(This is the second in a 5-part series)
As we creep ever-so-slowly towards 2021 (seriously, friends, will 2020 EVER END?) a lot of us are thinking about the career curveballs that were thrown at us last year, and are taking a firm stand over putting up with them in the coming one.
The lines we were told in high school (“Practice hard, play well, study at the right schools with the right teachers and you will get the good gigs, the good students, and life will be great”) clearly couldn’t stand a chance against a global pandemic shutting down live performances, and we’ve been given a chance to see things for a) how they have been and b) how they could be. If only.
If only people like us took those thoughts and ideas that have been rattling around inside us for ages (you, know, the…. “wouldn’t it be so cool if…” thoughts.) and actually made them happen now.
One by one, artist by artist, our industry would change. It would improve, it would adapt, it would keep the good, toss out the bad, and invent some more awesome.
Last week, I wrote about how for any project to be a success, one needs to surround themselves with 5 specific and carefully chosen people. We started off talking about the importance of being able to point to some kind of PROOF that the dream you are going after can actually find success.
Whether that is 1 person who has done the same thing in a different way, or a few people who have done various aspects of the thing. You can read Part 1 here, if you’d like.
This week, we’re talking about the 2nd person you need to surround yourself with for your project to be a success, and that is a PEER. (Why, yes. They do all start with the letter P. Are you new around here? I absolutely adore alliteration. You could say I am Endlessly Entertained by it).
Also, it’s easier to remember that way.
A Peer is someone who is going through a similar journey/path/transformation–insert any of those gross icky words one can use to describe the hard work of getting yourself from point A to point B.
Ideally, this Peer is starting from the same or similar point A and is looking to get to or near the same point B.
This is your equally out of shape buddy that is going to train with you to do a 5K. Your childhood friend who is already a veteran marathon runner is a mentor, a trainer, a guide, perhaps, but they are NOT your peer.
As far as the world of professional musicians goes: Your Peer is also looking to take on a professional project of some kind. To pivot the way they structure their teaching studio, to figure out how to turn their live concert series into a livestreaming concert series, anything that involves the music industry and their role within it.
They are just as giddy and excited about it as you are, and also a bit apprehensive, a little terrified and sometimes want to throw up at the idea of changing things up.
You know, in a good way.
They will walk the walk and talk the talk with you. When you’re having a great day, they will rejoice in your wins, and when you’re having a lousy day, they will commiserate with you. It’s hard. They get it. They’ll remind you that it’s worth it. And you’ll do the same for them.
One of the things I hear most often from clients who are reaching out to me for the first time is that they feel very lonely and isolated in their desire to make such a big change. They worry that their colleagues and friends will at worst, snub them, and at best, simply not “get it”.
And they might be right.
The person who is trying to be healthy and kick some bad habits? They meet up with their friends, who give them a hard time for ordering a seltzer and a salad instead of a Malbec and manicotti. Their friends are still awesome people, but it would be a lot easier if they were ALL trying to be healthy together and they were ALL toasting with Pomegranate La Croix.
When I decided to start working with a business coach, the thing that appealed to me the most was the group of people I would be working alongside. That group of people, all of whom were working on their own projects, became my rock. We took turns alternating between tears of frustration and tears of victory, and having a space to be real in – to not have to hide what I was working on was a big part of my success.
I aim to create that same kind of atmosphere in my group programs as well. Choosing participants who will benefit and enhance each other’s work. But the alchemy takes on a life of its own.
It’s a powerful thing, The Peer. Get yourself one, or, better yet, a whole bunch of them. I promise you will soon understand their role in your success.