Anne Robinson co-founded Windham Hill Records in her garage with little capital investment, but a compelling vision of what could be. She blended her love of music with her love for design and graphics to produce records which turned the music industry upside down. In a business where success is measured in weeks, many of Windham Hill’s first records are still selling today, 23 years after their introduction.

Your experience as an entrepreneur in the music industry more or less demonstrates Maslow’s observation that “the novice can often see things that the expert overlooks. All that is necessary is not to be afraid of making mistakes or appearing naive.”

Because we didn’t know the record business, we broke a lot of the rules.

Maslow said, “self-actualization is hard work, that it involves a calling to service from the external, day-to-day world, not only a yearning from within.”

Yes, he spoke the truth. One is always in the process of becoming. You never finish if you are really living your life. You are always taking in information and new experiences and synthesizing them into your work and into your philosophy.

My experience with Windham Hill was that we seemingly came out of nowhere. Yet we had been working at it nonstop for about six or seven years. There were a couple of years where we had no competition. The industry thought we were the Alpha and the Omega. Yet, at the same time, we knew that someone was going to come along and improve upon ...

Get Maslow on Management now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.