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It’s amazing how fast a year can fly by yet seem to last forever. December of 2019 was when Heaven Razah / Hell Razah was diagnosed with cancer. We rolled into 2020 with a date for surgery in February.
After some complications, he was released from the hospital March 9, 2020 and on March 13, 2020 w everybody was on house arrest because of the corona virus. For Thanksgiving this year we both battled a round with the corona virus.
But despite personal battles and the chaotic state of the world? God has blessed me this year beyond measure. I’ve been working from home, bought a home and have been spending an obscene amount of time with the people I love most.
I have though been missing in action via blog, music wise and social media. So if you’re one of the people who has supported me in anyway over the years just know that you are appreciated. Sometimes life requires us to unplug and recharge and I think most of you can relate to that.
2020 to me is going to be remembered as the year most people basically went nuts. I had that shalom peace though. Knowing that God is with you is powerful. I’m actually excited with anticipation for what’s next. I’ll tell you what though, getting right with God should be a top priority. The clock is ticking, pay attention.
It is sincerely my hope that you have a blessed and healthy New Year!
If you have not seen the movie “Risen, the story of Chron “Hell Razah” Smith ” you’re missing out on a chance to be inspired. Happy New Year folks!
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Anyone who does hiring will tell you, it’s hard to find good employees. We live in a time when folks act like they’re doing you a favor by showing up to work and it’s sad. You certainly don’t have to kill yourself working for someone else, but appreciating the gift of having a way to bring income into your household should be valued and respected.
If you have dreams of one day owning your own successful company, the best thing you can do for yourself is learn how to be a good employee. Every great Boss was once a great employee. So let’s address some basics that may seem like common sense to some, but in reality some people are never taught these things so that’s why I’m sharing it. What makes me the expert? I wouldn’t call myself an expert but I do have a decade of experience teaching employment skills, hiring, managing, supervising, and eight years of self-employment so I’d at least consider myself a reliable source.
Accepting a Job
When you accept an offer of employment, realize what is actually happening. You are agreeing to preform the duties outlined in your job description and follow the company’s policies for an exchange of a certain amount of money (hourly/ annually). There are far too many folks who come into agreement with this written contract (which is everything most people don’t really read and just sign on multiple pages within the application) and don’t uphold their end of the bargain.
It’s extremely hard to fire someone who preforms the duties they agreed to and it is almost impossible to fire someone who does their duties well. Why? Because Unemployment Insurance costs money. The more people you fire, the more people collect and the more expensive it is to carry insurance. Employers are in the business of making making money, not loosing it. Employers seek to hire individuals that they think can become an asset, not a liability. Most companies evaluate their employees on a 90-day, 6-month, then annual basis. Within these evaluations are basic questions, do you or don’t you do the job you agreed to do?
If you agreed to preform certain duties and follow certain policies, the very least you can do to keep yourself employed is keep your word. Far too many people have no problem cashing a paycheck and not upholding their end of the bargain. Far too many people get a job, then behave like it’s an entitlement. One of the hardest lessons you will ever learn in the working world is that anyone can be replaced. If you are a person who strives to give 100% in everything you put your hands to? That will always work in your favor. If you’re not a person who strives to give 100%? You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do, but the least you should do is do what they’re paying you to do.
But I don’t really like my job, I only work there because I need money….
So what? Seriously, so what? Nobody told you that you had to like anything but if you have a need (income) which they (the job you don’t like) are providing to you and your household? Suck it up. Did you like going to school everyday? Do you like when the kids make a mess? Do you like paying bills? Nobody likes everything but there are things we have to do in order to provide for our household or fund our dreams. If you really are that bothered? Look for a different job. However, while you are employed at a place you don’t like? Show up with a good attitude and do what they’re paying you for. You may very well need that reference checked one day and although it is illegal for any company to give an opinion (non-factual information) about you , things like your attendance is factual. Sometimes a tone of voice or simply saying a person is not eligible for re-hire is all that a new potential employer needs to hear in order to make a decision about hiring you.
Every great Boss was once a great employee
A great Manager is one who has worked multiple positions within a company before getting promoted. A terrible Manager is normally one with no experience. Working your way up a ladder will teach you skills and lessons that you can’t obtain any other way. Some of the lessons you learn will be fair and some won’t be, but it’s important to have both so you know exactly what to do and what not to do.
For those of you who desire to be your own boss, be the kind of employee you’d want working for you. Would you continue to pay someone who had a bad attitude and was always doing the minimum necessary to get by? Take every opportunity you can to learn about the business and policy so that you know what to do when it’s time for you to run your company. Even if your job isn’t in the industry you desire to operate a company in, there are many things that are just standard for running a business of any kind.
Learn to be a person who accepts corrective feedback. There are far too many people who take it personally when someone offers them corrective feedback. If your supervisor is evaluating your job performance or offering corrective feedback about something in the work place, that is not a personal attack against you as a human being.
There is a huge difference between someone belittling you and correcting your job performance. The first time I had a supervisor pull me to the side, I felt bad. I felt like I screwed up. I however took heed to what she said and within the next three years following her pulling me aside, I was promoted twice.
Friendly & Friends
You do not get paid at any job to make friends. Most people get friendly with co-workers, invite them to weddings, they show up at funerals, and some you may even spend some recreation time with. In reality, you normally spend a lot of your time at work and you get friendly with folks. Your being friendly, should never blind you from the fact that you’re there to work or compromise your job performance. Professional Boundaries are extremely important. If you have ever supervised someone who was a friend or family member you know exactly what I’m talking about. Work is work, friendship is friendship, and not everyone has an easy time making that separation.
Simple Steps to being a good employee
- Show up on time, call if you’re running late, minimize tardiness
- Do your best to schedule your time off according to company policy
- Follow policy
- Have a good attitude
- Finish your shift responsibilities, don’t leave your work for other people to do
- Be a team player
- Put in a reasonable effort, do what they pay you to do
- Keep non-emergency personal calls/ texting to your break times. Nobody pays you to be on your phone and most companies have a cell phone policy you probably signed off on and didn’t really read
If you want to be one of those above and beyond employees? Ask if there’s anything else you can help out with once your work is done. It’s not that complicated folks, sometimes we need to change our perspective. For every shift that you get to work and generate income for your household, there is someone who wishes they had that same opportunity. If you don’t believe me, feel free to have a chat with anyone who is currently homeless or was recently released from a correctional facility and is now job searching.
Ladies ladies ladies….I love y’all but I am SO sick and tired of seeing the majority of women out here doing THE MOST for attention. Babygirl, learn what RESPECT feels like and seek that instead. Focus on being worthy of the pursuit.
Thought this was worth sharing folks. Far too many people are living their lives in a phone and for a phone. Family meal time has been replaced with everyone’s face in a device. The clock of life is always ticking. None of us know how much time we have so don’t waste yours.
The philosophy of karma is closely associated with the idea of rebirth in many schools of Indian religions (particularly Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism) as well as Taoism.
Karma, a Sanskrit word that roughly translates to “action,” is a core concept in some Eastern religions, including Hinduism and Buddhism. … For example, karma is often misused to denote luck, destiny or fate. Karma is also misused as a way to explain sudden hardships
So basically, a whole lot of people (even the people of God) use this word as a substitute for the scripture Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” KJV assuming it has the same meaning because they heard someone else also misuse it. For the biblically conscious person who is aware of the power that resides in their mouth as a believer, may I suggest that you start using the internet access in the palm of your hand to research new words and trends before you become a partaker of them? We live in the Information Age, ignorance is a choice. (Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” KJV)
People underestimate the power in consistency. If you’re living for God or even promoting your #business or product, be consistent. Consistency is not plastering the same post nine thousand times or trying to meme your way into heaven. Consistency in your faith or brand is all about what your public and private display is. There’s a whole lot of people who say one thing and do the opposite. The number of “positive” and “righteous” folks who publicly flip flop depending upon whatever their emotions dictate for the moment is disgusting.
The only thing I believe when someone is positive one second and savage the next is that the person is double minded and unstable.
If you want to see success in any area of your life? Stop complaining and be consistent. Consistency will open more doors then social media temper tantrums.
It is an awesome feeling to work for yourself and have it be successful. I can tell you from first hand experience, there is no crazier employment ride then trying to get your own small business off the ground. I’ve started several of my own over the last ten years and I’ve been brought on board as a consultant for many people who are running successful small businesses as we speak.
The internet and social media especially are powerful tools when they are used responsibly. Think about it like a glass of wine. Having a single glass of wine with dinner versus drinking an entire bottle then getting behind the wheel of a car. See the difference? The internet has made it easy for people to network and even start a small business. In most cases even if all you have is an idea, there is a website that offers a template or basic store front for you to get started.
Almost everybody uses some sort of Social Media these days and for the entrepreneur, it is the most cost effective way to share their business with little to no marketing budget. In every area of life you will find people who are good at some things and other’s who aren’t. Not every person who makes music is going to develop a following or sell albums, not every person who applies to Harvard gets in, and not every entrepreneur is able to turn their business into an income sustaining entity.
The thing that drives me crazy as a person who truly loves to see others succeed is the utter lack of professionalism on social media when it comes to individuals trying to create a brand or run a business. It drives me crazy because there are far too many people with million dollar ideas or an outstanding product that only get so far and the reason they can’t get past a certain level is largely due to their own behavior and attitudes.
If you are starting a business or brand, it should have it’s own social media handles, especially if you’re one of those people who can’t resist the urge to blow off steam in your posts. If you had money to invest, would you invest your money in a company or brand who’s owner was emotionally unstable all over social media? Think about it. Your personal life should have absolutely nothing to do with your business. If you are marketing your business to your personal social media followers and then when you’re in your feelings you’re using that exact same platform to blow off steam, how is anyone supposed to take you seriously as a business person? Some steam may be appropriate depending on the industry, but if you want yourself being taken seriously as a “CEO” or Business Owner? Then present yourself seriously.
What job have you ever had that you were allowed to walk around cursing in front of customers? What job have you ever had where it was okay to whine about your haters all day? You should care more about the integrity of your own business then you’ve had about one you didn’t own and just worked for. Sometimes YOU are the only obstacle standing in your way of greatness.
Have you ever seen Oprah, Martha Stewart, Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, or Bill Gates whine by meme all over social media about who’s supporting them? Of course not, that’s not something successful minded people waste time doing. If you find yourself angered enough to publicly address it? You’re not winning. How are you going to grow into a billion dollar CEO if you can’t even control your emotions on the internet? Think about it….
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted in the HipHop101 section, but what I’m going to talk about is really going to be able to help some people who listen. Although I am an artist, my first love in music has always been the business side as far as marketing, management, and promotion. One of my favorite things to do behind the scenes is organize collaborative Mixtape or Album projects which requires you to work with and organize a lot of different people that do a lot of different things. You have artists, producers, DJ’s, record labels, managers, graphic artists, bloggers, promoters, etc who can all be involved with this kind of project. It can be extremely difficult sometimes when you are dealing with so many different people and personalities but no matter how difficult it can be, I personally find that the finished project always ends up being worth it and whatever or whoever the difficulty was, you learn from it and move forward so that you can make each project better than the next.
With that being said, what I want to address is the Etiquette of Artists. I am very aware that we live in a day and age of social media and we are living in a generation of selfish people. Be that as it may, I am going to explain to you the honorable way to conduct yourself and you can choose to ignore it or pay attention. I am going to tell you the truth about somethings and it might hurt your feelings, but you will be alright if you can get out of your emotions and listen to the logic because this is after all business regardless of what you see portrayed on television or social media.
- YOU ARE NOT FAMOUS. Unless you are cashing million dollar checks, have hundreds of thousands of dollars in endorsements, have gold or platinum records, or have been recognized as one of the greats for your well seasoned and decorated music contributions? SIT DOWN. Relax. you don’t deserve to be disrespected, but you better stay humble. If you are unreasonably a jerk, nobody is going to want to work with you and eventually you will end up biting every hand that tried to help you get fed and burn down all the bridges extended to you. Unless you are an outstanding artist, producer, graphic artist, DJ, blogger, promoter, manager, and record label all in one? You will eventually need the help of other people so it’s best to conduct yourself as a professional. In my opinion I don’t understand how people can say they want music to be their full-time job so they don’t have to do anything else but they’ll behave like professionals for their job at the gas station and act like they have no manners or common sense when it comes to conducting themselves as an entrepreneur (which is technically what you are as an independent artist).
- Value an invitation. There is a lot of work that goes into a collaborative project. Far too many times people undervalue the time and work that’s put in to a collaborative project especially if all they did was submit a song. This is no way means the creative process and recording is under valued, but the point I am trying to make is a collaborative release has many components to it and if you are invited onto a collaborative project (especially one being presented by an artist, group, or label that holds weight under their name or brand) there are a few things you can easily do that show you appreciate the opportunity of exposure and free promotion. The LEAST you can do is share the project and support it especially if you were invited on. Even if you pay for a slot, what was the point of purchasing your exposure opportunity if you don’t even support it? If you are invited onto a project, turn in your music in a timely manner. Nobody should have to chase you down to give you an opportunity. If you want to be taken serious as an artist? Be professional. Nobody is going to keep calling, texting, inboxing, or emailing you in order to put your music on a project that’s overall cost isn’t coming out of your budget. What all of us as artists need to remember is that there are millions of us. Sometimes it’s not even natural talent that help people move forward in this very competitive business, it’s things like honoring your word, professionalism, and integrity. For me personally? I will help a less talented artist who is a good person ten times over breaking my neck for someone who is super talented but a headache to work with.
- Label your tracks properly. When you are submitting a song, nine times out of ten whoever is collecting the music is slammed with emails. Make sure you do your part to cut down on the instance of error and costly mistakes. Your email should come with the MP3 of the song, Artist name, track name, and producer name. One thing that happens far too often is people do not label their tracks properly and then expect everyone to stop what they’re doing to correct spelling errors, add something or delete something. Once things like promotion is started or track lists have been designed and released it is far too time consuming and costly to make changes and frankly, unless the error was a track by a heavy hitter? Chances are you’re going to have to deal with the error and move on. It’s happened to all of us at one time or another and nobody died because of it.
For those of you who may be very new, there is a difference between a Mixtape and Collaborative Album. A Mixtape can be done by an individual (normally a collection of their music they are putting out for free in order to generate a buzz before an album comes out, a free project an individual releases in order to start building a fan base, a free collaborative project from a group/label/ DJ that showcases a collection of artists / producers. The key word though is FREE. The only time there is ever a charge for a Mixtape is if hard copies are pressed up then you are paying for the actual hard disk and shipping, not the actual music. Artists can be invited on by a DJ/Group/ Label or slots are sometimes available for a fee. Purchasing a slot would be something you charge to your promotional budget and you should only purchase slots on Mixtapes that target the fan base you want, and or are hosted/produced by a reputable organization/DJ/Label/Group. I say that because I can’t even count the number of times a no-name brand or group has slid in my inbox trying to sell me a Mixtape slot for hundreds of dollars. No thanks. If you are debating on purchasing a slot, google the other Mixtapes they’ve done. Combine all the numbers from all of the sites you see it posted on and decide if the slot fee is worth that investment for the level of exposure you find. ( Side note: Any slot fee over $100-$150 you should look for downloads and plays of ten thousand or more but BE CAREFUL…. some of those “downloads” aren’t organic, meaning they could have been purchased. So the best way to make sure it’s legit is see if the project comes up on multiple sites and check all of the stats before making your decision.
A Collaborative Album is actually for sale. Normally a collab album will have one producer and feature many artists on their beats, or put out by a label/group and showcasing their artists and producers. On this kind of album purchase you can expect all original tracks.
I hope some if not all of this was helpful or enlightening. One more helpful tip until the next time… if you are an artist and consider the music industry your ideal profession? Do some research about the “business” you say you’re in. There’s a lot of “artists” that don’t even own the name they’re making beats or recording songs with, and there’s a lot of producers selling beats they don’t technically own although they made them.
That’s all for now! Be blessed –
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