Lisa Robbin Young

This week marks the beginning of some shifting in both my life and my business. We finished our taxes, and the kids were home for the holiday, so I decided to slow things down a bit and not "push" myself to create. I explain it a bit more this week on "The Convo":


If you're in need of your own quiet stillness, consider The PEACE System as a tool to help you navigate your daily priorities.


As a small child, I knew I was called to be a performer. I remember being 2 or 3 years old (before we moved into the house I grew up in) and "performing" for my family. I'd stand up on my wooden toy box, pretending it was a stage, dancing and singing for whoever would give me the time of day. I remember the day I was too big to stand on that "stage" - my foot went right through the lid and broke the toy box.

Somehow, I've managed to totally mungle my dream because of shame.

I grew up in a community where the biggest dream most folks had was to get a good paying job in "the shop". GM practically owned Flint when I was growing up, and the parents of most of the kids I ran with were either in the shop, or served the shop workers as teachers, lawyers, or doctors. Our town was a shop economy. (more…)

In this final segment of my interview with Sarah Robinson, we're talking about the Fierce Loyalty Accelerators, specifically, exclusivity and love. Sarah talks about how the accelerators aren't meant to be a stand-alone device to employ, but work in tandem with the Fierce Loyalty model to help you grow an intensely committed community of like-minded people (your tribe, your Noble Empire). Sarah also speaks candidly about why she chose self-publishing over the traditional route, as well as the results of working with a hand-picked street team to launch her book.

This week's song is a cover of a classic by The Beatles. "All You Need Is Love" was written to be a mantra-style piece - sort of like musical brainwashing. You hear the refrain over and over, with a march-style feel that gives it an almost militaristic, "drilling it into your head" sensation. I've yet to meet anyone that sings the refrain that stops after singing it once time through. It's THAT effective.

The curious thing about this piece is that it was written in mixed meter - 7/8 and 4/4 time. It makes the verses feel very conversational, but it's a bee-otch to count, because it always feels like you're on an off beat (or slightly off kilter). That off-kilter feeling seems to represent how discombobulated the world is - until you get to the "march" section where the mantra begins (and everything's in an easy to count, straightforward 4/4 rhythm). I think that's part of why it was written that way (from a music theorist's standpoint), but I couldn't find any research to confirm my theory.

So I took the original and modified it slightly - I took out the entire 7/8 feel and made it all a plain 4/4, and gave it a contemporary groove that gives you a little bit of an off-kilter feeling, but in a much more satisfying/sexy way. The march style instrumentation was replaced with a vocal harmonizing that keeps the traditional "bum-bada-da-daaah" feel after each chant of the mantra, but without the march-style feeling.

Yep, I know. That's a lot of musical theory-speak in what seems like a simple cover tune, but since this is the FIRST video this year where I actually wrote the arrangement, I wanted to 'splain myself a little - especially since purists will probably hate the fact that I "desecrated" a Beatles tune in the first place. Overall, it's a much "sexier" tune this way - even if the lyrics seem a little redundant in places. 🙂


January's over, and I'm about 5% of the way toward my BHAG of recording 300 songs in 2013. That's 21 songs toward my ultimate goal of 300. Only 279 to go!

Anyone else would say "Holy crap! you've recorded that many songs!?! That's Awesome!"

Me? I have to remind myself to not be all "meh" about it.

Because I want to be at 300 - like, yesterday.

Welcome to what Seth Godin calls "The Dip".

This is where it gets hard, and why so many people fall off the "new year resolutions" band wagon by the end of January. The novelty of the project has worn off. There's only so many times you can share what you're doing with people. And since I'm in earliest stages of the project, it's not like I have a huge catalog of music to point to so that I can say "Hey! Look how awesome I am!"

All that comes later - as we near completion of the project. After the hard work of DOING the work is complete (or at least much farther along). It's one of the downsides of living in an instant gratification economy.

I chose to record 300 songs because it's a point of deliberate practice for me. There are so many songs in the world, and this will broaden my musical horizons both as a composer and as a performer. Frankly, it's been way too long since I've spent focused time working on my music (8+ years, to be more precise), and it's a necessary effort for my development as an artist. Sites like would definitely incredibly beneficial for my musical growth.

In order to excel in anything, there comes a time when you've got to put in the hours and do the work.

thomasedisonIt can be lonely, grueling, thankless, grunt work as you go along. No one celebrates your do-overs.

I'm pretty sure Thomas Edison wasn't saying "Hoo-ah! That's attempt number 907 for an incandescent bulb that didn't work! Guys, this is freaking AWESOME!"

No, I'm pretty sure it was more like this:

"Attempt 907 didn't work. Let's get on with number 908."

And on life went in Menlo Park. No celebration, no fist-bumping, no toasting the talents of the insanely brilliant team working to make electric light possible.

Just doing the work. Until that 1,000th attempt (or thereabouts) when light was finally stable and constant.

No, I'm pretty sure before the sustained light brought raucous celebration, there were grumbles about quitting, wives that wondered what their husbands were doing all day in that lab (and if they were ever coming home for dinner), and a lot of head scratching as they were working through their problem.

Just the daily grind of trying to create awesome.

We don't often celebrate the process of creating awesome, just the awesome itself, once it's been created.

Yet, without the process, there's never anything awesome to celebrate!

And it can be pretty lonely when your awesome creation takes time.

I try to remind myself that I have all year, and that I'm actually right on track to achieve my goal. I celebrate my "small wins", and then I come out of my studio and back into "the world".

It's here that I'm struck with the overwhelming loneliness that comes with doing great work.

I'm not complaining (much), really. It's more of an observation that I've seen a lot of creatives go through. We put our heads down, impassioned by the task of our great work, and then time flies. We're "left behind" in other areas because we're so intensely focused on what matters most in the moment.

Watching friends chatting on facebook about some song or another that I haven't heard yet because my head's been down, working on this project.

This is where it becomes important to have a support network.

I was blessed to have my friend Jen Harris join me in the studio to record "Edelweiss". It was such a breath of fresh air in Michigan's wonky January weather to have another pair of ears in the room listening, singing, and suggesting our way through the song.

It was a creative revival for me that lasted just long enough to get a lot of joy, and hardly any frustration. My studio's a nice place for folks to visit, but I don't want them living there, if you know what I mean. Jen came in to rehearse on Friday, and we finished up on Saturday. Smooth like buttahh!

Then, something fascinating happened. Not only was I reinvigorated, but there was a positive "disturbance in the force" so to speak. People were talking about the work we did together, and that got other people excited about coming into the studio later this year.

Suddenly, everything "old" was "new" again.

Gone was the old ho-hum of recording songs. Suddenly, there was a freshness to the work I'd already done, as well as the work I was setting out to do. No longer was I feeling "meh" about anything. I'm wondering if Jen kind of planned it that way. She's a pretty smart cookie, I gotta say, so I wouldn't put it past her.

When we put our heads down and get focused, it can be easy to lose sight of everything around us. It's easier still to get mired in the daily grind of the creative process. The countless rehearsals, the re-touching, the practice sessions ad infinitum, ad nauseum, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...

We forget how important deliberate practice is, and how we need to bring ourselves to it fully.

Even when no one else is watching, when no one else is celebrating, when no one else seems to care an iota.

Because when all the practice is done, and it's time to perform, they ARE watching, and talking, and loving what you've done.

You've just got to put the work in first.

We now return you to your daily grind of creating awesome!

In part one, Sarah Robinson and I sat down to talk about her own business evolution, as well as her book,  “Fierce Loyalty: Unlocking the DNA of Wildly Successful Communities”. This is part two of a three part interview, wherein we discuss Sarah's Fierce Loyalty Model (enhanced with graphics! Ooooh! Ahhhh!).

It won a Grammy for Best Disco song - and then the category was promptly removed. I guess you could say when they made this award-winning song they broke the mold!

Put on your platforms, and don't be afraid to get a little goofy - I certainly did!

Have a good laugh and enjoy this week's song of the week.


This is the first part of an hour-long interview with Author and Martha Beck-trained life coach, Sarah Robinson (here's part two). Her book, "Fierce Loyalty: Unlocking the DNA of Wildly Successful Communities" is available in paperback or Kindle format on amazon. You can read my thoughts on her book in this previous post.

In this episode, Sarah and I discuss the evolution of her business, from professionally trained actress to mom, to life coach, to business strategist and author. We talk about what Jonathan Fields calls "The Thrash": the seemingly constant evolution-branding-and-re-branding cycle that happens as we draw nearer and nearer to our Essential Why and sharing our True Voice with the world.

Allegedly the last song written for "The Sound of Music", this duet features my friend Jennifer Harris. One of what I hope will be many guest appearances throughout the year on this #300songs project. This is song number 15 in the can!