Originally sent this out as an email- decided to post it here:
So I’m at Starbucks (been here for a few hours), and I’m in Atlanta…which is a music hub..lots of singers and songwriters
And there’s this young singer…maybe 20-21… and another guy who I suppose is his manager.
And the manager wants the kid to sing in Starbucks to get some feedback. So he goes around to the different tables to say “hey, we’re going to sing in a minute, just wanted to let you know.” Then he goes to the counter and he asks the the Starbucks staff if it’s “OK”.
Not even a manager, mind you… just a regular barista. And of course she says “no, you can’t sing in here.”
Why? Is it because she doesn’t like music? Probably not.
It’s because she doesn’t want to get in trouble, do anything out of protocol or do anything that might possibly draw attention to herself. It’s not even about the kid singing. It’s about her.
And I’m thinking to myself two things:
First, the manager shouldn’t have asked for permission to sing. He should have just had the kid do it. People would have most likely broken into applause (we love surprises, flash mobs, etc) – then if the Baristas or managers were still mad…he could have just asked for forgiveness later. Ask for forgiveness…but never ask for permission to demonstrate your worth or power. 99% of the time people will say no because they are scared.
Second, this is a perfect example of how gatekeepers are often underpaid and under qualified to evaluate us. The people who reject book deals, venture funding and movie scripts are usually never the real decision makers. They are usually the interns and low-level employees just filtering through the crap for the boss. Even the bosses are just gatekeepers to the public. These people all have agendas of their own. It’s all about them. It’s never about you. Yet we let rejection from these people make us think that the world is rejecting us.
It’s not. How can the world reject us if it hasn’t even SEEN us?
If we just skip them entirely and find our way to the decision makers, we have much better shots at getting what we want.
So fuck the gatekeepers. How can we figure out ways to get around them and go directly to the source?
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