I used to do a lot of travelling with my family when we were younger and all still together, and I learned very quickly that you simply can’t stop at every rest area along the way. You can’t stop at every Walmart along the way to please the wife and the two daughters. You can’t stop at every McDonalds along the way to please the young son!!
If you do, you will never get there!
I remember when Outlet Malls started cropping up all over the country. My girls knew where every one of them were and where the next one was to be built. You would have thought that our destination was the next outlet mall. And, of course, I wanted to make them happy, so we stopped more often than not.
Winston Churchill said, “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”
Does any of this sound familiar? It sounds so much like the journey of a musician in the early years. Only, I didn’t need my wife and children to get me distracted; I could do that on my own! Every new product, keyboard or gadget that was coming out was of interest to me; I had to buy it and and see what I could learn from it. I’ll ad quickly that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that as long as it will fit into your road map for your journey.
When you get ready to go on a vacation, or a trip of any kind, the very first thing that you do is to map it out.
If you are you driving, then you must find the best route that will facilitate getting you to the desired destination without distractions that would delay your arrival time. In order to do that, you work backwards. Establish your arrival time, determine how many hours of driving time you will need, figure out how many of those hours you wish to drive each day, add in meal times and motel times and after some careful calculations, you will know when to leave in order to reach that goal.
Are you flying? The process is much the same with the exception of some elements of the trip that are out of your control like airline schedules,airport connections etc. You have to allow time for all those things that could change dynamics of your trip.
People do those things successfully every day! Do things go wrong? Of course. Do we adjust and keep going? Absolutely!
Let me tell you that your music business/ministry is no different. If you don’t have a desired destination, then you will NEVER reach it. Just as easily as you can change highways on a whim and find out fairly soon that you don’t know where you are or where you are heading, you can chase the next ‘shiny object’ that some marketer offers without making sure that it fits into your road map and your business will be lost, you will become confused and it will take you nowhere. You will NEVER make everyone happy; there will always be someone who thinks you should have done things differently. And they may be right! You don’t have time to stop and pay attention to every barking dog! You will never have the satisfaction of reaching a goal if there never was a goal in the first place! Your business/ministry must have a purpose; why are you doing this? Is it for the money? Then, you probably won’t make much of it. You must have a mission – a driving force within you that is striving for one goal! And what you obtain by achieving your goals is not nearly as important as what you become by achieving those goals. Ignore the barking dogs unless they are going to help you reach your destination.
Breaking News: People are not going to help you just so you can make money. The first question on the mind of any prospective buyer, volunteer, choir member or orchestra player is, “What’s in it for me?” Somewhere in you plans, dreams, goals, mission and vision you have to care about people and want to help them with something. Only YOU can determine what that something is, but you need to know within yourself what it is you want to accomplish. After that, you will be much more effective.
I heard the late Zig Ziglar say many times, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” It sounds like a cliche at first, but when you examine it closely, that statement defines your grocery store, your furniture store, your church, your favorite restaurant and you can keep adding to this list. It also must define your music ministry/business! It’s all about helping someone else. If that attitude doesn’t come through in your efforts, then you will not last long in any endeavor.
Every dog that barks does so to get your attention. Some of them will help you; most of them will not. You have to determine which is which.