What is your definition of hard work?
Authored by David Militello
Hard work (my personal definition): Time spent on courageously dreamt goals and areas of interest that I do not know or understand; sometimes frustrating or painful; always rewarding and surprising; will deliver your exact intentions thoughtful or not.
As an aspiring music student in a private school in the Big Apple I was enchanted by the different styles of music and their history and heritage. One specific teacher introduced me to the concept of hard work. His name was Fred Klatz. Fred was a passionate teacher and fervent student of the drum. He was a force of energy always tapping and talking about drums as if the notes were pills, and he was some sort of drum junky. The guy could barely keep up with himself, he was always moving fast and to follow him as a teacher… well you better be on your game. He also took it very personally if you didn’t have the same level of enthusiasm or dedication.
One afternoon about two weeks into my first semester, Fred was watching me all day as I went back and forth from class to my practice room. He stopped me in the hallway that evening as I was leaving my last practice session of the day. He said “Dave, right? I want to talk to you about your practice time.”
A little intimidated, I said “OK?”
“Dave, I don’t understand something about you. I’ve been listening to you practice on and off all day today, and I am a little confused. All I hear you playing are the same rock ‘n roll beats that you played in your initial audition.” I told him, yes, I’ve been practicing them! Don’t they sound good! He looked at me and said “Why are you here?” Squeamishly I stuttered, “To be a great drummer?” His face grew purplish as if I said something terribly insulting to him. He stared me directly in the eye and quietly asked, “How do you plan to be a great drummer if you only practice the things that you already know?” He went on to say. “I am here to teach and develop drummers like you. If you choose not to teach and develop the tools I give you, then you are wasting my time and your life. This is serious business, this takes hard work, focus, assertiveness and more so, a clear vision.” “Dave,” he said “If you truly want to be great at drumming, NEVER practice the things you already know. Do you need to practice breathing? Eating? Or driving once you learn it? Stop spending time in your comfortable place, my friend, and you will be great at whatever you do.”
I know in my life when I spend my time in that place I call hard work great things happen. You have to be courageous and you have to dream and then you just have to buckle down and work your butt off. Where are you spending your time?
David Militello is a multi-unit, multi-concept restaurant owner based in Southaven, Mich., www.lakeshoredining.com. Dave is a man of opportunity and music. If he wasn’t a restaurant owner, he’d probably be playing drums in a band touring the world. Dave is a part of David Scott Peters’ coaching team and offers expertise in managing multiple locations, catering, employee development and systems implementation.