The Payoff in Perseverance (Or, What I Learned from Mick Jagger)

You can’t always get what you want…but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.”
The Rolling Stones

Leave it up to music to reveal life’s sometimes hard, yet poignant truths.

To be honest, perseverance is painful. Trying is tiring, and discipline is difficult. When working towards a goal (i.e. getting something we want), instant gratification and instant results are typically as non-existent as Mick Jagger‘s 28” waist.

Take life in the TakeLessons office for example. Just today, one of our new Student Support counselors was sharing his disappointment with me that he wasn’t able to keep a new student on. The student quit a day after her first lesson.

Our Support Counselor, a fellow musician, reminded the student that mastering any instrument takes time and dedication. He invested his sincere time and efforts in this exchange and wanted to see this student continue…but she didn’t. You can’t always get what you want….

The student’s end goal was to be a pop star. Initially, she was really excited for her first lesson. She was quickly disappointed that after a one hour voice lesson, she couldn’t sing like Taylor Swift. After realizing the dedication involved in vocal training and recognizing what an uphill climb it was, she opted out. This story is not told to discount the student, it simply illustrates how hard it can be to persevere. Who hasn’t been discouraged by process? Goals are daunting! But if you try sometimes….

Our company just turned 5 years old, and while I wasn’t here from the beginning, I can certainly tell you that we didn’t get where we are today overnight. TakeLessons was founded with a goal. A BIG goal:  to inspire the next generation of musicians, to pay teachers, and to eventually pay ourselves. Everyone who is in leadership positions now started out small – even our CEO made sales calls at one point! Our small team of 5 persevered, and kept the end goal in sight. Now we are a team of 60 plus employees who work with hundreds of instructors who teach thousands of students! We have outgrown our current office space and continue to grow.

We also continue to be inspired by our teachers and students every day. Bottom line, everyone at TakeLessons and every one of our teachers and students has had hard days, bad days and thin days where we just didn’t get what we wanted. However, we have persevered. We have students who have put in that extra hour of practice, or teachers who travel 20 extra miles to teach a lesson, and who eventually see results! We are proud of how far we have come and look forward to where we are headed.

Now how is that for getting what you need? I think Mick Jagger would be impressed. At the very least, some of us in the office have really good dance moves, but I don’t think anyone has as small a waist.

Crystal Clem
Student Support Counselor