Who defines the beginning and the end of the events in your life?
Take a minute and think about this question.
People often answer this question religiously. They put the burden of the answer at the feet of their creator by saying: “It is God that determines the outcome of events in my life.” No wonder many people live a life of mediocrity because they have hived off their responsibility to the creator who has given humanity the dominion to rule and reign on earth.
In this piece, I present a superior reasoning using the biography of Ben Tankard to help open your eyes to a life of endless possibilities. You can be whatever you desire to be all you need is to apply the principles I will highlight in this article.
No matter the phase you are in life, there is always a new beginning. And that is why I find the musings of Tony Robbins an American actor to be handful where he says in one of his quotes: “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”
Have you asked yourself these questions:
Why is it that two people face the same situation, but then only one succeed?
How come artistes like you are excelling not only in the music industry but also in other professions?
The answers to these questions you will discover at the end of this article.
To give answers to these questions let us study the life of Ben Tankard.
Ben Tankard is a former professional basketball player and an American gospel, jazz keyboardist producer, best-selling author, recording artist, and songwriter with over 300 songs recorded, earning 15 Stellar Awards (the highest of any musician), fifteen gold and six platinum records in his career to date.
Tankard started out as a professional basketball player shooting. He had a brief stay in the Canadian and U.S basketball arena. He left the basketball when he had a big blow to his career because of a knee injury. Instead of taking to self-pity, he turned to his new love music. He volunteered to play jazz piano in a church and immediately changed his life’s course from sports to music. His success as a musician was not instant; he had to work several years as a dog catcher to keep food on the table after his career as a pro basketball player didn’t work out. He also worked as a keyboard demonstrator and a salesman in a music store.
Through his savings as a dog catcher and salesman, Tankard could buy a recording gear from the music store using his employee discount to set up his home studio. Tankard independently self-produced instrumental release, All Keyed Up was released in 1989. This first release earned him a Stellar Award for best-new-artist.
In 1990 at twenty-five, Tankard discovered Yolanda Adams who was a third-grade schoolteacher, signed her to his new independent record label called Tribute Records (Ben-Jamin’ Universal Music). He produced several of her earlier works including: Through the Storm, Save the World, More Than a Melody, and Yolanda… Live in Washington.
They collaborated on over 40 compositions. Tankard credits Yolanda Adams’ voice for helping to bring his production style and keyboard playing to a large audience. He has also recorded a series of well-received instrumental solo albums and soundtracks, with music styles ranging from pop to R&B to smooth jazz. Tankard was the first artiste to dedicate complete instrumental albums to a mixture of gospel and jazz, thus the term “Gospel Jazz”.
He got inducted into gospel music Honors Hall of Fame by The Stellar Awards. On April 28, 2018, he was acknowledged as an honorary Tuskegee Airmen for 20 years as an African-American pilot and aircraft owner operator.
We can go further to give you details about his success as a music artiste, but it will make a long read. Tankard didn’t stop at just being a successful music artiste, today he is a household name known for his style of music, a motivational speaker and a host of the Thicker Than Water a reality TV show that focuses on raising a “Blended family”.
Here are four lessons to learn from his story:
1. He knew when to start all over
When Tankard has his knee injury, he would have just thrown in the towel and accept defeat as many do today. I say this because most people today will have tied what happened to the will of God and that would have been the end of the career’s journey. I’m sure you can identify with what I’m saying; there are artistes that started well, but because they got kicked out of their recording label, they gave up. It is important I state that “no one is a failure.” Failure shouldn’t be tied to a personality but to an event. Just because you failed at marketing a product doesn’t mean you can’t be a prolific producer or a successful artiste. No one will decide for you to start all over again; you’ll be the one to make that decision. Think of something you love doing, then start all over again.
2. He was not idle
Isn’t it funny to see some young people sitting idle in the name of being a musician? Most of them are broke, no money to feed or take care of themselves; yet they stay idle. This is a great mistake many are making. And that is why they take to crime and get involved in fraudulent activities. Tankard faced hard times; he struggled to put food on the table when he left basketball. So he worked as a dog catcher and as a salesman. The irony of life today is that some upcoming talents believe they can’t do certain jobs because they are working to become a star.
If you don’t work, where will you get the money with which you’ll use to book studio sessions? Where will you get the money to set up your own studio or even put food on your table? You need to think about this.
3. He pursued his dream
It is easy for people who do not have dreams to stop striving for more. They stop even with nobody telling them to stop because they don’t have any picture of where they’ll like to be in the nearest future. Marian Anderson an American Musician was of the opinion: “When you stop having dreams and ideals – well, you might as well stop altogether.” Tankard was looking for something more. That was the drive and his source of motivation that kept him pursuing his dreams. As an artiste, have a picture of where you want to be and that picture in your subconscious will keep you going no matter what you face in life.
4. He served with his talent
Any skill or talent you refuse to put into use will diminish and then vanish. But the skill or talent you put into use will grow and multiply. And one way to put your skills and talents into use is to serve. For Tankard, he volunteered to play jazz piano in a church that was the place in perfected his skill of playing the piano. As an upcoming artiste, seek opportunities to serve with your talent. Those opportunities may not fetch you money now, but they will do when you’ve perfected your skills.
Tankard has raised the bar switching careers from playing professional basketball to music and has shown you that as an artiste you can become whatever you desire; only if you are ready to put in the requisite work.
So who are you waiting for to make it happen?
Are you waiting for your creator who has given you everything to make it happen?
Or are you waiting for “you” to take the next step?
You can define your new beginning now!
To know more about Tankard read: 5 Things You Didn’t Know about Ben Tankard
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