Episode 33: Spanish Girls Love Me Like I'm Aventura
In today’s episode, I’m gonna tell you why knowing what’s not worth your time is the secret to your success.
Last month, Romeo Santos became the first ever Bachata superstar to do an interview on The Breakfast Club in New York City. The Breakfast Club is a hip-hop radio morning show hosted by DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne tha God. When I worked in Corporate Finance in H-Town, I knew it was gonna be a good day if I caught the People’s Choice Mix on the way to work. Sometimes I would be so into the music that I’d miss the exit to the office and have to turn around, but I didn’t care.
Anyhoo, this interview is a pretty huge deal for me because I’ve been a fan of Romeo’s music since he was the lead singer of Aventura (which is Spanish for “adventure”). For those of you who don’t know, Romeo Santos is the KOB, the King of Bachata.
What is Bachata?
Bachata is a genre of music that hails from the Dominican Republic. It even has its own dance.
You’ve got traditional bachata from Dominicanos like Antony Santos aka El Mayimbe, Zacarias Ferreira, Frank Reyes, Joe Veras “el hombre de tu vida,” Yoskar Sarante (que en paz descanse). That homegrown DR sound. I could go on and on because I love bachata, but I’ll reign it in because I do have a point.
(I’m just laying the foundation right now.)
When Aventura hit the scene, they created this signature sound of bachata that reflected both their Dominican roots and the Bronx. NYC is already a cultural amalgamation of sounds, rhythms, realities and you could hear this in their music.
Romeo played a really big part in this as the group’s songwriter and producer.
“We Broke The Rules” is still one of my favorite records to this day. They made bachata cool for the young Dominicans and then the sound spread and now you’ve got a whole bunch of different Latinos listening to it -- mexicanos, argentinos, chilenos, so on and so forth.
That’s no small feat.
If you’re not Latino, it’s really easy to try to lump us into a Latino bucket, but there are many distinctions between different Latin American countries that you’re probably not aware of. Whether it’s accents, food, customs, geography, preferences, not all Latinos are the same.
We come in every shade of God’s gorgeous rainbow of color, too.
So Aventura’s success is majah.
After they released the album, “The Last,” the group decided to press pause so that the individual members could venture out and experiment on their own solo projects.
Since 2011, Romeo has released four albums and all four have topped the charts, broken records. He’s worked with top artists in the Anglo market (Fun fact: in Latin music, anything that is not Latin music is called Anglo music). Promise, which featured Usher, went 19x platinum and Odio, which featured Drake, went 13x platinum. In April of 2019, much to my delight, he released Utopía, an album of Dominican features. All bachata tracks, 100% fiel a sus raíces. Me encanta.
So for Romeo to do an interview on the Breakfast Club is huge because he is one of the premier Latin artists in the world.
Starting off the interview, Envy asks Romeo, “How did you get into the music industry?”
Romeo starts talking about the beginning of his career. He goes on to say,
God works in mysterious ways, HB.
I know you’re thinking, “Okay, LaTisha, what’s so deep about Romeo talking about what he’s not good at?”
Well, it just so happens that me hearing this interview coincided with me reading a book called “Do It Scared: Finding the Courage to Face Your Fears, Overcome Adversity, and Create a Life You Love” by Ruth Soukup. Years ago, I read Ruth’s book, “Living Well Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life,” but I didn’t put two and two together until I started reading Do It Scared.
So, in this book, Ruth explains that not all fear is the same and that fear can manifest in different ways. She breaks down 7 archetypes of fear (The Procrastinator, The Rule Follower, The People Pleaser, The Outcast, The Self-Doubter, The Excuse Maker, The Pessimist).
If you visit the book’s website, you can take a free assessment to see which fear archetype tends to dominate in your life. When I took the assessment, I found out that the Procrastinator, the Rule Follower and the Outcast are my three dominant fear types. I’m currently sitting with that because a lot of it really resonated with me. I’m currently working on a new module for the Red Carpet Collective, my monthly membership program, and I’m doing research on fear and how it can stop us from making profound changes in our lives. I’m certain I’ll be jamming more on fear in the near future, so be on the lookout.
Ruth then breaks down these 7 archetypes and gives some best practices for them and then proceeds to give 7 principles of courage and 7 ways to put your courage in action.
In the book she talks about the myth of balance and how we women tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be the best wife, worker, mother, volunteer, family member, investor, exerciser that we can be. She cries, “Malarkey,” and says that it’s perfectly okay to be obsessed with something.
She also talks about the seasonal nature of life and how that can play a huge part in determining what is taking up a lot of our time. She gives the example of the different stages of starting a family:
Trying to get pregnant → Pregnant → Newborn→ Toddler → Child→ Teen → Adult → Empty Nest
She says no season lasts forever and that each season brings with it its own set of challenges and obsessions. For example, what was so important in the “trying to get pregnant” stage ceases to be important during the teenage years.
If everything is important, nothing is.
Not everything can or should be important. Part of that is determining what’s not worth your time.
That was a tremendo a-ha moment for me, framing things in that way.
“What’s not worth my time?”
Ruth says that big goals, goals that scare and excite us all at the same time, help us to answer this question.
She says that she’s worked with a lot of people who struggle prioritizing what’s important versus what’s urgent. Just because something is urgent doesn’t mean it’s important, but we often give the urgent stuff our attention because of the immediate sense of satisfaction that comes from answering that e-mail, putting out that little fire, so on and so forth.
The important stuff usually has a longer timespan and we might not get that immediate sense of satisfaction, so it’s just easier to spend the majority of our time putting out the fire instead of building a new house.
So having those big goals orients us and gives purpose to our action.
She says that we’ve got to start focusing on the important things, too, and tackling those things first. When she first started her business, she was a stay at home mom and she would wake up at 3 AM to work on her business, to give it the time and attention it needed AND so that she could also be a present mom with her kids.
She lit a fire under my ass to stop making excuses and start getting real intentional with my time and making the deeply personal decision of “What’s not worth my time?”
I say deeply personal because no two people are going to have the same answer. Whatever your answer is to that question, amen. For example,
It may not be worth your time to cook a meal from scratch and so you use food delivery services like Blue Apron so that you don’t have to chop the celery down into little tiny bits. Go, girl.
You may decide that it’s not worth your time to personally clean every square inch of your house, so you get some help. Go, girl.
You may decide that you don’t want to spend 30 minutes every morning agonizing over what to wear, so you buy five of the same pants and tops and get your Steve Jobs on. Go, girl.
Those are the little things. Let’s talk a little bit bigger, shall we?
Maybe it’s not worth your time to finish getting your degree in Accounting because deep down inside you dream of running a lifestyle blog.
Or maybe it’s not worth your time to spend time with your childhood friends who are gossipy, critical and make you feel small.
Or maybe it’s not worth your time to offer certain services or products in your business. Perhaps the juice isn’t worth the squeeze.
The beauty is that YOU get to decide what’s not worth your time.
Bringing it back to Romeo’s interview on the Breakfast Club, he talks about how he had different things that he loved -- basketball, baseball, drawing and music. He, too, had to decide what wasn’t worth his time. Granted, had he decided, “Hey, drawing is my thing. I’m gon’ get better at this. I’m gonna dedicate my time to make it happen,” I am certain that he would have indeed gotten better.
But he chose music and now twenty years later he’s at the top of his game.
Oh, and I also want to point out that it wasn’t overnight, either.
In the song, Aventura, on the Love & Hate album, Romeo sings, “We been boo’d off of stage, now look at us.” He goes on to say in the interview that it took about four years of struggling before the group started seeing success. He said that he was so shy that, when they first started performing, he’d sing to the band and not the audience. He said that he wanted to immediately go into the next song instead of talking to the audience because he was so out of his element.
And he didn’t give up. He got better.
I don’t want you to think that he made the decision to focus on music and then BAM, all of a sudden, he was KOB status. Nah, he’s worked really hard and he continues to work hard.
Stop thinking the path should be easy.
Another thing that I loved about Ruth’s book is that she says, “Stop thinking that the path should be easy. It doesn’t work that way. The smooth road doesn’t exist. Adversity is a part of life.” Although you can’t control what happens to you, you are always in control of how you respond. That’s something that I tell people all the time, so it made me feel really good to read that in her book.
Time is your most precious asset, HB, because you can’t get it back.
You can make money, lose money, make it again, lose it again, make even more, but you can’t get back your time.
If you take one thing away from this blogcast episode, it’s that you gotta get clear on what’s not worth your time.
Doing stuff because you think it’s what you should do, because you think it’ll make your mom happy, because you think it’ll be an easier road. Whatever thought process is going into the decisions you make, it’s time to really get clear on what’s worth your time because how you spend your time is how you spend your life.
Now it’s your turn. Leave a comment on the blogcast page for today’s episode and let me know your greatest takeaway from today’s episode. It really means a lot to me when I hear from you, so holla at ya girl.
I’m cheering for you. Like you’re el chico de las poesías.