I ran into an acquaintance who has been out of work for some time. He complains that the market is terrible and how he is sick of this town. He blames politics and says the dating scene sucks here. Then he hands me his card and says if I hear anyone who’s hiring that I should pass along his info.
I knew immediately that I would not.
Now, I’m a nice person. But, even if I met someone in his field, why would I stake my reputation on someone who doesn’t enjoy a single thing about life, where he lives, or anyone he meets? Why would he treat a job any differently?
As my friend and colleague so eloquently sings, the universe is a yes machine. When you input yeses, it makes more yes. Likewise, when you fuel it with negativity, it malfunctions and serves you sludge.
The music industry is no different. Musicians, whether we acknowledge it or not, are in the service industry. It is a happy circumstance that we enjoy our work (if you don’t, get out while you still can). It is both humbling and empowering that we should serve others with our music.
When you play a wedding, you are providing the soundtrack to the most important day of someone’s life. When you play a piano bar, you are giving someone a reason to get out of their house, making a lonely drink less lonely. When you teach a music lesson to make ends meet, you are providing someone with the knowledge and motivation to make music for himself, empowering him. Even playing in a cover band gives people the experience of hearing their favorite songs live, reminiscing about their youth, or just escaping to something they know the words to.
And when you accept and enjoy the act of giving through your art, you open the doors--in a very real way--to receiving.
In a similar way that pheromones attract others, yes attracts yes. Giving begets giving. And sincere willingness to serve attracts work. Don’t hold grudges. The world has no pity for sour grapes or resentment. Share with others. Don’t be that guy. Be the guy (or gal) that people want to be around.