They say time is money. I guess that's true based on the way society is set up for human beings. In my opinion, time is more valuable than money. I've come to learn this a long time ago. Of course, money is required to maneuver and do certain things, but time is something that we don't have much control over. Once it's gone, it's gone forever. Money comes and goes. We earn it. We spend it. We earn more. We spend more. And this repeats. Over and over and over again.
Money is a piece of paper that represents a "value". When we think of real estate (for example) we think of investment. Equity. Having ownership of something that has value. So, what about "time"? We spend it, but it never comes back. Sure, we can schedule our lives to spend more of our future "time" to do the things we want and need to do, but once those moments are gone, they cannot be earned back. What type of perspective can we apply to give "time" a value? How can we ensure that the time we spend is worth something to us in the future?
For a moment, let's look at this from a different perspective.
Time doesn't equal money. Time is something we spend, but never earn back. Time is a "moment". It's the present. It is exactly what is happening now. Just as you've read this sentence, time has just been spent. You'll never get those moments back. I promise you're not wasting it though. Just stick with me for a little while longer. =)
Time is a building block. Think of it like building a structure. Every minute you spend is a brick. The next minute you spend, you're laying down the concrete. You're learning as you go along. The minute after that, you're placing another brick down. After a few hours of this, you've noticed that you managed to build a few feet of what looks like a brick wall. At this point, your confidence is building. You're getting some validation. Your subconscious mind is getting excited. You start to really enjoy doing this. You feel like you're getting better at it, so you continue to build. You're laying bricks and concrete down much faster than you did before. You feel like you're in "flow". Eventually, you become so good that you manage to spend enough time to complete an entire structure. From here, your brain starts to think bigger. You hire a few friends to help you build the next one. You act as a leader by guiding them through what you've learned from your own experience, so they can grow more rapidly. It takes you half as much time to build the next structure. From here, you expand even further. Now you have your own construction company. The possibilities of expansion and continued success are endless at this point. For some, it's not necessarily to become hugely successful, but more to experience the joy and satisfaction that it brings. Or, a combination of both maximum joy and maximum success. (disclaimer: this is not a literal portrayal of how to start a construction company or how to build a house. lol).
One word we can use to describe our building scenario is "sweat equity" (shouts to my manager for putting me on to those words). It's the amount of time put into something that eventually yields some type of pay-off in the future. It can be spent on basically anything.
"Sweat equity" applies to any and all industries. But for today, let's take a look at what this means for the aspiring MUSIC PRODUCER.
In the beginning, some outside force drives us to give music production a try. It could be a song. Or a beat. A curiosity. For all of us, the reason is different. The purpose is the same, though. To create music.
First, we acquire some initial knowledge to gather the tools we need to start creating music. From there, we begin our first hour of "sweat equity". We lay down our first brick and start to figure things out. We're getting better and more confident as we spend more time doing it. We try different things and take risks. We research more, listen more and build more. We're enjoying every moment of it. We finish our first 10 beats, and then we keep going. We reach a catalog of 100 pieces of music, but we are relentless. We build some more. We create some more. We reach 1000 pieces of music, but that's not enough. 2000. 3000. 4000. It almost seems infinite at this point.
Along the way, we've built a catalog big enough to expand. If we want to maximize success, how can we "populate" these buildings we've created, you ask?
We absolutely must meet people at this point.
Keep in mind that the hundreds and/or thousands of pieces of music we've made are increasing in value, over time. We have a catalog. We have equity. We have value. We have confidence. We posses a skill-set that not too many people have (out of the 7 billion people on earth).
There is a demand. There will always be a demand to populate. There will always be people that exist whom want to help you populate.
It's your job to find the people. Some people will come. But you must do what you can to attract and find the people. You can't do this alone. If you're passionate enough, you WILL not do this alone. Start with the people right in front of you, and expand from there. This crucial step in "populating" is a huge turning point. You've decided that you want to maximize not only joy, but success.
If you've been spending "sweat equity" for what you consider a long time, yielding NO results, you've got to evaluate what you've been doing the whole time. Analyze your past and dig deep into the types of decisions you've been making. Are you pushing hard enough? Are you pushing yourself to meet new people? Are you spending too much time being frustrated? Are you spending too much time complaining and placing blame on other things? Maybe you just need to keep going and try not to over think things. Maybe more patience will help. Maybe you THINK you're passionate about creating music, but you've lost that passion and joy. Maybe you just want to lay bricks because doing so brings you joy, but posses no desire to populate. Sure, we all have our own individual situations in life, but there is always a root to where these circumstances originate. Find that root and make those changes for yourself as best as you can.
This process is on-going. It never ends unless we choose for it to end. Thankfully for us, we enjoy every brick we lay down. That is the beauty of our "sweat equity". Every piece of music we make is a lottery ticket. Every brick we lay down is contributing to a higher cause and potential opportunity. We enjoy every brick we lay down. Some of us are driven to maximize success. Some of us are driven to maximize joy in life. Some of us want both.
There's a beauty to the idea of "sweat equity" bringing joy. Shouldn't every moment of our lives be spent being happy anyway? I believe it should.