My First Post: An Ode to Priorities and The Myth of Being Out Here
I’m not much of a writer, so please excuse the grammar and all that stuff.
Here’s the problem you face when you’re 28, have a fiance and a child, and a great career that consumes your daily: you can start to lose focus on what’s important in life. At this point, I’ve been doing this music business thing for close to 10 years. I started for real at 18, in college, interning for a college radio host, and then passing out flyers at 3am for a street promoter, and then… you know… going to college. It was easy to be selfish then, because I had nothing else to really think about. I could go all in on my career, get my foot in the door, and not check in with a single person about it.
At 22, I was in the same boat but further up the river. This time I was moving up in the world. Actually getting paid to do stuff in the business. Traveling way more often. I could focus all my time on me and my work. I was co-managing a group, I was selling video content to huge publications, I was doing everything. I had my foot in the door and I wanted to kick it open. At the time, I thought I got there by being out every night, knowing all the right people, etc.
Sometimes I still think I’m the old me that needs to run around and do whatever it takes to make a name for myself. I think in old me ways. I need to “be out more”, get drinks with friends and talk shop and network every night out of the week. I can’t be the guy that “doesn’t go out”, cause that means I’m not working. I need to be the guy that works the room, the guy that won’t stir shit up with the people that I work with so I can maintain relationships, the guy that does things on other peoples terms. You see when I was trying to get in the room where it happens (Hamilton reference), I was focused on appeasing folks and playing the game. It was easy to put the game of relationship building in front of my own priorities…. since my only priority was to do just that.
Things changed at 28… for the better. These two are my priorities now. The woman who puts me before herself everyday, so I can pursue my career and my dream. The little girl who I want everyday to grow up and look at my like a superhero. It’s more important to me to wake up every day to both of them and come home to them at night than anything else in the world. It’s the thing that actually centers me, gives me a focus on goals, and what’s important.
But again, I start to forget where I am in life. The pressure of moving up in the world and making a better life for us three gets to me. There’s bills to pay, food to get, homes to buy, day care, and school, and college funds, and date nights, and weddings, and insurance, and retirement, and shit that I don’t even have to pay for yet but I think about all the time. The shit that makes our lives better. So I gotta get back to work. I gotta be out here again. I have to show folks I’m really living this to get us to where we need to be financially.
NO! That’s not true at all. My anxiety and my ambition is telling me I do, but anxiety and ambition have no guidance. Anxiety and ambition are impulsive as fuck and only care about what’s in front of them. That leads to selfishness, and that’s how you fall off track.
I mean, what did I really get from being out all the time “working”. A bunch of cell phone numbers? I got every job (full time or freelance) from actual work I did…. during a work day. Was my bank account improved by it? Hell no. I probably would be rich by now if I started investing all that music money I was making with no responsibilities to deduct from it in my early 20s. There were some positives. A bunch of great memories, friends, most importantly I met Shamira. Beyond that, putting people before me, and being out every night, lead to debt and a slower climb up in the world. I don’t regret it, I even love parts of it, but these are just the facts.
At 28, my biggest battle is figuring out how to lose the bullshit attitude that 22 year old tricked me into. 22 year old me didn’t have real defined goals. I just wanted to get in the game. Not having that thing that keeps me grounded and focused lead me to waste time and money on what wasn’t important. Once I got it (it being my family), not prioritizing them lead me to lose focus on everything, from work to home life. Nothing was right.
I wanted to start this Medium account to give some advice to people on the come up. I went to school for this, and did everything the hard way, to just start feeling like things are paying off for me. I want to offer everything I can, so you (whoever you are) can speed up your own process. So to kick it off, here’s the most important lesson that I‘m just starting to gain a real grasp on: PRIORITIZE WHATS IMPORTANT, FIRST. NO EXCEPTIONS. Don’t fall in the trap of running around aimless, putting other people and things before the thing that matters to you most. The minute you lose those, you’ll be running around aimless forever.
I’m so thankful for my fiance, and my daughter. I need them in my life more than even I’ll ever full realize in the moment. Whoever or whatever it is for you, please don’t lose that. That’s the most important place to start before you really dive into the path of following your dream.
(Thanks for reading this. I created a SuperPhone account for anyone that has questions, wants advice, etc. Text me at (347) 514–9418 if you need anything, and I’ll try to hit you back as soon as I can.)