People see a musical artist suddenly rise into the mainstream. “He must have gotten lucky,” they say. According to them, anyone can make one song that makes it mainstream.
Yet, most people never realize the immense amount of time people put into their craft, the ten thousand hours that Malcolm Gladwell talks about to become a master of something. Take the Fader magazine feature on Radric Davis, better known by his hip-hop name Gucci Mane. The feature discusses Davis’ immense work ethic, which was evident to everyone around him. He often rose early in the morning ready to record in the studio and would finish recording 5 songs in a night, when other artists could only finish one or two. Even after putting out a successful mixtape, as others would rest, he would get right back to work on the next one.
We can also see this in an industry much different than hip-hop: high tech. Let’s take the case of Google Vice President Neal Mohan. He started his career in online advertising by doing customer support. But through insane curiosity and asking lots of questions, he grew through the ranks, taking on more and more responsibility. He delivered everywhere he went and joined Google after they bought DoubleClick. When Twitter tried to poach him, Google offered him $100 million to stay.
Radric Davis had a passion for his craft, and he was far from an overnight success. Neal Mohan spent years learning about online advertising. No one is guaranteed to succeed, but hard work increases one’s chances. As rapper Big Sean once said, “Well I guess my chances are 50/50, but my vision is 20/20 so I be counting 100/100’s.” Stay true to a vision, and your time will come.