Chris Boardman Music Blog: 5 steps to become a professional.

Monday, February 24, 2014

5 steps to become a professional.

Such a simple yet powerful word: Trust.

See you at 1pm! What does that mean to you? 12:45? 12:59? 1:05? 1:15? whenever you get there?

I strive for punctuality in my life because being on time is an indicator of the amount of respect I have for the other person. If I am early then I am prepared and ready for anything that may come up. If I arrive with just minutes to spare I will waste time getting myself mentally prepared for the meeting. If I purposefully arrive late I am disrespecting the person I am meeting. In fact, being late always says: “my time is more important than yours- so I will arrive when I’m good and ready”. While perfection is not humanly possible punctuality is my goal.

It is impossible to gain someone’s trust without respect. Without respect trust is impossible. Without trust it is impossible to create and maintain a relationship. In a creative environment trusting your collaborator is essential. No magic can be made without trust. 
  1. Be prepared- No one has time to waste these days. Wasting time is just that- a waste. Take the time to be prepared for whatever you may encounter. In the last week I know of a person who had an incredible opportunity who didn’t get hired because of a lack of preparation-even though they had the skills to do the job.
  2. Be courteous- perhaps if you were a rock star selling multiplatinum you might be able to get away with being a jerk. Even then- it is not a guarantee. You are not that important.
  3. Listen- You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room nor is it appropriate to demand everyone’s attention. Quincy Jones famously said to the cast of All-Stars assembled for the We Are The World sessions: “Leave your ego at the door”.
  4. Be grateful. Projecting an image of entitlement makes your immaturity blaze like a bonfire in the eyes of a prospective employer or collaborator. Never forget that however “cool” you may be there will always be someone whose skills are better suited for the job who is available at a moment's notice.
  5. Be service oriented.- Unless we are independently wealthy we will always be working for someone else. A great employee is one who is constantly on the look out for ways to serve. Going beyond the call of duty makes you stick out as being someone to pay attention to, someone who is trustworthy.  Doing the minimum amount paints you as a slacker....thus someone who may waste my time and who is not trustworthy.
A simple yet powerful concept that can be easily overlooked, learning to be professional (even you you don't "like" someone) will serve you well and differentiate you from your competition.


  1. Very well Written...TRUTH..Thank you for the Advice, Chris...Everyone in the Music & Film Industry should read THIS...Cheers, Anthony Teti/ No Name Alley Productions....

  2. Thanks for sharing these invaluable tips! Listening and gratitude are biggies in life.