-shouts out to Christopher Williams.
So, I was on my way to being the new Micheal “Blue” Williams minus the gorilla-like façade. I was managing 5 musical acts and it seemed like everything was going good. I was at the BET awards hanging out with celebrities doing my thing, driving the nicest cars, living in the biggest mansions, had an eight track stereo, color TV in every room, and could snort half a piece of dope every day. It was the American dream, well ain’t it. Fool you better come on in. So anyway I woke up and I realized I had just wasted 5 years of my life and I was still on the corner selling CD’s hoping to recoup what I spent at Wal-Mart the night before.
I won’t bad mouth any of the people I managed at the time, but I’ll just say some were easy to get along with and some weren’t. At that point I heard Laurence Fishburne (Larry at the time) ringing the bell on the yard yelling, “Wake Up!”. I had to realize that although it was possible to be a successful musical manager, I had to have a come the Jesus meeting with myself. Even at the point that all my acts became successful, I would never make the type of money I was looking for. I also didn’t love what I did. I didn’t hate managing, but I didn’t get a sense of fulfillment that I needed. And if I’m going to waste that much time I better be doing something I love. If you don’t do what you love it doesn’t matter how much money you have. Unless you’re Bill Gates and you can pay somebody to do it for you.
Why am I rambling about myself? Well it’s like this. I see a lot of people spending years chasing after dreams that won’t materialize. I would never tell you to give up on your dreams. But you have to have a reality check. I fell into that trap of having to prove myself to everyone at the detriment of a lot of years of my youth. Most people get caught in that idea that what we see on TV is real life and that we can have that. People don’t live like they do on TV.
So anyway I’m ringing the bell on you. If you are trying to do any of these things. WAKE UP!
1) Professional Sports. Very few of us have the talent to master the sport. And of those very few are smart enough to keep the money. Statistics show “78% of former NFL players are broke or financially stressed after retirement, and 60% of former NBA players go broke five years after leaving the league”
2) Music. If I hear another ninja say he’s rapping/producing/singing/ now…I’m going to scream. I’m so tired of that. “Mayne we bout to get this paper.” It’s not a quick hustle. It takes at least 10 years to get on if you ever get on. And when you do, YOU DON’T MAKE ANY MONEY! Also, in the age of digital music, you’re a lame if you’re still on the corner selling your mixtape burned on a Maxell CD, with your rap name and title written on it with a permanent marker.
3) Acting. See number 2 and add 10 more years. Also, getting on a reality TV show and being a video hoe/model urban modeling aren’t legitimate paths to the Academy Awards. With that said…
4) Modeling. I don’t know any 5’2, 140 lbs models for Victoria’s Secret, Sports Illustrated, etc. But I do know plenty of 5’2, 140 lbs models for Black Tail. “Girl I’mma video hoefessional now”. I’m just saying…
5) Fashion Design. Which seems like if you do 1, 2, or 3 you have to do this. Putting your name on some jeans doesn’t make them any better. Putting your no name a** or logo on a shirt doesn’t make it better. Unless it’s a Polo.
6) Network Marketing. Shoulda been #1 to me… I must admit I’ve fell into the trap as a lot of students do coming out of college wanting to get a quick buck. I’m not saying there isn’t money in it, but I’ve never seen the paper. Plus they eerily resemble cults. Shouts out to Tahitian Noni & Pre-Paid Legal.
What are some of the things you think people should give up on? What are some dreams you had to give up on?