Several years ago I worked in sales at Sweetwater Sound. (You know, the place that sells all sorts of sweet recording toys.)

It was a telephone sales gig, and I was paid on commission.

Okay, no problem.

People would call in with questions, I would answer them and sell them the right piece of gear. Easy, right?

The problem, though, is that there weren’t a TON of incoming calls. Sure, there were a lot, but they were being distributed to all 100+ sales people.

So that meant I would only get a handful of incoming calls per day.

That wasn’t enough. I couldn’t make a living on just those calls. I had to be proactive.

And that meant making calls.

So I would call existing customers in our database who weren’t currently working with a salesman at Sweetwater.

I know what you’re thinking. It sounds super scammy and telemarketery, right? It actually was pretty cool. These people had bought from us in the past, so as soon as they heard from me, they’d be excited to update their address, get the latest catalog, talk about their music, etc.

At some point early on in the process, the phrase “100 calls per day” got stuck in my head. The idea was that the more people I contacted, the faster I would grow my business.

But at some point I lost track of what’s important.

I would be SO focused on making those 100 calls that I would do a HORRIBLE job of actually engaging with a customer once I got him on the phone.

It was as if my only goal was to make those calls and leave those messages.

I missed the boat.

And it’s easy to do the same thing in the studio, too.

You record 37 takes of a guitar solo, in hopes that you can comp together the ultimate part. It almost never works.

You pull a “Bruce Swedien” and do 90+ mixes of a song, only to realize that mix #2 was the best one.

You spend all your time “trying out” new gear and techniques, but you never actually finish a project and share it with the world.

That ain’t cool, yo.

We’ve gotta make sure we focus on the RIGHT stuff.

Working really hard on the wrong stuff won’t get us where we want to go, just like making 100 calls to the wrong people won’t be nearly as beneficial as 3 conversations with the RIGHT people.

That’s what I’m teaching in this Mixing Drums series over in the VIP members area. (No, I’m not teaching telephone sales. Ha!) I’m teaching a very interesting, minimalistic approach to getting super-huge drum sounds.

And we’re having fun with it, too.

Check it out here:

Once you log in, it’s under “Weekly Videos.”

See ya,

Joe Gilder
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