Big Things Start With Small Ideas – Persistence Leads to Big Results.
Learnings from RBC Bluesfest
If you are a music fan, Ottawa and the surrounding areas have a number of summer music festivals of various genres to enjoy. The largest is RBC Bluesfest.
Are there learnings from Bluesfest that you can apply to your business? The answer is yes. One of them is embodied in a quote from Robert Collier – “Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.” Another can be found in a quote from Vince Lombardi – “Winners never quit and quitters never win.”
So how does Bluesfest tie in? Consider the event itself. It started with an idea from the festival director Mark Monahan and his associates to put on a popular outdoor music festival. The first Bluesfest took place in 1994 and attracted about 5,000 people. Average attendance now stands at over a quarter of a million people per year and according to its website, Bluesfest has had an economic impact of over $37 million in the National Capital Region.
Also think about the stories of the performers. Toby Keith was the opening night headliner this year. The story goes that he and his band were paid $35 per night each plus free beer when they started out touring Oklahoma and Texas. At the time Toby was working in the oilfields and he was sometimes paged to work midway through a concern set.
Jimmy Bowskill is a member of the Sheepdogs. Jimmy joined in with Ottawa blues band MonkeyJunk at Bluesfest 2017. The Sheepdogs are one of Canada’s most popular rock bands. They recently played at Ottawa’s Dragon Boat Festival. Going back to 2011, the Sheepdogs traveled from their home in Saskatoon to shows between Toronto and Calgary in a 1995 Dodge 3500 van, obviously not an easy lifestyle. But their lot in life changed for the better in 2011 when they won a “Choose the Cover” competition and appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine.
If you saw Toby Keith or the Sheepdogs at their recent stops in Ottawa, one could assume incorrectly that they have always enjoyed the success evident at their recent shows. But that’s not the case. Rather persistence, and maybe a bit of good luck, but mostly persistence got them to where they are today.
As for Bluesfest, Ottawa would be without the largest music festival in Canada if it were not for Mark Monhan’s idea to launch a successful music festival and the persistence it took to grow the festival to what it is today.
So remember, big things start with small ideas and persistence leads to big results.