I always knew that I wanted to be in the music business.
My earliest memories are of me sitting on my swingset in the backyard of my grandmother’s home in Waco, Texas and singing my little heart out. I would make up songs and sing them all day long. My favorite cartoon was Jem. During the summertime, I’d stay up all night watching music video stations like MTV, VH1, BET, and CMT (back when they actually played music videos) and I’d also listen to the Quiet Storm on Dallas’ R&B and Hip Hop station, K104. I’d spend hours making my own mixtapes, carefully crafting the tracklisting and waiting for what seemed like an eternity for specific songs to play on the radio.
Those were definitely different times back then, Honey Bunny!
The desire to do something music related never left me. In fact, it grew stronger. So much so, that I did various college internships with companies such as Paste Magazine, Odyssey Entertainment and The Recording Academy. I was also an Alto in the Joyful Noise Gospel Choir at Agnes Scott College.
When I graduated from college, I had no full-time job offer and was terrified that I’d have to return to Waco instead of starting my career in music.
It was all I thought about, all I dreamed about, and everything I wanted.
I didn’t know it back then, but I was harnessing the power of my mind by creating powerful affirmations about what I wanted to happen in my life. You see, I only focused on what I wanted: to be in the music business. It consumed me and it was an energy that I emitted out into the Universe. It was in my every thought, prayer, and conversation.
When I felt down, I’d cry it out and then return to thinking about how everything was working in my favor and that there was a place for me in the music business. I’d ask God for the opportunity and then I’d visualize my life as if what I wanted was already here and happening.
Lo and behold (or as my grandmother would say, “And then, Lord and behold!:”), I met my future boss, Sergio George, at an event thrown by The Recording Academy. When he asked me what I did, I blurted out, “After next Thursday, I don’t have a job. Want to hire me?”
Oh, the blessed audacity of youth!
It worked in my favor. Long story short, I moved to Miami and worked in the Latin music business for five years. I started at the very bottom as a Production Coordinator and worked my way up to running Sergio’s tropical boutique record label, Top Stop Music. I convinced Sergio to sign Prince Royce and I played a key part in the label’s success.
This time in my life taught me that I can make my dreams come true by harnessing the power of my thoughts and thinking on purpose. I didn’t know it at the time but I was creating affirmations and they were the powerhouse that fueled my actions.
Today I want to share with you the #1 mistake that people make when they start their affirmations practice, so that you can avoid this pitfall:
YOU THINK, BUT YOU DON'T ACT.
In my blog post, What I Wish I Had Known About Affirmations, I equate starting an affirmations practice to gardening.
You see, when you recite an affirmation, you are planting a seed into your mind.
Now any good gardener will tell you that you just don’t plant the seed and leave it alone. Nope. You’ve got to tend to it -- provide it the adequate water and sunshine according to the type of seed you’ve planted. You’ve got to get out any weeds or bugs that appear and try to overtake your new plant.
In other words, you’ve got to put some action into gardening. You can’t just leave the seed alone and expect it to grow.
The same goes for you.
You can’t just sit in a room reciting affirmations and expect your life to magically change.
Nah, boo, you gotta put some action behind what you’re affirming. If you’re affirming that you are healthy, your actions should reflect that. You are exercising (in fun ways!) and eating healthy food (that is also delicious!). You aren’t sitting on the couch all day every day eating potato chips.
You are planting a seed and then helping it grow with your actions.
I saw it all the time when I worked in the music business: artists with real talent that could have had amazing careers but never did because 1) they never harnessed the power of their thoughts 2) never put actions behind those thoughts.
In fact, they could give you every excuse for why they weren’t on top and they blamed other people for the fact they weren’t poppin’. They acted like they had arrived just because they got signed when the reality is that that’s the first step in the development of an artist. Shoo, nowadays you don’t even need a label. There are artists out there making it happen with no label deal and no professional recording studio.
Take, for example, Prince Royce.
I’m very blessed that I played a part in his success and I am so proud of all that he has accomplished. I will never forget the first time I heard his demo of “Tú y Yo.” I sat at my dining room table for hours playing that song on loop. It made me feel like I was back in high school again. I knew he was special.
However, I know that I’m not the reason for his success.
Real talk: Royce was gonna be a star, no matter what. He had the work ethic, the determination, and the desire to make it happen. He paid for the production of his demos and was always professional: on time, ready to work, and willing to do what it takes to be on top. He was open to feedback and always in solution seeking mode. Originally, he wanted to do a bachata cover of a Michael Jackson song, but we didn’t go that route because we didn’t think we could get it cleared with MJ’s publishing. That’s when Royce came back with the idea to do “Stand By Me.”
The rest, as they say, is history.
I loved working with new artists like Royce because they get it -- they’re already a success in their own minds and they’re putting in the work so that the outside world can catch up with what they already know in their minds.
Sure, Royce is talented, but there are artists out there who prove that talent isn’t the deciding factor when it comes to being successful. Just because you’re a dope singer doesn’t mean you’re the next Beyoncé, boo. Talent alone is not going to get you where you want to go. You gotta put in the work.
The same goes for affirmations.
You can post up in a room and recite affirmations until you're blue in the face. It won't make a difference. You gotta put some action behind what you're affirming. The Universe is going to co-create, but it wants to find you out there moving as much as you possibly can.
A lot of people become disheartened when they start an affirmations practice because they fail to put action behind what they’re affirming. They then recite affirmations for a bit and when they don’t see any real change on the outside, they get discouraged and quit.
I share this with you because I want to see you win. You are the greatest factor in your own success. You have everything you need within you to take center stage in your own life. You are your greatest healer and your greatest teacher.
If you’re not seeing results from your affirmations practice, make sure that your actions are in alignment with your affirmations. This is what is going to catapult you into the life of your dreams.
Now it’s your turn. Comment below and let me know what it is that you’re affirming and how you’re going to make sure that your actions align with your affirmations.
I’m cheering for you. Like I just watched you record your music video in Central Park.
From the Front Row,