Students Lexi Giannandrea and Michelle Golden from the global entertainment and music business master’s program reflect upon the third of the Music Business Seminars, where they had the chance to listen to Robert Kraft talk about ‘Entertainment Connectivity’.
From the day we were born we have been taught to always think about our next step.
As babies, we were anxiously waiting for the first word to come out of our babbling mouths. When we finally reached pre-school, the next step was thinking about kindergarten. When we made it to kindergarten, before we knew it, it was time for first grade. When fifth grade came around, we were basically running the elementary school. Then we had to try to make it through middle school, and then came high school, which included bad acne, poor hairstyle choices, and green braces. High school became years of teachers drilling into our heads that the college essay we wrote, the SAT scores we received, the GPA inscribed on our transcript, would determine where we would spend the next four years.
Four years of college are now over and a couple years of work experience under our belt. We can all agree that each of us individually decided our next step was grad school. But even now as we memorize financial formulas, learn about the ever-changing business we all see a future in from knowledgeable professionals in the industry, and compete to win each of Emilien’s challenges, we still can’t help but ask ourselves: what’s next and how will we get there? Because in 8-9 months, that “next” moment will be at our front door and we’ll all be looking for the big red sign that says ‘THERE.’
Robert Kraft, an award-winning American songwriter, film composer, recording artist and record producer and Former President of Fox Music, asked us one Friday morning, “How do you get there?” As he stood there, with a stoic look of contemplation, pausing in between sentences and carefully selecting his words, he wasn’t expecting us to answer, but, instead, answered his own question by sharing his experiences.
In a time of our lives when ‘there’ isn’t clearly defined for us, after years of knowing what the next step would be, we are challenged with focusing not only on our end goal but the journey itself.
Throughout his career, Kraft had learned that being brilliant is not an excuse to let pride eclipse character. In an environment where many of us are brilliant, talented, and unique, ego peeks out from time to time. Nevertheless, humility and positive attitude, when paired with our own brand of excellence, can transport us to a brilliant destination.
In order to get ‘there,’ we must allow our passions and convictions propel us. Nothing positive can occur when standing still. If we fall down, then we learn from those mistakes. Ultimately, we decide to be participants in the world or not. In the words of Kraft, “The universe will respond to clear intentions.” Putting effort in will not always guarantee the results we want, but they will guarantee results.
These results should not be misconstrued as ‘luck.’ Luck is merely a repercussion of effort and planning. The effort and planning is where we, as students, as entrepreneurs, and as artists, demonstrate our significance. This preparation can be as simple as ascertaining what skills we have to offer to a business and to a situation. Whether or not we initially realize it, we all maintain propensities to be both fierce entrepreneurs and inspired artists.
And that’s where Kraft’s term ‘entreprenartist’ comes in. Initially coined by Kraft himself, the word ‘entreprenartist’ encompasses his own innate artistic sensibility and acquired business skills.
Until recently, the terms entrepreneur and artist have seemed to be mutually exclusive. The former denotes a high-intensity objectivity of forging a successful business, while the latter alludes to an emotional, creative entity. The dichotomy between these two factions has led to the necessary development of the ‘entreprenartist.’ This delicate balance of creative animal and shrewd businessman is not merely unique to Kraft, however, but exists — to a degree — in everyone.
Kraft’s journey was, at times, unforeseeable, as is each of ours. The inspiration acquired during his presentation is undoubtedly another arrow in the quiver of the inner entreprenartist. As Kraft said, whatever you think your ‘there’ will be, it’ll probably change — or the path you thought you would take to get to that ‘there’ will be completely different to what you had envisioned.”