We often talk about the force of passion in the music industry. With this, we generally think that one passion will pull you everywhere you need to go. However, it is important to never forget the value of having strengths that can push you in various directions. I started to think about this recently in my interview with Jenna Mitchell; that working on a project from both (or; all of) the sides can help us empathize, and thus strengthen the value of your work.
Similarly, in a recent conversation with a colleague, the hierarchies between a venue promoter and an event thrower were brought to my attention and I started to think: this promoter has probably only worked on the venue side, thus has less empathy for the work it takes to throw a successful event in our industry. Seemingly, a general perspective shift would have benefited both parties.
Only time and experience can expand our understanding of each other’s work. Although we sometimes see our side gigs as necessary, means-to-an-end situations, you should always try to take away as much as you can from them. The knowledge and experiences you gain from a class or full-time job can give you the extra boost to make it to that next level towards your passion.
Remember, although you may tend to focus on one passion, you can never write off the jobs, or places you had to fill to get there. So, whether you have a degree or paid gig in a seemingly unrelated field, try to focus on what you learned, and how certain lights of the industry may have turned on with these experiences. With the new year, take some time to evaluate where you’ve been, and where you want to go.
I have learned that versatility is a vital attribute to help achieve my goals. My degree in Marketing has given me the education to create a foundation for a professional career. It has enabled me to grow Beyond The Music and effectively think about problems and solutions with organizational development. As an independent marketing consultant, I can use my professional experience to get more client work as well as offer help to organizations I am involved in like Intonation Music and the DePaul Music Business Organization. There is also opportunity to work with these organizations for Beyond The Music. On a less related path, I really like learning about whiskey and beer. I am starting to network and build relationships with local breweries where I could hold events for Beyond The Music or offer up some marketing help to them. There really is no end to the amount of paths I can take.
Everyone is a versatilist. Take the time to zoom out and look at how your interests can benefit one another. It is a helpful ongoing exercise that will ensure you are doing things you like while enabling a greater appreciation for the knowledge and experiences you gain along the way.