Before Krista and I knew that we were going to relaunch FMG and make a real comeback from the fire last December. I, Zack, ventured out on my own as Zackary Dean. When I was just 18 years old I headed to Nashville and did some pretty amazing things for somebody who knew nothing and had little to offer in terms of audience or know how. Fastforward many years and many trials, I sat at a crossroads of opportunity.
I thought, you know. I can take everything I have learned and taught over the years, put it into practice and see what comes of it. I was as committed as I could be in the given cirumcstances of uncertainty.
I started writing, I started recording, started recruiting a team of people, rehearsing and forming partnerships with all kinds of companies. We were pursuing all the things you do in this type of arena. It was an exciting time for sure and one that led to a moment that I will never forget.
Krista and I were on a trip in Tennessee, we love Nashville and the surrounding areas. We made a stop in at Gibson Guitars flagship storefront and world HQ, Gibson Garage.
It's kind of the perfect place for us. We love motors, we love old leather and metal. Gibson Garage is a candy store for a guitar player. So we wandered around like most do.
I was in a room full of acoustic guitars with a man named John Wohlford. He runs a big portion of the daily operations over at the Garage. He was kind, helpful and gave us his time so graciously. He learned about FMG and what we were up to as Zackary Dean was forming.
I played a few guitars. Then there was this one that stood out as a young girl played. I heard it and thought. That is the one, you need this guitar. I began to play it immediately after she hung it up. Then, as mostly everyone exited I began to sing a song I wrote called "Lonely Child". Little did I know John turned the background music off, baracaded the doors to the room and just listened. He created a space for me. He crafted a moment I will not forget and at the end of that moment he said "wow, you are amazing."" We don't get that everyday."
What an ego boost right? But me being a kill joy I am, brushed the compliment off and just enjoyed the act of kindness that was there.
We conitnued on in conversation for a bit and moved on about the shop only to be lobbed a question about Krista's Zildjan cymbal hat. A random fellow asked "where are they made?" Like a deer in headlights Krista froze and laughed. Then I followed it up with a shoulder shrug. This sparked a very funny endearing moment that led to some good conversation for about 15 minuets or so. Then I happened to notice he was carrying a Gibson branded tumbler, a gibson hat and shirt. I thought, does this guy work here? So I piped up and asked. "Do you work here?"
"Ummm...yeah....I am the CEO." James Curleigh (JC)
Just casually hanging out with the CEO of Gibson for like 15 minuets laughing and carrying on with zero clue.
But...This sparked something else entirely. It sparked a whole conversation about the music industry, recording, artistry and of course education.
We asked how could FMG, if it were to come back help the greater community at large? We came up with some pretty great stuff together in that very conversation. Things that will be taking shape in the coming 12-15 months. It also sparked a conversation about being a Gibson Artist. What that looks like, how I as an artist can support the brand and be a part of such a legacy company. We walked and talked all around the garage with JC where he introduced us to artist relations, Lukas Nelson (Willie Nelsons son) and a slew of managment for other artists and producers. It was a wild experience that ended in a private room filled with beautiful instruments and an invitation to keep brainstorming together.
Now this story could just end here and it would be super cool right? Like, what a memory! But what comes after is much more important.
Krista and I were not prepared to do any of that. We were on vacation. We were just stopping to check out some guitars, buy a hoodie and maybe a guitar.
We left with emails, phone numbers and a memory that shaped what we thought we could do. .This moment taught of us to dream different.
It gave us perspective. It gave us confidence, not only in ourselves but in our vision of what could be in the future.
Confidence is having proof of what you can do in the future because of the steps you took in the past. It is assurance that what we hope for in the future can become a reality because there is evidence to suggest that is the case.
Confidence in a lesson booth is built in repetition of what was taught, then what is practiced, then what is performed, rinsed and repeated.
Where you and I struggle is not in the doing but the domain. We were not prepared for any of what happned but we were prepared to ask questions. We were prepared to get insight. We were prepared to take the risk of failure or being seen as foolish with our questions. Why? Because we have confidence in the repetition of our past experience. You cannot have confidence if you have not failed or succeeded previously.
Maybe we did ask foolhearty questions, did those questions change the outcome? Or, did those questions prime a heart and mind for a stimulated conversation? You could analyze it forever, but the outcome is the same.
We left feeling seen.
We left feeling hopeful of a future conversation.
We left knowing that we had the perspective of grander thinking.
We also left with a Gibson Songwriter from our now buddy John.
If you are lacking confidence today. If you messed up, if you lost a sale or a missed a chord in the progression. It is not just a failure, It is an opportunity you have not had in the past repetitions in that specific domain and now you do. So you now have the perspective to move forward with a new energy, knowledge and...confidence.
Confidence is Domain Specific
We must push ourselves to choose to place ourselves in a position to get repetitions in the smallest of skillsets for the longest periods of time in a lot of different arenas becasue that is where greatness lives. The domain is not scary when you have been there before. It is just another place you get to be you.
Zack Schuyler (Zackary Dean to some)
VP of Student Experience