Creating Your Own Opportunities

By on 4-23-2008 in Music Business Insight

by Gary Powell

New opportunities are emerging for all of us in the creative arts, science, education and even politics. These opportunities are optimized and become more sustainable when they are born from our own ingenuity and talent and then coupled with the knowledge and implementation of new technologies. This is not new! Look no further than Walt Disney, the Man, to understand combining an individual’s ingenuity with new technologies. Also, for me, these new opportunities are not simply happening from having spent thirty years of becoming a successful composer and record producer. Yes, my effort and contribution can’t be dismissed, but it’s not the whole story.

In November, 2007, I intentionally made a shift toward creating relationships with individuals rather than companies. Some individuals connect. Some don’t. However, in the past five months since my outreach toward the personal began, I’ve identified and attracted, as we say in Texas, “a whole ‘nother level” of creative human beings who are contributing to the good of the whole. These are individuals who have also learned how to take care of themselves in the process. No longer does each of us see large institutions as stumbling blocks or the gatekeepers of our aspirations. We simply see these biggest and most immovable organizations as becoming irrelevant. In looking back on my relationships with large corporations, universities, churches, and arts organizations, I now understand that I never really had relationships with those institutions. I had relationships with people – with individuals.

This is how both we and the things we care about can win.

As people of substance, talent, training, education, and entrepreneurship in the arts begin to embrace and support each other’s visions, we each create deeper and more nuanced relationships. This has always been true. Now, unfortunately for some, the naive and narcissistic often mistake computer code as relating. Meaningless code traffic, to coin a new phrase, will never yield more than flipping through channels did on the TV two decades ago. However, code traffic, when accurately reflecting our work and our relationships, then shared publicly, can be powerful. This is how both we and the things we care about can win.

I did a study about networking, while I was teaching at the University of Texas Butler School of Music, in order to learn how all of us choose the people with whom we work and associate. The results – the smartest and the brightest find each other. Period! It’s like the law of magnetism. In youth, we utilize this law unconsciously, but in adulthood, we can CHOOSE who we associate with, especially in a public way – online. Our connections then gain significance when attraction to the successful also turns to the soulful and to the brilliant and to the quiet and to the lovely and to the healing and to the pliant and to the conscious and to the absolutely wonderful individuals who enlighten not only their world, but our own lives and purposes as well. And, as we purposefully link to one another beyond simply adding code, the occasional unseen moment of beauty, as in the photo above, just might yield to our will while others watch in amazement.

(I shot this photo from a car window on Balboa Island thinking I was just getting two people with a beautiful sunset behind them. I did not see the subtlety of the connecting cloud between them until later.)

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  1. very cool post

  2. One of my favorite blogs Gary!!! Thanks for the reply regarding it and I will check out that book you recommended~! Sounds like I would definitely want to read.
    Looking forward to you and Ted coming out to help our studio Create OUR own Opportunities!!! You are so right …The smartest and the brightest find each other and it IS the law of magnetism!!

    Talk to you soon, Debbie

  3. Gary,

    I couldn’t agree more that building relationships and connecting with individuals is more important than building a relationship with an entire company, which is almost impossible to do when working with a large corporation such as Disney. I also completely agree with the realization that companies are made up of individuals and it is those individuals and the relations and connections that they have with others that make up the company. They key is to find the like-minded individuals within the company and build strong, lasting relationships with those individuals because they will turn out to be your true friends in the end.

    The question I propose is, what do you do to build those relationships up from the beginning? How do you win that trust from others that will result in a strong relationship in the end? Is it more than returning a favor for a person or checking up on them occasionally? I have my own experiences, but I’m curious to have your perspective on how you build up those individual relationships.

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