For those writing in here for the game, please keep your political opinions to yourself. This is not a platform to state your political beliefs. I am a Canadian and I love this team. This may be the last game we watch for a while because they might boycott like the other leagues. I do not condone what’s going on obviously and as a Canadian I do not know what’s it like living in those cities and experiencing it. These games are the one getaway from all of it and I truly think them boycotting will not solve any problems. It’s beyond that. If you choose to boycott, that’s your decision and I’ll respect it. So for the time being, let’s sit back and watch playoff hockey, and Go Avs.
I’m Jake. I was a manager for 20+ years. I have been fortunate enough to manage artists and producers who sold millions of records and one of the biggest DJs in the world at the time. I did a previous AMA here
Shahid Khan was nervous but excited. He had spent 3 weeks waiting for his turn to play on the Channel 4 hit TV game show ‘Deal or no deal.’ Picture here
He had to make this work. Or his dreams of being a producesongwriter were over. He only had £10 to his name and desperately needed to buy studio equipment.
Shahid quit university but hadn’t told his parents. He was the first member of his family to attend uni. He knew they would be furious.
He took a chance. This gave him a 2 year window to become successful in the music industry. He worked a series of failed jobs. Shahid was a hospital porter and delivered Domino’s pizzas. He felt fear. He used that to drive him on.
He was 26 years old. And running out time. But Shahid had grit. And he was smart. He beat the banker on the gameshow and won £44,000.
Naughty Boy was born.
He bought studio equipment and moved it into his parents’ garden shed. Before eventually into a recording studio in Ealing, London.
He needed a singer to work with. He attended an industry showcase to see another artist, but by chance discovered Emile Sandé.
He approached Emile, who was studying medicine at Glasgow University at the time, and they co-wrote and produced two top 10 hits in the garden shed. One for Chipmunk and another for Wiley.
This got Emile a record deal with Virgin EMI. Naughty boy co-wrote and produced most of Emile’s debut album. It sold over 5 million copies worldwide.
Naughty Boy was hot. Virgin EMI signed him for an album deal. Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Emile Sandé and Tiny Tempah all guested on his album.
Naughty Boy had an international smash hit with 'La la la’ featuring Sam Smith. This was Smith’s first # 1 single.
His album, Hotel Cabana, went into the UK charts at # 2 and sold over 1 million copies. Naughty Boy has co-written and produced everyone from Katy Perry to Rihanna and Beyonce.
And none of it would have happened without his grit and drive to succeed.
Fear didn’t cripple him. He channelled it.
Fear drove Naughty Boy to try anything. 99% of people would have given up at this point. Self-doubt would wash over them. They would justify their effort. And console themselves saying they did everything they could.
He didn’t. Naughty Boy knew the TV game show was a ridiculous long shot but he had nothing to lose. And it worked.
Naughty boy is signed to Virgin EMI. He has his own publishing and production company. He has sold tens of millions of records.
Every market is saturated.
In order to blow up, you need to make a racket. You need to make content that is worth sharing. You need to master your craft.
In order to make a full time living in music, you need to be in the top 1%. This is true of any crowded market: Authors, YouTubers, models, TikTok-ers, actors etc, etc. 43,000 artists ( 1%) make a living with 90%
of the Spotify streams according to their 2020 Q2 report.
Many believe that talent is the most important element of a successful career. They believe they are too talented to fail. They are wrong. Talent is wasted on those without grit and drive.
What is grit?
Grit is passion and determination. To achieve long term goals regardless of the setbacks and challenges. In crowded markets grit, it is the difference between success and failure.
It’s what you turn to when self-doubt starts f***ing with your head. Or when you feel like quitting. It’s the inspiration to pick yourself up, dust yourself down, and start fighting again.
Will Smith has grit. Will blew the millions of dollars he made as a rapper. He was down and out. He was filing for bankruptcy before getting the part in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
70% of his salary for the first 3 seasons of the show went to the IRS. Will Smith reinvented himself with grit. ‘I will not be out-worked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things you got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die.’ —Will Smith
Angela Duckworth is a researcher and the New York Times best selling author of “Grit.” She interviewed and studied elite athletes, soldiers, academics and CEOs.
What was the quality that distinguished them? Grit.
In most cases, they weren’t the individuals most likely to succeed. They didn’t have the same level of talents as some of their peers. Prodigiously talented artists often fail as they over rely on their talent to succeed.
Grit is essential to high achievement. Talent alone is not enough.
At the top of every genre is someone who is talented and loves the process more than the glory it brings.
How can you start building Grit? Self belief. How can you build more self belief?
Do what you love to do every day.
When Jerry Seinfeld was up and coming comedian, he wrote a new joke every day.
How did he do it? He put a red cross on the calendar every day he wrote a joke. His challenge? Never
break the chain.
Jerry developed grit. And mastered his art. How? By writing jokes every day.
Hit songwriters? Write hooks and toplines every day.
19 year old, YoungKio makes 3/4 beats every day. He made the beat for Lil Nas X's Old Town Road. The beat he made in his bedroom spent 19 weeks at #1 on the Billboard chart. A new record.
If you want to create your unique style you must do what you do, every day.
Want to be an author? Write 1,000 words every day. That’s what the New York Times best selling author, Chris Guillebeau did. Want to be a screenwriter? Write every day. That’s what the creators of the hit TV show ‘Billions’ and Oceans 13 did.
Brian Koppelman and David Levein wrote the screenplay for their debut movie, Rounders starring Matt Damon and Ed Norton while holding down full time jobs. They met for 2 hours before they went to work, every day.
But a word of warning: don’t burn yourself out. You either love the process or you don’t. If you don’t love it you will burn yourself out completely. Getting into the 1% will be the hardest thing you’ll ever do. It is also the most rewarding but don’t burn yourself out trying.
Creating music is supposed to be fun. Enjoy it.
If you have the talent. The grit and the drive. If you love the process and are determined to make a living out of music, then do what you love to do, every day.
Feel free to ask AMA here. No legal or earnings of previous clients, please 😀
This is from a series in my free newsletter of artist management tips and strategies I have used to break artists. You can sub here
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