Catch a decision maker off guard with your willingness to walk away and they’ll lean into what you have to offer.
In 2010 Music World Entertainment hired me to motivate their staff to “do what the competition is not willing to do.” MWE’s founder, Mathew Knowles helped his daughters Beyonce and Solange Knowles build their careers. First guiding Destiny’s Child then managing two successful solo careers.
From the age of 10, Max Poscente made it clear he would be a professional musician. I brought him to Houston to check out his dad's speech while he might gain some insight from the rest of the agenda. COO John Cawley was the first to recognize Max's potential and suggested my pre-teen son perform his own music while everyone ate lunch. Max rarely played covers back then.
Mathew jumped up, “Max how about you come down to Houston in a month or two and we’ll record one of your songs? Would you like that? Come to my office at the end of the day and we’ll talk about it.”
Waiting in the lobby, as the setting sun peeked through the window, Max insisted we should leave because “Mr. Knowles wouldn’t get my music.”
I encouraged Max to hear Mr. Knowles out. It was a fascinating conversation as Max finally admitted, “Mr. Knowles, I appreciate your interest, but I don’t think this will work. I just don’t think you’ll get my music.”
Mathew went from tilting back to leaning forward. He started selling Max on why he would be good for Max’s music career.
Skip ahead to Mathew and his A&R team flying up to Dallas to see Max’s band rehearse plus the makings of a 360-degree deal. At that time Beyonce wanted to spread her wings. She left MWE. With this tectonic change, Max, Mathew, and John continued their friendship as each went their separate ways.
I think back to that time, 12 years ago, when a music icon went from a gracious posture to a let’s-do-this vibe.
Here’s to friends knowing what they want and going for it.
#DecisionMakers #Beyonce #MusicWorld #setbacktobreakthrough