- Quote by Clementine Padford

This Article Originally Published July 2001

by Michael Laskow

I don't know who Clementine Padford is, or was. But, the quote attributed to her is right on the money.

Jiminy Cricket might have you believe in all that "When you wish upon a star" crap, but let's get real kids. Jiminy and his kind live in a world where Walt Disney reigned, and still reigns supreme — Fantasyland. In that world, dreams do come true by wishing really, really hard.

In the music business, it's all about hard work and perseverance.

In Fantasyland, happy endings are abundant. In Realityland, happy endings are few and far between. They find their targets selectively. Funny thing is, the targets that the happy endings always seem to "find," are those which attracted success through hard work.

Let me get personal here for a minute. Please answer these questions honestly, and write your answers down.

  1. How much time did you spend in the last 24 hours on your musical career?
  2. How much time have you spent in the last week on your musical career?
  3. How much time have you spent in the last 30 days on your musical career?
  4. How many songs have you started to write in the last 30 days?
  5. How many songs have you finished in the 30 days?
  6. How many times have you read a copy of Billboard in the last 30 days?

I'm not trying to guilt you in to working harder on your career. I know that doesn't work. My parents tried it from the day I entered kindergarten, and it had no positive impact. The desire to succeed can only come from within.

I think all of our TAXI members have it or they wouldn't have joined TAXI. More than half of them have been members for more than one year. They certainly don't exhibit any lack of desire.

It's the resolve to do something about your desire that seems so elusive. You know . . . putting one foot in front of the other, and the repetition of that process until your goal has been reached.

I've been guilty of procrastination and laziness most of my life. Why is the easy way . . . well . . . so damn easy? How can it be more appealing than the fame, fortune, and personal satisfaction that come with success?

Are we like electrons that seek the path of least resistance? Yes. Most of the time we are. But not all of the time. We are human beings, and humans have accomplished some incredible things. That's all the evidence I need.

So, why is it so hard to climb out of our canyons of inactivity? Because it's not comfortable to do so.

It's not like we have to fear working at tasks that are difficult. At worst, they'll just be arduous, but certainly not dangerous. We all know what riches come with success, but we just can't seem to turn off that episode of E.R. and get down to business.

It's all about comfort my friends. Comfort is more addictive than heroin. It seems that comfort is even more important to us than our own success.

Isn't it sad that even though we can easily envision our own success—the money, the vacations, the cars, the huge house, it still isn't enough to make us turn off the TV? They didn't name those chairs La-Z-Boys for naught.

Why am I on this rant? Because I just came off a trip that took me to Denver, Philly, and Salt Lake City. In each of those cities I met wonderful people—many of them were TAXI members. But too many of them had one thing in common; they had a plethora of excuses for avoiding their own success.

"I joined nine months ago, but haven't submitted anything yet."

"I haven't had the time to write anything in a long time."

"I'm waiting until I can afford to go in to a real studio."

"I haven't been able to find a good demo singer."

"I'm waiting until Roland comes out with that new synth."

"We're waiting until we've got ten songs finished, so we can press a CD."

"We need to find a new drummer."

The list of reasons (excuses) seemed nearly endless. Of course, I realize this doesn't apply to all members, or all musicians. I'm begging the folks it does apply to — please stop procrastinating! The only thing standing between you and success in the music business might just be that you're not doing what it takes to be successful.

Remember, all it takes is just one foot in front of the other, over and over and over again.

Turn of the TV. Get off the La-Z-Boy, and quit wishing for success and start working for it. Remember what good old Clementine Padford said, "Never grow a wishbone where your backbone ought to be."