Why I’m Leaving The Music Business

I just got back home after an amazing weekend with Steve Moakler in Chicago. The sold out show at Evanston SPACE will be the last show of Steve’s I will attend as his manager.

For the last 3.5 years, Steve and I have partnered together to grow his music career in the best way we knew how. From the very beginning, it’s been focused on slow and steady growth, caring for people and relationships above all else. We’ve not let anyone else define what his career should look like, but have made decisions we knew felt right, even when everyone else thought we were crazy.

Back in February, I told Steve I needed to transition out of my role as his manager. It was a decision I wrestled with for a long while. But no matter how many times I tried to convince myself I could press through the busyness of another tour or another record, deep-down I knew it wasn’t possible for me to keep that pace long-term (considering all of the work I do across multiple projects). With Steve’s career continually on the rise, I knew the best gift I could give him was the opportunity to continue management with someone who could keep pace.

Walking away from the opportunity to work with one of the world’s greatest human beings is what has made this decision so hard. Steve has become one of my greatest friends and even though we won’t be working together everyday, I don’t see this impacting what I believe will be a lifelong friendship.

I am really excited about the next season in Steve’s career and am confident his new management team (Jeff Skaggs / Creative Nation) will continue to build on the foundation that’s been laid the last few years.

I can’t wait to see what’s next for the both of us! I truly believe the best is yet to come.



2013: A Year in Review

Below is a list of standout events from 2013 — one of the best years of my life.

01 – January :: Thistle Stop Cafe
Thistle Farms decided to renovate part of their warehouse into a cafe. What was once a boring open room is now a beautiful, restored coffee shop. Not only can you get a great cup of coffee or tea, they’re using the space for concerts and events. This photo is of demolition day.

02 – February :: Storyline Conference in San Diego
This was my first time running the Storyline Conference. After an amazing weekend with Donald Miller, Bob Goff, Mike Foster, Caitlin Crosby, and Tom Shadyac, my wife and I celebrated with a sunset over the Pacific.

03 – March :: Indoor Mini Golf
When I play mini golf in the house with my friends, something comes alive inside of me. It’s amazing how much fun you can have building ramps and being creative.

04 – April :: Arizona Trip
My dad has a place in Arizona we try to visit every year. My sister and her family met us there, so we were able to spend a few days with our nieces. One afternoon, my dad and brother-in-law played a round of golf and were caught in 40mph+ wind gusts. I’ve not experienced anything like that before.

05 – May :: Love Does Conference
Bob Goff hosted 1,000 people in Tacoma, Washington for the first-ever Love Does Conference. It was a blast to work with Deborah and the rest of the Love Does team behind the scenes. Before heading back home, I was able to ride in a sea plane for an up-close view of Seattle.

06 – June :: Wiffle Ball
Last summer, a group of my friends started a secret Wiffle ball league. One rule was that we wouldn’t talk about it, tweet about it or post photos. That was until someone went and sang about it on his record (which I love). I guess it’s not a secret anymore! We even made Wiffle ball cards.

07 – July :: Canada
I was fortunate to go on a trip to Canada and disconnect for a few days. Without internet or cell phone service, we were able to focus more on the people around us and the beautiful view. This is where I slept every night.

08 – August :: Golf with Scott
While on my trip to Canada, I met Scott and Tracie Hamilton who are two of the world’s kindest people. When we got home to Nashville, Scott and I played a few rounds of golf together. If you aren’t already familiar with Scott, watch this video and you’ll understand why I love spending time with him.

09 – September :: Debt Free
My wife and I made our final loan payment in September and are now debt free! With the help of Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University, our lives are forever changed. If you feel hopeless because of your debt, take this class!

10 – October :: Hometowns & Campgounds Tour
In September, Steve and Gracie Moakler left on a 40-city tour across America in their camper. With a new group of friends every night, they played music from Steve’s upcoming record (spring 2014) and introduced them to Miriam Designs. I was able to catch one of their Nashville shows and had a blast.

11 – November :: Londond/Scotland
I was able to visit London with a group of 8 friends. We spent some time with Hillsong London and then headed to Scotland for a few days. A trip I’ll always remember.

12 – December :: Ice Skating Event
Thomas Johnson is one of those secretly incredible guys. He’s never on stage or using a microphone, but chooses to love his friends behind the scenes. Thomas is who introduced me to A Million Miles, which has changed the trajectory of my life forever. When I got an invitation to Scott Hamilton and Friends on Ice in Knoxville, I asked Thomas to meet me there. It was a blast to spend the evening with one of my favorite people.

• • •


App :: 1 Second Everyday (which is how I made this video)

Book :: Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Album :: The Walking in Between by Ben Rector

Video :: I Am Second – Scott Hamilton

My Horrible Morning Routine and How I Plan to Fix It

This morning I woke up, walked to the couch and opened my laptop as my eyes were still adjusting. I was going to check my email and catch up on social media like I usually do, but stopped because I heard a song in my head:

“In the morning when I rise
In the morning when I rise
In the morning when I rise
Give me Jesus”

Assuming it was some kind of prompting from the Holy Spirit, I closed the lid to my computer before even entering the password to log in.

• • •

My morning routine is basically as described above — email and social media. The first 20-30 minutes of my day is spent catching up on the previous. But what if I started each day preparing for the day to come instead?

My friend Bob has a morning routine which I like quite a bit:

Bob - Morning routine

And maybe you can help as well. If you have a good morning routine, I’d love to hear about it. Please share in the comments section below.

“I Have Bad News”

We share a common struggle — knowing how and when to deliver bad news.

My tendency is to delay the delivery, or worse, try to avoid the need for delivery by allowing time to pass. But I’ve found this only makes the inevitable harder.

So, what is the solution?

Say what you need to say as quickly as possible.

Don’t wait a week to respond to that email when 5 minutes of courageous writing can resolve it.

Don’t wait until the day the project is due to let your collaborator know you’re two days behind.

Don’t keep dating the guy if you know that it’s over.

Do you have bad news?

Dr. Henry Cloud suggests, “[Do today what] you have been avoiding. You will pick up clarity and energy as a result … not to mention brain space.”

How to Overcome Negative Thoughts

Recently, I had to learn how to combat negative thoughts. I joined a gym a couple months ago because I was getting lightheaded doing even minimal physical activity. You’d look at me and assume I’m in shape, but up until this past spring, my days were spent in front of a computer or reading. Neither of those things require being in shape.

Walking into a new gym can be overwhelming. Where do I go? How do these machines work? To minimize my risk of being embarrassed, I hopped on the treadmill and started running. That thing is pretty straight forward. I even started running outside every once in a while.

I’m an optimistic guy and according to StrengthsFinder, my #1 strength is “positivity.” But something abnormal happens for me while running — negative thoughts. It’s been going on for several weeks and I haven’t been able to shake it.

You can’t make it.

You should just walk.

You’re tired, you can just stop.


Sitting in the rocking chair on my porch yesterday, I was reading a chapter from Shauna Niequist’s beautiful book, Bread & Wine. In it, she tells the story of her Chicago Marathon training. Apparently, there are a lot of positive words thrown around in the running world:

If you can get to the starting line, you can get to the finish line.

One foot in front of the other.

So on my run this morning, I decided to give it a shot — combat negative thoughts with positive words.

I run with my iPhone and am able to analyze distance, pace, and elevation when I’m done. The last mile and a half is typically the hardest for me. That’s usually where the negative thoughts are the strongest. But today, I started saying positive words to myself on the final stretch:

If you can get to the starting line, you can get to the finish line.

One foot in front of the other.

Not only did I finish in record pace, I actually got faster as I was speaking positive words that last mile and a half. Runners call that a “negative split” which I hear is good. Regardless of splits, I was pretty pumped to get those negative thoughts out of my head.

All this made me wonder what other areas of life I was affecting with positive talk, and whether my work, relationships and even faith could be boosted by taking greater responsibility for the words that flow through my head. How much faster could I be running in other areas of my life?

What positive words do you need to speak to yourself today?

Where Do You Want to Be in 5 Years?

I often feel God asking me: Where do you want to be in 5 years? That question has forced me to look at how I am investing my time. Am I moving toward my ambitions or away from them? In chasing after these things, I am reminded to focus on longevity over immediate gratification.

I’ll ask you the same question: Where do you want to be in 5 years?

But then, I’ll also ask: What are you doing to move in that direction?

Think baby steps, not leaps.


Start today by investing in something that will move you closer to your ambitions.

If you need help uncovering these ambitions, I’d highly suggest this book.

Related posts:
1. The Desires… [of Your Heart]
2. Define Success for Yourself
3. What if You Don’t Know What to do With Your Life?

*Photo by Thomas Leth-Olsen, Creative Commons

Assume Positive Intent – A Page From Apple’s Playbook

When I worked for Apple, we played by a set of rules which defined the way we did business. One of those “rules” was: Assume positive intent.

In certain situations, assuming positive intent might be perceived as ignorance or unwarranted trust, but I’m not sure it needs a title.

Assuming the best in people seems like a pretty good approach.

Isn’t that what you’d want someone to do for you?