We had the good fortune of connecting with Stan Endicott and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Stan, do you think college made a positive impact on your life and career? Do you think it was worth the price tag?
My college experience was among the best years of my life. First of all, I was in college in 1970. The average cost of college then was about $1,800 per year. The cost of a new car then was about $3,500. College is not about what you learn, rather it’s to learn how to learn. College is not for everyone. But for most people college is all about getting a diploma rather than being inspired to learn. Enticing people to learn is the very basis of education. My college experience allowed me to experiment and to develop skills in an area that I absolutely loved. My professors taught me how to chase the things that I was keenly interested in. 

For an 18, 19-year-old, if they don’t know what direction they want to take, the most important thing is to “get good at something, as quickly as possible.” This will give them the confidence, the inspiration and the determination to move toward a new career opportunity when it reveals itself. So many people wait and live in ambiguity as they are trying to determine their future careers. They are often asked, “What is your passion?”  Passion can cause people to waste years of their lives. It can be a road down the wrong path. The word really means pain. An interest in any career is worth paying attention to. However, passion comes after a particular skill is developed. 

My college experience gave me an opportunity to get very good at being a music producer at an early age.  For me, college was the springboard for my career. As I see so many people getting online degrees, the content can certainly be attained. However, the interaction with people, having great lifetime friends, getting to know professors personally and simply being a part of a learning community is so important. If you are getting an online degree you must connect with great people who are leaders in your area of study.  The recent COVID 19 Pandemic will re-set the “norm” for getting an education.  Of course, online learning will be a part of that new “norm” but “in-person” interaction and collaboration will indeed still be a crucial part of anyone’s education and learning experiences.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My parents gave me the best childhood possible which set me on a path of curiosity and risk taking. They believed in me and gave me many opportunities that I was interested in. I loved music as a kid but had no formal training. My high school had a total of 125 students but that’s not bad considering the town only had a population of 350. I wanted to go to music school, but I was turned down time after time because I had no formal training.  Finally, a small Christian College in Illinois accepted me on a trial basis. There were only 12 music students and I was the only music composition major. I practiced 4 hours a day for 6 years. I couldn’t get enough. Since I was the only music composition major, I was given the opportunity to arrange music for all the music groups in the school. I loved it so much that I took every opportunity that came my way. I learned to conduct by standing in front of the mirror in my dorm room, conducting to the Beach Boys. I was curious, confident and determined to be a risk taker. 

I learned early in my life the importance of how to inspire and motivate people who were far more talented than me. I logged not just 10,000 hours but more like 40,000. I realized that to be successful a person has must do two things. First of all, identify and connect with the very best people who are in your career arena. In other words, move to where the people are who are doing what you want to do. Secondly, be a curious learner. I am most proud of the many albums I have produced, and I am the co-founder of Slingshot Group- a church staffing and coaching company.  My career was extremely energizing and at the same time inspiring.  I have loved every minute of it.  

The most important lesson I learned was to become highly skilled in something as early in life as possible. For me it was as an orchestrator and producer. When I went to college, I couldn’t read music. Fast forward 8 years and I was arranging music for the top musicians in Los Angeles and recording with the best engineers, in the best studios. My confidence and my network encouraged me. I was not afraid of competition and was determined and hungry to improve.  

 Here are 4 important things I have identified that will help people have great careers 

  1. Be professional – Be highly skilled in your career 
  2. Always be on time – Don’t underestimate how important this is 
  3. Be kind – Demonstrating kindness frees people up to do their very best
  4. Don’t do anything stupid – Some people destroy a career that they have spent their entire life building and by doing one stupid thing it all goes down the drain.  It’s not worth it!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take my friend first of all to see the ocean. Then to some out of the norm, little restaurants that most people have never heard of. Then to small music venues where they will hear and meet some of the very best professional musicians.  The very best place to hear the world class musicians is at the Baked Potato Jazz club in L.A. It only seats about 40 people. Has amazing food and the music is the best you will ever experience. 

I would take them to the Beach Comber cafe, right on the beach then head to play golf at Pelican Hills. Of course, I would want to take you to a Clippers game and the Angels. For more sophisticated music taste we would want to go to hear the Los Angeles Philharmonic. No better music experience in the world. Then I would take them to IMPROV to hear a great comedian. And a walk on the beach. A sunset in Newport Beach and Dana Point is absolutely breath taking.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My folks who gave me the most amazing childhood any kid could ever imagine My seventh-grade teacher and coach, Charlie Crane, he believed in me! My two favorite college professors, David Hargrove who gave me an opportunity and Dr. James Strauss who taught me to think. Dwayne and Dwight Good were the first to pay me for work and I owe them so much! Maranatha Music Company, Chuck Fromm and Tommy Coomes, who gave me my career boost and journey. My wife, Connie, who moved with me to California when we had no work and has supported me so many times never questioning my career adventures. My partner in Slingshot Group, Monty Kelso, together we have built an amazing organization. And I am confident that God has directed my thoughts and paths.

Website: Slingshotgroup.org
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