By: Kathy Kent Toney, President of Kent Business Solutions
Yours Truly performing at Club D-Mask-Us. Photo by Julie West
Years ago, I dabbled in the wedding singer world. I say “dabbled”, because I had sung at several friend’s weddings for free, so when I was offered a paying gig, I jumped on the chance!
What fun, I thought! Little did I know this would be a BIG lesson in perseverance.
Murphy’s Law was at play from the very beginning. I came down with bronchitis two days before the wedding rehearsal. Then once I got there, I realized I had left my music for one of the songs at home, which was a two-hour drive away.
So, the pianist and I decided we’d practice that one song on the day of the wedding…certainly not an ideal situation!
The day of the wedding came, and I was able to sing, but I still wasn’t in the greatest shape. Unfortunately, my being unprepared and not feeling well got the best of me.
Let me explain….
While I was singing that one song during the wedding, I unfortunately forgot to change keys during one section and I kept singing that same key throughout the rest of the song.
Ugh! Needless to say, it sounded horrible! But I kept forging ahead, acting as if nothing were wrong at all, but inside I was mortified. Eventually, the pianist caught up with me and thankfully I nailed the next song.
Then the funniest thing happened during the reception. The groom said to me: “You sounded great, Kathy, but the pianist sure screwed up!”
I almost burst out laughing, but instead I thanked him and didn’t say a word about what actually happened. I was so relieved that I had covered my tracks so well!
However, the bride refused to talk to me. And then she refused to pay me!
Although this experience wasn't fun at the time, I can laugh now. Also, I learned several lessons on how to persevere during difficult situations, especially if you're in the spotlight.
Let’s dive into what those are!
1. Fake It Until You Make It
When I made that mistake, I made a conscious decision to stay committed to my direction, knowing that doing anything else would only make it worse. I pretended I knew exactly what I was doing, even if it was wrong.
Lessons Learned: We all make bad decisions, but sometimes the best course of action is to stick to your guns…IF the fall-out could be worse if you suddenly change course. This may be especially true if you’re in a new role and need to inspire those around you to follow your direction. Be confident in whatever choice you make.
2. Have a “Don’t Give Up Attitude”
I made a commitment to sing at this wedding, and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me from doing that. I also didn’t let the mistake I made to limit myself from nailing the next song.
Lessons Learned: Make a firm decision that when you say you’re going to do something, you do it, even if the going is tough.
3. Be Tenacious at Getting the Results You Want
My perseverance in bugging the bride to pay me finally paid off…I got a check in the mail six months later. Even more important, the lessons I learned in perseverance with this gig were worth all the time, effort and even embarrassment I experienced.
Lessons Learned: Tenaciously pursue your goals. Then take stock of what you learned…knowing that you can overcome certain challenges can help build in a deeper ability to persevere under fire in the future. This builds even great tenacity.
Speaking of challenges, are you in the midst of some that you’re not sure how to overcome? Could you use an outside perspective on how to tackle them?
If that's the case, I’d love to have a conversation with you! If it’s not something I can solve, I have a whole network of alliance partners that I’d love to connect you with.
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