Mind your own business

‘Mind your own business’ Is often accompanied by an argument or threatening encounter where, once said, implies an accusation of nosiness and getting far too involved with other people’s affairs. “Hey, I found your nose. It was in my business again!”

‘Mind Your own Business’ is usually the full stop at the end of a heated discussion that enables the accuser to walk away feeling like there’s been some justice served with the recipient trying to find a clever and face-saving response, often including several choice profanities, to throw back into the other’s face. And on it goes. “You mind your own business!!”

“No, You…… “    

I remember writing it in a letter to a neighbour.  It didn’t help that English wasn’t their first language. Between things getting lost in translation and trying to reduce the temperature of the ongoing discussions, there was a point where I felt their concerns were deeply unfounded, interfering and simply divisive. I suggested that they ‘mind their own business’ and concentrate on other matters that were perhaps more important and personal to them. And we would do the same in ‘minding our own business’. ‘Don’t mention the war’ I was thinking throughout.

Minding your own business is an important part of what we do as writers and musicians. I feel that we took advice from this simple instruction we would find a good and fulfilling place from where we could create, looking after our own affairs.

So, at this point I’m hearing the argument that perhaps we should be offering to write, play and perform as others would have us. It’s no good playing a part that isn’t exactly what the composer or producer actually wants: “Sorry I’m going to do it this way!” rather than what’s been requested, or, if in doubt, read the dots.

But having said that, working from the position of minding our own business as writers, composers, players, producers is a positive and affirming place to start.

How many record producers does it take to change that lightbulb?   What do you think? No really what do YOU think….. and on it goes.

I feel that minding our own business is a great start. But it also gives us permission to be confident in our own ability and choices.

Without it, we would never commit to a finished mix or a completed song.

It’s also a great way to collaborate with others. Adding your own perspective to a song or track is really only made possible when you have permission to try things out in your way. If you constantly ask what other people think of what you’re doing you’re more than likely never going to achieve anything at all. Be bold and make a decision whatever it may be.

I remember working with many producers and engineers who would record absolutely everything that was played, often running up tracks that didn’t exist. It was also often a mess that would take days to unpick when it came to the mixing stage.

I decided that I would commit as I went along. Make a choice quickly, confidently and positively mind your own business instead of worrying what other people think.

I also feel that to define your own personal style whether it be in writing or playing is essential in trying to make things stand out and become different from everything else.

Go ahead and mind your own business and don’t be afraid of having the confidence to set you apart from the ordinary. Or as Hank Williams Jr. quoted; “If you mind your own business, you’ll stay busy all the time”.