Ricky Garvey

Music | Marketing | Transparency

Category: Personal

4 Lies You Tell Yourself About Reading Books

Reading books is easily one of the best investments you can make in yourself. I spent last year increasing the amount of books I read as one of my goals for the year. 

I sometimes get asked for book recommendations, but I hear some common statements about the “difficulties” of reading thrown at me.

Reading Books - Stack of Books

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” – Oscar Wilde

Some of these statements are outright silly. I want to address some of these misconceptions and myths about reading to hopefully encourage you to start making the investment in yourself.

Reading Books Is Too Time Consuming

This is probably the most common statement I hear. “I don’t have the time, Ricky. How do you find the time?”

Spending MORE time reading is something I’m focusing on in 2016. Just for perspective, I read over 25 books in 2015. Which isn’t a whole lot. But to make my point, I only spent about 10-20 minutes each day reading. Not a lot of time at all.

Do you ride the train to work? Read. Have a 10 minute morning break at your job? Read. Take your lunch in the office? Read.

And let’s be real. Use the bathroom and usually spend it browsing Instagram? Read instead.

It’s Expensive

The infamous marketer and author Ryan Holiday is big on reading. And he discusses the need for millennials to read a lot more. He’s one of the reasons I upped my reading game.

He talks about the need to purchase books whenever you get the chance. And he’s discussed that checking out books from the library is not effective.

But he’s wrong. Yes. Ryan Holiday is wrong.

You can still get a ton from reading even if you can only afford to check out books from your local library. Don’t let the stress of buying books hold you back from the investment in yourself.

With that in mind, you can still order books on Amazon for a dollar or two per book. Extremely inexpensive. So your excuse is invalid no matter how you view it.

It’s Boring

What? No. No, it’s not.

It’s Not Necessary

I come across some people who simply feel that reading is not necessary. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s easily one of the best investments you can make in yourself and your future.

Learn the art of critical thinking. Learn about US history and how some leaders in the past overcame certain obstacles. Learn about philosophy and ask yourself some of life’s most intriguing questions. Learn how to improve your performance at work.

The list goes on. And on. And on.

My challenge for you is to find one book that you’ve been meaning to read. And set aside 15 minutes each day to make it happen. And then when you finish that, do it all over again. You won’t regret it.

And when you’re finally convinced that reading isn’t optional and is worthwhile, tweet me to let me know what you’re reading and what you’re learning.

Now get out there and read a book. You have no excuse.


Ambient Music EP | All The Hard Ways

One of my goals for 2015 was to create an ambient music EP with a few noisy tunes created in my home studio. Home studio is just another fancy way of saying my second bedroom where my wife lets me store my music equipment and iMac. But I’ve been lucky enough to record some really cool projects in this studio, even if my wife was cooking dinner 10 feet on the other side of the wall.

So with that being said, I’m announcing that the very EP I recorded and finished by the end of the year (and I cut it close. Masters were sent back to me on New Years Eve) is finished and you can purchase it for $2.

But I want to give back to everyone who has supported me.

If you use the coupon code “makenoise” you will receive this EP for FREE. All I ask is that you share the fact that this is essentially free with a friend that’s into ambient music like Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai, or Godspeed!.

It’s simple too. Just send them to this link: https://gumroad.com/l/allthehardways

You can even copy/paste that link into your social media feed for extra points!

I also thought it would be cool to give a bit of background on each tune and how I got some of the noisy effects. So here’s a bit of background.

All The Hard Ways - Ambient Music EP Album Cover Art

All The Hard Ways EP

Trust Me, I’m Lying – I rediscovered the Line 6 M9 earlier this year after having it sit on my shelf collecting dust. I love its reverbs and delays, but I would typically only use it for that. It took up quite a bit of space on my pedalboard, so in my early 2014 pedalboard update, it was taken off and set on a shelf, where it ultimately sat untouched for too long. I’ve talked about the way this song is structured, but it’s fun to note that the first layer sat recorded on my Line 6 M9 for a few days before I decided to come back to it.

All The Hard Ways – I spent the later half of 2014 playing a few dates with an artist named Tyrone Wells. We played Craps and that’s where the phrase “all the hard ways” comes from. Flash forward to the later half of 2015. I’m at a bachelor party in Vegas with some good friends. I come home and decide to do some final mixes of this song (EQ. Fades. Simple stuff). Had to come up with a title and had to go with this.

Somewhere Between Here & There – This is the actual recording that you’ll hear in the live looping on my YouTube Channel. I turned my amp off, left the room, but left my Line 6 M9 on…. just in case. I’m glad I did. What planned to be simple live looping session for my YouTube Channel turned into a song on this EP. I manipulated the original loop by utilizing the reverse and half speed feature to give it some cool sounds coming into the song and going out.

28 – I love Back to the Future. I’m also a fan of using movie quotes in my songs. It’s something I’ve done for years. I just turned 28 and that can be a scary thing. This was the final recording I did on my two week vacation from work in late December. I used a lap steel guitar to get this sound running into my pedalboard. No looping. 2 tracks.



Creating Goals in 2016

I turned 27 in December of 2014 and with that came my decision to set 27 goals to accomplish in 2015. It was a wild ride. I didn’t achieve everything, but I found that displaying my goals for the world to see was a great way to motivate me to stay focused.

Creating Goals in 2016

Creating Goals in 2016

Of my 27 goals I accomplished in 2015, the highlights included:

There were hefty goals. And there were easy goals set to achieve easily when I needed a little motivation. Of course, as I mentioned, there were goals I didn’t hit. These include:

  • Take Grandpa to a VIP Dodger Game
  • Visit Boston
  • Visit Denver

But, I’m happy to say the accomplished goals outweigh where I missed the mark.

I ended up reading 25 books in 2015. I love to read, but this goal was new to me. It forced me to be disciplined, and disciplined I had to be. With business, music, side projects, freelance, and more – finding time to read was a challenge. But I read some books that changed me. I’ll discuss these more in a post later this month where I’ll summarize everything I learned from reading in 2015. I took a cue from Ryan Holiday’s Reading List.

With this in mind, I wanted to make public my goals for 2016. I learned last year that 27 hefty goals can end up spreading someone thin. It’s always better to focus on a few things than spreading yourself thin, so that’s going to be something I pay attention to moving into the new year. So without further ado, here are my goals for 2016:

  • Read 2+ Books Per Month
  • Release Ambient EP in January
  • Blog At Least Once Per Week
  • Work Out Once Per Week
  • Play My Lap Steel Out More
  • Set Up a New Pedalboard
  • Save 5%+ For House Down Payment
  • Visit Denver
  • Visit New York
  • Visit Boston
  • Post 1 Video Per Month to My Music YouTube Channel
  • 1 Podcast Per Month
  • 1 Lynda.com Class Per Week
  • Learn Adobe Creative
  • Read Entire Harry Potter Series
  • Take Grandpa to VIP Dodger Game
  • Write & Release Castle Pines EP
  • 1 Video Per Month For Little Climbers YouTube Channel
  • Buy a World Map to Frame in Living Room
  • Keep My Car Clean
  • Buy a Road Case For My Amp
  • Buy a New Coffee Table
  • Go to Playground’s Sunday Supper in Downtown Santa Ana
  • Go to the Movies More
  • Go to UCB Theatre Once Per Month
  • Learn an Album on Guitar Each Month

I’m excited to move into 2016 with these goals in mind. I won’t hit them all. But I’m hoping to have the same success I had in 2015.

Are you creating a list of goals for 2016? How do you plan to achieve them? Do you find making your list public helps? What are your goals?

Share below. I’d love to hear your goals and help out in any way I can. Cheers to a fantastic 2016!

Suffering From Anxiety – A Musician’s Story

I can still remember my first panic attack. It must have been 2006. I was eating dinner with a group of friends from church and couldn’t catch my breath. I was certain that I would never be able to catch my breath. “I’m going to die” I thought. I think those of us who suffer from anxiety all remember our first attack. I had been ignoring the mild ones for years and hoping they’d fade away with time, but the longer I ignored them, the more frequent they seemed to occur.

Suffering From Anxiety & Your Quality of Life

As a musician, I can honestly say it interferes with my quality of life. So frequently, I get on stage and the thought pops in my head: “What if I had a panic attack? Right now? In front of all these people? As a paid player? With this artist that hired me to play for them? I won’t be asked to play again. They’ll tell their network not to hire me. This will all be over and I’ll be stuck playing in my bedroom still trying to avoid the panic attack.” For me, it was and still is the thought and fear of having an attack that triggers the attack.

I was playing a weekend service a few years back. It was a special event with a church that recently had me come out for the first time. I got on stage for one of the first services and the thought popped in my head. “Oh no. This is it. I’m going to have an attack. I can’t just walk off stage. I’m a hired player. I CAN’T do this.” That set seemed to last forever, and I’m grateful I was able to ride it out, but something had to give.

Jesus Prozac - Suffering From Anxiety

The Prozac Nation Wants You

I’ve since accepted the fact that medication is something I’ll need to take to keep the attacks at bay. Don’t get me wrong. There are people who can avoid attacks naturally. Exercise. Journaling. That’s awesome. I’m envious of that. But since my acceptance that I need to wake up and take a pill each day, I’ve noticed the quality of my life improve. And I’m not ashamed of that. I still have those thoughts of “what if” pop in my head from time to time, but these thoughts seem to be limited at a certain threshold just before the actual attack sets in.

Aaron Lunsford’s Experience

I was listening to the latest BadChristian Podcast Episode #113 with Aaron Lunsford of As Cities Burn. He discussed the recent tour where he suffered an attack on stage and had to walk off. It really moved me. I’ve felt what he must have felt. Those nagging thoughts. Those fears. Matt and Toby from BadChristian nailed it when they said they had a hard time empathizing with Aaron because the action didn’t make sense. This is the hardest part of describing anxiety to a friend or family member. This episode is what ultimately led to me sharing my thoughts and experiences as a musician suffering from anxiety.

BadChristian Podcast - Suffering From Anxiety

BadChristian Podcast

I know I’m not alone. How do you battle anxiety? What tricks do you have? Are you pro-medication or do you subscribe to the art of battling anxiety in a natural manner? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Us weirdos have to stick together, after all.


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