Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Working with Professionals

I just returned (barely avoiding the wrath of the “Frankenstorm,” Hurricane Sandy) from an extended weekend in Washington, D. C., where I was pursuing my avocation—my musical adaptation of the children’s book, “Pickle-Chiffon Pie.” The weekend involved more than three days of rehearsals with eight professional actors and other theater professionals (a director and musical director/arranger), culminating with a staged reading for an audience at the Adventure Theatre-MTC in Glen Echo, Maryland.

More than two-thirds of the way through about 15 hours of rehearsals, my primary collaborator on the project and I started to wonder how on earth these people were going to manage to digest our complex score (the handiwork of our brilliant arranger, Bill Yanesh) in such a short period of time. It clocks in at 153 pages of music with several group songs involving between three and seven separate vocal parts.

I didn’t try to learn the script and sing the score myself (something for which the audience is undoubtedly eternally grateful.) I left it to the professionals. Why? Because they are professionals. They know their craft and are amazingly skilled at it. The reading was, by any measure, a success, with tremendously favorable feedback from the audience! While I think the music, lyrics, and script we created are terrific, nobody would have noticed if it hadn’t been for the hard work, dedication, and professionalism of those involved.

Too often, entrepreneurial clients fail to trust that their professional advisors (including lawyers) know best how to do their jobs. Entrepreneurs think they can save a few bucks by doing something themselves that they really aren’t trained to do. We often receive a “draft” document to review based on some form the client found on the Internet—which invariably takes more time to review and fix than just starting with the right foundation in the first place. Other times, we end up spending more time trying to unwind something done in an incorrect or unusual way than it would have taken us to do it right in the first place, had we been involved.

If entrepreneurial clients would trust the skill and business sense of their professional advisors, it would inevitably make life a lot easier for everyone involved and increase the likelihood of success for the enterprise. 

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