A few years ago, one of my articles was published in an educational magazine of interest to high school and college-aged flute students and their teachers. (My former career was as a classical musician.) I had written the article not long after the passing of the well-known and highly respected French flutist, Louis Moyse, my teacher and musical mentor of 30 years.
I came across the article again a few days ago and was taken by the fact that the musical “Life Lessons” I had shared with other flutists can easily apply to those of us in today’s business world.
What follows are 10 of the many memorable quotes I remember from Louis Moyse, followed by my translations. To apply the lessons to business life, I have added just a few words to my original writing and have shown them in parentheses.
- “This is your territory; mark it!” — Find your place in the (business) world and make the most of it!
- “Start from nothing. Then, allow yourself to grow.” — Make knowledge and self-improvement your lifelong quest.
- “Don’t be a flutist; it’s much more important to be a musician.” — Look at the details, certainly, but don’t forget to focus on the broader (business) picture. Think strategically.
- “It may be marked ‘Grave’ but it’s not necessarily about death!”— Don’t make things out to be worse than they really are.
- “You must learn to be your own teacher.” — You are responsible for your own destiny. Learn from your mistakes and move on.
- “You need to suffer!”— With (business) experience comes understanding.
- “Be more free, like a sheep. Sometimes it helps not to have too much brains (sic).” — Don’t over-think things; trust your (business) instincts.”
- “There is no such thing as ‘instant flute.’ You have to work at it!” — Success (in music or business) is not supposed to come easily.
- “Sometimes, the most difficult thing is to do nothing.” — Some things (in business) are best left alone.
- “Make it simple.” — Clear straightforward (business) communication has a power all its own.
by Rebecca Cochran