June 10, 2019 - Robert John Hadfield
The Magnetism of Passionate Riffs
An Act of Showing Up
In 1995 I created a publishing company. I created it for the purpose of receiving royalties for some songs I had written for some TV shows. I named my publishing company "Thick and Mystic Music." And here we are almost 25 years later and the business continues to move forward. Of course it has changed over the years to accomodate changing needs, technology and demographics.
One of those changes happened almost twenty years ago when it spun off the service “Audiomover,” which ultimately took over almost all of my time and energy.
Over the last two decades I have seen numerous companies like Audiomover come and go. And although we’ve had a few tough years along the way, right now we are stronger than ever. In a way, the success of Audiomover is a testament to the idea that if you are passionate about what you do, success will follow. I sometimes think the reason that principle works is because you are much less likely to give up if you are passionate. When people sense your passion, they gravitate to what you are doing. And although I’m sure that’s part of it, I believe there is more to it.
Last year we opened a new and larger studio in St. George, Utah where we could manage and process Audiomover orders from across the country. As part of the new studio, we expanded the Thick and Mystic parts of our business. While Audiomover does business across the country, it puts almost no focus on a local market. On the other hand, Thick and Mystic is largely focused on businesses and individuals who need audio and video production in the local market.
This last Friday evening, for the first time in our company’s history, we decided to really put effort in the local market. We set up a booth at an event called the St. George Street Fest. It was outdoors. We had a 10’x10’ space, a canopy, a table and a couple of computer monitors playing videos about our services. I was there along with three people from the staff. We had a camera set up to record people doing our cassette rewind challenge. And we also brought a couple of electric guitars along with a giant Marshall guitar amplifier.
Near the beginning of the event I pulled out and tuned the guitars. I started playing one of them, and almost instantly a crowd started gathering. And within 30 seconds we had people gathered at the booth wanting to play the guitar.
For the next three hours we had a revolving door of people coming in to play the guitar, some knew how to play, many did not. I am super passionate about music, and I have been playing the electric guitar since I was 12, so I especially love showing people who have never played how to play a few simple things. I crank up the distortion, show them how to stand in a rock pose, teach them a huge power chord, and without fail people start clapping, shouting and taking pictures. I’ve done little things like this with guitars in the past with church youth groups and other special events. And whenever I do it, the excitement is palpable. And at this event, it drew a constant crowd. And while I was keeping the crowd entertained, everyone else on the team was visiting with people in the crowd about our services.
It probably goes without saying that we had dozens of leads from that evening. It was a huge success in that way. And beyond that, everyone on the team had a blast. It was a crazy fun (and exhausting) evening for each of us.
It was a clear demonstration of people being attracted to passion. Not only could people sense my enthusiasm, but I think people could feel the excitement from each person as they experienced and electric guitar for the first time. And everyone wanted to feel that moment with them.
But beyond that it demonstrated a simple lesson about success in business. Anyone can create a business, and many people do. But most start up businesses disappear within two years, and I think it’s pretty simple why. I believe that business, like so many things in life, is mostly about showing up. And in this situation, just showing up on Friday night made the difference. From there people gravitated to the passion and excitement we had for what we do.
Showing up means you are willing to take action, which is rarely easy. You have to REALLY want to run a business. You have to be willing to put yourself out there boldly. You have to be willing to risk rejection while shouting “here we are” at the top of your lungs. In business, you are showing up for a game, a fight, a race, and if you don’t love those things, running a business will be nothing but stress and panic. And there’s a good chance it will eventually collapse. But if you love those things, it will be the ride of your life – and your business will weather the hurricanes and stand up against the storms.
If that’s how you show up, it will be tough to fail.