As close as I get
...to a mission statement...
Some people believe that, if you're artistic and creative, you must be a flake. Not good at business. Poor as a door mouse. We all know that in America it's a crime, right now, circa 2006, to be poor.
We're all so limited by our beliefs, though. They keep us from being fully alive and fully who we are. They keep us locked in the framework of this or that belief-system. We walk around shackled with stupid ideas our Moms and Dads and teachers stuck in our heads. They told us we were poor, or we were stupid, or we were ugly, or that we'd never amount to diddly-squat.
Some of us didn't have to listen to that (I was lucky there. Mom was no feminist, but she had common sense, and she stood up for herself when it counted) but most folks got the message, early on, that independent thought would lead to ruin.
Be like everyone else. Buy and sell real estate. Worship "The Donald" (and I don't mean Duck) and make money money money every minute minute minute because money is right up there with G-d as far as power goes.
Don't you believe it.
In my case, I've done okay by just following my bliss (Joseph Campbell) and following the lines (John Trudell)...I believe that if you're not doing what you love, you might as well just stay in bed.
My "business model" is do what you love.
Do it your whole life, and do it with your whole being. When you get tired, or burnt out, then stop for awhile. And be sure to rest up well. Some people need to rest up for ten or twenty years. No big thing. Just as long as you're happy. Watch the clouds. Listen to the rain. Smell the ocean. Plant your bare feet in the hot sand. Breathe. Play with your dog (you do have a dog, don't you?) or your cat.
Money can't buy you love. But we need it to live here on Urth. So we do the most asinine things to get it. We sell our souls. We do things that are halfway or all the way into the gray zone. Last week, every single call and every single email I received had an agenda behind it and a string attached to it.
So I unplugged the phone, dumped the offensive emails, fired off a few angry replies (yes, it's good to get riled up sometimes...it prevents heart attacks, I hear) and watched The Sopranos. The same episode, twice. I needed that.
When you only call someone when you want something, you're ready to sit in the grass and THINK. What are you doing? It's disrespectful. Just thinking of yourself. Not caring about anyone's feelings. Other people are HUMAN just like you. How dare you treat someone badly when you know that if it was you getting that treatment, you'd feel awful, hurt, and used.
So I never let people use me. It's not being mean. It's having clear lines drawn. Don't cross that line. That's how it is with me, anyway.
It became very clear to me, kind of late in life, that record execs and producers and promoters and presenters and talent buyers were, in the main, bottom-feeders. Not all, but most. After all, they make their living off of other people's G-d-given gifts.
So I decided that it was time to fire all the USERS in my life. Anyone using me? Fired. Are you hanging around so you'll get something? You're fired. And I'd been fired too, because there was a stretch of time there during which I was a USER too. I think a lot of us fall into it because it's...well, profitable sometimes.
Forget the profits. Want to do REALLY well in life? Want to live like a millionaire, a happy millionaire?
Do what you love. Follow the lines. Be who you are. Do what you do. Don't depend on others for your happiness. Don't take anything personally. Try to be impeccable, but forgive yourself when you're not. Don't take second-best, and don't rely on the words of others.
Do things yourself. Learn to do things you never thought you could do. Build a web site, like this one, and make a bit of money from it. You might love it or hate my Music, but it's me, and it's for real. Not even shrink-wrapped most times. Really: how many musicians have an environmental policy?
This business exists because it's fun for me and it brings joy to others.
It's a wonderful way to share my gift with the world, and not have to depend on a record producer to do it. Play this, do that. Play faster. Play slower. Play for free.
I don't ever have to listen to that, ever again. I never have to play in a place I hate, on a broken piano, for people that are not respectful. Never ever again. What freedom. What joy.
I never have to depend on the hollow words and empty promises of people in power telling me things like "I'll make sure you get a new Bosendorfer...leave it to me!" or "We're going to make a million bucks this year, and here's all you have to do..." or "If you just work with a vocalist you'll be more accesible" or "You need the exposure...you HAVE TO PLAY this one gig..." (Or what? Huh?)
The Music I've made and sold on this site is the BEST MUSIC I HAVE EVER MADE IN MY LIFE! It's myself when I'm myself.
I'm playing from a state of Grace. I'm playing out of LOVE. Not out of fear and need.
It's so good to be finished working for the powerful people.
They're not powerful at all. They're just mean and intimidating and slothful and greedy. Being USERS, they have no power once their minions are gone. Being parasites, they shrivel up and die when the host rejects them.
So now I have time to watch the clouds and smell the sea and play with Angel.
And play with my web site. My hobby.
I have a great time writing articles late at night. My Mac saved me from a deadly cigarette habit. Not a smoke or a drink in 8 years. Maybe nine. When it's over and you know it's over you don't keep count.
I get to talk to coders and white-hat hackers in forums like the one over at Versiontracker ... nice people, mostly. They're into helping each other. They don't want anything, just to be respected. Guys and gals writing neat, really fabulous programs and giving them away for free! They call it freeware and all of the great browsers and email program are FREE!
And they seem happy. Everyone has a gift, and everyone should have a hobby. My hobby is software. And my web site. My rock garden, I call it.
My Music is my gift. It's my deepest and truest calling in life. This site serves my Music too. It gets my original Music to people in Africa, Russia, South America, England...even Australia! I've never even been there but they play my Red and Blue releases (that's my own CD company) on their radio stations!
So my mission statement is to make people feel, to get them happy, to bring them joy, and to make money by doing that. The money is good. The Music is wonderful, and the people are golden.
What more could I ask?