Last week James Ivey and I attended NAMM 2017 on behalf of Pro Tools Expert. We went to meet our friends in the industry as well as to get the low-down on new Pro Audio product releases. Trade show events, such as NAMM, are the best environments for meeting like-minded creatives.
On day 2 of NAMM 2017, I caught up with James and complained to him about an individual that I felt was incredibly rude to me when I simply reached out to shake his hand and say "Hi, pleased to meet you." The response I got from this person was, in my opinion, quite rude. The person had a brief look at my badge that stated DAN - Pro Tools Expert, he didn't even look up to even attempt to respond to my "Hi." This person then went on to hijack a meeting I was having with someone else. I'm not going to name this individual but I will say that this person is well known in our industry and I was genuinely happy to see him and say "Hi, I love your work."
James, had pretty much the same experience with this individual that day as well.
We both scratched our heads and thought "Why be like that? NAMM is all about meeting people, there's no merit in being an ass in this industry."
This topic of conversation continued into the evening when we met with a brand we know well only to find out that they also had a similar experience that day with the same individual.
You don't get a second chance to make a first impression, get it wrong and that one moment can damage your reputation behind closed doors for a very long time. It will be very hard to repair your reputation when someone has developed a bad opinion of you based on their first impressions.
Never think you are better than everyone else, don't project that ego onto people who merely greet you in a first impression as that attitude just paints you as a rude person. I have always believed that first impressions are FOREVER impressions.
In many cases ego is determined by how secure you are, it's often those with all the bluster and bravado who use this to hide their insecurity. On the other hand meet people like Dave Pensado, Graham Cochrane, or all the other great people doing similar things to the Expert sites and you'll find limitless grace and generosity from them. Thankfully the twats are in the minority.
Who Do You Think You Are? Some Kind Of Super Star?
The Pro Audio Industry is a very small industry, seriously. It doesn't take long for word to get around about one's reputation - good or bad.
James and I know this all too well, so if you ever see one of us at a trade show event you'll see us walking around in an approachable manner as we really do want to talk to people in our industry - no matter who they are or what they do for a living. If we are busy then we'll try and be as courteous as possible.
Ditch The Act - Join The Masses
As I said, the music business and pro audio industry are small, it's an industry that we all enter in from the bottom and hopefullly with years of hard work we progeress. The struggles of our industry are struggles we all share and can relate to.
Being the rude dude demonstrates little to no respect for the industry which depends on relationships, the sooner we learn that lesson the better we all are.
If you've not learnt it yet reputation is subject to the law of gravity - it's a lot harder to climb than it is to fall.