Jermaine Dupri, “I just wanna be successful”
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Jermaine Dupri or J.D., is an American record producer, rapper and Grammy winning songwriter. With too many accomplishments to mention in this post, most impressive to me is that the man has found a way to continuously stay at the top of his game.
I’m from an Italian family where the dinner table is more than an object, it’s a place we come together and share, laugh and bond.
I had the privilege of sharing a special dinner while at Blog World with JD, Brian Solis, Don Lemon, Ben Parr, Scott Monty, Rick Calvert, Jason Kintzler, L.P. Neenz, Ted Murphy, Erica Hartfield, James Andrews, Tamara Knechtel and Manya Susoev. (I may have to do an entire series dedicated to that experience.)
JD didn’t have to accept the invitation to dine with us. But, he did (enthusiastically). During dinner he took the time to connect individually with everyone–in a meaningful way. It’s not a coincidence that the gathering of these minds was planned as a dinner. Just like my family, we laughed, shared, connected and, yes, talked a little shop. The topic of online communications and how it can be used for business was the primary theme.
I enjoy observing people. I’m the one who arrives at the airport early to get some good people watching time in before my flight.
This dinner gave me an opportunity to watch many people I’m a fan of, including JD. I’ve followed his online launch and wondered just what it was that makes him successful. From the time I spent with him, here’s what I observed as key:
- Hard work – The man doesn’t stop!
- Adapt and evolve – He could have played out his success long ago, but instead chooses to stay ahead of the curve and is all about using online communications in his business.
- Insane talent – Ever heard him deejay live? The best I’ve ever heard. And that’s not even touching on his ability to produce, rap, promote, etc.
- LOVE of music – Enough said.
- Risk – Remember Kriss Kross and the whole “wearing clothes backwards” phenomenon? Yep, that was JD.
- Real – It’s really him on Twitter, his blog, etc. When you interact with him online it feels real because it is. I noticed him more than once checking his Twitter feed and responding to people.
It’s easy to list these gifts, talents, attributes whatever you call them. But to actually possess all of these is rare. Hard work is called hard for a reason. A mentor once told me, “do what you love and the money will come.” Risk taking is scary because it means you’ll either succeed or fail and nothing in between. These are differentiators that set apart those who are successful and those who are not.
I’m so glad I had the opportunity to learn from someone who is DOING instead of TALKING, rocking it out instead of sitting one out and walking the talk instead of putting forth a false identity.
I wrote this post selfishly for me. It’s a personal reminder of what I need to do every day in order reach and eventually stay at the top of my game. What about you?