May 27, 2015

Play the Pain/Gain Game


 How Music Entrepreneurs Make Decisions: Play the Pain/Gain Game



What happens when you are faced with two appealing alternatives and you do not know which one to chose?
Now that festival offerings, graduate school acceptances and other training opportunities are rolling in, our students are often faced with making choices that affect their future. How does one decide, say, between going to New York to embark on a freelance career or moving to a new city to join a training orchestra?
Or between competing graduate schools or other career opportunities?
You can even use it for personal decisions like getting married, moving, changing jobs.
While there are no "perfect" decisions and certainly no guarantees about the future, it helps to play the Pain/Gain game.

What's the Pain/Gain game?

The pain/gain approach is a way to evaluate the different factors involved in choosing between two alternatives and considering not just the practical elements of, say, a move to a new city but also the underlying emotional considerations. It also provides a visual way to spotlight the costs and benefits of each situation.

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May 19, 2015


Matthew McConaughey gave this commencement speech at the University of Houston



Short and sweet or long and salty? A sugar donut or some oatmeal? Out of respect for you and your efforts in getting your degree, I thought long and hard about what I could share with you tonight. Did I want to stand at a podium and read you your rights? Did I want to come up here and just share some really funny stories? I thought about what you would WANT. I thought about what you might NEED. I also thought about what I WANT to say. What I NEED to say… Hopefully, we’ll both be happy on both accounts… And as the saying goes, take what you like, leave the rest. Thank you for having me.

So, before I share with you some “what I do knows,” let’s talk about a “what I don’t know.”

I have 2 older brothers.
One was in high school in the early 1970s — a time when a high school GED got you a job and college degree was exemplary.
My other brother was in HS in the early 1980s, and by this time the GED wasn’t enough to guarantee employment, you needed a college degree, and if you got one, you had a pretty good chance of getting the kind of job you wanted after you graduated.
Me, I graduated HS in 1988, got my college degree in ’93. That college degree? Didn’t mean as much. No ticket, no voucher, no free pass go to anything.

So, what does your college degree mean?