Reveal a bit of yourself in music and business – advice from my children

My three grown kids shoot straight. They speak directly, analyze and point out truth. My children are most supportive of all I do musically. For the last several decades, my byline has been, “raising young musicians,” and I raised them well. They are all musicians. I dreamed for them. I encouraged them. Now they reciprocate for me.

My youngest once admonished me, “get your own band, Mom.” Recently I had that opportunity. In fact, that is what precipitated my daughter’s chiding.

“Mom,” she said. “You can’t just go spy on them. It’s not right to spy on them and not reveal any of yourself.” She is right. The introverted, timid side of me protested. It wasn’t like I was sneaking about without their knowledge. I just wanted to find out a bit more about them before I committed myself, maybe before I even offered myself. Conscientious caution says it is better to be prepared before you go to an interview or audition. Do your research. Google the main stake holders – the key players, learn as much as you can. First impressions are first impressions whether business or personal and I want to make informed choices, know what I am getting into. The timid side of me loves to analyze and over-prepare so I can be confident. The shy side of me conducts great people watching and asks lots of interested questions. The reticent side of me waits for others to draw me out. Wouldn’t want to bore them, you know. They will ask if they are interested. Besides, I was taught it is better to be interested in others and not talk about yourself or show off. But my daughter is right. Sometimes you need to dare greatly – put yourself out there. I ponder my daughter’s comment in light of a new acquaintance, a person who talks too much, IMO, but then, she is very easy to talk to. Always interested in what everyone else has to say, it is no wonder she believes everyone reciprocally interested in her narrative. After awhile, if all you do is listen and you don’t reciprocate, others give up on you.

Enter my eldest with sagacity born of a lifetime in music. “If you ever get a chance to play in a band, do it. Bands don’t last forever, but it is magic while they do.”

I spied. I revealed. I woodshed day and night. I will play with the band for whatever length of time the magic lasts. But of course, if the magic goes away, I will never give up on my music. Nor will I forget the interpersonal lessons learned through band or business.

May all your relationships be enriched today with a proper balance of giving and receiving – – and with music!