Seizing Opportunities

Once you have learned to push past fear, you will get better and better at learning to see and to seize opportunities. The rock ‘n’ roll attitude is all about seeing opportunity in everything: opportunity to learn and grow your skill set, opportunity to make connections with people who may join your band or become your fans. It will allow you to perceive events or circumstances as opportunities where others might see a threat.

It takes confidence to make the claim that you want to be seen as the “only one who does what you do.” It takes fearlessness, or at least the ability to push past your fear in order to try. More than that, it takes vision and imagination—a sense of the possibilities.

When the Grateful Dead were at the height of their popularity as a touring group, the music industry was terrified of bootleg recordings. Record executives, producers, and managers worried that their profits would disappear if anyone brought a recording device to a show. How did they respond? Security started frisking fans at the gates.

But the Grateful Dead had a different idea. They welcomed the cameras and recorders; they invited their fans to bring equipment and even set up a special section on the floor for people who brought recording gear. Not only did this create a bond with their fans (saying, in effect, “we trust you and we want to share with you”), but these recordings ended up being terrific networking and marketing tools. Fans would leave the show and play their recordings at parties and for friends, who liked what they heard and bought an album or came to the next show. The Dead were doing social media before social media was even invented!

How will you turn your threats into opportunities and possibilities?

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