Did you watch The New Edition Story on BET last week? I sure did! And I enjoyed every second of it. After the finale day, I went to sleep and, as my mind tends to do, I started thinking of the strategic lessons to be learned from Ralph, Ricky, Bobby, Michael, Ronnie and Johnny, and so I thought I’d share them with you. So here they are:
image credit: Variety.com
ONE. Let your fear drive you to find another way.
We have Bobby to thank for this one! Remember when he competed in his first talent show and caught a killer case of stage fright? He could have decided right then and there that the showbiz life was not for him. But, instead, because he knew deep in his heart that he was an entertainer and that he had a gift for the world to see and hear, he got creative. Bobby rounded up his boys to create a group so that he wouldn’t have to face the stage alone. Not only was that extremely strategic on his part, but he also was acknowledging his own shortcomings and giving himself a way to get around that roadblock. Little did he know, a musical sensation of a group was about to be birthed thanks to his roadblock. And? once his confidence was built up and he got to a place where we was comfortable in his skin, Bobby went solo. And that was all she wrote!
Apply it! Is there something you’re scared to do in your life or your business right now? Try taking a step back and looking at the challenge creatively. What other ways can you take in order to get to your goal destination? It will take some soul searching and being honest with yourself, but if there’s a will, there’s a way.
TWO. You can’t go it alone. Find the RIGHT person to help you win.
What’s the first thing the boys did once they decided to make their singing dream happen? They sought out a manager. Once they were under Brooke Payne’s guidance, they began to take structure as a group and he was able to negotiate opportunities for them to advance their careers. Not only was Brooke there for them on a professional level, but on a personal level, too. So much so that their later record label hired Brooke to come back to work with New Edition when things were getting rocky. Even at a young age, the boys knew that they needed someone with the expertise and connections to help them along. As young adults, that same person would prove valuable to keep them on track.
Apply it! Maybe you don’t need a manager, per se. But do you have a mentor? An advisor? A coach? Someone to provide guidance and to open doors for you. Think of yourself and your gifts as “the talent” – what kind of “manager” could you benefit from?
In the mini-series, we had a front-row seat to all of New Edition’s trials and tribulations: being paid pennies after touring and selling records; being duped into a bad record deal with a production company; personality clashes, behavior issues and drama; personal challenges and the list goes on. And that’s only what they opted to show us! In spite of it all, or perhaps because of it, those talented gentlemen still persevered to give us some of the best music of our tween and teenage years. This lesson is simple and yet as brand builders, we can’t be reminded of it enough – work hard, develop and nurture relationships and double down during the challenging times. Could you image the world without “Mr. Telephone Man”? The world needs your gifts too!
Apply it! Struggling finances. Failed projects. Lack of direction. Life. Soooo many things are just waiting to get in the way of you and your goals. Know and accept that the path won’t all be peaches and cream, but stay motivated and don’t give up. There just may be a BBD “Poison” album in it somewhere.
That biopic was chock-full of lessons! Which ones stood out the most to you?