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What? Me Crazy? Musings on Berlioz and Bill Gates

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While sitting in an orchestra rehearsal, I am struck by what a strange and remarkable ride I am on. Scary at times, exhilarating at others and certainly never boring. Like any good thrill ride, you think you want it to end, but you usually get right back on when it stops. Entrepreneurship stretches you in many ways. I am a professional trumpet player who also happens to run a business that involves selling ChopSaver, the all-natural lip balm that I created several years ago. Right now, I am playing the Requiem by the eccentric, early Romantic Era composer Hector Berlioz with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Berlioz was clearly ahead of his time in both compositional style and how he used and stretched the abilities of the instruments of his time, which in the case of this piece was 1837. The piece requires a large orchestra with an army of extra brass players and a choir of 200. I am fortunate to still be asked to do such work with some of the finest musicians in the region. And to top it off, my wife (1st violin) and my mother (choir) are also on stage with me. How cool is that!

Berlioz was a little crazy – like a lot of successful people seem to be. I doubt anyone would describe me as eccentric, but my life is certainly unfolding in ways I never imagined. Yesterday, I was attending a lunch in a room full of wealthy investors, entrepreneurs, and some of the most influential business people in the state. Soon after that, I was at the mail house shipping out orders. Upon returning to my home office, I held a meeting with my partners to discuss our follow up with our new medical prospects and our fundraiser initiative, among several other projects we are pushing along. Many seemingly different tasks that all lead to the same goal of helping us get the word out about ChopSaver.

After the meeting, I made the grueling, one-second commute from my office to our kitchen. While my wife finished teaching her last violin lesson of the day, I got dinner started and gave some quick advice to my son regarding his homework. A typical day and yet a day that will never be repeated as tomorrow may contain some of the same elements, but will be completely different. As will the next day and the day after that. The point is, when you are running a business, every day is a new beginning. How satisfied you feel at the end of the day is largely up to you. It’s one reason you often see the word “serial” before the word entrepreneur – at least the really good ones. It means they never stop creating and rarely rest on their laurels. Yes, Bill Gates may have been a “one trick pony” because he is only famous for one company. I guess his attempting to eradicate diseases and stop famine and starvation around the world will have to suffice as a decent “second venture” for now! The point is we are creating all the time. The challenge is to create thoughts, ideas or products that inspire, comfort or otherwise aid others in their creation. Just like Bill and Hector. And maybe even me someday!