Here is what we are going to talk about today.
#1 - being in the room
#2 - being at the table
#3 - being the table
This week I listened to an amazing podcast episode, on Masters of Scale, It is episode #46, and I'll add a link in the show notes. The title is Make it Epic, with will i am.
So let's get started.
Who is will i am?
William James Adams Jr. known professionally as will.i.am (pronounced "Will-I-am"), is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, and record producer. He rose to fame as the founder and lead member of the Black Eyed Peas.
But after I listened to the episode of Masters of Scale, I learned there is more.
Unbeknownst to many, will .i. am owns a founding stake in Beats Electronics.
Beats sold to Apple in 2014 for $3 billion, and if will i am owned only 1% - that would be a $30 million payday.
You may assume that Dr. Dre owned Beats, because that is what I thought. I had no idea that will i am was the guy with the original idea. But there are 3 founders, Dr. Dre, Jimmy Lovine (will i am's Mentor), and will i am.
Apparently, will i am came up with the original idea for Beats while on tour with the Black Eyed Peas in Europe in 2004. It was there that he saw fans holding up camera phones (not lighters) like they still did in the US. And At that moment he realized that there was an opportunity in the hardware space.
Listen to this.......I be rockin’ them Beats!
He even had the Super Bowl halftime stage shaped into the Beats logo when they performed back in 2011. This was grassroots marketing. Beats wasn't allowed to put an actual logo on the field, so will i am came up with this instead.
The initial story goes something like this:
And this is a quote for will i am's mentor Jimmy Lovine...
“So I was with will.i.am one day and he says, “You know the record business is all screwed up, we’re losing, Jimmy. Jimmy, hardware.’”
“So I said, ‘Will, what are you talking about hardware?’”
“He says ‘Hardware.’”
So I said ‘Will, you know why they call it hardware? It’s hard. That’s why they call it hardware ’”
“About a year later I was walking down the beach and I ran into Dr. Dre…”
Now, there is a lot more to the story, and I would encourage you to listen to the episode, but what I wanted to do, is share with you the lesson that I learned, that really resonated with me...
will . i . am's mentor, Jimmy Lovine, said something to him that really stuck.
He said, "Will, you are the type of person that if you stay at the table long enough, you will figure it out."
and I love that. If you have been listening to this podcast you may know that I recorded a recent episode called, everything is figureoutable, and this statement really hit me. Heck yeah, if you stay at the table long enough, you will figure it out.
But there is more to this...
Jimmy also said, "You just need to figure out a way to stay at the table longer"
Boom! I love love love this.. How can you not only stay in the room but stay at the table longer?
But wait, there is even more....
Jimmy then said, "OR: be the table.
BE THE TABLE. BE THE TABLE.
My mind was blown.
Think about that.
Then I realized there were 3 big takeaways, each with increased benefits of the opportunity.
#1 Being "in the room" gives you access. How can you be in the room at your next dream project? That.s up to you, you can figure it out, I know you can do it. And it is important to remind yourself, that whatever you really want to have, to achieve, etc., you need to be in the room with someone who can help you make it happen.
#2 Next, it's not just about being in the room, there is more. You need to be at the table. Being "at the table", means you are in the room when life-changing opportunities present themselves. And if you listen to the episode with will i am, you will hear how Will was in the room when the magic unfolded.
#3 If the longer you stay at the table, unlocks more opportunities, then BEING THE TABLE, means you are the one creating those opportunities. And that is some serious shit. Personally, I want to be the table. I realized that this has been my goal. I didn't do this exactly, and I still don't know exactly how I can do this, but I'd like to be "the table".
So, to bring this home, please know this episode may not resonate with everyone. Some of you might be perfectly happy with your job, doing what you are doing, and doing it forever and ever and ever. and this is totally cool. doing what you want to do is the goal, and if you are doing that, I applaud you.
If you want more - more fulfillment, more challenges, more money, more whatever, you may have more of a growth mindset, and I want you to think about the table analogy. How can you get in the room, have a seat at the table, and become the table?
I want to leave you with one final quote for this episode, and then I see you next.
Reid Hastings, on Masters of Scale, says,
"will.i.am was already successful, but he wanted more. He saw a window to create a bigger opportunity, he'd change his sound, and change the game...."
Then will says,
"I want to make music for PEOPLE, not just people that like what I like...and that's harder....making music for people who like what you like, is pretty easy, you know exactly what they want to hear. Trying to get other walks of life, old. young, Muslim, Christian, black, white, male, female, that is freaking hard!"
So that's it guys, go get a seat and the table and become the table, and let's make music for everyone.