This past weekend I flew to NYC to attend the Jay-Z concert at the opening of the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. As I was in my spot in front of the stage I had the chance to look around, breathe in and really take in the monumental occasion that I was about to be a part of. Forget what anyone has told you, the rap culture has always been a source of inspiration AND aspiration. The G.O.A.Ts of this culture have shown us how to be moguls, how to be successful off of our passions, why creativity is not just a hobby but a business and how to create a brand built from your authentic self.
Jay-Z, one of the greats, has shown us these examples for years and this weekend reminded me of a few life lessons that I will carry with me into this week and beyond:
There is a genius in us all but it is our job to find out what it is. Then, work!
At a point during the show, Jay took a moment to address the crowd and let them know that he was no different from us. That anyone of us could be standing up there on stage in his place. As he said:
I think every single person is born with genius level talent. You just have to find out what it is that you are a genius at...Once you find out what it is [that you are talented at], that’s not the end of it. Once you find out your genius level talent, you apply yourself in such a way that you do amazing sh-t. I’m a living testament of that. I am no muthaf-cking different than anybody in here tonight and I’m standing on this stage as living proof that if you apply yourself to what it is that you are genius at, you can do anything in the world.
Jay-Z declared years ago, “I’m from Marcy son…ain’t nothing nice”. Growing up in a Brooklyn project, there was no reason for him to make it, but he did. With faith and persistence we can become MORE than our pasts and not allow for it to determine what our future holds.I still have so much that I want to achieve but it still amazes me how far I have come and how much I have achieved since being a little girl from Rexdale who dreamed of being a comedian. Dream big and act, don’t let disadvantages limit you.
Declare your value
Fish in different waters
You will not achieve success if you stay within your comfort zone. Even if you have already achieved success, to reach new levels you need to continue to push yourself past your boundaries. For Jay-Z this meant hanging in different circles and aligning himself with things outside of the rap culture (politics, sports, entertainment venues) in order to take his brand to the next level. I made the decision to move to Atlanta to test the waters out here. For some of you, it may mean to meet new people, relocate to a new country or city, for others it may be to go back to school or to leave the job that you hate waking up to go to.
Quiet the noise of naysayers
Everyone has an opinion and often times whether well intentioned or not the noise of people’s opinions can often drown out your own voice or steer the course of your dreams. You have to develop a belief in yourself and trust your own decisions. Many people doubted whether Jay-Z as a rapper belonged in the different arenas and ventures that he pursued, but he had a vision for himself that many others could not see. The more people who doubt you, the more you know that you are headed on the right track.
If you visualize it, then you can achieve it!
I don’t know about you all, but I’m ready to embrace my dreams head-on. Are you? Tell me some of the lessons that you are applying to your life today.
P.S. Have you all checked out the details for my Artist Millionaire Workshop? I announced an amazing panel of industry power players that will equip you with the tools to unleash your dreams. Check out the details here.