A Steady Beat
OK, it’s TMI (too much information) time. I have been a drummer since I was six—my mother gave me the option of a bike or a drum set for my birthday. My drumming drove her crazy (and the neighbors, and the neighbors’ neighbors) from the noise for more than a decade. I played in concert band, jazz band, orchestra and also played snare in the marching band. I was what you would call a “band geek” and I didn’t care; I loved every minute of it. While some may not realize it, being in the band is akin to a team sport. Everyone has a roll to play and if one person misses a beat, drops a note or (in marching band) heaven forbid, takes a wrong turn, everything is thrown off kilter. On the flip side, when everything goes right, everyone is in tune and timing is perfect. Something magical happens.
Finding that kind of magic in our adult professional lives, albeit rare, can and does exist. When everything comes together in that almost ethereal way, there is magic in business. These kinds of days might not happen as often as they should, but when they do they should be relished. Before the current recession, I feel certain they happened with much greater frequency.
As the headlines have indicated, times have been tough for many companies. Many wrong steps have been taken and the notes have been wildly out of tune. Those magical days have been nonexistent. It may have felt like it was time to toss the old band uniform in the trash and all that practice, with the blisters and frustration, was in vain. (Told you I was a band geek.) But you soon discover it wasn’t and something unexpected happens—there is a shift in momentum.
Today, all indicators suggest if you are still standing after all that the last few years have thrown at you, you are a survivor. Many of the country’s top printing and promotional product companies are reporting between 25 percent and 85 percent increases in estimated earnings for 2011 over 2010. Those numbers suggest to me that there was a big fall from a mighty high point. However, they also suggest that after the fall, print professionals stood up, brushed off the dust and kept on playing their tune, loud and proud. With that kind of resilience and tenacity, magic is bound to happen.