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Business and Life Lessons from the Avett Brothers

 

I am a huuuge Avett Brother fan. I have all the records, been to several of their live shows and every once in a while, I try to replicate their magic on my guitar (it’s neither successful, nor pretty). What has attracted me to the Avett Brothers’ music was not only their catchy melodies and high energy performances, but also the messages they have in their songs, which make you think, reflect and feel. Here are some of the lyrics that have most resonated with me over the years. Hoping they can not only turn you on to this amazing band, but also allow you to take a moment and do your own reflection.

Song: Ain’t no Man | Album: True Sadness | Lyric: Ain't no man that can save me. There ain't no man that can enslave me. Ain't no man or men that can change the shape my soul is in.

Self-empowerment is a great thing. I am sure that you heard the saying that you cannot control the things that happen to you, but you can certainly control your reaction. Ain’t no Man, is about that to me. No one can have an effect on me but me. Will you let negative feedback from a client consume you and send you into a spiral of self-pity, or will you own up to the things you did or did not do so that you can move forward and grow? Ultimately it is your choice.

Song: Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise | Album: I and Love and You | Lyric: There was a dream, and one day I could see it, like a bird in a cage I broke in and demanded that somebody free it.

This might be my favorite Avett Brothers song and this line might be the reason for it. If you have a goal, an objective, or something you truly want, you need to take action to make it happen. Just watching it from afar will never get you closer to it. Break in! Demand it! Will yourself to doing everything you can to make it a reality.

Song: The Weight of Lies | Album: Emotionalism | Lyric: When you run make sure you run, to something and not away from

The Weight of Lies is a song about how lying can catch up to you no matter where you go. In this particular lyric, the message is that if you are in an impossible situation, it is ok to run. Bad boss, poor working environment, no career growth. These are all good reasons to want to change, to seek something else. The key here is that if you decide to run, don’t just run away from the bad, run to the possibility. Running away without purpose does not solve your problems but doing so with the intent to pursue something great means growth, and a risk worth taking. Run to something. 

Song: I and Love and You | Album: I and Love and You | Lyric: When at first I learned to speak. I used all my words to fight. With him and her and you and me. Oh but it’s just a waste of time.

This line speaks to the evolution process we all go through in our careers (and in our lives). As young, hungry professionals we can at times hold on to things unnecessarily, forcing our way because we feel we know better. This leads to unproductive conflict, resentment and stress. Sometimes, we just need to listen. Collaborate. Partner. Those negative feelings that linger without resolution because we are too prideful to work it out are just wasted time. Time we could be spending on the greater good.

Song: Ill with Want | Album: I and Love and You | Lyric: The more I have the more I think: I’m almost where I need to be, if only I could get a little more…

Ill with Want speaks about how we can get wrapped up in wanting more and never being grateful for what we have (being poisoned by greed). In the business world today, hunger is essential to get to where you need to be, but have you ever wondered when you will be content? When will enough be enough? The constant pursuit of wanting more can certainly grow your career, but if you are never fulfilled is it worth it? Don’t give up on wanting more, but make sure that you are also not disappointed with how far you have come.

 Song: Live and Die | Album: The Carpenter | Lyric: Fear like a habit, run like a rabbit, out and away. Through the screen door to the unknown.

In business today, we need to be comfortable with fear. Nothing is guaranteed. We might lose a client tomorrow, our company might lay us off, we might be in over our heads. These are all examples of things that could scare us into paralysis. The more comfortable we are with fear, the easier it is will be to plunge into the unknown. And who knows what we will find there? 

Song: Morning Song | Album: Magpie and the Dandelion | Lyric: Even though I know there’s hope in every morning song, I have to find that melody alone.

You may have the best people in the world telling you that you can do it, that you are great, that you can achieve anything that you want. The only person that can make you believe this is you. Allow yourself to believe, to hope. To find that melody that will take you wherever you want to go.

For more information on the Avett Brothers, including tour dates, visit: www.theavettbrothers.com

Andre Wyse Mello is a Business Coach and really wants to go see The Avett Brothers at the Gorge in September. He has been in Marketing and Leadership for over 17 years. If you would like to connect with Andre, please visit www.wysecoaching.com.

 
Andre Mello