The Field of Dreams

Today I wanted to give a sneak peak into a project I have been working on for the last year. This fall I will be releasing a book entitled “Making Elephants Fly: Getting Your Dreams off the Ground”.   I can’t wait to get this labour of love into your hands!  Until then, enjoy this sneak peek…

If you build it, they will come. If you make it remarkable, they will come back.

I have always been a big fan of building something rather than waiting for someone to give me permission to build it. In the 1989 movie, “Field of Dreams” Kevin Costner played farmer Ray Kinsella. Ray hears a voice whisper to him in his cornfield, “If you build it, they will come”, and sees a baseball diamond. I love that idea, but I recently watched the movie again and realized I missed something significant that the voice said to him. Later in the movie that same voice said, “go the distance.”

You are reading this book because somewhere written on a napkin or on your heart is this amazing idea or dream. The rest of us are just waiting for you to make a reality. Please hear the voice that says build it, but please finish it. “Go the distance!” I think of the story Noah and the Ark that I first saw on a flannel-graph in Sunday School. I am sure somewhere in the process (with all the hard work and people questioning his sanity) Noah wanted to give up on the whole ark thing. There are going to be people who see you building and question what you are building. Everyone questioned Noah until it started to rain. I imagine that Noah, and his family questioned if they were doing the right thing in the process.

If you are going to be bold enough to build something, people are going to question what you are building. There is a good chance that your friends and family are going to be among those that second guess what you are building. You are going to be tempted to cut corners in the process. You are probably going to want to quit. You may even quit. Don’t. You have been given something that you are suppose to do. Go and do it.

I’ve spent much of my adult life in the music industry. The problem with most artists is that they don’t build something remarkable. They build something safe. Something that fits a formula. It normally goes something like this: Good looking people making mediocre music that sounds like everything else on the radio, parter with some brilliant songwriter to write a smash hit song, have artist buy on to some major tour, live in poverty for a while and if it works they are an overnight success.  If that does not work, the A&R guy at the label says….next. Then, in comes the next good looking, semi-talented group to take their place. 

The whole cycle is much like like the one that runs your washing machine. Wash, Rinse, Spin, Repeat. That process worked really well until someone invented the internet. I hear it was Al Gore, at least that is what he said. The internet allows us, the music buyer, to find artists making remarkable art. We no longer have to wait on radio stations to spoon feed us what we listen to.

The internet and the new economy requires us to create something that people want to come back to over and over again. If you don’t make it worth coming back to it ends badly. (Just ask MySpace.) I remember the days when that was a daily part of my life. It was like my central nervous system. Now, not so much. The APP is on my iPhone as a reminder that if you are not constantly building something worth coming back to, you will go away.

So go ahead and build it, they will come. Just make it good enough that they will want to come back!

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