When Should You Give Up? (Hint: Never?!)

Never Give Up“We know what you want to accomplish. We may even know how you’d like everything to turn out.  The real question ends up being– what are you willing to push through any dips for– what are you willing to stand up for, bleed for, commit to, and sometimes be unreasonable about because you want it so much?  It is what’s actually going to get done.”
– Seth Godin

This quote is from one of my favorite tribe-builders.  Seth Godin writes very real, sometimes harsh words, but always leaves you thinking.

And it got me thinking. I often write these blogs from the other side of the music business, the media side. I do it with hopes of revealing some of what happens in that often weird, mysterious world.

So it is from this angle I bring you another experience I recently had while working directly with a band, this time one from Minneapolis. Sonny Knight and The Lakers is a fairly new, now nationally touring group, reminiscent of James Brown. My efforts with them included an interview for a music e-magazine, a Q & A (in their own words type of column) for a print publication, social media content, then finally meeting (in person, as everything else had been done via phone), and introducing the group to the large crowd gathered at a Madison music festival.

Here’s what sticks with me about Sonny and the band: their drive to succeed.  It wasn’t an obnoxious, in-your-face, aren’t we amazing kind of drive.

Instead, it was firm kindness, with an on-task attitude to get connected for the interview ahead of time, and quickly answer the Q & A to make the print deadline, follow up with links and photos, and finally to care enough to ask for a copy of the various stories we worked on to share with their families.

And that was all before I ever met them in person.

Once introductions were over, and the crowd roared for more following a blistering set; I met the true characters in this group. One told me he’d been a small-school music teacher and left to join the band. Another said he worked a few odd jobs, including scooping ice cream, until creating this opportunity.

Sure, they chatted it up with me backstage, but did the same thing with everyone else; mingling with people after the show, creating fans old and new.  Wow.

And there’s this– the authenticity, being real, but still pushing for the dream– is the way Sonny’s done business for more than 40 years.

Never Give Up

Sonny told me, he had a quick, hot hit in his early days; but the music and interest in it, dried up. He kept at it, by staying in touch with those he’d met, singing when he could, but started driving semi to feed his family.

Now, at 66-years-young, Sonny is seeing, feeling, and believing in the success he’d almost had years ago. He says it is happening now, and he’s in the right place with the right people.

And because he never stopped trying, Sonny Knight and The Lakers are headed out on their first tour of Europe this fall.

So push through, stand up, bleed, commit, want it? Yes.

Quit? Never.

Teri Barr is a multimedia feature writer, radio host, and award-winning journalist. She has work appearing regularly in local and regional publications, along with producing news and webcasts at the national level. If she's not on assignment for a project, she may be banging on her drums, hunting for the next road trip to enjoy a live show with her husband Brian, or snuggling with their cat Harrie-Yeti. You can find her on twitter, facebook, and at http://teribarr.wordpress.com

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