I had dabbled with the piano for several years, but never took lessons or pursued anything, so I made up my own songs by ear because I couldn’t read regular sheet music. People really seemed to like them so I thought to myself, “Why don’t you do something with this?” Like most of us, self-doubt set in because I reacted to the media of the industry. I didn’t fit the part. My husband said, “So what! It’s not about the media’s image, it’s about the people you touch with your music.” And he was absolutely right.
I decided to follow my dream and release a CD of original music. Really, what was stopping me? I did the research and found out where to record, who to work with, how to get the material pressed into a product, did the graphic design work, took some photos, hey…before I knew what happened, I had done it. I had “Chasing Dreams”, my first full-length album. I sent it out to a few radio stations and to some contests. It was aired and I won a few. It was a nice little ego boost. Then I got my first record contract.
I learned a ton from that contract during the next 2 years. I realized that the music industry was changing drastically and that I needed to change with it to be able to accomplish growth as an artist and businessperson. Being signed to the label didn’t allow me that luxury so I terminated my contract with them.
My next CD “Finding My Way” was released in 2003 on my very own label and ended up on New Age Reporter’s Top 100 Albums of 2003 Chart for the year. I had over 800 radio stations airing the music by now as well as licensing to several syndicated programs. The Internet garnered me 2 #1 songs on AOL Radio for over 21 weeks and 6 weeks respectively. My third CD “The Ride” did the same for 2004 and actually climbed a bit higher on the chart. It also increased radio airplay to over 1000 stations worldwide.
To my amazement, I dropped into yet another niche while pursuing my dream. Moo-ed Music as we’ve begun to label it from a Pioneer Press article released in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. Apparently, at one of the events I attended, some farmers liked the music and began to play it in their barns. The cows enjoyed it so much that they produced more milk! People ask if I’m offended. Heck no! If the farmers didn’t like it, well, the cows would never have had the chance to hear it!
I could go on for more pages here, but the point to the story is that we must be true to ourselves. We must follow our dreams and do the things we know we are capable of doing. When we don’t do them, we allow misperceptions and stereotypes to rule our lives. We feed into the system that keeps us down. It doesn’t matter that we cannot please everyone in the world, but it does matter if we can help even just one. I do what I do because I love it. My reward is knowing that if I have inspired even just one person to do what it is they love; to have helped even one person overcome a bump in their life’s journey, I made a positive difference…and it wasn’t because of my weight, my looks; what I have or have not. It was all because I am me. If we could all just take that first step; believe in ourselves; be ourselves and help that one person, I wonder just how much we could change the world.