Dead Weight

We all know that one person that likes to pump the breaks, the one who says “No” all too often. It’s good to slow down a little, but so much of our energy goes into pushing us forward, and as a tiny group that’s trying to move ahead, every molehill feels like a mountain. 

This video from the school of life got me thinking.

I want to be as loyal as a dog! I pride myself on my loyalty. Just like everything in life, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, and loyalty can be damning. 

“Someday they’ll change” will leave you waiting a lifetime. 

Waiting for your Drummer to come around might leave you waiting forever. Last year might have been a little bit different than all the other years, but the fact remains that momentum is essential, and without it, you’re going to get frustrated and feel kind of empty inside.

How are these terms defined? Everyone has their own schedule. It is determined by open communication. Someone isn’t wrong by not wanting to commit an undefined (or a schedule sculpted a little too well) amount of time. 

Do you remember when Jason Schwartzman was borderline heartthrob?

Let’s look at it from the perspective of the leader of the group.

Leader:

This person wants to get things moving. They have the vision, well, sometimes. Other times they just have many ideas and have planned out multiple albums for spanning over at least the rest of the year. They are ambitious. They have the drive. It’s hard for them to step away from a project because it has so much of them in that project.

The average band member:

Plays because they love playing. Have a vision of what playing looks like. Have a different level of ownership or skin in the game. It’s a lot easier for this person to walk away from a project. Maybe they have goals outside of music (maybe they don’t). This person is more open to when life presents opportunities. 

I believe that another massive issue is found in the clout vs. compensation graph shown below.

100% accurate, please don’t question this, thank you.

Sure, compensation can be in the form of satisfaction of working hard and seeing your art come to fruition. But most of the time, that comes in the form of money. You know, like how you want it to be if you’re playing second fiddle in another group.

Boom. Caught you. 

Ok, let’s combine both of those points and summarize this whole thing.

Do you see where there could be some problems? A big reason a lot of people break up is that they feel trapped for the rest of their lives with someone. Even if that’s not what the other side is saying, that idea has still been conveyed. Let me put it like this – You met these people in high school, or craigslist, or an open mic night, and even though the world is HUGE and you have so many possibilities, you immediately lock yourself into a situation where you’re expected (rightfully so) to carry a lot of the weight of a small business. That’s a heavy thing that we don’t always see or comprehend. We need to exercise a little compassion and ask ourselves some of these questions.

  • What is this “band member” (this human) gaining from this project?
  • Do I require too much time, money, emotion from them? Is this equal to the gain?
  • Are they being compensated in another way (maybe it’s just fun for them)?
  • What are their personal goals with this band and with life?
  • What amount of clout do they have to have in this project to make it worth their while
  • Have I had this open conversation with them?

The only way you can mess this up is in not being honest with them!

Summary for the leader – Don’t overwhelm everyone with EVERY SINGLE IDEA that pops into your head! We’re all happy you’re excited and enthusiastic, but it can be overwhelming to hear all of your ideas

Summary for the member – Be honest with the leader with whatever you’re feeling. Think about how you honestly feel when you’re approached with information on the upcoming time frame, then tell them how you feel!

Okay, so we’ve taken a hard look at ourselves and reevaluated the dynamic. So now we can make this simple.

If someone is not being open, is dragging their feet, is consistently being negative. Stop working with that person. I PROMISE YOU that you can find a replacement for that position. Stay friends with the past member (don’t be a dick) but this game is WAY to hard to hold on to dead weight.

Done, now continue making music! We really need your art!

Here’s my song pick of the week!

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