Finding Advantage In Adversity
We are all collectively in a strange and crippling scenario. Feeling locked up, locked out, overwhelmed, scattered, scared, anxious or sometimes a little crazy. Some are working "as usual", endeavoring to stay above the noise and keep people employed, while some, like my brother Dr. Jonathan Gonzalez, are working on the front lines to keep people alive. Some lucky few are out on an island (or a yacht) of disregard.
Wherever you are. We are all now in this together for better and worse and hopefully better again.
How do we find advantage in this heavy adversity?
I have seen some of my friends come alive with creativity, building a home business that they had shelved for a while and finding success in that.
Some parents are finding creative ways to make learning fun and engage more with their children, perhaps even learning something themselves (like Algebra-ugh!)
What am I doing?
I picked up my dusty old best friend, Lucky 13. She is my acoustic guitar who just got tuned after a year of no love. Music was my business at one time and then I decided to go another route. I have no regrets. I performed from East Coast to West, got one of my songs on the Hit TV Show "Ugly Betty", played all my favorite legendary LA clubs and even got featured in an LA Music Magazine. I had a blast and I enjoyed my Rockin' days with the Mitch Savoie Band. (YouTube if curious.)
Then I decided to pivot. Well, Life helped. You see, due to unfortunate and unexpected circumstances, once upon a time I found myself homeless in LA. I had about $50 K in debt and lived paycheck to paycheck as a Server/Bartender/Sometimes Shift-Leader, while supporting my musical endeavors.
When I found myself suddenly couch-surfing and living out of a storage unit, I did what I always had done in times of adversity, if it was available to me-I went to the beach.
As I sat on the Santa Monica sands and listened to the roar of the Pacific, I searched my brain for options. This was one of the biggest Adversities I had faced and I was facing it alone, far away from family and best friends. I was trying hard not to panic and failing.
At that moment, as I let my mind ponder the possibilities, I realized that first and foremost, I had to Decide-
I Will Not Fail. This is just a set-back.
Then, I had to Clarify my Goal-
Get out of debt and have money in the bank.
(Well, even before that- Find a place to live.)
The next step was to Consider my Resources-my talents,work history, experience and people.
By the end of my meditative session, I had a Plan-I would apply for the Manager Training Program of the restaurant group I worked for. Music would have to take a back seat temporarily, but I would use all my years of hospitality experience to help build and guide restaurant teams. It was just another form of creativity-creating training programs, inspiring teams, handling daily hospitality challenges and growing into my next step as a Leader. Here was an opportunity.
Now it was time to Work the Plan.
Don't ever let them tell you that LA natives are anything but amazing people-My L.A.-native friend, Peili Chen, whom had not known me for very long, but was already someone I knew I would love for life, loaned me the money to get off the couches and into my studio apartment!
"Pay me back whenever-I know you're good for it," she said. Who does that? Amazing!
I was accepted into that Manager Program and my hospitality leadership career took flight, leading to 5 Star Hotel Management and eventually my own business-SavHill Consulting LLC-coaching and training leaders. I paid Peili back way ahead of schedule, met my soul-mate that year and today we are Debt-Free and saving for big things-Adversity to Advantage!
What happened to my music?
Oh, you can hear it on ITunes (https://music.apple.com/bn/album/mitch-savoie/338195411) or Spotify, or you can now tune into Facebook Live for an impromptu concert. This just started as a result of being stuck inside. I am finding the advantage in this current COVID-19 adversity and that is the reconciliation with my old friend, Lucky 13, digging up my original songs and learning some new ones as well. My husband Jason and I are bringing music and smiles to some old and new fans. It has been such a beautiful experience to feel the love and see how such a small thing seems to make a lot of people happy right now.
This is what Music was always about for me. When I faced adversity, I would use it to my advantage by writing a song about it. LOTS of songs came out of LOTS of adversity in my life.
The Power and Beauty of Art!
Find the Advantage in your Adversity. Find Your Art-whatever that means to you.
Find the way to be creative, turning the unexpected and difficult into something that will bring growth, a new opportunity, an old dream back to life or just a little happiness to some old and new friends. :)