It’s been a while since I wrote, and I know there’s no excuse…but for me, writing requires inspiration. I don’t particularly know why I’m inspired to write on this, but I think it needs saying. It could be the whiskey and coke talking, or perhaps it’s the frustration that I feel at the moment in not being able to fully grasp onto what I know I’m meant to do, and to be able to do it while earning a paycheck. This isn’t a music-specific note, but I think it definitely applies. I’m feeling particularly vulnerable at the moment, so please bear with me.
I know I’m a gifted individual. I have talents, I have passion, and I’m perhaps the hardest worker I know. I don’t mean that to sound arrogant in any way, but I’ve only found 3 people in my life that challenge me to work harder because I MUST keep up with them—My wife, my mother, and my current business partner at Setlist Music Solutions.
I’ve owned a construction business for 9 years. I’m tired. I HATE my day job. I hate heights, I hate painting and cleaning gutters, and I HATE the way people look at me when I show up at their homes to do the dirty work. I feel that they perceive me as a loser, and as a screw-up that has nothing to offer society but some hard labor because I didn’t finish high-school and chose to party instead. My extended family doesn’t get why I pursue music. I think they have the idea that I go out, get drunk, promote shows with pole-dancers, and hang out on weekends while neglecting my wife and daughter.
But I KNOW what I really am. My parents raised me to think and to live BIG with no excuses and to not settle for anything less than greatness. I’ve never chosen the easy road, the easy way out, or the soft landings. I’m honest. I finish the job, even if that means losing money. I don’t care what the cost is to do the job right, because that’s who I am and that’s what I want to be known for. I won’t quit, dodge phone calls, or hand out a bill until the job is done, and done RIGHT. I DO NOT lie. I am trustworthy. I’ve never flaked, I’ve paid employees when I didn’t have the money, and I’ve always followed through, regardless of my personal cost or loss. When others have chosen to drop the ball, I’ve picked it up and run with it. I love my wife dearly. I am committed to her. I provide for her. I will do anything for my little girl, and she is the love and joy of my life.
WHEN WILL IT PAY OFF???!!!!! I’m broke, exhausted, broken down, and stressed…but I press on. I have a 4-year degree from the University of Washington. I’ve never worked for another man. I had a job at the age of 13 shoveling rocks on Saturdays when the other kids in town drove around the BMW their parents bought them. I’ve created my own income, never leeching off of an employer, the government, or my parents. I pay my own insurance, my own hospital bills, and I do my own freaking laundry and dishes. Everything I have, I HAVE EARNED in blood, sweat, and tears by the grace of God. I went to high school, ran a business, dated my wife-to-be, played sports, and went to college simultaneously at the age of 17. I won the regional writers competition for the VFW in 8th grade. I won 2 scholarships for writing at UW. I won a singing contest and sang the national anthem at the Tacoma Dome. I finished my degree while running 2 businesses, going to night school full-time, and managed a band from scratch to playing the Tacoma Dome while my wife was pregnant and took a final on the day my child was born…all on a shoestring budget. I get up early, I go to work, I come home and spend time with my family, and then I work on a job that doesn’t pay me until 2am because I need something to live for that I am passionate about. I am resourceful. I strive to be the best at what I do. I am talented. I have a gift.
When will the day come that my gift is recognized? When will I be financially stable? When will I not have to worry about buying groceries? When will my work pay off? Why do others, who are lazy and unreliable, get such great jobs with great pay and live in beautiful homes while I rent and drive old cars? When will people see what I have to offer? When will my gift make room for me?
Tonight I saw a show on SportsCenter about Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin…athletes that had been turned down and overlooked. It was amazing to see that even with such great physical and athletic talent, they couldn’t flourish because they couldn’t perform. They had potential, but analysts and coaches couldn’t see what was beneath the surface. Now, those 2 athletes are perhaps the most notable people in their respective sports in the last year. They were given an opportunity and they CRUSHED IT! They didn’t take some special serum. They didn’t get a super-vitamin. The potential and talent was always there, and THEY NURTURED IT. They didn’t quit when all others said they should. When they were overlooked, they didn’t sulk in self-pity. Finally, when the opportunity arose, they were conditioned and ready.
Everyone has a gift and a God-given talent that is meant for greatness. Half of the time, the system that people are in prevents them from being effective. When those talents are used in the right way at the right time, the results are POWERFUL!…but it all comes down to being ready. If those 2 guys had not been ready, the opportunity of a lifetime would have passed them by and they wouldn’t have even known it.
I will not quit. I have dreams. I have passion. I will be ready when opportunity knocks. I won’t give in to mediocrity or the attitude of entitlement that is beginning to define our society. I REFUSE to be what everyone else settles to be…And regardless of the outcome, I will have chosen my fate, rather than it being chosen for me. I will have made a dent. I will have impacted lives. I will leave a hole when I am gone.
Leave a hole. Use your gift. Never quit.