When I was about six or seven I wanted to play the drums.
My parents went out and bought me a small snare drum along with a pair of drum sticks and brushes (I still can’t use brushes, but that’s another story).
I remember the day my father brought the drum home, it was shiny silver and red and it sat proudly in the corner of the loungeroom ready for me to become a professional.
I couldn’t put the drum in my bedroom which I shared with my brother, there was no way he would have agreed to that.
So the loungeroom it was and I was restricted to practising after school and before Dad got home.
Like lots of seven-year-olds though I had lots of things to do and friends to play with and so the drum became a lower priority.
Finally, my father decided to sell the drum as I really hadn’t practiced for months and I am sure my brothers supported that decision.
It can’t have been much fun having to listen to a seven-year-old try and play drums.
Whilst I gave up the drums and my dreams of being the next Ringo Starr I always held on to a hankering to one day be a drummer.
For my fiftieth birthday, I bought myself a drum kit, not just a snare drum but the whole kit.
Then I booked myself some lessons. I made a spare room soundproof and set myself up a music room.
I now drum weekly, in a room my friends are envious of with a drum kit, a PA, mixing desk, and of course, a bar fridge!
My drum room is my escape, my ‘happy place’ where I can just relax, play music, and jam with my mates.
This whole experience of taking up a hobby at 50 got me thinking about the lessons it taught me.
In our Business Accelerator Mastermind, one of the things we ask our members is what are wins they have had every thirty days.
What is really important though is not so much the wins, but the lessons learned.
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You see, wins are just that, a chance you have had to achieve something you set out to.
Whilst it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate them, the only way we can be sure of repeating the wins is to look at the lessons we gain from each win.
Once we know the lessons then we can make sure we use that lesson in a way that will help us to repeat the win over and over again.
Getting back to my drums.
Taking them up again was definitely a win but there were definitely lessons learned which apply equally to your business journey.
- If you have a passion, pursue it
- It doesn’t matter how much time has passed, you can always pick something up and restart.
- You are never too old to start a new phase in your life
- Pushing yourself outside your comfort zone can bring great personal rewards.
The other thing I learned was actually from my drumming teacher.
Wayne used to get me to play something and if I made a mistake I would often stop mid-tune because I had made the mistake.
‘Come on” he would say, “the whole band is relying on you, the crowd is screaming, you can’t just stop mid-tune man”.
“Remember, the only person who knows you missed a beat is you so push through and keep going” Wayne would remind me.
The lesson is clear, keep going even when you miss a beat.
It is probably the case that the only person who knows you missed the beat is you, so head down and push through.
Here is a line Michael often uses when we share a stage together.
“You know when Mark was a little boy he really wanted to play the drums badly, now he’s in his fifties he does!”