Those Who Hustle: I had to make it work


Have you ever had a moment in the middle of a project or relationship when it just hit you, this will not work. You didn’t give up, you r just sure in that moment there is no doubt that this thing which I have embarked on is destined for failure.

All it takes is that one gesture. That statement, that one action that lets you know beyond a shadow of a doubt. The people I’m working with are not committed to making this happen.  They already feel this is a lost cause. There here but not in the moment.  I’m alone even though were doing this together.

Why does this happen, and what can you do about it? Short answer is you can change your team. The long answer is a little bit more difficult.

I believe this happens for mainly two primary reasons in most situations. First if you have people who don’t for whatever reason believe in the project at hand.  The second is if someone just isn’t action orientated in the first place. Both are a disaster from accomplishing anything in life. And both have to be avoided at all cost.

Let me give you an example. A huge part of my life so far has been involved some way or another with music as a promoter, manager, artist, and entrepreneur. I’ve pretty much spent a good portion of my life in this field of dreams.

Once we were bringing in an artist into to town that was on the verge of getting signed to a major label. As a promoter these artist on the verge of mainstream success were the type of artist I loved to deal with. They usually had a buzz and devoted following but weren’t so big as of yet to cost too much. Perfect right?

Well a week before the event the all ages venue we booked for the show dropped out. The establishment had been in the newspaper because a bouncer got shot at a hip hop show they threw. If you ever promoted a hip hop event you know how hard it is to get respectable places to take a chance on you. Most owners want nothing to do with angry black men talking about killing each other and how many hoes they have. Obviously that isn’t all rap music but that is definitely the “image” of all rap music. And when you don’t own the venue you perform in you are at the mercy of the owner. They can choose to cancel your show. All your effort and resources be damned. And that is exactly what happened to us.

So now were faced with finding a new venue with a week notice and get the word out about the new show location. I don’t have to tell you how mad I was. But more than just being mad I didn’t believe it would work, the universe had won. Thank god for my brothers.

Two of my business partners in this venture were my brothers. I would imagine they were as disappointed as the rest of us and we had a full on meeting about how to minimize our losses for the show. My one brother shared a conversation they had with each other that has changed my life forever.

While they were talking about how to cut our losses my youngest bro was like “I know it’s messed up, but if you had to make it work how would you do it?” That changed everything. The question was no longer how take the smallest lost, but how to make the biggest win, and we succeeded.

 We got a club that was 21+ to let us use their venue. Sure it cut our possible audience but it allowed us to still through the show. We had some promoters at the old venue to give directions to the new place. On top of changing the online flier and blasting it on MySpace (I told you it was awhile ago). Most importantly we won. We won because we gave ourselves no other option. Would we have made more money at the original venue?  Definitely, but we made way more than we would have made by not throwing the event at all, and we were still in the black.

So if you feel you have a team that doesn’t have the will to make it happen ask them “If you had to make it work, how would you do it” and if they still can’t come with solutions respectfully bow out. Because if your team can’t imagine making it work if they had to, they won’t make it work when they don’t.