Over the course of a lifetime there are many opportunities for parents to learn lessons from their children. Our son, Ben, is an Entertainment Industries Studies student at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. He has become pretty intent recently on having a real go at the music industry as a singer/songwriter and leader of a band called My Red and Blue. It’s a tough industry, and he knows it.
Knowing that, he spends most every day doing things that will hopefully help him defy the odds and actually make a living as a musician and entrepreneur. Here are some of the things he’s been doing:
- Helping other people. He doesn’t do it just so that favors get returned. He does it because he’s genuinely interested in people, and in helping them succeed.
- Setting goals. He has a clear vision in his mind of where he’d like to go, and where he’d like to one day be. With that before him he has road to take and a path to pursue. There’s no floundering. It’s a very real plan.
- Networking. This week I had the opportunity to attend a show that Ben and his band played along with a couple of other acts. Wisely, after the show, he stuck around to speak with people who had attended, and to find Nashville and industry connections that just might provide future opportunities.
- Working hard. When you’re doing something you love, working hard on it is actually fun…not “work.” So every chance he gets he co-writes songs with other songwriters, spends time on his own writing, or jots down notes that may one day turn into a full-blown idea.
- Relying on people who know. Ben’s a good listener. Whenever he can he picks the brain — and listens — to people who have been there, who know what they’re talking about, who have experience. Instead of making mistakes, it’s always wise to learn from someone else’s…and from their successes.
This all isn’t to say that Ben has done everything right. Some opportunities have slipped by. He could be better at getting things finished right now instead of “putting them off until tomorrow.” If he had done some things months ago, he’d be well on his way to things that will help him in the days and months ahead.
But Ben has taught me (or reminded me) to:
- Help other people.
- Set goals.
- Work hard.
- Rely on people who know.
While they are no guarantee, doing these things today will lead to a much better chance for success tomorrow. That’s a lesson I’m gladly learning from my son.
What are you doing today to insure success tomorrow?