Interview with: Pete Gooding, Artist management and development
Welcome to our iDiscover Journal, where we will regularly highlight our extraordinary alumni.
Time to read: 10 minutes
This week, we introduce you to Mentor, Adventurer and Entertainer, Pete Gooding. Pete has travelled the world as a DJ for many years and since 2012 he has an artist management and development company. Where he not only manages and mentors’ artists but is striving to create the world’s best artist development programme for up and coming artists. Now he’s here to share more about his extraordinary professional and personal journey with us.
Hi Pete! Crazy times at the moment. How are you dealing with the Corona Crisis?
In the beginning, it was stressful and created anxiety and uncertainty as I have lost the majority of my income like a lot of other people have, so I lost some focus and motivation for about 2 weeks as it has been very consuming at points for us all but then enough was enough and I needed to refocus my attention on what I was doing and the best advice I heard was from Gal in his webinar the other week saying you need to focus on the things you can control when to get up, when to go to bed, how much news you choose to absorb and how much time you spend focusing on what inspires you, staying organised and in a strict rhythm like I usually am on a daily basis. Overall though it’s a great time to evolve as it’s such a rare once in a lifetime chance for so many people to think about making some changes and thinking about their life as a whole, what’s working and what can be upgraded and taking steps to do something about it while you have more time, I found questions like these were worth asking myself: What am I doing it? Why am I doing it? Where am I trying to get to?
What are the challenges and opportunities that are being created by this situation for you personally?
There have been so many challenges in the music industry because touring artists have lost all their income so as an artist manager we have lost all our income so we have needed to think of new ways for our artists to connect with their fans, new ways of making content and trying to find new revenue streams that we hadn’t thought about before. So the benefits are clearly having to be more creative and adaptable so when it eventually goes back to normal, or as normal as it can be after this, we will have all learned new skills to survive in a constantly evolving world and will, therefore, will be more resilient and resourceful which will a huge benefit in the long run. Me, my wife Jade and my daughter Silver learned a lot about growing vegetables in the garden and preserving food which is amazing and we all got more time to spend together which is great and me and my wife set up a new company together too which wouldn’t have happened so quickly without this crisis.
Thanks for sharing that… It’s really inspiring to see someone working in one of the industries that are hit hardest by this, taking this huge challenge and turning it into creative ways of thinking and new opportunities. So let’s talk a bit more about you… What would you say is unique about what you do?
Since I left school I have always worked for myself because I wanted to spend my life doing things that I loved, so over the years, this has included being a club promoter, a DJ, a record producer, a music journalist, a radio presenter, a record label owner, I ran a record shop and more recently I have been focused on managing artists and writing an artist development curriculum, from my perspective what links all these things is music so that’s the unique factor because I have always been obsessed with music and the way it makes you feel.
What do you think makes you stand out?
I’m not sure I can answer that about myself but I guess but I am always trying my best to lead by example so that what I do is authentic otherwise it would be like being an out of shape personal trainer or a nutritionist who ate junk food all day, for me to try to inspire people I need to lead an inspiring life myself and to be committed to what I do, something Ben from I Discover really showed me this when he was coaching me and it’s stayed with me ever since.
Amazing. Leading by example. Really powerful. What inspired you to go do what you do?
To be honest, I failed all my exams at school, then at all my exams at college because it was never inspiring to me, it just didn’t hold my concentration. I have never been any good at anything unless I am totally obsessed with it, so music was the only thing for me, there has never been a backup plan, all my friends loved music, but I was so into it that I knew that it would be my whole life from the beginning. Great music made me feel so inspired especially hearing DJ’s Sasha and Jose Padilla, they were my main inspiration for doing what I do. The idea of being in the music business seemed so exciting and made a real job looked like the dullest thing in the world, so it just wasn’t an option to do anything else. I always had this overwhelming feeling that my life needed to be exciting, inspiring and one big adventure and music always felt that way and still does today.
So, you always wanted your life to be a big adventure. What was your best adventure ever?
I feel that travelling the world is the best adventure, experiencing new places, cultures and meeting new people who have a different viewpoint to you. These experiences give you great ideas. I started travelling a lot when I started DJ’ing internationally in the mid ’90s, this took me to nearly 100 countries which were incredible, and I still travel a fair bit now as a manager, and with Jade and Silver plus the occasional gig, so this is an ongoing adventure.
What is your best travel tip?
A great tip for travelling is local knowledge, I was always so lucky as I had local people introducing me to local cultures, restaurants and the best locations when I travelled as a DJ, so find a friend of a friend or a guide to get inside knowledge, it makes all the difference in my experience.
What would you say is the most challenging aspect of your work or the biggest challenge you have dealt with and how did you overcome it?
I think communicating with people and remaining focused on the bigger picture is are the biggest challenge in any business, trying to master these is the key. It’s not something I always get right of course but every day I write notes on how I want my day to be, the priorities and other stuff and then at the end of every day I evaluate how it went and how it could have been handled better and what lessons can be learned then try to act on it the next day, and on it goes, then I evaluate each week, month and quarter separately to really see the bigger picture and not lose focus so everything is measured. This is obviously time-consuming but well worth it.
Another challenge is not getting too busy, I need enough space to think creatively on a daily basis. it’s always a challenge but I am a lot better at this than I was a few years ago. I find reading great books have really helped these areas of my life. If you are really busy all the time you miss things and often fail to see the bigger picture which can really be a big mistake as weeks, months and even years can pass without making the right kind of progress. It became very clear that it’s in my nature to be busy so it’s no achievement to be busy, the skill is creating space, it’s definitely harder but brings better results for me personally. I also plan my work diary with so much attention every week and factor in everything I need to do. (Ben from I Discover needs a lot of the credit for this whole answer.) I’m not saying I stick to this either, my assistant is very often trying to get hold of me with little success, but I do try, thank god she is so patient with me ;)
What would you love to create in the world?
To inspire as many people as possible to live their lives in a fulfilling and purposeful way as this has been the most fulfilling thing to me to have in my own life.
What is your most sacred ritual or performance hack that really works for you?
For me, it’s about my health and wellness because when I feel good I do my best work, full of energy in a focused way. My perfect daily ritual doesn’t happen every day, but it does happen most days. I wake up between 5 – 6 am, my mobile stays off and I meditate for between 45 – 60 minutes. This is followed by 30 – 45 minutes of yin yoga. Then I plan my day ahead in detail. After that I have breakfast with my wife Jade and our daughter Silver. I then walk our dog Nora in the beautiful countryside where we love listening to audiobooks. I come home after around 60 – 90 minutes, have a shower, make a pot of tea, turn my mobile on and try my best to follow my diary, that I put a lot of effort into planning. I work from around 10am – 6pm. We all have dinner together and talk about our days, what we achieved and what we failed at and what we learned from it, as this is a great exercise for Silver especially. In the evenings I carry on working for a couple of hours as a lot of the management team I work with are based in the US. I always wind down before bed, walk the dog and have a bath listening to an audiobook.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Watching old Sherlock Holmes movies or old episodes of Keith Floyd’s cookery programs from time to time. I also love Tolkien’s books as I grew up on these as a kid.
You have done the full self-discovery curriculum with iDiscover, meaning you have done 3 programmes with us. What is the most inspiring thing that happened to you as a result of iDiscover?
The first one totally blew my mind in 2016, I knew very little about personal development until this point, so it changed how I think about everything, how I relate to things in my life and all the people in it and as a result it changed everything. After the second course in 2017, it was even more clear and I was able to use it more effectively in my daily life. Then Ben coached me for 18 months which really built on everything. After the third one in 2018, it started to become second nature and became an automatic way of thinking. I would massively attribute success in recent years in all areas of my life to what Gal and the team have created with the program.
That is amazing to hear, but it’s all you! By taking responsibility for your life and working very hard for it. To finish the interview… What is your favourite quote or question you want to leave us with?
There are so many, to be honest, I even write all my favourite ones down but one that has been good for me personally and came from my coach Ben is ‘Say less, listen more’.
Thanks so much for the interview, Pete. We wish you all the best and can’t wait to see where you’ll fly.