Vince Lujan is a local musician that plays at restaurants, worship services, weddings, and various other live events (like my son's funeral). Like everyone else, COVID rocked his world. But only temporarily. I firmly believe that crisis brings out the best in us. It certainly did for Vince.
- Live-stream music for any event
- Virtual appearances
- Music video production
- And, when COVID backs off a bit, live events of all kinds
- Religious services
- Youth ministry
- Music ministry training
- Praise and worship music
Justin Shelley with Master Computing here on the inaugural episode of DFW Rockstars. In this first episode I interview a local musician, the musician that played at my son’s funeral.
This was a business transaction. I paid him for a service. But what really stood out here is that never did it feel like a business transaction. Instead, I instantly felt like family.
I could not be more excited to introduce today’s guest Vince Lujan [1:40]
He is an incredible musician who (like all of us) had to quickly figure out how to handle the COVID lock-down. It was sink or swim. He decided to swim!
We are going to look behind the scenes at what you do who you are. But my hope is people will spend a few minutes on your websites and get to know you professionally. So, take a minute and visit
[4:10] – Background and further introduction
[4:40] - Justin shares one thing he has learned through the 20+ years of being in business in one way or another.
Justin: One thing I’ve learned is that the quality of your technical work, your product, does not necessarily determine if you are going to be a success or not… It really is, how good are you at running a business?
[5:15] – Justin: Tell me the 3 most important lessons you’ve learned in running a business
Vince: Networking is what you call it, but if you just see it in terms of that and don’t see it as relationship building then you tend to get left behind.
[9:37] – Vince: It all comes down to relationship.
Personnel management – It all comes down to relationship.
How do you take care of the people you work with, so they’ll take care of you?
Learning how to do that and maintain that, moving forward, is a very important thing. Learning how to take care of the people that you work with so that they’ll take care of you, personnel management.
[11:45] – Justin: Your theme is relationships and you truly do practice what you preach.
[13:10] - “Pre-COVID lock down…What did the day in the life of Vince Lujan look like?”
[15:50] - “What were your thoughts, just as the headlines start hitting? PRE lock down.”
Vince shares a story about a guy who is a Guitarist by day and English teacher by night via online.
[19:30] – “At this point, your live business effectively evaporates. What did that do to you emotionally?”
[19:45] – Justin shares his emotional journey throughout all of this going on in the world:
“Coming off the loss of my son, I was in this emotional funk that I cannot even describe. Then COVID hit. So that was kind of my journey. It wiped me out…”
[20:10] – “What was that journey like for you as that realization hits that it’s over as far as the immediate future for your business?”
Vince: I had just done another interview piece and feeling great for myself in terms of being able to survive and thrive. Then this hit. And it felt like my identity was just thrown away.
[21:50] - How do you bring value to clients and people online and online virtual format?
Vince shares his struggle with that.
Justin: Talks about the different journeys but similarities: While I got to continue my business for whatever reason I couldn’t, emotionally.
I felt like I was sinking – great analogy – sink or swim
[25:24] – Justin share a side note story how he watched his father get laid off as a teenager.
*Back to Sink or Swim *
[26:25] – Justin: Talk me through that Vince. You know when we were prepping you mentioned you got to a place where you kind of had to put a deadline on yourself to create an event, advertise it, and see what happens. You were going to try it. Talk about that process:
Technology barrier that I needed to overcome. Things I needed to be able to do.
Knowing what you want to have but how can I do this?
How can I achieve the result I’m going for when at the time I didn’t even know how to approximate that you know? – [28:48]
Get online and fail forward
You were going to do it, do or die. You put that date without knowing what was going to happen.
[30:45] - Vince: Going back to that first question you asked me: what are the 3 things you learned? The next is just learning, always learning, how can I learn new ways. I’ve been in this for 20 years, seen the music industry change in a crazy way since I first got into the music industry.
You’ve got to do SOMETHING. Maybe you didn’t know what the right answer way, but you had to do something.
[32:52] – Justin: I’m intrigued by the parallels in our journey here. Because while different, that’s where I was too. I knew I had to do something. I run and IT Consulting firm. I didn’t know what to do but I knew that I couldn’t, emotionally for my own mental health I couldn’t stay home and do nothing, so I started doing a series of webinars.
My challenge quickly became – how do I advertise them?
In just taking the step in doing something, it’s crazy how much your outlook, and skill set will change.
We failed Forward. – Vince’s term
[34:40] – On May 7th. The outcome of going through this nightmarish situation we’ve all been through, what would you say is your accomplishment you are most proud of as a result of COVID 19 and the lock-down?
Vince: The ability to feel like I have value again or feeling that can present value in this environment and I’ve found a way to survive and now thrive in this environment.
[44:55] – Vince shares his greatest accomplishment:
Talking about figuring out how to survive and thrive in this completely different environment and feeling like I am worth it again. I can contribute, continue to operate, provide a service and quality in this completely different environment.
[45:30] – “None of us want to go through a shitstorm. But we always (assuming you’ve put some effort into it) come out stronger, better, more prepared afterwards.”
You are a great example of what many of us have had to do as our whole world gets flipped on its head.
[48:40] – Vince playing a song of choice
First track – VLP Song called “Can’t Deny”
Song background: Must do something, that pivotable point. It happens at various time in our life, maybe over and over again, but when we take a deep look and say you can change YOURSELF your own outlook on whatever it is, we are facing.
This song talks about how you can’t deny yourself because I’ll lose it all so I’m just going to blame the other man.
[50:10] – Can’t Deny - *playing*
[54:40] – Vince playing another song called Resurrected
This is a song from the JTA Project
[56:00] – Vince: LIVE in studio playing guitar*
[60:30] – Justin: “New life born of death – this could almost be the theme of our podcast today”
We met under rather unfortunate circumstances. But I instantly felt like we were family. You took time to come over and get to know us.
Justin Shares the background on his Kyle's love for music.
Kyle and I both loved music but Kyle loved “angry music”
The Sound of Silence Song
End our session today with the Sound of Silence
The song is about people’s inability to communicate with each other
The power of that meaning inherent in the song and you two struggling to communicate through music
Let’s be like Kyle… And let’s not be comfortable with the sound of silence. He was going to keep on trying to connect and share what he was going through with you through Music.
[66:20] – Vince plays The Sound of Silence song live on guitar
[70:10] – Song ends
Justin: This was a business transaction that has led to what I hope becomes a long-term relationship because you nailed it – life is about relationships.
This podcast is largely about overcoming. As a society this is a unique situation where we have all gone through something traumatic at the same time. And we are all working to overcome and to fail forward as you said…”
To overcome and fail forward
Digging into some of the more unique and personal challenges that we face, if I could sum up life it would be “overcoming”