Recently I got downgraded. Humbled. I got asked to sing for my supper.
I was supposed to perform The Gospel According to Josh for three different groups of students grades 6-12 at a private school in ritzy suburb of Detroit... along with a sweet fee to pay my expenses and salary. I got booked by the school’s counselor.
And then the school’s teachers and administration stepped in. “We know nothing about this guy and want to make sure he does what he says he does.” So long three performances and sweet fee. Hello, one paid performance/audition for the school’s faculty and staff to potentially come back in the Spring of ’14.
But wait... I’ve been presenting this program for three years. Hundreds of positive outcomes. Endorsements. Testimonials out the wazoo... A published book. I have to audition and take follow up meetings with groups of teachers?
Yes you do, sonny boy.
Stewing on all this for a few days it hit me. Singing for my supper isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s a great thing. There’s no way (outside of budgetary restrictions) that they won’t have me back. This product is too good...
But more importantly, it’s an opportunity for me to forge new, deep relationships. Speaking confidently and intelligently in front of groups of people is a great thing. It should be something we strive to do on a consistent basis. It helps build trust between two or more people and reinforces the fact that you’re honest and credible.
When (not “if”) you do a great job performing on small stages, when you take a small opportunity and create something exceptional from that; you’re grooming yourself for bigger and better things. You also endear yourself to the people who are making the ask of you to prove yourself.
This too shall pass. But in the interim, take stock of your current circumstances. Singing for your supper will keep you humble and hungry — two traits that will keep you on the long route to the success you seek and deserve.