Entrepreneur - Author
Musician - Podcast Host
FROM A SMALL CITY TO OVER 40 COUNTRIES
2 BUSINESSES, AND WRITING BOOKS
Born under the California sun, in the vibrant heart of Los Angeles, I entered the world as the youngest of three siblings, my spirit already brimming with curiosity and the promise of untold adventures. My family would soon move to a smaller city, Palm Springs.
As a child, my days were painted with the vibrant strokes of youthful passions. I took to the streets on my skateboard, carving lines of adventure. The baseball diamond was a regular spot I enjoyed being, weaving tales of triumph and camaraderie. Music became my muse, each note a brushstroke on the canvas of my soul. And when the call of the wild beckoned, I embarked on daring hikes.
Yet, in the midst of this idyllic upbringing, life's cruel hand dealt its most devastating blow when I was only 15. A dark cloud descended when my best friend, James, made the unfathomable decision to end his own life. It was a heart-wrenching moment that shattered the innocence of youth, revealing the fragile beauty of life's tapestry. It was the first time I confronted the profound, irreplaceable value of each precious moment, and it marked the moment when the course of my life was forever altered.
A DREAM IN THE MAKING
I found my heart's rhythm in the enchanting world of music and obsessively threw myself into being the best musician I could. James was also a drummer and it's how we met, and I knew he would want me to keep doing it. It was a passion that consumed me, igniting an insatiable desire to learn and perform. Swiftly, I ascended to the throne of high school's musical realm, reigning as the top drummer and percussionist. My dedication bore fruit in the form of a remarkable $50,000 music scholarship, paving the path to my dreams.
College was a transformative chapter in my life. It was a time of independence, where I balanced the rigors of study with the responsibilities of part-time jobs. It was within the hallowed halls of learning that I discovered a love for knowledge, and my horizons expanded beyond the realm of music. Philosophy, politics, ethics, culture, spirituality, personal development, and entrepreneurship became my daily companions, as I sought to nourish my intellect.
Among the pages of countless books, one stood out as a beacon of enlightenment: 'Siddhartha,' the timeless tale of a man who, like me, abandoned the familiar in pursuit of universal truth and happiness. It was during these years that I experienced a profound spiritual awakening, a seismic shift that challenged the beliefs I had been raised with and reshaped the course of my young adulthood. The journey toward self-discovery and meaning had begun."
I made a lot of friends in college and absolutely loved the opportunity to be a young adult in one of the most exciting cities for the music industry. I worked and studied with amazing musicians, teachers, and mentors, deeply influencing me to pursue teaching as well. Not long after, I was hand picked to work with THE GRAMMY'S, for their summer outreach program GRAMMY CAMP. Through working with the organization I got to work with some of the most amazing people in the industry including Earth Wind And Fire, Rickey Minor (American Idol), David Foster (producer for Celine Dion, Michael Buble, Whitney Houston, Josh Grobin), 21st Century Fox Film Orchestra, Steve Vai (world famous guitarist), Stephen Perkins (Stone Temple Pilots drummer), and so many more amazing industry leaders.
A TRAGIC INJURY
At the height of my career I broke my wrist. I was lost. I couldn't believe it. In the heart of Los Angeles, chasing my musical dreams with all my might, and suddenly, I found myself in the hospital. It was a crushing blow at the pinnacle of my career. As I sat there in the waiting room, my heart raced, and panic coursed through me. The doctor's words echoed in my ears, 'Matt, with this injury, you'll never do what you love again. You should start considering a new career..
Devastation washed over me like a tidal wave. I felt lost. All those countless hours of hard work and dedication, it felt like they were slipping through my fingers, disappearing into the abyss. Where could I possibly go from here? It was a dark moment, and I couldn't see a way forward."But I do not give up that easily...
Everyday I worked tirelessly to intensive my therapy. The doctor said I would get 20 -25% of my wrist mobility back. After four months in a cast and numerous pins I ignored the doctor and worked harder. I ended up getting 95% mobility back and surprised everybody. This shows the power of believing in yourself against all odds.
A DREAM REALIZED
Finally, my lifelong dream had come true. I healed up my wrist and went right back into working hard - then suddenly some good news. I had spent years honing my musical talents, playing in numerous bands, and leaving my mark on notable recordings for big names like Disney, Blizzard Entertainment, and GameHouse Media. But it was when my agent landed me gigs travelling the world that my dreams finally came to fruition.
I was being handed contracts like they were precious gems, allowing me to choose when and where to embark on my musical adventures. For my very first journey, I was whisked away to the enchanting city of Venice, Italy. Flights, accommodations, and expenses were all taken care of, and I found myself living a dream I had long yearned for. It was an awe-inspiring experience, getting paid to do what I loved most while exploring the beauty of the world.
But that was just the beginning. On my second contract, I found myself soaring over the vast expanse of the Australian outback. From there, I ventured into the pristine landscapes of New Zealand and the idyllic Southern Pacific islands, including the paradises of Bora Bora, Fiji, Samoa, and the Hawaiian Islands.
And the adventure didn't stop there. Over the course of five incredible years, I had the privilege of setting foot in over 40 countries spanning all seven continents. From the sweeping landscapes of Canada to the bustling streets of Asia, the vibrant culture of Latin America to the mystical charm of India and Israel, the historic wonders of Turkey and Italy to the sun-soaked beaches of Greece and Spain, the exotic allure of Indonesia to the rhythmic beats of Brazil and Argentina, and the breathtaking landscapes of Chile, Greenland, the Bahamas, Iceland, Antarctica, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Yemen, England, Morocco, and Egypt, I've been fortunate to experience the diverse tapestry of our world.
Those years of travel opened my eyes, broadened my horizons, and left me with a treasure trove of unforgettable memories.
"Those with the courage to dream will find treasures beyond their wildest imagination." -Matt Jones
While on tour, I found it important to inspire others through my own journey. Many of us are given a basic education, but life education is more important, and there are so many factors of career and business that are simply not taught. You only really know when you are living in the trenches of your own industry. So, while traveling I spent a year of my life working on a book called "How To Be A Professional Drummer." I divulged lots of my own knowledge as well as other leading industry experts. Feautured interviews included many notable famous people that I had the privilege of knowing and working with. Those include Walfredo Reyes Jr. (Santana, Gloria Estefan, Chicago, Christina Aguilera), Tris Imboden (Kenny Loggins, Al Jarreau, Chicago, Smokey Robinson) C.G. Rhyche (popular world percussionist and director), John Wolfenden (U.K. born music director for Princess Cruises), and Gary Stanionis (Latin Percussion artist).
There was no book like it, and the book at one time went to the top of Amazon's #1 best seller list. I was extremely proud of the work it took to publish that book, and has inspired thousands of other drummers to pursue their dreams just like myself. It was full of lots of inspirational quotes and stories, and discussed personal development just as much as creative and professional advice, something I have always been into. It gave me the idea to publish another book simply on the tenets of motivation, passion, personal development, and achieving your dreams. This soon became another manifestation later for me in my life...
MUSIC AND TOURING
I toured for a good five years. I made it to over 40 countries. It was the biggest adventure of my life. I was now ready to get home and set up some roots.
THE STUDENT BECOMES THE TEACHER
With my touring days behind me and soon to be an expectant father, I was excited at the prospect to return to teaching again, something I've done in my young adult life. I also worked as a professional musician locally playing for localLy on the weekends and out of my own studio.
I took up camp at a local non-profit organization, teaching music education to the community. They were all ages. I was made one of the Directors as well as a lead instructor. I worked teaching privately as well in groups, planning community concerts, and working with the leaders of the organization to expand their initiatives. Thanks to my passionate efforts the youth band program grew nearly 30% within the first year.
I loved working with kids and adults helping them to find their passion and realize their own dreams. Passing on this passion and experience helped me to realize the value and importance of giving back and inspiring others. It was no longer about me and my own journey, but everyone's.
I got to connect deeply with my students and parents. I became a personal mentor to many students who wanted to pursue music full time, and was regularly giving lots of advice for young adults who wanted to move into the music industry. I also held clinics for the other teachers and instructors. On top of that I also arranged music for the bands, taught them how to be good stage performers, and how to talk to an audience. It was one of the most memorable and heartwarming experiences for me to be a part of - and more fulfilling than I ever imagined
As long as you keep to your passions, beliefs, and purpose, life can turn out better than you imagined
A DADS PROMISE TO GET HEALTHY
Working 6 - 7 days a week I was increasingly busy working hard to make ends meet while awaiting the arrival of my son into the world. My eating habits became worse and I was getting little to no exercise. Driving everywhere for gigs on the weekends as well as working full time didn't allow me much time for anything else. However, I knew that was all just a convenient excuse. I knew that life would only get more challenging when my son entered the world, and I wanted to be a good father and good husband. I knew it couldn't do that without getting his health together. So I made a promise to myself and my future son.
I quickly researched the best diet and fitness coaches in the health industry. I didn't have alot of time to exercise and to cook, but I wanted to do what I could to make sure I could work and be as productive as possible during the day.
I finally discovered the secret recipes of success, an all-natural way to cut fat, lose weight, double my energy, and all with little to no exercise. It was a total body transformation.
The first month I lost 10 pounds. The next month I lost 20 pounds. By the third month I had lost 40 pounds! I went from 195 pounds to 155 pounds.
It was crazy how easy it was. My energy increased. My work picked up more and I began to earn more money as well. I knew that it was all thanks to my new healthy lifestyle. It has helped me in countless ways. I has also got my friends and family on this new diet lifestyle, helping them to better their health and increase their energy. Health is so vital to a vibrant successful life.
ANOTHER DREAM IMAGINED. THE ENTREPRENEUR IS BORN
As a young adult I read many books on business and entrepreurship, and it made an impact on me. One of the things that I've always wanted to do was own my own business as well as affect the community in a positive way. However, I was more focused on my dream of playing music and seeing the world at that time, that this passion fell by the wayside. Now I was ready.
Being passionate about music, and realizing the decline of music education in the United States, I decided to marry the two together. So, with a fellow colleague, we founded the non-profit organization Maestro Music. After lots of meetings, building, and designing, the company was ready.
Within nine months we were able to grow the company to 8 employees and line up 6 schools in 4 different districts in San Diego. Maestro Music started bringing music education to over 4,000 students and 133 classes weekly in Southern California. It was a true success story. Soon the local paper picked it up as one of San Diego's most inspiring stories.
THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED. MOVING TO THE U.K.
I spent alot of time in Europe and fell in love with it. When the opportunity came to finally move there, I went for it. At this point I had left teaching and focused on my business. Luckily with modern technology and resources, I knew that I could still expand the initiatives of the company no matter where I was. So, I took the opportunity and am now enjoying life in a new country. I firmly believe now everyone should do this once in their life. It expands your mind and outlook on life.
THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES. MY 2ND BOOK.
Ever since my first book, I've always wanted to follow up with something on philosophy, passion, and purpose. Excited to help more people realize their dreams as I've attained my own, I wanted to encourage others in their own pursuits. I wrote a new book on going after your dreams and self-empowerment. It is the impetus for the brand Life 2.0. It helps people around mindset, health, purpose, work, and more.
From traveling the world and having amazing experiences such as kitesurfing in Brazil to scubadiving in Barbados, to swimming with sharks in Bora Bora, to ziplining in Costa Rica, I have had some amazing adventures. In general that is my life view. Life is an exciting adventure, and we just need to go for it. If more people would just allow themselves to ask the universe for what they want, they can learn to be happier. But, there are so many factors included in going for what you want. That's why it was important for me to write this book.
It was 3am. My son had woke up screaming. He'd been doing that alot lately. I got my son back to sleep and laid on the floor staring at the ceiling. A wave of gratitude washed over me. Though I was exhausted, I realized being a parent is worth every second. At one time in his life he wasn't even sure if he was going to find love and have children. Things seemed bleak. I was filled with gratitude.
I felt I was finally living a better version of his life. I had upgraded my life. Much like computer software, I felt I was the 2.0 version. Realizing this, I made the decision right then and there to help more people "upgrade their lives." Thus, the Life 2.0 community was born.
I want to thank you for being here and finding out more about my life story. I hope it's helped to give you some perspective of your own. I would love to hear from everyone and know more about your own journey. The triumphs, the struggles, the dreams.
Check out the free blog, free podcast, and free resources. I've also developed a lot of personal development products based on my own life experiences and I encourage you to check them out to help you on your own path. I want to be a beacon of love and positivity for you. I want to inspire you to pursue your truest and greatest life.
Wishing you love and happiness.