Just Go To Work… To Work

Mitch JoelPosted by

**There is a favorite story of mine.**
We all have them. My favorite story (and, the one that motivates me the most) comes from [Steven Pressfield](http://www.stevenpressfield.com “Steven Pressfield”). Whenever I am stuck, when I can’t come up with ideas, when I’m worrying in the brain about ideas that have no output in the physical world… I think of Pressfield and start re-reading [The War of Art](http://www.stevenpressfield.com/the-war-of-art/ “War of Art”). I also remind myself of something he once said: *”Put your ass where your heart is.”* With that, the work of being creative is just that… it’s work. Pressfield brings a blue-collar work ethic to his writing that is both inspiring and pragmatic. He gets up, takes a shower, grabs some breakfast and starts writing. Much in the same way people go and fix toilets, sit behind their desks as accountants or those of us that create great marketing.
**The point is this: the real professional just goes to work.**
We can all lament spaces to think, office politics, creative blocks, waiting for inspiration to strike, and whatever else we think holds us back from doing our best work. More often than not, it’s simply about putting in the time. I was reminded of this recently, when I had a chance to spend some time with a legendary bass player.
**Be humble… but be great.**
*”Who is that bass player with the long white beard?”* That was my initial reaction when I first saw the video for [Phil Collins’](http://www.philcollins.co.uk/us “Phil Collins”) smash hit, [Sussudio](http://youtu.be/2TMcOZR3-Pc), in 1985. I did not know [Leland Sklar](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leland_Sklar “Leland Sklar”)’s pedigree as a bass player before that (and, what happened after is a journey of impressive artists and songs that continues to expand to this day and beyond). Sklar was studying music at California State University in the sixties, and that was when he met [James Taylor](http://www.jamestaylor.com/ “James Taylor”). This is the gig that shot Sklar into the limelight, and has led him to become one of the top session and live bass players ever. He turns 68 this year, and has no desire to slow down. His list of credits is a veritable who’s who of rock, pop and country (literally from [Air Supply](http://www.airsupplymusic.com/ “Air Supply”) to [Warren Zevon](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Zevon “Warren Zevon”) and everyone in between). He has played on over 2500 albums and close to 30,000 songs (and, trust me, you’re probably listening to a song that he played on right now). His melodic grooves and focus on the artist and the song over trying to over-power a song with a bass line, speaks to his mastery of the instrument. He thinks more about the creativity than the riffs. More importantly, listen to him as he discuses – with great humility – what the real job is of a creative person, and how he approaches it.
**Are you ready to groove on this?**
In this third episode of [Groove – The No Treble Podcast](http://www.notreble.com/buzz/2015/03/05/groove-episode-3-leland-sklar/ “Groove – The No Treble Podcast”), we dive deep into the creativity and the work ethic that is needed to foster moments of greatness. Enjoy the conversation…