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Don't Stop The Music

June 29, 2011

Filed under: General

Someone recently sent us this email that gives us all food for thought. We loved it so much that it is reproduced here:
“ Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later
The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes later
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes
A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pulled hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly…

45 minutes
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour
He finished playing and then silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

What no one that day knew was this - the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate musical pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 a piece.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in that metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities. The questions raised were: in a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.....

How many other things are we missing?”

When was the last time you stopped to listen to your: customers, employees and yes, even to your inner self? What pressure points to you need to push to move your business forward? Have you listened to the music?

Tags: business, pressure points, customers

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