“Talent is always conscious of its own abundance, and does not object to sharing.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
We all sometimes get that feeling that we need to protect our work. We get scared that people are going to get ahead of us if we let them in on what we’re doing.
Sometimes those thoughts are “confirmed” when we see people coming up at the same time as ourselves. We may have been part of the same circle or even introduced them to the people that helped them on the way. Suddenly they make it big and we think: “Man, that should’ve been me!”.
It’s a lie. Success for others doesn’t happen at our expense. You just need to be you and find the place where you can fill your purpose. If the other guy turns out a better fit for that particular crowd, be glad for them.
We might imagine what it would’ve been like to get that chance instead. Usually though, we would probably turn out to be a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.
I’m not going to say that people aren’t going to try to use you and screw you over. There are those people. But do you really want to risk holding onto something so hard that you choke it? If you truly love something or someone, set it free.
Feeling anxious? Talk to people beforehand, make sure there’s a contract if you’re unsure about working with them. But trust your feelings also. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. If the person asks you why, be honest and polite. They’ll understand, and if they don’t you probably don’t want to be working with them anyway.
Be happy that people want to work with you and be willing to share the potential profits. Most of the time your ideas will benefit from other people participating and playing with you. Share the toys!
If and when you do get screwed? Don’t complain. It just makes people think you’re a bitter and resentful person. Learn from it and move on. Good people will notice if you keep going. And we all need good people around us!
The old adage is true: “Be nice to those you meet on the way up. They’re the same folks you’ll meet on the way down.”
A lot of songwriters i’ve met and worked with have told me the same “secret” to how they got their chance to work with the big-shots. It basically comes down to this simple fact:
If somebody is a part of the process, no matter how small their input, they get a cut. People who just show up and don’t contribute don’t get invited the next time. It’s that easy. Show up and try to contribute. Even if nothing you suggested ends up on the final product, you get a cut, provided you atleast cooked a mean batch of coffee!
Some people are go-getters, but what the world needs are more go-givers.
Here are some quotes to ponder on:
“What an artist is trying to do for people is bring them closer to something, because of course art is about sharing. You wouldn’t be an artist unless you wanted to share an experience, a thought.” – David Hockney
“I wasn’t thinking of competing with any artists as such, I was more thinking of being among them, and sharing thoughts with them; like sharing views, ideas, etc.” – Dennis Brown
“You have competition every day because you set such high standards for yourself that you have to go out every day and live up to that.” – Michael Jordan
Had a little chat today about the future of music with a friend, he asked me if I was worried about it. I said I wasn’t since we already have such a great back catalogue to dig in and that i’m curious and excited to see where music can go from here. Later I saw this inspiring video and it just made me so happy. It shows us that there’s so much more we can do.
Ryan Holladay: To hear this music you have to be there. Literally