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A couple of months ago… I learnt all about Katy Perry while I was taking a break from some studio work. I plopped myself in front of Netflix and decided to watch the Katy Perry documentary. I was not sure what to expect but I do know that I sat down with neutral feelings towards Katy Perry but at the end I had became a fan. I can tell you that her story was inspiring and heart breaking at the same time.
The documentary shows her early days when she was just starting out, the 5 years of hard work she had to endure before she became ‘famous’, the intense 1 year tour schedule, her marriage breakdown and the dedication she has to giving her fans the best possible experience (her marriage broke down literally before she was due on stage for her biggest concert. She was given the choice – cancel the show or chin up and go out there. Right up to when she was supposed to be lifted onto the stage, she was breaking down in tears. But she pulled herself together, for her fans, placed a smile on her face and decided to make it happen).
Even if you are not a fan of Katy Perry, I promise you, you will be inspired and learn a thing or two from that documentary. I related to everything she went through on some level (of course I don’t sing) but the part that I felt the most was when she had just signed on to a major label and was in the process of recording her music. The executives all wanted her to be someone else. Someone else they thought was more ‘sellable’. They wanted her to be the next Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne or Ashlee Simpson (who all by the way at the height of their careers could not compare to what Katy is achieving in hers) and so she tried. She tried to be everything they wanted her to be but she was frustrated –
“I just want to be the first Katy Perry”
And so that is what she did. Even though she was struggling to get any traction in the industry and was flat out broke, she decided to let the real her shine through.
The reason I love that statement so much is because I wholeheartedly believe it too. It’s not uncommon when you start out to want to be the next Ron Ben Israel or just like Mike McCarey. There is nothing wrong with aspiring to be as good as your hero but along the way you need to find yourself and be comfortable with that.
Not everyone may agree with who you are but you know what? Only when you are you can you be confident with the path you are travelling. You stop looking left and right thinking that you are not good enough or looking behind thinking that someone is trying to copy you. You are the first of your kind and therefore are forging your own path – how good does that feel?
So I encourage you to try it. Make it a point to be the first of yourself 🙂