"I hope this works."
... when you run a business... any kind of business... there are two points which are the toughest. When to (actually) start, and when to stop... and although I haven't worded it so eloquently in the past, I've learned the phrase "strength to begin and the strength to destroy"... but in the life of an entrepreneur there's also the courage to pivot relaxing with its feet up in the bottom of your gut.
... and your gut is what drives you... especially when have big plans.
I wanted to post something a week ago since it's already official but I didn't like what I wrote... I'm up to 37 unposted/unfinished blog posts now by the way.
... I routinely look at my schedule, bank account, personal life, career goals, etc. I had a list of conditions written down in my business plan before I took over the studio...
October 6th all those conditions were met.
At the end of the month I'll be locking the door to The Pawnshop for the last time... the place I've musically called home for the last 7 years... I've always used the poppies pinned above the door as my official total... and a reminder.
It doesn't feel like that long at all... and that's the scary part... how quickly it's flown by...
My mentors told me early on that money is the easy part... you can always find money for something that's worth it... it's the time you can never get back... and to be careful how you spend your time and how other people will try and spend your time to free up their own.
... and that was the major upside I saw with the studio... how I'd be able to spend not only my time but with the bands and artists I saw potential in...
I remember crunching the numbers, consulting with a few mentors, friends and family, putting together a 5-year business plan, taking out my 3rd loan, signing the lease, shaking a couple hands... and what it felt like standing in the live room the first day...
I'm a big believer in externalizing things... I think it's good to (occasionally... and in a reasonable tone) let the universe know what your thoughts are... and I feel important moments in life should be accompanied by a few simple words adding up to a timeless phrase to help mark the occasion.
"I hope this works."
I remember laughing to myself and saying it a couple more times in the middle of the room...
It wasn't a "wtf am I doing?!" moment... but I just wanted the universe to know that I wanted to look back on my time here, regardless how long or short, and for it to be a net positive.
... 60+ albums/EPs, 700+ songs... from the first guinea pig 3-piece band I found on Craigslist to the last Age Of Days acoustic EP... Luke Michielsen's first full length album... Charlie Hope's debut children's album and Juno nomination... 4 Parabelle albums (and 1 DVD)... rehearsals... writing sessions... xbox vocal breaks... Team Canada/Leafs hockey gatherings... work slowdown during any and all Olympics... the many rants, debates, arguments, hugs, high fives, and laughs... and the times I've been a trusted ear for artists to unbottle the dreams that drive them and the fears that hold them back.
You learn a lot about people when you're in emotionally demanding close quarters for long periods of time... you learn a lot about yourself too...
... so many good times.
So... am I quitting music/recording?
... well I shouldn't say that... but safe to say 99.9% not.
Considering the schedule... Dec/Jan things usually quiet down for the holidays and with Age Of Days heading out on tour Jan/Feb... and plans of touring a bit more in 2016, it felt like the right time to make the change.
... but the main thing about the change I'm looking forward to is having (a little) more free time and flexibility. There are other people I'd like to work with, other places I'd like to work in, and other things I'd like to do. The past year I've (loosely) started 2 more businesses I'd like to dedicate more time to... and tour... I really miss playing live... and I'm not getting any younger... apparently. (lol)
*"wrap it up" music fades in*
I'd like to thank everyone who's been a part of this chapter and helped make this little studio in Kensington Market the great place it's been. The people really do make the difference... anywhere... and I will miss the vibe of the market. It's one of a kind!
In closing, the great thing about the strength to destroy/pivot is you already have the momentum to start again and begin the next chapter.
... now... to find the right words when the time comes.
- Mike :-)
Mike Langford - Official Blog
Being on both sides of the glass, I get the chance to wear many hats in the music industry. This is a place to share my thoughts, views, predictions, rants, stories and news!