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Updated: Nov 11, 2020

Turn and face the strange…

Without question, we are living in turbulent times. Uncertainty abounds, and it appears this may indeed be the much-ballyhooed “new normal”. A world where the ground shifts under your feet daily, and the tectonic plates of our culture violently press against each other, creating massive change. Not sure about you, but in my six decades on this earth, I have never experienced anything of this magnitude.

I was told things happen in threes

The old saw “bad things come in threes” was recently put to the test for me. I was having a conversation with an industry friend back in early May, commenting about how in the past 18 months since acquiring my rep firm Reflex Marketing I have dealt with a major cancer episode, been struck by a moving vehicle and was, like everyone else, trying to cope with a world pandemic. I quipped “what else could happen?”, noting that three not so good things had occurred. Well, we know what came next and continue to process the implications in every aspect of our lives, from how we treat one another as individual human beings, to what effect the continuing turmoil has on our business and personal lives.

Accepting that you cannot control change, only yourself

Marcus Aurelius wrote “Frightened of change? But what can exist without it? What is closer to nature’s heart? Can you take a hot bath and leave the firewood as it was? Eat food without transforming it? Can any vital process take place without something being changed?” Wise words from the emperor-philosopher, and ones we can all take to heart. Accept that change, even the tumultuous type we are experiencing in real-time, is going to occur. How we react to the circumstances makes all the difference, so take a deep breath, and roll with the punches. Many musical instrument categories have done well during the COVID lockdown, pro audio and live sound sectors are suffering. Do your best to adapt, modify, or otherwise find ways to add continuing value to your customers, vendors, and constituents.

How does this relate to the musical instrument and pro audio business?

Perhaps it is time to reset your deck. Think back to why you started your business or chose the career path you are on in the first place. In a world gone digital, are you an analog being? Can you recognize that accepting change and modifying yourself might be at least part of the answer? It struck me recently that after working at home utilizing primarily email to correspond with my dealers and vendors, I was not making enough phone calls. Then quite enjoyably a visit to a couple of great music stores energized me, as connecting in person still, and in my opinion will always have meaning. If anything, we live in “hybrid times,” where it requires a blend of modern and traditional skills to stay on top of your game.

And wash your hands…

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