Monday, July 02, 2007

Quality... It's a frame of mind.

I was watching TV today and happened to see a memorial concert on VH1 for ex-princess Diana.

I saw some interesting acts that I wasn't too familiar with, and it got me thinking.

Record companies don't often care about quality of music, sound, voice, or otherwise. Similarly, large coffee companies don't care about freshness, quality, training, or "coffee honesty".

What do the two have in common? The big ones only care about what sells. The purpose is entirely for the all-mighty Dollar, and nothing else.

There are those of us who are called to a higher purpose, but perhaps less income. Does more income really lead to a better quality of life? If the quality is entirely false, or artificial, does it make a difference? Does not an expensive luxury automobile satisfy more deeply when one has acquired it through the fruits of a job done properly, and for the right reasons?

Is it not more important to literally enjoy the fruits of one's labors than it is to simply have nice things?

That having been said, I'd take a gander and say that I enjoy my rusty '85 Celica far more than a leased Mercedes SLK payed for by funds devoid of any passion or life. The qeustion is this: What IS this word.. "Quality"?

Independent musicians do not have as much access to high end processing software or recording equipment, but the music, from the good ones, has soul. It's legit. The real thing. The earnings may or may not reflect the quality created, but the fruits are sweeter, regardless the size of the abundance. Could they sell out and make a ton of money? Absolutely. The fruits would taste like cardboard, assuming straight priorities are in place, and the success would be empty by comparison.

This shifts the idea of quality to be directly connected, and almost at one with, a singular aspect of any action performed by a living creature or organization: Motive

What is the purpose of writing music?

It's like a "choose your own adventure!" book. Your response? "If MONEY, go to page 12. If ART, go to page 23."

It's similar with coffee. Anyone can serve "espresso"(I use the term loosely). Anyone can sell brewed coffee. If the branding is effective, people will be fooled into thinking that your product is good based on the notion of a status symbol alone. Others will be wise to the truth and will avoid supporting the motive of money in preference of supporting the motive of passionate quality and the pursuit of excellence. The other option would be to support the lesser of available evils, depending on your region.

"Success" and "Failure" are entirely relative to the purpose of the mission. Money is only one facet to a breathing, living business. When you focus only on the financial end, you will end up cutting corners and making sacrifices to "hit the numbers".

Make your business drive the numbers. Don't let the numbers drive your business.

If you don't love it with a deep passion, don't even begin to consider it a feasible option. "Success", by our definition, is beyond reach, and happiness can never be attained. The business becomes a chore, work becomes a negative aspect of life, and the owner will become a slave to the numbers. The best possible result is that the business is sold to someone who is fit to breathe the breath of life back into the weakening enterprise, and perhaps it can be salvaged.

Quality isn't nice things. It isn't a status symbol, or a number following a Dollar sign. Quality is a state of mind, a frame of reference, and a way of life. Quality is honesty, integrity, and doing anything and everything for all the right reasons, and nothing more. Money is only a peripheral. if you are surviving, and you are doing things right, you are extremely successful and enjoy a very high quality of life.

May your labor's fruits, no matter the size, be sweet with nectar.

1 comment:

Lindsey said...

We at the Roasterie were hoping to send you some of our Super Tuscan espresso in hopes of being reviewed, whether or not it becomes published. May we send you some of our finest beans with our compliments, for your opinions?
Thanks for your consideration.


Lindsey Campion