I am sometimes told, “Oh, you’re so smart, that’s why you know this audio stuff.”
Well, sometimes I feel smart, and sometimes I feel stupid – pretty sure that’s how most of us go. Mostly I know this audio stuff because I’ve worked at it for a long time. For a lot of that long time, I was misled about a lot, and the only reason I know what I know now is because I have also maintained my ability to unlearn things.
Years ago, I participated in a leadership seminar. One guy in that seminar really irritated me. He was annoying, he talked all the time, he said boorish things, and he seemed pretty ignorant overall. Mostly he acted like a chucklehead.
One day, one at a time, we each did an individual exercise of moderate difficulty – but we did it wearing a blindfold, which upped the difficulty significantly. I watched as two guys fell short of their goal in that exercise, and with each of them, it was clear to me as an onlooker the moment they lost their vision of the goal. After that, they worked hard, but they didn’t get anywhere.
So this guy gets up there and handles the exercise almost as if it was nothing. Never seemed lost, handles his business. I said to myself, “I guess it isn’t how smart you are.” I thought about that a lot, at the moment and after. It usually isn’t about how smart we are – if we aren’t rocket scientists or cancer researchers, it’s probably not. Mostly, it’s about having a vision and keeping it in front of us. That’s what scientists have decided about how we catch a baseball – keep it in front of us until it hits the glove. We aren’t predicting where it will land – that would take some very advanced math, as it turns out. We just stay in front of it.
Some of this audio stuff is mildly complex. None of it is rocket science.
What’s the goal? I suggest the goal is “Better Sound, Profitably”.
If your only goal is to sell gear profitably, it’s tough to get good sound. You’re limited to what we could do in the 90’s.
If your only goal is to get better sound, it’s easy to get wrapped around the axle and lose money.
“Better Sound, Profitably” means we keep improving, we keep learning – and we find ways to translate that knowledge into the lifeblood of a business – profit. If we don’t care how it sounds as long as it’s profitable, we lose the vision. Clients don’t look for suppliers based on how profitable they are, they look for suppliers based on how much they trust them to deliver value. Eventually, that comes through the organization and across to the clients.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist. Just keep the baseball in front of you.