STOP WAITING, START DOING.
It’s been a while since I wrote to you. Amidst meeting deadlines for projects, scripts, and workshops, I had to take a breather for myself and my mental health. The break was restful and reflective. Something I pondered on while away was how we wait for opportunities to come to us or someone else to provide us with the resources for us to accomplish that goal, project, or endeavor that we so desire.
Many people we consider G.O.A.T, Influentials, Icons, and even the people in our society that we look up to didn’t wait for opportunities to come to them. They started with what they had and as time went on, others saw their value and what they brought to the table then started to share their resources with them. Opportunities didn’t just come knocking. They came while (and probably after) they were already innovative and resourceful.
The common theme I see in the creative space are young and talented creatives having several excuses for why they are not doing that thing they say they want to do or complain about not having the finances to pull off a project or a creative endeavor. A practical example is an upcoming artist waiting for an A&R, Industry Expert, or a Record Label to discover and sign them after releasing one to three songs. However, times have changed. As an artist, you have to build your own fan base and community of supporters. You have to keep releasing music even if it is less than a thousand people listening to your music. You have to learn how to grow your brand, position yourself and get more listeners because the truth is record labels these days won’t sign you if you don’t have 20k to 50k followers or if you can’t hustle and push your music on your own or be resourceful enough to do something dynamic with your craft.
When I first started out in the creative space, at an early age if I may add. I sought opportunities and it turned out that they weren’t being offered to me. This became my mantra, I don’t know how but God just planted it in my heart that, ‘If people don’t call you to work for them, call them to work for you or with you’. I lived by this phrase which led to me create one of the first pop culture blogs in Nigeria, interviewing celebrities, and eventually working for MTV UK/MTV The Wrap Up. Even after these, I learned to identify opportunities and went after them. I worked behind the scenes and consulted for some of your favorite entertainment brands, hosted events on my own without sponsors, and just collaborating with other creatives. I learned how to walk into a room, prove my value, and demand what I needed. Did I fail on my journey? Absolutely! Several times as a matter of fact but I picked myself up, learned the lessons from my mistakes and failures, and kept forging ahead.
So, dear creative, there will never be a right time. Stop waiting and start doing. Start with what you have in spite of where you are. What you have are your skills, your talents, and crafts, and the people that surround you that appreciate your work and those who are far away or not clicking that like button on Instagram are observing your consistency.
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