My assignment has always been to connect. I am supposed to connect like minded and spirited people, so they can sharpen each other, learn from each other, and grow from one another, as they work to achieve their common goals. I was beginning to notice a pattern. We had interns at work, and some of them weren't letting go of me and I wasn't letting go of them. Continuing a relationship that started with them in college and it being strengthened over the years that followed, by this thing called: life. Simultaneously, many artists were reaching out to me. They always have, but there were more and more. They needed consulting, management, marketing, bookings, and promotions. For years, I recommended my colleagues for the work that I couldn't do or wasn't interested in doing.
A few years ago, there was an insurgence of celebrations. It seemed that, that year everyone was celebrating 20, 25 or 30 years in the music industry. While, I have been to many celebrations myself and think it's amazing to have such longevity, it left me wondering. For years there have been many conversations and much dialogue that asked the questions: where are the artists? Where are the new artists? It seemed to some folks that the same 4 or 5 artists were getting all the opportunities. Surely there are others? Well, it was that exact thought, that left me with...but where are the Executives? Where is the young blood and talent pool of women that can be recommended? Where is the next generation of young people who will do the jobs that have been sustaining the music industry for the last 25-30 years? From my seat, I was concerned. Not just regarding the need for new talent and artists, but who and where are the people that will be responsible for developing and shaping the careers of the new artists?
My experiences screamed that if you love music and want a career in music then that left you able to be a musician, music / band teacher or artist. Working in the music industry was not presented as a viable option for me growing up and I certainly didn't know about all the 100's of career paths and the different people it takes to truly make the music world go around. I asked God to show me and use me, like I always do. What am I supposed to do? What do you need me to do? I heard loud and clear: connect women like you. Bring them to "the table" and see where their interests are, but see WHO they are. Your responsibility will be to mentor them as they build their businesses, so they are equipped for what's ahead...and prepared to be in position for some of the jobs that will open up, from veterans leaving. All I wanted was to see them be exceptional business women! I gathered who God said gather. That's a whole 'NOTHER story. In some cases connecting strangers saying, I know you know me, but God spoke saying you are supposed to be a part of "a thing, that He and I are doing, with women that you may not know". Lol. Nobody laughed or said no...to my face...initially...Now they may have thought it strange, but they all said yes. That illustration has been one of the most tangible that I can explain as it relates to faith. Maybe I should address that in a blog called Faithing with G. See what I did there?
It didn't take me long to conclude that in order for us to be exceptional business women, a larger part of my responsibility would be, to make sure the we were the most exceptional women first, that we could BE! That idea shifted my entire purpose in how we would affect each other, and develop together. Some I've known longer, others shorter...but in this setting; it's been more than two years since I've been connected to these wonderful women, in this way. We've formed an amazing bond: nurturing, correcting, helping, strengthening, supporting and sharpening each other along the way.
I remember the day, I asked God...so you're going to have me put these women together that share the same passions and purpose, but nothing will be produced from what You've planted? He said, "in time". I understood that meant they needed to get their businesses rolling, make some mistakes and be successful...then whatever else that was supposed to come, would come. I understood as jobs, artists, and various opportunities came to me; I was supposed to recommend them. I understand now, that whatever comes to me now, that I can still share with them is great...but there's another level of opportunity in this world, that's up to us to create.
We can not be afraid of succession. None of us will be or should be doing the jobs we are in forever. As a leader, you should be pouring into someone, and have someone set up; serving for succession. We also have to learn how to support each other, by swimming in someone else's stream. If we are to keep this industry going, we have to keep this model going. We have to be willing to model, teach, share, encourage, exchange ideas and impart about the music business, so there is a real understanding of the business, while creating platforms and jobs for the music and entertainment industry, and supporting entrepreneurs and business owners whose commerce and skills are needed in the various capacities of this industry...if there will be an industry.
The Executives Ink are a group of BOSS CHICS. FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS who are leaders in their respective industries. Having created, established, and grown their businesses individually, TOGETHER, they will change the entertainment industry. Because of their foundation, drive, wisdom, skill set, creativity, business acumen and faith; the Music, TV, Film & Media world, will be --- no longer what it used to be, not settling for what it is supposed to be or could be; but not stopping, until it IS all it can and will #BE!
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