If you have teenage or preteen/tween girls in your life, you are, by definition, familiar with Justin Bieber. He’s just another teenage idol, cute, all his songs sound the same, and girls literally flip out for him. He’s not the first young man to soar in pop culture, but a debut song that goes platinum? It’s curious to consider why him, why not somebody else? He’s self-taught nobody from nowhere, Canada. What’s his X factor? If you watch Never Say Never, you can get a glimpse, although hearing this kid ask from the stage "Who wants to be my baby?" was a tad nauseating for me. (The things I do for Mixonian readers!) Note: I’m not suggesting you Bieberize your next talk, but consider what made him successful.
So here’s the deal.
Justin Bieber is definitely cute, photogenic and has a voice. There are probably at least 5 young men at your local middle school who are just as cute, photogenic and vocally talented. Probably all 5 of them would like to perform their music at Madison Square Garden.
The thing is, Justin Bieber really wanted it. He was on a mission to sing to the world and he did it.
He sang at home, at church, at friends’ homes, at any gathering, and any local contest. He taught himself how to play the drums and guitar. He learned how to dance. He learned how to deal with the public from the stage. Mostly by himself.
When Scooter Braun (with Raymond Usher) first signed on Bieber, he had a hard time getting the right people in the music industry to listen to Bieber. Bieber, he was just this kid from London (not England) but Ontario. No one significant was interested in him for several years.
According to Braun’s documentary, what made the difference was Bieber’s commitment to playing for people. He constantly played on the streets and in local radio stations in the U.S. for more than a year, no pay, no press.
Of course he leveraged Twitter to build his fan base. But without the hundreds of free concerts given, no one would have cared to follow him.
No matter what you do, there are other people who do the same, and some of them may even do it better than you do, at this moment. What’s your mission?
It’s your mission that inspires you to do what it takes, to pick up the flipping telephone, to risk looking really stupid, to do things that seem to have zero payoff, to get disappointed….until your mission finally starts to come to fruition.
If you’re not on a mission, you’re just punching the time clock.