The Maven Mindset
The crux of the maven mindset is believing in your dreams.
Believe in what you want SO MUCH that it has no choice but to materialize. I have experienced this so many times in my life, it's unreal.
When I graduated college, I had no full-time offer and the greatest desire to be in the music business. I had one interview at the Weather Channel for some entry level production gig (that my Women in Communications mentor set me up with) and the lady that interviewed me sat there and listened to me talk about my internship experiences at Paste Magazine, Oydssey Entertainment, and the Atlanta Chapter of The Recording Academy. She said, “It’s apparent that you love music so much. You should work in music. What are you doing here?”
That is a great question. What was I doing there? Oh, yeah, I need cashflow, boo. Even this lady that I don't even know knows what's up. God, this would be a great time for you to show up and show up BIG. The kid needs you in a major way.
At the time, I was doing a summer gig at the Atlanta Chapter of The Recording Academy. I ended up having to move into the Suburban Lodge nearest to the office. Just me and all of my belongings in a small, shabby room with a little kitchenette.
I was so sad. I cried a lot during that time. Here I was, Ms. Summa Cum Laude and I didn't know what I was going to do after August 18th (my last day of work). I didn't want to go back to Waco -- that would be failure in my eyes to have worked this hard and have nothing come of it.
So I prayed. I cried and prayed and cried and prayed. "God, just give me the opportunity. I'll do the work. I won't complain. I just need a chance. Please give me a chance." I knew I could be successful. I just needed a chance.
On August 13, I met my future boss and flat out told him to hire me. He tried asking me questions about what I knew about publishing. To which I said, "Listen. I don't know anything. But I will work until I know it all." I have always believed in my ability to LEARN.
At the time, he was working on the first album of the winner of Objetivo Fama (who is currently on a VH1 reality show) and said that he’d try me out as the production coordinator. There was no guarantee for either of us that it would work out. I had my one shot and that’s all I needed.
Literally one week later, on August 20th, I packed up all my stuff in a UHaul and drove from Atlanta to Miami. It rained the entire time. The windshield wipers on the UHaul were so messed up that when it started raining really hard, I had to pull over and wait. What should've been a 10 hour trip took about 14 hours.
I arrived in Miami at 3 in the morning and met the recording engineer in the parking lot of the CVS in Miramar. This was before Google Maps on a smartphone. I had never been to Miami and didn't know where I was going. The engineer was from New Jersey and had just moved to the area himself. He gave me the key to my room and a remote control and was about to head out.
"Wait, how do I get there?" He shook his head and said, "I don't know. Try going that way and turn right on the 1." He pointed down some road, shrugged, got into his car and left. So that's what I did. I had no clue where I was.
I got to the Varadero Beach Resort (which no longer exists), exhausted. The security guard then comes out and tells me that I can’t park “that thing” on the premises. I manage to convince him to let me at least offload my stuff into my room.
So there I was 4 am in the morning, moving my stuff into a tiny room. It was the exhaustion and a spurt in energy that helped me to move all of my stuff, even though it took me around 3 hours to do.
I figured I might as well return the UHaul, so I set off to find the nearest one. I stopped at a gas station to ask for directions (again, this was before the wonders of the iPhone) and had my first encounter with Cuban Spanish. I understood maybe 3 words of what the gas station attendant said to me, but thankfully that was enough. I found the UHaul and returned it.
I made my way back to the Varadero Beach Resort and hopped in the shower. I was hoping to catch a couple of zzz’s before it was time to go to the studio for my first work session. My boss called me while I was showering. I called him back and he says, “Hey, Hector is on his way to pick up the artist for her session. Why don’t you follow him to the studio so you can know where it is?”
Not a problem. I had enough time to get dressed and gather my things when a Ricky Martin (circa General Hospital) lookalike knocks on my door and says, “Let’s go.” Oh, how far Hector and I have come!
Off I went. Straight to work. Exhausted and deliriously happy. Grateful to be there. Wiling to work my ass off.
And work my ass off I did. I loved it. The long days, the steep learning curve. Oh, and the music. There is no feeling in the world like watching music come together, hearing a song as it comes into fruition. I will always feel the most at home in a recording studio.
This is the example of the maven mindset.
The “I’m going to do what it takes to make my dream come true and nothing, not even shitty windshield wipers, is going to keep me from making my dream come true.”
You've got this same can-do energy inside of you. The time has come for you to harness this power and to use it to change your life. I assure you that YOU CAN AND YOU WILL.
Now it's your turn. Comment below and let me know how you are going to embody the maven mindset from now on.
I'm cheering for you. Like the rockstar you are.