This Article Originally Published January 1998

by Michael Laskow

It's 7am Monday morning, the day after our first convention, the TAXI Road Rally 97. Once again, I'm writing to you from 39,000 feet over the Grand Canyon. I'm on my way to Nashville to cultivate relationships and kiss some A&R tushy.

A more sane person would be trying to get some shut eye, but I'm so excited about how well the Rally went, sleep just isn't going to be part of my flight plan.

Our goal for the Rally was the same as our goal for TAXI—to create opportunities for you, to educate you, and to deliver more than you expect. I hope I don't seem immodest when I tell you that we achieved our goals with flying colors.

The 350 members who attended the Rally were not shy about expressing how much they enjoyed the weekend. I was hoarse by Sunday night from saying "Thank you" so many times (lots of compliments). And while I should have been basking in the afterglow of a tremendous success, I went home feeling a little sad and deflated.

Why? Because 3500 of you didn't come to the Rally. Trust me when I tell you that you missed out on a phenomenal amount of highly concentrated information. I'm talking about the kind of information that could change your life.

You also missed out because you didn't get to meet your fellow members and see them perform at the open mic sessions on Friday and Saturday nights.

Anyway—I'm not going to belabor the point that it was a great convention. I'll let your fellow members do that in their own words in future issues of the Meter. What I'm really trying to say is I'm ticked off that we busted our butts to put on a convention that by all accounts was great, and you didn't take advantage of it. It's not like we were charging you to come. It was FREE!

Do you want to get your material forwarded? Do you want to improve your songwriting craft? Do you want to succeed in the music business, or do you want to spend the rest of your life working at something you don't love—your "day job?"

We can only create the opportunities and give you the tools—we can't do the work for you.

It's a new year and I want each of you to renew your commitment to becoming great at making music. Do it right now! Get a piece of paper and write these words on it: "I will not fail at my goal of achieving success in the music industry." Stop reading and do it right now!!

Take that piece of paper and tape it to your bathroom mirror. I want you to read that sentence out loud five times in a row before you brush your teeth every morning and every night (recommended by 4 out of 5 dentists).

Take one lousy minute after you've read your goal out loud and shut your eyes. Give yourself one minute to concentrate on how it will feel to succeed. Picture the feeling of satisfaction you'll have. Picture your family hugging you and congratulating you on your success. Picture yourself moving into the home you've always wanted. Picture yourself not having to worry about money. And most importantly, picture yourself feeling fulfilled.

Next, I want you to set aside one hour a day that is just for you. Take the time away from your television, not your family. Use that hour to read a book about music. Use it to deconstruct existing hit songs—make diagrams of them. Educate yourself.

Last, but not least, I want you to write one song each and every week this year. Most of them won't be good, but you'll write some that are.

I'm not saying you have to drop everything in your life. You just need to watch less television. Don't get me wrong, I like the "X-Files" as much as the next guy, but Special Agents Mulder and Scully aren't going to get you a record deal. You could, on the other hand, tape an episode and re-score it. Now that would be educational.

Obviously, the more you want out of the music business, the more you're going to have to put into it. If you're in a band and you want a six-figure, three-firm record deal, you're going to need to put a lot more into it than somebody who wants to get an instrumental piece in a corporate video.

But no matter what your desires are, and no matter what your level of commitment is, I want you to know that my staff and I are on a mission to help you learn and get deals for as many of you as we can. And if you're so good that you don't need a free weekend filled with powerful information from top Industry experts, then why don't you have a deal yet?!!

If you're about to write me a letter telling me you're broke—don't. Save the postage. We had members come to the Rally from Belgium, Canada, Scotland, England, and Japan. The member from Japan told me that coming to the Rally was well worth the price of his ticket. That gentleman came from half-way around the world. How far did you not come from? The cost of coming to such an event is small when compared to the cost of what you didn't gain.