It may seem a little corny or clichéd, but I firmly believe that if
you want something badly enough, you can and will get it. But to want
it isn't enough. You have to want it so badly that you ache to have
a catchyou can't manufacture the kind of "want" that I'm talking about.
It's organic and it comes from a place deep inside of you. It comes
from your soul. It's the kind of want that creates an obsession. And
once you're obsessed, there's absolutely nothing that can get in your
Having an obsession
is a beautiful thing. Well, as long as it's a healthy obsession. An
obsession is a wonderful starting point on your journey to success.
It helps you define your goal (notice I said "goal," not goals). An
obsession is the fuel, you are the missile, and the goal becomes the
"When I was
nine years old, I saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, and I was
hooked. I knew right then and there that I wanted to make records when
I grew up. I was hooked, but not obsessed. As I grew older, my focus
scattered. I started to think about going to law school.
Then one day
it happened. I was standing in a music store when I overheard a delivery
guy say he was going to Criteria Studios (which at the time was one
of the top studios in the world). I asked if I could go along for the
ridefinally, a chance to see what a big-time studio looked like!
While I was
there, I overheard the owner say, "We need a new kid to sweep the floors
and clean the johns." I jumped out of my chair, waved my arms, and proclaimed
to the world, "I'll do it! I'm your guy!!" He was not amused. They briskly
escorted me to the front door, and gave me the boot.
Did that stop
me? Hell, no. I ached to get that job. I had to have it, and there was
no way that I wasn't going to get it. I called the owner five times
a day for five days straight until he finally took my call. "If I interview
you for this job and you don't get it, do you swear you'll never call
here again as long as you live?!" he said. I swore. I interviewed. I
got the job because my obsession with getting it made me act in a persistent
manner until I got what I wanted.
I felt the
same kind of obsession years later when I started TAXI. I couldn't do
anything but think about and work on TAXI. I worked six or seven days
a week. I worked 16 to 18 hours a day. I rarely watched TV. I had no
social life. I didn't hang out. I didn't relax. Not for a minute. Probably
not healthy, but I succeeded. And you know what? It didn't really even
feel like work.
Am I telling
you that you need to quit your day job, shun your family and friends,
and work at your music 18 hours a day? No, although in a perfect world,
that would be great. Well, at least the 18 hours a day part.
What I'm telling
you is that you'll never get what you want by merely wishing or hoping.
Those might be good starting points, but you need to clearly define
your goal, and then you have to plan how you're going to get it.
Then, you have
to take daily action on your plan. You can't just sit back and say to
yourself, "Gosh, I'd give anything to make a living with my music."
If it were that easy, everybody would be a rock star. You have to chip
away at it a little everyday. Even better, bite off a good sized chunk
every day. Be consistent. Take daily action on your plan, and you'll
be way ahead of the pack.
They say (whoever
"they" are), that adversity is a test of faith, and the more your faith
is tested, the stronger it becomes. Yeah, sure, I buy that, but there's
more to it. Don't confuse adversity with "paying your dues," or faith
with hope. Success comes as a result of all of those things, but it
comes quickest to those who purposefully and systematically put one
foot in front of the other and get the job done.
a lot of people in my twenty some years in the music business who feel
that they should have a deal or be making big bucks because they've
"been doing it for a long time." Ask them what they want, and they answer,
"You know man. A dealanything."
a plan. How do they expect to achieve what they haven't even defined?
Drifting through life without taking aim at a specific target is the
surest road to failure I know.
The right answer
would be something like, " I'd like to learn how to write Country songs
like Nashville's best writers, then start systematically pitching them
until I find one that gets some attention. Then I'll make a list of
all the artists who might cut that type of song and work diligently
each day to get it into their hands."
of a good plan might be, "Our band is going to book a series of club
dates within a fifty mile radius of where we live. After we've played
those clubs enough times to develop a fan base, we'll keep expanding
the radius and keep building our fan base until record companies begin
to seek us out."
It makes sense
doesn't it? The plan: Want it. Obsess over it. Picture it. Plan it.
Execute it. Succeed at it. Enjoy it!
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