2 Follies To Avoid With Your Home Audio System

I enjoy listening to either Stitcher for podcasts, or Pandora for music while doing chores around the house. I’m all about productivity hacks and the idea of getting two things done in the same amount of time needed for one, well I’m all about.

Just the other day, I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts on entrepreneurship, and a particular saying stood out: “learn from other people’s mistakes”. This isn’t some new and revolutionary concept, but it got me thinking about a fun concept for this week’s blog post.

I’m going to share 2 mistakes people have made while installing or planning out their home audio systems. And, to raise the stakes… these are all instances that I’ve witnessed myself.

Now stop reading, go make some popcorn, and I’ll meet you back here in about 5 minutes.

  1. Purchasing “High-End” Speakers From Strangers In Parking Lots: The very first day my good friend moved up to the Bay Area, he got hustled for a half a bottle of whiskey and $100 right after withdrawing some cash out of the ATM. Maybe this says a little bit about the area, but it says a whole bunch about his common sense. Apparently some guys in an SUV full of “high-end” sound systems approached him in the parking lot with some half-cocked story about a delivery gone bad and an error at the factory. If it sounds too good to be true… it is! Anyway, fast forward a few weeks to when I’m helping him setup the sound system in his new studio, we get everything wired then power up the system and crank the volume – rip. One of the speakers literally rips the second the beat drops. Fast forward 5 more minutes, we’re online looking up the manufacturer warranty information and the first thing that pops up in the search results is a YouTube video: “White Van Speaker Scam”. Apparently this is a pretty widespread scam and lots of people fall for it every year! After watching a few more videos the social proof is overwhelming and the reality sets in that these speakers are as good as a pile of trash. Being the audio junkie that I am – I want to see inside. We pull a hammer and start prying apart the speaker box to take a peak inside. What do we find? Sandbags! There are sandbags stapled to the inside of the speaker boxes so to give them some extra weight and pose as a true version of the advertised ‘German-made’ quality! Moral of the story: you’re not going to find high-end audio equipment being pawned out of white vans in the far corner of the local Walmart parking lot.
  2. Allowing Rats To Have A Picnic In Your Attic: Just last month I was helping a friend troubleshoot some issues she was having with her home system. She has a really great setup in the den with the woofers installed inside the wall alongside the TV and the tweeters in the ceiling right above the couch. The issue was that the audio coming out one tweeter was very garbled and distorted. I checked all the standard things that I won’t bore you with, after all if you wanted to know how to troubleshoot your home audio issues I think you’d probably be on Ask.com. Anyway, I get to the checking the lines themselves and since they’re ceiling-mounted I find myself up in the attic filled with cobwebs, and you guessed it – a dead rat. So I get pretty freaked out by dead animals, regardless of their size, so I flew out of that attic like a bat out of hell. I had never heard of this, but after chatting with a tech from the local rodent removal company I discovered that those hairy little monsters love chewing on wires because it helps to sharpen their teeth. That same tech came over within an hour to remove the corpse and set a few traps to create more corpses, I ventured back up into the attic to replace the severed speaker wire, and hurried back home to take a shower. During the drive home I kept thinking of the irony in the saying, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.

Kendrick Lamar Cries Out For Lil Wayne

Millions of fans across the world aren’t the only ones who don’t want Lil Wayne to quit the rap game. Drake, Young Thug, and Chance The Rapper posted some text on Twitter and Instagram, but one of Compton’s finest decided to go all out with a short video. Yes, that’s right, Kendrick Lamar shared his drunken feelings with the internet recently, sending Weezy F. Baby a public service announcement asking him not to quit the game.

In a video that Kendrick posted from his iPhone, he rapped along to Weezy’s 2002 album, 500 Degreez and some of his songs from his Hot Boyz days when he was just fifteen years old. Following the rap along, K. Dot began to squash any gibberish of the rap legend throwing in the towel: “Talk about retiring and shit. Fuck that n**a. Retire, quitting rap, whatever you want to call it, n**ga,” Mind you, this all took place at 5:32 in the morning, so you know Kendrick had to be feeling himself a little bit.

Lil Wayne, who’s been in a back-and-forth legal battle against Birdman and Cash Money Records, revealed on Twitter that he would be starting his early retirement, explaining that he was both “defenseless” and “defeated.” Since his unexpected announcement, he’s received support worth it’s weight in gold from fans, and his Young Money family including Mack Maine, Lil Twist, and Drizzy Drake.

Maybe Kendrick’s video will help Wayne change his mind so he can go back to doing what he loves. And if not, at least we still have tons of chilling anthems to bang in our headphones from the rap icon. Check out Kendrick spilling his feelings in the video below:

Four Ugly Truths of Starting Your Own Business

4-ugly-truths-of-owning-small-businessHave you ever thought about starting your own business? A lot of people do.

Have you ever conducted research on several markets that you were considering jumping in to? Now you’ve began to separate yourself from the rest.

Learning the ins and outs of your prospective industry is just one of many actionable steps that can lead you to being a full time entrepreneur. But if you have made it this far, at least you’re taking action. A lot of people dream all day, and never wake up, so I commend you for venturing down the path of business ownership.

Whether you’re fascinated with getting to work for yourself on your own terms, being able to work from anywhere in the world, or not having to wake up to an alarm clock–but rather a calling–the opportunity to do business your way truly is magical.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with working a 9-5. Heck, the world needs loyal employees like that. But as I see it, if you’re not spending at least an hour or two a day working on your personal goals, business goals, spiritual goals, fitness goals, etc. then your are merely existing. The objective is not to merely exist, but to live. To live out a life you have always dreamed of. That’s not to say it’s going to be easy, however.

You have to be willing to get punched in the face. A prerequisite for getting back up is that you first must get knocked down. Maybe you already know this stuff. But maybe it’s time to internalize it further.

However you want to put it, owning, managing, and spearheading a small business is not easy. And in this article, I am going to lay out 4 ugly truths that come with making your grandest dreams into a reality.

  1. You can’t do everything yourself. You’re tenacious, talented, and a true go-getter. You’re determined to win at all costs and you’re the reason why you will be successful. But sometimes you have to let your employees, helpers, virtual assistants, college kids, etc. think for themselves. For instance, it’s not unlikely for roofing contractors to subcontract their work out to other roofing companies. You have to trust that your teammates will get the job done. I’m sure you’ve probably tried to do everything yourself in the past, but you have to work smarter than that. As small business owners, we’re fearless and some times a little over confident in our own ability. Sometimes it’s better to empower others to get the job done.
  2. Listening is the most useful business skill you’ll ever attain. The man upstairs made us with two ears and one mouth for a reason, right? If we listen more than we speak, we enable ourselves to learn what we don’t already know. But if we’re speaking all the time, we’re simply preaching our current beliefs. It’s important to listen to everyone around you, including your customers, your employees, fellow small business owners, and your community. They might know something you don’t know, and it just might relate to your business, increasing profitability, retaining customers, fulfilling needs, or something else of great value.
  3. Track everything that goes in and out of your business bank account. Get a professional CPA and a bookkeeper or utilize software like QuickBooks and FreshBooks. Although it would be nice, everything you buy once you’re in business isn’t necessarily an expense for your business. Another thing, get organized. Ask your accountant to show you his or her spreadsheet. Imagine being able to look at your business and run a real profit and loss statement. Having all that stuff on paper, or in one place at least, relieves stress in troves! And of course, knowing that you’re actually profitable and not in debt (at all times) is nice too. If you don’t know where you’re wasting money or overspending, it’s impossible to propose a solution. Remember that.
  4. Your customers are the most important people in your business–even more important than you. Yes, you may get all the hard work done. You may be a networking machine and close deals daily. But at the end of the day, if you’re customers aren’t happy, you don’t have a business. Without customers, there is no business. Period. Which is why you must treat them that way. Make them feel like they are your utmost concern, and make sure it’s genuine. That realness will shine through your soul and you’ll be that much more successful with your small business.

How To Be Better Than The Person You Were Yesterday

how-to-be-better-than-the-person-you-were-yesterdayAt an early age I was told, “Would you rather make a $70K salary working for yourself, dictating your own future, happy as hell, or make a $100K salary woking a job you hate, making the next man rich?”

That one quote really put things into perspective for me.

How you make your money is way more important than how much you make.

And chances are, if you go out in the world and build your own dream–add value to the world in your own unique way–you’ll be a lot richer. Both mentally and monetarily.

I completely respect all the nine-to-fivers out there. At the end of the day, your dinner table demands food. If you don’t grind–whether that be as a professional salesman, general contractor, masonry expert–you don’t eat! And once you grow older and start having more mouths to feed, the stakes (Ruth Chris steaks, preferably) get higher.

But if you’re not–at the minimum–pondering how you can free yourself from the traditional employee mentality, you and I probably would not get a long. Why? Because then that would mean you’re trapped by dogma – by other people’s thinking. And what’s life if you can’t think for yourself? I damn sure don’t want friends around me that I have to think for.

The next step would be to take action. Massive action.

To start, write your goals down. What’s your why? What do you expect from your goals?

Once you begin to act like success is your responsibility–that it’s your duty to yourself and to your family–there really is no failing. Ultimately failing, that is. Of course you’ll have to Usain Bolt a few hurdles. We all do. The journey makes it all worth it. The struggle conditions your brain.

One of my three sisters was homeless on the streets of San Francisco for seven years. She would scurry through The Tenderloins looking for the next narcotic she could get her hands on. Opportunistic, she would trade marijuana for cocaine, and alcohol for pain pills. Fast forward to today my sister is no longer homeless. She lives in a big house in Santa Rosa, California with a beautiful son, her own business, and is in pursuit of her very own Doctoral degree. And guess what? She tells me all the time, “there is no drug on God’s Earth as addictive as SUCCESS.”

The takeaway from that short allegory is monumental The power contained in so few words blows me away. If you bake the hardships, the struggle, the progress, the tenacity, the persistence into your daily habits the results become addictive. You transcend into an addict; a success addict.

True entrepreneurs pursue what they pursue because they love the game that comes with it. They love the hustle. The ups and downs. The constant challenge. They love it all. It’s what keeps them going. But if you’re not a true entrepreneur, that’s okay too.

As long as you truly understand that nothing worth having comes easy, you’ll be ahead of 97% of the people you come across on a daily basis. And that small edge…. equates a big difference.

Chance The Rapper Reacts to Beyonce Photobomb

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Chance-The-Rapper-Music-AudioChance the Rapper, AKA “Lil’ Chano From 79th” is taking the Hip-Hop game by storm. His audible skill, crafty wordplay, and idiosyncratic voice separates him from much of the clutter in today’s Hip-Hop culture. Born and raised in West Chatham, Chicago, Illinois, he grew up around poverty, gang violence, and friends with no dads to name a few hurdles he had to jump. After lacing up his Nike’s (and actually starring in a Nike commercial) he’s turning his idols into rivals at a freakishly rapid rate.

I personally started listening to Chancelor Bennett after dropping his second mixtape, Acid Rap. From then on, I’ve kept an ear peeled for hot new features, including his verse on Ultra Light Beams–a song on Kanye West’s album, The Life of Pablo. Just recently, Kanye called Chance “the future” during his short rant on stage at the 2016 Video Music Awards. That’s a pretty big co-sign in and of itself.

Unlike the sell-your-soul-quick stereotype of many new mainstream rappers, Chance likes to go against the grain. Ever heard of the saying – “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”? Well, independent music is this young star’s true stance. His effort of bringing independent music to the airwaves has earned him more respect than any other rapper in the game. Performing on shows like Saturday Night Live, and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Chance The Rapper is set to explode his fan base and finish strong in 2016.

Performing on late night talk shows are cool. Organizing music festivals and having rappers like Lil’ Wayne joining you on stage is even cooler. But wanna know what’s cooler than that? Getting photobombed by the one and only Queen Bey! Chance has playfully referenced superstar Beyonce Knowles as his auntie in the past. But this, this tops the charts! You couldn’t pay for his reaction if you wanted to. Because yes, it’s that priceless. Check it out below:

Welcome To Psiber Audio

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As a small business owner, we feel for all of you tenacious, persistent and relentless entrepreneurs out there. We understand that everyone has their own passion, whether it be construction design, BMX riding, or elementary school teaching. Our passion is all things audioFrom installing subwoofers in my 1995 Honda Accord to burning CDs and distributing all the hot new tracks to my friends, my passion with melodies, sound waves, and technical aspects to audio is pretty crazy.

In this blog you can expect me to write about rap, hip-hop, reggae, installing audio systems, working with needy clients, and running a small mom and pop audio business. I’ll discuss my pitfalls to working in the business as well as my big wins. If you have a similar interest in audio, running a similar business, or are just looking for something compelling to read, you’re in the right place.

Don’t be surprised if I let loose on some insider stuff, or talk about unexpected encounters with other entrepreneurs I’ve dealt with either. I’m thinking of this humble blog as my world to express myself and whatever way I feel like it on any given day.

I’m expecting to keep a consistent schedule of monthly blog posts, but it I do weekly, don’t say I didn’t warn you. I hope you look forward to watching me unload on all you internet browsers out there. This is my world, and everything is fair game. Feel free to contact me and ask me anything you like here. I’ll do my best to get back to you in a timely manner. If it’s regarding your sound system, cool music, or uncooperative audio technology, I’ll likely get back to you faster though. Why? Because that’s just way the cookie crumbles (Oreo’s to be exact). Catch you on the flip side!