When it comes to expressing yourself, I have two simple rules.
No. 1 “Go with what you know”.
No. 2 “Don’t be vanilla”.
Do you know who rode that philosophy to success way before I did?
Well, you may know him better as Ice Cube. When he burst on the scene with N.W.A. in 1986 with a type of rap that was anything but mainstream, the world took notice.
Yea, people freaked out a bit with talk of street gangs, police brutality and drugs but that was reality for Ice Cube growing up, that’s what he knew best, so that’s what he spoke about with the most conviction and passion.
Unconventional yes. But you know what it wasn’t? BORING!!
When the song “Express Yourself” was released in 1989 let’s just say it was one of N.W.A.’s tamer songs, as it’s devoid of profanity. Still it was so from the heart and so straight forward that it reached across the country and permeated “the burbs”. I had the cassette tape and knew every single lyric by heart. Still do.
Aren’t we all just tying to express ourselves? My point is not for you all to pick up and start dropping F-bombs and rapping but rather to illustrate that when you “express yourself with your full capabilities” it works best because you know it best.
Ask yourself, what are you most passionate and know best. Then ask yourself, “how can I capitalize on that and capture my audiences imagination in the short-attention-span world of social media?
You see, there have been many times in my career when I strayed from those two simple rules. I either stepped outside my sphere of knowledge or I became too scripted and tried to imitate somebody else and it became boring.
The beautiful thing about the social media world we live in today is that it welcomes all types, there’s a space and a platform for everybody. That is as long as you are authentic and don’t bore your audience.
Engage in learning the skills to get where you want to go and trust in the process, that whatever you’re doing right now, whatever you’re training at, will lead to bigger things that you never imagine.