For quite some time, like the Frank Sinatra song, I thought ‘I did it my way’ with my musical achievements. I believed I developed my music hobby into a professional music business all on my own steam. I felt I carved my path and forged my way with no input from anyone else. That I figured it all out, through epiphany.
But, while I was compiling my music business plan on a course I attended 10 years ago, I learnt something quite significant. I learnt that although there were moments of revelation in my journey, I did not achieve half of what I had without someone else’s input.
The people who point the way; those who offer a shoulder to cry on; individuals who pass on opportunities; fans who take it upon themselves to be my ambassadors; colleagues who make the time to explain concepts so I can do my business better; and so on.
By the way, your own connections are not too far away.
Everything you do or achieve has a connection to someone else.
Maybe you think your connections are limited because you only know your spouse, your best friend or just your mum and your cat.
They, (with the exception of your cat, haha), know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone…no, this is not a typing error or auto repeat. I’m trying to explain the extent of your network. It is bigger than you think because you don’t know who the next person knows.
Not long ago, I watched the Luke Bryan documentary ‘My dirt road diary’. He left his home to make it big in Nashville. It didn’t happen. He eventually got a publishing deal. It was his publisher who kept pushing his name at every opportunity to get him connected into the Country music capital scene. Eventually, the publisher spoke to a friend who had a label. The label owner trusted the publishers’ opinion and went to check Luke out. They wrote together for a while and eventually Luke was signed to them. He went on to become an award-winning Country Artiste.
The music industry is a network of relationships. Doors open and doors close based on connections.
You do have to bear in mind, however, that your connections will not ensure that every door will open, every promise fulfilled, every ask supplied, or hurdles avoided.
It also doesn’t mean that everyone you are connected with will be available to you when you need them, be willing to help or can help. But when connections work, they really work.
When successes come through, they usually come through our connections. Of course, we have to deliver and make good on what is presented to us but we cannot excel without connections. They open doors for us.
Do you have the right connections?
Take a few minutes to think about those who have helped you. Those you might reach out to at some point. Make a list of these people for future reference.
Don’t forget, when you receive help, say ‘Thank you’, be polite and gracious. You never know who you are speaking to and who they know.