I am part of something called the Habañero Collective. This started out as a podcast dedicated to exploring and challenging the idea of “Christian music.” This evolved (am I allowed to use that phrase as a Christian?) into hosting concerts in homes and now it seems to be morphing into partnerships with all kinds of artists. I’m excited to see what it becomes and I’m thankful to have been a part of so much creativity over the years.
Some of my favorite concert moments ever have been at shows we’ve put on (see Seryn perform “So Within” or Aaron Spiro perform “Come On” in my living room, and Chris Bathgate perform “Big Ghost” at my friend Eldon’s gazebo) and I don’t take that for granted.
But these house shows are a lot of work and it can be frustrating and even discouraging when, as with last night’s concert, very few people show up. It can be difficult when it seems like no one seems to share your passion.
So I’ve been thinking a lot about “Apple, Habañero Collective, House Shows And The Golden Circle.” Apple recently unveiled IOS7 to mixed results. I think the good guys over Baji Group nailed it on the head with their piece “Think Different? No More…” Their article jarringly opens: “Apple publicly confirmed that they’ve forgotten why they exist.”
Of course, this is a reference to Simon Sinek and others who work with what’s often known as “The Golden Circle.” Every organization should be able to tell you what they do and how they do it but not every organization can tell you why they exist. And if their reason for existing is simply to make a profit, few people will be inspired to brand loyalty. Apple used to encourage people to “Think Different” and they used to say things like: “The people who are crazy enough to charge the world, are the ones who do.” But now, as Apple finds itself from challenging the status quo to maintaining market supremacy, they are gradually becoming just another company, leaving people to wonder if they’ve lost sight of their “why.”
If you’re not driven by a clear “why,” people won’t care, and sooner or later, neither will you. If my drive is profit or recognition, after hours of preparing and only a handful of people show up to a house show, I won’t do any more house shows. But what if we are hosting house shows for reasons other than money? What if we are driven by a desire to see God’s beauty shine through the cracks of suburbia? What if we want to foster community knit together by a love of creativity and inspiration? If that’s the case, then sparse turnouts simply force us to remember why we do this. Being certain of the why means that what others might perceive as failure, we can see as moments of clarity.
Why do you do what you do?