Last week Allie moved in. It’s a big step. It’s been almost a year since we started dating, and the move called for a consolidation of stuff: hers and mine. Whenever I have to reorganize, there’s always a lot of throwing out. I am not a pack-rat. Sure, I keep certain things. I have the ticket stub from our first date. I have letters my grandmother wrote to me before she died. I have the chat conversations Allison and I had before we started dating. But I don’t like to save things that no longer have use in my life. The extra car stereo that spent a week in my car and 4 years in the closet. The CD’s I no longer need because I’ve gone completely digital. The DVD player that “kind of” works. I have no qualms about tossing those things out or selling them when I’m reorganizing.
I apply the same principle to ideas I use in marketing myself as a composer, and as an author. The things that aren’t working, the ideas that seemed good in theory but lacked something in the execution, those things need to be let go so that new ideas can be added to the plan. I usually research the heck out of something before I execute it, although I have been known to be spontaneous on occasion.
Letting go of the past, whether it’s an idea or an object, can be exciting. The memories of the thing you’re “tossing” are still there in your head; you’re still going to remember standing in line for The Smashing Pumpkins CD with your friends long after the disc itself is gone. The key is to use the past to affect your thinking in the future. If postcards were a horrible idea when you tried to sell yourself/business, then maybe you need to look into using digital media instead. If you’re not getting any new followers on Twitter, change up your tweeting style.
Use the things that are good and bad in your past to affect what you’re doing now. That’s how I got Allie.