I really hate the ‘humble beginnings’ stories that you get from every single rock star or famous person in general; it’s cliché as heck. Seems like every VH1 ‘Behind the Music’ episode starts with some somber ballad playing over baby pictures of filthy kids that would eventually turn into superstars.
I’ve recently been doing some business that does make me think a little bit about my start as a musician, though. I was a lower-middle class kid whose parents made enough to keep us comfortable, but didn’t have a ton of extra cash that would give us all the expensive toys the other kids at school seemed to bring every day.
I worked a paper route from the time I was about 8 years old all the way until I was about 17 (with no car, no wonder I didn’t get a date until I was 20…). I never really spent any of the money outside of getting the occasional soda and burger when my friends and I went out to the mall on the weekends.
When I got into high school, on a whim I decided to attend a concert the school’s jazz band was putting on. Oddly enough, that concert altered the entire course of my life, as the guitarist was really killer (and I saw him kissing one of the hottest girls in the school after the concert was done).
So the fix was in – I was going to learn to shred on the guitar, and that was going to land me a really hot girlfriend the next day. Step one of the plan was to buy my first guitar.
Taking stock of my funds from about 5 years of slinging newspapers, I went to the music shop that weekend to see what I could afford. What I could afford was absolutely nothing, but man did I love the look and feel of that place and the cool older dudes who ran it.
So the next stop was asking my dad to drive me over to the local pawn shop where one of the guys at the shop tipped me off as a place to look. When we got there, we found one beaten up old Fender that had half the strings missing, and I bought it without a second thought.
So began my musical journey, one that would take me to a whole lot of highs and many, many lows. Now that that journey is over (in the professional sense), I’ve moved on to others with oddly similar beginnings.
Used items often are seen as lesser, but what they can represent is the humble beginnings of something far grander than anyone anticipated. That goes for anything from musical instruments to something as boring-sounding as office furniture.
Starting off your business using used cubicles, desks and everything else might seem like a pretty shabby way of operating, but it can give you the cash reserve you need to really kick off your business and put it into overdrive. Companies like Creative Office Design out of L.A., the guys who’ve been doing amazing work both selling me the office equipment I needed to start things off and designing the office to get the best use of them possible, can really help get things off the ground.
So, this isn’t really a humble beginnings story, just a helpful example of not worrying too much about where the stuff you start off with comes from. That may be humble, but it is just a beginning.
Creative Office Design
5230 Pacific Concourse Dr #105, Los Angeles, CA 90045, United States