You may consider this blog a sequel to “An Author’s #1 Enemy.”
I remember when I first discovered Tyler Perry. DVDs of his plays would come into our house. Hopefully purchased *fingers crossed*, many borrowed, and we fell in love with Tyler Perry.
This was when the now movie mogul was doing the “chicken circuit” in the “black areas” of the South, East Coast, L.A. and the like. The only actors we recognized were the likes of Tamela Mann and any other who might have previously sung with Kirk Franklin and the Family (back when Kirk was still singing on his albums—a LONG time ago).
I wasn’t the only one who got introduced to Mr. Perry this way. Black folks across America did. Some of you reading this probably did.
Then, even in his humble beginnings, we became part of Tyler Perry’s tribe.
Now look at him! He’s just released a blockbuster hit, Temptation based on his stage play “The Marriage Counselor.” He’s got a new drama series (translation = soap opera) on OWN called The Haves and the Have Nots, is doing some Madea-Sophia collaborations with Oprah which is a stupidly-brilliant idea, joining the Madea and The Color Purple franchises the way they are, and that’s just this summer!
And guess what, he’s not just catering to black people now!
The man is literally creating a new, minority-friendly Hollywood in Atlanta and there’s no stopping him now.
You don’t have to like him, but you must respect the hustle.
But if you ask me, it all started with the bootleg DVDs.
Now pleeeease hear me, I am NOT supporting piracy. However, I AM promoting free, worthwhile gifts from your entity to the world.
If you are a writer, you can write an eBook or manifesto. (I’ll blog on manifestos next.)
If you are a singer, you can drop a mixtape.
If you are a choreographer, you can teach a free bootcamp.
Whatever your specific niche is, you can discover a way to serve your gift for free.
(This is also a really great way to gather honest testimonials on your work.)
Here’s the key: what you give away must be of undeniable value to the recipients.
Think about it: if you give away your mixtape or eBook to 5; 50; 500; or 5,000 people, that’s 5; 50; 500; or 5,000 people who wouldn’t have been exposed to your work otherwise.
AND if your product is of value to those people, they’ll pass the word along—or the product itself—to those in their acquaintance. The possibilities are astronomical.
I’m not promising that you’ll become the next Tyler Perry, C.S. Lewis, or Laurieanne Gibson; however, I will promise what the Scripture promises: that if you are diligent, your gift will make room for you and bring you before influential individuals.
A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men. (Proverbs 18:16)
He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. (Proverbs 10:4)
The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor. (Proverbs 12:24)
The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty. (Proverbs 21:5)
Create something of value to give away today!!