The Question Matters

Tales of a Fourth Grade Entrepreneur, Cont.

Posted in Entrepreneurs,Family by treyfinley1008 on May 20, 2010
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I wrote a while back about some of the barriers I’ve had to overcome as I’ve entered the entrepreneurial world.  There’s the childhood “trauma” of selling candy bars.  There’s the security of a paycheck.  There are the late nights/early mornings wondering what’s next.  Here’s another one.

When I was in fourth grade, I began piano lessons with a teacher in the town where we lived. It was my third year of piano lessons, and I had shown some signs of inheriting my mom’s talent on the ivories.  Getting better required hard work and lots of practice, which I could do.  It required alone time, which I enjoyed.  It definitely helped that I had large hands, allowing me to cover the keyboard with more ease than most kids my age.

I was particularly good at music theory–the scales, the rhythms, the chords, and the chord progressions that form the building blocks of great music.  I enjoyed precision then, just as I do now.  When I was learning a new piece of music, one of the hardest things to do was keep a steady beat.  My focus was on getting the notes right, learning where to put my fingers and how to play the chord with certain fingers, allowing me to be in better position to move to the next chord.  During those first attempts at a new piece of music, the beat was less important than learning the notes.  As the notes became more familiar, the rhythm became more important.

  The tool I used to help instill that sense of rhythm was a metronome. The metronome clicks out a very precise rhythmical sound, keeping the piano student on the beat. It would tell me when I was playing too slowly or too quickly.  As a young student, the mechanism is very helpful.   Over time, though, that metronome became hardwired into my musical brain.  I didn’t need it any more; I could hear the pace at which the music needed to move and maintain that pace throughout the piano piece, even if the piece was new to me.

Some days, I need an entrepreneur’s metronome. Entrepreneurship feels like a piano sonata in which I’m still learning the notes.  The rhythm often escapes me.  I need a hardwired metronome in my business brain that will help me keep the pace.  Business ebbs and flows, speeds up and slows down.  Even as the rhythms of entrepreneurship change, I need a steady tick-tock in my head that paces my work, speeding it up on days that motivation is hard and slowing it down on days that feel too full.


5 Responses to 'Tales of a Fourth Grade Entrepreneur, Cont.'

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  1. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!


  2. Nathon Hay said,


    I became an entrepreneur after getting no where over 10 years of working for others. My motivation began as wanting to get unstuck. As my attitude and self-esteem have risen, my motivation has become wanting to succeed.

    If you’re happy doing what you’re doing, stick with it.

    Check out Seth Godin’s book The Dip if you’re interested in “when to quit” and “when to stick to it”.

  3. sonnypi67 said,

    I’m always impressed by people who strike out on their own, start their own business or whatever.

    Wished I had the cojones to go the entrepreneurial route. Although I am a writer and that is entrepreneurial I suppose. It requires the self-motivation that running your own business does. Of course, I’ve yet to publish so that might be a sign of just how well, or not well as the case may be, I’d fare as an entrepreneur.

    Keep at it!

    • Chris,

      Thanks for the words of encouragement.

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