The conversation turned to my private training sessions at my gym. He said, “Do you really need to work with a trainer twice a week? Just take what you learn and do it on your own.” But here’s the thing – my trainer not only keeps my body in great shape, she continues to make me stronger and even more fit. If I work out on my own using the same exercises over and over again I will plateau and anyone who works out knows this is not the prescription to stay strong and fit. This is one area I am unwilling to compromise on – so I told him this is “non-negotiable.” He couldn’t say anything in response but “got it.” Certain things he spends money on are “non-negotiable” – like his car (Beamer dude). And when those words came popping out of my mouth, it felt good. It affirmed the importance of what that means to me to be fit – I declared my commitment and at the same time actually empowered myself further. I have no question that there is more on this list of what is “non-negotiable” – and am frightfully clear on the power of words to set my course and even change my life – but that’s a whole ‘nother article.
The people that I know who are successful have “non-negotiable” commitments and habits they will not compromise on. The word “no” is stronger in their vocabulary than the word “yes.” They know what is essential and important to be who they are and they do not acquiesce.
As a performer and perhaps a future legend, what is non-negotiable for you? You may not know exactly, but I’ll give you a picture of what you’ll want to have on your list.
The Non-Negotiable List
- Say “no” to anything that pulls you out of integrity. That means when your friends ask you to go out partying and you have work to do you say “Hell No!” It means that you don’t say yes to things that don’t resonate with you – stars trust their gut on everything. It also means that you filter everything anyone says to you -no matter if they are an A & R rep or a friend. Filtering means you decide if what they say works for you and if it doesn’t,you don’t believe it to be true.
- Ongoing Support & Guidance. This is a big one on the “Non-Negotiable” list. Every star I know has a small group of people whose opinions and expertise they seek to advise them. Never leave yourself to make decisions on your own, especially ones that could cost you your career. If it’s not working – find someone who can help you make it work. Get a mentor, a career coach, a better producer, or a co-writer with a track record… it just could be the ticket to tip the scales.
- Never Stop Tweaking & Perfecting. People that don’t know this, too often stop before they arrive and therefore give up before the song is sung. I see more singers and songs with potential unrealized than you could imagine. And I don’t mean start-ups. I mean artists who have invested heavily in their careers, have records out and are giving it their best shot. What they don’t know is costing them big time. Never be afraid to keep tweaking and perfecting your songs, your image, your website, your brand, your social media/social proof – never stop trying to do it better – grow, learn, invest, get help.
- Your Brand. Brand in today’s market is so totally “Non-Negotiable.” Music and business are now intertwined – forever. You are your brand – everything you do is your brand, like it or not. The good news? You don’t have to wear two hats – it’s now under one roof. Being authentic and transparent is the new brand. Don’t know how to do it? Get someone on your side who knows how to do this. This is an integral part of what I do every day with artists – it’s hardwired into the process of becoming a great artist – from songwriting to online presence.
- Investing in Your Career. I know, everything costs money. Well, not everything – you can sit in your room and sing and write songs for free. But that’s just where they’ll stay – in your room. The most important thing for you to understand is – money is Energy. It’s not Evil. And it takes money to make money. So don’t be afraid to invest in yourself – you’re worth investing in – and you won’t get anywhere without doing so. Just choose your investments wisely.