Doing Business, The Way I See It Anyway

After spending the past two weeks in what I thought was preparation for a joint partnership with a company, which will not be named, I once again walk away wondering where people get there business sense.   I say two weeks preparing, but truthfully after our conference call they were prepared to go public, make a big announcement and show off a logo with both our names on it.  They said, ” let’s get on this by tomorrow.”   LOL   it was 10 days later I sent a dm to them saying, I haven’t heard a word, no announcement, no communication, thanks anyway but I am out.

     Now do you believe in coincidences?  Not me, less then 2 hours after sending this message I dont get an answer, but another member of the team that operates this company out of the blue tags me on Twitter in a post.  I followed up by copying my original message to him which led to a long exchange, in which every time I said I was done, he ignored me and said we are ready to go.   Three times I was ignored,  4 if you count the very first message. 

     A full 3 days after this the first person I messaged, sends me a message and an email.  First saying he had been dm’ing me all week but they wouldn’t go through.  Plus in his email he attaches the graphic 12 days in the making which looks like it was made by someone with no skills in this area at all.  

    Why am I explaining all of this?  Well it is two fold, one reason is to give a thorough accounting of how not to-do things.  The other is laying out that layer after layer of what can only be interpreted as lies or bad management.   I dont know which and since I have no plans of continuing to work with them which I have now explained for a 5th time today, it doesn’t matter.

     I have done very well over the years with small businesses and companies I have created and operated.  My first at 15 years of age, and yes I had business cards and did very well for myself with a dj compnay.  I worked school dances and corporate events, yes at 15 year’s old.  I decided to write a book a few years ago, one of 3 I have published, and it was about do’s and don’t in particular in a small business.

     It is incredible to me just how many people take things for granted and make mistakes that are easy to avoid.  Now the first one is something I still struggle with and that is the impression we give.  Sometimes I do or say things I later regret, but I do learn a bit more every time.  But this is more or less what happens with first impressions.

     I have often given examples to others of two situations I was in that made a difference in someone else’s work.  The first was a day driving into my office.  Apparently I was too slow, a guy whipped around me honking the horn and flipping me off.  I got to the office and settled in, and when I was ready, asked for my first interview of the day.  I was doing some hiring.  I bet you can guess who walked in?  The look on his face was of someone who knew he had seen me, but couldn’t quite figure it out.   I said to him, “Do I look familiar to you?”  He said yes, but couldnt figure out from where.  “I was the guy you flipped off this morning.” 

     I told him I wouldn’t put him in one of my company vehicles because if he pulled that same shit driving my vehicle it would be a mark on my business name not him.Thank you for coming in, dont let the door hit your ass on the way out.   The other instance was just that kind of image. 

     A vehicle pulls up to do a paint job at a house.  Not hired by me, it was a neighbors.  He is driving a beat  up old mini van that had seen a lot of abuse and miles.  Yes vehicles can be expensive, but sometimes its just better to present a good image.  When him and his partner arrived, garbage fell out of the vehicle, like old coffee cups and a beer can.  Ouch, strike two.

     Over the next few hrs as they worked they screamed and swore like there was no tomorrow.  I have no idea why they felt they had to yell all the time.   Now I ask you, when it comes time to do some painting and you are thinking of hiring someone, will you remember them?  Will you remember them for good reasons?  Maybe they do a good job, but lots of people do good work.  I would probably not even ask my neighbor about them.  First impressions are a bitch.

     So are last impressions.  When you finish a job, leave things as good as or better then when you started.   Now you might think if it isn’t a job that involves work like a paint job, or a repair how can you do that.  Make sure that the person you are working with or for is satisfied.  If there is billing make sure everything is clear and no issues.  There is nothing worse then getting a bill from somebody with extra charges, that were forgotten to be mentioned.

     I will never eat in a restaurant that charges a gratuity instead of tipping.  I am sorry that the younger generation  are too damn cheap and ignorant and often don’t leave any tip.  That goes back to the parents who raised them without good values.  Yes I Said That!   When I dine out I do so for convenience among other reasons.  When I get good service I tip appropriately.  When I get bad service I still tip but not as much.  I also will remember the next time I am there if I get the same server and bad service again.  I will tip a small amount and never sit in their section again.  If I get really good service which happens a lot, I tip very well.  I think nothing of 25 to 30% or more in those cases.

     People who work hard and do a good job deserve to be compensated and noticed.  If I get really good service,  I make sure the manager knows just how good a job that person does.   It is all business and while some may look down at someone is just a waiter or waitress, its more then that. Most take the job seriously and work hard.  Imagine a restaurant where they serve larger parties and those tend to generate better tips.  Your compliment may be the difference in that person getting that assignment, and thus a chance to earn more money.

     It is not about just ourselves in the world.  We all fit together in some fashion in what makes this world go round.  Treat people how you want to be treated in business and in life.  Remember we get what we pay for.  If you want a beautiful cabinet with a custom finish, you dont go to Wal Mart.  You pay for quality.   Everything ties together, including in the music industry.

     My favorite example was of the guy who sent me his album to listen for potential songs to play.  When I explained the submission process and why I dont have enough time to go through his entire album, he sent me an email ripping me a new asshole about how his whole life was in this album and I couldn’t take 40 minutes of my precious time to listen.   First impressions can be killer.  He said exactly what he thought.  Good for him also with his devotion to his product.  Shifty way to handle it though.  After I explained why I couldn’t take 40 minutes of my precious time, he did apologize and made some excuse about a bad week.

     Don’t cover up your mistakes with lies and bullshit.  If he had come back with, something like I hadn’t considered it from that angle, and I really fucked up and was rude, he might have gotten a second chance.  We all make mistakes in life, its called being human.  So if you do, own up to it.

     I didn’t go too deep into my ideas about a good business, but what I did mention and give examples for are the most important.  We all are marketing ourselves in some way.  So the next time you share a link with friends for a hot number with pictures of her doing things with sheep, think twice.  Unless of course you are doing so well you don’t give a damn who you upset, alienate or just plain piss off.

Accepting New music submissions effective October 08, 2020 and New On Air Lineup (partial)

Greetings to everyone who is interested in submitting their music to be played on air with KB Radio or KB Country Radio. The stations will both be returning to the airwaves on November 14th of this year, and because at that point it will be 4 months since I added new music, I need to basically overhaul all of the Indie Music in Rotations. As a reminder for everyone and for those who have not submitted in the past, I give you this link for another of my blogs about the submission process for us. We have very few “rules” and we are truly one of the easiest stations to submit to. Here is that link: Music Submission Process

As we move forward with getting the 2 stations on line, you may note that I have said 2 and not 4 stations. KB Indie Radio and KB AOR will NOT be returning to the airwaves. As was discussed when I shut things down the work load and costs for 4 stations had become too much. With the loss of these two stations, I am facing a situation where my ability to play as many different Indie Artists as I did becomes limited. My stations were built on the a specific format for playing Indie Music mixed with mainstream and I will not be leaving that format. I will however by changing the lineup on KB Radio to make Sundays all Indie Music. This hopefully will open up for some other Indie tracks that may have played on the two stations that no longer exist. With that I am also hoping to bring back the shows that had aired on those stations, like “Jet City Rockers”, The Welsh Connection” and others as well.

One thing I will point out and please take note of this. Any music submitted before the start date, listed above, will not be reviewed. Even though I have signed off and every email gets an auto reply saying we are no longer on the air, I have continued to get submissions. From my blunt side, my favourite are the promoters who send 5 or 10 a week, and obviously don’t read anything in their inbox. I have more than 3000 songs in my inbox at this moment, and there is no way I could go through all of them. Again please read my blogs, about how to submit and how I program the music, and hopefully it will make sense to everyone.

I will continue to attempt to reply to almost every submission. Be fore warned, those who don’t have the time or energy to include anything in their emails except the music. No greetings of a simple hello, one word only, or to really put an effort in and say, “Hello, how are you, here is my music submission.” Well I put as much effort into replying to those people. If you don’t give a damn, why the hell should I?

If you are unsure of what I mean, I will attach an example of an email, that I often get. Email address and song title blocked out to protect the name of the lazy individual who thinks this is all they have to do.

Thanks to the 99% who work so hard to promote your music and work with those of us who want to work with you.

Al Yardy

How Politics, Political Humour and Politicians don’t fit on KB Radio

I have talked a lot over the years of why I started KB Radio and my goals and ideas with it, but one thing I don’t think I have spent any time talking about is my political agenda. So lets take a deep dive into that right here, and tell you how come you don’t hear it on my stations.

I have always said to anyone I talk to how fortunate I am to live in a country like Canada. Now there is no perfect place to live, no perfect governing system or government body, and as we all know from watching news from around the world politics have become a very divisive conversation. If you put on most TV stations, either they will have news that features political stories or maybe even opinions, talk shows or debates. Even TV sitcoms in North America over the past couple of years have taken to picking sides in the political debate, and I for one am really sick of it. In the big scheme of things do you really think it mattered in the sitcom Will & Grace which side they voted on. I watched it for comedy, not their opinions.

Lets be completely serious, when we talk about issues with our own countries, with politicians, political parties and supporters very seldom do we find a grey area anymore. I use the US only as an example for my purposes but it is a country so clearly divided politically with 2 parties that depending on which side of the political line you sit can make a difference in friends and how you carry on simple every day conversations. We all in countries like Canada, the USA, the UK, Australia etc have the right to our opinions. We have the ability to share those opinions, and sadly as society has gotten less tolerant of each other, if you share an opinion with someone who disagrees with you, it is now okay to be abusive apparently in some cases to people with differing views.

This new society with no respect for each others opinions, is disturbing in so many ways, but also something I have no interest in taking part in. Let me explain those words very carefully. I will share my thoughts with people who are very close and in my inner circle. People I know who can have a rationale conversation and aren’t complete morons. Now that doesn’t mean if I don’t share with you I think everyone is a moron. I just don’t talk politics, religion etc with many. They are truly hot button topics and my goal as i share music and try to introduce new Indie Music to listeners is just to entertain and offer one place where they won’t get a political comment or joke.

I take this very seriously and it goes into some of the music that is sent to me with requests for air time. I won’t play a song that tells people they think the British PM is a giant toad. Yes, I have had songs like that, for and against, and name your politician in different countries a lot of people put their views into music. I won’t play them. I never have and never will. As I also play some classic mainstream music, people have said to me you play protest songs from the 70s etc. That is very true, but those songs were hits, and are from 40 or 50 years ago. If you release your British PM is a toad song, and it becomes a raging hit in the UK, I Still Won’t Play It. Maybe in 20 years I will give it a spin.

For every potential listener using my USA example again, if I came out pro one politician or party I risk offending or alienating 50% of the population in that country. Now obviously all 350 million don’t listen to KB Radio, though we are close, lol, but there are 350 million potential listeners. Do I really want to piss off 175 million people just by saying one thing or another. It really is that simple. In this country of Canada or any other, maybe the divide isn’t 50/50. But its very easy to offend people these days, and I manage to do that from time to time without getting into politics.

I want people who turn on my stations to hear music and entertainment, and know while everybody else is banging a drum and complaining about this or that, they won’t get it here. I often reference going to a U2 concert to hear him talk about the rain forest, or whatever he is saving this week. But, and this a big but, you know buying that ticket he is going to do that. He always does and always will. It is a part of their shows. Now if you go to another show, and that person is not known for these kinds of antics, the last thing you want to hear is them carrying on about politics. I won’t even get into the fact, that some of these entertainers really shouldn’t be talking about things that they truly have no clue about. Its quite different if you go to a political event and an entertainer appears and performs.

I will also add, that I believe very strongly in cross promoting with artists across Twitter and yes back on Facebook. But I want to support their music. If I find an artist that follows me or I follow them, and their page is filled with political messages, for either side, I will unfollow and sometimes even block. Again, I want to support an artist and their music. I don’t care what your political views are. You need to separate the two of them. Believe me people who know you will follow a private non music account as well, and you can spout off all the political crap you want. But if I am interested in entertainer x and i am looking up information about them, their music etc, and all I can find is politics, why the hell should I care to promote them. They aren’t doing it themselves.

I know some people have a hard time separating life and work, and things like that but when they start bleeding into each other they affect everything. I recently posted a short version of this blog, about no politics on Twitter, and immediately someone with the name Antifa in their profile name followed me. I am guessing they were just testing. But you are damn right i blocked them. I also won’t weigh in on BLM, defunding police, and anything that is controversial. I will suggest to people to wear masks and take care, if not for themselves but for other more vulnerable people. That type of statement isn’t political, its just good common sense and common courtesy.

So there you have it in a nutshell. Life is too short to spend all our time worrying about some things. Everybody needs a break, and a place to get away from some of the silliness. If KB Radio or KB Country Radio manage to provide you that break with the music we are playing, thank you for giving us a chance. If you think I am out to lunch with my views and how I operate, that’s okay too. You won’t be the first person who told me I’m nuts, but I am still here, and I don’t know what happened to them.

Take care everyone, and take care of each other.


Station returning status

Do as a quick follow up to the last blog here is where things stand with KB Radio coming back.

At this point there will be a return for KB Radio and KB Country Radio. KB AOR IS Done and KB Indie Radio is on the shelf for the time being. That may be confusing for some people, as there were a great number who seemed to think KB and KB Indie were one in the same. NOT! LOL

I do have a target of November, and am hoping to raise more funds. I am working on setting up advertising and sponsor packages so that the stations can support themselves. I am also looking into a syndication option for one of the shows but I am not sure if it will happen or if I want to.

I can say this i will make a go of it with the Two stations, and hopefully find the sustainability to bring back the Indie.station sometime in the future. For now my goal is to get back online and be able to stay there, without running back into issues in a year or 2. This is a long term project for me.

I also want to tease this and let you know I have been in communication with a number of artists who have offered to be a part of what I will tell is going to be a relaunch of KB and KB Country like no other event. I am still looking for other artists/bands and will be sending out more emails soon. Watch here and our Twitter accounts for more information and announcements.

Also watch for a notification in the next month when I will be looking to start getting music submissions to put in the rotations. A reminder with KB Indie not coming back I will no longer be playing the same amount of great Indie. It is a shame but a part of the outcome.

Thanks to everyone for their continued thoughts, shares, offers and contributions. See you soon on the airwaves!


2 months down, and you have to wonder

One of my biggest faults I have been told repeatedly is my inability to reach out and ask for help.  I am called stubborn, lol, but I rather think of myself as kind of self reliant.

I have always liked working for myself, having my own business and being in a position where I dont need to rely on others.   I started my first dj business when I was 15 and here it is, 40 years later I have had 10 different companies, at least I stopped counting at 10.  Some have been good, some have been great.  All have been successful.  An achievement I am very proud of. 

Most of these have been small businesses that I can do myself, don’t need to worry about keeping others employed or happy or having to rely on them for my success.  As I read those words they somehow seem wrong in some ways, but i have no regrets.

My success or failure has always been on my shoulders.  If I didnt put the work in it wouldn’t succeed.  For those that are curious, those businesses have gone away, I sold or I stopped for various reasons.  My last 2 were supporting the radio hobby, and one slowed due to covid, while the other flourished. 

Meanwhile, the company I did contract work, that had been busy during covid, decided to change some of their policies. One of the joys of running my own business, I just said, F.O.  Find yourselves another contractor who will do the job.  Whether they do or don’t is irrelevant to me.

So where am I going with this?  As the stations, KB Radio etc, grew and I expanded I had to ask for more  assistance.  Not in financial term but just in day to day operations.  This was even before Sunny came into the picture.  There have been many people behind the scenes assisting in various ways.  The down side of that, if that assistance goes away, for whatever reason, I am suddenly with more work then I can personally handle.  I know what a horrible problem.  KB Radio got too popular.  But recently as you know that was a huge factor, and although I had hoped to bring that help or partnership in station activities back, even in a small way, I was advised there was zero interest in taking part. 

This puts me in a real mental dilemma because I know that running the 4 stations on my own is impossible.  No let me correct that, I could do that but would not be happy with the product I am putting out.  I cant do it half way or in some lack luster shifty fashion.  There are enough people out there pretending to know how to broadcast and doing a really bad job of it.  Lol   Yes, I am blunt.

But now as I re tool and make plans to downsize, I find myself at a real crossroads.  It is something that I dont feel comfortable about and at the same time can’t ignore.  I have thought about this and discussed it with a couple people and of course their basic opinion is that I am nuts.  Lol  I can say I know I’m not insane, I had a brain scan and they found nothing.

I have been in this boat before.  Many of you may not know but I had a fire in my studio 3 or 4 years ago now.  I was still pretty small, only about 100,000 listeners at that time, but when I said I dont know how I can continue, I got 2 very different reactions.  The first were those who encouraged me to stay and ask for help to keep going.  The other were the ones who, and this will sound harsh are only in contact for one reason.  Their own personal gain.  I view it very different.  I cant succeed without great music and great partnerships with those artists.  We help each other as we work for the same thing, to get people to hear what we are playing.

Let me back up a bit though to when I said there are two things that happened which jump out at me.  In that circumstance I was carrying/airing another entertainers show.  Within 24 hrs of me saying I was likely done, they had bailed on me and my station and signed on with another station to carry their show.  It wasnt entirely as simple as it sounds, but it really was a slap in the face.  Even after keeping things going, they broke off all communication.  Sigh, it says a lot to me, and in my honest way of putting it, “It said nothing good.”

Similarly as this time when I shut down, it was great to see lots of messages, get emails, DM’S even actual hand written letters in the mail about what the stations meant to them and how they wish they could help.   Then I watched them one by one unfollow on Twitter, stop answering emails or messages.

So running KB like a family is and was great until for so many I was of no use anymore because I couldn’t play their music.   Is it hurt feelings or disappointment on my part.  Honestly yes and no.  I refuse to push the go fund me campaign down people throats.  Its not my style, and I just can’t do it.  Its not even that I expect everyone to donate.  I have been told being more aggressive will generate more responses and donations. 

My issue comes, when in about 30 days when I say we are about a month from relaunch and I need to refresh my Indie Music rotation, please start emailing in your tracks, will I suddenly hear from those people again?   We all aren’t best friends, and their is a very strong line between business, friendship and family. I tried to combine all and make it as close to one big family as possible.  Help each other promoting music, and sharing this great Indie genre.

So what am I saying?  Good question.  I wont change how I operate, because I believe that is  big part of my success and why so many others copy what I do.  Lol  Yes I know you do, lol.  I am definitely not saying if people don’t contribute financially it will have an effect.  Think about this, how many people count on sharing and followers of you to share your info, or music or whatever. 

Let me break it down in simple math which is always easier.  I have a little less then 7000 followers on Twitter.  Imagine if 50% of them shared a message.  Well that 3500 people will have similar followers just because of the music connection.  But if each had only 10 followers that don’t follow me, you have helped to reach 35,000 more people if you share my message. 

There is a story that explains this and what is called exponential growth.  Remember, the first 3500 shared, if the same half of the new 35000 shared they reach 175,000 people.  The story goes like this.  They have made Fenway Stadium in Boston water tight.  You are sitting in the top row of the bleachers.  If at 1pm we drop one thimble of water into centerfold, then at 1:01 we double it and drop 2 thimbles of water, at 1:02 4 thimbles , and etc.  How long do you think you have before you risk being  covered in water?  The answer will blow your mind!   Message me for the answer or look it up on line if you rather.   But this is promotion and how to make it work in simple terms.

What I will say to finish the earlier thought, is if you say one thing and do another, if you suddenly friend me again and start sending emails asking for your music to get played, remember you are one of more than 1 thousand, and closer to 1500 songs a month I had submitted to me for air play.   If you had to choose between 2 songs, one from an artist that is new and you hadnt played yet, or someone you have played before, but you saw them turn their back on you, who would you choose?

KB Radio and KB COUNTRY RADIO were and will be programmed professionally offering a mix of mainstream and the best of Indie Music.  But there are only so many songs that can be played or added to these stations and they truly are the best of what is submitted.  KB Indie was launched in part because I got so many song submissions, and I disliked saying no to artists.  I had hoped my extra effort gave them a chance to get their music played, as a part of this great family of stations. 

I will not however struggle to get things done, and end up taking away from the others.   What I am not saying is, I dont want or need anyone kissing my butt.  I will work with anyone who works honestly with me.  Not everyone wants to chat, cross promote, or do anything extra or has the time to do anything.  I respect that, and look forward to working in that limited capacity with them.  But if you suddenly find yourself needing more help, go about it right.  I will lend a hand, right up until I ask for a hand, and you have turned your.back on me.

As always I welcome comments and thoughts. I am not threatening anyone, just stating something I think needed to. be said, before I come back.