I’ve been on vacation in New York City the last few days. It’s great to get away from the hustle of everyday life to help remember why I am going after the things I am. Vacation helps me rekindle my passions, find what I would truly do if I was retired, and helps me recharge. I love going into a new city without work or bills on my mind. I focus on myself, the people around me, and the make-up of a city. I love New York for the food, the culture, and the industry. It is definitely something to admire.
While walking down 5th Avenue this weekend, I was approached by young man around the age of 25. He was a rapper and wanted me to buy his CD for $20. Something about this kid really hit me. I mean, was I really going to spend $20 on a CD that I’ve never heard, from an unknown rapper in the middle of NYC? He could have been the next Jay-Z, but was I really going to give him that chance? Who would, really?
That’s when it really struck me. This poor kid was trying to make it BIG. He figured, he’d sell his CDs that he worked so hard on creating for $20 a pop and then one day, he’d get a break. An executive at a big-time record label would give him the call telling him he was the best rapper since Dre, and he had a clear ticket to stardom and millions of dollars. Poor, poor, kid.
Instead of selling one-offs for measly amounts of money, would it not be better to give away hundreds of these CD’s? What would give him more exposure, selling 5 CD’s a day and maybe having 2 of them listened to, or giving his CD away to 100 people a day and having 20 people listen to it? Without a name or proof that his CD is worth purchasing, why should people give him that chance either? I didn’t.
Lesson: Creating Your Name Brand happens when people know you. When you provide value to other people, they will come back to you, spread your name, and become evangelists. That’s when you’ll have your shot.