Perception, Reality, and the Eagles.

Back when I was a touring musician out of Nashville, I had a funny experience in which perception wasn’t reality.

Our custom tour bus was parked one morning in a shopping mall.  Needing breakfast, I donned shades, ball cap and joined a fellow musician for the short jaunt across the parking lot to McDonald’s.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a couple making a bee-line for us.

“Please!” she waved, “Can we get your picture in front of your bus?”

We hadn’t showered, were groggy and thus were totally bamboozled why this woman would want a picture of two scraggly  musicians.  Nevertheless, we shrugged and posed arm-over-shoulder as she snapped away.

Thanking us profusely, she jogged off with her husband, giddy with excitement.

“What was that all about?” my friend asked.  I glanced over my shoulder at our tour bus.  Air brushed in large letters across the back side was, “Hotel California.”

I burst out laughing.  “She thinks we’re the Eagles!”  We laughed all the way to the golden arches.

In marketing one’s product, whether it’s a book or an idea, you want the public to “see you” (perception) in a way that makes you larger than life.  After all, you need to stand out from the pack.  Take the story I just shared.  The fact that this poor woman has our picture pasted & labeled in her scrapbook as, “The Eagles: On Tour!” isn’t our fault.  It’s actually hilarious!  Does she point me out as Joe Walsh?  Don Henley?  But I digress.  The point is this: We didn’t lie to her (she never asked us who we were!) nor did we falsely promote ourselves.  She merely perceived us to be someone else based upon our image (i.e., tour bus, logo, etc.)

So as you begin the process of selling and promoting, don’t worry if people misunderstand or perceive you as someone you’re not.

It may be the very thing that will help you succeed.  Who knows, maybe you too will be an Eagle!



A Confession

Maybe it’s the dang political rhetoric that, to my ears, sounds like “blah-blah-blah-blah…”  Maybe it’s the head cold making me feel blah-blah-blah-blah.  But whatever the reason, last night I popped in Don Henley’s  Inside Job  and came alive with lyrics like…

“He speaks the language of a warrior, he mounts his misinformed attack, he wears the clothes of a dissenter but there’s a logo on his back.  And it’s a hollow rebellion as rebellions mostly are.  It’s just another raging tempest in a jar.”

Now before you “unfollow” my blog for fear I’m about to mount my own “misinformed attack,” rest assured that all I want to say is that Henley’s music connected my head with my heart.  It was magic, perhaps even therapeutic, how this song dredged up gunk that had backlogged in my soul.  It was also a heck of a lot cheaper than counseling!

Yes, I’m a recovering cynic and should have known better, but with the week I’d had, well, I couldn’t resist the temptation.  So after dinner, when no one was looking, I spun off in my Jeep and slammed down some shots of cynicism with Don.

Now don’t worry, I’m not going to go on a binge, and if it makes you feel better, I’ll promise not to do this again anytime soon.

But I must confess that it sure does feel good to vent!  So since I’m still under the influence, I’ll let Don conclude this post…

“Now the trouble with you and me, my friend, is the trouble with this nation, too many blessings, too little appreciation.  And I know that kind of notion –well, it just ain’t cool, so send me back to Sunday school…”