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Wellbeing / Work styles

How soloists can make the best music

A couple of months ago I witnessed an incredible performance of a group of musicians performing songs I thought I knew. We can do the same with our work.

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What struck me as I sat in the audience was how a group of skilled soloists, from all over the world could unite for a single purpose and create such magic.

The parallels with the life of modern small business owners are many:

Surround yourself with the finest

Running a tight little business means there’s no room for amateurs. As soloists we liberally use the services of other independent specialists and wherever practical, we must use the best. Cut corners and your music will suffer.

Leave room for interpretation

The wonderful thing about calling in experts is that they take our ideas and expand them. These aren’t staff going through the motions, but outsiders bringing knowledge to our situation. Give them the melody and the notes, but allow them to embellish and innovate. Just be sure you keep an eye on the bigger picture. And watch out for the long drum solo.

"As soloists we liberally use the services of other independent specialists and wherever practical, we must use the best."

Want more articles like this? Check out the work styles section.

Beware the difficult third album

Every band needs a leader and that’s you. Ultimately, you control the mixing desk, run the rehearsals and pick up the tab, so don’t kid yourself there’s no leadership in a one person business. You may fluke it and get a couple of good songs out, but it’s longevity you’re after.

Control the pace

In the same way a good concert blends raucous with mellow and simple with complex, so too our work needs to observe the rhythms of the marketplace. Less really can be more and under promising/over delivering is a great way to soar up the charts.

So what does your line up look like and what do they bring to your one man band? Join in the chorus here.

By the way the concert that inspired this article was a tribute to Nick Drake and if you’re unfamiliar with his life and music just listen to this when you’ve a couple of minutes to spare.

Robert Gerrish

is the founder of Flying Solo and helps soloists stay upbeat and energised. He’s recently published The 1-Minute Commute, is a presenter and facilitator and works one-on-one with those needing a refresh. Find out more about his skills and services and his Olympus Trip 35 camera side hustle or connect on LinkedIn.

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