I have found that one of the key skill sets to success is learning how to separate the emotion from the event in certain business and life scenarios.
I refined this concept while occupying a National Sales Director position for nationwide short sale corporation.
Stay with me on this, ok?
After the 2008 mortgage meltdown there were millions of homeowners who found themselves in the unenviable position of having to sell their home when they were “upside down” on the mortgage.
In plain English they owed more, sometimes much more, than what the property was worth.
Almost all the time these good people could put themselves in a FAR better real-time financial situation by short selling their house and moving, thus, dramatically lowering their monthly housing costs.
Often times they could keep the SAME lifestyle.
Sometimes they could move across the street to rent an equal size home, with equal amenities, for HALF of what their monthly mortgage payment was costing them on their current house.
How would you feel if you could cut your monthly mortgage or rent payment in HALF without really changing your lifestyle or neighborhood?
Sounds like a no-brainer, right?
It was the most baffling exercise in communication I have ever gone through.
Homeowners had a problem separating the emotion from the event.
They would say, “Our kids grew up [are growing up] here”.
A valid point.
I would remind them that a house was simply a building and their family made it a “home”. They would make a home anywhere.
They would say, “We like this school system and don’t want to move our kids”.
Another valid concern. (Even though nobody was suggesting their kids should change schools.)
The simple FACT that all these good people were facing was that their investment in the American Dream had gone horribly wrong.
If they moved they could get out from under a HUGE investment debt that had begun to destroy their financial future, as opposed to cultivating equity. All this came at a monthly cost that was literally TWICE what they could get for the EXACT same lifestyle if they sold (eliminating the bad debt), rented a comparable property, and began to rebuild their finances.
The truth is their pride was hurt because they were financially wounded with the property.
Often times this was due to financial circumstances that were out of their control.
Often times this was due to horrible financial decisions they had made.
Either way, the damage was the same.
Often times they were subconsciously punishing themselves for getting into the position.
Many ended up in foreclosure which was far worse for their credit rating and completely PREVENTABLE.
They were scared to move so they screwed themselves.
Artists and songwriters do this too, and they do it often.
How many of you are being held back because your good friend is the weak link in the act?
How many of you are hurting your brand because your artist child wants to put everything it ever creates up on the world’s refrigerator before its ready lest you be judged?
How many of you are creating product with poor quality (horrible sonic quality, shoddy performances, amateur arrangements, etc.) because of whatever excuse?
How many of you are so busy lamenting the fact that your careers are not going the way you pictured they would (or should), that you’re completely missing the opportunities and strategies that will effectively get them going?
How much energy are you spending on the emotion vs. action towards the event?
How many of you are procrastinating or avoiding taking action because you are unsure of exactly what it will look like when you’re done?
If you want to be an artist than BE AN ARTIST.
If you want to be a writer than BE A WRITER.
Stop riding the fence and GET IN THE GAME.
This statement sounds like it should be filed in the “easier said than done” category but let’s look at the rest of your life.
Let’s dissect the destructive phrase “Easier said than done”.
What if you approached your current job with the same attitude that you approach your fledgling artist career?
What if you called your boss and told him you weren’t feeling it today?
What if you told your boss you weren’t coming in because you were scared?
You know, scared of dropping a tray of food or drinks, making the wrong cocktail, measuring once and cutting twice on your construction gig, or scared of learning some new software process they are requiring.
Would you have a job?
Of course not. So you go to work even though you don’t have a clear picture of what your day is going to look like and you get through it.
You already KNOW how to separate the emotion of your daily job from the daily events that occur.
Some of them are great events.
Some of them are nasty events.
Some of the bad events happen EVERY DAY for crying out loud (don’t we all have that douchebag at work we have to tolerate?)
You still push forth every day, on a consistent basis and do what you have to do and you get your results.
You pay your bills.
You do it again.
Logically speaking, if you would apply the same predictably mundane climb, up the staircase of faith you do at your day job to your music career you would begin to see magnificent results.
Take a deep breath and let me ask you this.
Why do so many of you place the hopes of your future career on meeting “the right people” that will do it all for you?
I mean those drinks aren’t going to make themselves.
That board isn’t going to measure and cut itself.
That food isn’t going to deliver itself to your table out there.
That new software isn’t going to learn itself.
Why do you expect anyone in the music business to jump in and help you for free when you clearly won’t do it yourself?
Why would you expect anyone you don’t know in the music industry to help you for free when you don’t expect anyone you know to do your job for you at your regular job?
Or do you?
How is it that you can separate the emotion from events occurring in your day job but you’re afraid to make a move in your artist career?
Is it because you just can’t see EXACTLY how it will look?
Why are you not as fearful about these SAME issues at your day job?
I mean, who knows what could happen, right?
Where do you get the courage to consistently go to work and face the terrifying unknown, but fail to execute this same brave behavior with your artist career?
I’ve got news for you.
You will never know EXACTLY how it will work out at your day job or your artist career.
Your artist career will NEVER develop EXACTLY as you planned it.
Your boss doesn’t want you to make the same mistakes over and over. He/she expects you to learn at your position and improve.
In fact your current boss is banking on that concept with you.
For some of you (and you know who you are), your bosses have more faith in your abilities to learn and improve at your day job than you have in yourself to learn and improve your artist career.
Whoa, let that one soak in a bit.
You are going to have to get serious about your artist career and change your behavior if you expect to see real results.
You are going to have to work smarter.
You are going to have make some mistakes.
You are going to have to invest time and money.
You are going to have to pay for some training so you can LEARN to be better.
You are going to have to do this yourself and create momentum.
I promise, once you have some momentum, the “important people” you seek will appear.
They will come to you.
You will have far more leverage in a relationship like that then you would have if you seek them with your hat in your hand.
The difference between artists and professional artists is simply commerce by definition.
The rest of the details will naturally, organically improve if you have a heart beat and a brain.
Your art will get better.
Your business acumen will develop.
Your relationships will develop.
Things that once were foreign and unimaginable will become second nature to you, like tying your shoes or tuning a guitar.
Yes, you will have to work extra hours above and beyond the demands of your day job.
Welcome to the world of professional artists.
Professionals are all in, man, and don’t get me wrong, they get pissed off when things don’t go their way.
But they press on.
There is no such thing as “spare time”
There is no such thing as “free time”
There is only life time, so don’t waste it by avoiding what you love to do.
I mean, you already know how to separate the emotion from the event.
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