A couple of years ago, I was scrolling through one of my social media pages and I came across a radio station’s advertisement for a conference call. One of the radio station personalities invited songwriters who wanted to know more about the ins and outs of the music industry. “If you want to learn about getting your songs placed on actual artists’ records get on this call. If you want to know how to register your music and get credit for the work you’ve done, get on this call,” she exclaimed. She named two fairly established, gospel songwriters as her special guests. Since I have a few song placements already, I initially dismissed the idea of calling in. “I don’t need that information. I’ve learned by experience,” I thought to myself. Then, when I saw how late the call was taking place, I figured that the time had made my decision final. If I remember correctly, the call started at like 11:30 p.m. There was no way that I could get on the call and still have the energy I needed for work the next morning. Why would I put myself through that tough day at work over information I already know? Well, I decided to save the call-in information just in case I changed my mind.
By 11:00, I decided that since I wasn’t already asleep, I could stay up 30 more minutes to at least hear the first few minutes of what was about to be discussed. After all, I desire to get more song placements and there was a chance that the conversation could be more than what was advertised. Since I’m big on getting the knowledge and tools you need to be successful, I decided to call in. It ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for my songwriting career.
Early on, we were asked to put our phones on mute. The facilitator didn’t want to completely mute the call because there was going to be a time of questions and answering. After most of us muted our lines, she announced that there were 12 people on the call. She said, that was more than she expected at such a late hour. In fact, they planned the call that late because they only wanted people on the call who were serious enough about their careers that they would stay up however late they needed to in order to be educated. So, she began allowing the guests to introduce themselves before the conversation began. Immediately after introductions, she asked each guest a question. One of the guest writers answered her and a familiar voice chimed in. “That’s not true!” She nicely responded to the voice, “Sir, perhaps you got on the call after I gave instructions. Please mute your phone. Our guests are established writers and they know what they’re talking about. Perhaps they’ll answer your questions later” she emphasized. Silence filled the background as the songwriters took turns giving us information. After about 20 more minutes, that voice chimed back in. “That’s inaccurate information again.” This time the radio personality/facilitator became annoyed. She said, “With all due respect, my guests are fairly established. They’ve come to bless these 12 callers who are obviously serious about their careers. They want to learn everything they can and you keep interrupting our guests. It’s too late at night for this. Will you please tell us who you are and why you qualify to correct our guests?” He responded, “This is pastor…” (I won’t reveal his name, but let’s just say that he is waaaaaaaaaaay more established than those guests. He has been a mainstay in gospel music for at least 30 years. He’s gospel royalty). The guest songwriters were instantly star struck. The facilitator was star struck. Her phone voice bowed before him as she urged his participation. “Oh my word. I sincerely apologize. Never in 100 years would I expect you to be on this call. Sir, you have the open space to say whatever you want to say. Feel free to explain to our listeners why the things you pointed out are not true. Take as much time as you want. Before you do so, please let me know why you decided to get on this call.” He replied, I got on because I figure that anyone who calls in this late to get this information is serious about his/her career. I wanted to assure that they were getting the most accurate information. I also wanted a chance to actually talk to the hungry people who were willing to stay up this late to better themselves.
After answering her, this impromptu guest spent the next full hour telling us first-hand stories from his 30+ year, multiple award winning career. He gave us real insider information. He taught us information that none of us (including the guest songwriters) could afford to pay for. To think: I never would have learned any of it if I had not chosen to get on the call. This week, that call resurfaced in my mind as I joined a late Facebook Live that also proved to be invaluable. It led me to desire to leave you with a few things I’ve learned.
Despise Being Average
Don’t misunderstand this point. Everybody can’t be above average. I do understand that average people are precious in God’s eyes. However, average people may be really good. Above average people are GREAT!
Why? Above average people are willing to push themselves beyond the norm. While average people stop, above average people keep going. They are on 11:00 p.m. calls getting all the information they can. They are studying for exams that will lead to another degree. They are up earlier than everybody else in order to get their workout in. They have learned that the path to success is called “The Extra Mile.”
Your Whole Life Can Change Suddenly
On the Facebook Live that I mentioned, one established musician/songwriter was interviewing several of his industry friends. All of sudden, he declared “I want to talk to somebody I don’t already know.” A few non-celebrity people were on to learn/be inspired were conferenced in for a live, impromptu opportunity to ask a question or showcase the music they were working on. Industry decision makers were tuned in. These non-celebrity guests received positive feedback and made serious connections. Their addition to the guest list was not planned. It was a sudden decision by the host. “Suddenly” gifts go to those who are willing to go where everybody else is not. If you don’t believe me, grab your Bible and read Acts chapter 2.
Romel Gibson is a youth and college pastor, mentor, community leader, motivational speaker, musician, and songwriter living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He serves as a full-time Campus Life Director with Youth for Christ, one of the largest non-profit youth evangelism ministries in the world. As a songwriter, his most notable works include L. Spenser Smith and Testament (Greater, Surgery), Tonya Baker (Miracles), The Anointed Pace Sisters (Praise and Worship), Myron Butler (Changed), Marvin Sapp (Never), Ruben Studdard (Holding On To You Lord), and Johnny Gill (Black Box).Romel has been married for 12 years to his college best friend Quanedra. Together they have been blessed with three beautiful daughters; Allayna Pilar, Moriah Kelis, and Rylee Addison.