And Celebrate | What NBC's Songland Can Teach You About Confidence
I don't watch a ton of television, but if you've spent any length of time with me in the last few months, you know that I am currently IN LOVE (OK, some of my friends would argue that I'm obsessed) with NBC's newest show, Songland.
If you're not familiar with the show, it celebrates songwriters by pulling back the curtain on the songwriting process. In each episode four up-and-coming songwriters are invited to perform one of their original songs in front of an ALLSTAR panel of the nation's most renowned songwriters and producers in the music industry, (Shane McAnally, Ester Dean, Ryan Tedder), plus, one guest MEGA artist (The Jonas Brothers, Meghan Trainor, will.i.am, to name a few) who will choose a song to record at the end of the show.
Within seconds of hearing each songwriter's performance, a mini songwriting session unfolds. The panel delivers real-time feedback on the production, lyrics, melody —emphasizing the best areas of the song, instantly transforming each track to an even greater potential. And, without fail, each new songwriter stands there a bit stunned that some of the biggest names in the music industry are singing and refining their creation.
After the panel has heard all four original songs, the artist chooses three that they felt most connected to. Then, those three songwriters are then invited to collaborate in the studio with one of the producers on the panel. The time in the studio is where the curtain is really pulled back on the songwriting process, and viewers at home get to see the thought, talent, creativity, and technicality required to execute something so memorable and impactful. Once the songs have been revised, each songwriter returns to stage and performs the new, refined version of the song. And, then the artist selects one song to record on their next album or release as a single. Talk about a life-changing moment for these songwriters!
I get emotional every time I watch it. Which left me wondering why?
There isn't just one reason. There are many.
Witnessing someone's dreams become realized right before my eyes always bring tears to my eyes. It's a feeling of joy, and triumph and appreciation for their journey, and quite honestly, reminds me to keep going toward my own dreams. As entrepreneurs, especially at the beginning, it often feels like our work goes unnoticed. And that is true, until one day it doesn't. All of these up-and-coming songwriters are on a similar journey. Until now, they could have written many a song that would be the perfect fit for these MEGA artists, but not had a way to share it with them. This show is providing a platform and opportunity for these songwriters to be seen and heard. Gahhh, what a gift!
The more I unpacked the reasons I love this show, the more I realized that it's laced with lessons we can all benefit from when it comes to developing confidence around pursuing our dreams and building a brand.
Here they are:
Make people feel.
Songs are a medium to tell a story. Each song is a snippet of a moment in time and an expression of a feeling during that moment in time. To be human is to feel. We all experience suffering, forgiveness, faith, hope, love, and loss. If you can tell a story that evokes those feelings in another, that's where a connection is formed. That is where your bond with clients and future clients will begin. Choose stories that are relatable. Great songs make you FEEL, and great brands make you FEEL. Keep that in mind the next time you sit down to brainstorm your content and captions. How can you use the mediums available to you as a business owner to tell a story that evokes a feeling?
Every songwriter performed a song written from their own experience or that of someone very close to them. It seems like we often search outside ourselves for the thing that makes us different when it is our individuality, who we are at our core, plus our own life experience that shapes us. Listen to what people reflect back to you about your essence, then double down on what makes you, you, and show up fully as you are (not who you think others want you to be) no matter what the circumstance, and at the end of the day, no matter what the result, you'll feel good about you.
Continue creating, sharing your message, and putting yourself out there. Continue taking action in alignment with your dreams. The more you do, the more opportunities will arise for you to be seen and heard by the right people. It's just a matter of time. Let me put it this way, can you imagine being an aspiring songwriter, notebooks full of lyrics, guitar collecting dust in your closet, but prolonging production for fear of (insert your reason here), say not being not good enough, then hearing about calls for submission for this show and not having anything ready to submit? Cmon'! Whatever song is inside of you. Get it on the page. Get it out into the world. The more you do, the more confident and ready you'll be when NBC calls.
Invite people into your process.
The other thing I love about this show is that even though it is technically a competition, it doesn't feel like one. There is no studio audience. The cameras are simply there in the background giving home viewers an inside look at what happens in a songwriting session. By strategically inviting us into the process, we as the viewer have an even greater appreciation for how a song is made. Will we think twice about streaming versus buying a record? I know I will. So, let's apply this to business: what do people need to know, believe, or understand about your process to not only appreciate your value but be compelled to buy from you? Get clear on that, then let people in, in your own way. Whether that's in the form of a #bts sequence of short videos on Instagram Stories, starting a vlog, sharing it on a podcast interview, or showing up live on Facebook to talk about it or illustrate it. The more you let people in, the more people will become interested in YOU and your process, and the more confident you'll feel as a result.
Surround yourself with people who lift you up and make your work better.
This show is all about collaboration. Witnessing the genuine desire to make each track better from each person involved collectively is so refreshing. These songwriters are instantly elevated by the validation they receive from the all-star panel of experts, and there is a genuine interest in what everyone has to say, and the value they bring to the table. Here at TBE, we recognized early on, that we were better together than we are apart, and that keeps us going when any one of us falls into a bit of doubt. We lift each other up and collectively get shit done. Who can you identify as a potential collaborator in your field (no partnership agreements have to be involved), you can choose to set up weekly confidence coffee dates to talk, collaborate, listen and uplift one another.
Gratitude breeds confidence.
Be grateful and show it. They say, what you appreciate, appreciates. And it's true. This show is a beautiful reminder of that as well. From the all-star panelists, who've had their own journeys of adversity to reach the epic level of success they're experiencing in their careers right now (what they would have given early in their careers for an opportunity like this), to the songwriters who are blown away by the chance to receive the kind of feedback, mentorship and exposure this song provides. Everyone is gracious and kind, loving and compassionate, and incredibly supportive. It gives a call to action to be more gracious, kind, loving, compassionate, and supportive in our everyday lives.
What show(s) have inspired you lately? And what elements do you find most compelling and confidence-inducing?