I can’t walk by a musical instrument without needing to touch it, play it, experiment on it, make some kind of sounds out of it. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a compulsion, but it’s pretty close. Here’s why:
I can play any song on just about any instrument, as long as I’ve heard the song at least once.
I haven’t thought much about this over the years because, quite honestly, it’s a useless skill, especially as an adult. I feel like a jack of all trades, master of nothing.
But I was reminded of how cool this party trick is when I was picking up my son from his friend’s house and I caught a glimpse of their baby grand piano sitting pretty by a bay window. I asked, “Can I play it?”
30 minutes later, my audience of two 11-year-olds was throwing out names of all sorts of songs, trying to stump me (they couldn’t).
As I was driving my son home, I sat in the car thinking about why I stopped taking piano lessons, why I quit the school orchestra, why I stopped learning the guitar and why I didn’t pursue drums any further than the basics…
I realized that it was because I felt like if I couldn’t be the best, then it wasn’t worth pursuing.
I see this type of perfectionism a lot in consultants. Tell me if any of this hits a bit too close to home:
- You don’t post weekly content on LinkedIn because you’re not sure if it’s going to be any good or you think your audience is too small.
- You play smaller than your potential because you’re afraid of failure.
- You don’t reach out for 1:1 coffee chats with folks because deep down you think they don’t really want to talk to you.
- You lower your rates because you fear that clients won’t think you’re worth more.
- You compare yourself to others in your space who “look” like they’re crushing it, then beat yourself up over not being as successful as them.
Your business is your instrument.
- Play it loud.
- Practice daily.
- Play it the best that you can because your best is enough.
No matter where you are on the success, experience or skill spectrum, there are clients who are a perfect fit for you and excited to work with you.
My talent ended up being my downfall because it was a roadblock to learning how to read music. But instead of giving it all up because I couldn’t be traditionally successful, I wish I had found a different path to pursue my passion.
Find your unique path, own it and don’t give up. You’ve got this!