Find What You Love To Do

Lorcan Mitchell playing his eponymously named 'Mitchell' drumLorcan Mitchell playing his eponymously named 'Mitchell' drum

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

About the Author

Lorcan Mitchell
Lorcan Mitchell is a young entrepreneur from Aughrim in East Galway. After qualifying as a carpenter in 2011, he left Ireland to see the world, spending time in New Zealand, Australia and the Philippines, where he studied financial trading. He returned to the Philippines at the beginning of 2014 to aid in the relief effort following Typoon Yolanda. While there, he helped to build houses and also started a music school, where he first discovered his love of making musical instruments. Almost four years later, Lorcan now runs his own musical instrument company based at home in Aughrim. The company makes and distributes Lorcan’s own invention, a portable wooden drum, eponymously named ‘The Mitchell Drum’. Lorcan will be sharing his experience of starting a new company in Galway, in the hope that others might "avoid making some of the mistakes I made building a new business from the ground up."