Work with the kids, you have something they don’t, they have something you don’t.
From the same panel last year came another interesting thought about working together.
This one was from Bryan Michael Cox and was specific to the ‘freshman class’ of music in 2016.
As an aging dude (what some may call an ‘old head’) it’s easy for me to hate on what the next generation is doing.
Speaking just on music, some of the biggest songs and artists from 2016 make my head spin and not in a good way.
The shear loss of quality across the board between the music, the lyrics, the artists themselves, is atrocious to me.
But that’s me.
The music I enjoyed and was heavily influenced by made my elders and mentors make the stank face. Honestly, listening back to some of that gives me the stank face. At the time though, no one could tell me different. That was my music. I loved and supported it, and it made me push my own limits and try new things.
It’s more appropriate to keep an open mind as there is always something you can learn.
Work with the kids
This concept is not something that is new to me. Regardless if it’s music, web development, sports, or anything else I have experience with, I’ve always enjoyed teaching others that are interested.
If I see that spark in someone, I want to immediately unload all the information I have on them. This isn’t always the best way, nor are they completely receptive to it, but I can’t help myself.
I was fortunate enough to spend some time working with a few of the cats from Awful Records crew a few years ago.
We met while I was building the line up for one of the Hijacking Music Festivals that put together. I can vividly remember meeting Keith Charles and Ethereal at a Halloween house party and thinking to myself “dang these dudes are young”.
Come to find out, they were about 10 years younger than me. They were out in the scene on the grind, and they had already been doing that for years before I met them.
After their performance I knew they had the gift and invited them to work out of my studio whenever they wanted.
No cost, just come over and hang out, let’s make some music
You have something they don’t.
We only had a few sessions, but at the time they didn’t have a studio to work out of. Their manager was trying to make sure they were getting opportunities to work outside of the barrio they were all living out of.
What I could offer them was a isolated space, no distractions, my ear for sonic balance, and a decade of writing, recording, booking, and touring.
What they could offer me was energy, creativity, and a fresh view into a world that I had long since past.
I will always be thankful for those times.
This same concept has been applied in my professional career as a web developer / consultant.
It was quick for me to realize my place in this industry. Sure I can write code, I spent a long time doing that, and I came to realize that I’m not the best at it. There are others out there who are just naturally better at it.
What I found is that I have a sense for business development, processes, and the ability to talk to other professionals to get jobs. What I then started to need was people to then take that and work their magic.
If you’ve ever spent time talking to a hard core developer about anything related to development, you’ll know that it can be a challenge to bring them back down to earth. It’s often very high level and unless you have experience writing code, much of it can go over your head.
The developers that I have gravitated towards ended up being much younger than myself.
What I can offer to those people is guaranteed work without them ever having to go find it themselves.
They have something you don’t.
The older I get, the more I realize my strengths and weaknesses.
I spent a lot of time when I was younger trying to balance those out. As an adult I’ve tried to focus on my strengths, and work with others to cover my weaknesses.
It’s not beyond me to seek out and work with ‘kids’ from the generation behind me. Instead of being that ‘old head’ I would rather embrace our differences and find ways to work together.
Those that are up and coming are always going to be hungrier, more motivated, probably more intelligent, but often more naive.
If we work together, we can balance each other out and do great things.
What really excites me is to see where those that are 2 generations behind me will start to go.
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