Focus on the Possibilities Rather than the Impossibilities

"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it.  Impossible is not a fact.  It's an opinion.  Impossible is not a declaration.  It's a dare.  Impossible is potential.  Impossible is temporary.  Impossible is NOTHING." - Muhammad Ali

It was 1992.  Or was it 1993.  I had just moved to Nashville from the metropolis of Keyesport, Illinois.  Unlike many of my peers who had also recently graduated from college, I found myself back in the classroom rather than on the 8th floor of a large, major corporation.  By this time, I had decided against pursuing a career in law and politics....a path I felt passionate about at a very, very young age.  Instead, I felt the music industry tugging at my heart....a tugging that started in the 7th grade after seeing a news story about some rising Christian singer named Amy Grant.  So after graduating from Southern Illinois University with a BS in Political Science (yes, I know...do you, too, get the irony?), I enrolled in a few music business courses at Belmont College.  I'm not going to sugar-coat it, I was A-F-R-A-I-D.  I had absolutely no clue what I was doing.  But because I was convinced that I was being led by the hand of providence, I had to believe that everything would be A-OK.  During my time at Belmont, I took a particular music business course (by which name I no longer remember), led by Professor Larry Wachholtz.  I'm sure that Dr. Wachholtz was a brilliant teacher, but out of everything he taught, I remember only one thing that he said to the entire class:  "YOU can start your own record label."  What?!?  Isn't that impossible?  I can?  Really?  Me?  And ever since, I've been hooked on....well....that possibility.  So now fast forward to 2016.  As I continue to be blown away by how my journey forges on....for all of the opportunities I've been given....for all of the incredible people I've been blessed to meet along the way....it's long overdue that I pull the trigger on yet another dream.  A dream called Music.  Music that I make.  Music that I release.  Music that I promote.  Music that I perform.  That's why Nicole and I started "The 500 Hats Music Company"....an outlet for a dream to become a reality....atleast in some form.  Please don't misunderstand me.  I'm not changing my career.  I'm not necessarily redirecting the course that I've been set upon.  I'm just upgrading my life to include something else that I'm passionate about....and those who know me best know how deep that passion runs (Right Jane?  Right Linda?  Right Mike?).  There's much to do before I release this upcoming, 6-song EP entitled "Raincoats & Other Short Stories".  There are more photos that need to be captured.  Graphics that need to be created.  Radio and PR to be considered.  Blogs to be written.  Distribution.  Videos.  Licensing.  Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. (Can you guess why we named our company "500 Hats?)  As you can tell, there are a lot of moving parts involved, but I'm determined to focus on the possibilities rather than the impossibilities.   Right now, I've been focusing on building a live show with the direction of my musical director, Mason Embry.  Mason is a brilliant pianist and has been the keyboard player for country artist, Chris Young, for the past several years.  I'm extremely thankful to have his expertise on board.  We got together for our final pre-production meeting before we pull in the rest of the band for rehearsals in November and thought you might enjoy an inside look at what we're doing to plan the show.  I've also included a few sound bites of several songs we're adding to the mix.  Although they're merely piano tracks for rehearsal purposes, I thought you might want to take a listen.  So grab a glass of wine, plug in your earbuds, and take a moment to relax to some very beautiful music.  Oh...and you might hear me hum or sing along from time-to-time....complete with missed or strained notes....and a cough or two....hey....I'm just keeping it real, folks.  But before I let you go, I'd like to ask one thing:  What possibilities are on your horizon that you've been convinced are impossible?  Think about it.  Til next time, live magnificently and love each other well!      

Take a Moment to Find the Lesson

It's just after 7:00am San Francisco time. The morning sky is a mix of gray clouds and rolling fog.  Nicole is still sleeping, cocooned between feather bedding and Frette linens.  I'm in the lobby lounge of our hotel....kicked back on a maroon, club leather chair....doing two of my favorite things: writing and drinking a helluva good cup of coffee. It's interesting....I'm learning that everywhere I go, there are lessons that can be learned through every experience and through every person we meet along the way....you just have to take a moment to find the lesson God is trying to teach. Nicole & I have only been in SFO for 12 hours and have met incredible people like Roy, Joel, & Andrew....they taught us a lesson in genuine kindness and that we always have to do the right thing....even when we don't feel like it. We also met Sony & Jerry, a musician couple that lives here in San Francisco, but called Nashville home for 10 years. They reminded me that you can follow your calling no matter where you end up on this earth.  As for now, there are people outside in orange hats and orange vests building a skyscraper. While I sip on this cup of black coffee, I'm gonna watch and learn how not to fall off the top of a very tall building.  Til next time, live magnificently and love each other well!

 

ps...tap the pictures to scroll through the gallery ;  )

You Gotta Start Somewhere

picture by tere hendricks   

picture by tere hendricks

 

I am sitting at the desk in my writing room.  A glass of red is within reach.  A small, pewter lamp illuminates my hands as my fingers dash across the computer keyboard.  To my left, I can hear the Summer cicadas singing their rhythmic tune outside the window.  To my right, a large picture hangs...a picture that motivates and inspires me on a daily basis.  It is a picture of a strong and steady horse.  His name is Bold Faith.  Upon a closer look, it is easy to see why that is his name.  His gaze is focused and his stature is self-controlled, although he is surrounded by darkness.  He is looking forward.  Onward.  Into the unknown.  Yet he is ready and waiting for his master's command to move.  Forward.  Onward.  As I look into his eyes, I ponder what his thoughts are.  It's as if he's asking me, "Are you coming with me?  Are you moving forward?"  My answer is simple.  Yes...I want to!  But to be honest, I don't always know how to move forward.  And I am certainly not always sure of my own footing.  But I also realize that sometimes you just have to start....you just gotta start somewhere...even if you can't see what is directly in front of you.  But I suppose that is the essence of faith.  One step.  Then another.  And another.  Especially when you don't know.  In some ways, I suppose that's what this website represents.  The stepping forward into the unknown and revealing another layer of myself.  I am a husband.  A daddy.  A son.  A brother.  A fierce friend.  By day, I am an accountant.  And at every moment, I am an imagineer....and I enjoy writing about the ideas and stories and perspectives and songs that are so graciously given through me.   But this blog just isn't about my life.  I hope you can see your life somewhere among the lines of these pages and stories, too.  If you think about it, it's rather incredible isn't it...if not miraculous...that the God of this Universe has gathered all of us right here at the same time?  I believe it is our duty to connect with one another...to inspire each other daily...to build each other up...to love each other whole-heartedly and unconditionally.  That is my goal.  To connect with you and then for you to connect with others.  This is a journal of my journey into the unchartered depths of a life-long dream.  We all have dreams.  We have passions.  We want to be loved and accepted.  These things are the common threads that tie us together.  Here, you will read about many things in which I hope we can find a common connection:  Travel.  Cooking.  Fitness.  Dreams.  Faith.  Friends.  Family.  Made-up Stories.  Not made-up stories.  Money.  And yes, music.  I'm very excited to include you on this road into the unknown.  As I move forward and onward in my own journey, I pray that you will be inspired to move forward and onward into your own dreams and passions, too.  Til next time, live magnificently and love each other well!