Carry On: Leaders travel light

Carry On: Leaders travel light

When we travel, we pack our bags with our belongings and set out our course, the adventure, the next gig. If it is an over the weekend, short or business trip there is a preference to have a carry on with us with the most important things we need on an immediate basis, such as medicine, a couple of shirts, shoes, underwear, pants, jeans, and trunks if you fancy a dip in the pool or the ocean.  By the way, hello from Puerto Rico! Now, If you are like me, you want to pack your tablet, the music player, the phone, the book reader, a physical book (I like them), chargers for all gadgets, notebooks, and portable gaming device (I still like to play video games.) Then you realize you are packing more than you need. You are willing to take more than you should.

In life, there are times you’re willing to carry things that your don’t need, things that don’t belong to you, or are of no use right now you. 

Most people, including myself, tend to carry stuff from our past. Bad experiences, guilt, things that don’t belong to user did at one point in but are no longer relevant as we’ve moved beyond that.  You’ve had experiences in the past that have formed, molded, changed, and made you grow; Yet, struggle with on a daily basis because they are that heavy baggage which leaves no room for growth.

You need your baggage to be light and carry only the essential, the tools necessary for that trip such as your knowledge and experiences, the good parts and have enough space left to bring something back, with you, to gain, whether it’s more knowledge and a great experience.

Life is definitely a journey that starts with one step. It will be as many steps and miles as you decide to go. It may be a lifetime or a limited time, but make sure you don’t take more with you than you need.  Make sure every step you take leads you to new experiences, to growth. Remember that there is no jumping or leap into success as Jeff Goins author of Art of Work reminds us. You build bridges that connect you to an unknown future and territories so you may conquer it and bring back that knowledge to lead others there. As a leader, entrepreneur, go to person, an expert, you look at things from different angles such as marketing, business, financial, or a customer’s, team’s and CEO’s standpoint. You are able to pivot and stay on your ground. But that can be accomplished as long as you are willing to focus on what’s necessary.

Being aware of the moment and understand you are not to travel heavy but lightly by carrying on your carry on.

Building Community

Building Community

In today’s world of social media, forums, blogs, RSS feeds, email newsletters, podcasts, and meetups, is easier than ever to create and develop niche markets and zero-in to more specific wants and need for audiences.

It used to be Rock ‘n’ Roll. Then it became Punk, Metal, Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, Glam Rock, Power Metal, Heavy British Metal, Punk Metal, Nu Metal, Hardcore Metal, Symphonic Metal, Death Metal, Grind Metal, Gothic Metal, Metal Operas, and I think I heard someone say there’s “Angel Metal”?

The internet used to be about data information sharing from person to person, peer to peer also known as p2p. Napster is the most recognizable and well-known event in the last 20 years because it used the internet and ability to transfer files for distribution from person to person. The only problem was that it share files that were copyrighted.

But a community, followers, fans and many followed immediately because of the revolutionary influence this created in 1999 when the internet was used starting to being used and understood by major corporations and enterprises. Napster allowed the world to notice and put attention on the internet that it was not just the place to look for adult content, connect to your bank account, hack to your heart’s content, or chat. It was also a place to share data and where entertainment could live.

The biggest development in communities came with the very now famous white paper of Bitcoin. It created a movement and provided people something to believe in that was not tangible, personified, unified nor centralized. It was meant for everyone and those who wanted to participate in it, developers,  miners, traders, HODLers, and even haters who wanted to attempt to bash it.

Bitcoin: The birth of the Crypto Community

Bitcoin exploded a new world of possibilities and allowed the imagination to run wild for many people. They began to meet, run hackathons, start discussions on how to solve real-life problems with the transparency and efficiency of this technology.

The community took the initial thought of the creator and began evolving it at an accelerated pace. The developers have continued on making sure that Bitcoin stays strong. Other blockchains have been developed with other benefits, add-ons, types of governances, pros and cons. But what do each and every one of them have? Community.

The community is the people who vote, suggest, promote, evangelizes, criticizes for improvement, for growth, for accountability and fearless feedback of how to make something better. They may or may not know of the subject, but you want to be able to scale up and down answers for your products and services so you are able to address newcomers who are foreign to the ideas of your company or entity.

Growing and Developing

Creating, developing and engaging with a community is the most beneficial way to have a successful project and company. Making the community a tribe, where you organically develop a subculture, your own hashtags, your own trends during the week, care for each other and support each other to propel, that is the definition of success today.

Involving community into your project is key. Pat Flynn, creator of Smart Passive Income and Author of Will It Fly? recommends in this book to ask for people close to you what they see you doing. Now, this is for starting a business. But imaging already having a healthy amount of followers and creating a new service or product. Catering to their needs wants, services adding value so they feel like they are gaining more than what they are giving, is the key thing. In the words of the great Simon Sinek, “People don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it.”

If the incentive created to buy it because it is a product that is new, innovative and it’s great. Those are three words thrown around nowadays so much that is just the same as walking to buy a car and having the salesperson tell me: “I’ll give you free rugs.” But when the incentive to buy something is because the product or service is catered to you, your needs, your budgets, your personality, your idea, your ethos, then the possibility of the community explodes and becomes something greater than you ever imaging. This grows into a movement that can scale upwards and expand aggressively, and I mean this in a positive way.

As we all are about to take some time off during the holiday season, one of the things you might want to start to consider for your business is the following: Is it engaged? Do you have clients that are fans? Clients, that refer you, other clients? Do you listen to their needs and wants to improve and build better products and services for the growth and improvement of your business practice?

The customer is not always right, I can honestly say this after working in retail after and customer service for many years, but every so often we have those great clients, that you really don’t want to let go and would do anything to have repeat business over and over again as much as possible. These are the most important ones. These will be the fuel to promote and propel you and your business.

Build a business around your community and in return, the trust will be built.


Symphonic Metal Day

Symphonic Metal Day

While browsing the internet the other day I decided to check if there were any upcoming days that I needed to celebrate that were uniquely rare. To my surprise there were some that resonated with me, but this one is one in particular hits home. 

Symphonic Metal is one of my all time genres of music. Many of my favorite singers, bands, guitarists and projects cross upon this genre or simply have played a song here and there that is from it. 

Here are some the most popular and well known Symphonic Metal Bands in history and below you can enjoy the Rock ‘n’ Block podcast. 



from nightwish.com
from Nightwish.com

From Kitee, Finland, Nightwish was formed by Tuomas Holopainen, Tarja Turunen and Emppu Vuorinen as an acoustic project and later on becoming a symphonic metal group.

Their albums Oceanborn, Wishmaster, and Century Child propelled them to become a respected powerhouse name in world. But it was their fifth studio album that provided them the success in the U.S. with “Wish I had an Angel” that had MTV coverage and create ripple effects in world tours and also certain other effects within the band itself. 

Wether you believe Nightwish is the greatest for you or not, one thing is clear, they help pave the way for the rest of the bands to get notoriety in the world. 


From Epica.nl

If you know me, you are aware that I do not like grunters. Nothing against them, I just don’t enjoy not understanding what people are saying. But when you are listening to Epica you get a really great contrast of Soprano Angelical voices, very amazing guitar riffs and solos, the keyboard are on point all the time, and the drums in perfect sync with bass. Not only have I listen to most of their record, but I also got to see their show live and trust me, what you hear on their albums is nothing compared to seeing a live show. 

Epica has the talent, the will, the strength, and so much more to give. Plus they tour like they play: With all they got!


When you think about symphonies and soprano like voices, your think opera, right? Arjen Anthony Lucassen decided to bring many aspects of the opera into an album. Story, characters, music, instruments, science fiction! 

Yes, sci-fi plays a big role in all of Ayreon albums and projects even in the ones where you think that they don’t have anything to do. The overall story of Ayreon is that a new race was born and they need to warn humanity of the demise they are about to create upon themselves. Trying to communicate with people throughout different time periods, methods, and learn from them but all if futile. Until… well buy the records and you’ll see.

Overall Ayreon is a progressive rock band with certain songs that have symphonic metal influences. Many singers from the Symphonic Mental genre have participated in Ayreon’s records such as Floor Jansen (Nightwish, ex-Re Vamp, ex After Forever), Marco Hietala, Tobias Sammet, Rusell Allen, and many others. 


Avantasia for many of us was the biggest and greatest project there was because of many important things. It had a great story. Catchy songs such as  Reach Out for the Light, Breaking Away, Glory of Rome, Sign of the Cross. You had people in the album such as Kai Hansen, Sharon Den Adel, Timo Tolkki and André Matos and Ernie…yeah Ernie who was the second main character. Who had fairly recognizable voice. 

When the second record came out, the real name of the singer was revealed: Michael Kiske, the voice of power metal. Tobias was not only able to give us a great metal opera but he manage to somehow bring back Michale Kiske to the metal world and have him make a record with such magnificent songs and stories. Hence why Avantasia raised the bar for Metal operas and why its a project that will always bring the best caliber of singers. 

Just letting you know that they are about to release a new record and go on tour. 

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