Self-Betrayal: The Artist’s Greatest Sellout

A picture of a person with long hair, a sullen, blank face, in contemplation

“Self-Betrayal: The Artist’s Greatest Sellout” isn’t just a provocative statement; it is a battle cry against the internal and external conflicts that threaten to dilute our purest artistic expression in all its forms.

Every artist knows the crossroads well: the burning need to create clashing with the temptation to conform. It’s a moment of truth. Do you follow your unique vision, or do you chase what’s already been validated, what’s easy, what’s guaranteed to please the crowd or those around you?

At Mack-n-Cheeze Music, we get it – the art you make is sacred. It’s yours. And the danger of sacrificing your child isn’t just about losing a piece of your work; it’s about losing a piece of yourself.

Let’s cut through the noise together. We’re here to tackle the thorny question of selling out and defining what that means. We believe in championing our heartfelt and authentic voice. In a cut-and-paste world, original thoughts and ideas feel as if they are disappearing. We want no part of it.

Join us as we explore the depths of self-betrayal, unravel its implications, and provide a beacon of hope for those striving to maintain their artistic integrity. Through empowerment and community, we aim to light the path back to the heart of your creative essence. Because in the end, the most profound legacy you can leave as an artist isn’t just in the works you create but in the unwavering truth you live out in each brush stroke, each note, and each word penned.

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson Rendering Courtesy Of Shutterstock

In the quiet of her home in Amherst, Emily Dickinson wrote lines that would eventually echo across generations. But during her lifetime, her poetry was barely heard amidst the dominant voices of her era. Dickinson, who preferred simple white dresses to public recognition, wrestled with her own private challenges. She navigated between societal expectations of women in the 19th century and her own powerful need to write poetry. It was this inner drive, not immediate fame, that would posthumously establish her as one of America’s most innovative poets.

In a world that might have seen her art as an indulgence rather than a calling, Dickinson’s legacy is a testament to the silent resolve of an artist. Her nearly 1,800 masterpieces – largely unpublished during her lifetime – echo the sentiments of countless creators who today navigate the narrow paths between societal expectations and their inner creative compulsions.

T.S. Eliot

In the dimly lit corners of a bank, where the clinking of coins and rustling of paper marked the cadence of commerce, T.S. Eliot, a poet of the modern wilderness, found himself tethered to a day job. His heart and mind, however, dwelt in the labyrinthine streets of poetry, where “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” echoed against the walls of conformity. Eliot’s existence within the staid confines of a financial institution served as the stark contrast to the vibrant, tumultuous world he painted with his words.

This Nobel laureate, whose verses traversed the complexities of the human spirit, grappled daily with the dichotomy of survival versus the unquenched thirst for poetic creation. Each day, he walked the tightrope between the security of his bank position and the call of his literary genius—a balancing act that many artists recognize all too well.

Philip Glass

NEW YORK – JUNE 20: Philip Glass attends River To River Festival with performance by Face the music orchestra to celebrate his 75th birthday in Rockefeller Park on June 20 2012 in New York

Philip Glass, whose name is now synonymous with minimalist music, orchestrating symphonies that have filled theaters and opera houses. He once drove a taxi through New York’s busy streets. That hum of the engine was nothing like his music played in theaters. But this difference showed just how much he dedicated himself to his art. The tedium of his job was a far cry from the hypnotic repetitions of his compositions. It was this very disparity between his passion and financial needs that underscored the breadth of his commitment to his art.

Glass’s dedication to his music was unwavering, even as he performed the mundane tasks of a plumber or taxi driver to sustain his livelihood. His artistic pursuits were not the stuff of immediate acclaim or financial stability; rather, they were the slow burn of a passion that refused to be extinguished by the drudgery of day-to-day survival.

Within the cramped confines of a cab or bent over the pipes under a sink, Glass may have seemed a world away from the avant-garde stages of the world, but internally he was composing, creating, innovating. Like many artists, he found himself at the crossroads of necessity and aspiration, choosing not one path but straddling both, ensuring that his creative flame endured the winds of economic reality.

Understanding the Internal Battle

When we stand before the mirror, our reflection often reveals more than just a face. It displays hesitation, apprehension, and the allure of an easier path. The fervor for creation remains, its flames persistent yet threatened by a creeping doubt that looms like a shadow, threatening to smother the journey’s fire.

As you sit down to create, to play, thoughts drift. There is an entanglement, almost derailment, from life’s day-to-day petty details. Where once was a surety of purpose, now vacillation. Your clear melodies, rhythms, and vision seem clouded. The world blurs into a mist, smothering, slowly obscuring passion.

This place, silent and familiar, beckons you like an old shadow. Self-judgment casts a long shadow, and the weight of expectations quiet your creative pulse. A chasm yawns wide when measuring your creations against others’, their benchmarks rising like insurmountable cliffs.

Yet, this is not the end of your story. It’s a challenge, one that every artist faces. It’s the moment that tests your resolve and hones your craft.

At Mack-n-Cheeze Music, we get it. Been there, done that. Here, frustration can be channeled into growth, a wandering mind can refocus, and waning motivation can find new energy. There is a place where you can reconnect with the pulse of your creativity.

What we want is to reshape this internal struggle into triumph.

Self-betrayal: The Risk Of Selling Yourself Out

At life’s crucial crossroads, you stand. To the left: a path of dreams, untamed and full of promise. To the right: the safe road, clear and comforting. Each direction whispers a different future.

‘Selling out’ creeps in slowly, a quiet surrender to many small, practical choices. It’s a gentle slide into the familiar hum of the everyday. Predictability’s lullaby drowns out the raw call of dreams.

This betrayal whispers, not with spite, but with allure. The steady paycheck quiets a musical dream. Routine’s warm hug stifles a novel’s fiery idea. The steady hum of a routine job can overshadow a dream that belongs in the spotlight.

Comfort is a sly captor-first it calms, then it confines. The safe harbor of today soon becomes the iron chains of tomorrow, each ‘what if’ echoing like a haunting refrain. As days pass, the once cozy embrace of security grows cold, leaving us in the chill of missed chances and lost potential.

To sell out is to mute the dreaming voice within, to trim your wings for fear of falling. Many call it responsibility. Yet, they peer back at the neglected paths, at dreams lying asleep. They are often wistful at journeys not taken, leaving their dreams dormant.

The real challenge? It’s to not just dream but to courageously embody those visions. To walk the untamed path where imagination roams free. In this haven, where neither the fear of failure nor the lure of comfort can reach, fulfillment finds fertile ground. And in such courage, the soul finds its voice, soaring beyond the grasp of comfort’s gentle tether.


Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Teddy Roosevelt

Who Are We?

Is this who you are – an artist driven by passion, ready to embrace purpose and manifest extraordinary artistry? Are you the artist at heart, yearning for a world where your creative voice isn’t just heard but amplified?

Do you see yourself growing, not in sporadic bursts, but continually, as an artist whose craft forever blooms? Do you believe artistic growth isn’t a goal but a journey without end, a path you tread with relentless passion?

Does the weight of your responsibilities oppress you? Does the question, “If only I could shake free of these shackles, I could truly shine?’ haunt you?

Don’t you think Emily Dickinson felt the same way as us?

At Mack-n-Cheeze Music, we see ourselves in you. This belief, this relentless pursuit of growth and community, is at the core of our vision.

We believe in Empowerment, Artistic Growth, and Community.

A Note To Those Who Are Considering Self-betrayal

Dear Fellow Creators,

I want to share the heart and soul of what we’re building here at Mackncheeze Music. This isn’t just about music or art; it’s about a conviction. A belief that within each of us lies an extraordinary ember of creativity waiting to be stoked into a blazing fire.

At Mackncheeze Music, we embody empowerment. Your tools and resources are just a heartbeat away; you just need to grab them. You already have the confidence to take the reins of your artistic destiny. You’re reading this because you seek the path that allows you to stride forward. Your talent is your guide, and passion is your companion.

Artistic growth is both your and Mack-n-Cheeze Music’s mantra. We’re focused more than where our journey currently resides, but more on the frontiers of possibility. We seek a place where our potential is acknowledged, celebrated, and nurtured – where growth as an artist is as infinite as our imaginations.

At Mack-n-Cheeze Music, we’re on the ground with you, chiseling away at our craft. This venture, born from years of dedication, is still in its early chapters. We don’t claim to have crowds ready to applaud each step you take. What we’re building is founded on truth, not grand promises. Here, we understand that while not every voice can command a global stage, every voice matters. We’re cultivating a place where authenticity trumps the headcount, where art connects deeply and honestly. We can’t offer instant fame, but we promise a commitment to transparency, to meaningful connections, and to a community that celebrates genuine expression. Join us as we lay the bricks firmly rooted in the genuine, not the exaggerated.

In Harmony, Bryan DeHart

Who You Are

At times, your creative spark dims. Doubts creep in, whispering that it might be easier to just give up. You’ve felt the pull to settle, to choose a simpler path free from the struggle of making art that sometimes no one sees. The comfort of ‘what if’ starts to look like ‘what’s the point?’

But even in this weariness, there’s a stubborn flame that doesn’t quite go out. You know the worth of your work, even when it feels like you’re the only one. The lows, the silence, the empty spaces – they’re tough, but they’re not the end. They’re the grit in your story, the push that makes you keep going.

To you who are tired and tempted to let go, remember this: your art has a place. Your voice is needed. Keep holding on, keep fighting through the quiet battles. Your passion is a force, and it’s stronger than any moment of doubt. Keep going, artist. Your work isn’t finished yet.

Seek Out Resources And Avoid Selling Yourself Out

There are a myriad of resources out there which you can grab a hold of. The biggest suggestion we can offer is to find a flesh-and-blood mentor. Not a ZOOM mentor, or a YouTube influencer; they are a waste of time. You need someone that you can look in the eye, touch and smell. Iron sharpens iron; you need that personal contact.

Bob Brooks

Bob Brooks was more than a mentor to me; he was an architect of sound who helped shape my artistic sensibilities. My association with him lasted about a year. The time spent with him was pivotal in my approach to recording. His critiques, every word, were not just feedback – they were lessons in the alchemy of audio, teachings that I absorbed with every fiber of my being. With a legacy that spanned the control rooms of Little Mountain Sound Studios to the mastery of Pro Tools, Bob’s influence was immeasurable.

To have such a giant in the recording industry lend his ear and expertise to my work was nothing short of transformative. First of all, the absolute generosity he gave to me was amazing. Each word he spoke, every insight he shared, was invaluable. I learned to listen not just to the music, but to the space between the notes, the way Bob did. His praise was not given lightly, and when it came, it was a beacon of achievement – a sign that I was on the right path.


Bob’s journey, from cutting acetates to steering the helm of a studio that birthed countless hits, to his mastery of production, was a testament to the power of evolution and adaptation in the pursuit of musical excellence. And as I navigated my own evolution, his story served as a reminder that there is no final destination in art, only new chapters and adventures.

His commitment to progress, to moving forward in the great adventure of music creation, was infectious. Even in semi-retirement, his passion for the craft never waned, and his drive to keep creating, to keep exploring the possibilities of sound, was a profound influence on my work and my ethos as a creator. Bob Brooks didn’t just live music; he imparted its essence, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

That’s why you want a mentor. Don’t mess that up.

Gary John Bishop

“Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life” by Gary John Bishop offers a no-holds-barred guide to breaking through the barriers we set for ourselves. It’s not your typical self-help book, nor should be considered one. The book is candid call to action for those looking to seize control of their lives and unlock their latent potential.

Organizations, more specifically, you, obey Newtons First Law: An object at rest remains at rest, or if in motion, remains in motion at a constant velocity unless acted on by a net external force. Understand the analogy? This is the main reason the book is not about self-help. It’s about getting off your ass.

The book dives into the journey of personal transformation with a stark look at accountability. Gary John Bishop leads readers through self-examination, shining a light on the internal monologues that often dictate our life’s direction. He nudges you away from the sidelines, advocating for a leap into action — to live proactively rather than waiting for external forces to compel movement.

Bishop lays out seven powerful affirmations within the pages to fortify the reader’s resolve and serve as catalysts for growth. He encourages a keen awareness of the present, a conscious effort to dwell less on what was or what might be and more on what is. This mindfulness is paired with a raw acceptance of reality, steering clear of wishful thinking and moving towards tangible progress.

The narrative calls for a shift in perspective from a place where one might feel at the mercy of circumstance to a stance of empowerment and self-efficacy. “Unfu*k Yourself” is as much a manifesto as a guide, crafted in plain speech, championing the idea that real change begins when you dare to question and rewrite the stories you tell yourself.

Not Selling Out Is About Belief

In every interaction, your distinction is your strength. It’s not about being the loudest in the room but ensuring that your presence carries weight. When you introduce yourself, what’s your standout trait? What’s the essence that sets you apart? This is crucial, not for self-promotion, but for creating connections that matter. If your unique attribute isn’t explicit, then how can others understand your value or how you can enrich their endeavors?

Seth Godin discusses the idea of a ‘superpower.’ We’ve been conditioned to think that being ‘nice’ and ‘agreeable’ is enough. It isn’t. In today’s world, where change-makers are the linchpins of progress, your value comes from being irreplaceable. What makes you irreplaceable? The multiple attributes you carry with you.

When I’m asked, “What is it you do,” the answer is swift: I have a blog platform, recording studio, YouTube Channel, do podcasts, write books, play drums, write original music, and, oh yeah, my day job is a sommelier at an internationally recognized steak house.

Believe me, the day job is at the bottom of the list. Why is my day job at the bottom of the list? Because it’s not who I am. Regardless of how important society thinks my job might be, the fact of the matter is that I am pushing myself away from it more and more. It’s not satisfying; it fills one need only, financial, period.

Think boldly, act bravely. Nothing truly holds you back. The refrain “I lack this” or “I lack that” is a narrative of the past. With myriad ways to lead and contribute, talent is no longer a prerequisite for impact – it’s about the choices you make and the generosity you bring to your passion.

Part Of Our Mission Is To Avoid Self-betrayal

You and I stand at a divide. We already know that conventional skills won’t satisfy what is in our hearts. There needs to be more than the status quo to feed this hunger for more creativity. We want to make our skill ‘super’ and impact ‘powerful.’ This is why we enthusiastically chase our dreams and decide to share our creations generously.

Take this as your call to action. Leave behind self-betrayal. Don’t sell yourself out. Seek out your own path to mastery. Explore resources, engage with communities, find mentors, and commit to a practice that will elevate your craft. The resources you need won’t suddenly appear; you must reach out for them.

The mission of Mack-n-Cheeze Music is to embolden you to be the best artistic version of yourself. Embrace this ethos, not by following a set path, but by forging your own with the available tools and opportunities. Rules and a how-to-do-it method? There are no rules for leaders. Your art, your vision, your impact—make them formidable. And in doing so, find your true ‘superpower.’

The Invitation

Can We Help You?

Mack-n-Cheeze Music
Mack-n-Cheeze Music

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