I wrote this article to motivate anyone who is thinking of giving up on their dream, or second-guessing themselves. Sometimes when we go through tough times, we can feel like we are not meant to win. Especially when we see other people doing well. It is not good to compare yourself to other people, because you never really know all of the facts. Below you will read three stories of people who have gone through rough times, and still had the persistence to move forward. At times we see successful people, but we do not see all the challenges they faced to get to where they are. It can seem like your success is not promised, neither is permanent failure, unless you quit. Lets look into the journeys of some of the most success people, and find out if their journey was and is as tough as yours.
Many people know the name Linkin Park, but do not understand all the trials the group went through to establish themselves as one of the biggest groups of all time. Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson, Rob Bourdon, Dave Farrell, and Joe Han were all friends. Mark Wakefield was an original member of the group, but he decided to part ways. It was time for the group to find a new co-lead singer. Chester Bennington canceled a big party he had lined up for his 23rd birthday, to record an audition song sent to him by the group. The group was impressed by the song he recorded and wanted to meet him. Chester decided to take a risk. He left everything he had going on, and went to an in person audition in Los Angeles. That audition solidified his spot in the group. This is where it all started.
Several labels turned the group down twice. They finally caught a break with Warner Brothers Records when Brad’s old boss got a job at the label, and signed the band. The label wanted the group to make several changes. They had to change their original name Hybrid Theory because it conflicted with another band on the label. This resulted in them choosing Linkin Park. The label wanted to remove Mike from the group, wanted dress them up like a gimmick, as well as other decisions that could have caused friction in the group, but they did not agree. Despite loving their name Hybrid Theory they took the necessary step to continue their journey. Hybrid Theory became the name of their first album.
Hybrid Theory went on to be the best selling rock album of the decade. Despite the success, they played their first tour for free. This was not the only challenge they would have to face. Critics were publicizing rumors about them being a poser manufactured boy band. Interviewers would be extremely nice to them during interviews, and then write horrible things about them afterward. Things were not going in their favor, but they persevered for the love of what they do. In 2002, they won a Grammy for best hard rock performance for their song “Crawling.” “Crawling” was a song on the demo that was turned down by labels. That proved they knew what they were doing, even when others did not agree. Despite this success, there were more challenges to be faced.
When the band started their 2nd album Meteora, they were told that they would never replicate the same success, and that it will be all down hill going forward. Their last tour ended with them performing in sold out arenas, this time around they were performing for crowds of 2,000 people and empty seats. They had to prove themselves all over again and earn people’s respect. Chester was dealing with a drug and alcohol addiction. The band needed to do something about it. Mike wrote a song titled “Breaking The Habit.” It was the most difficult song for Chester to record, because it resonated emotionally more than other songs. He felt like Mike wrote the song about him, and it is still very important to him to this day. The song was a big part of helping Chester get clean. After the tough grind their fan base had an explosive expansion. Fans started following them around, appearing places they would be, and they even had fans singing along that did not understand English. The group was extremely grateful for all the support, and spent as much time interacting with fans as they could.
They wanted to go in a different direction with their album Minutes To Midnight, so they linked up with music legend Rick Rubin. Their goal with this album was to grow as artists, and Rick was able to help guide them. Though it was a creative risk, they succeeded with the album. They took another risk with their 4th album A Thousand Suns. Their lead single “The Catalyst” made history when it debuted #1 on the Billboard rock chart. Their 5th album went on to sell 3 million copies. Their 6th album The Hunting party was self-produced and brought them back full circle. They have earned the respect they were after and took the album exactly where they wanted.
They have been able to start their own charity, as well as raise awareness about global issues. The members of the group are still friends and get along over 15 years later. Through an uphill battle, the six members stuck together and stayed true to themselves. Success did not come easy, every time they seemed to be sailing smooth a new challenge came up. If they had given in to any of the doubt, their impact would not be felt today. They are one of the most legendary names in music and widely loved all over the world. They went through so much and earned every bit of their success.
Jim Carrey started doing stand up comedy when he was 15 years old. He worked janitorial jobs early in life due to financial pressure. He dropped out of high school to pursue stand up comedy. He later moved to California and got a steady comedy gig by impressing Rodney Dangerfield with his impressions. After some success, he sought out work in Television and Film so that he would not be boxed in to only doing standup comedy. He faced failure when the show he was in The Duck Factory did not perform well. Two television roles later he was able to start making a name for himself on In Living Color. In 1994 (32 years old) he got the main role in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. This was the beginning of massive success. That role lead to more major roles such as; The Mask, Dumb And Dumber, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Batman Forever, The Cable Guy, and Liar Liar. All of those major movies were released between 1994-1997. Jim was on a hot streak. He took a risk by taking a pay cut to star in The Truman Show. He wanted to show another side of his acting ability, and his risk paid off with his first Golden Globe Award. Back in 1990 Jim wrote himself a check for $10 Million for acting services rendered, dated Thanksgiving 1995. Using the Law Of Attraction he would visualize his success. His vision came true. He never gave up and persevered through gigs and roles later leading to superstardom. Had he not been a risk taker, we would not be able enjoy all of the value he provides us in our lives. He stuck to the grind for over 15 years before he really took off. That kind of dedication is inspirational. Always remember Jim’s work ethic when things don’t seem to be moving for you. Hard work pays off.
Aaron Dontez Yates (Tech N9ne)
Tech N9ne was too shy to rap when he started writing. No one could deliver his rhymes correctly, so he started rapping them out loud and people were impressed. Tech N9ne was in a group back in 1991 called Black Mafia and two other groups in his early career. He got his first deal in 1993 with Perspective A&M, but it did not work out because they said he was too different. “Mitch Bade” was the first song that got him recognized. In 1997 he signed to Quest and Warner Brother Records. That deal did not work and his record was shelved. Him and Travis O’Guin planned to start their own independent label Strange Music. It was difficult because he was contractually obligated to a few deals. By 2000 he was cleared of all obligations. Strange Music partnered up with Jcor Entertainment and he was able to release his album AngHellic. A producer was causing the album to be held up days before the deadline, he was trying to get more money than owed. Tech and Travis paid him a personal visit and got the files they needed to complete the album. The album went on to sell more than projected, even though they did not get the support they expected from Jcor. This was an interesting start to what became a legendary career.
Tech N9ne faced yet another issue, people started believing he was a devil worshiper. The claims were not true, people were not reading into the message behind his image. Jcor told Tech he would be able to have his first big budget music video to help promote AngHellic. He was extremely excited for this event, but things did not go as planned. The label changed their mind and told him it would have to be a low budget video, due to investing in another artist’s project. As they were waiting to shoot the video Tech received noticed that it was getting postponed. They called Jcor and found out the video had been canceled completely. Tech was devastated and fed up with the way Jcor handled his album. Tech faced more drama when a previous partner released a Tech N9ne album days before his next album Absolute Power came out. That album was supposed to be released months ahead. The album had old music he created when he was with Midwestside Records, an album cover that did not fit his style, and included three songs he did not appear on. This deceived fans thinking it was his official release. Problems kept popping up for Tech, all he ever wanted was to share his music with the world.
His song “Slacker” off the album Absolute Power was building momentum and he was able to finally shoot a video. The song had a great video but it was not being played as often as planned. This frustrated Tech, and he needed a new strategy. Instead of shooting another video he released a short television commercial telling people to download his album for free, even though it was available for sale in stores. This was during the decline of album sales, when illegal downloading was spreading fast. This was a big risk to take, but his sales spiked 300% over 6 weeks. He gambled and won because of the quality of his music.
Tech keeps a clown mask beside his bed, even though he was scared of clowns as a child. He embraces his fear, and uses it to empower himself. He has earned one of the most loyal fan bases in music, and puts on the most energetic show he can. An accident in a 15-passenger truck with a trailer attached to it flipped over and almost ended it all for Strange Music, the doctors said they were not supposed to survive. He is blessed to have survived, and still performed at his concert that same night. He almost died from taking 15 pills in on night, after bouncing back he persevered. He tours more than most artists, and that consistency has got him to where he is. He has not allowed anything to stop him from achieving his goal.
He has released 15 albums! Besides the number 9, 15 seems like it has a deeper meaning in his life. He is still making music and his brand is still growing. His career is a phenomenon in the Hip-Hop industry. He is constantly ranked high up on the Forbes list each year. After years of false starts he persevered and has become the most successful independent artist in the world. He pushed himself farther than most will ever go, and that is why he is where he is. Many things did not go as planned for Tech, but he stuck to the plan and is still on the incline.
I hope this article gives you courage and faith to persevere through all the challenges, doubt, and criticism. At times you will feel like you are crazy for believing you can. If you think about it, anyone who has achieved massive success was crazy enough to stick to it. Though the signs can seem against your favor, keep pushing forward! I wish you success on your journey.