Some men aren’t meant to be happy.

There are no instances where freedom is free. The cost be insignificant or painful, but you’ll always give up something. Someone will die for you to be free. You’ll leave your home to be free. You’ll quit your job to be free. You’ll spend your cash to be free. Somethings got to go, or you do. That’s the essence of freedom - releasing the shackles.

Happiness and freedom don’t always mean the same thing, though. Sometimes, happiness comes way down the line after you’ve claimed your independence. Maybe it will never come. I don’t know if you can ‘choose’ to be happy. I think choosing to be content or ‘ok’ is the more likely state. Happiness comes when your choice to be free has paid dividends.

The startup world I live in has it’s supreme ups and ultra-lows. In the midst of all that, you do your best not to allow your own emotions to ride the coaster with the times. You’ll be super depressed if you did. Even when your up, I still think you’d be depressed. You’d be on a high, but depressed. Depressed people get high too, you know. The point is, you’ve got to get off the roller coaster, enjoy the good times, appreciate the bad times, shed your fears and realize YOLO. — Kidding, I just felt like screaming YOLO! (S/o to Drake).

Seriously though, choosing to live a life that leaves a real legacy won’t always feel good. But, you will leave your mark in the world. They will remember your name, and it will matter that you lived.

You can make a difference in the world, you can change your life and pull some other folks out of their muck and mire too. You can make the sky a bit bluer with your app, your company, your pie, your pen, or your hammer. Just make it better. Do something with what you have.

The potential to be great is inside everyone. We just have to stop chasing days at the beach. Those are good too, but doing something that matters is even better.

Happy Fourth of July. Thank you to every veteran, freedom fighter, and righteous rebel.

"Some men aren’t meant to be happy. They’re meant to be great.” - Scandal/ABC

Indie Record stores still exist

There are some highly upset disappointed ¬†indie record store owners after hearing that the new Jay-Z/Kanye Watch the Throne will be first available to the iTunes/digital community, then later, the physical copy. What’s an artist to do? On one hand I totally feel for the brick and mortar record stores already on life support, but there is profound reasoning for this strategy.

I’d argue that 99% of any albums released in the past 5 years has been illegally copied and distributed before it’s release date. Well, at least the albums someone cared enough about to spend the .2 seconds of time it took to hit “duplicate”.

Without saying, Watch the Throne will be a monumental recording. Hey, I’ve been waiting for a groundbreaking Hip Hop album since The¬†Blueprint. All necessary measures must be taken to ensure this record is released on-time, not before-time. There is a larger issue with the logistics of distribution that will ultimately require being addressed before this will make record store owners smile again. With all honesty, I don’t bet a single penny that that smile will ever surface as this digital first strategy is sure to be replicated.

Prince made the establishment ultra-mad when he attached the purchase of his Musicology CD to the price of admission to his concert, and there was nothing they can or could do about it. His ingenuity forced Neilsen and Billboard to change their charting methods). The problem here is that indie record stores don’t have that same type of authority anymore. Digital has totally changed the game. I’d encourage those store owners to will all expediency search for a new model.

Read the indie-store letter to Jay & Ye here.