You’ve got to believe in yourself.

I’m gonna tell you one of my favorite Irving Azoff stories.

So I’m in the bowels of the Hollywood Bowl, talking to John Baruck, Irving’s old fraternity brother from Illinois. And I’m getting history, I love history, for the story alone, never mind what you learn.

So Irving goes to the west coast with Fogelberg, gets a gig with Jerry Heller and eventually moves over to Geffen Roberts, where he starts booking the Roxy.

Baruck stays home with REO Speedwagon.

Two years later, Irving calls Baruck, tells him in that voice that only Irving has, conspiratorial, sotto voce, with a hint of humor… “Pack your bags…WE CAN TAKE THIS TOWN!”

And there you have it. That’s why Irving can form his own performing rights organization and put the threat of the devil into Pandora, because he believes in himself.

I’m not talking about false bravado. I hear that every day. You recite who you know, where you went to school, accomplishments made out of cardboard, but then when you get on the diving board…

You back out.

The winners have confidence. They know they won’t always win.  They realize risk is part of the equation. But they realize we’re all human and all equal and someone has to take the lead and it might as well be them.

That’s another thing, if you want to set the world on fire you’re best off doing it yourself, if you want to move up in the organization you’re going about it the wrong way, that’s already someone else’s gig.

That’s one of the reasons the major labels are in trouble, none of them were founders. That’s right, the CEOs always worked for the man, how do you expect them to be nimble, how do you expect them to take great leaps forward? Whereas at least lifers, promoters who had their own money at risk, are still running the concert business. They know the bottom line. Sounds like a good idea, but WILL IT PAY OFF?

Confidence cannot be instilled by others. No one else can prop you up. It’s internal.

That’s right, so many of those fluffing up the external are weak internally, incredibly insecure. If someone is boasting, they’re usually losing.

Ever hang with the rich and famous, the powerful? The amazing thing is almost all of them play it down. They don’t talk business, they don’t talk their accomplishments.

Furthermore, they know it’s about relationships. Which is why if you ever meet someone further up the totem pole become friends first, talk family, movies, anything but business. Because they hear about business all day long from people a lot more powerful than you.

And if you think you know it all, believe me you don’t.

There’s a reason people are successful.

And it’s not only because they believe in themselves, but because they work the relationships and they’re a fun hang.

Don’t try to tell me how great you are, TELL YOURSELF HOW GREAT YOU ARE!

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