A few years back, I heard a speaker talking about his travels to a third world country. He told us that when he returned, people were shocked he didn’t have more photo documentation. His response was, “I was too busy doing what I went there to do to take pictures.” I somewhat share his sentiment for 2011 – I didn’t prioritize documenting what was going on because we were so busy “doing what we are in existence as a company to do.” I apologize for this and am hopeful for more consistency in 2012.
This past year was hard work. It seems that way for most people I know. Don’t get me wrong; there were wonderful things in the midst of the work. We left off in April with the lovely visit from my dad [“the Bob” as he’s known in my circle]. The last eight months of the year, we had some amazing highlights – Castle Lights had some incredible show opportunities with major touring acts, Folk Family Revival released their debut full-length album, Unfolding, and Shellee Coley finished recording her album, Where It Began, set to release at the end of February. We’ve been busy busy with all this goodness and hard work.
2011 reminded me of the awkward adolescence phase – lots of growth and change, somewhat awkward, and loads of anticipation for what lies ahead. At the start of 2012, I feel like the metaphorical growth spurt has slowed down, the acne has cleared up and the voice is no longer cracking. 2012: here we come.
Never before have I felt such anticipation for a year or felt such confidence that it will be good. The other day, my colleague and friend, Kent Coley, texted myself and our other business partner, Jeffery, saying, “I challenge everyone to expect something great to happen everyday and really believe it!” My response: “Challenge ACCEPTED!” While I’m not a “name it and claim it” type of person, I do believe I can expect great things and choose to see the good rather than focus on impending doom [since apparently the world may end this year anyway…if so, we’re going out with a bang!]. Something we like to do every year for our holiday party with our artists is to compile a book of photos documenting the previous years’ growth and experiences. I found myself getting emotional at all the incredible things that occurred. We celebrated them in the moment, but quickly moved to the next goal, the next mountain to climb, the next fire to put out. While I know we have to be diligent to stay on top of things, deal with the struggles and growth pains of being a newish company in an ever-changing music world, what we can do is believe. Believe in our artists – seeing the best in them, walking well with them as they pursue their dreams, working with them to create beautiful music that can impact so many. Believe in our partners and allies– that the folks who have given us so many opportunities will continue to believe in US and that we can contribute positively to them as well. And to believe in our team at Magnolia Red – giving each other the benefit of a doubt when times are stressful, encouraging each other in the midst of stressful circumstances and long hours, and reminding each other that good will happen and is happening.
Below is a picture of our “Wall of Good Things” we’ve posted in our office. We have a sheet for the current month with space to write down the great things that happen on a daily basis, a bulletin board for emails, reviews, memories from that month, and then beside that, we will be posting our year-long vision and goals for each artist and our company. This way, we’ll be reminded of what we’re setting our sights on, and what we WILL be accomplishing this year. It seems crazy, but I just know these things will happen. I’m believing it – expecting it – and ready for whatever turbulence might come our way this year. I hope your year is starting out well too – and I would love to hear your stories of anticipation and excitement for this year too. Let’s all believe it can happen for each other.