The Rubicon Challenge

History tells us that in 49 B.C., Julius Caesar and his troops broke the Roman Law forbidding any general to cross the Rubicon River. It left no one in the Roman Republic with any question as to Caesar’s intention.

He had a goal.

He had a mission.

There was no turning back now.

Caesar said, “The die is cast, the game is on.”

At some point it’s wise to accept or create a “Rubicon Challenge” for yourself. It’s a way to stretch your talents, exceed your potential, dare something worthy, and achieve what others might call impossible. The line or “river” you cross is the self-imposed limitation of your own potential.

I just did that by declaring I will sing, play guitar, write songs, and record my own audio CD in 2011.

I’ve already been taking guitar lessons with Guitar Monk Mathew Dixon. And I’ve been taking singing lessons with vocal wizard Guy Monroe. I’ve seen progress and I’m having a blast.

But it’s time to go to the next level.

It’s time to cross the river of limitation.

And here’s where my own Rubicon Challenge appeared.

Back in 2006 I held a publicity stunt in Austin, Texas called The Canine Concert. It was the first ever concert for dogs, played at a sound level only canines could hear. The band that donated their time and talents was Porter Davis. It was a hot summer day but people turned out, including the media, and we all had fun. This youtube video gives you a feel for the event:

That was years ago. I hadn’t seen or heard from the band since. Recently the lead singer, Daniel Barrett, emailed me and asked to have lunch. Of course, I agreed.

dan barrett

Over Tex-Mex food and sharing, Dan (pictured with me above) told me about his new service. He offers 100 hours of personal coaching in singing, songwriting and guitar playing, ending in the studio recording five songs.  He called it a boot camp for musicians. While he wasn’t trying to sell me (as he had no idea I was already taking singing and guitar playing lessons), I began to feel that our meeting was more than a coincidence.

After lunch, I couldn’t stop thinking of Dan’s service, which he called Rubicon Artist Development. We met again a week later, shared several emails, and discussed my taking on his challenge.

I wanted to.

But I admit I was full of massive doubt.

Could I do this?

Could I write songs?

Could I play and sing well enough to be recorded?

Could I find the time to practice as well as keep up my lessons with Mathew and Guy?

I spent a lot of time thinking, dreaming, worrying and more. I’m surrounded by great musicians in my personal life, from Sarah Marie and Michelle Malone to Pat O’Bryan and of course Mathew Dixon. (Mathew and Michelle pictured below.)

michelle malone mathew dixon

But knowing they can play great music didn’t make my decision any either.

I was still nervous about taking the challenge.

Until I realized that if I had this much excitement as well as apprehension, then I had to do the challenge.

As I wrote in my book The Attractor Factor, my rule of thumb is to follow goals that scare you a little and excite you a lot. If I’m giving that advice to others, then I need to take it myself.

I accepted Dan’s Rubicon Challenge.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because in 2011 I’m going to announce a movie project and a challenge for you revolving around Miracles Coaching. You’ll hear about it and it will interest you. But most likely you’ll have questions, concerns, fears and doubts.

Accept them, investigate them, and release them.

You grow stronger and wiser when you accept the challenge you know you want.

I’ve accepted another one.

What will yours be?

Ao Akua,


PS – Dan’s Rubicon Challenge site is right here.

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  1. Lynette Hagins-Reply
    October 18, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    I LOVE THIS!!! Why Not?!?

  2. October 19, 2010 at 1:23 am

    Singing liberates you. It’s one thing to listen to a song but it’s totally another when you listen to you or someone you know personally. If you somehow make your wife join you then it can remove all sorts of blockages in a relationship.

    If you can write all those books then believe me you can write songs as well.

    Bon Voyage…

  3. October 19, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Awesome Joe, good luck with the singing/guitar! You’ll do awesome

  4. October 19, 2010 at 10:55 am

    I think this is great stuff, Joe! Good for you for pursuing things that push your limits and your comfort zone. I think Daniel Barrett is the perfect person to work with in order to push past the line we draw ourselves!!!

  5. October 20, 2010 at 9:47 am

    “You grow stronger and wiser when you accept the challenge you know you want.”

    I did this, Joe, when I signed up recently for a four-month program to improve my business.

    I like to use “scary right” to describe decisions like these.

    Thank you for sharing your story and challenge!


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