Theoretical Physicist, David Deutsch breaks all goals into two steps.

1. It must be achievable according to the physical laws of the universe.

2. If it is possible, then it is merely a matter of acquiring the knowledge necessary to achieve it.

It is not a time or resources problem – it is a knowledge problem.

You can achieve almost anything if you have the right knowledge.

In this episode, John breaks down how to define goals and then acquire the needed knowledge efficiently.

Nothing is stopping you from your goals except for lack of knowledge.

It’s time to get your learning on!!!

Episode Transcript

Episode 47 – What’s Keeping You From Your Singing Goals?

Hey there, this is John Henny. Welcome back to another episode of the Intelligent Vocalist.

I’m really fascinated by First Principles, and I’ve done an earlier podcast on it. The Idea of First Principles is boiling something down to its absolute essence where it can’t be broken down any further. And by starting at first principles you can build something new – a new direction, a new approach to whatever problem you’re trying to crack.

There was this great article on a theoretical physicist by the name of David Deutsch, and he talks about goals or solving a problem. And there are only two criteria for solving a problem, achieving a goal. The first one is it has to be physically possible.

I’ll you a story: I was working with a singer, I may have told this one long time ago, and this young man came to me. And as I began to work with him, I realized he was a true bass of which they’re not particularly common, an absolute true bass. And I informed him of this, that this was my suspicion, and he said, “But I want to sing like Axl Rose.” And I said, “Well, I want to ride a winner in the Kentucky Derby, but that’s not going to happen.” Which is actually a bit mean of me, but I was jetlagged and tired and I am 6’7 at that time and I was I was over 300 lbs. Me riding a winner at the Kentucky Derby at 6’7, and any weight at 6’7 is not physically possible. That’s not going to happen. I’m not, “My goal is to ride my bike to Mars.” That’s not a good goal. It’s not achievable.

So it has to be physically possible. And then, it’s just a matter of acquiring the right knowledge. You are missing knowledge. If you are not achieving your singing goals, it is a matter of knowledge, even your lack of practice. So let’s say that you’ve been really studying how singing works – you’ve got a handle on the exercises you should be doing, you’ve gone to a coach, but you find yourself not practicing, you find yourself unmotivated. That right there is a lack of knowledge as to how your brain works, or how motivation works, or how you need to schedule your time and how to get yourself to do things when you don’t want to, how to understand delayed gratification. These are all areas of knowledge. What you need to do is figure out what your problem is, and then break it down into what you need to learn.

So in today’s podcast/sermon/lesson what I want you to do is really take a moment and define what your goals are. Like what your goals really are. Be it in singing or music in general, if you teach or want to learn to teach, even life itself – health, family, relationships – anything. Look at your goal, and then break down what knowledge do you need to achieve your goal. What do you need to study? What do you need to learn? What do you need to be better at? Then, you have to figure out where to get this learning, where to get this knowledge.

You basically have two options: You can figure it out on your own through some great insight or aliens coming. Actually no, because if the aliens came and showed you, it goes into the second category which is – other people’s knowledge. O-P-K. Other people’s knowledge. And there is a ton of it out there. This is where we can get ourselves into a quagmire where we can really really get stuck. Any subject that you look at, there will be lots of information in Youtube, blogs, podcasts such as this – people like me prattling on about what they may or may not know but establishing authority – and you have to have the knowledge to know what you should be learning and from who.

I really, in terms of gaining knowledge, I really value my time. Theo-cliché. I mean, we all have 24 hours in a day. There’s a meme going around “you have the same number of hours as Beyoncé. What are you doing with those?” Obviously I can’t have cool wind machines in my hair like Beyoncé does but I can do what I can within the time given me. Obviously not the singer/artist she is – I’m a humble voice teacher. But I can focus on what it is I need to do. My time is very important. I don’t want to waste time waiting through all kinds of content that may or may not be of used to me.

When I launch my first course, really launch which was my Voice Teacher Boot Camp, and I realized I need to learn Facebook Ads. Facebook itself has their own tutorials which are really dry and go over a lot of metrics and things that I don’t need and didn’t really pertain to my business in particular. So I sought out people who are expert marketers, marketing in the way that I needed to, and I learned from them. I paid the money to learn from them because it was a shortcut. Yes it cost me a money upfront but it was an investment that paid itself back many many fold over.

And the same thing happened in my Music Academy. I got really crazy, and I opened up this 2000 sq.ft music academy with all kinds of employees – I’ve told this story before – I’m actually sitting in, you can see the part of the recording studio we have here. Stage room, all kinds of crazy stuff, multiple teaching rooms, and even have a disco ball. But I started losing money hand-over-fist with these things. So I needed to figure out how to do local marketing. Now, rather than dig through all kinds of free content – not that free content isn’t good, I sometimes dig around and see if maybe there’s a gem in there – but I specifically went and paid for courses that addressed this specific issue.

And the other thing I learned about learning and in gaining knowledge is it’s important to learn from people you clicked with, the people that speak to you. I have paid for courses and have been listening to people who have given really really good content, and for whatever reason they just don’t clicked with my personality or learning style or my brainwaves. And I have a hard time focusing when these people are teaching. I know that good information is flying by and I start to zoned out. I can think of one very very well-known Human Development and Business expert that a lot of people loved. I bought and was listening to one of his audio courses, and I just spaced out through the whole thing. I’d hear bits and pieces, but there’s just something about him that did not clicked with me. There are other people where, as they talk, I’m absolutely riveted. It’s just I get them. And I feel like somehow, even though they’ve never met me, they get me.

Part of being a good teacher and also being a good marketer is, knowing who your audience is and knowing to really talking to that person. So if you enjoy my podcasts, that’s great! We probably would click. If you’re listening to me, maybe for the first time, and thought “Man, I just don’t dig what this guy is saying.” That is totally okay. I’m not the person for you to learn from.

So, what I want you to do, let’s get back as I’ve just meander here, I want you to break down some goals. Why don’t you pick three main goals, one in singing, one in your personal life, and one, just in terms of health – whether it’s getting in shape, eating better, losing weight, getting more sleep, etc. And then figure out what you need to learn – where are you lacking? What do you need to learn? And then, you need to learn where you need to learn it. Identify who can teach this to you. Then learn it. And if you are procrastinating from learning, you need to figure out why you’re procrastinating and learn how to not procrastinate, learn how to not waste time. Learn how your brain works. I’ve gone over this in previous podcast. If you are allowing your brain to become stimulus-addicted, if you are checking your phone and you have all your notifications turned on and you’re responding to anything that fires off, you’re allowing your brain to become stimulus-addicted , which is going to stop you from accomplishing things.

I recommend studying the great achievers and the great thinkers, and look at what their habits are. They’ve been given the same basic software or computer as you have, the same basic brain. Yes, they may have a higher IQ, but not everybody who achieves amazing things has extremely high IQ. Maybe their computers are a little bit faster, but that’s okay. You can hack yours. It’s programming your computer. It’s getting the right software. It’s getting the right information. It’s learning how your brain works. And then you become a problem solver because you identify knowledge, and you identify how your brain works and identify how you best work. You need the knowledge of when you are most productive. You need the knowledge of what type of environment you need to be productive. You need the knowledge of how set the time aside and the knowledge of how not to be disturbed. And then you need the knowledge to know exactly what to do. Well, not exactly, we never know exactly. But best to do to achieve your goals, to move forward, and to accomplish what it is you want to accomplish.

If you can get this focus, if you can begin to become a learning machine, even learn how to learn faster – there’s courses for that – you’re becoming a learning machine. You will start to knock down barriers to your success very very quickly. And in Music, if you need to learn how to get your music to the right person, you can learn how to do that. How to get more exposure? You can learn how to do that – how to harness social media, how to create the right video, how to write better songs.

Man, I will give you the best piece of advice I can give to any of you who want to be a solo artist, alright? You’re not trying to win a talent show, you’re not trying to get on Broadway. You want to get a recording contract, or these days you just want to be able to write original music and perform original music that’s going to give you a career – Your songs can never be good enough. You have got to become an amazing song writer, or you have to find amazing song writers. And as a new artists, you are competing against the best names. And let me tell you, if it’s up between a station, because radio is still important, or people clicking, if it’s between your new song, and Beyoncé’s new song, they’re probably going to go to Beyoncé’s new song. Unless yours is so much better. You’re competing against the superstars.

So you have to write really good songs. You have to learn how to keep your voice healthy and making the sounds you need to make consistently. Alright? You need to learn, if you’re a voice teacher, how to identify voices quickly, how to give the results that your students want. And even more importantly, especially if you’re an independent teacher, you have to learn how to extract the right students. And unfortunately or fortunately, you have to become a student of Marketing. There’s no way around that.

There may be areas of knowledge that are the solution to attaining your goal and to solving this problem that maybe something you’re not particularly interested in or want to do at the moment. But you need to learn to be okay with doing things you don’t necessarily like to do. And you may spark some knowledge in it. I actually found that I enjoy studying Marketing. I’m not going to run off and become some Marketing Agency consultant. But I do enjoy it. I do enjoy helping people in showing how social media works and how to identify the right audience, and how to use content marketing to get people into your funnel and get people focused on you. All of these things. You need to go out and get the knowledge. Figure out what you need to learn and learn it. If you do this, I’m telling you, you will start knocking down barriers to your goal. You will learn to meet the right people. You will learn to get connected. You will learn all of these things if you identify them and apply yourself.

So hey! There ends my lecture. I will get down of my metaphorical soap box. I want to thank you so much for listening. As you listen to this, I’m going to, speaking of knowledge, going to be opening up my Contemporary Voice Teacher Academy soon, which is going to teach people how to teach voice. You can learn at your own pace online. There will be a certification for completing the course. And there will be webinars, and bonuses, all kinds of things for members. So that’s coming up soon.

Check out  If you want to connect with me, I’ve got blog post there. And if you’re interested in lessons, you can always, if you think we’re maybe a good fit, go ahead and reach out. Just click on the LESSONS tab there. If you enjoy the podcast, please consider going to iTunes and leaving a review, an actual type-in review. Put in a few words about why you liked the podcast. It really does help other people find the show.

Until next time. To better singing! Thank you so much! Bye.