When you see these two words together – drums and selling – you don’t see a logical fit. I didn’t either until I thought about what was behind them. Now, please understand this is my personal story, but it will apply to most of you.

My profession is a sales consultant. That is what I do. My responsibilities are to consult with companies and their senior staff, assess their situation and improve their sales process. That can be a total reorganization of their sales structure or simply providing sales and sales management training.

I am not being humble nor bragging, but it is the only thing I have been really good at my entire life. That also includes hobbies, which you will read about shortly.

My hobbies are varied, from golf, owning and flying an ultralight aircraft and even boating when I was in my 20s and 30s. The two constants in my life since I was 14 years old are golf and drums.

Let me start by saying I am not a great golfer. My friends and I cheat and move the ball a little and take a mulligan, depending on what score we want to brag about for the day. I can hold my own, but you won’t see me on the PGA Tour. I have taken a few lessons, which average to one or two, every other year. And I usually practice the lesson when I am playing with my friends, therefore I am truly in the amateur status arena of golf.

I bought my first set of Ludwig drums in 1968. I have never been a good drummer, similar to my golfing. I played in wedding bands during the 1970s to pay for college tuition and that was the end of my live performances. Since then, I played my drums along to records or CDs – and now an iPod – over the past three decades. I have always enjoyed music and by playing along to the songs, it was just a great release and something to do when I had spare time.

Recently, and due to varying circumstances, two bands were aware that I was a drummer and asked me to sit in and play because their drummers could not make the performances. In both cases, I wasn’t that good. I knew it and they really knew it.

The problem is that I was truly enjoying myself, but it was a blast to play music and watch people dance or sing along. The drummer is the backbone of a band and must keep a strong, steady beat. I needed help and I wanted to improve.

So, I took lessons and constantly practiced, so I could at least go from a “C” drummer to a solid “B” musician. The amazing part is that you are never too old to learn.

What happened here was simple and profound. I became a better drummer. It felt good and the band members could see it, too. When they do not look at you and tell you about the tempo being too fast or too slow, you know that you found the right beat. I am invisible now, which is what you want to be. No one is giving me the evil eye.

So, why the personal story? Because if you want to excel at anything and not just your hobby, imagine your chosen profession. Why not learn, practice and gain proficiency? Everybody wins, especially you.

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