Gabe Helguera, Tracy Brinkmann
Tracy Brinkmann 00:00
What can you learn from a rock star about being in business? Stay tuned and find out. Okay, here’s the question. How are we dark horses? You know, the ones everyone is betting against the ones they don’t expect to win place or even show on the track. And they’ll even laugh on us. When we talk about trying. How do we show the world our greatness and triumph? Come on? Well, that’s the question, and this podcast will give you the answers. This is the Dark Horse entrepreneur. My name is Tracy Brinkmann. What is up what is up What the hell is up my dark horse friends and family. Welcome back to your weekly dose of Rockstar business learning. I’m your dark horse host Tracy Brinkmann and you will that my friend is infinitely more important. You are driven entrepreneur, or one in the making. Either way, you’re here because you’re ready to start, restart kickstart or just start leveling up with scrape marketing, personal or business results in order to build that beautiful business of yours into the Empire. It absolutely deserves to be okay. Before I kick things off, and we get into this this amazing episode, I want to I want to let you know a little something. And that is a podcast guessing course that is about to come out. Now. I have seen firsthand the power of podcast guesting in your ability to grow your audience to grow your brand and get your message out in front of your tribe. So I wanted to give my dark horse friends and family a heads up that you can get in there now and get on the waitlist for this upcoming awesome course. So what you want to do is you want to head over to Dark Horse schooling comm scroll on down to the bottom of the page. And there you’ll see that waitlist sign up for and just for jumping onto the waitlist. I’m going to be sharing with you some great tips that you can put into action right now so that you can start building your tribe via podcast guesting. So again, head over to Dark Horse schooling.com scroll on down to the bottom of the page and jump on the waitlist today. I promise you, you’re gonna want to be a part of this. Alright, enough about that time. A huge episode for you today today. Gabe he’ll get it the drummer from the rock band I prevail shares so many amazing gems from creating a supportive community or working on your craft or the power of persistence in ensuring your success that I cannot wait for you to hear this awesome episode. Plus, I’m gonna let you in on next week’s interview episode Guess who has harnessed the power of creative energy and a powerful determination to overcome this immense amount of adversity in your own life. As per usual, the Dark Horse careers are chock full of personal business and marketing g o LD spilling from every corner of the Dark Horse entrepreneur HQ. So let’s get to the starting gates and go Alright my dark horse friends and family Today’s guest is Gabe Hill Guetta and hopefully I didn’t tear that name up. Now some of you might recognize him from his YouTube channel where he has over 300,000 subscribers. Others will know him as the two time Grammy nominated drummer from the Platinum selling ban. I prevail out Yeah, and others Well you know what, let’s get back here. That’s not really why he’s here not here. No, he’s not here because he’s a rock star. I wanted him here because he’s the founder of drum beats online and this amazing entrepreneurial journey that he’s gone on while still being a full time touring drummer. Gabe Welcome to the Dark Horse entrepreneur man
Gabe Helguera 03:40
Holy smokes what an intro
Tracy Brinkmann 03:45
I gotta I gotta do your right you know I’ve been I’ve I’ve been lucky enough I’ve been watching your career for some time I prevail is one of the bands that I love and then I’m also a user of the service that that you’re doing the online via the drum beats online I’m obviously I don’t have the skill set you got I’ll just say it like it is I picked up the drums Oh gosh, about two years ago seriously, and I enjoy the heck out of it. I have my little drum set sitting behind me here and I’ll get online Jeff sees four or five times a week and just just let it go and it’s
Gabe Helguera 04:20
Tracy Brinkmann 04:22
I step away with a big smile on my face
Gabe Helguera 04:24
that’s what it’s all about man well dude one that’s awesome that you that you like I prevail super stoked to hear that yes I’ve seen you on on dbo Academy around so it’s it’s super awesome to be to be chatting with you and yeah man good for you like for being able to pick up drums it I think it really unlocks like a different world. At least it did for me like I feel like my life is split up into two parts like the part before I played drums and the part after I play drums you know, it’s like, like the ultimate outlet. No matter like no matter who you are. It is really cool to see like, you know, the cool thing about having a website or a membership that a lot of people use is that you see all sorts of different people like sharing one, same passion and once one same thing that like brings people together, which you know, I think it you don’t see that a lot, at least rightly, something that brings a ton of different people from all over the world together. It’s like, yeah, that’s really cool to see.
Tracy Brinkmann 05:30
And you’re right. I think it’s, I think another thing that’s really cool about a space like you’ve created is that it doesn’t matter where there I’m the newbie, I’m raising my hand Hi, saying, Yes, I am. Or you’ve got the folks out there that have massive chops. They’re all in there supporting each other. Oh, man, you’re doing great. Oh, I remember putting up you know, one of the things you say, hey, put up your first video and I put up my little video. I think I was doing Alice and Alice Cooper song. Very simple, very, you know, and I’m not I’m not selling Greg out at all. I’m not. But But everyone was very supportive. Man, you did awesome. I’m like, I actually messed up a lot
Gabe Helguera 06:11
I love that. It’s just like, you know, it’s just like starting off anything like in the beginning stages. It’s like, once you accomplish something, like no matter how small it is, if you’re doing it like for the first time, no matter how messy it is, and how sloppy it is. It’s like it still feels great. Yeah, absolutely. And yeah, so cool, you know, in that can apply to anything. So I think that you’re having a good time with it.
Tracy Brinkmann 06:34
I’m having a blast with it. And I think you and I want to get your give you a chance here to tell your story. But I have to sell the passion behind the drums here. So about two weeks ago, right? My wife and daughter and I were watching. I forget what it was. We were watching some show. And the things that were being depicted in this show were just pissing me off. There’s no other way to say I was really getting it was getting under my skin. Right? I was like, very agitated. My wife’s like, yeah, I noticed because she was sitting right next to me. And after about two hours of watching it and like, I’m done, I’m done. And I was I was all riled up, right? I could just feel it churning. And I came up here, right? I put in, you put my headphones on, and I just started going and having a blast. And after about two hours came back those feelings were just gone. I was just filled with that. I feel better. Okay, now I can go back down and watch whatever else I want to watch. And it was like, Alright, now I know why people do this kind of thing. Whether it’s drums as a guitar, or paint or draw, because it’s therapeutic.
Gabe Helguera 07:42
100% man, yeah, it’s like the cheapest form of therapy. Like it, you know, obviously, therapy is great in its own right to right there, there’s really there is really something that’s kind of why I say like, there’s like the time before jumps and after drums because like, it is just such an outlet where like it for whether I’m happy, whether I’m sad whether I’m angry, like all of it is expressed, like when I can hit hit some things really hard with with two sticks Exactly. In in when I’m away from it. For too long. It feels like there’s something missing. Like there’s something off like I can’t really recreate it like exercise does, to a degree but but yeah, there’s something about just like connecting like physical movement with music. Yeah, it’s really cool.
Tracy Brinkmann 07:50
So I want to I want to I want to shut up a minute. So I’m trying not to fanboy too much here. But I wonder if I like you to give you a moment just to tell your story as much as little as you can. If you want to go through some of the I prevail stuff, and really what brought you to create this platform you’ve created and why you love doing what you do so much.
Gabe Helguera 08:52
100% Yeah, so I’ll try to I’ll try to fly through it a little bit, because I’ve been playing drums for like 15 years. So I don’t want to take you back too far. But long, long story short, yeah, I my mom is a great mom, she she randomly bought me a drum set one year for Christmas and even asked for it. So she committed herself to a very loud basement at all times. But the beautiful thing about that in her intention with that is I have an older brother who plays guitar and was very musical at the time. And she really wanted like a way for us to come together. And it really worked. So kind of right off the bat. We started playing in a band together and like within the first year that I was playing drums, we started playing shows and like people were coming and like our band was growing and I was I was 13 14 years old. So I’m like already and everyone else in the band was probably college age, you know, like 18 19. And for a 13 year old you’re like, well this is awesome. So right away I got admittedly so a little bit of an ego but well it all it all So solidified like, Oh, this is what I want to do. Like, I’m passionate about this, it really just sent me on a trajectory. But admittedly, so I got a little bit of an ego. So your years go by, everyone kind of goes off to college, my brother gets married, the band kind of breaks up, right? And so then I’m, like, you know, 18 really kind of feeling the itch. I’m like, I really want to start playing again. Like, I just graduated high school. I, I knew, like, for me, I was like, I don’t want to go to college. Like, I want to play drums. You know, you can go to college to to learn more about drums and stuff. But I, you know, I was like, I want to play in a band. Like, you can’t go to college to play in a band. Right? Right. So, um, so I, you know, I graduated college or high school, and I’m like a busboy or whatever, and worked a myriad of just terrible jobs to try to sustain myself while trying to like get bands off the ground for the starving artists syndrome. 100%, man, yeah, like, living with my mom like working? Yeah, like as a busboy. And then I worked in like, a warehouse, packaging dog treats, making $8 an hour. So that was, that was a highlight of my life for sure. But, yeah, so it really kind of culminated for me when I auditioned for a band. And I like I said, I kind of had this ego, I’m like, I’m really good. I’ve been good since I like started. And so I auditioned for this band, and I like kind of, like walk in being I was like, nervous, but I was like, I think I got this right. And I did it. They they said, Hey, man, like you don’t, you don’t have like, what it takes basically, like, you need to work on some stuff more. And that was really pivotal moment, for me a very humbling experience of being like, wow, I need to like keep working on my craft, I got to like, keep keep, like being diligent about this, rather than just trying to coast. So that was that was like very eye opening for me, helped me start working on it a little bit more fast forward to a few years, I’m living in a house with seven other musicians at this point, which was really cool. But one of them. Like I said, I was working some terrible jobs, but one of my roommates he for living, taught ukulele online, he had his own ukulele website. And he was like, crushing it. He’s I don’t know, like, early 20s. Making like, close to six figures teaching ukulele and I’m like, I’m missing something. Because I’m I’m making $8 an hour, trying to trying to pursue what I what I want to do. And like you’re hanging out at the house all day doing what you want to do, right? And like just totally crushing it. So he was always trying to be like, Hey, man, like, you should do this. For gems, you should do this for drums. And at the time, it wasn’t it wasn’t a new idea, by any means for drumming. It wasn’t like, there’s already people doing that. There’s already YouTube channels, there’s already websites. But after enough of a push, I was like, You know what, like, none of the bands that I’m doing are working out. Like, I really got to a point where I was like, I realized that for me, it was very apparent that I wanted to be a drummer more than anyone else in the band, like, wanted to do the band thing, you know, so I was like, I need to, I want to create something that is fully reliant on me, where like, I don’t have to be like, let down by other people not not doing their part, you know, because for me, it was like life or death is like, if I can’t do this, like, I don’t have any other options, you know, right. Like I said, I didn’t go to college or anything. Um, so yeah, I started I started drumbeats online, I, like bought a domain domain name for like five bucks, and just started uploading some videos to YouTube. And it was a very slow rollout. You know, like, I didn’t even create like a course to sell up until like, a year or two after doing it. And again, you know, just very, very slow, very slow. And so yeah, eventually fast forward from there a little bit. I started doing some I started to experience what it feels like when you work, work a job but also are trying to like do your side hustle. You’re ultimately wanting your side hustle to eat the job, you know?
Tracy Brinkmann 14:19
Gabe Helguera 14:19
You can you can make the leap. Luckily, like I said, I didn’t make a lot of money. So it wasn’t a big bar that I had to hit before I can. So yeah, I was I was like teaching in person lessons gigging and like doing drum beats online. And eventually, I was able to do that full time. And again, it was like, I mean, I’m making like $16,000 a year in my early 20s. It’s not like I’m crushing it, but for me, I was like, Whoa, that gave me a taste of like, I can actually make this happen. I don’t know how to scale it yet. I that wasn’t even like a word that I knew at the time. Right. But in the midst of that, I got a call from from One of the sound guys at the at one of the gigs that I used to play up and he’s like, hey, this band I prevail, like they need a drummer. I recommended you because I love your playing like would you be willing to like audition and long story short again, I audition and this is where the flashback kind of happened for me where I was like, Okay, last time I did this big audition like it didn’t work out. So like, what am I? What am I going to do differently? And plus, like, I wasn’t used to playing this type of music either. So anyway, worked really hard ended up getting the gig. And all the while like, I was still like pouring my heart and soul into drum beats online and the to kind of just kept growing together is nice. Um, so yeah, yeah. I mean, that’s, that’s kind of short of a way of possible.
Tracy Brinkmann 15:45
That’s, that’s pretty awesome, though. I think, you know, it’s funny as, as you were telling your story about having the motivation, I was listening to your talk about your, your hunger for playing the drums, it reminded me of a quote, I saw that Ilan musk had made and he probably made it long time ago. But it was like, someone asked him, you know, what motivates you to be an entrepreneur? And Elon Musk reply was, if you need motivation, do not be an entrepreneur, right. So if you have that natural passion for the drum, so that creating that drum beats online seemed like a natural progression for you to say, Hey, I can teach drums, it’s, I still get to do that. And that’s my passion. And so I can pass that on to others. So when you hit those walls, and those stumbles, and you know, all those things that happen in business and in life, you just keep going because of that drive.
Gabe Helguera 16:38
100% Yeah, it’s so funny, I joke around about like, when I was younger, I was trying to play drums to avoid like business in the real world. And now I’m like, I have fully embraced business so that I can play drums. That’s awesome. Yeah, it’s been a really cool relationship. You know, I think like, over the past two or three years, especially, is really when I’ve started to say like, hey, if I want to, like really try to do this, like, I need to dive headfirst into learning about marketing, about like, creating a business, learning how to be a leader, like I hired, like two or three people this past year or two, you know, and it’s like, okay, now this is like, more than just me, this is like, I actually have like a real business on my hands. And it’s like, it’s a heck of a juggling act. I’ll say that. But it’s, it really has like, kind of unlocked a new passion that I never was expecting it to. You know, like I said, I was always just trying to play drums. But now I’m like, I love like, business is really awesome. Like, I am very curious to see where this all leads, if I end up like starting other businesses down the road, like, I’m not sure you know, but it’s been really fun.
Tracy Brinkmann 17:49
How, how is it come into that the obviously 2020 is probably not a great example, right? Because you didn’t get to do a whole lot of touring, if any last year, for obvious reasons. But you know, when you when I prevail was out there and I know I was at a number of the shows the 2019. Oh, yeah, I was at when you guys did that big. The Big Show it was at in South Carolina. Rock on. Is it rock on the range? Or? No, I can’t think I
Gabe Helguera 18:17
got the ranges and oh, that’s Ohio.
Tracy Brinkmann 18:21
Carolina. Yeah, yeah, that was a that was a great show. Anyway,
Gabe Helguera 18:26
that was fun. Yeah.
Tracy Brinkmann 18:27
I think that’s the one of that publicity shot. I see that you sent me. But anyway, how do you how do you balance? You know, obviously, you’re, you’re doing good with the business and you’re getting more hooked on it. But obviously, you still have this great career on the other side of the fence. How do you how do you go about balancing those two passions?
Gabe Helguera 18:48
Yeah, it’s definitely hard. But I’ll say this, when you’re on the road, you know, you’re away from your family, your friends. I mean, you’re obviously friends with the people who you’re with, but there’s a lot in one way, there’s a lot less distractions, if that makes sense. Or, and or structure. Like, for me, it’s kind of like, well, like a perfect weekend for me is just being able to like relax at home and like kind of just, you know, do whatever I want. spend, spend time with my wife, like eat dinner out or whatever. But like just having that that time to relax. When you’re on the road. There isn’t you don’t really get that opportunity. Now you’re like, you’re on the tour bus and you’re in a new city every single day. So there’s not really like yeah, I don’t know. So with that, I think like for me, it’s I get up before every other guy on the bus. I go to bed before every other guy. So yeah, I think like it’s really important for me to have that like two or even three hours in the morning before anyone else is up to just like have my own time and that’s, that’s true for when I’m home too. Like, it’s just me and my wife at home but I’m up like two or three hours before her to just have like That time to just be really focused really locked in. So same as true for the road. And yeah, I mean, thankfully, it’s it’s a little bit trickier because the day is choppier, but on the road, there really isn’t too much that I have to do I have to essentially soundcheck every day for 40 minutes, right. And then I have to like get ready to play the show and then play the show at night. So like, all that time before and in between, it’s pretty much open. You’re just in you know, you’re just in a new city.
Tracy Brinkmann 20:30
So my laptop’s my best friend. I’m just, I’m just trying to grind away on that. And then yeah, when you have days off, it’s like I said, it’s kind of like, well, what else am I gonna do? Like, I may as well just kind of plug away on
Tracy Brinkmann 20:41
work on , right? Yeah, it makes sense. I know. I know. Everyone thinks about all the Rockstar life, you’re always doing things and you’re always being mauled by fat. No. And I’m so boring man. I was actually talking to Eric singer, the drummer from kiss. Oh, nice. This was years ago. And he pretty much shared a bit of the same thing. He’s like, yeah, you know, you, you you do the soundcheck, you do the show, you do some of the PR stuff. Like obviously, kiss has the whole experience where you can come get the pictures taken with them, and yada yada. Yeah, we do that too. Yeah, you know, so there’s, and that’s another section, right? There’s a there’s another hour or two out of your day there. But the rest of the time is like, whatever, whatever. Yeah, what’s going on? Right?
And I’m honestly so grateful that I have like, we’ll call it a project, right. But something that I actually, like, Am invested in because it’s like otherwise, like, I would actually probably get really bored with all that free time, you know, so it’s actually really kept me going in a lot of ways to
Tracy Brinkmann 21:43
probably that boredom would probably lead into trouble, right? That’s probably where a lot of trouble? Well, I got nothing to do. Oh, look, let’s glue the furniture to the ceiling, right?
Gabe Helguera 21:54
Yeah, I mean, totally, dude, I’m thankful and very lucky to that I have all the band members, like we’re really on the same page in terms of like, the lifestyle. If I was playing in a band that was like, total party band, there’s no way it would be a terrible environment for me to get worked on. But like, the band is self managed. So like, they’re always working on, like, what, what new merge they’re working on, or what the new opportunities are. So like, they’re very focused on business as well. So we all kind of have like our own own things that we’re focused on as well. Yeah,
Tracy Brinkmann 22:28
that’s cool. I know, I was watching a documentary about how I’m gonna forget the name of the band. It was Viva underdogs. The folks from the band from Australia, I haven’t heard of them. But they’re, they’re also a self managed band, you know, and in the documentary there was showing them the guys like before the show, you know, huddled in the green room talking business, I’m like, okay, for me, this is where bands of the future are really going to be successful versus the party bands of yesteryear, you know, gluing furniture to the ceilings, I think, I think the the marketplace has changed, right. And I’m speaking from the outside in, but, you know, just from a pure business perspective, you know, I think that that has changed a lot.
Gabe Helguera 23:15
100% Yeah, I think like, more and more, you’re gonna find that, like, music or bands getting popular is not an accident, nearly as much as it used to be like, this is like, this is strategic. This is marketing. This is like, you know, think thinking of each like album as like a launch, like launching a new product, right? Like, this is very much so how we are focused on on the business because like a band, at the end of the day, it’s like, hey, like, there is the total artistic thing, or it’s like, Hey, we’re just trying to express ourselves and like, through music, which is awesome. But it’s a business like not only for the people in the band, but like, you know, we we employ all the crew, the tour manager, the people who keep the whole thing running, like if you don’t, if you can’t focus on the business, or at least have someone who is helping you with that, like, you’re not gonna have not gonna have much momentum.
Tracy Brinkmann 24:08
They’re not gonna have a business very long. There it is.
Tracy Brinkmann 24:12
So looping back to drums, your your drum beats online. Obviously, you started it. And you actually mentioned it was slow and slow. And then you’re like, I hate this. I’m actually enjoying this. It’s kind of cool. I’ve started learning, marketing and business. What did you find was the biggest struggle to really get it up off the ground, so it could replace your $8 an hour job and back then?
Gabe Helguera 24:34
Yeah, 100% Well, the funny thing is that I would say I did things almost in reverse. And this is just because I didn’t really know better. And that’s in that sense of like a lot of online entrepreneurs and a lot of online businesses now. Focus on like getting getting a really good product that they know how to market and then it’s like once they have all of that figured out, then they focus on growing An audience, whether that’s your email list, whether that’s a social media platform, whatever that is, and you know that it’s a, it’s an audience to sell to Well, for me, I, like I said, because I was like uploading videos to YouTube, and I didn’t have a product or anything like that for a while, like, I ended up actually building a decent audience. And then I was like, Oh, I should probably figure out
Tracy Brinkmann 25:21
Gabe Helguera 25:21
what the product looks like, you know? No, well, you know, there’s pros and cons to both. The cons are that as you’re building an audience, I’m not really making any money, but right, but the Pro is that once I was able to really think about, like, how do I want to help people here and like, like, what do kinda like what do I wish I had when I was younger? The product kind of started to create itself. I mean, I started to be very intentional about creating it, but, but the benefit of that was, I already had a built in audience. However, this does not mean like, what I what I feel like I see all the time is people who have big audiences are like, yeah, I have a product, I had an audience, I put the product out to the audience. And now I’m rich.
Tracy Brinkmann 26:06
you’re now listening to the Dark Horse entrepreneur podcast.
Gabe Helguera 26:10
And for me, it wasn’t certainly it wasn’t that way. But it’s, it was so much more, you know, like, once I once I released a product, I had a big audience, but like, the conversion rate was pretty bad. So that’s, that’s where I started to talk about like, okay, I really need to get like my, my hands dirty with like, learning about marketing, and like, how I can actually utilize this audience to the best of my ability. So yeah, I think for me, the creating, creating the membership itself, which is for Yeah, if we haven’t touched on it, the membership is basically for drummers of all different levels to be able to learn and like advanced to each stage and get better. So that was really fun to build, because it’s kind of like a path of like, Okay, what did you learn? What are you supposed to learn? When you’re beginner? What do you learn when you’re right, intermediate and advanced? You know, but yeah, I think the big challenge for me was learning like, how, how am I positioning this to people? What is what is the result that they get? What in in, like, how does my product help them get that result? You know, as opposed to, hey, I have a drum membership? Like, check it out, right? Yeah. Know what, like, for the most part, people are going to be like, Oh, that’s cool, like, good for you. But as opposed to, if I’m like, Hey, you know, how you when you’re playing drums, progress can be kind of slow, and you can get really frustrated. And you fall into a drumming rut? Like, that’s a big problem, like, so you’re identifying what’s the problem that most drummers are facing? So for me, that’s kind of what what I think about is the drumming right is something that really frustrated me. Something that I see a lot of other drummers experienced is like, hey, this, this product, dbo Academy is actually going to fix that problem for you. It’s going to make falling into drumming reps, like not even a thing. And you’re going to make consistent progress so that you’re never guessing on what to practice. Because again, that’s another thing for drummers, is that they don’t really know where they should go next. And maybe they feel like one day, they’re playing really good. And one day, they’re playing really bad. I’m trying to smooth that process out. So
Tracy Brinkmann 28:14
I’m raising my hand is he says that.
Gabe Helguera 28:18
Tracy Brinkmann 28:19
what’s funny, one of the things that I noticed when I started using your particular membership, and and I’ve used some of the other popular ones that are out there, right, we won’t we won’t name any anywhere. But one of the things I noticed it was like right out of the gate, it was probably week two. Well, first off, let me step back, it allowed you to choose your journey, right? Where are you? Are you beginner? Are you in the middle? Are you more advanced? Which is kind of cool. Yeah. But then it started saying, Okay, well, here, it starts taking you through and like cool, I get this. All right. I don’t need to go through the drum setup, but I watched it anyway. Because to see if there was a different angle of it. Right? I have an electronic drum kit. So obviously, going through how to tighten your drum heads, whatever. I don’t yet. But anyway, yeah. What I noticed in like week two is you introduced a beat for me that was very challenging, but it wasn’t fast. Right. I believe it was the pot beach. But it was a you know, things were offbeat. So like I was hitting the symbol on an A, or you’re on an opposite beat versus the usual like 1234 now you’re doing the snare than the cymbal than the drum beat it. Yeah, I was like, yeah, whoa. And for me what I thought was really cool about that. And I look at this, I tell this in life is like, you need to lean out just a little bit out of your comfort zone a lot. That way your comfort zone gets bigger. And I’m like, man, I hate I hate doing this. But it was it was your that was your point in the lesson was like, we’re going to try something it’s gonna be a little difficult, right? Because we’re doing it and you actually explained what it was was that was going to be difficult. And it’s exactly right. I was like, Oh my God. But after, you know, I know about 1020 minutes of just practicing it, I was like easier. Well, the next day I came back and practice it again. And it was almost like I had to relearn it. But then I was, I was okay in about four minutes. And then the next day, I was okay in about two minutes. So it was that leaning out of the comfort zone. And what I liked about your lesson plan was, you brought that in early You, you, you set me up to say, Look, I’m going to push you into your uncomfort zone a little bit, so that things start happening. So so you get out of that rut faster. I was like, This is what I’ve been looking for.
Gabe Helguera 30:35
That’s awesome, man. I’m super, super glad to hear that. And yeah, I think that is like, that’s just kind of, that’s the life lesson and drums. That’s the life lesson in business. Like what I what I’ve been telling people is like, all the times that I’ve done, or tried something that makes me feel uncomfortable, generally helps the business grow the best. So like, like, like I said, like, kind of diving into marketing. Like when you’re first kind of like, like kind of pitching. It’s like really uncomfortable, you feel awkward, you’re like, Am I What am I doing? You know, but the reality is like, you do have to look at your product and be like, why do I have this product? Is it like, am I actually trying to help people? And if you are then like, it’s kind of your responsibility to tell people how you can help them right? Like, I wouldn’t say that you feel that like I, I tricked you with my marketing by buying my product. It’s like, Well, no, I created a service for you. And you’re using that service, and you’re making progress with that service, and you’re really enjoying it. And it’s like this is this is a mutual partnership that’s really working out. And if I didn’t pitch it out to you, and market it to you, then you wouldn’t be making as much progress on the drums, you wouldn’t be having as much fun. And then I would be losing out on clients and money as well. So it’s a lose lose for both of us. So yeah, it’s it’s really interesting to just to think about that. And I think like for a lot of us in the early stages of trying to do those things that are uncomfortable. It can feel very awkward. But then like, as I started getting more and more students into the membership, more and more customers and seeing that like this is actually working like this is actually helping people like that’s, it helps you gain that much more confidence to be like, yeah, yeah, like this just validated my product, this does work, this does help people. And then you feel so much more confident, to be able to pitch it to be able to market it because you you’ve seen the results. But if you don’t do it in the first place, and people don’t come in, then you’ll never actually like, if you’re helping, you know,
Tracy Brinkmann 32:32
that’s right. You don’t you don’t know how good how much help you can be to your tribe until you get out there. Right. And you’ve got to have that confidence. You got to muster it up. I like to say, you don’t have to be courageous forever. You just got to be courageous for about 30 seconds. And after that first 30 seconds, man, the rest of it just kind of happens, right?
Gabe Helguera 32:54
Tracy Brinkmann 32:56
So I know, I know, you mentioned to me, when we were first setting up this, this interview that one of your goals was to triple the business in the next year. That’s pretty aggressive. I mean, that’s, that’s awesome. First off, as you have a goal of so many folks out there, they’re like, Hey, I’m doing good. You know, they stop setting those those client those goals, and then they wonder why stuff stops happening, right? You clearly have an aggressive goal. I mean, you want to touch on some of the ways you think you’re gonna be able to attack that and go after it and reach it.
Gabe Helguera 33:30
100% Yeah, it’s, uh, I think I’m very goal oriented, just as a person. Kinda like I said, you know, like, from a very young age, I’m like, I want to play drums. That’s like, the one thing I want to do. You know, I think this past year and a half has been a huge lesson for me in how far I can take things in my business. If I really like set goals and like push myself outside of my comfort zone, like Like you said, like, so I like to give a little bit of context. I like officially launched my membership as it is now about a year and a half ago. So at that point, I had, I had like a version of a membership before that. And I kind of just merged it into the new membership that present. So that’s at that point, I had about 100 members a year and a half ago, which was which is cool. Like, I was really thankful for those people. But it I was definitely staying really stagnant. Like as many people who are coming in, we’re also leaving every month, so like no, no growth at all. So once I started tweaking my marketing and like setting, setting more goals and trying to like just change the way that I operate the business, I was able to take those 100 members from where it was at that point to where we are now it’s probably around 1500 or something like that. So we’ve over you know, 10 times the business In the past, he
Tracy Brinkmann 35:01
says that in passing Oh, yeah, we’re at 1500. From 100. That’s, that’s amazing. Right? In a year and a half.
Gabe Helguera 35:08
Yeah, yeah. So I’m, I mean, really, really grateful. It’s, it’s truly an amazing community. Like, I absolutely love it. So I say that to say like, wow, when I really put my nose to the grindstone like I can, I can really grow this thing. So when I look at this next year, it’s like, Yeah, I would like to three times that number one is by continually like doing what I’m doing, I the way my membership works is through launches. So like I said, Before, I had a membership that was always open, so you could join at any time. And you can always leave at any time. But what I do now is what’s called a closed cart membership. So I do launches, where generally like, if you wanted to join a membership right now, you actually can’t, there’s no way for you to do that, what you would do is join the waiting list. And that’s, that’s my email list where I collect my leads, and then kind of build anticipation for when the doors are going to be open. So I open Honestly, I don’t even know it’s like two to three times a year. But this has actually been a huge key to the business growing. Surprisingly, it’s counterintuitive. You’re saying like by denying people access, like your business is growing like how does that work? But I think it one it really vets out like it. One creates urgency, which is very important, important if you’re trying to sell anything. And to Honestly, I think it really like it’s the people who join really want to be there, which I love. Like I for me, it’s really important to have a great community of people rather than just like people coming in and out all the time. It feels really like scattered and doesn’t really create a good experience for anyone. So right. It’s multipronged right? From from a marketing and business perspective. It’s it’s really helpful in growth and creating urgency, and just generally creating intrigue to Yeah, it creates a better community in three, it’s, it’s really helpful for me too, because I don’t have to constantly push out this product. Like it’s the launch by the end of the launches. Like I push hard. And I’m exhausted.
Tracy Brinkmann 37:23
Right? Yeah. I mean, anyone who’s launched a product knows exactly what you’re talking about.
Gabe Helguera 37:28
Yeah, yeah, exactly. So having to do that all the time. Sounds like I don’t, I don’t want to do that. So I think continuing to do that. And like with with each launch, what’s great about launches is each launch, I’ll try to throw in a new little thing here. They’re like, hey, maybe this launch, like I’ll do a giveaway to everyone who joins, maybe they get a chance to win a drum set or, okay, now this launch, I’m not gonna do a giveaway. Let’s see how it affected things. Was it worth it? Was it not worth it, you know, and trying different strategic things of like, like with this launch, I did like kind of a free public course to get everyone onto the waitlist first. And like that was really successful. Like the bit for me, it’s like, the bigger the waitlist, the bigger the launch. So yeah, it’s been, it’s been cool to kind of see that correlation. So I think two to three times the business one just doing bigger and bigger launches, and continuing to just experiment. It’s all like a big experiment for me, you know, it’s like, yeah, let’s see if this works. Let’s see if it doesn’t, you know, trying to throw throw new logs in the fire that way. I don’t think that’s I use that expression. But
Tracy Brinkmann 38:36
I know what you meant.
Gabe Helguera 38:37
Thank you. I’m also just trying to, like I said, I was able to bring on a couple people this past year, which is great. Because that frees up some of my time to be able to create new streams of revenue, that’s something that I really want to try to do this year as well. So generally, like I’m, I make a lot of content. So I release a new video on YouTube every week and a new video for the members every single week. It’s just a lot to keep up on. So I hired I hired my brother, the one who I grew up playing music with to be like my full time editor so that I’m not constantly editing because then it can’t actually grow the business. So yeah, diversifying my streams of revenue. I right now I’m looking at creating, like personal like a personal coaching program for people who kind of want to, to it’s a high ticket offer for sure. Like Yeah, be very limited number of people like if I brought on five to 10 people paying X amount of dollars, I mean, maybe like 1000 or 2000, like a month to write to actually get like full coaching of from me and and help them achieve the specific goals that they want to achieve. So that’s something like I said that that makes me really uncomfortable right now to think about that idea. But again, that’s one of those things where it’s like, well, if it makes me uncomfortable, let’s try it and see if it grows the business and you know, like ultimately, like I I really want to make sure that if I’m able to do that, I’m able to Really, really help people and like help them get their money’s worth as well. And then other stuff like like merch and stuff like that. So yeah, just just diversifying streams of revenue trying to try to bring it in from multiple angles rather than just the membership, although I think the membership is amazing, and it will probably, you know, that’s that’s kind of the lifeblood of the business
Tracy Brinkmann 40:20
I think is funny is, if I remember earlier in the conversation, you were saying that you’re you were working your $8 an hour job and doing gigs and doing some teaching, right, if I remember correctly, yeah. So now you’re going to be doing your the offer you just mentioned as a potential, you’d still be doing that teaching, but a whole new level. Right? And yeah, that’s one of the things I try to share with a lot of the new entrepreneurs that that I engage with a lot of them that are doing that those one on one consulting sessions that the teaching you did before, you know, they’re trading those hours for dollars. Well, there’s a ceiling on that you only got 24 hours, and Dang it, you got to sleep a few of them, right? Yeah. So now that you have this community of the we’ll call it the standardized lessons, your videos, your how you can take that one on one opportunity and offer it at a whole new level. Because you’re really helping people at a whole new level at that point. And that comes with a premium price tag. And that’s that’s business 101. Right there. That’s just great opportunities. And there’s a lot of folks that need to hear that because it’s it’s a business model that I think it’s overlooked way too much.
Gabe Helguera 41:30
Yeah, yeah, I totally agree. And I mean, like I said, I’m still in this process right now. So I’m trying to figure out what that looks like. And yeah, I think like, it’s scary. Like, I don’t want to, like offend people or turn them off. But I want to, I genuinely want to offer them something that would be worth if, if they’re in the position to do it. Sure. Something that would be worth it for them. And yeah, like you said, the difference is, when I was first starting out, just teaching lessons to kids and stuff like that, how much how much more experience, I’ve been able to gain from that time to now having 1000s of students, hundreds of 1000s if we’re going on YouTube, and being able to like have a bunch of experience playing in a professional band touring, going to the Grammys and stuff like that. It’s like I’ve been able to, thankfully have have so much more experience that I can now pass on to other people that I didn’t have before.
Tracy Brinkmann 42:24
Yeah, absolutely. And here’s a here’s a question for you. So when it comes to your drumming? Would you say there’s a there’s a completely different, I would say teaching method, but a way of teaching someone who’s just starting or someone that’s going to do session drumming versus someone that’s gonna that wants to be in a band,
Gabe Helguera 42:46
mmm. Yeah, yeah. Yes, yeah, there are different components. It’s a lot of I would say like the basics and the foundation, like, that’s going to be the same thing, right? Like the way that I that I go about that. But as they start entering in that, like mid tier, like intermediate, we’ll call it. That’s, that’s where you really start to like, refine your style and your direction, I would say. So yeah, if you’re trying to be in a band, like I’m going to start helping you focus on what does it actually look like when you are playing drums, like if you’re going to be performing on stage in front of people, like, honestly, I will say like, for me, being able to like turn on performance mode has probably gotten me so many more gigs, because people look at me playing a show and they say Holy crap, like that drummer is killing it. You know, he even if you’re not playing that great to the to the average, I if you are like engaging in the performance and like have a ton of energy. What people then think about is like, that drummer is awesome. You know, like you think about so many of the iconic drummers like yeah, it’s a lot of it is you have to be good at your craft. But if you aren’t, if you aren’t good at your, if you’re good at your craft, but you don’t have any showmanship, then like you’re just you’re going to kind of fade into another drummer, you know, so yeah, if you’re playing live, I’m going to focus on that stuff. But I’m also going to focus on like, well, like, Okay, what if you’re trying to play in a rock band? Like, yeah, we’re going to focus on like the rock genre a lot more like you are in the other camp. If you’re trying to be a session player. I’m going to focus a lot more on versatility, because you’re going to, if you’re going to be recording, you don’t want to be limited to be like, yeah, I only record rock but now all of a sudden, your clients are much smaller. Yeah. Now you do. You do have to have like your lane, right? Like for me, I’m never gonna do a session for a jazz band because like I just don’t play jazz I’m, it’s I’m too far behind to add that in but I don’t it’s like you know, having like a lot of things that that share common threads like rock so then you could go to metal, but then rock could also go to pop and then that could go to indie pop or that could then rock could go to punk and then you know what I mean? Like, there’s all Have those share share common thread. So I’m gonna focus on versatility but also versatility in how you hit your drums, which is what we call dynamics in drumming, that’s, that’s basically just how loud or how soft you hit your drums in a recording situation. That’s really important. Because like every little note is being recorded and like the producer is always going to want it to be a specific way. So that’s going to be ultimate versatility. Yeah, for the for the session guy. And yeah, for the live guy. It’s really going to be like honing in on like, the thing that you do well, and like executing it perfectly. So yeah, yeah,
Tracy Brinkmann 43:06
that was awesome. Awesome. So have you ever just as just because of the name of the of the show, which is the Dark Horse entrepreneur and for me, dark horses, they’re like underdogs, right? You know, a lot of folks are like, Yeah, he’s never gonna amount to anything. But inside that that dark horse is like, Man, I’m gonna do this like, like you at 13 I want to be a drummer, right? Yeah. Yeah. Have you ever felt like that underdog?
Gabe Helguera 46:03
Oh, dude, I well first I love that. Because Yeah, as soon as you said that, I’m like, oh, man, I so relate to that. That was my experience growing up, like, I mean, basically, up until basically, up until the point where I started growing drum beats online and or started playing with that prevail. It was always like, okay, game. Like, it’s cute that you want to play drums that you want to that you want to do this thing, but like, you know, I think from from everyone, it was like, we got to get your grades up. I did terrible in school, by the way. It’s like when, like, when are you going to get serious about this, like, you’re not going to be able to go to college. And I’m like, I’m not going to college. And but that, you know, that was a whole thing tension with like, my parents, like, you should really go to go. And I don’t, I do not blame them for a second. Like, I totally get that they want what’s best for me. But you know, and I think like, man, when, like, I remember meeting like, my wife now, but might my, when she was my girlfriend. When we were younger. She her family like works with like, a lot of like, higher up people. So like, I’d have to go to these like fancy little things and, and meet people. It’s like, what do you sound like, I want to be a drummer. And they’re like, you can tell like, they’re they’re like these like millionaire people who are like, exactly. It’s like, when when are you going to break up with this guy? Like, what a loser you know, right? Um, so yeah, I’ve always kind of felt like, Man, this, like, no one really fully like believes in me until I actually started to like, make some serious progress. Right? And I’m really thankful. Like, I don’t I don’t, I don’t resent or like hold any any grudges against any? Sure. But I think I have so much support now for my friends and family, which, which feels really great. And like even I’ve had people like apologize to me, being like, hey, like, I felt like I you know, I never like took you seriously. But I’m seeing like how you really continued to like, push forward and continue to just go after your dream when like, I stopped doing like, they’re from their perspective. They’re saying like, I stopped doing that I saw other people doing it or stop doing that. But you like just kept doing it. And like, I really respect you for that. So nice. Yeah, I’ve definitely had a big portion of my life kind of feeling like, like, all the odds were against me, and I didn’t have a lot of people rooting for me,
Tracy Brinkmann 48:16
and you just got to push through it right, man, you just got to chase your dream, whatever your whatever your dream is. And that’s probably the big one, or I want to be mindful of your time. Gabe, I definitely appreciate you coming in and hanging out. Any final words of wisdom you’d like to leave the audience?
Gabe Helguera 48:30
Oh, man, you know, I think it kind of just like what I said, what I was just alluding to, you know, I think like, if you were to ask me like what’s like, what’s the key to I don’t want to use the word success, but I’m going to like what’s the key to to your success or to be able to make all this happen. And I think for me, like, the biggest thing that I’ve learned is like, persistence is just probably the most important tool you have in your toolkit. If you keep if you are like if you can have a vision, if you can be singularly focused on one thing, and you continue to persist at it and continue to learn and grow along the way and experiment and try new things. Like I don’t know that there’s a lot that can stop you or get in your way from that. You know, I think like, yeah, for me, it was like, from the time I was 13 working on like this one thing up until I was able to do it, you know, full time when I was, I don’t know, 24 or something like that. We’re looking at 11 years of just trying to do one thing and and having a lot of failures along the way. But yeah, I think persistence is your best friend. In all of this. It’s really like how long are you willing to stay uncomfortable? And like I think if you’re if you’re willing to stay uncomfortable the longest you win. Like you see so many other people and like for me in what I do in music, I’ve seen so many people who are like I want to play music, I want to play music, and you know they try it for me amount of yours and then ultimately are like, well, I gave it a shot like I’m kind of done and like I just kept I kept going past that and like it ended up working out so
Tracy Brinkmann 50:07
nice. Nice. Alright Gabe. Thank you so much, man. I definitely appreciate your time.
Gabe Helguera 50:12
100% Tracy, thanks for having me on man.
Tracy Brinkmann 50:14
All right, there you go. My Dark Horse friends and family gave he’ll get a drop in some drum beat bombs on us today. what’s hot Did you come by with? Let me share with you a few that I came with and there were so many amazing gems in here. The first one thought number one, create a supportive community. See, Gabe has created his own awesome community with drum beats online, where people of all skill levels can come together and share and support one another in their journey to improve their skill set, which in this case is all about playing the drums. I think we as people live alone as entrepreneurs, we want a safe space that we can step into. And we can show our superpower right our skills, even if those superpowers and those skills are still in that messy hatchling stage. Now I was lucky enough to find this space with drum beats online from my drumming and other safe spaces for other areas. I am passionate about Have you are you looking? are you creating a safe space for your audience in your tribe to come to and share their vulnerable side? We’re gonna dig into that topic tomorrow on the live episode we’ll be doing in the the Facebook group Episode 178, creating a safe space for your business clients and prospects thought number two, keep working on your craft. Gabe tells his story about having already been in the band with his brother at the age of 13. And it was going well right and as time went on his brother and his other older bandmates went on into other life activities while he was still wanting to be in a band. So fast forward to after high school. He’s working as a busboy and packaging dog treats. I’m not sure if there’s any alignment there but I didn’t dig into that area. Right. Hopefully he wasn’t you know, taking busboy products in package humans dog treats. Anyway, I digress. He stru later on he comes up to this opportunity to join a band. He strolls in there confident in his skill sets. And bam, he’s turned away. See, they tell him that he needs to keep working on his craft. He was cruising, he was resting on his laurels. I think this is a huge lesson for so many of us, not just business, but in life skills as well. The whole world in in business and in life is like this fluid ever flowing creek or river right? Where you know that canoe that is taking you to the creek bank that you’re currently residing on, will probably not get you to the other side of the river that you are seeking to cross? No. See, here’s the thing, if you’re seeking to take your business, your life or your relationships to the next level, in this case, it was music, you’re gonna have to keep working on your craft. We’re gonna go deep, dig deep, dig a bit deeper into this in Episode 179. Do not just hone your skills, improve them, slot number three, surround yourself with those that believe in the same lifestyle. See, Gabe is thankful that all the members of his band I prevail, are aligned with the lifestyle that they want for and from the band. See, this is not for guys on the hunt for sex, drugs and rock and roll. This is a self managed band. They’re working on things like merchandising, what’s the new opportunity that’s out there for this business called I prevail? Looking at their albums, you could say like product launches actually gave actually mentioned that they look at their albums like product launches. And it’s this mentality and this like minded group of folks that I think makes it even more possible for Gabe to leverage his downtime while he’s on tour to grow his drum beats online business. So here’s the question. Are you surrounding yourself with like minded folks that will support you in your journey, whether it’s personal development, whether it’s spiritual, or entrepreneurial? Are those in your inner circle a part of your who want to crew or your can’t do crew? Alright, we’re gonna go chat about this on Thursday. Live in the Facebook group on the podcast, Episode 180. Who are your co pilots? Are they your who on to crew or your can’t do crew and thought number four, start building your audience now, Gabe share about how he took his entrepreneurial journey called it in reverse. He built an audience before he ever had anything to sell them. He was out there uploading videos Videos a YouTube sharing great content that drew people to him long before he had anything he was trying to sell. This allowed him to pause and think about what he wanted to bring to his audience asked himself that all important question, what do I wish I had when I was younger and the product began to create itself and drum beats online was born. Are you building your audience right now, today? Not tomorrow, not a week from now. We’re gonna chat more about the pros and cons. Even Gabe mentioned, we’re gonna go a little deeper in there and Episode 181, which comes first, the audience or the product, and we’re going to dig a bit in about why it is your responsibility, like Gabe mentioned, to tell them how you can help them and how by you need to follow how important it is for you to follow that up. by teaching them you know, by actually doing I don’t know the help you promised you would do. You’re out there to help them right. That’s why they’re resonating with you. That’s why they’re coming to you. So you need to get out there and help them Alright, what inspiring ideas or thoughts resonated with you in today’s episode, whatever they were, take some time today and write them down and then put them into action. You get out there you run your race you get your results and let me hear about them seriously. You can email me at Tracy at Dark Horse schooling calm and share the the tips and the ideas that you can weigh with how you put them into action and what results you gain from them. Tech are probably even bring you on the podcast and let you share your story. In the meantime, on next week’s interview episode we’re going to have Veera Lee Kerr. Now Now, Vera says she’s just an ordinary woman. And yet she has seemed not seemed she has harnessed this power of creative energy in this powerful determination to overcome immense adversity in her own life, including several disabilities. Some that even took away her voice serious. I’m just no joke literally took away her voice, a chronic illness, multiple near death experiences and surviving domestic violence, including, sadly, sexual assault, you are definitely going to hear viras amazing and inspiring story. Now I know you want to keep getting all these valuable tips in these amazing stories. I’m lucky enough to be able to bring you on this podcast. So please go on down there, hit that subscribe button. While you’re there. Please leave us a five star rating and some kind words in the reviews. These subscribes rating reviews give us a little bit of a boost in the podcast ranking so that we could reach more entrepreneurs just like yourself. And of course do not keep all this entrepreneurial, g o LD all to yourself. Share this podcast with other entrepreneurs and business owners. You know we’ll get value from it. With that. I’m gonna leave you as I always do things successfully and take action. Thank you for listening to the Dark Horse entrepreneur podcast. Thanks for tuning in. Check us out at www dot Dark Horse schooling.com All right. My name is Tracy Brinkmann.
EP 177 Gabe Helguera Growing A Side Hustle While Still Treating A Band As A Business
What Can You Learn From A Rock About Being In Business?
- Create A Supportive Community – Gabe has created this awesome community with DrumbeatsOnline.com where people of all skill levels can come together and share and support one another in their journey to improve their skill set; which in this case is playing the drums. I think we all as people let alone as entrepreneurs want a safe space that we can step into and show our skills – even when those skills are still in their messy hatchling stage.
- Keep Working On Your Craft – Gabe tells in his story about having already been in a band with his brother from the age of 13 and going well. As time went on his brother and the other older bandmates went to other life activities – while he still wanted to be in a band. Fast forward to after high school, he’s working as a busboy and packaging dog treats, not at the same I hope. I should have asked him that lol. Any way then comes an opportunity to audition for a band. He strolls in confident in his skill sets and BAM is turned away. They tell him he needs to keep working on his craft. I think this is a lesson for so many of us in not just business but in life skills as well.
- Surround Yourself With Those Believe In The Same Lifestyle – Gabe is thankful that all the members of his band iPrevail are aligned with the lifestyle they want from and for the band. It is not four guys on the hunt for sex drugs and rock and roll. This is a self managed band. They are working on things like merchandise, and what new opportunities are out there for this business called iPrevail. Looking at their album like product launches etc. It is this mentality and like minded group of folks that I think makes it even more possible for Gabe to leverage his downtime while on tour to grow his DrumBeatsOnline.com business.
- Start Building Your Audience NOW – Gabe shared about how he took his entrepreneurial journey in reverse. He built an audience before you ever had anything to sell them. He uploaded videos to youtube sharing great content and that drew people to him, long before he had anything he was trying to sell. This allowed him to pause and think about what he wanted to bring to this audience. Asking himself the question “What do I wish I had when I was younger” and the product began to create itself and DrumBeatsOnline.com was born.
- Plus so many other gems!!
Gabe Helguera‘s links