Tip for the day…a little realism to go with your morning coffee

What, if anything, can I control in my career?

Truthfully? Not much…except what is personal to you.

Control is something we all struggle with as artists. We have a odd job to be sure. We are continually asked to invest enormous amounts of ourselves in whatever project we happen to be working on. We are also asked to turn on a dime if it’s not received well.

What I can control is…

how I approach the business and how I manage my emotions along the way. When, (not if because it happens to all of us), you get rejected, best to remind yourself that it’s not personal….it’s about the work and whether or not you were able to serve the wishes of your boss. Learning how to let go…move on is hugely important when you are being a creative person in a business world.


Because there is so much you can’t control I’ve found it best to focus on what I can control and let go of what I can’t. I can’t control what others say or do…but I can control my effort and energy. My dear mother used to always counsel me: “Do the best you can…that’s all you can do”. Sage words to be sure.

What I can do is to examine every project, every opportunity and try to grow from the experience. Believe it or not, the best experiences are the ones where you get beat up. Crazy but true.  You will find that if you remain open and curious you will find something to gain in every experience you have. It is the ability to go with the flow that creates the possibility of a serendipitous act. As Quincy Jones once said to me: “we are all inundated with opportunities every day.” The trick is being able to be aware enough to be able pick the best opportunity.

Fact is you might meet someone tomorrow morning who will change your life forever. If you are not ready to receive it…the opportunity will pass you by.

Growth as an artist…

comes from getting beat up, picking yourself off the ground and getting back on the horse. Mind you- the definition of insanity is repeating a behavior continually thinking there will be a different result.

Challenges are always a good thing. If you come through to the other side then you will have grown as a result. If you reach a deadend you will have two choices: fold and go home or realize that your approach wasn’t working and you’ll have to find another way. Either way…you will be better off.

Keeping my sanity requires me…

to always be conscious of why I am doing a project and keeping the motivation fresh in my mind. Is it for the money? Is it for the love of the music? Is it a favor for a friend? Am I betting that something good will come out of it? Whatever it is…keeping my feet on the ground, well, at least one foot, gives me enough to hold on to so the ups and downs don’t overwhelm me.

When I was young I was humbled by the mass of opportunities that came all at once. At that moment I chose to focus on becoming the best that I could be…regardless of the circumstance and accept the result.

At the end of the day….all I can control is the quality of the work I do and I well I relate to those who I am working for…and that I can always…always get better.

Next week I will be talking about a hot topic these days: personal branding.

If you are interested in private lessons email me at: lessons@chrisboardmanmusic.com

Look for #8 on the Top Ten Myths of being a Film Composer next Tuesday.


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