By Dr. Monroe Mann, PhD, Esq, MBA, LLM, ME, EMT
Founder, Break Diving, Inc.
Justin Bieber as an Example
Okay, after all this, here is what I have been promising this whole time: explaining away the ‘luck’ that everyone claims was responsible for Justin Bieber’s rise to the top. If you haven’t yet watched the movie, “Never Say Never”, I again urge you to watch it as soon as possible because everything here will click that much more with you once you have.
So, here is the cast of characters:
- JUSTIN BIEBER (Talent)
- HIS MOTHER (Belief)
- SCOOTER BRAUN (Connections)
- USHER (Influence)
- L.A. REID (Resources)
- HIS FANS (Belief, Connections, Influence, and Resources)
First off, yes, Justin Bieber has talent. Is he the most talented singer in the world. Nope. The most amazing dancer in the world? Nope. Is he the most gorgeous man in the world? Nope. But… he has something. Something on which to build a career. And that’s all you need. You don’t need to be THE BEST—you just need to be ‘good enough’. That’s it folks! In other words, YES, you too have more than enough talent to make it to the top.
Second, Justin’s mom believed 110% in his son’s greatness. ONE HUNDRED AND TEN PERCENT! She supported him in every way she could. She encouraged him. She supported him. She recorded his ‘talent show’ performances, and put them up on YouTube. And that’s how everything really started. Why did his videos take off rather than other videos? I’ll answer that in a moment. But for now, just realize this: you too need (and can find) that someone (or someones, plural) who believe 110% in your greatness. It’s not luck—it’s about being persistent in your search for the perfect cheerleading squad. You need people supporting you who not only think you are amazing, but think you are SO amazing that they bend over backwards to help you. In my opinion, you don’t need fans… you need RABID AVID fans. His mother was a rabid avid fan, with 110% belief in his greatness. Is that luck? No. It might have been convenient that his mom was his biggest fan, but that doesn’t you can’t find someone just like that too? For me, it’s a woman named Debbie Bordelon, who lives out in Indiana. She LOVES me and supports me SO MUCH that she goes to the ends of the earth trying to promote me and my music and my projects in every way she can. She is my BELIEF. Who is yours?
Third, enter Scooter Braun. Scooter found Justin’s videos on YouTube while looking for another artist. Do, does that mean he ‘found him by accident’? No, Justin’s mom put his videos up on YouTube, and in searching for videos, Scooter came across Justin. Guess what? You can do the same thing: post your videos up on YouTube! What is stopping you? Shortly, my first official music video off my new album will be posted up on YouTube too—for my song, “The Sun Is Always Shining Somewhere.”
Guess what? Maybe someone will notice it. Is there any guarantee it gets noticed? Nope, but if they do, it won’t be because of luck. If they do, it’ll be because I wrote a good song, tracked it professionally, shot and edited an entertaining music video, posted it up online, and marketed it well enough that someone… with CONNECTIONS (like Scooter Braun) finds it. Think about: this blog post too is me taking the ‘luck’ out of the equation, cause right now, you are reading about my music video! You are reading about my song! You know that my name is Monroe Mann! You know that I wrote a song called, “The Sun Is Always Shining Somewhere”! You know that you can actually watch the video right here, right now, on YouTube!
Hey, maybe you are the CONNECTION that my song and I need to ‘make it big’. If you are, it’s not luck that you are reading this, I assure you of that.
But there’s more. I realized something about agents/managers as a result of the Bieber movie as well: they are completely useless unless they believe 110% in your greatness! You need people on your team who believe in the greatness of what you are trying to do. You need people on your team who believe that with their help, you can become the next big thing. And most importantly, you need people on your team who believe SO MUCH in your greatness (and POTENTIAL for success), that they are willing to WORK THEIR ASSES OFF to help you get to the top. In other words, it’s useless to ‘have a manager’ or ‘have an agent’ unless he (screw political correctness, sorry) is one of your number one RABID AVID fans. Starting to get it?
So, do I have a manager right now? Yes and no. Yes, myself. No one is ever going to manage my career better than myself, and those who put their blind trust in a manager is a total idiot. But technically, no. Am I looking? Sure, but it’s gotta be a really special person—it’s gotta be someone who I can call a RABID AVID FAN. And it’s gotta be someone who believes that Monroe Mann is the next big thing. If someone is lukewarm about me—I am not interested. (It’s the same thing with romantic relationships, fyi. Do you really want to be with someone who isn’t head over heels for you? I sure don’t).
My point so far is that it’s because of Justin’s mother’s BELIEF in him (and subsequent action) that Scooter Braun (a man with CONNECTIONS) found Justin Bieber. That’s the first part of the puzzle.
Fourth, enter Usher. At first, if you saw the movie, Usher was just a guy with CONNECTIONS and INFLUENCE. He amassed those connections and influence because of his stature as an R&B star, i.e. a rock star. But at first, what did he not have? BELIEF. He had no belief in Bieber at first, and even he said, “I almost passed him by the first time I met him.” Just as I said, it doesn’t matter if you know people with connections and influence unless they BELIEVE IN YOU (110% unequivocally, in your greatness!)
I’m sure all of this is starting to come together for you now. It wasn’t until the 2nd time Usher met Bieber that Usher became a FAN, and ultimately had BELIEF in Justin.
Now, at this point, you might be thinking, “But clearly Scooter Braun had INFLUENCE too—or else he would never have been able to have scored the meeting with Usher.” You are right—Scooter DID have influence too. But compared to the influence that Usher had, Scooter really had none. And yes, Justin’s mother had influence too—but on an even smaller scale. You see (and I’ll talk about this more later), every single person on your team has a little bit of all four pillars. The question is: do they have enough? I.e, do your fans have ENOUGH belief in you? Does your publicist have ENOUGH connections? Does your manager have ENOUGH influence? Does your record producer buddy have ENOUGH resources? Those are the questions that must be answered.
Back to the story: so Usher and Scooter ultimately drafted a joint management agreement for Bieber. They had everything they needed: BELIEF, CONNECTIONS, & INFLUENCE. But they lacked one thing: RESOURCES. Enter L.A. Reid.
Fourth, L.A. Reid came onto the scene. Yes, Usher had resources too, but did he have as many resources as a mogul record producer like L.A. Reid? In comparison, no, he did not. So Usher used his BELIEF in Bieber, and his CONNECTION to L.A. Reid, and his INFLUENCE as a successful rock star to bring L.A. Reid on as Bieber’s record producer (which ultimately led to Bieber signing a record deal, I believe with Island Records).
In the movie, Reid’s monologue talks about how he came to BELIEVE in Justin Bieber. You see, L.A. Reid had the last three pillars (CONNECTIONS, INFLUENCE, & RESOURCES), but unless he became a RABID AVID FAN, i.e. 110% belief in Justin’s greatness, Usher and Braun would have been stuck. The only reason Reid agreed to help is because Reid became a SUPER FAN of Justin Bieber.
To answer the above question: why did these people become super fans of Bieber? Why did all those girls go crazy for Bieber? Why are they still going crazy for Bieber?
IT IS BECAUSE THEY LOVE HIM!
Why do they love him?
IT IS BECAUSE HE MAKES IT EASY FOR PEOPLE TO FALL IN LOVE WITH HIM.
He gives off an aura of greatness. He has a warm and welcoming smile. He is charming. He is mysterious. He is an enigma. He is good looking. The list goes on.
And guess what: you can do the same thing. How do I know? Because I too am doing it, albeit on a much smaller scale. I have super fans too. They are called—ha ha—eManngelists, and the girls all suffer from Mann Love. HAHA–I’m joking! But truly, I have people who write to me at least once every week telling me how much one of my books has changed their lives; how seeing me speak has given them such hope; how they listen to one of my songs over and over again in the car because it inspires them so much. Folks—it is not luck that I get messages like this. It’s hard work. I’ve been busting my ass for over 15 years now, slowly making a name for myself.
“Okay,” you think, “if your theory is so perfect, why did Bieber succeed in 2 years in making it to the top, and you are still relatively unknown?”
ANSWER: It’s not luck, BUT, it’s because for whatever reason, he just met the right people at the right time, whereas it’s been a more circuitous route for me (just as it was and has been for MOST stars—Justin Bieber’s quick rise to the top is the exception, and NOT the rule). However, and it’s a BIG however: do not let the timeline skew the lessons to be learned: you can do the same thing that Justin Bieber did (just as I am actively trying to do the same thing) by scientifically and methodically mimicking the steps of his career, and IGNORING the timeline.
Look, folks, the odds are absolutely against you (and me)(or anyone) repeating what Justin Bieber did in such a short time. But… and again, it’s a BIG but—this doesn’t mean you cannot repeat what he did ultimately—even if take you two times, or four time, or forty times, as long.
And here’s the key note: you should not be in show business and entertainment and entrepreneurship if you are putting a timeline on your success. Those who do are just wasting their time, because the odds are infinitesimally small that ANYONE becomes a star in 2 years, 5 years, or even 10 years. Success in most cases takes a lot of time, so if things happen more quickly (like with Bieber) then hey—more power to you—but don’t count on it.
But what you CAN count on is this system working, if you methodically apply it, and objectively pursue your goal.
So now let’s talk about how you can actually apply what I’m sharing with you to your own life and career. Ready?
Applying the Science of Stardom to Your Own Career
- Do something that you are or can be really great at, and that comes easy for you. For me, my current best talents are a) writing books, b) motivational speaking and inspiring people, c) my music, d) foreign languages, and e) computer/web programming. Those are my primary focuses now that I realize that they are my strengths. I have other strengths (acting, writing screenplays, traveling, etc.), and I am still actively pursuing these endeavors, but in an ancillary fashion.
- Develop your fanbase. This is HARD WORK, but you can do it. Setup your website. Setup your facebook and twitter accounts. Collect email addresses wherever you go. Give performances/presentations as often as possible. Remember your foundation is your fanbase!!
- Find super fans. You need super fans—those who are going to do more than just say, “Oh yeah, I’m a fan.” You need one, or an army of those who support you 110%.
- Find those with CONNECTIONS. You need these people. Find them. Use Guerrilla Networking tactics if you have to.
- Find those with INFLUENCE. You need these people. Find them. Use Guerrilla Networking tactics if you have to.
- Find those with RESOURCES. You need these people. Find them. Use Guerrilla Networking tactics if you have to.
- Practice PATIENCE: Patience does not mean ‘waiting’; it means ‘being steadfast despite opposition’. Look it up. You’ll see. This—patience—is ultimately what will determine whether you ‘make it’ or not. So… keep going. Keep Going. KEEP GOING. Got it? Get it?
Meet you at the top!
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