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Steve 08-13-2008 03:07 PM

Although this post probably doesn't belong in a section called the pursuit of happiness, I think it deals with it in a way.

I got an email last night about a friend who was a musician and had spent most of his life trying to 'make it.' Or break through and reach that thing we all call fame. He was a talented musician and seemed to have many many friends. Yet over last weekend, he put a pistol to his head and killed himself.

Most of today I have been seen posts on websites from people I hadn't heard from in a while all reaching out in shock of this.

As I sit here reading it, I thought to myself, how? With such a large support group, how does one find themselves so isolated? Can you imagine if he had just made a post somewhere or sent an email or made a call and said, 'I am really depressed.' Could someone have then been able to help?

With the internet, news travels fast. We all seem to be more connected now than ever before, yet are we really?

Are we better off now than in the past before the internet?

How has the internet effected us and our support group?

Also when you are a musician, you may have a fan base but are these people part of your support group? Can they help you?

I don't know about any of this yet. I just thought I would throw these thoughts out and see if anyone had any insight.


musician/lawnman 08-13-2008 11:40 PM


That's sad to hear. Sorry about your friend.
The thing is that the internet & cell phones may make us more reachable but he may not have ever reached out to anyone. So all the communication devices in the world are useless.

I don't think I would turn to my fan base for help. They don't really "know" you. They like you for your songs, maybe your looks or stage presence but have generally very little idea who you really are.
My fans think I'm nuts... on stage, I am. It's a persona, it's where I vent. It's the irrisponsible alter ego I dreamed of becoming when I picked up my first guitar 18 years ago.

Hope that hels at all, I don't know?

Steve 08-14-2008 03:14 PM

At times I wonder if it's the goals/the dreams that set the stage for this.

In high school, I think you are more likely to see kids wanting to become rock stars than entrepreneurs.

As someone who has both been on stage and an entrepreneur, is there a similar level of excitement? Are both roles as much fun or is one more fun and entrancing than the other?

musician/lawnman 08-14-2008 06:01 PM

Well, I don't think you can blame hopes & dreams for suicides.

I don't find my music career & my business to be anything alike at all other than I need a trailer dedicated to each.... that's where the similarities end.

The music is a love, a passion, a dream, a means of venting & release of lifes stresses.

The business is something borne out of necessity. I enjoy the work compared to many jobs I have done in the past. but it's still WORK. I figured out long ago & this applies to most any job..... WORK SUCKS! If it didn't people would voulenteer, So you wouldn't get paid to do it. These exist they are called hobbies.... Like uummmm, Music! So yeah, owning the biz & calling the shots is cool, building the business & watching it grow is kind of exciting.... but scheduling, dealing with customers, employees & suppliers etc. blows alot of the time. Break downs happen, weather happens, & when your ready to snap, there's nobody to call & say "I'm not gonna be in today"... at the end of a 10 hour day (like today) theres an hour of paperwork, then blades to change & sharpen, mowers to be greased, oil to be changed, bills to be paid & invoices to go out..... sometimes it never ends. But that is the downside to owning your own business. You don't get to clock out & go home & that's it.

Being a musician in an active group that performs regularly is great, I love it, I've been doing it for 17 years straight. I've never been out of a band for more than 2 weeks in the entire time with exception of one 6 month break I took by choice about 7 years ago.

Steve 08-15-2008 05:10 AM

I really appreciate you sharing with me your insight, it really helped me think.


Well, I don't think you can blame hopes & dreams for suicides.
That's the thing about suicide, it leaves us all looking everywhere for a reason why.

See the thing I have wondered is, there is this dream out there. For some or maybe for many. Some head towards the dream, others give up quickly and look for someone to tell them what to do.

Musicians as with other artists seem to shoot for the dream and disregard the day to day reality. Some are able to keep the dream alive for a short time, others for a longer period. But I would venture to guess more often then not, the reality catches up to them and the dream ends.

It makes me think of the Journey song Faithfully:

They say that the road
Aint no place to start a family
Right down the line
Its been you and me
And lovin a music man
Aint always what its supposed to be

To me, this highlights the difference between the dream and the reality.

On the flip side of it, the entrepreneur, I find ideally to be the artist with a sense of how to deal with the day to day reality. Their business is their art and selling their art is their business. It's more of a fuller circle. A yin and yang.

It's my view this is everyone's bet hope at finding success and finding peace.

You also made me think of a book "Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow: Discovering Your Right Livelihood." The first line of the book says "Work I disliked the most was work I wasn't suited for..."

I can only hope that this forum helps facilitate all of us the opportunity to find what we love and then find the ability to make money from it.

It's just such a shame when someone's dream comes to an end and they see no way out for them but suicide. At the moment, I can't think of any other way to see it than his dream came to an end.

StartALawnCareBusiness 08-15-2008 10:01 AM


Originally Posted by Steve (Post 40479)

You also made me think of a book "Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow: Discovering Your Right Livelihood." The first line of the book says "Work I disliked the most was work I wasn't suited for..."

Steve, it's incredible that you mention this book. A neighbor gave that book to me for graduation. I carried it around for a year before eventually taking it seriously and turning the dream of starting my business into a reality.

I think HOPE or hopelessness is a huge factor in suicide. People get depressed. They are in situations where they can't see their way out.

A bad marriage, financial debt, drug addiction, ill-health can be devistatingly depressing and cause a person to consider suicide.

It's difficult to understand that a problem which has a simple solution to an outside observer might be insurmountable to the person stuck in the mess. To them, their situation is hopeless.

This is a good discussion. Thanks for getting it started.


Steve 08-15-2008 04:59 PM

Do you think there is any correlation at all between doing something you love and finding happiness?

Or on the opposite side of the coin, not doing something you love and being depressed?

Do we need to be wary of the dreams we choose and the path we have taken? Can some of them, if they fail to include a way to deal with the day to day, lead us off a cliff?

Also what stood out for you in that book? Any specific part that you could share with us all?

VPS Lawn Care 08-15-2008 09:55 PM

Very deep Topic
Steve, i too lost someone very close to me a few years ago, and it is a hard way to have your eye's opened.

Dreams, Hopes, Desires, the things that we all strive for, work for, struggle for, what are they? Ya know i was just sitting here talking to my wife about this, and she had a very simple, straight forward response, and i quote " Well" she said " I think it all comes down to perspective, the way one looks at the things in there life. I sit here and think, what makes me happy, what do i want out of life, then i stop myself, why focus on wants, when i have all i need" end quote. She got me to thinking, i know what she was saying, we all want lots of things, though they may be diffrent, the want is in all of us. But in life what are the things i need to be happy? is this not the real question we should be asking? I am happy to have food on the table and yes even steak a couple times a month, i am so so happy to have my 3 kids, i am happy to have a roof over our heads, paid for cars to drive, and i am happy to have alot of what we all need even if alot of people don't admit it, LOVE, so should we be looking for what we want, or what we need, and how do we know the diffrence?
is it half empty or half full?

Steve 08-15-2008 11:26 PM

You are grounded. You also have an infrastructure and support group that help keep you grounded which is fantastic.

There are those out in the world with an emptiness. A hole that goes right through them. Constantly out there searching for some elusive answer. It's all too often a fatal flaw.

I do wonder at times if being an entrepreneur can help ground one. If it can teach skills. If it can teach structure.

I wonder if running a business can help your mental well being as well.

VPS Lawn Care 08-16-2008 03:32 PM

Steve, I think it does, as small business owners we have to do alot of thinking, problem solving, the brain is a muscle and we exercise it i think more then most with the 9 to 5 job, because we do it all. We are teaching our selves every day how to solve problems and deal with things that dont meet our expectations. I feel overwhelmed sometime, and think what am i to do now, but as an entrepreneur i am always looking at as many diffrent paths as i can think of or i ask for advice from those that know, like on here.That is what we do. I know i was not like this as much when i worked for my old co. i have grown so much since starting my LCO even at my age and am still always looking for new better directions to go.
I think a bigpart of it is we put so much on the line when we just quite and start from scratch like i did, and many others have. That is when i think we start thinking about life a little diffrent.

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