The past few 6 months have been pretty troublesome for me and my team. We’ve been going through rapid growth and development and we’ve constantly been exposing ourselves to unnecessarily high levels of pressure. This pressure has led to us being faced with many really cool yet stressful opportunities and lots of growth. This growth has led us to conclusions about our moves and where we want to see ourselves in the next year.
As I stand at the top of the hill called 2017, I fear for the big decisions that face us. I’m 7 days in and I’ve already had a multitude of difficult decisions to make. The brand has grown quite visibly and my phone is always buzzing. The name is definitely getting out there. I’m looking for new ways to grow further and this is leading me to even more opportunities and inevitably more difficult choices.
For the longest time I’ve been playing with the notion of leaving my 9 to 5. Few people love their job and it’s safe to say that over the year I’ve grown apart from my profession. I’ve grown to see it as a hindrance and I’ve started to despise the day to day activities at my clinic. Some of this anger towards work stems from its repetitive nature while the rest is purely because my 9 to 5 doesn’t allow me to to focus on my music. In 2017 I want to see my 9 to 5 as an opportunity to dig deep and eat dirt even harder than ever to make sure I can quit and move to the world of music and business with the greatest advantage ever. It has literally become the thing I do to get by every day.
Time is finite and most of us never have enough. There’s always another task to complete. There’s always more that we could’ve done. There’s always another person we could’ve emailed or called that day. Over the past week I’ve been forcing myself to look at time in different ways.
• How can I make more time?
• Am I really confined to 24 hours a day?
• Can I really grow exponentially with the time that I have?
I’ve realised that we can always stretch time further. I encourage people to make the most of their time even if it means that you need to eat dirt flipping burgers or working a cash register every day to be able to afford studio time. Eating dirt builds character and it makes you appreciate where you’ve come from. It also affords you the comfort and satisfaction of opening doors for yourself without become too desperate. There are days I don’t enjoy work, but I respect the fact that I need this work to be able to build this empire at the rate that I’m building it. Over and above that I don’t want to leave my 9 to 5 if I am able to juggle things a little bit longer.
Too often I come across people that made the leap too early. They jumped off the cliffside without a harness. They free fall and then get hurt when they reach the bottom. At the same time, I see people that have waited too long to leave their 9 to 5 and now they’re comfortable where they are. They’re happy to get that salary every month and they have no intention of growing. Finding that balance isn’t always a question of what you like more. Sometimes it’s a question of how much dirt do you still need to eat before making the leap. I haven’t eaten enough dirt yet. I want more.
When I mention “eat dirt” I’m talking about working hard and taking on every job. It means saying yes to almost every opportunity, not just to make money, but to build the brand and to gather maximum experience in the quickest time possible. I ate dirt as a mixing engineer for 2 years by recording every Tom, Dick and Harry at ridiculously affordable prices just to learn the way all my software works. I did all of this after long hours at the office seeing patients and sorting out clinic admin. The experience I crammed into all that time has been priceless. I feel equipped to handle all sorts of artists and all sorts of situations now. This all happened as a result of eating dirt consistently without backing away from any opportunities.
Dirt also means finding a mentor to learn from whether it’s an online mentor or someone that you know personally. Take some time out to become their student even if that requires putting in work for them for free. The key is to learn everything they know and then practice practice practice. Eat dirt. Get better. Move on.
Eating dirt might mean sleeping less, lowering your standard of living or saying no to friends just so that you can save cash and spend more time on building your career. Alas these changes aren’t ever longterm nor should they be. If you’re smart about what you’re doing you can cut the duration that you have to spend eating dirt. It’s all a question of what measures are you willing to take to adjust your life for the short term so that you can live with longterm success. Be prepared to eat dirt for a while to achieve the success you want.