We tend to think that we only have certain career opportunities in life. We’re destined to work in an office, or start a business in an area that we like, but don’t love. All men live lives of quiet desperation, said Henry David Thoreau; but really, it’s all people. Well, not all. There are some people out there that do get to live their best life. They’re the stars of the world: the singers, the dancers, the actors, the sports men and women. They’re living a life so dreamy that our typical response is to say, “that could never be for us.” But of course, this isn’t true — those people didn’t just end up with their dream life. They made it happen, and so can you. Below, we take a look at some tried and tested tips for becoming a star in one of the creative industries.
You’d think that this would be obvious, but evidently, it’s not. These are the world’s most coveted positions we’re talking about here. If you’re not committed to the cause, then you’re not going to make it. When you hear the experiences of the rich and famous, you’d be surprised how often they said they were close to giving up because it didn’t seem to be happening. But they stayed committed anyway and ended up with everything that they wanted. You can’t just kind of want to be a superstar; you have to be all in.
Find Your Style
You can get your foot in the door by copying someone else’s style, but that’s it. If you want to be successful, then you need to bring something new to the table. The Beatles began their career with classic-style rock and roll music, and yes, of course they were huge — but it was when they branched out and found their one of a kind sound that they became bona fide stars. OK, you’re not going to be as big as The Beatles (but why not try), but the point is — stars don’t spend all their time trying to be like everyone else, or even trying to get everyone to like them. They just find their own style, and go from there.
In the Scene
It’s rare that a breakout star just appears from nowhere. They might have appeared overnight to the public, but in “the scene,” they’ll have been known for years. It’s a bit like Lionel Messi. He erupted onto the football stage as a superstar, but it was no surprise to the people who knew about football — they knew that Barcelona’s youth team had a legend in the making, who was going to change the game. Whatever you’re doing, be it writing, singing, or anything else, make sure that you’re getting involved with the industry. If you live near a marginally big city, then there will likely be a local scene of similarly minded people, where you can bounce off ideas, understand how things work, and so on.
Work with the Professionals
No one achieves anything of great importance all on their own. It doesn’t matter what it is — there are always people behind the scenes. Every billionaire company owner, like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, had the infrastructure and people around them that enabled them to hit their staggering heights. If you’re going to hit the top of your field, then you’ll need to have professional help around you. It’s recommended that you work with a company that offers talent management. They’ll be able to refine and focus your talents, open doors that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to open, and also offer support should you suffer a setback.
You can’t just go from zero to sixty miles per hour in a car. You need to slowly build up and go through the gears. It’s a similar experience when you’re on the way to superstardom. You can’t just arrive as the finished article. You have to pay your dues. In the case of talent of Ed Sheeran: he didn’t just get a record deal and chance upon some radio friendly hits. He had spent years playing open mic nights, which allowed him to become more comfortable on stage, figure out what songs worked and which didn’t, and say on. That was an opportunity that he made the most of. Whatever you’re trying to get involved in, there will be opportunities there. Whether you accept them or not is up to you. But our advice is: take them. You never know where these things will lead.
In the Mix
Now, we’re not going to say that you can’t find success in rural areas, or small cities. But it does become a lot more difficult. If you’re going to find success, you have to put yourself in positions where success can find you as much as you can find it. And that’s nearly always the big cities — the bigger, the better. It’s usually there where productions are made, the powers to be work, the fellow talent exists, and so on.
People tend to think of success as a one way trajectory. But actually, it’s not — you can look at virtually all successful people to see that it’s not. It’s more of a zigzag line. Things might be looking up one day, looking terrible the next. And if you have a few of those terrible days and months, the temptation is to call it a day. It’s worthwhile having the presence of mind to not read too much into the bad moments, just as you shouldn’t go overboard when you have good moments. Just keep focused, and keep pushing.
Ignore the Naysayers
Finally, remember to ignore the naysayers. There will be a lot of them! Often, it’s not your own doubts that you need to contend with. It’s the doubts of others that’ll be the problem. There will be a lot of people telling you that you’re not good enough, competition is too fierce, and so on. Ignore them, and carry on.