Michael Picture
J Michael Dolan

Michael's books, blogs and short stories are meant to inform, enlighten and inspire anyone who is committed to a lifelong career in the arts and entertainment business. It doesn’t matter if you’re a musician, actor, producer, manager, writer, small business owner, or CEO of a mega-corp, Michael's encouraging words of practical wisdom will reach into your very soul and enlighten the way.



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Do The Work By Steven Pressfield

Why do we artists & treps continue to procrastinate and resist doing the work? The work we love. The work that excites us and keeps us awake at night. Steven Pressfield says it's because of the "enemy within." The enemy is our chattering brain, which, if we give it so much as a nanosecond, will start producing excuses, alibis,self-justifications, and a million reasons why we can’t/shouldn’t/won’t do what we know we need to do. The Work! Like all of Pressfield's non-fiction work, this is an easy, fast read that goes straight to the truth of why we resist the work we love, and how to break through the beast of resistance.

The War of Art By Steven Pressfield

Steven is one of my all time favorite authors. This is his first non-fiction release. The book is thin, easy to read and offers a close up listen to that maniac inner critic who dwells between the ears of all artists & treps!  If you read nothing else, read this one!

Turning Pro By Steven Pressfiled

Super fast, easy to read and brilliantly written. The profound truths found in this book about what it takes to shift from amateur to pro are stunning!  Even after a third read I continue to find hidden gems that I missed the last time.

Rework By David Heinemeier Hansson

Forget what you learned about business and what you’ve read about management. In fact hide your MBA in a drawer. This fast reading book questions and doubts every pillar we lean on and every foundation we stand on regarding general business practices, and offers a way to succeed from truth, rather than clawing and conniving your way to the top.

Getting To Yes By Roger Fisher & William Ury

This is the best book I’ve ever read on the subject of negotiating your way to a successful outcome—doesn’t matter if it’s your bandmate, teammate, lifemate, employee, staff member, or the CEO of a major corp. I have more yellow highlights in this book than any other I have ever read.

The Flinch By Julien Smith

It’s a very fast read and Seth Godin published it. Those factors alone prompted me to read it—twice! I’m still haunted by the concepts that Julian reveals, each time we FLINCH!

A Whole New Mind By Daniel Pink

Daniel absolutely gave me permission to allow my creative right-brain to slip into the drivers set—after 33 years of my left-brain driving me crazy! If you’re even remotely interested in how your brain works (from a creative POV) then you’ll love this book.

Thrive: The Third Metric To Redefining Success And Creating A Life Of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder By Arianna Huffington.

I was never an Arianna fan. She always struck me as a narcissistic media glutton. Boy was I surprised! This book was highly recommend by a friend so I picked it up and couldn’t put it down. Arianna shares her deepest most personal insights on how we can “thrive” during these challenging times, with intelligence, wisdom and heart. I’ve totally changed my opinion about Arianna, who was chosen by Time as one of the world’s 100 Most Influential Women.

Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success By Phil Jackson

Reading this book is like watching an NBA playoff game! Phil’s writing is engaging and persuasive, as he gives a play by play recount of his life as the greatest NBA coach of all time. I learned so much about "truth in leadership" from this book. This is not just a book about basketball for men. The deep insights in this book easily cross gender lines.

The Spontaneous Fulfillment Of Desire By Deepak Chopra

The book screams at me from the bookshelf demanding that I pick it up for the third time—it’s that good! Its a great reminder of the ultimate divine power within all of us, that only wants to see all of our desires fulfilled...spontaneously!

Seven Spiritual Laws Of Success By Deepak Chopra

You know that desert island where you only get to take one book? I’d take this one. 

A New Earth By Eckhart Tolle

I read this book very slowly because there was sooo much good stuff in it. Then I participated in a 10-week online course with Oprah Winfrey and Eckhart Tolle. Yikes! The course was awesome, just like the book!

Play Of Consciousness By Swami Muktananda

Divine, profound insights from the personal life experiences of my dear Guru.

Outliers By Malcolm Gladwell

Intelligently written and deeply researched. This book goes very deep into the reasons some people just happen to be in the right place at the right time—from pilots who crash to the Beatles who soared. He not only roused my spirit, Malcolm also enriched my thinking and propelled my writing. He’s one of my favorite authors. I could easily add his classics: Blink and The Tipping Point to this list.

Tribes By Seth Godin

An eye-opening peek into a genius, modern day, marketing philosophy. It's absolutely a must read!

The Icarus Deception By Seth Godin

An easy read, yet a stunning eye-opener about how we are stuck in the trappings of a marketing culture, yet free to create our way out of it.

The Turning Point By Gregg Braden

I enjoy reading Gregg's books because they have nothing to do with showbiz, everything to do with humanity, and they temporarily take me away from my own personal, petty circumstances and remind me that every breath I take, every move I make, every bond I break, and every step I take, in some small quantum way affects everyone and everything.

Biology Of Belief By Bruce Lipton

I read this book twice. Bruce gets so excited when he writes he spits all over the page! This is a great read for anyone who still BELIEVES their circumstances are hardwired into their DNA...refreshing to discover they are not.

The Singularity Is Near By Ray Kurzweil

A stunning, scary and profound insight by a genius of our time and the inventor of the keyboard that bears his name. It took me two years to finish this book. I had the opportunity to meet Ray at a private screening for his movie, “Transcendent Man.” This book is worth every minute of reading time, only if you're interested in where "the age of technology" is taking us—whether we like it or not.

Anything You Want By Derek Sivers

Published by my hero Seth Godin and written by my friend Derek Sivers, who has a shy sort of honesty that is extremely endearing, as he shares the story of his business life with CDBaby.

To Be Loved By Berry Gordy

The life story of Motown's iconic founder. The day after I finished reading this book I sat in Berry’s office talking to him for hours about his life, his loves, and his plans for the future. A very heartfelt read from a very heartfelt legend.