We live in a time when it has become ridiculously easy to see other creators succeed.
And that, let’s be honest, has made every creator question “Why have I not made it yet?” at some point. A point where you need an inkling, a sign, an indication that #thngs will get better.
If you’re at that juncture, go watch jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy. Kanye West’s documentary is proof that hard work pays off.
Today you maybe an unknown creator putting sweat, blood, and tears into your content because only you know and believe in your work. But one day others will see it too. That’s the most important creator lesson Ye’s life teaches us.
5 creator lessons on how to become a successful creator from Kanye
Kanye West is undoubtedly one of the most controversial artists in the music industry. He is also the OG creator who has and continues to inspire others. It’s his unwavering confidence and passion for his work that earned him 21 Grammys (of the 69 nominated) and 21 million albums sold worldwide.
Takeaway #1: Never give up, no matter the situation
If you’re a creator who hasn’t reached a point where they can quit their 9-5 and make a living solely through content creation, this lesson is for you.
Don’t give up.
Most aspiring creators give up before even giving it a try. If you are passionate about something, dive into it no matter the situation. In 2002, when driving home, Kanye met with a horrifying and almost fatal car accident. Yet, he continued to produce music during his recovery.
“Through the Wire, Ye’s debut single was written and recorded in October 2002 while his jaw was wired shut due to the accident.”
An accident couldn’t stop Kanye from making music. What’s your excuse?
Takeaway #2: Consider diversifying or creating for others.
The rapper we know today did not exist when Kanye began his journey. While he wanted to be known as an artist, no music label would sign him on as a rapper. So, for years, he created and produced music for other artists.
As a new creator, we know, you want to be recognised for your own content, but until that time, keep finding other ways to do what you love. For example, if you’re a food blogger, why not ghost-write for well-known chefs and food critics. It’s a great way to pay your bills and keep doing your #thng.
Takeaway #3: Consistency is the key
When Kanye started his career in the hip-hop industry, he was a college dropout, and most thought he wouldn’t make it. It took him 10 years to release his debut album, “College Dropout.”
But until then, he kept his head down, focused on being a better creator and relentlessly worked on ensuring people who could help him get big heard his music.
The lesson here is to keep going and stay consistent in your work, no matter what people say about you. Kanye didn’t listen to anyone and focused on his career with full faith and confidence.
Takeaway #4: Dare to be different
Kanye’s work, be it his first album or the Yeezy collaboration with Adidas, has always been unique and way ahead of its time. While rappers were singing about violence in 2004, Kanye rapped about higher education, self-awareness, and materialism.
That sold him 441,000 copies in the first week. And need we mention that the initial release of Yeezy Boosts sold out in under 10 minutes? The creator lesson here is simple. There is nothing wrong with being different; rather, it helps you stand apart and create a unique personal brand.
Takeaway #5: Collaborate with fellow creators
Surrounding yourself with the right people can help you achieve more and learn new #thngs. And Ye knew this. Hence, his collaborations with Jay-Z, John Legend, Frank Ocean, Kid Cudi and more.
The creator lesson for you is to start collaborating with creators in your niche or one adjacent to it. It can go a long way towards achieving your desired goals. Not sure how to find them? We talk all about it here.
Only one creator lesson you must follow
Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Kanye is a true creator who transcends niches. And it’s his unmatched confidence that helped him reach such great heights.
If you take one creator lesson from Kanye’s work and life, let it be this.
Becoming a creator is not easy. You’ll have to work a day job to fund your passion in the beginning. There’ll be few people who’ll believe in your work and that you’ll make it as a creator, if that.
But keep working towards it, and you’ll get there one day.