Why I don't have a Plan B

In college I climbed the ladder to the highly coveted position of the Director of Concerts at Syracuse University. As a first-year student I did everything in my power to get the position. I had it by Junior year, booking the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore, Travis $cott, Lil B, Twenty One Pilots, among many others.

In my first job I highlighted the person I wanted to work and learn from. Again, did everything in my power to accomplish that goal. I achieved it within four months and had a wonderful experience in learning the landscape of the music business.

In working with my first artist, I flew to his city on my own dime, spent money I didn't have to truly understand the artist's vision and how I could add value to his narrative. In turn opening a company to facilitate that vision.

In figuring out my next move I only have one contender I am truly inspired by. I will make it work and that is where my purpose points come in.

I've never had a plan B when I chased down any of these endeavors. If I had one I wouldn't have put every ounce of my being into it.

I’ve found that the only way for me to do remarkable work is to use every ounce I have…every time. 

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My 67% Rule

During my first triathlon training cycle I only swam three times. I focused on my strengths, running and biking.

Come race day we stood in waves separated by age and gender. I found a colleague of mine in the bracket and decided she was the person I would compete against.

The swim was miserable. It was in the cold waters of Malibu where I used the doggie paddle stroke and was passed by a majority of the senior division.

After thirty-five minutes of drudgery I got on my bike passing people the entirety of the ride. Around mile thirteen I caught up with my friend. I pedaled harder. Transitioning into the run portion I was certain she’d be on my tail. I pushed my threshold.

I finished the race in just over three hours and then found out that she had ten more minutes to go.

I was 67% prepared for the race yet my competitive edge set me apart.

Lesson learned. Double down on your edge.

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The thing about death

I lost my father when I was 24 years old; up until that point I didn't know what death really meant or what true empathy felt like.

Death changes your perspective on your work, your loved ones and your surroundings. It's forced growth and adaptation.

I told a mentor of mine the other day that I didn't want to be on my death bed thinking of all of the things I could have done with my time. He corrected me in saying 'it's all the things you were too scared to do that will lead to regret.'

Amen.

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Kelly and Dad

Something in Common

I recently had the chance to sit down with a major music mogul and role model of mine.

Knowing his storied career inside and out from an outsider perspective I had more questions than I could ask, but the funny thing about interacting with people in general-- you usually end up talking about common ground topics.  

The chat was inspiring to say the least but the take away being-- we are all living the human condition. A few people decide to keep doing things, keep executing and learning to love being treated as the underdog. Those are the people that run our industries.  

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Why be mediocre?

I had a friend tell me a few months ago that I need to identify my strengths and delegate the rest. I didn't necessarily understand it at the time.

If you work on your weaknesses there is a high probability you will be 'good' or 'decent' at the skill. 

When you work on your strengths you have the opportunity to become an expert.

Why be mediocre when you can be an expert. Delegate the noise.

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The Death of an Ego

Our society lacks humanity. If you can provide that in your interactions you've unlocked the door.

I've been shut down by a lot of middle management people. I have empathy for their role. It's tough, they are generally shipped the jobs no one else wants and in turn do not find fulfillment. This reflects in their work and their interactions. A double edge sword to upward mobility.

I've found the people at the bottom and the people at the top are the most likely to provide humanity. They are ever evolving, learning trends, looking for the gaps and have the mindset that they could lose everything tomorrow. They are hungry. 

Hungry people win.

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Expectations

When we travel we have a certain set of expectations. Get through the security quickly, get a snack before boarding, get to your destination on time. 

Today on my flight back from the SXSW conference we sat on the runway for an hour before de-boarding the plane. There were many upset passengers as you can imagine. 

When your expectations are violated you have an emotional reaction. 

Knowing I couldn't change the outcome of the situation- I let it be.

Consider where in your life you need to alter your expectations. 

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Connecting the dots

I had three route options post graduation. The first route, my boss and mentor would  leave the company 6 months after being hired. The second route, I would be put in a situation where the person wasn't respected by their peers, in turn leading me to failure through association. The third route led me to the best possible outcome. Going to CAA and learning the landscape of the entertainment business.

I didn't realize it at the time, but I dodged many bullets.

I mention this because as you are going through bad relationships, issues at home or failure- there is a reason for it. 

You can only connect the dots looking back.

Fail forward, fail often, fail with excitement.  

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A Connection Economy

The entertainment business is a system of bartering and connecting dots. Hard to quantify ones daily impact but impossible to deny the overarching power.

When I look at my friends who are most successful in the field, the characteristics they share are creativity, determination, curiosity, passion and likeability.

It baffles me when people try to do things as cheaply as possible or slight someone to save a few bucks. When you have someone on your team that has the above traits you have the golden ticket.

Hold onto them at all costs.

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Leaders create leaders

We don't need more personal assistants; Siri and Alexa can do that. We don't need more cashiers; robots can do that. We don't need more degrees; books can do that.

We need more leaders and artists. People who master the art of interaction, anticipate consumer needs and map creators- those who influence our minds and show us a better way. 

I created a group called POWER 100: Next Gen, to facilitate a community of people who are hungry and seek out change. As the late Steve Job's once said, "The people crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones that actually do."

Be a seeker. Make an impact. I invite you to attend one of our events, click here to stay in the loop of all future gatherings. 

Drying the well

Give, give, give and you are destined to have a bountiful well.

Take, take, and take and your well will dry up.

From the last 10 years, I mapped out all of my business and personal relationships. The ones still present were people who share the philosophy of a mutually beneficial relationship. I realized that the reason some relationships didn't work out after a year or so, was because I felt taken advantage of.

Unless you're cutting calories on MyFitnessPal, do your best to stay out of a deficit.

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I'm not for everyone

I used to strive to be accepted by everyone. Always remaining neutral on topics, keeping my opinion to myself to avoid confrontation. I became a shell of a human, and a cog in the machine of what life should look like.

I had a dark moment on New Years Eve, where if I didn't drastically change, a sad truth would be ensured.

My voice, this blog, has caused friends to drop off, unsubscribe from the shell of Kelly.

On the same sentiment, some of the deepest and most beautiful relationships are now so present in my life. They subscribe to the real Kelly.

I'm not for everyone, and I know that now.

Dare to be you, it's worth the haters.

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I believe in you

A success story is never just what you see on paper. It was thousands of hours of hard work, peer counseling and a community that built the person. With many bumps in the road, quitting is always sitting on the shoulders of the best innovators of the world.

Never underestimate the power of looking someone in the eye and telling that person you believe in them. Your belief may be the tipping point to their success and in turn- the change factor that moves us forward.

How much is your name worth?

Athletes are traded on their skills and marketability. Executives are traded on their network and  ability to attract and grow business. Celebrities are traded on their past jobs and likability quotient to the world. 

If you were to be evaluated today, what would your name be worth.

That answer alone should be reason to access your skill set and expand it 10x over.

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Engage your Core

Fitness classes and trainers alike often tell you the importance of engaging your core. A strong core allows for stability, support, performance and strength. 

In business, you should always be striving to engage your core audience. You would be surprised on how attention to the core, leads to attention to the rest of the world.

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