A few years ago I was in a band that had a regular gig at a little tea-shop in Lansing. The gig didn’t really pay, and no one ever really came out (the tea-shop is long gone) but it was one of those places where the young cats (me) could come cut their teeth with some guidance from the more experienced musicians.
One blazing July afternoon, we were sprawled across cushions on the floor taking a break when the door opened. A thin guy with shaggy blonde hair walked in–the other musicians recognized him immediately, but it took me a minute. He’d been one of my teachers in high school, but I hadn’t seen him in a couple years.
“Hey, Chris, what’s up?”
“Not much, man, how are you?” We hugged. “Hey, man, do you mind if I borrow your horn and sit in next set? I haven’t played in a couple months, but I’m feeling the itch.”
“Sure, no problem.”
When the band got up again to play, I gave him my horn. Chris proceeded to play his ass off for the entire set. He sounded beautiful, and I just sat there shaking my head, more than a little jealous.
Afterwards, we both got big glasses of iced tea and I joined him at the chipped plastic countertop. I wanted to ask him about his life, but it was a little awkward because I knew from friends that he’d flamed out of college and was drifting around a little. As my cup sweated bullets all over the counter, I decided to focus on music instead.
“Man, how do you sound so great after not playing for a couple months?”
He smiled, but shrugged off my compliment.
“No, seriously. I wish I sounded like you.” And I did.
He turned to me. “Man, no you don’t. Seriously, none of it matters, if you don’t have this–” he pointed to his head, “–and this–” he pointed to his heart, “–together. None of the skill in the world matters if you don’t have your head and your heart together.”
And he’s right. We can’t go forward unless our own internal, emotional state is taken care of. The subconscious is a powerful thing, and if we know what our heart wants but decide to act against it anyway we’ll find nothing but frustration. If we push in one direction but can’t imagine succeeding, it will never work out.
My heart is in building my own business. What’s yours in?