As I have shared many times before I started interning at WBLK when I was 16 years of age, I was only in high school. I never forget hearing the commercial that WBLK was looking for college students to intern. I knew I wasn’t a college student but I applied anyways. I came in for the interview and got the internship. Since then they couldn’t get me out of the place after that. I could go into detail of how the interview went because I remember it like yesterday or how the internship was but I want to get straight to my point.
Along my journey I interned in several places WBLK, Channel 7 WKBW, Black Entertainment Television and CNN. But when I interned my first year at BET in 2007 I got a hold of a book called From Intern to President “Make It Happen” by Kevin Liles which changed the whole game for me. I always had a Go Getta spirit to go after my dreams but this book put my thought process and perspective into overdrive.
From intern to president in 1991, Kevin Liles accepted an unpaid internship at Def Jam Records, working under Lyor Cohen.. Cohen became a mentor, and by 1998, Liles had risen all the way to the top position at Def Jam President and CEO. Liles’ meteoric climb from urban street kid with hip-hop aspirations to one of the most successful and influential executives in the music industry is far more than a rags-to-riches story. It is a tribute to Liles’ incredible work ethic, wisdom and confidence in doing his thing his way.
What I took from this book was the 10 Rules that can lead you and guide you in this entertainment business. The rules are; Rule 1 Find your will, Rule 2 Do You, Rule 3 Walk this way, Rule 4 Create a Blue Print, Rule 5 Play your position, Rule 6 Embrace the struggle, Rule 7 Get Connected, Rule 8, Step outside your box, Rule 8 Don’t let cash rule and Rule 10 Flex Purpose, Not Power. Now let me be the first to say this is not a how to book but more of a guide to show you that it is possible. Kevin Liles is a testament that dreams can come true through hard work and tenacity. So if you haven’t had a chance to read this book, go get a copy and read it today.
And in the words of my uncle in my head Kevin Liles “ You’ve got to use that will you’ve just found to push until you’ve knocked down that door. There’s no doorman with white gloves on waiting to open that door for you. You can’t just walk right in, no matter how perfect you think you might be for the job.” Ask, Seek, Knock you have to be a Go Getta. Follow your dreams and make it happen!
Much love ADRI.V