Systems that Really Rock
People I meet in my travels as a systems guy are generally shocked to learn I was once an arguably well-known rock ’n’ roll singer, at least regionally. It’s true! Before hanging up my microphone and doing a re-entry into earth’s orbit, I was a long-haired, glittery-vested screamer, who—along with a band I called “Naked Wilson” then “Riverboat” and later, “Philip Paul & Patrol”—drew packed houses, and spent more money than I ever made. Given the current economy, it seems some of us have come full circle!
I really am getting to the importance of having GREAT SYSTEMS—but, if you’ll indulge me, I think this walk down Memory Lane might give you a clearer picture of why I needed systems, eventually built them, and now tout them to others!
My trek to hoped stardom began in high school back in the ’70s—playing in a top-40 band for countless events and small nightclubs all over Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. It was exciting times for a bunch of young guys facing the future without fear! Launching our new venture, we jumped in with big dreams of success and prosperity some day, with no clue about the BUSINESS of running a business—especially SHOW business!
REALITY soon set in, of course, and the tedium of packing, unpacking, setting up, tearing down, traveling in an old van, high gas prices, agent’s fees and cancelled dates—unpredictable events—often made our travels less than glamorous.
Everything our band did had to be voted on, even where we stopped to eat, what songs to play, who got to sing first, etc. Problem was, everyone wanted to be a “star,” but nobody wanted to do the work of the roadies we couldn’t yet afford.
You get more than four or five people in a band (or a small business?) with equal say, and you get four or five arguable opinions. As in any business, someone needed to step up and LEAD—be the “bad” guy! But, those were the days when I didn’t know a leader from a fishing lure, and there was a lot of disagreements and hurt egos—at times, we almost came to blows.