Stand Out in a Crowd
Everyone has gifts. Often, we take our gifts for granted, or we hide our lights under bushel baskets. I am a firm believer that everyone should use their gifts and let their lights shine; daily. Standing out in a crowd is not always a bad thing. And, if you use your gifts, then you may find that you are a happy, successful, and thriving member of the world society.
My name is Lisa Canning, and I enjoy using my gifts to help other people see their potential. My ideas have lead to others' success and simultaneously added to my own. Over the years, I have perfected my gift to help others get things done, advance good causes, or market a product. In addition, I enjoy helping others get on the right career path.
For Hans Zinner
In the mid-1980s, I was frustrated because I could not find a great mouthpiece. At the Chicago Clarinet Festival, I was introduced to the late Jerry Hall who suggested that I try Zinner mouthpieces. I tried them and found these mouthpieces to be just what I needed. While working with the company, I recognized that other clarinetists could benefit from these mouthpieces as well. However, the opportunity for growth came from convincing Zinner to market its mouthpieces as blanks that others could finish. This choice allowed the company to expand its market and other clarinetists to increase their mouthpiece selection
While overseeing the project, I was careful to ensure that every blank bear the Zinner name so that anyone who bought it knew where it had come from. As the exclusive importer for Zinner, for more than a decade, my marketing gift helped Zinner significantly expand its United States market share by creating a niche that did not exist until our collaboration.
Among the first to use Zinner mouthpiece blanks were Greg Smith and Richard Hawkins. After a few years, I recruited others including Mike Lomax, Clark Fobes, Brad Behn, Fred Rast, and eventually The Leblanc Corporation. Zinner continues to be the most popular blank used by a very long list of quality mouthpiece makers.
For DePaul University
As a professional clarinetist, my schooling concentrated mainly on perfecting playing technique and was short on how to make a living doing what I love. When I got out into the world, I discovered that one of my gifts was to help other musicians understand how to take their gifts and turn them into a lucrative living.
One day I'd like to see every creative arts school have a business of music component. I saw an opportunity to bring this type of program to DePaul University when I was asked to serve on the Advisory Board for The School of Music. I broached the subject of a music business degree, and was told by the Dean that this was not something that he would endorse nor would he hire full-time faculty to run this program. Well, I went about creating the course in the business of music, which I was asked to design and teach. And, as I worked, I saw something much bigger for DePaul's student body.
The course I developed and taught for DePaul focused on career development for artists and entrepreneurship. I then went on to help create a couple of student-run organizations and a first of its kind music oriented job fair that was visible to DePaul faculty. Over a ten year period, the dream to bring a business of music degree program to DePaul never died. In the end, I was able to demonstrate the desire and capacity of the students I taught to the Dean, who agreed to explore the type of degree I sought for the students. In 2005, DePaul unveiled a Performing Arts Management Program, which is run by a full-time faculty member.
In My Own Business
I built my first business, National Clarinet Suppliers, Inc, while I was a student at Northwestern University. This business grew into a Top 100 retailer primarily because I was able to identify and deliver products that my clients needed. Over the next 20 years, I created three more businesses each sustaining double digit growth for 17 of the 20 years. In addition, in 2002 and 2004, I was recognized as a business leader for the state of Illinois by President Bush. In addition, I have been honored as Business Owner of the Year by The National Association of Women Business Owners.
In my businesses, I used my gift of creativity to develop catalogs with original artwork, as well as insider tips and articles written by other accomplished musicians. However, from the beginning of my business, the hand selection service that started with just clarinets became my passion. As I began to sell other instruments, I expanded to serve my clients by matching them with the right professional instrument specialist to serve their playing needs. As a result of my creativity and understanding of what musicians need, others in the music business recognized the need as well and duplicated my ideas. Many businesses continue to mimic my ideas in the music business.
When you use your gifts to lead, are original in your thinking, and are creative others will want to emulate you because you appear to have what they are seeking; success and fulfillment in your life.
What all of this means for Lisa's Clarinet Shop clients is that I bring more than 20 years of hand selection experience to our meeting when you are selecting your clarinet. Be it your first or your fifth, I can help you select the best instrument for you. Over the years, I have developed exceptional communication and listening skills that I use to help match an instrument to your unique playing style. This process will help you sound and play your best. Playing will become even more of a pleasure for you and your audience when you and I select the best instrument for you.
"Make the gifts you are given a core part of how you earn a living, and you can't but Stand Out in a Crowd."