One cold winter night, I was coming out of a supermarket when I noticed a young man decked out in stained and ripped jeans and a tattered coat. His mane was long and tangled with dreadlocks, and it’s safe to say he may not have bathed as frequently as I. At his feet lay a thin piece of black velvet cloth spread out on the ground, sparsely decorated with a few gold and silver coins. This young chap was a busker, strumming a guitar and singing the words to a song that I could not recall.
As I marched out of the supermarket loaded with groceries, I decided to stop and watch for a few minutes. He strummed away and sang from his heart, never once looking up or making eye contact as the people hurriedly rushed past. Most did not pay the young musician the attention he probably deserved — they just pretended he was part of the sidewalk. As people scampered past him, you could tell most thought he was just another lost soul, hopelessly misplaced in the wrong part of town, resorting to the lowly life of street performing to sustain his pitiful and irrelevant existence.
While listening I thought to myself, ‘This guy isn’t half bad.’ Is he the next big thing? Probably not, but that didn’t matter to him. He seemed content in his own seemingly disenchanted world as he tickled the strings on his guitar — captivated by the sound of his own voice as it rang out and filled the entrance doors to the supermarket. This guy was not street vermin, as some of the passersby seemed to suggest; he was a hero. He strummed and sang from his heart, oblivious to the negative energy of the people who scowled at him. He just did his thing, and that thing was to sing!
I walked over to him and threw what coins I had in my wallet his way. He looked up and said in a polite and uncertain tone, ‘Thanks, man.’
I responded, ‘No, thank you! You’re a hero, mate. You’re doing what you love to do and getting paid for it. You love music, don’t you?’
‘It’s my life, it’s always been music — it comes from inside, you know?’
I looked at him and smiled. We then parted ways, and I have never seen him since. I would imagine he’s in another part of town, doing exactly the same thing and getting the same response, but not giving a damn.
So next time you pass a busker in the street, give them a smile or a cheeky wink, and let them know that you appreciate who they are and what they stand for. Reach into your wallet and flick them a coin or two to let them know you respect them for showing many of us so-called educated and enlightened ones just how easy it is to live a life filled with passion and purpose.
This article is an excerpt from Trent Leyshan’s book – The Naked Salesman: How to Walk the Talk and Sell Your Way to Success! Get your special FREE copy now from boomsales.com with every BOOM! Sales ACTIVATE program.