File this under helpful advice in understanding life. It’s about a modern day adage of sorts.
There are many sayings in life. Some become hackneyed expressions, while others hold deep meaning. One saying I’ve learned years ago has become one that came back to me time and again to teach me a lot about life. It’s about being yourself or being true to yourself, and yet it goes beyond living life on your terms. The saying is:
Your audience finds you.
I first heard it as advice when I was the front for a local Delaware band. We were making the rounds with radio stations pushing for airplay. Who I heard it from, I do not recall. It wasn’t something profound when I first heard it. It was just one of those… “Yeah you’re right” moments of acknowledgment. I believe it was a fellow musician from a band that mentored ours.
Our conversation started with me explaining our band’s sound. I was defining how I sing, I was explaining we had two guitarists that traded off lead guitar solos and how that gave us more than one flavor. In response, I was told, “Your audience finds you.” Its meaning was clear right away. We didn’t need to worry if people would like us, the people that did like us would appreciate us and become our fans. Our audience would find us. And that story — a seed in time, grew inside me.
Over the years I recall that analysis and observation about how the music industry works. It applied to business. Many folks had these crazy ideas for usable web sites, from gaming forums to odds bettors, and even bonsai tree enthusiasts. I remembered to myself and assured people with their idea, “Your audience will find you.”
There came a point in time I gave that advice to myself; about love. I realized that I was a unique guy lost in an obscure part of the world where someone such as myself couldn’t stand out. More than that, I was never interested in being tough and strong. I was a paradox. I became insensitive and outwardly uncaring but genuinely sensitive, only I had to get to know you first. I wasn’t special. I just wanted to believe I was because my mother raised me to believe I was.
My foolish and far too romantic side made it hard for me to get the right woman to strike up immediate interest. I was …an acquired taste. 🙂 I said to myself, “Don’ t worry Lars, your audience will find you.” I knew that a woman that had similar interests would one day cross my path — Oh, and she never did. I eventually forced myself to accept others. Until that day came, I believed I could just be everywhere at once hoping to put myself in the right woman’s path. Again, a foolish boy thinking he was a man.
Of course that is why I wrote the song Forced Fate. Those two words in terms of love mean you can’t make a woman love you, but you can put yourself in her path to find you. My theory seemed so possible. Wow, could I spin my own lie and live it. You can force fate to some degree. Yes I know, those two words — forced fate are somewhat paradoxical. Forcing fate is something I’ve been at for some time. I knew I’d never sing in a band if I didn’t go after it. The mind moves towards what it sees. I knew that if I wanted to play football, I’d have to try while I still had my youth. I did that very thing at the age of 27. It was never too late. And the people that played in my band and played football… were like me. We had the same outlook on life and the same energy and will to achieve.
In life, your audience will find you. The people that share a common interest find each other. People that love alike, people that hate alike. People that have strong family values, people that have no interest in a family; the different types of people there find each other. Followers follow and leaders lead, but they share characteristics that are alike.
When we dress it is an expression of our values, our interests and more. We find ourselves attracted to people that dress in a manner in which we agree, even if it’s uniquely different than our self — even if it seems diametrical. We find each other based on being alike deep inside, and sometimes on the surface. Of course, clothes alone don’t define a person but it is a starting point. As we open up to learn about the people we meet we draw closer to those that share our interests.
Perhaps my underlying message here is – be yourself and those that are like you will like you most for the real you. No matter what it is. May your audience find you.