Thursday, January 19, 2012

10 things I learnt releasing my Christmas album...

I released my A Cappella Christmas album into stores last month. Even though it was not my first physical release, I still made a lot of mistakes and learnt so much from it. Here are 10 points I specifically want to document:
  1. Always start earlier! I was only able to afford the cost of the physical production at the end of November, so I only got my stock in December. It was way too late, and I did myself a grave disservice and damaged my sales by doing it so late.
  2. It always costs you more than you think it will! Stores don't take duplicated CDs, they only take replicated CDs. It's a much more expensive exercise, and the minimum quantity is 200, so save money!
  3. People will let you down... I had guaranteed distribution into a whole bunch of CD stores that had been confirmed in writing. Just a few days before Christmas I still couldn't find my CD in certain stores. It was disheartening, but hey, I just had to be grateful for what I got. This leads me to my next point:
  4. Nobody owes you anything! And my next point:
  5. You have to get off your rear and do it yourself. This is a hard lesson to learn... Once you start doing this, and people see you are serious about your career, then they start taking you seriously. Before that, you might as well be an Idols finalist.
  6. You can NEVER do enough marketing! So, I got a CD into stores. So what!???! If nobody knows about it and nobody knows who you are, then it means very little. I always say marketing has 2 simple elements to it: i) give people what they want, and ii) tell them that you have it! Sometimes knowing marketing from a book (I am doing my doctorate in marketing communications for music) is different to actually getting down and doing it on the street...
  7. It's a tough and competitive world out there! Especially over Christmas, there is a lot of competition. My album was up against old Christmas favourites like Mariah Carey, Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion, and Michael Buble's new Christmas CD, which was everywhere. I was swallowed up by the big names. But I take solace from the fact that the big names were once small names too. You just gotta start somewhere...
  8. I am building up my bullet-proof vest. Every time I release something new and get it out there, I am becoming more used to the hard graft involved, and I am better able to handle the disappointments and deal with the hard knocks. If the Rolling Stones go out on tour every time they release a new album (and they are a 50-year-old brand in 2012), then what the hell is my excuse?
  9. If I could, I would do it all again! I have no regrets about releasing my music for all the world to hear. It is my calling. It is my telos. I will release more albums in 2012 and beyond...
  10. I still love music and the music industry. I can sometimes get so discouraged by the toughness of this industry. But I have to remember what Seth Godin said: "Hey, if it was easy, everybody would be a rock star!" The truth is, I really love singing, and I really love music. That is never gonna change, no matter how much I fail. As my friend Obita always says too: "You cannot change your design. It is who you are." I just love that!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Demartini Institute Inspiring Client of the Year Award 2011

As we move swiftly into 2012, I want to take a moment to celebrate a recent victory I had when I was named as the Demartini Institute's Inspiring Client of the Year for 2011. This was the verbatim message I was sent by the team:

Dear Rob

At our year-end wrap-up meeting today the Demartini staff were asked to nominate the clients that they thought had been an inspiration for them in 2011, and we wanted to share the below comment that was made about you:

The Inspiring Client of the Year Award goes to ROB RODELL. He came on board as a client a bit skeptical, but has subsequently embraced the work and continues to consistently manifest new opportunities and has grown in a very real and amazing way! Rob is an inspiration for doing ‘the work’ and living his values and dreams!

We honour you Rob and thank you for being such an inspiration to us at the Demartini Institute

Wishing you a successful, empowering and loving 2012

Kindest regards

Clarissa, Gail, Heather, Hugo, Kirsten, Dana, Minalli, Maryna and Blair



Whenever I have a bad day this year, and in the years to come, I am going to remember this! Someone who is extremely close to me had a nephew who committed suicide last year. He had just been accepted to AFDA, the film school, where he was going to study a BA in Motion Picture - no easy task! He chose instead to end his life, causing much sorrow to those around him who were left behind. I say what a waste! If he had seen how much he could have offered the world I know he would have thought and felt differently.

I have much respect for John Demartini and his team, who have taught me to stop feeling sorry for myself and get off my bum and make a contribution to the world. That is what I intend to spend the rest of my life doing, and of course, the biggest contirbution that I want to make to the world is in the field and endeavour of music.

Carpe diem! Musica, grata Deo.