DON’T BE YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY
It has been said that luck can be defined as a preparation meeting opportunity. Whether or not that is true, what cannot be denied is that opportunities don’t come around often in life. Sometimes, you only get one look for your acting career from a director, or one listen for your record deal from an A&R, or one read from a publisher for your book. You have to always put your best effort into the work that you do because most often, opportunity only knocks once. For black men, whom many start life at a disadvantage, it’s important to not only recognize opportunity, but do your best to seize it. It may seem small at first, but there is no telling where it may lead, or the person it may lead you to meet. Most advances in major industries are given through connections. As the saying goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. That’s the way the world works, therefore, if you have a bad attitude, or think you are too good for everyone else, or believe that you are owed an opportunity it will surely put your future plans and objectives in a bind.
TEAM WORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK
As a case study, let’s examine the Joe Budden Podcast. If you keep up with the hip hop / urban environment in any way then you more than likely have heard of the Joe Budden Podcast. I first became familiar with Joe Budden as a personality from the show Everyday Struggle, which premiered on the Complex Youtube Channel. I was introduced to the show by DJ Akademiks, who was a co-host of the show. After things ended on the show, I soon discovered the Joe Budden podcast, which had been airing since 2015. By time I began watching the podcast the three hosts were Joe Budden, Rory, and Mal. The hosts all shared great chemistry and they each had their own unique flavor that they brought to each episode. As the podcast grew, more and more opportunities presented itself to the show and before long the podcast had a deal with Spotify. Ego, pride, and vanity is the tale of the Podcast’s fade to black. Yes, the podcast still airs, albeit with two new hosts whom it’s very difficult to form an understanding with since many people don’t know them and have spend years bulding a relationship with the former co-hosts. The ego of Joe Budden is publicly documented and well known in the industry. He often seeks much more than what he should be getting, which many would say is ambitious, however, it can be viewed as bad business and being unreasonable. And no one wants to do business with someone who is unreasonble. He withholds pertinent information from his team and they are left to figure things out themself, furthermore, he believes that he is the main draw to the circus. Meaning that people only go to live events and listen to the podcast because of him.
LEARN FROM OTHERS
This behavior has been the downfall of many black men with huge futures and potential. As things on the podcast began to spiral out of control, Joe Budden took private matters public and essentially made a mockery of his co-host, whom he treated like they were easily replaceable. He even ended up firing Rory live on air. Due to the debacle and many debacles of Joe Budden over the years, a majority of his listenership abandoned him and went to the new Rory and Mal podcast. He lost over 50,000 subscribers from his Youtube channel and lost his deal with Spotify due to sexual harassment allegations by a former female employee. It stands to reason that Joe Budden had a much brighter future with Rory and Mal than with Ice and Ish, the new podcast hosts. Joe, however, let Rory and Mal know exactly how he felt about them and therefore they decided to leave. This is what happens when you squander your opportunities that are given to you. You lose out not only on money, but on friendships and partnerships that have opportunity to grow. Brands decide not to work with you because you are too unpredictable and you eventually burn all of your bridges until it’s just you standing alone in the mess you made. If Joe Budden had dropped his ego and pride, and realized that the audience was not just watching for him, but also for Rory and Mal, then he would have understood the importance of keeping the group together and would not have squandered his opportunity. If more black men are humble and respectful of others they will get very far in life, much further than they can on their own.