Sally Rea Morris’ ‘Country State of Mind’ #3 – Network to Make it Work

It’s feeling colder in the air and there’s a distinct smell of pumpkin spice. It’s fast approaching my favourite time of year and one of the best times to embrace the holiday spirit and start meeting up with both new and old friends alike.

Talking to new people has never been a problem for me. Sometimes smiling at a new face or engaging in a conversation with a stranger at a bar can lead to all kinds of magic. I know some musicians can be quite introvert off stage, some complete narcissists, others are too cool to approach and some are the most down-to-earth, welcoming individuals you may ever meet! But being able to connect on stage or after a performance is integral to a lot of people’s success. More often than not, meeting new people can lead to new opportunities. Whether it’s losing at pool to a one-armed man in Montana, or leaving the Mohave desert with a 40 something year old guitar belonging to Willie Nelson’s stage manager Poodie Locke…my openness in engaging with unfamiliar people has lead to wonderful stories, and the scenarios that have been less than favourable have at least led to me writing some of my favourite songs!

Within my personal life, connecting with people has lead to more positive than negative outcomes, so it seems logical to adapt this approach professionally too. With this attitude, I’ve recently been attending as many workshops and network events as possible to make connections with like-minded individuals. My aim is to learn the skills I need or meet people with the skills that I can collaborate with. I’ve also taken every chance to perform with different musicians. It was just last week my duo Gasoline & Matches found ourselves at ‘Live In The Living Room Gives Back’ a wonderful charity event arranged by James Vince in aid of Meningitis Now. There was an amazing lineup of artists, many familiar names and also artists we haven’t crossed paths with before.

With an ever increasing amount of pressure on musicians today, we have to be good at so many things! Making quality music isn’t enough if you can’t get it heard by the right audience, and with so many platforms to distribute music through, there’s a lot to learn to make efforts effective. Making our own records, designing our brand, growing our social media, managing our schedule, writing our songs….the list goes on. It’s sometimes impossible to be the best at everything so I see no shame in leaning on others to maximise each other’s own potential.

So I urge you not to see other people’s strengths as your competition, admit when you need help, be open to new opportunities and maybe drink with strangers once in a while, it can make you better at what you do and it makes the ride along the way much more interesting.

Sally Rea x

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