In 2010 I set out to start my own music business. I did my research, called some industry friends, bought some gear, and set up shop. I called it Grizzly Music Company.
At first I was going to just produce records for artists, but before I knew it my creative juices were flowing and I had an even bigger idea. I wanted to pair a recording studio with a music school and watch as students learned how to play guitar eventually end up cutting records with us and then accepting Grammy’s. (Of course…right?)
I wanted to be successful. I wanted to build a multimillion dollar company. I worked tirelessly and tried to make every connection that I could. I had coffee meetings, I went to local shows, I gave and gave and gave only to find myself closing the doors a few months back.
I have spent the last few months pondering what went wrong. I have blamed it on so many factors. I have had so many “I should have” moments that I lost count. Then the rollercoaster of emotions set in.
Maybe I’m not smart enough to own my own business…
Maybe I’m not as talented as “that guy” and will never be…
Maybe I should just be ok with average…
My thoughts beat me down until I was left with nothing but my hopeless broken dreams. I felt as if there was a ceiling between me and success. I wanted it so bad, but there was nothing I could do to make it happen.
I’m sure you have been there in some way. You look down and see that you are holding the pieces of your broken dream. You try so hard only to turn around and see you’re still in the same place as when you started.
It’s heart wrenching.
So how can we make sure that we don’t lose hope in the midst of our despair and broken dreams? Last week I wrote about Finding Yourself Through Tragedy, but this week I want to talk about an idea that will help propel us through the hard times in life. When the unexpected happens how can we make sure that we keep moving forward even when it doesn’t seem to be working.
Well, I believe that if you learn to discover this one simple truth you will be able to maintain hope, and even flourish in the wake of failure, broken dreams, and tragedy. Here is the one thing you must discover…
Why are you creating the art that you are creating? Why are you working yourself to the bone and spending every waking hour you can creating that thing that’s inside of you? Why?
I believe that when you can discover your why, that simple truth will be able to compel you through any struggle or setback that is before you.
Here’s the thing about your why though….
- IT HAS TO BE BIGGER THAN YOU.
When it comes to why you are creating your art you have to realize that it needs to be bigger than you. Yes, you can just create art for art’s sake, but when you want to take it to the next level and even consider “going pro”, your why has to allow for the ups and downs of chancing your dream.
- IT CAN’T BE ABOUT YOU.
Much like above, when your why begins to be bigger than you it almost forces you to see that your art can’t be about you. When you create it begins to show the beauty of the world around you, and in you. Once you see that, you will discover that you can’t be the center of your art, others have to be. All great art needs an audience and when your creativity becomes more about others than about yourself you’ll begin setting yourself up for success. Your art was meant for others.
- IT HAS TO BE AT THE CENTER OF YOU.
In Simon Sinek’s TedTalk, How Great Leaders Inspire Action he shows us a simple yet powerful model of what happens when you put your why in the center of all that you do. It doesn’t matter if you are building a business, leading a team, or creating art your why much drive everything that you do. If you don’t believe me just take a second to listen to Simon’s TedTalk to see how putting why at the center changes everything.
No matter what you do I suggest not only discovering your why, but also putting it at the center of everything you do. When you begin to do that you will release the endless possibilities that are before you.
So let me ask, do you know your why?
What do you think? Is finding your why important to driving your creativity forward?