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Do you hustle? I mean really hustle. As a kid growing up I was a huge fan of the Big Red Machine, Cincinnati Reds baseball team. Pete Rose became my favorite athlete. Forget about Pete Rose as a man and all his personal shortcomings, Pete Rose gave it his all every time he stepped on a baseball field. Pete truly earned his nickname Charlie Hustle.” If you want to be successful, no matter your looks, talent, connections or anything else have going for you, you have to learn to hustle.
Recently I was in New York City on business. Later in the evening after my meetings I went to a famous Jazz Club called the Iridium Jazz Club to listen to T.S. Monk. T.S. Monk is a great Jazz drummer and the son of legendary Jazz musician Thelonious Monk. The music was incredible and I enjoyed the music and atmosphere tremendously. A funny thing happened in the Iridium Jazz Club that night. I learned more about business, marketing, sales and the hustle you must have to succeed than I did in any of the business meetings I attended. Go figure.
While watching the music, I noticed something. A young girl was invited into the club by the club manager, he gave her something to eat and then she took a professional looking camera and starting taking action shots of T.S. Monk and his band. She made me curious, so I asked her what she was doing with her pictures. Here’s is what I she told me and what I learned from her.
This young girl was nineteen years old and a student of Bowling Green University in Ohio. She had saved money and moved to New York for the summer to attend photography school and shoot photos of bands and musicians to build her music photography portfolio. This young girl had moved from a small town to a large city by herself with no connections to pursue her dream.
This young lady had put together unique marketing material that included a catchy brown envelope with rough texture and her name in an unusual font at the bottom. The envelope contained three photos of her work and a business card with a music type photo of herself and contact info. The young lady went to school during the day and at night went to music clubs around New Work City and asked if she could shoot pictures of the performers. While at the clubs she would tell everyone she met what she was doing and of her dream to be a photographer of Rolling Stone Magazine. She let the band know how excited she was to shoot pictures of them and that she would provide them the pictures for free for the chance to build her portfolio. In between her school in the day and the picture taking at night she would call on Rolling Stone Magazine and other music related magazines trying to get an opportunity. I have no doubt this young lady will be successful. As a matter of fact she already is. In creating her dream, she is living her dream. The young lady knows how to hustle.
Towards the end of the evening at the Jazz Club I got to meet TS Monk. Mr. Monk told me that he went from playing Jazz to R&B music and had some hits and success but when he decided to came back to Jazz music, his dad had already passed and some of the doors that might have been open before to him were no longer available. Having a famous dad had allowed him some opportunity but he had to be able to deliver. T. S Monk talked to Jazz player who was a friend of his dad and asked if he could come out and play with him. The man said sure and told TS to come on out. TS sat there all night and never got to play. TS asked the man about the next weekend and the man said to come on out. Again, he sat there and never got to play. And so this same scene kept occurring for months. TS would go to the nightclub; he would sit and never get invited to play. Finally, one night he was asked to play. After that night he started to get invitations and opportunities started to open up for him. As TS said to me, he had to hustle and keep believing.
Whether you are Pete Rose, TS Monk, a young music photographer or a salesperson with big dreams, hustle is a common element of success.