John: Darryl Hall and John Oates are the best-selling musical duo of all-time, with a staggering number of monster tunes. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, they achieved their greatest fame in the late 1970s to the mid-1980s by fusing rock and roll with rhythm and blues. They are best known for their six number 1 hits, but maybe their most infections is “You Make My Dreams.” They keyboard-driven classic hit number 5 on the billboard hot 100 and was written with Sara Allen, who was Daryl’s girlfriend and the subject of the song, “Sara Smile.”
Back in 2001, Oates said of the track, ‘It’s a great song, simple as that. Good songs are good songs. They stand on their own, they can be stripped away of the production. A song is what happens when a writer sits down on their individual instrument and creates something out of nothing. And there’s magic involved and there’s inspiration involved. ‘You Make My Dreams Come True’ represents a vibe, it represents a collaboration between myself and Daryl and the band in the studio in the ’80s. Its simplicity and directness is where the charm lies.”
Your career moves in the same direction, although takes a much less linear path than a trip up to the top of the charts. But the message is the same. Keep it simple. Not doing too many things. Doing the important things. Maintaining a to-do list. Doing what you say you will do. Treat people with respect. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Everything is the same for all of us. Yet why don’t many do that?
Jen: Adding onto what John says above, I agree that it all starts with how you treat other people. When it comes to doing the right thing and how we communicate with one another, one of my mentors often says, “Say what you mean, mean what you say, and don’t be mean when you say it.” All too often, those three are not done in tandem. Either we tell the brutally honest truth even if it stings, or we try to be so nice we fail to communicate the real issue at hand.
As for career path, everyone has their own trajectory. Paths are endless in number and no two are identical. Not only should we treat people the way they want to be treated, we must add value by providing what they need, keep our promises and prove our worth. These qualities, combined with taking on any and all extra opportunities we can, places us on a path for positive career movement. We have heard it said that people who have great luck in their careers also happen to be very hard workers. For the most part, I believe this is true. Yes, there are a few people surviving from some form of nepotism or getting by on a hyper-extended ‘fake it til you make it’ method But for the rest of us, good old-fashioned hard work is how we got where we are.
This all seems so common-sensical, yet many people still believe there is trickery involved. Some Insist on playing the victim role when they don’t get the promotion or opportunity that I think they deserve. Others give up after committing what they feel is adequate effort, sometimes just before their personal breakthrough might have otherwise occurred. If you don’t like your path, if you don’t like where you work, if you don’t think you earn enough money for what you do or what you are worth, you always have the power to change your attitude, or change your situation. No one is forcing you to be on any particular path. Only you can take your path.
John & Jen: During their induction speech at the Rock Hall, Oates said, ” Iknow we have a lot of hits, and people always talk about our hits, but as Quest[love] said earlier and alluded to, we spent just as much time and care with every track on every album. The hits were a byproduct of our hard work.”
Put in the hard work and you will make your dreams come through too.