Serenade!

“20,000 for the premises and 30,000 for instruments” offered a 13-year old from the Philippines.

“All of us will be partners and be open to regular feedback,” declared an 18-year old from Malaysia.

“Your music is our command!” claimed a 19-year old from a team that called themselves “Serenade.”

These and another 40 young musicians were my partners in creating new enterprises, serving music as a product and a service, last May 24th at the Eugenio Lopez Center in Antipolo, Philippines.

At the first invitational call from Jovianney Emmanuel Cruz, classical pianist and pedagogue from the Philippines, I thought I was being asked to keynote a gathering of musicians from across the world. It took me weeks to figure that it was a workshop on entrepreneurship and not a keynote. And, it knocked my socks off my feet when I realized that my audience were musical prodigies between the age of 11 and 25. Now I love training and facilitating but I have had some serious traumatic experiences when working with kids. All my skills, gimmicks and histrionics have never been a good match for the restlessness, the skewed curiosity and alienation kids can dump on you. My feet were getting cold without my socks.

Nevertheless, I have taken an oath. I have taken an oath to teach, train, facilitate, speak, and coach whenever and wherever I am asked to do so. I’ve promised myself never to turn my back to an invitation and an opportunity to create and build something new.

So, I took off my fancy speaking jacket, rolled up my sleeves, drank three glasses of warm water and began to work upon and work with these little musically intelligent kids from Philippines, Malaysia and elsewhere. Except for 11-year old, Bruce Lee look alike from Malaysia all of them swayed and moved to my music. At the end of three fun-filled hours using principles from Pit Bulls and Entrepreneurs, and citing examples of young successes from Silicon Valley like Brian Wong of KIIP, Kevin Rose of Digg and, of course, Reese Fernandez of Philippines, all of them now broken down into teams of seven came up with their own creative, business model.

It just goes to show that regardless of age, experience and education most all of us want to create and build something. Today, leaders and other societal developers are busy developing ecosystems for innovation and entrepreneurship and that is good. Yet, the spirit and the spunk that is required to ideate and execute must come from within because it does live and thrive inside all of us. Economist Joseph Alois Schumpeter rather romantically described this characteristic of an entrepreneur, back in 1912, as “the will to conquer, the dream and the will to found a private kingdom, and the joy of creating, of getting things done.”

In essence, given the education, the experience and the ecosystem OR not, most all of us can break through self-created or circumstantial shackles and go be the best we can be just as these little musical prodigies, one day, dream to be. Watch Video.

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