Vince Lombardi achieved GREATNESS. He was an amazing, driven, highly successful, and highly influential individual who chose professional football coaching as a career back when the pressure was the same but professional football coach’s salaries were nowhere near what they are today.
So he didn’t do it for the money, he did it out of love.
Just like you do with your music career.
Vince Lombardi was so influential in his chosen endeavor that the trophy for the highest level of success in pro football, the Super Bowl trophy (this is the trophy that every pro player, coach, and team owner want to be photographed holding), is called the Lombardi trophy.
It represents excellence, achievement, and culmination of a long struggle.
It embodies greatness.
I’m on a Green Bay Packer kick today because my sister, bless her buns, called me last Thursday and said she had 2 extra tickets to the Brett Favre Packer Hall Of Fame induction at Lambeau Field. Of course my girlfriend Cari and I IMMEDIATELY made plans to witness history and went up to Green Bay for the weekend.
Watching Brett Favre address the 67,000 fans (all tickets sold out in 90 minutes, btw) who showed up at Lambeau to share his accomplishment was special. Grown men, and I was one of them, sobbing in the stands because Brett and that team brought the air of excellence BACK to the Packers organization.
We used to be great, then we lost the habit of winning 20 years prior (when Lombardi left Green Bay), now we simply EXPECT to win every game again.
Not hope, EXPECT.
Cari, my sister, my brother-in-law, and I were witnessing greatness.
That got me thinking of what greatness means.
That got me thinking of how greatness is achieved.
That got me thinking of how most people so falsely believe that one is born with greatness, they easily and predictably overlook the fact that greatness is always a result of hard work and dedication.
This notion naturally circled me back to Vince Lombardi.
Then I imagined how the mind and thought process of Lombardi could be attributed to your music career.
I’ll rephrase, greatness is attainable for anyone who is willing to work.
So greatness is attainable to you…if you’re willing to work.
Just like in the music business, the NFL has players who are born with amazing talent who amount to nothing because they won’t work, who buckle in the face of adversity and hang it up mentally.
They psychologically quit, and that becomes a habit.
Just like in the music business, the NFL has players who are measurably less talented and smaller than those that surround them but are willing to out-work everyone, they know they must out-work everyone to compete to win the job that will grant them the opportunity to achieve greatness.
Brett Favre (2nd round pick drafted to the Falcons as a 3rd string QB) and Tom Brady (6th round draft pick) immediately come to mind.
Do you ever feel like an afterthought?
Afterthoughts can achieve greatness.
I think as humans and certainly as artists we often get mentally hung up on the ultimate goal, which is far enough away that we forget to focus on what will make us great.
We forget to focus on the little wins, the little battles that determine momentum.
Like in Football.
They say football is a game of inches.
Inches that are mission critical in a 4 down series.
Each 4 down series is a battle that needs to be understood, dissected, and ultimately won to create a new set of opportunities; another 4 down series.
That leads to another opportunity to add to or change the momentum, and then another opportunity and so on.
Many little battles are won and it’s exciting because it creates momentum.
Many little battles are lost and that’s frustrating because momentum is lost.
But you can lose a bunch of battles and still win the game.
You can lose a bunch of games and still win your division which creates the opportunity to achieve greatness in the playoffs.
See my point?
Don’t overthink the wins. They are little battles that when won, need to be celebrated but you have another battle coming right up and you need to prepare to win that one, so don’t get carried away on a head trip.
Get to work.
Don’t overthink the losses, they are little battles that if mentally treated correctly, become learning experiences that help you win the war. The same advice applies to these losses, don’t get carried away on a head trip.
Get to work.
Here are some of my favorite Lombardi quotes and some notes/responses I have added to apply them to your music career.
Read them and introspect for a moment. Hit me back and let me know which of these quotes resonates with you the most.
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” – I think the pursuit of perfection keeps you in writing or practicing mode just long enough to raise the bar.
“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” – The task at hand is not becoming a successful artist, the task at hand is whatever you should be doing that day to get closer to success. Focus on the TASK AT HAND.
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” – This is the most common denominator with successful people in the music business; will to survive. After that there are varying degrees of talent, strength, and knowledge, but EVERYONE must possess the will.
“Leaders aren’t born they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.” – I am blessed to be working with 2 young artists, Abbey Cone and Bailey James. Yes, both of these girls are very talented, but they are important artists and they will achieve greatness because they out-work everyone around them. That’s really the main reason.
They are quite literally making themselves into leaders.
“Dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you’re willing to pay the price.” – Therefore you can accomplish anything if you’re willing to do the work.
I don’t know why so many artists don’t understand this, maybe it’s a need to be famous rather than a need to be an artist.
There is definitely a laziness factor in many people.
“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” – I see this time and time again and it is ubiquitous across all the industries I have had careers in as well as my personal life. The harder I work at it, the better my quality of life gets.
How much are you really working on improving the quality of your life?
“Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.” – Whoa.
“If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score?” – Artists should keep score with momentum.
Focus on executing the next step.
With Bailey James we are constantly attending to the creation of consistent content and growing not only her reach on social media but her engagement. As we increase her engagement we increase her fan base. 5 months later she has astounding numbers (averaging 500 likes and 50 comments per post on Instagram) and we still haven’t released the EP.
“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.” – Nothing beats that feeling of success. Make sure you are managing expectations and setting attainable goals to succeed at. Momentum is key here, get 1% better than you did the day before. ENJOY and CELEBRATE the little victories…then get back to work.
“Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will be judged by only one thing-the result.” – The world doesn’t care about what you want to do, only about what you have done. You better make sure you get that, it’ll help you make crucial decisions as to what the world should see and when they should see it.
“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all-time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”- If you feel like you are in the habit of losing, habits can be changed. Changing habits is a behavior modification. If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got. Don’t be afraid to take a risk….What have you got to lose?
“The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.” – This quote sums up the biggest, most common mistake I see artists making. It’s the old “If I only had this, I could get that” mentality.
This thought process is simply an excuse not to achieve.
Tony Iommi who is arguably one of the most influential rock guitar players in history lost 3 finger tips in a Blue Collar job related accident early in his career. He focused on what he had (the ability to play guitar) instead of what he didn’t have (fingertips) and invented leather tips so he could continue playing. Some have argued that it’s the leather fingertips that added to his unique sound, one that changed the sound and tone of Rock & Roll forever.
So focus on what you DO HAVE.
You will create opportunities
You will create momentum.
You will become more attractive.
“The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall.” – This is probably one of the most common human pitfalls.
Why are we so focused on avoiding the fall?
Is it because we are concerned more with perception over reality?
No matter how much thought EVERY human puts into this concept, regardless of intelligence, regardless of work ethic, falling is inevitable. The successful simply learn, get up, and find another way to win.
Every success is preceded by many challenges.
Every failure is preceded by an excuse.
“Once you agree upon the price you and your family must pay for success, it enables you to ignore the minor hurts, the opponent’s pressure, and the temporary failures.” – I think this quote speaks to being firmly grounded in reality. If you are realistic in what it takes to achieve greatness, you will be willing to endure the many challenges and falls that will surely come. Don’t be naïve as to the price.
“We didn’t lose the game; we just ran out of time.” – Edison didn’t fail 2,000 times at creating the light bulb, he discovered 2,000 not to do it. Then there was the 2,001st time.
“It’s easy to have faith in yourself and have discipline when you’re a winner, when you’re number one. What you got to have is faith and discipline when you’re not a winner.” – NOW is the time to have faith and discipline.
Why do so many people think they will execute that kind of behavior once they “make it”?
PS: If you haven’t already downloaded my free Music Marketing On Twitter book, please enjoy it on me. Go to GiftFromJohnny.com put in your name and tell us where to send it. It’ll teach you how to get 1,000 new targeted followers every month for just 15 minutes per day.
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