motivated. Musicians will always want to focus on the music. It's the fun, sexy stuff. In short, birds will learn to fly because it is part of being a bird and in their self-interest. Birds aren’t forced into studying how to fly; it’s what they do.

For a musician, this is often the same. Musicians practice. It's no secret that somebody interested and motivated in music will find a way to become a better musician over a period of time.

And for those ready to learn, the tools are out there. Today, more than ever before, vast resources are at the tips of our fingers for greater learning and self-education. Search YouTube or Google and you can find everything from the most basic music theory to the latest innovations in business management ... with just a few important keywords.


We want to introduce you, the artist, to your new best friend: The Hacker.

It is difficult for some artists to recognize, but the very same processes and systems necessary for the development of a successful non-music business are critical for the launch of a successful music career; the product is different ... but the process is the same.

Unfortunately, many don’t see this connection between music and business; instead, they perceive the two as separate and disconnected forces, in many ways at war with one another.

We, however, see these two industries as intrinsically intertwined. They are sister processes to one another. Indeed, the end product (single, EP, or technology platform) is different for each industry. But the the developmental processes that form the successful foundation of both businesses are much the same.

Examples of shared essential elements include the following:

• Understanding and utilizing revenue cycles

• Seeking out co-ventures with other artists/companies

• Cultivating team building

• Executing new ideas

• Encouraging collaboration

• Creating momentum for the business

• Making oneself newsworthy

With that being said, here is a moment of hard truth for many people reading this book: the core attributes necessary for success in the music industry of the future are NOT musical in nature.

Don’t accuse us of heresy over that statement; first, hear us out.

Within our individual companies, we practice and use daily the ideas within these pages. We know firsthand the benefits of what we refer to as hacking music, and we have seen how this way of thinking has led to better artists, better music, and better-built careers. Starting with the first two chapters of this book, we will examine the hacker’s mindset and show you exactly how it applies to the world of music.

In past decades, music artists were able to operate and survive only within their creative environments. The music business was radically different back then in that money seemed to flow from every direction, and it was much easier to simply hire somebody to take care of the “business stuff” while the artist focused on art.

But that isn’t the music industry that exists today. Today’s industry requires artists to step outside of their artistic boxes and embrace the worlds of business, marketing, promotion, and strategic planning. If you are an artist in today’s music marketplace, you are a business; you are not a magical being that is somehow beyond the influence of the rest of world.

This book was written to provide you with a collection of strategic frameworks for the new music marketplace. What you will learn from reading this book is not theory; these lessons are proven things that we actually do with the artists with whom we work. It is chock-full of practical examples of ap- plied models.

It is true that there is no rulebook for today’s music industry ... but there is a playbook. Hacking Music is OUR playbook.

Our goal is to connect how the artist thinks on a strategic level with how the artist executes on a tactical level.


You should understand - this isn’t a book that you can flip through and toss on a shelf when you are done with it. This is a book that you do. You won’t get everything right the first time, and that is okay. This a book that you grow into over time.

We want you to increase three things with help from this book: knowledge, strategy, and execution. Take a look at the image below:

Wherever you happen to be in your career, we want to help you move to the top. Novice music artists spend much of their energy focusing on rules instead of relying on experience and intuition. They spend so much time taking every single little thing into consideration that it causes them to lose focus and waste time ... a sure-fire recipe for disaster in business.

To better move you forward, we have made a digital workbook available to all purchasers of this book that includes many of the exercises, frameworks and models in the book. Find the workbook online via our website at

Increased Knowledge: As stated earlier, information is pretty available nowadays. If you need it, just search your topic on Google or find it on YouTube. Hacking Music will add to your knowledge, sharpen your approach to the music business, and help you move up the pyramid toward greater success.

Increased Strategy: Knowledge is important, but knowledge-only folks can find themselves on the sidelines busy seeking more and more information ... with no real plan to use it. Forming a strategy to implement that knowledge is key; know where you want to go and make a plan to get there.

Increased Execution: Don’t just execute; execute with clarity, speed and efficiency. Execution is what put points on the board. It brings about the rewards you are seeking.

To making music BETTER and to making better MUSIC!

John Pisciotta, Jeff McMahon and Wade Sutton

►►FREE WORKSHOP: How to Avoid “SILVER BULLET” Thinking That Sabotage Music Careers and Build a Real Career without Getting Lucky 

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