Who’s Your Gatekeeper?

I’ve had a number of creative breakthroughs over the past couple of weeks. I’d like to share a big one with you:For a long time I was trying to impress “The Gatekeeper.” (Honestly, I don’t even have anyone specific in mind when I say that.) Even as I blazed my own path as asinger/songwriter, there was always the thought in the back of my mind, “Maybe so-and-so will pick this up and broadcast it to millions of people and then everyone will find out who I am and what I am doing.”I just released a new song and video this week and, for the first time I realized that I don’t even have that thought anymore. My career is at the point where enough people have tuned into what I’m doing (thank you all!!) that I don’t even have to care of worry about gatekeepers. In fact, I realized that I’ve become a gatekeeper. Other people are now looking to me to open doors for them.  (Of course, I tell them that they don’t need me to be their gatekeeper. They can and should be their own. While I’m happy to help them on their journeys, they don’t need my permission to do what they want to do – just their own.)

So, here’s what I know about this right now:

1) When you do something well over a sustained period of time with passion, dedication and focus, that opens all the doors that you need opened for you. You don’t have to wait for somebody else to open them for you.

2) This will take you a long time (or at least it’s taking me a long time).
3) Focus on creating new doors rather than convincing somebody else to let you through theirs. At least that’s been my tactic. Again, for me it’s been slow but effective.

4) The people who become successful are often those who continue to stick with it long after others have given up. 

One final, related thought: Tonight I went to see the Modern Masters: 20th Century Icons from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. This painting by Picasso was hanging in it:

Picture

Picasso painted this shortly before he broke away from traditional painting form and started Cubism. Now, what if he had stopped painting after this picture? Would we still hang his paintings in our museums? Would he be venerated? I don’t think so. This style of painting wasn’t that revolutionary. This painting is interesting to us now because it signifies a step in his development toward his later, fully realized style. But, had he stopped painting after creating this, he never would have achieved his incredible breakthroughs. So, take it from Picasso and keep working at it. Keep plugging away so you can open those doors and breeze right on through. 
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