KINGVEGAS plays bass, guitar, the Warr Guitar, drums, sings, produces, performs, writes music and spends the other few hours of the day sleeping, eating or riding his motorcycle. (OK- and spends time with his wife and kids, too)
He has been playing music professionally for 30 years and has performed with a wide variety of artists including his own original group Smokstik, the Blue Man Group, Jim Infantino and many others.
KINGVEGAS currently performs with a number of cover groups as well as writing, producing and performing music for his own original group.
KINGVEGAS rides his Honda CBR 600RR daily and year-round and loves to hit curvy country roads. He aspires to do a track day someday soon.
Check back often to see what’s up with KINGVEGAS and his musical and motorcycle adventures.
I can’t remember a time in my life that I didn’t have dreams and goals outside of my current situation. Whether it was dreams of being a cowboy or Indian on the open range as a child, being a rockstar as a young man or being a successful artist/ entrepreneur as an adult. However, the means to accomplish our goals- especially as an artist- can be a bit challenging. We often have to look a little deeper for guidance and support on our path to success than those that take more traditional and predictable paths in life. Finding work as an artist or opportunity as an entrepreneur is not as simple as skimming the classified ads. We not only need to create art, products, businesses and so forth but we need to create opportunities.
For the last few years I have been doing a lot of thinking, studying and analyzing of my efforts with the intention being more successful as an artist and a business person. There are many motivational books, products, seminars, workshops and so forth available these days- many of which can offer some excellent guidance as to how to be successful- but I often wonder what factors are at the core of being successful so that I can better establish my foundation for making progress.
A successful business owner friend of mine recently brought up the issue of being willing to take risks as a factor that separates the average life from the extraordinary life. It dawned on me that before one takes material risks one must be willing to take emotional risks. Taking actions outside of our daily regimen can often seem scary or uncomfortable even in light of existing in an uncomfortable situation. We can get stuck in the comfort of the discomfort that we are familiar with so to speak. In our efforts to progress we most often need to climb stairs as opposed to waiting for an elevator.
Emotional risks are those little steps. The daily steps. We need to have the courage to overcome our fears and doubts and the critical voices of friends, family and keeps pushing on despite internal and external pressures to quit. If we allow doubt, fear and obstacles to make us quit then we are also accepting what life gives us as opposed to what we can get out of life. Being unwilling to take the emotional risks can often put us in a state of complacency that prevents us from taking even simple actions that could make our lives happier, easier and healthier.
Part of learning to take risks is learning to trust ourselves. There is a world of opportunities out there. So many that one person could never take advantage of them all. However, doubt can often shut down our thinking process and halt our best-intentioned actions. Doubt can make our world seem smaller, our opportunities fewer, our capacity lesser. If we live our lives believing that we have the capacity to do many things it makes us more open to insight and opportunity and helps us to maintain our motivation even in light of obstacles. As they say “When the going gets tough the tough get going”. Sometimes being “tough” is just believing that we have the capacity to achieve our goals. We have to be willing to expend whatever effort is necessary and endure whatever pain or discomfort that we may encounter to be successful.
Successful people are often not the most talented, wealthy, educated or lucky people but are instead the people who were willing to risk internal and external pain, discomfort and/or failure in order to achieve a goal greater than themselves. One has to be willing to see one’s self as being capable of being more than they are today, worthy of success and deserving of the rewards earned from hard, smart work and dedication. They are willing to endure today’s struggles to achieve tomorrow’s successes.
If you would like to achieve great things, see wonderful places, meet amazing people and experience all that life has to offer take a chance on yourself. Or I suppose you can just take a seat.
Our lives are often defined by the places that we stay most often and the company that we keep. Regardless of our skills, values, experience, knowledge or character the parameters that we actually work within dictate our success and happiness be it personal, professional, spiritual, physical or whathaveyou.
Sometimes we are doing the best that we know how to do but we are not progressing or achieving in the way that we might want to. Could it be that our options and/or opportunities are limited by our vision or ability to find the resources necessary to be successful?
Becoming more aware of ourselves and our surroundings can help us to develop ourselves more fully and also better recognize the opportunities around us. If what is familiar to us is not getting us the results that we’re looking for it’s often a good idea to step back and assess our situation. Are we honestly taking the actions necessary to accomplish our goals? Do we have a robust professional network? Perhaps a roadblock is there for a reason because it wasn’t a good idea (at least for us) to begin with? Perhaps you’re selling snowcones at the North Pole? Are we working smart? Have we given our ideas a chance to succeed? Have we spent too much time hoping that our ideas would succeed?
As an artist I have often been driven more by my passion to create than by my desire for financial security, stability or even wealth. As I’ve gotten older my desire for material comforts and financial security has increased so I have learned to apply my creative passions into the process of promoting and expanding my art to become an entrepreneur. Part of the reason that I have been learning more about doing business is that I feel that I keep running into walls in my desire to progress. If I can’t find a door to move to another level then maybe I can make one.
Taking the road less travelled and pursuing one’s unrealized potential can be very challenging but can also be a very rewarding way of life. As a young musician I was more excited about playing and creating music than fulfilling material desires. As an adult I still long for the freedom of an artist along with the comfort and opportunity that comes with material wealth. Since my goals have expanded artistically and financially my efforts have needed to grow and change. My old habits are not going to manifest the goals of today.
Because I have grander goals than many of the people that I am acquainted with I am often frustrated in my efforts to progress and to find like minds. I also have a tendency to doubt myself and my capacity to achive my goals.
On occasion I have allowed myself to lose faith in myself and my capacity to realize my dreams. However, I never quit. I pull myself out of my paralyzing state of doubt and get up and swing again. Sometimes we need to sharpen our tools. Sometimes we need to elevate our efforts. Sometimes we just need to take a walk and clear our heads. No matter what I’ll never give up and I hope that you don’t, either.
Here are some thoughts regarding obstacles and/or frustration:
- My mother likes to say “It is what it is”.
- Take a walk.
- Try a different way.
- Open your mind to new ideas.
- Do your daily habits reflect the kind of lifestyle that you want for yourself?
- Are you actually taking the actions necessary to accomplish your goals?
- Do you make it a habit to grow and nurture your social and professional network?
- Is whatever’s bothering you going to matter in 2 weeks? 2 years? 10 years?
- Learn to choose your words wisely. What you say and how you say it can make a big difference.
- Always be honest to others and yourself. Live life without guilt or regret.
- At some point you have to stop blaming others and take control of your own situation. Nobody can help you the way you can help yourself.
- Don’t let doubt and fear hold you back. Be brave. Courage isn’t a lack of fear but pushing on despite fear and doubt.
- Are you associating with the kind of people that you want to be?
- Are you working to grow and nurture your customer (fan) base on a daily basis?
- Develop relationships with people that are doing what you want to do.
- Learn about what other people have done to be successful and follow their lead.
- Know your industry. Stay current with your industry. Know the movers and shakers in your industry.
- “To master others is strength. To master yourself is true power.”
Are you a daydreamer? Maybe you have lots of great ideas that never come to fruition? Perhaps you have a hard time “putting wheels on your vehicle”?
It’s easy to get caught up in the habits of “regular” daily life. Paying rent. Keeping the lights on. Keeping the house clean. Spending time with family and friends. These are all important activities but are you living your dream or someone else’s? If you are employed by someone else you are helping someone else to realize and perpetuate *their* creation. Their business. Their vision. Are you pursuing your own as well?
All the things that we use including our clothing, toiletries, plumbing, electrical devices, automobiles and so forth were all *created* by someone. Then they were built by someone. Many more people manufacture things than create things and without the creators there wouldn’t be anything to build. All our creations started as ideas in someone’s mind. These ideas were then transferred to actual plans and physical actions to manifest these ideas into the real world. Some ideas end up benefiting millions and even billions of people through their use, manufacturing, sale and so forth.