I was on a plane flying into Seattle when the captain came over the intercom chanting a corporate-mandated mantra: “We know you have many travel options and we thank you for choosing us for your travel needs.”

Um, yeah. Not really, dude. At most, I had three to five choices for an airline to get me to Seattle today. I also had very particular needs: an airline that could also connect me via commuter plane to the sleepy town of Bellingham. I really only had one option. However, the captain’s frustratingly insincere gratitude clarified for me something essential about the way I approach my business and art.

Unlike people making travel plans, filmmakers and producers really do have options. When looking for composers, producers must sift through not just five, not just a dozen, but potentially fifty to a hundred qualified composers. Some are better than others, but all of them will get the job done to varying degrees. This is true no matter what the budget or scale of the project is. From big budget movies, to kickstarter mobile games, to television pilots, to webseries, there is an overwhelming list of composers who will do a good job.

No matter how many projects I get offered, I always strive to remember that I’m one bad day or bad cue away from losing one. I am grateful for every person who has or ever will pick me from the list of dozens of equally qualified composers, because they have so many options to choose from. Conversely, I strive to remember this on the frequent occasions when I don’t make the cut.

With every client, I communicate in subtle ways this message: “I know you have many composer options and I thank you for choosing Bear McCreary for your music needs.”