Mental Health for EDM Producers and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs with Chris Graham

Electronic Dance Money Episode 050 - Mental Health for EDM Producers and Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs with Chris Graham

It’s the big 050! Thanks to everyone who has made this possible, and here’s to another 50 episodes with you guys along the way!

We’re going deep in this episode. I’m so honored to have Chris Graham, my mentor, business coach, and good friend as a guest today.

In this episode of Electronic Dance Money, we’re diving into an hour long conversation about mental health as not just EDM producers, but business owners.

Chris opens up about his incredible journey tackling his mental health over the past year and we breakdown Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. If you’re interested in self actualizing and trying to be the best you there is to be, then you don’t want to miss our on this episode.

What You’ll Learn:

  • What Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is
  • The one tool to help your mental health
  • What you can do to improve your mental health
  • How to approach Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
  • Ways you can climb the ladder of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

and much more!

Episode Links


Chris Graham Mastering – https://www.chrisgrahammastering.com/

Chris Graham Coaching – https://chrisgrahamcoaching.com/

Bounce Buttler – https://www.bouncebutler.com/

The Six Figure Home Studio Podcast – https://www.thesixfigurehomestudio.com/podcast/

Electronic Dance Money Booklist – https://enviousaudio.com/booklist


Book Links


How to Win at the Sport of Business – https://amzn.to/31EkWmr

The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads – https://amzn.to/3qLxm6t

Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy

hey guys welcome to electronic dance money your number one business resource for making money as electronic musicians and producers

all right we’re back with another episode of electronic dance money and i’m so damn excited for this episode today i’ve got my guest chris graham from chris graham mastering owner and ceo of bounce butler and co host of the six figure home studio podcast chris how the hell are you doing

i’m so much better now i’m so pumped to hang with you today man

dude this is gonna be so much fun you know this is what’s so funny too is that so for those of you who don’t know all of the listeners listening this podcast would not be without chris he’s the one that came up with the name and helped me come up with the idea it was if i remember the we were on a coaching call and you came up with it and my mind was just blown and i immediately started working on it

i was sitting in that red chair and the next room over i remember that’s right very early

it was it was such an eye opening moment and even better yet it was almost two years to the day that that happened and this is episode 50 i was wanting to do something special for episode 50 and here we are

yeah it’s so weird to think about anything that’s two years ago because of what’s happened the last year right with COVID and stuff it’s two years ago seems like four or five years ago yeah last year was

so slow yeah it was just a it just never ended it was a never ending chaos but here we are we’re slowly coming back out of it things are relatively getting back to normal this is true and i’m so hopeful i’m even more dude what’s funny enough is before we scheduled this podcast i actually scheduled my podcast with brian the other host of the six figure home studio podcast for the next episode so i get back back six figure home studio hosts it’s gonna be so much fun amazing but today we’ve got you all the focus is on you i’m so excited for people to hang out and listen to you as well i know i have a few listeners from the six figure home studio podcast so i’m sure there’ll be amped that you’re on here today as well

what’s up what’s up guys

but let’s get into your history man how did you get involved with music and get to where you’re at today with arguably a couple of the most successful businesses at least one of the most successful podcasts in the industry how’d you get from just making music to where you are now as a very successful business owner

dude okay so i’m in a weird spot right now because over the course of the last year with COVID-19


did a lot i had to do a lot of soul searching i had to do a lot of confronting parts of me that i didn’t want to confront things about me that i didn’t like things that i was scared to explore things from my past and what came out of that and for any guys that listen to the podcast the six freedom studio heard a little bit about this but i got i ended up getting diagnosed with ptsd and as i dug into that a lot i’m not going to give any specifics but like some really nasty dark stuff from my childhood came out and it was really really really unpleasant to learn that these sort of things that i’ve been hanging on to and had repressed but at the same time it was amazing because i was able to start to see them because i was healing and so if you would have asked me two years ago what my origin story was i would have had a much different answer than i would today and so my history with music starts i think the way a lot of people start in that i was had a lot of fields as a kid had a lot of emotions and if i was playing piano or my guitar they made sense for a little while like i could i could get i could i didn’t have the words to describe the way i was feeling in the in the stuff i was going through but music kind of gave me an outlet for that i didn’t have any idea that’s what was going on i just knew like hey that’s the fun and apparently girls like it when the guy plays guitar too so when so yeah my origin story was i got into music because it was medicine it helped me deal with the demons i was fighting And gave me some reprieve. And as I leaned into that, I inadvertently put my 10,000 hours in, not at a discipline, but out of necessity. And so I just wrote and played and sang and learned and learned and learned and learned and learned and eventually became this like, solo singer songwriter, one man band, like traveling act, and it was great. This is like college right around here. And you know, I’d recorded a CD and then a second CD, and I was selling these things back in the mid 2000s, right at the end of CDs, right at the end, when people are like, I like your one song, here’s $15 for your whole CD. And maybe this is a magazine. And so I did that. And I didn’t realize it at the time. But I thought, like the solo singer songwriter was just sort of my vibe. Now I look back and I’m like, Oh, I was a loner, because I had unprocessed trauma. That’s why I didn’t want to be in a band. And so it That was it, you know, I would go out and play myself. And it went, well, as far as like my own dreams. It’s not like I had a hit on the radio or anything. But like, I could pay all my bills with music, and was on the road, making new friends and meeting people and, and feeling like I was making an impact on other people’s lives with my music. It was awesome. So it made sense to be like, Hey, I feel better when I make music. Maybe I should do it as a living. Like once I graduate. So I got into recording, mostly just so I can record myself for free. That was like my major and at Ohio University. And I got into that, and I sort of had this thought about like, yeah, I’ll be in the studio, like all day, every day, like for college, and it’d be great. And that is not what it looked like, at all other than the studio like 20 times maybe, like not very often. not nearly enough. And but I loved it. And so I would start to take CD sales. And you know, I was it was cool. Like I was making like $20,000 a year as a college student sounds CDs. And I would, it was awesome. It was unbelievable. I went from like the poorest friend, I had, like, the poorest of all my friends to like, the most disposable income of my friends. I was like, This is awesome. And so I started using that money to buy recording gear. And

you know, eventually, like it shows people would be like, wow, you have a CD. That’s so cool. I want to CD How did you get a CD and be like, let me produce you, I will help you make said CD. And it was great. But I didn’t realize this at the time. But I was so symptomatic with PTSD. And again, like I’d had it for years. So I didn’t know the difference between like, the changes I had gone through and puberty and PTSD. Like I just I thought like, Oh, this is just who I am. And they gets weird. PTSD really distorts how you see other people. It makes everybody else look really dishonest. And like they’re going to betray you. And yeah, let’s not get into that. But so it made working with others challenging. So I really became a lone wolf. And so I was like the Hey, I’ll produce slash help you right? slash MCs slash Master, like, I’ll do everything, I’ll play all the instruments on your record. Most are many ways. And I didn’t realize it, but it was just like, it wasn’t healthy. It was something I was doing. Because I had this, this fantasy, which was I want to feel the way I feel. Once I’ve had a moment with a guitar. And I feel creatively expressed. Like it’s, and for a moment, everything is okay. And I want to feel that way all the time. And that doesn’t really work that way.

But no, you want to put your feeling into other people’s tracks when it’s really the opposite right them in the track.

Right. And so they would like mess with my ability to get my fix on the drug of music. But no, no, the bridge should be like this. And But no, no, it should be like that. And I’m like, I’m trying to medicate. And but again, I didn’t have this vocabulary at the time. And so it was weird, like, eventually, you know, I got into a lot of like arguments and tense conversations with with people while we were recording and I was sort of like, it was weird. I was like a heavy metal producer, but I produced like indie folk. So I’d be like, you know, somebody would do a vocal take and I’d be like, what are you doing, dude? You can do better than that. Get your ass back in there. Go alright 321 saying I was not not a good not a nice person in the studio. And it was weird. Like, I was is usually really really, really nice, really sweet to all my friends and kind and encouraging. But like, it just got weird when I was trying to medicate with music. But I get I get really like an addict like I’d actually an addict. Right? That makes sense. Yeah, well, it does now.

Yeah, yeah, now it does now,

like a few decades later, but it was so anyways, you know initially like the dream was like I would produce and then I would outsource some studio musicians and I’d fill in the gaps with playing parts on the record. And then we’d hire somebody else to master. And eventually, as all is all singing, all dancing, you know, multiple hats and producers find out the artists will run out of money at the end. And then they can’t hire a mastering engineer. And so you’re stuck mastering yourself. And so I had to learn. So that forced me sort of into the fire. And as I learned, I realized I was like I really like mastering so long as I didn’t mix the song, or had anything else to do with the song because it’s just too much emotional pressure for me to try to do it by myself, dude to do everything. And so eventually I started reaching out to friends or producers and saying, hey, do you have any records that you’ve already put out that I could remaster? And it was great, because I could hear what the other mastering engineer had done. And then I would put my own spin on it. And I, you know, put some put a little bit different polish on it. So that like initially when you heard it, you’d like oh, wow, that sounds a little bit better, which was just the loudness wars like I would just make it slightly louder and slightly brighter. And But anyway, it’s like a mentor of mine. This guy, Chris Pyle, this is this was all kind of happening in Athens, Ohio, is where I went to college and then stuck around after I graduated. And Chris was a mentor to me and own a studio. And I’d mastered a record for him. He’s like, Man, you’re really good at this, you could do this for a living. And I was like, Yeah, right. So what if I’m good at it? How do I tell people I’m good at it. And so he kept insisting now you’ve got this, you could do this for a living. And a couple years later, I had an idea for a website. And it’s Chris Graham mastering calm, it’s basically still the same as it was when I made it the first go around with some improvements. But you would select a genre on this, like dial on the website, and then the song would start to play. And then there’s a before and after button, and you’d push back and forth. And you could hear in real time mastered, not mastered, mastered, not mastered. And as far as I know, I’m the first person to that had ever done this. And it What year

was that? Was that like 2007? In

2008? Somewhere in there? I’d have to look a little closer. But I’m gonna say that to probably about you had to have been the first person to do i think i think i was and so I didn’t do by myself. Like there was a whole team of people involved. But I hired him and figured out how to project manage and figured out how to like, take the development they did, and then combine it with other developers. And like, I, I was just trying to be a mastering engineer, man. And I thought that’s what I needed to do. And so I launched this website, and then I started running Google ads, write a book. What was it called? You know the answer, probably better, not. Very Marshall’s

Ultimate Guide to Google ads. Yeah,

I read that book and started running ads. And like, within a couple days, a complete stranger mailed me a check the master his record. name was Greg is from Pennsylvania. It’s a $350. And I was like, sweet googly moogly. There are probably more Gregg’s out there. This is awesome. And like, I got the bug, like, it was like the I had run a bunch of small businesses before, but they were all like, you know, guitar lessons, or I’m gonna play my guitar for a bunch of people and nothing real. So yeah, it was they weren’t like business businesses. And so as I leaned into that, you know, I would, I would grow it as much as it could handle it. And then as much as I can handle it, and then I would read a book and learn something new about business, and then I would make changes in my business, and it would run way better. And then I’d be like, Oh, my gosh, I should read more business books. And this is so weird. I started to medicate with books, instead of with music. And it was this sort of magical transition and chapter in my life chapter in my life books. But just there’s a dad joke number one dad joke number one. And so I would just read these books. And even if I only got like one sentence out of the book that I could apply to my business, it was worth it. It’s like $14 and a couple hours invested to like learn something that will change my life. And the business. Like I never thought I’d break $40,000 a year I thought like at 45 years old, I’ll probably make $40,000 a year and that’s just what happened out and like Dude, About 40,000 my second year in business, and it was it was this like, holy crap. Why didn’t anyone tell me there was useful things in books? And it’s funny because it’s like, isn’t that all school was? isn’t the

only write books? Not the right but

not the right, exactly the not the right books at all. And so I just sort of went nuts and I read like 1000s and 1000s of pages of self help and business books and then eventually read a book. autobiography from Mark Cuban. Everybody knows him, Mark Cuban is. And in that book, it was funny Mark Cuban was like, never take investor money. I was like, aren’t you wanna show about giving investor money? That’s weird. And he was like, number two, read biographies. And I was like, got it. Thanks, Mark. And I just started to crush on reading biographies. And, like, it was amazing medicine for, for the undying, at this point, undiagnosed PTSD that I had. And so I, you know, destroy 1000 page biography on Harry Truman. That one 1000. Yeah, that’s got to be 1000 up. And I would, I was so much healthier, if I had been consistently reading, but because I ran a small business and had family, and you know, a bunch of other stuff, like, there’d be periods where I’m reading like crazy. And I’m pretty healthy. And then I would stop reading and we get unhealthy. And then we start reading again. And like it was just, I was cycling through these, these like, chapters of unhealth and chapters of health. And, you know, it’s weird. When you’ve got PTSD. There are long term damages that happen in your brain, like, so there’s a personal but like, you have a hippocampus in your brain. And it has a lot to do with navigation and converting short term memories into long term memories. And if you’ve had a ton of PTSD issues, flashbacks, your brain ends up poisoning itself, and your hippocampus shrinks by 8%. And so that creates all these weird memory gaps. When you’re having conversations with people, especially if they’re emotional conversations.


the other thing I eventually around Well, at some point, I had stopped touring, and I had just dedicated myself to stuff in the studio, I’m getting my timelines all jacked up here.

But you’re good.

One of the things I’m realizing now only in the past couple of weeks, is something where I wanted to stop touring, because I would get lost all the time. Like, I’d be driving somewhere, and I’d miss like five exits in a row. And I’d end up hundreds of miles away from where I wanted to be. And this is so embarrassing. But it’s an issue with if you’ve got a really intense type of PTSD as what I have is called complex PTSD. So it’s complex. And I would get lost. And it was very stressful. And I didn’t like it. And like, even if I had GPS running, unless I was like, in a really healthy spot, I would miss an exit and not realize it. Yeah, yeah. And it was really sad and stupid. And I just thought it was like, I’m just flaky and quirky and a creative and he right, yeah, so much more than that. So uh, so getting closer to present day a couple years ago, mastering business was kicking butt. Had a couple kids and started making friends and other people in my industry. First and foremost is this guy lid Shaw that runs the recording studio rockstars podcast. He saw like a video ad that I had done for Chris Graham mastering and reached out and was like, Hey, you want to be on my show? And I was like, cool. Yeah. And so went on his show, and ended up getting into his mastermind group, which was a bunch of other like content creators and entrepreneurs in the audio space, and ended up meeting this guy, Brian, a year to end and Brian and I met up in Nashville for summer name, became like instantaneous Bros. started a podcast just to hang out with him and six figure home studio. It’s a business podcast. At least it used to be a business podcast for people in the recording studio industry. We’re in the process of relaunching season two, which is going to be a business podcast for creative freelancers. And we did that and there was like, never any intent on my side for it to ever be more than like, maybe 500 people would listen someday. And it went so far beyond that. And I still haven’t wrapped my mind around it

eats huge.

Well think I


it is unreal. I mean, that podcast, I went through Brian’s courses. I’m fairly good friends with Brian. Now. I’m good friends with you. I do quote like, it’s the reach of that podcast. And it just goes to show podcasts in general the reach that they have and the ability to help people. It’s unbelievable. I mean, it’s got to be at least once or twice a week that I see in the six figure home studio Facebook group, someone tagging you guys being like, this podcast has changed my life.

Yeah. And that, that brings us up to date a little bit with my story. I was getting that a lot. Like, I still get that a lot. And that freaked me out. I bet a really freaked me out pressure. Well, it was a lot of pressure. But it was like, the podcast is edited. And so I sound real smart. I really sound like I got my shit together on air. And when it comes to like business stuff, if I’m healthy, Yeah, I do. Um, but there were all kinds of other parts of my life. Where PTSD, like, I couldn’t go to concerts. Like, my main trigger was if someone was behind me and to my left and made a noise. And you can’t go to like a concert, it’s difficult to go to. Because there are people behind you know, large groups of people are difficult. The mall is difficult. So there were all these areas where like, I didn’t understand what was going on. But as all these people started, you know, telling me you changed my life. And I’m like, looking at aspects of my personal life. And I’m like, Oh, my gosh, like this. I’m not this like universally awesome person. Like, I don’t have my shit together in every way. And it was frustrating because the more successful I got, like I was successful before the podcast for the podcast, like, it was clear that like that was opening the door to a new chapter.

put you in the limelight? it

Yeah, put me in the limelight. And it was this weird thing because I knew I was like, Okay, well, I never really need to worry about money again. But I still don’t feel safe. And this is the PTSD. So sort of like fame and shame, PTSD, complex. PTSD is a lot, there’s a lot of shame rooted in, you know, awful stuff that happened to you and wasn’t your fault. And like, so, shame and fame don’t really go together very well. And so I hadn’t processed all my shame yet. And so when COVID hit, the time came, not by my choice, I had started to lean into it. But it just sort of, it sort of went nuts. And I had to get into therapy. And I was even in the hospital at one point. Trying to get this all figured out. And it it’s been the hardest year of my life, for sure. But also probably the best, because all of a sudden, like since I’ve gotten into that into therapy, all these symptoms have started to go away. We were talking about this just before we started recording. And all of a sudden, like now that I’ve like experienced health, and like I still have symptoms from time to time, I have good days and bad days. But now that I’ve had, like more than one good day in a row, you know, sometimes it’ll be like, two weeks in a row. Um, now now I’m starting to be like,


that’s a symptom. Oh, gosh, okay, okay. Yeah, I could see. And so one of the things we were just talking about. We’re getting real personal here, but is night tears. So I didn’t know what night terrors were until recently, because I thought they were normal.

Everyone just had them. Yeah, you wake up.

Yeah, you wake up. You can’t remember anything from your dream, but you feel like someone just electrocuted you. Like so you shook yourself awake. Now, you’re freaking terrified. We have no idea what you’re terrified of. And then you have to try to go back to sleep after that. And so that was going on a lot, like a couple times a night. Sometimes it’d be like, close to a dozen times a night. And so I’m in an amazing mood because this is so weird. I had a nightmare this morning. But I hadn’t had one in over a week. And I can’t remember ever going a week without them. So I feel like I’m like born again. As I’m as I’m like, learning Okay, that’s PTSD. That’s not that’s normal. What you have been experiencing for the past few decades. Not so I feel alive. So. Origin Story. Age weight

is an epic one. It’s I it is interesting. I don’t want to say funny. I mean funny is in it is interesting, because I remember listening to the first couple of episodes of the six figure home studio podcast, and the first two episodes are you interviewing Brian and Brian interviewing you and you’re 100%. Right? Your story is significantly changed. And that’s 100%. Because of your experiences over the past year or so. And it’s, it’s much more, it’s a much more personal story, but it’s like you can you can see the growth so much more clearly. Like it, the growth makes a lot more sense. Determining, you know, what your struggles were and why you struggled with them, and why you ended up going down a certain route that you went down, it’s be able to self analyze like that and be like, Oh, my God, that makes somewhat like you learn, it’s like you’re learning about your re learning about yourself or learning about another thing about yourself? And, and I mean, you couldn’t have gotten there without going through the hassle of the past year, which I’m great. I’m so happy for you. Because,

yeah, it’s,

it’s awesome, dude,

Hey, what’s up? It’s been wild, you know, as I’ve it’s taken a lot to kind of get used to that, you know, I had some ideas about who I was as a person. And, you know, I looked at like, reading all these business books, I was like, Well, I guess I just have more willpower than everybody else. And I don’t know, I think you look at anybody that’s, that’s done a lot in any area, they’ve gotten really good at one particular thing. And I think there’s the temptation to look at them and just say, Oh, they must just be better than everybody else. Or they might just must have a gift. And in some cases, that’s true. But I think a lot of times, they put their 10,000 hours in not necessarily because of willpower, but it was like a silver lining of how they were processing something that was going on in their life. And for me, that was absolutely yeah, like I

was like,

had some strange, like obsessive traits as a result of my trauma.


so it’s weird now that now that I’m healthy, like I look back at the past year, and I’m so grateful, like, to kind of go off what you’re saying, I’m so grateful that I had these experiences of the past year. But at the same time, a lot of the things I learned before I got diagnosed, like the business stuff, and the you know how to write an AI, how to teach yourself how to write an AI app that can bounce all your sessions for you, and then make it into a business and then have it pay all your bills like, this is weird thing to be able to do. But I don’t know that I would have been able to do it. If my past hadn’t been so dark.

Yeah. Isn’t that weird? super

weird, man.

It is very weird how you get into those conversations with yourself to where you’re like, would I change anything? what I want, like, yeah, yeah, yeah, obviously, obviously, there are certain things you would love to change. But um, for some people, I definitely know people who have a dark past though to who would be like, I wouldn’t change anything, which is all crazy characteristic. And I feel like a lot of those people are just because they wouldn’t be who they were. today. for other people. It’s not the case. But I do know a lot of people who have suffered some really dark shit, but they still were would be like, I don’t think I would change it. I don’t think I would want to, which is a weird, that’s a it’s a crate. It’s a really interesting and weird. Yeah.

Well, and that gets complicated.

Yeah, very complicated.

It gets complicated when there’s mental health issues in play. Because Yeah, like that dark past has a lot to do with who you are. On a really deep level, but there also are inevitable and equitably relationship casualties along the way, as a result of those symptoms. And, and so there’s this guy, Ricky, who was like a son, to me was like, without a doubt, was my best friend for a couple years. And with PTSD, especially when there’s like, there’s been a big betrayal in your past that contributed to PTSD. You fear betrayal again. And so what will happen with people that have similar issues, similar mental health issues to me, is you’ll get in your head that this close friend of yours is going to betray you. And then so you end the relationship, and you accuse them of all kinds of stuff. And you believe all of it, like you’re completely convinced, and like, I’m so embarrassed about this, like I just hung out with Ricky for the first time last week, and it was and was able to apologize to him and be able to see like, like, Oh my gosh, like I had thought you had said these things like they had gotten distorted in my in my mind. Memory distortion is an issue with when your hippocampus shrinks by 8% you you can have gaps In your memory, and as you tried to repair those gaps, and like put together what was actually said it can get a little, a little funky. Especially when when you’re in the middle of flashback, and you are remembering how you felt in the midst of trauma. Anyways, Ricky and I hung out and it was this like, amazing healing moment to be able to recognize like, dude, I wronged you. I said things about you that weren’t true. But at the time, I thought they were true. And that was indicative of like, my mental health issues at the time. And I got all emotional, we cried, and we hugged, and then I drove home and got lost. And even in spite of the fact that GPS was on, I still managed to not find my way back home, which just is so bizarre to me, because I looked at that, and I’m like, so I can’t, I have a hard time with GPS. But I could definitely sit down in front of a computer and and write 1000s of lines of code and build like, an artificial intelligence, like,


What the hell is wrong with me? So,


what what did what would you say has been the biggest thing for you with? like figuring out what’s helped you out the most with mental health? Obviously, I would say probably therapy is like one of them sounding Yeah, yeah. One of the best things. And I would argue, anyone in general should just go to therapy, to check up on yourself. It’s a really, a lot of the times it takes a few sessions to really open up and get comfortable and trust someone and really dig in. But I went to therapy for years. And it was the first time that I really decided to go and like explore myself. And that helped me out. I learned so much about myself, and my my girlfriend, Marty, she’s never gone to therapy, she was always interested. And I pushed her into it, because I was like, I should just try it out, see how it is. And she’s done for a little while. And it’s like, it’s helped her out a bunch as well.

The ultimate performance enhancer?


you getting someone in it? You know, one of the most important things is getting someone who’s kind of unbiased, you know, who can who can talk to you straight and be like, Okay, well, I think you’re saying this, because of that, or I think we need to dig a little bit more into this. And also, I would argue the good trait of a great therapist or counselor is someone who tells you like, there is an end date, you know, they don’t want to keep dragging you on to get money, they actually want to help you. What, outside therapy, and we can even dive a little bit more into therapy, if that’s what you’re interested in talking about. But what has been other facets of your life that you’ve been able to change or apply that has been able to really strengthen your mental health and become a stronger person?


in regards to therapy, therapy is a little bit like fire, fire in the right context, is pretty much the greatest thing ever. Like all of civilization is essentially founded on we figured out how to use fire your car, it runs on fire, dude, like you’re burning something. Um, however, fire in the wrong context is pretty much the worst thing ever. And therapy is a lot like fire. Good therapy is the best thing ever. Bad therapy is the worst thing ever. And I have had both. I’ve had really, really, really bad therapy. And I’ve had really, really, really good therapy. And so I think a lot of this the secret and I’m looking at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs what we’re supposed to be talking about, but I’ve derailed us, as I know. No, actually,

this is great. Let’s keep going on with it.

Yeah, well,

here’s the thing that when we talk about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs just for a second because this dovetails perfectly. So there’s this guy Maslow, he’s, I believe a psychologist back in the day, and he came up with this pyramid and this pyramid is basically like look, the base of the pyramid with everyone needs is they need their psychological needs met, air, water, food, shelter, sleep, clothing, reproduction, physiologic physiological needs, what am I talking about? their physiological needs met. And if they get those needs met, then they can move on to the next level of the pyramid, which is their safety needs, personal security, employment, resources, health, property, etc. Then if they get that then they can handle the next level which is love and belonging, friendship, intimacy, family since the connection. If they get that, then they can start to go after esteem. That’s respect self esteem, status, recognition, strength, freedom. And then as they get that, they get to the top of the pyramid, the juicy part, the Self Realization, the desire to become the most that one can be Boy, that’s just the coolest thing. Because there’s no way that anyone would ever listen this episode Ba Ba, become the most I can be boring, boring. And so your physiological needs are tricky, because I was saying psychological. And I think that might have been a Freudian slip. But um and because your physiological and your psychological are really tied together. So for me, you know, we were talking about nightmares. Sleep is one of your base needs. But sleep was a terrifying place. I didn’t even talk about the nightmares that I would have with PTSD. I’d have nightmares as well, pretty much every single night before, I was always like being chased by a group of people trying to protect a group of people that I loved, through a building of weird, really weird buildings with lots of stairs and like, like a maze. Essentially, I’m like enemies with people I love every night trying to defend them. And it masks my sleep up. So like, I would wake up exhausted, and sometimes terrified, and your face and I wouldn’t eat right, I wouldn’t drink enough water, I wouldn’t breathe. One of the things I found when I started to get better with with PTSD is that I hold my breath all the time. Like I would, every time I would turn the corner in my car, I’d hold my breath. I don’t know why out. So weird. But I didn’t notice any of these things, because I had lived with them for decades. And so your physiological needs, in order to get your physiological needs, you got to have your brain in the right spot, you have to be working in your own best interest. And unless your mind is healthy, you cannot work in your own best self interest.

And no, not at all. And that’s, you know, that’s actually a really good point. Because people will think, Oh, well, I have food, I have water. I have warmth, they’ve, I can sleep. It’s like, okay, yeah, but are you eating healthy? Because that can play just as much into as, you know, just having food in general. How are you eating? How is your sleep? I mean, if you’re getting four hours of sleep a night, that’s a dangerous game to play, that can significantly affect your, your psychological needs, as well, and how you how you perform tasks, how you process information, how you react to things, there’s a lot of stuff that plays in sleep is crazy. I mean, that’s such a major player and how, how you run, but yeah, you do have to make, you know, that base needs to be covered, but also in the right way, you know, in a healthy way, in a healthy manner. Because if that’s not covered, nothing else can really work as properly.

Yeah, so I think where we all want to get is self actualization, we all want to be the best that we can be. And I think what a lot of people do wrong, especially in music, and dare I say, like, EDM, in my experience tends to have more issues here than most genres.

1,000% Yes, but

there seems to be some confusion about the difference between self actualization and esteem.

Yes, and I was just about to mention this as well. 100% most people flip it. Or even sometimes, they think of self actualization as like being the bottom. It’s like in this is a lot of the times where you’ll see the starving artists, I don’t care I’ll I’ll be a starving artist, as long as I can tour or I’m making great music that people are loving. And it’s like, it’s tough to be a great starving artist, if you don’t get enough sleep if you don’t eat the right food if you if you don’t have all these things, and esteem alone, that is such a it’s I’ve become obsessed with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs within the past like, year, two years, just like horribly obsessed. I mean, I’ve been getting like, I’ve been a lot of time I’ve been focusing on like my safety needs with me, my family. My love and belongingness has always kind of been there. I’ve always had great relationships with my French friends and my family as well. We’ve always that was really easy to make sure that was established, but where my struggle has always been, is the esteem needs. And I would argue it’s probably that you could probably say it’s like 90% of people struggle with those esteem needs, how they feel about themselves and the respect they’re trying to garner and a lot of you know a lot of the times the EDM producers they want respect. Like that’s what they want. And they think that the self actualization or respect comes with the self actualization, which is so not the case because when you are respected is when you can actually start self actualization. Self actualizing and being someone that you really want to be the best that you could possibly be,

yeah, we have to like yourself first. And I think that’s where this this conversation is so valuable and useful to me. Because I’m still processing all this, I’m really looking at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. For the first time, since I’ve figured out the PTSD stuff, and I’m looking at it now. And I’m like, you know, what we talked about earlier about, podcast blew up, and all these people are telling me, Brian, and I changed their life. And

like, like,

this esteem thing, the second from the top was going really, really, really well. My safety needs and my physiological needs, and my love and belonging, were all jacked up from PTSD, that it was like, my, my, my Maslow’s hierarchy of needs started to look like an upside down like pyramid balancing on the tip. And so it it got really weird and complicated to hang out with somebody on a coaching call. And, like, see the see their life change, see them grasp, okay, this is the thing that’s been holding you back for three years, like, you have not been marketing yourself properly, even branded yourself properly. You need to lean into your strengths. This podcast, a good example that we had that moment of like, dude, you should content marketing, you should start a podcast and you should call it electronic dance, money EDM. And so it was so fun to see people like grab on to some insight that I would have and run with it. But then I would go home and like, my kid right behind me on my lap, and I’d have a flashback. And I would, on some level feel like there was impending doom that like our whole family was gonna get destroyed, like, in this life and the next unless I stayed constantly hyper vigilant. And hyper vigilance is it’s one of the one of the main symptoms of PTSD. So the main symptoms are irritability, agitation, hostility, self destructive behavior. And hyper vigilance, hyper vigilance is, is this like, I am fully aware of my surroundings, I hear and see and smell everything. Because I believe that I, or in my case, my entire family is in terrible danger. And if I don’t, if I’m not aware, there’s going to be a sneak attack. And I have to be ready to respond in an instant. And it was weird because it feels like a super hyper vigilance feels like a superpower. Because like you can you end up doing weird things like john wick type, like reflexes and stuff like that. And like I would run into that sort of stuff all the time, where I’d be like, Okay, well, there’s some context where I seem to have like a superpower. But why do I, but I’m still healing in this area. So I’m still trying to understand this. But then you’d look at other people who were not hyper vigilant. Who didn’t have like this. Absolute 24? Seven awareness? Yes. And it made them look stupid. Yeah. And so you get really frustrated, and then, you know, with the memory issues that made him look even more stupid, because you remember things differently than they did. But you didn’t necessarily remember them correctly. But in other contexts, memory is great if I’m reading the book, seems to be pretty good over there. So Alright, so let’s bring this back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. So your physiological needs are tied into your psychological needs. Because if you if you are not acting in your own best self interest, things don’t go well. And that’s the funny thing that like we assume about humans, humans act on their own self self, their own best self interest. We don’t. we very rarely do. And then I think, you know, you get into this next level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, safety needs personal security, employment resources, health property. My issue with PTSD with my mental health and what the reason If I could go back in time, 15 years and talk to myself, I would smack myself over the head. Actually, I wouldn’t do that because then he’d have a flashback and kick my ass. He’s hyper vigilant. I’m not anymore. He would have destroyed me, but be like, dude, you really need to get into therapy. It’s the absolute single most important thing you need to do. If you don’t, you are going to hurt so many people emotionally


you’re just not going to be happy. unhealthy unless you do that. But here’s the thing, like, if you don’t have good mental health, you perceive that there are safety issues where there are not. So like, if I’m, you know, going to a concert to see my friend, play with his band, you know, to play out the record, I mastered form and it’s like this big celebration. And there’s like 1000s of people there. But I feel danger the whole time I’m there. And I don’t know why that messes with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It messes with my ability to, to love and belong that next level up and messes with how I see esteem and messages my ability to self actualize. So it just, therapy is so important. Because you I hope I’m not projecting my own baggage on anybody else here. But I think we all


we all take our garbage and we project it on to other people. But we also all have blind spots. And therapy is so helpful because it helps you find your blind spots. And yeah, yeah. And so back to what you said previously about just getting like a checkup. Your body is pretty complicated. And you go if you’re, like, a real grown up, I guess I’m not a robot. But then you have a physical once a year, right? Your brain has a billion neurons, and a trillion connections between each of those neurons. Neurons is like a brain cell, right? Like the actual processor, like upstairs there. 1 trillion connections, your brain is the most complicated thing in the known universe. We don’t understand it on any level, because we spent 1000s, maybe millions of years as hunter gatherers. And then 10,000 years ago, we figured out agriculture. And now we’ve got iPhones, like brah, we’re not, we are not cut out for this

at all.

Like the world is changing way too fast for us

very rapidly.

And you got to figure out what’s going on upstairs. With with a pro, this is not like, go read a book about this and you’ll figure it out, you’re going to need more than that. And I think like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is just, it’s a great tool to be able to organize your psychology and just sort of like, rate each of these on a scale of one to 10 I guess, dude, yes, holy shit.

This is actually really interesting. It’s masses higher from what we’re talking about here. But Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I actually love that grading everything on you got to truly like, be honest with yourself. Like, because this is not all we’re talking about here is not just some thing that is like you can kind of throw out the wayside or it’s really not that important. It is every it’s it. It is involved with everything in your life, and determines how successful and healthy you can truly be. So I love the idea of writing things on a one to 10 scale and looking at those and kind of judging. Okay, why do I have an issue with safety needs? Why is it that I might have this issue? Or why might I have an issue with love and belongingness or even esteem needs? And that’s a great conversation starter with a therapist, if you go into a session with something in mind being like, Hey, you know, I was hearing about this thing called Milo’s hierarchy of needs. And I feel like I have an issue with this. And I guarantee that therapists or counselors get to know something about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and probably has a way of digging into that for you.

Yeah. So God example for me. So first one physiological needs. If you’d have talked to me a year and a half ago, and said, How are your physiological needs air, water, food, shelter, sleep, etc? I’d have been like, on a scale of one to five I’d be like, I would have said four. Because I’d only known like not having not been able to sleep well. Now it looked back and I’d say like to

that’s another great example, you might go in thinking I have an issue here. But really, even though this goes no your issues over here. Exactly. We’re overlooking this. Yeah.

If you would have asked me a year and a half ago how your safety needs I would have been like, one or two. Like I feel so unsafe all the time. And then if you said lover belonging, love and belonging, I would have would have looked at that and have it would have been a lot higher for Yeah, esteem. I’d have been like 17 five, like doing okay, there. And then self actualization. I would have also given myself a five out of five I would have been like, yeah, you know, I’m learning. I’m growing. As a person constantly every day, but I think I also would have been getting confused about the difference between esteem and self actualization, you could be a five out of five on self actualization, and have


know your name outside of friends and family. And for us in the music community that that is challenging, because many of us see self actualization as fame. If everyone knows who I am, then I have become the most I can be. And which isn’t to say that there are not fully self actualized people who aren’t also really famous. But one does not automatically equal the other. And, boy, that’s that is hard to wrap my mind around.

And in, there’s some growth with that, too, you know, when you’re self actualized, self actualizing, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve hit the top, it means that there’s still probably a ways to go, it’s just you’re doing the best that you could possibly do in that moment. Yeah, and we, you know, it’s like a building block over time that grows, that growth becomes exponential.

Well, in a perfect example, that is the normal transition we go through in school, my junior year of high school, I was, like, ran track, I was like, my favorite thing. And I was doing really good. I was like, winning races. And it was fun, it was really, really great. And so from the self actualization standpoint, like I’d worked really hard to be able to run as fast as I could. And that went well. And so my self actualization was high. That was what I was doing. But then freshman year of college, I didn’t run track. And so I had to kind of start over and I had to look at this again. So there is a cycle. It’s not just one Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you’re going to move on. If you have kids, your safety needs, change your physiological needs, change, your love, and belonging really, really, really changes. You have not cuddled with anyone ever until you have held your own baby. And you have felt the warmth. of oh my gosh, I love this little person truly loved unconditionally. Yeah,

I would. That’s a different kind of love.

It’s totally different. I would like if I had to sacrifice my own body to save this child, I wouldn’t hesitate. Same thing with getting married like it really. Gosh, looking back at what I know about myself now and how messed up my Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was. As a whole, that’s like 14 other episodes. There is so much looking back at myself now. Where I’m like, Chris, why did you feel the necessity to figure all of this stuff out by yourself? Why didn’t you shop around for a therapist, to find someone you could connect with and go to therapy. Like, if I could go back. I’m, again, I’m unique. Like I had a pretty serious mental illness that I didn’t know about related to trauma. So I wasn’t born with it. It was something like it was a nurture issue, not a nature issue. I should have been in therapy every week. Like, I wasn’t, I didn’t, like I went more than a decade, like I was in therapy and like Middle School for a little bit. And no, I was like, two decades. And then I went like 20 years without going to therapy. And the first person I got into therapy with turned out to not actually be a good fit on any level. And it made it way, way, way, way worse. But because it got way worse, I also got diagnosed as a result of that. So there’s there’s a silver lining even in that.

Yeah. You know, is interesting when I started going to therapy, the reason why I started going was this. This was before I even knew what Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was and it was when I was trying to produce a bunch and be a full time musician artist I wanted to earn I wanted to be at all do it as an EDM producer, EDM producer, um, and you know, I was obsessed. I was obsessed with perfection. I thought if things were not perfect if I did not do the best I possibly could, which I never felt like I was doing the best I possibly could because nothing was ever perfect. So I hated myself or I hated my work. I thought no one liked me. No one respected me. I was always going to be terrible, but I just had to work. I just had to be in the studio and go at it. And it wasn’t until I started to dig into some things in therapy when I really started to recognize how much this thing I wanted became so unhealthy for me that it was destroying everything I ever wanted. It was becoming self destructive it was, I started to isolate myself from people, because I was so gung ho about this one that I can’t do anything but this one thing, and that’s my answer to everything else. So I completely ignored everything. I ignored my safety I, I had my physiological needs, but I didn’t care about that as much I wasn’t working out, I was eating like shit. I wasn’t getting the best sleep. I wasn’t i and this was right around the time I moved away from Idaho and moved to Texas. And so I was trying to get as far away from my family as possible. And with that, this is the first time my mom had, I’m her only son, I have a sister, but this is her baby, her youngest kid moved away. And I want nothing to do with my family. And my mom would try to call me and I’d get upset that she’s calling me because I’m trying to have some space in so like, I’m cutting out the love and belongingness. And all for what I think I need to do, which is self actualize, completely ignored all these things for something that was so unhealthy, which I thought was the answer to everything. And as I dug into these things with therapy, it was like, I need to stop this,

which was tough. Because this is something that I thought I loved so much, and I needed to do, and I wanted to do so bad. And so cutting it off was almost like I was cutting my self like cutting off my soul.


taking a break and stepping away and going you don’t have to do this. Like if I was having insane exam anxiety attacks, I would go into the studio try to work on track. And I would do this multiple times, every single day, go in, try to write something, couldn’t get anything come out ups, upset, frustrated, just talking shit about myself. Very, very bad for self esteem. And it was caught. I mean, there you can’t write well, if you go into sessions like that, or the last session you had ended in that way. And you go into the next one thinking, you know, it’s a definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. And so it would cause insane anxiety, the first time I ever had anxiety, because I put so much damn pressure on myself for no damn reason for like, no one was paying attention to me, this was all self caused. And that’s when I finally took a step back and was like, I need to stop, this needs to stop and I stopped praying, I didn’t step in the studio for a month, maybe two months. And that’s when I started to finally figure my shit out. Like, everything started to come together, my mind was much more clear. I was much more relaxed. And I there were just it was like this weight was lifted off my chest and then and then every once in a while I’d get these itches, I get these bugs and I still get them where I go. I want to be like something’s telling me to go write music. And then I’d go in and I would write the best thing that I’ve ever fucking written in less time than I ever did.

And that still has, that’s awesome, man. Well, and on that note, I feel so bad because like we are in the thick of such an awesome conversation. But for my own mental health, I have to leave Chicago with my personal trainer here in just a minute. Good. I got to get this physical part down. I’m still working on that. Yeah, but Christian, this was so great, man. Yeah,

dude, thank you for coming on. I appreciate it. I there’s no one else I wanted to do this episode with because you’re just such a part. Your story is so great.

You are fist bump, lobby brother, dude. Well, if you do you have anything you’d like to plug and I mean, podcasts and your businesses. Yeah, so

two plugs. So we’re getting ready to relaunch the six figure home studio as a six figure creative to kind of keep an eye out for that will be available everywhere podcasts are given away. Number two, one of the things that’s helped me so much in regards to making the podcast but also in regards to just giving me personal satisfaction is helping other people. So the way we met, you were a fan of the podcast and then you hired me to be your business coach. So business coaching is my main thing right now. Mastering is something that I do as well. And software development with like bounce, Butler and podcasting and all this other stuff. But business coaching tends to be the main thing. It’s the biggest giver of life for me. So you’re the if you’re creative looking for a business coach go to chris graham coaching comm and you can book your first session for a significant discount hell yes

i strongly recommend it to anyone listening again we wouldn’t be here without it so chris again thank you so much i’ll have all the links on the show notes at Envious audio.com slash episode 50 so you guys can go grab those over there but chris thank you so much again i appreciate your time man

you too man i’ll talk to you soon take care

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