Have you ever met somebody that simply REFUSES to do what is best for them? Do you know people who allow their ego to undermine their business? I find myself surrounded by these people on a daily basis so here is a little bit of advice… Not that you’ll listen – That’s kind of your thing.
I half jokingly say that my tragic flaw is that I am always right. It seems like a gift, but in reality it would be great to be wrong from time to time. There are situations and circumstances that I walk into where my sizable (but shrinking!) gut tells me how things are going to go, and I desperately try to second-guess it. I WANT to give people the benefit of the doubt. I find myself more often disappointed than not.
Everyone has that one friend in a horrible relationship. Abusive, destructive, and unsafe. Does it ever make you wonder why they stay there? Does it make you wonder why even when they finally DO get out of it they end up dating the same type of shitty person? Some people don’t learn, they don’t EVOLVE. They don’t do better than they did last time.
I checked out a wrestling show for the first time in a long time a couple of weeks ago. The wrestlers were young and had a lot of potential and it made me think about my time and evolution in the business. I look at some guys who have been wrestling in front of the same 100 people for the last 10 years who are STILL talking about “making it” and maybe it is because I am a bit older and wiser now – but it takes every bit of self-restraint that I have not to laugh in their faces. Ditto the sentiment for the 40 year old’s in the metal band who are still playing for beer money looking for their big break.
I’m successful because above everything else, I am an opportunist. What this means to me is that I am better than most at recognizing opportunity and maximizing its potential. This works across the board: I’ve dated girls WAY out of my league because I was in the right place at the right time. I’ve achieved tremendous professional success because I understood the “big picture” when it was in front of me. Perhaps more importantly: I’m a realist. I am not going to the WWE at this point, and I don’t really want to anymore. I can go farther with music, so I am.
I also learned that sometimes all you can do is offer but if other people don’t understand what you are offering – you can’t help them.
And that’s where I get frustrated. I remember when I first saw some success with Walk of Shame. I offered to help out this other band that I had the opportunity to play with because they seemed like nice people and had some talent. When I offered to help them out, they became defensive. What was my motivation? Why was I trying to exploit them? Did I think I was better than them? Fuck off.
… Dude, I just wanted to do something nice!
Unfortunately, that’s the attitude a lot of people have. I’ve always been a business Karma person. In wrestling, effective “hype” is often referred to as “putting over” the product. It comes from the concept of losing to another wrestler. By losing to them, you are “putting them over” you. I learned (the hard way) that life is like that too. Sometimes you can still end up more popular, more “over” with the crowd (or friends) if you are good at putting over others in your field. You’ll rarely hear me say anything negative about another band because I believe in good business Karma coming back my way. Considering the success of Walk of Shame, I’d have to say that’s working well. Did I always think that way? No. When I was younger and less confident in what I had to offer I pissed a lot of people off in the wrestling business by talking too much.
I learned to take advice when it comes from someone who might know something that I don’t. I’m shocked at the people who are not at the top of their field who still are reluctant to take constructive criticism or guidance from people who have demonstrated a higher level of success. Ego doesn’t put money in your pocket, or asses in the seats. Ego will keep you wrestling in a building in a ring with no canvas, or playing songs in a dive bar for a pitcher of beer.
I have a tremendous ego when it comes to my professional success, and I always have. The only difference is that now I’ve actually EARNED a bit of ego, so it’s not nearly as bad. At the risk of sounding like a crotchety old man – There is nothing worse than some snot-nosed 22 year old who thinks he has life figured out.
So my advice would be to take my fucking advice. Unless of course you are exactly where you aspire to be. IN which case, tell me to kindly fuck right off.
Oh, and don’t support indy wrestling. Don’t support local music. Support GOOD wrestling, and support GOOD music. Just because it’s local doesn’t mean it deserves your support. If you keep offering support to shitty things, they’ll never improve.