I was 10 years old, and prior to arriving in London from war torn Kosovo, my dad (a music teacher) taught me how to play a melody no longer than 40 seconds. I thought I’d enter the primary school talent show, and to my surprise – I won! Walking home, I felt proud and couldn’t wait to tell my parents.
This story resonates with two kinds of people in this world – Dreamers & Realists, of which I’ve been in both sides of the spectrum. You see, there are those who dream, the artists, the actors, the painters, the ones that cannot follow the rules and create their own rules. Then there are the Realists, the critical ones, who work hard, are critical towards dreams and hopes as their primary aim is to work, always do the right thing – which to an extent I do not disagree with.
Being part of the music industry in my late teens up to my mid 20s – I was a creative dreamer and wanted to be the next record label guru, the next number 1 producer – you name it – I thought about it. The problem with this mentality is ego – you see, you start to forget your loved ones and only care about yourself and that next number 1 hit. So I gave it all up, and instead got my masters in Marketing.
University life taught me to be critical, however it also taught me that you can channel your creative energy elsewhere in other forms of art – such as writing, creating brands, consulting and much more. The Arabs have a proverb – it goes like this, “music is food for the soul” however I tweaked it to, “patience is food for the soul” which was in sync with what I was going through. Not only was I studying, but I was also working at the most stressful but highly rewarding department store – Harrods.
If I can rewind time and give my young self advice, it would be this – the key to success is balance. Hence why I live by my quote, “be Creative … act Critical”