The attitude you have with any task is the attitude you have with every task.
That is not a typo, I did write the title again because I want you to read it again, and let it soak into your mind.
Throughout any given day there are many tasks we would rather not do. Many chores, duties, responsibilities we would like to ignore or pass on if given the chance to. And sometimes, when given the chance, that is exactly what we do.
You probably have meetings you don’t want to attend, specific duties that are part of your job that you dislike doing, house chores that you want to postpone, or even conversations that you know you have to have but you keep ignoring.
It’s easy to ignore these things, to delay them or to do them half-assed, just so you can check them off a checklist. But you shouldn’t. You can’t!
Because the attitude you have with any task is the attitude you have with every task.
Artists like Carl Cox, John Digweed, Sara Landry, Paula Temple, Rinzen, the Desert Hearts crew and 999999999 didn’t get to where they are today by half-assing things, or postponing things they had to get done.
Let’s take Sara Landry, for example, who we had the pleasure to meet and host for our first WORK event back from lockdown on July 10th. Prior to the pandemic Sara had been working hard in the studio, honing her craft, building her brand, and launching a unique party series in Austin, Texas. Then it all came crashing to a halt when the entire electronic music industry was forced to pump the breaks on just about everything. But not for Sara.
She got to work, dedicating hours and hours in the studio, working on delivering high-quality live stream experiences to introduce herself to new fans across the globe, securing releases on key labels such as RAW and Possession Paris, and putting her name and artistry in the minds and lips of industry peers and fans alike throughout the world.
The result is there for all of us to see: she is touring throughout the United States selling out shows, her tracks are receiving support from massive techno artists all over the world, and we are 100% confident she will soon land some fantastic gigs throughout Europe.
There are parallels to be drawn from her story to that of Rinzen and the Desert Hearts crew, all of whom put incredible work and dedication during the toughest year and a half our industry has ever seen, and are now enjoying the benefits of all the hard work they put in during those hard months.
Trust me when I say that similar stories can be found in the careers of Carl Cox, John Digweed, Paula Temple, 999999999 and others — artists who have dedicated their lives to their careers, working hard with the right mindset, purpose, and intent to break through and cement their names in the history books of electronic music.
The lessons these artists have taught are invaluable. It’s not always about doing the tasks and duties that we love the most, the ones that are characterized by glitz and glamour. It’s about doing the little things and doing them with the right mindset, even when we are tired, feeling unmotivated, and even when it’s things we don’t particularly enjoy doing.
Every job, even that of a producer, DJ and promoter, has tasks that we don’t really enjoy doing. But when we do our jobs, and do it well, the results will come.
When I started in this industry I did every single little thing that I could to get my foot in the door. Nothing was beneath me, and still today you can find me lugging in ice and water at the warehouse or passing our flyers to promote our next show. This doesn’t mean that my attitude is always as it should be, but I have come to recognize that to build something great for yourself you have to not only be willing to work hard, to struggle and to sacrifice, but you have to embrace, welcome, and love the hard work, the struggle and the sacrifice.
Modern philosopher Ryan Holiday explains that “sometimes, on the road to where we are going or where we want to be, we have to do things that we’d rather not do. Often when we are just starting out, our first jobs ‘introduce us to the broom,’ as Andrew Carnegie famously put it. There’s nothing shameful about sweeping. It’s just another opportunity to excel — and to learn.”
Everything you do matters. And how you do it matters even more. Whether it’s taking the time to craft out a professional e-mail to a record label, pushing through a late night of work even when you’re tired, sweeping up a disgustingly dirty warehouse at 6:30am or DJing the opening slot of a very small party that not many people will attend.
All these tasks are important, and they remain important even after you have achieved success. It is ego and pride telling you that you’re above these tasks. It is ego and pride making you think that you’re too good for whatever job the current situation requires.
As a DJ you will play many sets in your life. Small performances for small fees with a very small crowd and, hopefully, big gigs to a sold-out dance floor. What matters is how you treat each one, because you will carry that mindset and attitude on for the rest of your career, and it can very well be the difference-maker on whether you make it to the big leagues or not. Each DJ set, just like each task of any job, matters, so why would you give less than you’re capable of giving?
As a promoter you will throw successful sold-out events, and some will flop. Ticket sales will be slow and the dance floor may not be as full as you’d want it to be. But you still owe it to yourself, to your guests, and to the artists you’ve booked, to treat these slower nights just as you would with your better nights: with absolute professionalism, curating every detail, and giving it your absolute best.
Ryan Holiday goes on to tell us that no matter where we are, and what we are doing, “we owe it to ourselves, to our art, to the world to do it well. That’s our primary duty. And our obligation. When action is our priority, vanity falls away.”
In our lives, we will wear many hats, do many jobs, and be faced with many hard or boring tasks and yet we must remember and know that none of these tasks, duties, and responsibilities are beneath us. We should never be looking for ways to shy away from our duties and our responsibilities, and we should never look for recognition, praise or rewards for doing what is simply our duty to do.
At 6AM we believe in 10 key principles that everyone should apply in the music industry, three of which I want to remind you of today:
We should always do our work with these three traits, no matter the obstacle and no matter whether we get recognition for it or not. Each and every task requires our best, and to give it our best, our mind has to be set straight, because the attitude you have with any task is the attitude you have with every task.
If at any moment you feel that these tasks are a burden, your mindset is wrong and it’s time to work on that.
It’s ok to fail, to make mistakes, and more importantly to learn. All that is being asked of you is to work hard and give it your best, to be honest to yourself and others, and to help others when needed. Nothing more, nothing less.
The key thing is to realize that this mindset is key not just when working on big projects, but even more so when dealing with all the small things that lead to the accomplishments of big goals in your life. Each of these small tasks is part of a bigger whole, and while you cannot control the overall outcome of that whole, you have absolute control of how you do the small instances that add up to it.
The attitude you have when doing anything is the attitude you have when doing everything. So do it right.
Cover photo by @nightmovesme