In this series we will be highlighting burgeoning entrepreneurs in the modern era. These are folks who have taken the risk of quitting or working double to quit their conventional jobs in pursuit of their passions. This is a difficult road that many never find the courage to venture upon, but the rewards are so worth it, and as you know, no risk, no reward, know risk, know reward.

This episode highlights Craig Levy, musician, sound engineer, artists whisperer. Craig saw his industry falling apart, and decided to hone in on the things he does best. This approach, rooted in gratitude and simplicity has afforded Craig freedom and fulfillment. Read his story to learn more about how he achieved such a zen like balance.

Tell Me A Little More About What You Do And How You Got Into It

To make it easy i call myself a "music producer" but i handle everything from writing and playing instruments around an acapella to just recording vocals for my mc's who bring in finished instrumentals to mixing and mastering… basically whatever anyone thinks i'm good at :)

Do you Remember Your First Day? What Were You Feeling?

Yeah i almost threw up!

What Were You Doing Before? Why Made You Want To Try Something New?

I worked at atlantic records in the a&r department when the music business was thriving.. and i left right when it was imploding. for the next few years i drifted until i started recording my own music and fell l in love with it. about a year later i put up an ad on craigslist and the rest is history…

How Do You Balance Your Time?

Honestly i have a hard time with that… i found "my thing" and it's still an honor 13 years later that people like what i do so i find it hard to say no…

Tell Me About Your Business?

I simply charge per hour ($40) and my artists come over and we do whatever they have planned: record, have me write around their vocals and play instruments, mix, master. they are often also part therapy sessions: it's the artists choice what goes on during their time so we may talk for a bit…my psychology degree gets put to good use :)

How Much Time Per Week Would You Say You Dedicate To Your Work?

Probably 40 hours in sessions and another 10 or so doing the un-fun business stuff.

What Else Do You Like To Do With Your Free Time?

Biking, hanging with my girlfriend and our cats.

What's Next For You?

More of the same in terms of making music with my artist's daily, but dedicating more time to licensing… i've had over 250 placements so far but would like to see it really take off. either way it's fun to see your tracks on tv.

Any Advice For People Wanting To Follow A Similar Path?

Be ready to dedicate your whole life to this! it really does take 10,000 hours.


To learn more about Craig or to book you recording session now, click here...

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The Federal Reserve sets the guardrails for the federal funds rate, and through that helps control the money supply for the nation.

When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.

A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.

One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.

The Federal Reserve The Federal Reserve


The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.

This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.

The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.

Getty Images/Maria Stavreva

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