Let me begin by thanking Mark White for creating this platform to share and express ideas and opinions and for asking me to contribute [you’re most welcome Lorcan – Ed.]
This piece of writing is the first time I have written something outside of an email since my leaving cert English essay that people will read. I have vague recollections of that essay but I really pity that poor examiner. I knew when writing an essay you should have a start, a middle and an end. I didn’t really think too much about the start or middle I just began to write, by the time I got to where the end should have been I had no idea where I was going and ran out of time anyway so I just stopped. All going well, my writing may have improved a little bit since then.
I am going to use this first piece to introduce myself and give a sense of what I will be writing about. I am 32 years on this space rocket. I am a qualified carpenter but I only chose that because I did not know what else I wanted to do. I still don’t!
I studied financial trading in the Philippines because I thought you needed lots of money to be happy. I started making musical instruments when I realised that you don’t.
I have been making wooden drums for almost four years now and I have designed and created a new portable wooden drum. It’s called the Mitchell Drum.
When I started making drums (although I love music and found I love making musical instruments too) my main priority was to make lots of money. More than twenty years of society’s influence is hard to shake.
When you start a new passion (I will use the term business as little as possible in these articles and I will explain why in future pieces) you will make very little money – if any at all. I learned this the hard way!
I expected, like we all probably do, that when you have a good idea, people will hand over their hard-earned cash. For me this did not happen.
I spent all my savings (and even borrowed money) to get my venture off the ground. For a year and a half, I struggled to meet repayments and I worked 15-hour days to stay afloat working at my passion.
At the beginning of that period I gave up drinking alcohol. I believe this one single act saved my life.
People don’t realise how difficult and lonely it can be doing something you love. We live in a world of Hollywood movies, X-factor and overnight success. In reality that does not exist or happen. Unfortunately, instant success is not only expected but often demanded.
I only know from my own experience and everything I write about is just that – my experience. We are often disparaging of those who try to do things differently, those who follow a path of passion and love.
We have the best musicians, actors, writers, poets and artists of all kinds from this little island (U2, Saoirse Ronan, WB Yeats to name a few) but when you say you want to be like one of those people you typically open yourself up to be scorned, belittled and laughed at. I was asked a lot when I started ‘I hear your making drums now, that’s nice, but when are you getting a real job?’ I am laughing now at the thoughts of that question.
I spent the first 2 years of this journey in my workshop (my dad’s garage) making drums – every day. I knew what I wanted to do. It wasn’t to make millions, even though I wanted to take care of my family and create employment in rural Ireland.
I want people to be happy. Music makes me happy and I know it can be the same for everybody.
That is what I believe and of everything I’ve picked up from my time doing this, all the books and business people I have learned from, I think all you need to succeed in your working life are two things – hard work and belief in what you are doing. If you have those you will move mountains.
Read more about Lorcan’s ‘Mitchell’ drum on his website athttp://www.mitchelldrum.com