Wow. What a year it’s been! 2000 saw HEG go through some of its biggest challenges yet — and come out stronger than ever on the other side. Throughout the past year I have been reminded of the true value of many things: Of life, with the birth of little Ella. Of votes — you know what I’m talking about! Of the importance of believing in your principles and finding the strength to act on that belief — no matter what unexpected resistance you find in your path.
HEG is a work in progress; one founded on the belief that artists and writers should control their work, and that a music publisher should do everything possible to help them bring their work to the world. We’re not perfect, but we’re growing and changing and constantly working towards that ideal. This year taught me that not everyone is ready for that kind of change — for a company that does things in an honorable way even if it means acting from instinct instead of from the bottom line. Our way of doing business may be just too different for some people; after all, we’ve always been told to distrust things that are “too good to be true.” But that cannot and will not change what HEG — what I — know to be true: It is an honor to do what we do. It is a sacred trust that we enter into with every writer or artist we represent. And it is our responsibility to promote — in any way possible — and to protect the copyrights that are entrusted to our care.
HEG enters the new millennium stronger than ever before thanks to the unbelievable level of support that has come our way. I am amazed at the increasing number people who believe in what we’re doing, and who lend their talent and expertise, their time and energy, their sweat and tears — and especially their friendship. More now than ever before, I could not continue to grow this dream without them, as they have been instrumental in making HEG what it is. And we’ll keep on working, striving, hoping and having a great time together. Somehow, that seems to be the most valuable thing of all.
Sometimes you have to walk through the fire. I never really knew what people meant when they said that, but I think I’m starting to learn. It’s not just that you have to experience pain to learn — although that is certainly what it would seem to mean on the surface. But I think it goes deeper than that: You have to face what you fear. You have to experience it — to pass through it and survive it, so you can grow and move on.
Ron’s death has helped me to realize that HEG is a living entity all its own. Even with the loss of someone important to the company’s development, HEG will go on. It is no longer my baby. It will continue to grow and become even more successful, just as Ron would have wished.
But this shocking loss has done something else even more profound: It has cast a bright light on my sense of priorities. What is important in our every day existence? Success — yes. Family — either the one you’re born to or the one you find — most certainly. Politics, community, responsibility to the human race, the animal kingdom, the planet — all these things are important. As are the intangibles — thoughts, feelings, beliefs, hopes and dreams. So considering all of these things, how are we to prioritize our lives? How do we make certain that we’re doing all we should be doing in the order it should be done?
Not long before Ron passed away, he told me how happy he was that we had done all we had done together; that we had traveled the world and shared so many experiences as friends and business partners. He told me that he had no regrets about the way he had lived his life.
At the time, his words frightened me — I didn’t want to hear them because for me they meant that he was giving up on life. What I realize now is that he was celebrating it — all of it. I think it’s time I did the same.