Business Lessons from a Rock Band

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I had a great time rocking out this past weekend. Plus, I learned a great lesson on professionalism this weekend from a group of musicians.

Photo Courtesy Michelle Walston Photography
Photo Courtesy Michelle Walston Photography

Our band opened for Julie Elias, an up and coming Christian artist. In fact, our band was formed for this one show. We showed up a little early so we could load in and be out of their way to load in.

The first thing I noticed is that every member of the headline band was there early too. The next thing I noticed was how prepared they all were. Not just in the music, but in setting up on the stage. They all knew where to go, and what to ask for from the sound crew.

What I did not expect to see was that they were all introducing themselves to each other, as if they had never met before. That was because they had not met before in person. This was the first time they played together. No rehearsal, just show up and play. They were hired by the label to play this show. Now that is being prepared.

I also learned about confidence from them. You have to be confident in what you are doing to pull that off. I’m not talking about arrogance, I’m talking about confidence. Confidence is being prepared, planning, studying, knowing your part and what you can and can not do. Confidence is trusting in the education and practice and just doing it.

And, they killed it. The were all very good. No one in the audience would ever guess they had never played a show together. I wouldn’t have known if I didn’t know.

The biggest lesson I learned that night was on passion. The guitar player, Chad, put everything he had into the performance. He is a great player, but I’m talking about Passion! Enthusiasm! Stage presence. You could tell he loved what he was doing. He interacted with the crowd. He interacted with his new temporary band. It was obvious the rest of the band was starting to feed off of his enthusiasm. He played every song as if he had written it and performed it every night. He made it obvious that he loved what he did for a living.

Even if you are an artist, you still have to be a professional. Because these guys are professional, they can earn a living doing what they love. You’re not a sell out because you get paid for what you create. A pro understands what their customer wants/needs, and creates a product that serves their customer. An amateur selfishly creates to serve himself.

I hope that others can see the passion in what I do. No matter what it is, selling, teaching, playing guitar, loving my family, I want to put everything into it. I hope to inspire my co-workers with enthusiasm and passion the way Chad inspired his band mates. I am learning that life is too short to just go through the motions. I’m not there yet, but I’m getting closer, and the sparks of enthusiasm are growing into flames.

Have you ever been “schooled” in a completely unexpected way?