Life Lessons From Prince: Four Things I Learned After Four Days At Paisley Park. Part 1


As I sit here about to write this (it finally being the “right time”) I am remembering that a week ago around this time my wife and I were in our Minneapolis hotel room packing up our bags to head home, but not before heading out to Chanhassen to spend our final 5 hours at Paisley Park.

As a gift to my wife, a lifetime admirer and influencee of the iconic and now legendary artist officially known as Prince, we had tickets to spend 4 days with about a thousand other humans from around the world at Celebration 2017 – mourning the loss but mostly celebrating the life and artistic contributions that Prince left behind. I say it was a gift to my wife but the experience ended up being a profoundly impactful experience for me as well.

I was given the gift of several important life lessons. Most of them affirmed things I already feel that I know – but I also had a few eye-widening moments. The time I spent watching screenings of live concerts and live performances and most importantly, listening to those who worked with him and created beside him speak about their experiences and share little peeks into Prince’s world, helped shape some beautifully purple points of view we could all use to be reminded of.

1. We are all creators and we are all in it together

Prince was notorious for recruiting talented people and pushing them up to and well beyond what they thought were their limits, whether it be convincing an artist whose main medium was paint to be a photographer, the photographer to direct a music video or having his facilities director and sound guys at Piasley Park perform miracles of structural and recording engineering. Literally. Miracles.

I heard so many stories that started with “I told Prince that it simply wasn’t possible but he wouldn’t take no for an answer”.  Indeed he did not accept that someone who was a top talent in their field could find anything impossible. The words “can’t” and “won’t” were not acceptable vocabulary in Prince’s house. And every single one of those stories ended with “so we made it happen.”  Every one of those stories also ended with an expression of gratitude for having been given an opportunity to test their limits and grow – helping on their journey to becoming a better human.

Prince gave people the inspiration, the resources and most importantly the support (from himself and a team that he treated like family) to help make anything you can dream of happen. You just have to have the courage and determination to go for it by any means necessary. Of course – having the means helps too. But there is always the right person with means if you can find your way to them. Fortunately, all of these individuals found their way to Prince.

Remember – Paisley Park was first dreamed up in a song that bears it’s name on the 1985 album Around The World In A Day. He made it a reality just a few years later.

Stay tuned for Part Two, coming soon…

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