{Secrets of Success} 5 Business Lessons Learned From Swimming With The Sharks

Are you ready to swim with the sharks? This video should get you motivated. Listen to the stories of Entrepreneurs who have a dream and are willing to go all in for success. It’s the American Dream and it’s free to anyone with a great idea and who is willing to do anything it takes to get the product on the table.

5 Lessons Learned from Shark Tank:
1) Don’t be greedy. I can’t think of a business that doesn’t measure it’s success by value. Don’t be greedy with your partners and don’t be greedy with your customers. The difference between a successful product and a bomb is perceived value. That means you offer value at a great price.

2) Networks are important: getting involved with the right people for your business is very important. People bring their experience and their own trusted resource networks to the table when you get into business with them. For instance, Lori Greiner brings her knowledge of patents and trademarks as well as the ability to get any product she deems as a “Hero” to QVC.

3) Listen: no one knows everything and there’s nothing more annoying than watching an entrepreneurs ask for help then not listen to valuable advise. There is value in everything, it’s up to you to figure it out but you can’t do that if you don’t listen to what others have to offer. After all the advise is free so why turn it down?

4) Know Your Business: Without being a know it all, be sure to research your business and market thoroughly. The bottom line is you can’t compete if you don’t know what customers know. Customers are savvy online shoppers these days and search engines are excellent at offering comparative suggestions. If you don’t know where you lie in your own market, you can’t possibly swim successfully with the sharks.

5) Be Flexible To Change: You may be good but you can always be better. Being inflexible to change can destroy a company. Many great ideas die a disastrous death by partner conflicts, owners not willing to adjust prices, or alter products slightly for a new market. Just as the earth evolves, you must to so stay loose and flex when you need to. Where there’s a will there’s a way. “No I can’t” is never an option for a successful entrepreneur. It’s “yes I Can” that wins races.

Did Shark Tank teach you something about business and marketing? Tell me what you learned below or share a successful experience.


A.V.A Live Radio Interview with Eddie Heller from Toxic Box

Toxic_boxJacqueline JaxJAX: How did you get your start in music?
Eddie: To be honest, I’ve been involved with music as long as I can remember. We had a baby grand piano in our home growing up and my parents have pictures of me as an infant sitting on my dad’s lap playing. My dad is an accomplished piano player and the 1st recollection I have of playing is around 4 or 5 years old. I played clarinet in elementary school and in 7th grade drums became my main instrument. By high school and college I was playing guitar and bass as well. I was a terrible candidate for music lessons – I had ADHD and had trouble concentrating. Luckily, playing by ear came easy to me. I’m not a virtuoso on any instrument (nobody is paying money to watch me perform on a specific instrument – lol) ……. my strengths are creativity/songwriting, a metronome sense of timing, and hopefully a well rounded appreciation of everything that goes into a song.

JAX: Pick one of your songs and tell me the story behind it. What’s the song about? Is there a back story about how it was written or recorded?
Eddie: Credit Card Song – this is the 1st song I submitted to you. In answering the question, it’s best to answer the 1st part last. I suppose that most artists come up with a story line and develop the music around that. For whatever reason, I typically have no idea of the meaning of the song until I write the beat/hook/melody. Even after the music has been written, the lyrics are not motivated by a specific story or feeling, rather the sounds of the words and how they fit into the syncopation or groove. I remember hearing a quote from John Lennon (my favorite song writer) stating that he would write the music and throw in words that didn’t necessarily mean anything, but sounded like they musically fit in the song. He laughed, and stated that folks thought he was a lyrical genius when in fact the opposite was true. I always found that amusing.

In Credit Card Song, I wrote the riff 1st, then the chorus. I imagined rapping during the verse, but knew that I’d have to reach out to a “professional” to get the dramatic effect that was desired. There was no name for the track – we had to label the song for a rough draft recording and someone in the band blurted our Credit Card Song (probably for lack of anything else). Bill Curtis, our singer, ran with the theme of Credit Card and wrote the lyrics. The song is about how a drug addict finances their habit on credit, but the credit is a metaphor for the user’s body/mind and not actual money. Just like irresponsibly using and maxing out a credit card, the drug addict abuses their body and mind now and pays for it later when everything falls apart

My producer came up with the idea of recording the whole song minus the verse/rap and having a contest with a small financial prize. He submitted the unfinished track (with the theme we were shooting for) to 3 rappers he had worked with. Each submitted their interpretation and we selected Kezo from Northern California. We did some final mixing and were finished. It was a fun process. One thing I love about writing and recording is that each song has a different journey to completion and you never know what direction you’re headed.


JAX: What’s the music scene like in your town? Places to go? Tell me about one fun thing you like to do?
Eddie: I live in the DC area. My take is that on a macro scale it is about average, in line with other large cities. Nobody is leaving other big cities and coming here to make it big. That being said, there are many local bands, both original and cover, that have emerged locally. There are musical mini scenes and shows from different genres of music that would satisfy anyone’s live music preferences. I love watching live music, whether it be an acoustic set at a suburban coffee house or a national act at the 9:30 club downtown

JAX:  Have you found any challenges that you’ve had to overcome on social media? And is there any technology that has helped you engage with your fans?
Eddie: All of us are creative, but don’t really have the time to develop awesome media. We all have full time jobs and like to spend available time playing/writing music. There is so much great technology available. We’re currently working on a full album – when we’re finished, we’ll hire a manager who hopefully will take advantage of every available outlet to maximize our exposure

JAX: But even with social media… Why do you think it’s so hard for indie artists to break into the mainstream big markets?
Eddie: The industry has really changed ……. I think mostly for the better. You are right. The negative about the industry, in it’s newest form, is that money & Corporate interests make it hard for indie’s to break through into the mainstream big markets. The positive is that technology has enabled more people to hear more artists. Creative platforms, like yours, have sprouted up and enabled artists like myself (who admittedly doesn’t have their marketing act together) get some exposure. I’ve submitted songs through internet portals and some are even being pitched for network shows. Many songs you hear in important places were recorded in basements from artists who don’t have an “industry” appearance. This probably wasn’t possible years ago. I’m looking at the glass half full here

JAX: Every true artist has a creative journey they hope for, what is the legacy you want to leave? How do you want to be remembered for your music?
Eddie: At it’s core, music is subjective. There is no such thing as a good song or bad song. I like music that moves me. It’s different for every listener. I’d like people to be moved by my music, but I know that’s not guaranteed.

JAX: Artists who seek to make their art a career often face challenges that question their sense of purpose and creativity.. What is your experience with negative energy? How do you remove the monetary value as a means of influence over or judgement of your art?
Do you find that there is to much emphasis on the current market or Is there a balance that you have found helpful in your artistic decisions?
Eddie: Music is not my career (how I pay the bills) yet. I try to see the good in everyone/thing so I don’t experience much negative energy. Great questions by the way – I’ve never actually sat down and thought about it, but monetary value and current market actually do influence me ……. but only slightly. When I write a song I typically focus on a beat, hook, and melody/chorus. I never think about money or current market standards when doing this. However, when the song goes into production, I do keep in mind the potential marketability of the track. One of my foremost objectives is to be a professional musician (full time) and right now I am not. In order to accomplish this I need to have a balance between creativity and the reality of market expectations

JAX: Are you religious? Do you believe in fate? (Whatever is meant for you will come your way?) Do you believe that if you think positively and imagine yourself being that person, living a certain way or enjoying something you’ve always wanted you can bring it to you.
Eddie: I’m not religious, per say, but am spiritual in that I feel connected to people. I don’t believe in fate (things are predestined to come your way). I do believe that thoughts, be them negative or positive, have a tremendous influence over the way we are. I always try to stay positive, keeping in mind that unavoidable unpleasant things happen. I try to always be nice to others and smile a lot. That being said, everyone has a bad day now & again

JAX: What are you most thankful for?
Eddie: Honestly, and not to sound too corny, the typical stuff – family, friends, relationships, creative journeys. Oh yea, and my other vices – football, basketball, hockey, weight lifting, comedy, comedy, and more comedy. Did I mention music

JAX: Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years?
Eddie: I wish I was more specifically goal oriented, but I’m not. Loosely, I’d like to be a full timer in music. I’d love to be performing my songs in front of thousands of people. I hope that happens, but I honestly enjoy the creative process and interaction with my band mates, producer, other musician friends. If it takes me to the next level, then icing on the cake !!!!!

Listen in on Spotify:

Toxic Box:
LATEST POST: “Had a blast playing Baker Park this past Sunday! Thanks to our friends who came out and a special thanks to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for the opportunity to participate in your life changing event!” Toxic Box

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{Secrets of Success} Digging Deep For Interviews

Jacqueline_Jax_avalive_radioI interview artists and entrepreneurs weekly for the station and am amazed at how many people spend so little time on their interviews. I’ll start by sending them about 10 questions to help them create a story about themselves and their work and am often disappointed in the responses. Although entrepreneurs typically have a lot of interview savvy, giving up lots of personal stories and playful accounts about how they interact with their business and the people in it, Artists take the longest to respond and often hold back every aspect of what makes them interesting to the readers. Amazing to me, since entertainers  should be able to entertain. Today’s music artist seems guarded and scared of revealing those wonderful frailties that make their stories so unique, interesting and relatable.

Recently, I received an interview back from an artist after several weeks filled with vague one sentence answers that offered no details. They had flattened their lives so senselessly that if I would have posted the interview, people may have unsubscribed from our web site and at the very least taken a pass on the artist no matter how talented they were.

My point of telling you this story is to enlighten and hopefully inspire you to pay more attention to how you present yourself to people. It’s important to build a consistent story line of how you started expanding into the many wonderful experiences that brought you to where you are today. That’s what makes you unique and interesting to people. To further, illustrate this idea, I thought I would share one of my letters with you so you can benefit from the perspective.

(The artists name has been excluded to protect the innocent as they learn how to perfect their interviewing skills.)

Jacqueline Jax:  Hello _____,
Yes, we are all very busy with multiple projects and jobs. I myself run 3 companies and still make the time to do these interviews for wonderful artists like yourself. I can’t impress upon you the importance of investing yourself in everything you do, especially when it promotes something you work so hard for.

I do a magazine interview every week for one network or another and have found that those interviews about me really work together to paint a full picture of my journey. People decide through these interviews if they want to know more about me. #1 artists and entertainers at the top of their game, spend time from 7-10am of every morning interviewing with multiple people and radio stations regardless of their late night activities or long work hours. . It’s a huge part of this business and being successful.

Thanks for your answers but please go back and expand.  We have discovered that content is the key to great search engine listings. If you could expand a bit on each of your answers, I think they would be more engaging and readers may be more interested in relating to you.

Quick and vague answers tell the reader nothing about who you are and what you stand for.

Isn’t that  one of the goals in doing the  interview to begin with?  We want you to get the most out of your interview with us so please take another pass at it and tell a little story or two about yourself by answering the how, why and the when of each question.

Do your best, this article will hold a valuable piece of internet real estate for many years to come with your name on it so make it a story that counts outlining the experiences that brought you to who you are today.

Best to you always,
Jacqueline Jax
Radio Show


{Artists Corner} In today’s world of hurdles, how do you keep the artist inside alive and inspired?

Jacqueline_jax_inspirationQuestion: In today’s world of hurdles, how do you keep the artist inside alive and inspired?

Inspiration is a fickle mistress. When she’s with you, all is good in the world. But when she disappears it can be frustrating and even scary at times. As a working artist, I have found myself uninspired many times. But when it prevents me from getting important things done, it can be a real issue. Over the years I’ve learned that it’s very important to know myself and discover what motivates me so I can keep my creative juices flowing.

What inspires you?
I’ve learned that my inspiration is driven by several things.

Fatigue: Sleep and mental rest is very important to staying inspired. Creative people can seem manic because they often work ferociously while inspired only to drop at the end. But it’s important to know your limits and find balance. If I’m able to achieve a good balance, I find that my inspiration is more consistent and I’m able to be creative every day to accomplish my goals. My favorite fatigue cures are movies, listening to music, chatting with friends, playing games and exercising.

People: Surrounding myself with other artists who are very giving of their energy and have unyielding excitement for creation is a wonderful way to get inspired. I’m lucky to have so many wonderfully inspiring friends. Even if we aren’t into the same art, their energy stimulates me.

Study: Researching for a project is a great way to be inspired. If I feel blocked on a design project, I’ll spend a day around things that may inspire my project. For instance, if it’s a fashion project, I’ll go shopping and try on new styles or go hunting for vintage designs, see a fashion show, look at magazines or go for lunch to a beautiful resort where people are living in the clothing that I design. If it’s music, a concert or performance really gets me into the studio to perform. The energy released from these environments really get my creative juices flowing.

Tools: I’m a real tech and gadget girl. I love computers and tools that I can use to create. When I discover a new gadget that I want to use, I anxiously await it’s arrival and I can’t wait to get started the minute it’s in my hands. Who doesn’t love playing with a new toy? Especially when it makes work more fun.

We’ve just started this new section devoted to artists of all kinds called, “Artist Corner”. This section on our web site filters out articles just for the creative at heart. If your subscribed to us, you’ll get the emails but I also suggest bookmarking the category so you can check out the section any time you need to be inspired or connect with other artists. To connect with each other, you can leave comments below or click on the web links associated with each artist.

I shared my question Friday on Facebook and asked for my fellow artists to inspire us with their stories. Here’s how they keep the creative juices flowing and manage to create while balancing life’s hurdles.

the bleachers indie artist

New Artist Spotlight: Bleachers Debut Album “Strange Desire”

At last – the wait is over for our new Spotlight artist, Bleachers! Listen to Strange Desire, the band’s debut album featuring “I Wanna Get Better.”

Favorite picks:
Wild Heart
I wanna get better
Listen now: (here)


Bleachers is an American indie pop act based in New York City that was formed by Jack Antonoff, of Steel Train and Fun. Their first single, “I Wanna Get Better”, was released February 17, 2014.
While on the road with his band, Fun, Antonoff began working on a new project during his time in different cities. For about a year he kept the project a secret until February 17, 2014 where the first single “I Wanna Get Better” was released along with the launch of Bleachers’ website, social media profiles, and a selection of tourdates.[citation needed] News of Bleachers was first publicly announced in a Facebook post by Brooklyn music studio Mission Sound in May 2013.

About making the album, Antonoff said, “I spent the past year working on the music but not talking about it, and eventually it became this psychotic alter-ego situation, where it was second nature to have this part of me that no one knew about. Except for a small group of people, most of which happened to be members of my immediate family, no one was aware that this music, or this album even existed … even though it existed so deeply to me.” Antonoff also cited that Bleachers was never meant to be a departure from his position in Fun, and that he will remain in the band. (Online Bio)


New York City-based indie rock band Bleachers is the side project of Fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff and members of his pre-Fun. band Steel Train. Formed while Antonoff was touring in support of Fun.’s Grammy-nominated 2012 album, Some Nights, Bleachers slick and emotional pop music heavily influenced by the ’80s and the high school-based films of John Hughes while still using modern production techniques. The debut single “I Wanna Get Better” was released in spring 2014 by RCA, with an album, Strange Desires, following that summer. The record was Produced in part by John Hill and Vince Clarke (Depeche Mode, Yaz, Erasure) and featured appearances by Yoko Ono and Grimes. ~ Matt Collar, Rovi

Bleachers’ Debut Aims To Bring The Cool Of ’80s Pop-Rock Back To The Mainstream – Huffington post Read More (here)

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success secrets from entrepreneur Jacqueline Jax

Marketing Tip of the Day: Visualizing Your Dreams For Success and Having Faith In Yourself

success secrets from entrepreneur Jacqueline JaxIn speaking with many successful entrepreneurs concerning how they conquered their greatest challenges and fulfilled their dreams, there is one thing that they all have in common. This common characteristic is more of a personality trait than a skill. It is something that can be learned and can be easy practiced every single day. The one thing that they all have is FAITH.

Faith can be a fairly abstract concept for some people to wrap their heads around because it’s so easily lost. There will be days when you wake up with faith and one thing happens two hours later that derails your faith in yourself sending you spiraling into negativity. It’s a concept that’s fragile because the human mind is powerful and susceptible to outside influences.

But with our powerful minds, we can do great things. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “What you can visualize, you can materialize”. I can honestly tell you from experience that I been able to achieve amazing things just by visualizing specifically what I want, having faith in myself and holding steadily to the coarse every hour until it’s achieved. This unwavering supply of positive energy powered by my faith is an unstoppable driving force that can take me anywhere I want to go.

You can have this powerful energy behind you as well just be following these tips that I have gathered from the cream of the crop of achievers.

1) Set Your Goals: Decide what it is that you want to accomplish and write down the steps you think it may take to get there.

2) Learn: create a list of things you need to know in order to achieve your goal and start researching those specific ideas by choosing one thing each day or week depending on your deadline.

3) Connect: connect with people who can help you with their experience and or knowledge. Strive to connect with at least one new person every single day who shares in your vision. This may be someone who has a business in alignment with yours who may benefit from you as well if you partner up.

4) People: surround yourself with only positive people. Remove or block any negative energy coming in from the outside while you work to achieve your goal. You can’t allow even one negative person to be in your life who could derail your progress with thoughts like : fear of failure, distraction, contradictions or negative feedback.

5) Positivity: wake up every single day with faith in yourself and remind yourself every single hour that you can do this! Believe that you CAN and WILL learn what you don’t know. Believe that you deserve to be successful. Believe that it’s your time to accomplish this goal. And most of all believe that no matter what obstacles suddenly appear, they are simply a learning experience in your journey to success.

Best wishes to you on your journey, hope you’ll share it with me below.
Thanks for reading and subscribing.

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Marketing Tip of the day: Ideas for Making Your Products and Brand More Memorable

Have you ever wondered why some products go viral and some just don’t get any attention? Here are six ideas discussed in Maria Forlios video interview to help you get the insider information.

Social currency:
Making your customers feel special is so important and can help your brand spread with a viral surge. Companies who know their customers, can easily find ways to make them feel special so they will be more likely to share their experience with their social media friends. If your luck, your brand will get to come along for the ride as your customer brags virally about their experience. Try selecting some clients to receive free goodies, special offers for something they did, etc.

Associate your Products:
By associating your products with something that reminds people of you you can start to associate your products with emotional triggers that will make people think of your product. Ask yourself, what can I link my product to that will remind people to buy me. Great ideas would be to associate a show for a certain day, or perhaps a commonly seems animal with your brand.

Rule of 100 on pricing:
This simple rule helps you benefit from offering discounts. Make a discount special by focusing on what value appears to be a better deal. Example: if you offer 25%off of 100, then by framing the discount as $25 off your $100 purchase may appear like a better deal than just by saying 25%off.

Offer Options:
Introducing a new more expensive option to compare your product to gives the buyer a reference point to appreciate your special deal. This concept is used all the time on the Internet to draw the customer to the item that appears to be the best value in comparison to another similar item.

Identifying Options:
Use messages to market your product in a sharper way. One of the best ways to do that is to identify the key things about your brand and products that make them special, helpful or significant.

Shorten your message for more impact:
Having a short version of a message that makes your idea easier to communicate. Over all you need a to create something that is remarkable, cuts through the clutter and sharpens the message to make an impact.

As you can tell there’s a lot to making an impact with your branding and marketing strategy, so focus strong, keep moving forward and don’t forget to subscribe to us today so you can keep learning from the best advisers in the field. Check out some other articles that may help you.

Marketing Tip of the day: 3 Steps To Building Stronger Brand Awareness


The Voice of The New Music Generation!


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