If Beyonce Can Do It…

Picked up this from listening to Charlamagne the God’s audiobook.  He recalls the story of when Beyonce walked into the room.  According to Charlamagne there was several people in the room and when Beyonce came in she made it a point to walk up to each person and introduce herself.

Introducing yourself isn’t out of the ordinary, but it is when you are Beyonce – one of the most famous people on the planet.

She didn’t need to introduce herself.  Everyone would have known who she is.  But instead of assuming that they knew her, she was humble.  She was polite when she didn’t have to be.  As a result, I can only imagine how it made each person’s day – and more than that.  It made a lifetime memory that they would share with countless people.  The day that Beyonce took time to talk to them.

For Charlamagne, a famous radio personality, it also impacted him.  If Beyonce can do it, why shouldn’t I?

That’s the thing about role models, they show you that doing the small things makes a big impact.

 

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Successful People

successful people meme

The only thing I like more than coming up with ideas is sharing them with others.

I find that when I share them with the right person, they get inspired as well, and it fires both of us up.

But on the other side, sometimes I share an idea and someone will respond “Okay, so what’s in it for me?”

Immediately my energy level comes down.  I don’t have as much excitement.

Part of me thinks – they just don’t get it.

But a bigger part of me is disappointed.

To me its scarcity versus abundance.

When you say “What’s in it for me” you are thinking scarcity – there is not enough to go around so you have to focus on yourself.

When you think abundance, you are thinking – lets go harvest the fruit so that we can continue to build a bigger farm.  You realize that the possibilities are endless.

I try to surround myself with people that help others and that are in a positive mood.  It tends to rub off, and I want some more of that hypeness!

 

 

Future Belongs To Those…

malcolm

 

For a while in the 90’s it seemed like it was all about Malcolm X.  For me it began on one of the first episodes of the Fresh Prince.  I think it may have even been the first episode.  Will had a poster on his wall of Malcolm X and his Uncle Phil skeptically asked  “Do you even know what he represents?”

It wasn’t long after that when Spike Lee announced he was making about Malcolm’s life.

Denzel played the lead.

Then it became a fashion crazy.  ‘X’ embroidered hats were everywhere.

I used to have this poster on my bedroom door.  So I walked by it daily.

The quote still has an impact on me.

It reminds me that the work that I do today will have an impact on the future.

I love how Malcolm’s signature pose is him pointing to his forehead – Always thinking.

It’s become iconic.

Even decades after his passing, Malcolm’s words ring true to this day.

Lin-Manuel on SNL – Finding Your Role

Lin-Manuel Miranda is seen in New York, New York on Tuesday September 2, 2015.

Was watching Lin-Manuel on Saturday Night Live and it made me think about the importance of finding your role.

Lin-Manuel is a rapper.  He can spit bars with the best of them.  His monologue on SNL proved that.  He flowed effortlessly and he had some great punchlines.

But Lin-Manuel isn’t known as a rapper.  He’s known as a playwright for creating Hamilton.

What if he had thought that the only way he could share his talent was by making a single to get played on commercial radio.

What if he thought he was only a rapper if he made a mixtape or an album?

With all of his success it sounds silly, but we often look at talent with a narrow viewpoint.

The thing is, the rules have changed.

A few weeks ago I got a gig that I would never have expected.  I was doing voice over for a childrens  cartoon.  I played the role of a rapping dog.  Back when I started rapping out twenty-plus years ago this would be the furthest thing from my mind, but it was fun.  It worked.

Sometimes you have to think out of the box…

Or sometimes you just need to try new things until you stumble on the right one.

 

 

S.W.I.S.S.

Picked this one up from my man Manafest.

In addition to being a successful artist, I love how he has started several online courses to educate artists.

I’ve been a professional artist for fifteen years, but I still love learning now concepts and strategies.

That’s why I love this acronym – S.W.I.S.S. – Sales while I sleep soundly.

Many people assume that being an artist means that you are in the studio everyday making music.

That’s part of the job, but the saying is also true – the music business is 90% business and 10% music.

I’ve learned early that if I wanted to be a full time artist, it meant that I needed to spend time on my business.

The downside is that business can be tedious.  Even boring.  It’s often procrastinated because it isn’t fun.

One of the tasks that I plan to complete today isn’t fun.  I’m going to be working on scheduling my social media posts.  I will go through about twenty different posts to schedule when they appear in my various feeds.  It’s not that exciting.  But I know by doing this – by automating the process, that it will save me time in the future.  Set it and forget it are words to live by as an entrepreneur.  It’s about systems, its about doing something the right way once so that you don’t have to do it again and again.

Ultimately it will free up more time so that I can do the things that I want to do.

And in the end I’ll achieve the goal of creating revenue even when I’m not actively working on it.

Sales while I sleep soundly.

Ah yeah

PS If you are looking to automate your posts I encourage you to check out Meet Edgar  It’s great!

 

 

 

Attitude is Everything

I’m usually early to everything so you can imagine how I felt when I missed a flight.

I had taken the 407 – the toll highway – just to ensure that I was at the airport in time.  I wasn’t even running behind, I just wanted to take what is normally a stress free drive.   I normally would have arrived at least an hour ahead.   But as soon as I got on the highway I knew there was a problem – an accident.  I was confused.  I just listened to a traffic report – it means the accident must just have happened.

Fortunately the traffic wasn’t at a stand still, it was moving – though very slowly… but I still had hope.  And, I had left early.  I should be fine I was telling myself.

When I made it to the check-in counter they sent me to the express lane.  I thought I was good.  But the express lane was taking forever even though there was only one person in front of me!

Then I received the news: “We can’t put you on this flight,”  followed by, “The next flight is five hours later and it will cost you $150.”

I made a last ditch effort to try and make my flight – I still had 35 minutes before take off – but because I had luggage, she wouldn’t let me do it.

I took out the credit card and paid the fee.

As I did so, I was reminded of a story I’d heard from a man who inspired me.

It comes from Keith Harrell – author of Attitude is Everything.  Harrell was an author and a motivational speaker, and he is someone I studied when I got into the speaking business.

One time his flight was delayed and he was in line to get another flight.  As he waited he could hear people in a similar position venting their frustrations to the attendants at the counter.  One person was yelling, screaming, and cursing at the attendant.  She was calm in her response, repeating “I’m sorry sir, that’s the best we can do.”

When it was Harrell’s turn, he was informed that the next fllight was several hours away.

“Super fantastic!” He replied.  The attendant was confused.  “I said, I’m sorry sir, but the next flight won’t be for several hours.”

“Super fantastic!” – which is Harrell’s trademark saying.

He knew he didn’t have a choice, so he decided to be positive.

His message – We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control our attitude and how we respond…

The bright side was that I was going to make it my destination – just a little later than planned.

Truth is, I don’t mind spending time at an airport.  I have a laptop and I have an internet connection.  I’m able to send emails, write, blog, plan, etc.

The other thing I said to myself is… “I wonder who I might run into?”

You realize how small of a world it is when you are at an airport.

Sometimes I will see someone I know – usually someone I haven’t seen in a long time… I remember as a teenager running into my childhood neighbour.   Nowadays I often run into musicians that are on flights heading to a show.

An hour into my delay I ran into an old friend.  Hadn’t seen her for ten years.

I checked into an airport lounge – one of the best things I’ve discovered about airports – so I got a chance to enjoy a buffet, complete with an endless supply of coffee and juice, while typing this on the comfort of a desk, as opposed to the usual a cramped airport seat.

Sure I could be upset that I missed my flight, but I’m grateful it happened on a day such as today where I didn’t have any appointments that I would have to reschedule.  It is just a slight inconvenience.

A few months ago I did a Google search on Keith Harrell to see what he had been up to.  I was saddened to see that he had passed away.  He was young – only 54.  He died of cancer.

While Keith is no longer here, his message lives on…

Attitude is Everything.

 

 

 

I Get Paid To Practice

“I get paid to practice. I play the games for free.”

  •  Junior Seau

Read this quote on Peter King’s Monday Morning Quaterback site.  Football player Rodney Harrison was sharing his fondest memories of his friend, former teammate and Hall of Fame inductee – the late great  Junior Seau and this was one of them.

Football is a sport where practice time greatly exceeds playing time. In baseball you play 162 games. In basketball and hockey there are 82 games. Football has only 16 games for a season. It means that each one is crucial.   There is little room for a error or even a short slump.   Practice becomes essential.

But there is also another side to it.  When you are committed to practice you begin to trust the process. The hard work is done.  When its Gametime you can be in the moment and enjoy yourself.  You can get in the zone.  Playing the game becomes fun.

As a performer I can relate to that. Prior to going on tour or doing a big show, I will practice for hours. Knowing the lines is a given, I want to hone in on the small details.  But for me practicing doesn’t just mean rehearsing my live show. Performing is only a small part of the job of being a rapper.  I need to be on top of my accounting, I need to book shows, I need to stay on top of emails and paperwork.  For me, this is what I get “paid” for doing. Getting out on the stage and rocking the crowd – that’s “free” – that the fun.

I think the saying “make your vocation your vacation” is inspirational but it’s not completely accurate.  It’s great to enjoy yourself, but you have to be committed to the details which oftentimes aren’t fun.  As an athlete it can mean running laps or staying in the gym.  As a musician it can mean being in the studio, or taking care of the business tasks.  As a student, it means completing homework and studying extra hours.

The key is to keep the long term goal in site while working on the small tasks daily.

For every athlete that believes in practice, there are some that don’t…
Who can forget this classic clip…

#staydriven