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#1124659 - 02/27/17 08:12 PM success post #2  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,879
maccharles Offline
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maccharles  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2009
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Hello all,

I write this as a "make up" post for the original, as Brian suggested I say what I originally had planned to, though I scratched it due to feeling as though it was sloppily written and did not quite say what I was thinking.....soooo...here is something closer to what I originally intended.

Let's take a quick look at "success".

In my experience, and there is plenty of that, my turning 55 yesterday, I believe it to be a solid notion that most view the definition of success in any field to be money, financial reward.....usually closely followed by notoriety of some sort, or outright fame. I am here to give witness as to what I see as a blind belief in this definition ....for the most part, by most people....especially younger people. That's not to say that some of us older folk don't also still see these two things as success, it's just that most of us older people have learned over the years that success can fall squarely inside a wide range of accomplishments.

Let's say the above is fact, and that without fame or money, one is unsuccessful.

Speaking solely for myself, I say if that were true...I would not be writing this, I would have given up and given in years ago. I blindly started like most do, running on dreams of being an innovator, a famous song writing guitar god, never to need money again....once the world heard what I had to offer, girls clamoring to meet me and such. I held no unique ground there.......but.....

I look back now and realize that I learned pretty early on that I was a mediocre guitar player in a sea of flashy guys, could hold a tune but had no real vocal chops and my songs were pretty run of the mill. I think I was about twenty five when I realized that. That is when everything changed.

My idea of success was quickly scaled back to steps, points on a curve I had to reach in succession to get to the goal, the goal being rich in SOMETHING. Each point on said curve was a success, some harder to reach than others and some I have not reached yet. Since then I have made awesome money, I have starved, have had multiple singles on the radio, am rarely recognized, toured the states extensively, stayed home.....and.....worked crap jobs, and written even more songs.

So, how do you define success? Would you say I am successful from your vantage point? I would, and here is why....and this is how I define success for myself.

I can, because of YEARS of WORK, now sit down with my guitar....and pluck a brand new song out of thin air and record the danged thing by myself. This is NOT magic, I was born with desire....not wizardry. I worked up to every point on the curve to achieve what I needed to, in order to reach this point. The JOY is in the work, stepping outside these preconceived ideas of what success is and seeing real success in understanding your work............the reward is the end result of your labors.......the new song, the new lyric, the new instrumental, the new story, new painting.

The greatest things that have ever happened to me (in regards to music) have nothing to do with money or fame. Fans have approached me and said things like " I heard such and such song years ago, and it made me change the way I feel about such and such" or " that song means so much to me" or "That song makes my wife cry because she misses her...." or "your music really keeps me going"..........the list goes on....point is, they are usually songs I have made no money from, no airplay, never made a splash in any way I could see....until then.

I just wanted you all to take a minute and look at what you have done, your body of work in terms of years, not minutes......look at the work you have accomplished. A great example is Tams4....Tammy has done the work and is successful in my eyes, she has reached a point on the curve.

This site is filled with successes, from Jody Whitesides to Mike Caro to Dave Rice and Mark Kaufman.........


Your body of work speaks for itself, even if no one hears it......you know what you have done, and what it took to get here.

Your WORK is everything, the reward can be sneaky, but gratifying if you see it and understand it. Look for the rewards, the REAL rewards, the effects of your work, not how much money or fame it DID or did NOT bring you. You are reading this on a website/community that was created by a song writer ......I would venture to say he is a success.

My grandfather used to say "there's only one way to get something done".......and he was right. You need to do it.

String together your little victories, as they soon will become "success".....................period.


Trust me.

#1124660 - 02/27/17 09:19 PM Re: success post #2 [Re: maccharles]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 152
chazma2 Offline
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chazma2  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 152
ny
Happy Birthday Mac, (you old fart)
Very inspiring post. I have to agree with you about Tammy. BTW, you have a great voice and better guitar chops than I could ever hope to have. Your music hasn't made me cry, but certainly made me feel good.
Chaz

#1124662 - 02/27/17 09:29 PM Re: success post #2 [Re: maccharles]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,879
maccharles Offline
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maccharles  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,879
woot, our works have yet to surface.

#1124663 - 02/27/17 09:42 PM Re: success post #2 [Re: maccharles]  
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 165
Trentb Offline
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Trentb  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 165
Ahh a second crack at it. You make some good points about de eloping your talent to a point where you are capable of making music that has something to offer a listener. There is the music business, and then there is music. Success is the music business is a combination of so many different things, most of which are beyond our control. Music without the business is way different.

Everybody has a unique voice or style, nobody plays or writes exactly how we do, music is like a fingerprint. Nobody does you better than you.

When my dad bought me my first guitar, a Montaya sg, for hundred bucks or so, he had no idea if I'd make any sense out of it at all, he might of thought he was throwing the money away. Neither of us probably thought I'd still be playing it 30 years later...thanks Dad!

most outsiders equate success with fame and money made, that's the business end of it again. Most people make fun of one hit wonders, which to me, beyond a big career in Music, a one hit wonder is something to behold...we all should be so privileged to be a one hit wonder.

But if making and playing music makes you happy, you did something right, Cause I know many more who never got passed the second chapter of Mel bays guitar instruction, volume 1!

Art is not commerce, but they get linked together very often.

Last edited by Trentb; 02/27/17 09:48 PM.
#1124666 - 02/27/17 10:09 PM Re: success post #2 [Re: maccharles]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,879
maccharles Offline
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maccharles  Offline
Top 200 Poster

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,879

"When my dad bought me my first guitar, a Montaya sg, for hundred bucks or so, he had no idea if I'd make any sense out of it at all, he might of thought he was throwing the money away. Neither of us probably thought I'd still be playing it 30 years later...thanks Dad! "


yep......success.


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