What The Startup World Can Learn From A Touring Musician About Storytelling

This week on the Discover Your Inner Awesome Podcast, my cohost Victoria and I had rapper Rico Sisney of the hip hop/funk band Sidewalk Chalk as our guest.

Our conversation stemmed around pacing yourself — a topic every founder can learn from. Sidewalk Chalk is in the midst of a 10-week, 55-show tour across the country for the release of their latest album, An Orchid Is Born.

Towards the end of the show we talked specifically about the album itself. Having followed Sidewalk Chalk for 4 years now and getting to know Rico some in that time, I’ve always been a fan of their work. This album is LIT though. You can feel the emotion pouring out of each song.

Here’s the key as to why, and what founders need to know: This was the first time Rico got personal with his lyrics. He drops some heavy stuff, and you can feel the weight not because he’s commenting on what he’s seen, but because he’s sharing what he’s experienced.

“When I talk about police brutality I’m not talking about it from an observer standpoint. I’m talking about my own experience with a police officer’s hands on my neck, which is an experience I’ve had more than once, or having a taser pointed in my face more than once, or having handcuffs on me more than once…Let’s talk about it through my own personal experiences rather than as this broad concept.
Listen at 35:00

Rico explains that he used to just comment on what was happening, but not get personal. He used to separate his political self from his personal self from his music self.

This time around though he made it personal. The decision to speak as an experiencer instead of an observer is what’s allowed the band’s music to take off and for them to put together what he feels (and I second) is their best album yet.

As a founder, YOU have a story too. YOUR story is what’s going to captivate investors, customers, and partners. Don’t run from it — OWN it.

Listen to the full episode and learn not only about Sidewalk Chalk’s music, but how to pace yourself when your schedule is crazy.

Listen To The Full Episode Here!

Hi, I’m Rajiv ‘RajNATION’ Nathan, I’m the founder of RajNATION Innovation. Feel like your story sucks? I work with growth-focused startups like Keyo, FanFood, and more on pitch and story to help you raise venture capital and acquire customers. Visit www.rajnationinnovation.com and holler at me. I also host the Discover Your Inner Awesome Podcast — real convos with entrepreneurs, founders, artists and musicians to bring you the real side of success.