Friday, June 26, 2009

What Defines Success - Michael Jackson

I was watching Kathie Lee and Hoda on the 4th Hour of The Today Show, and Kathie Lee was talking about how Michael Jackson had so much success but died billions of dollars in debt. She then asked "what defines success?" I believe that you define your own success no matter who you are.

Michael was about to embark on a Global Tour and had sold out 50 shows with a kick off in London (more than 750k tickets were sold!!). For A guy who in the media's eyes went from the "King of Pop" to "Whacko-Jacko," I would say Michael is an ICON that will continue to have success even in death.

I have written several posts in the past about success. In June I wrote "I got to thinking about Success and what makes people successful. I feel like its a formula. There is a big difference between people who achieve and people who don't. People who achieve approach things differently than those that don't. They also use lots of common sense, are consistent, have confidence and most importantly - they have PERSISTENCE. And they won't be defeated."

I've also written about Talent, you know when you have it. And MJ has had it since he was a little boy. He was a musical genius, with a complicated life. The whole world has been shocked and saddened by his untimely death. Millions of fans all over the world will be celebrating his success in the music world. Big success like Michael Jackson's comes with such things that you and I could not ever begin to understand. He lived oftentimes a very lonely life and spent way beyond his means. Tears and tributes are all we have now for the man with a gentle soul that touched people all over the world with his gift to music.

While Michael had many bumps in his road map, his blueprint for success can't be matched. Was he desperate to prove to the world that he could still have super star status? I worked with Michael Jackson back in 2002, when I was a Talent Producer for Dick Clark's American Bandstand's 50th Anniversary Show. I was able to attend a private rehearsal where Michael Jackson was dancing with his dancers. There were 5 people watching, and I was one of them. At the end of his rehearsal he got down on his butt and started fussing with his foot. When I asked Larry Klein what he was doing, he told me he had a broken foot. I was amazed - because I would never have known by the way he danced. I was privileged to see what really went on behind the scenes when Michael Jackson entered the building! Fans followed him in packs, oftentimes putting their own lives at risk (like jumping in front of one of his caravans in the middle of the road or hiding out inside the theater for a chance meeting with the King of Pop). Cher spoke about that show on CNN yesterday, and how odd his behavior had become. I remember thinking "why is he covering his kids up with blankets like he was?" Quite possibly for their own safety.

In my eyes, he still is #1 and he is the definition of SUCCESS. But we each as individuals define our own success. You don't have to be a superstar in the music industry to be a success. Success means different things to different people. You define your own success, so create your success the way you see it. We salute a musical legacy.


Eli Davidson said...

What an utterly compelling post! It is so clear that you are a profoundly successful person engaged in making those around you....a success!

Eli Davidson said...

Great post!!!

So wise and insightful you are Ms. Dunn

Tami said...

Fabulous post, Nic! I could actually hear you saying the words you were writing. Well done!