Tyler Perry is one of the great entertainment entrepreneurs. He has created a multi-million dollar empire, but this was not handed to him. He had his fair share of hardships growing up, including an abusive father, which contributed to him being pushed to the point of suicide at a very young age.
However, Perry, pushed through these tough times and pursued his dream of creating a play. In the video above he talks of the times he “planted his seed” and with the help of God he produced & starred in his first musical I Know I’ve Been Changed in 1992. Sounds glamourous, doesn’t it? Nope..The show cost him all his savings ($12 000), aired for just a week and attracted a whopping 30 audience members.
But that did not deter him, he continued to rework the show and took it to new cities around america. Until after a few years he was performing in front of sell out crowds. After this, he began to attract many fans and soon he starred on the big screen. He has since pursued many other entertainment avenues with much success, including creating a best selling book in 2006.
So what can we learn as Job Seekers from Tyler Perry:
1. Pursue your dream
He didn’t let anyone stop him from making a success of his first play. Even if that meant being broke and sleeping in his car.
2. Think of failure as a stepping stone
When Tyler had 30 people attend his show he worked on for years he thought of it as a bridge to success. He could gain feedback from those 30 and now had a plan to get his next 30 and beyond. Momentum is a powerful force. If you get rejected from a particular interview, ask why and use that feedback to your advantage for future interviews.
3. Product/Market fit vs Location/Skillset fit
There is a dimension to your pursuit you cannot control directly and that is your customers, in his case, his audience and in your case your recruiters. When he debuted in Atlanta he may have had the wrong audience and attempted to travel america finding the right audience. Search for companies which need your skillset. For example, Cape Town may be littered with similar skilled people to you, but you will find that a few towns over may be desperate for you.
One of Tyler’s biggest pieces of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to focus on one thing at a time. This rings true with your job search as well. You probably have many strings to your bow, but focus your job search to one particular position you enjoy most for an extended period of time.