Nordista Freeze and I met several years ago when he was a student at Lipscomb Academy in Nashville. The first time I saw him perform was at the annual school talent show and I was immediately smitten by his unbridled passion. He is an amazingly creative young artist and onstage he is the personification of reckless abandon. But that reckless abandon is layered upon a foundation that has three major elements: Team + Goals + Plan.
I’m on Nordista’s Team. I mentor him in the Joshua Project at Lipscomb University where he is now a sophomore in the Commercial Music School of the College of Entertainment and the Arts. We meet weekly and talk about the books he’s reading, the music he’s writing and the new music he has discovered. He seems to be in perpetual motion with all his reading, writing and listening.
All successful artists have a Goal that includes releasing new music to their audience. Nordista is no different. He recently took a bold step and initiated a Kickstarter campaign (you HAVE to see the video ) to raise funds to record a new album. Through perseverance, determination and creativity he reached and exceeded his goal of $7000. Now, of course others have created successful Kickstarter campaigns, but a couple of things Freeze did in the campaign stand as examples to other emerging artists.
He built a team. All successful artists I have known have a team, a clear set of goals and a plan to reach their goals. The introduction video Freeze produced with the help of his friends and schoolmates is unique, humorous, informative and self deprecating. The team he assembled made the video work. Nordista is smart enough to know he couldn’t do this alone, so he got help.
He didn’t give up. Just last week, as the deadline to the campaign was approaching, he was $2500 short of the goal. In our mentoring meeting he confided in me that he wasn’t certain the goal would be met. I asked him what he planned to do. He smiled and said, “We’re scheduled to start recording this weekend so that’s what we’re going to do.” Failure (or not reaching the real goal of recording his album) just wasn’t an option. Part of his Plan included setting a hard deadline and committing to making the project happen.
So Freeze and his team went into their two minute drill. They cranked up the phones, emails and text messages, and reached out to friends and friends of friends and even strangers. The donations kept rolling in and as of yesterday, they had exceeded the goal of $7000. Even in the face of not reaching the goal the team persevered and kept going. Part of his Plan was to never surrender.
Team + Goals + Plans
Great artists and songwriters know they can’t be their best if they have to focus on career aspects other than performing or writing. A team is essential. And for a team to work well goals must be established and written down. And then the plan must be established and followed. Every successful team knows a goal without a plan is just a dream.