The TRIP Principle

By Daniel Gibney

This is a guest post from my friend Daniel Gibney, a professional drummer and entrepreneur. After being unable to find appropriate hearing protection for his two little girls to be around him when he was playing drums, he founded Em’s for Kids, a now-international company specialising in hearing protection earmuffs for children and babies. You can follow Daniel on Twitter or Instagram or check out Em’s for Kids on Facebook or Instagram.

Apart from business, one of my main passions in life is playing the drums. I’ve been very blessed over the years to work as a drummer in a professional capacity, and it’s something I still do. The TRIP principle is something I developed as a drummer, but it’s even more applicable in business and life in general.

T = Teachable

Being teachable means acknowledging there are things you don’t know, and need to learn. As a drummer, it’s different techniques, musical styles and musical concepts. In business, and life in general – there are too many things to list! But one thing I know for sure (having seen it in some people) – when you stop being teachable, you stop learning (I know this is a glaringly obvious statement, but I’m amazed at the people who don’t seem to realise this). And when you stop learning, you stop growing. There’s always new processes to learn and better ways of doing things. There’s always more knowledge to obtain, which can be of great benefit. There are always aspects of your life that need improving.

This doesn’t mean we beat ourselves up every day looking at our weaknesses. Rather, we should see these as opportunities to improve – personally and professionally. Adopting an attitude like this means there’s limitless potential for ourselves, and the plans we have for our life.

R = Respect

As a drummer, learning to “Respect the song” is crucial. Don’t overplay. Don’t make it all about yourself and what you can do. And of course, as a working musician, you need to respect the people you deal with.

In business it’s no different. Respect our customers, our suppliers, our superiors and our employees. And have some self-respect also – showing respect doesn’t mean you allow yourself to get pushed around or walked on.

I = Integrity

This is a fundamental principle in life, yet sadly I’ve seen it lacking in so many situations. In an age where what is seen is valued over and above what’s behind the scenes, having integrity can be difficult. C.S. Lewis said it well: Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no-one is watching. I’d add to that “even if it may cost you something”. I’ve been on the receiving end of some staggering acts of dishonesty and unfair treatment, from people I thought I could trust. The temptation is to fight back with the same treatment, but when you end up throwing mud also, not only do you get dirty in the process – you end up losing ground too!

The biblical principle of ‘Let your yes be your yes, and your no be your no’ (James 5:12) is so true. Honour your word. Mean what you say. Adhere to commitments that you make. And for goodness sake – be punctual (don’t get me started on lateness! A fundamental sign of LACK of respect).

P = Practice

Practice can refer to doing something many times in order to improve. No need to explain this one as a drummer. It’s something I need to do a lot more!

But it also refers to the act of “doing” (“the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method” is one definition). To get anywhere in life or business, you have to try things – you have to “do”. The world belongs to them that “do”. Doesn’t mean they always do it well, or perfect. But when the doing is continual, eventually there are results, and lessons learned.


As you can see, each of the 4 aspects of the TRIP principle overlap frequently. These principles have helped me build a life I love in a manner I know I can be proud of – I hope they’re helpful to you too!