Every summer, hundreds of teenage girls descend on my hometown of Stratford, Ontario with Justin Bieber walking tour maps in hand. (Yep, ol’ Biebs and I share the same hometown.)
The kids visit Justin’s high school, the YMCA where he worked out (and where I trained yesterday morning), and his favorite ice cream store.
If you’ve never heard of Bieber, I’d be surprised.
This (almost) 23-year-old has a kabillion followers on social media, is extremely wealthy, recently dominated the NHL Celebrity All-Star game, and still shoots baskets at the Stratford YMCA once or twice a year (I saw him there last Christmas in the gym on a Sunday morning at 8am… it was him, his dad, me, and a dozen senior citizens… I’m serious… what a crew!).
They must have an entire wing of servers at the Googleplex devoted to Bieber fever.
Scooter Bruan, the man who “discovered” Bieber on youtube, where the youngster was singing along to pop songs on home made videos, has created a monster.
A monster marketing machine, that is.
No matter what you think of him, there are 3 big lessons to take from his rise from poor, broke kid raised by a single mom in a small Canadian, hockey-loving, factory town to a star making $50 million a year (or more).
1) Exploit your talents and work harder than everyone else in the world
I must say, the kid is a lot more talented than I ever would have imagined. In his movie (and yes, I watched 15 minutes of it), he gets a bongo drum for Christmas at about age 4 or 5, and when he unwraps it, he starts playing better than most adults — without lessons. It was incredible.
But as you know, folks with talent are a dime a dozen.
On the other hand, folks who work as hard as possible to maximize the talent they are given, those are the ones who become stars.
There’s no doubt Justin has put in his 10,000 hours to become a so-called “Outlier”, as Malcolm Gladwell would say.
So what about you? What are you good at that you can turn into a profitable skill? And what can you get better at with practice?
Identify a way to exploit your talent and get to work.
As Kekich Credo #69 says, “There is no such thing as a good idea unless it is developed and utilized.”
All the planning in the world is no good if you don’t follow through. Become a robotic action-taker. You only get paid for done.
2) Build an Amazing Team and Get Social Support
In today’s world of child stars gone wild, it was impressive to see how the world’s most popular kid interacted with his family and all of the behind-the-scenes folks involved in his world tour.
There must have been a cast of 30 people supporting Justin, and the family environment that has been created around him was incredible.
You need that in your world too. You can’t go it alone.
This might require tough decisions on your part, such as re-evaluating who you spend your time with. Frankly, I’ve never understood the argument that people can’t do something because their friends/spouse/family doesn’t support them.
Listen, at some point you have to stand up for yourself and for your dreams.
It’s YOUR life.
And when given the choice between a little pain (in dealing with those who don’t support you) or a lifetime of regret (because you quit on your dreams), the choice is obvious.
3) Dream BIG
Justin could have been satisfied with getting discovered. He could have been satisfied with getting a recording contract. But in the movie, you’ll quickly see that he has dreams that are bigger and better than that, and he’s not willing to settle for less.
He knows that this opportunity will never come along again. He has a chance to do something special. And for him, that’s the reason why he’s willing to work so hard.
I have to say, the kid is impressive.
An incredible work ethic. A vision for his future. And thankful for his gifts. Lots to learn from this guy. Maybe the kids of today aren’t so bad after all.
BONUS TIP: Never say never.
Listen, the kid was born to a teenage mom in a small-town where most folks end up working at one of the local factories. His dad left before he was even one year old. Justin Bieber, like you and I, has all the excuses in the world to be a failure.
We may never have 10 million followers on Twitter, or buses of children from Kentucky trying to retrace our youth, but we can achieve the freedom and independence we want and deserve.
And this starts by taking action,
“If you want to be a top performer, you have to start running things like a top performer even before you are a top performer.” – Dan Kennedy