Are you a planner? Or do you fly by the seat of your pants? What I learned last week at one of my events is that you can plan really well…until the boat starts rocking. Good thing I’m a musician! I know how to improvise!
When things change unexpectedly, you have to either hold on or switch things up. We did a little of both on last week’s sunset drum cruise. Due to a lot of boat traffic, the water was very choppy and the boat began to rock. And that was before we started drumming! Before I knew it, the large cheese and pepperoni tray I brought went crashing to the floor of the pontoon boat. Bam!
There went $15 and quite a few snacks! I’ve done these cruises before and it’s always been smooth sailing. Next time, I’ll be more prepared, just in case. None of my drums (or passengers) went overboard, so it’s all good. I looked over to Capt. Don and I knew he had everything under control. He was able to right the ship and it was smooth sailing after that. We then popped open the champagne. Fortunately, I brought other snacks.
And that’s what life’s all about. Mistakes are great learning experiences. It’s like when you mess up when you’re performing or speaking. You realize what didn’t work and why and you tweak things for next time. It’s not the end of the world.
What I’ve learned in all my years as a musician, booking agent, concert promoter, stage manager, emcee, and as a speaker is that you can plan everything down to the last detail but you have to expect the unexpected. Things can, and often do, go wrong. You can have equipment failure, your name or your band’s name will be pronounced or printed wrong, or someone will forget to bring something really important.
Having a backup plan and extra supplies is always a good idea. You also have to keep the faith that everything will work out. I became known as “The Ultimate Band Mom” because I brought all sorts of things with me to shows and I did whatever it took to keep the show going. You never know who might break a guitar strap or drum head, or need some BandAids (or eyeliner!). Duct tape came in handy on many occasions. As for speaking gigs, I always bring handouts in case of technology issues.
If you can switch things up on the fly and not miss a beat, you’ll make a great musician or entrepreneur! You just get back on track…and keep on rockin’!
Who is steering your ship? Have you had to pivot and turn things around? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Dori Staehle is the Chief Encouragement Officer and Rhythm Maker at Rock the Next Stage. She is also the owner of Next Stage Entertainment. Dori plays percussion and offers therapeutic drumming to alleviate stress and ADHD issues and to promote healing. In addition to doing drum cruises, she also offers drumming events and private sessions for individuals and corporations, and coaching. Dori is known as a funny and energetic speaker and is the best-selling author of Find Your Divine Rhythm: A Creative’s Success Formula. And her last name is pronounced “Staley”!