Introducing… Our New Mogul for 2012!
The inspiration for the Mogul Mindset eblasts (the name of our weekly newsletter) came from the Richard Branson autobiography, “Losing my Virginity.” This compelling story contained many lessons which anyone who aspired to achieve big things in any field, including entertainment, could apply to their own career paths. Richard Branson has a way of thinking – strategic, methodical, and expansive - which seems to define his work style and decision-making. Four key characteristics were explained in this post.
Last year, Jay Z was added to the Your Industry Insider honorary board of directors. He, too, had made bold, calculated moves from an early age which led him to his current position as hip-hop superstar performer and producer, and multimillionaire entrepreneur. Here’s the post on Jay Z’s career path.
Your Industry Insider is proud to add a third member to the honorary board: host, producer, and brand ambassador Ryan Seacrest. His path to mogul-dom was as different from Richard Branson’s and Jay Z’s as those two were to each other’s. However, there are some similarities and Seacrest’s path has definitely led him to a position in the industry which warrants him a seat at this table.
Unlike the previous members of the honorary Your Industry Insider board of directors, Ryan Seacrest has yet to write a book about his career. This means we’re forced to rely on quotes, information conveyed in interviews, and bios on the “American Idol” site and others. Luckily, there is no shortage of information to be found on Ryan Seacrest’s professional past, current endeavors, and plans for the future.
Here are some of the specific lessons from Seacrest’s career that you can apply to your own path to mogul-dom:
Develop your core passions and exploit them. Often when you find out about someone ultrasuccessful, they seem to have appeared on the scene overnight. But though there are very occasionally overnight successes in entertainment (often thanks to the flukishness of reality TV stardom), the real success stories frequently start with an early enthusiasm worked on in obscurity before being recognized and brought to a larger audience.
In Ryan Seacrest’s case, his hosting duties started with practice radio shows done as a pre-teen at home into a cassette recorder. An internship at a top Atlanta radio show turned into slot as a fill-in night DJ and then a college job hosting an ESPN game show. By the time he landed his first radio DJ job in Los Angeles at age 20, he’d been working in entertainment for four years.
Identify relevant role models and follow in their footsteps. Seacrest has taken this to a literal degree, with “American Top 40” founder and first host, Casey Kasem, and host and longtime mogul Dick Clark being early influences. He became the host of “AT40” in 2004 and is now a co-host of Dick Clark’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.” He also married the top 40 DJ side of his career with the TV host side when he landed the hosting duties at “American Idol,” which has a lot of the same attributes as the show Dick Clark broke through on, “American Bandstand.” (Music-themed, youth-oriented.)
Branch out. When hosting “American Idol” made him into a household name and a recognized commodity in the industry, he did not relax into that role as his sole pursuit. That is when he took over “AT40” and also replaced DJ Rick Dees on a popular morning drive radio show which was subsequently named “On Air With Ryan Seacrest.” He has been quoted as having a fear of turning into a has-been the way some of the stars from his childhood did, but whatever the reason, he is going on all cylinders.
Diversify. This is a big one and I don’t think you can be a mogul without multiple pursuits. When he became a core draw as host “American Idol,” he recognized the opportunity it afforded him not just as a performer. “It allows me the exposure and the access to the public and to the executives in our business,” he told Esquire magazine. This is when he branched out into producing, eventually landing a $21 million with the E! Network to develop, produce and host a variety of programs. Not bad for a 32 year-old.
Look ahead. In Fortune magazine, Seacrest recently commented on the future of entertainment: “We’re seeing platform, technology, and content all converging, and it’s happening quickly,” he said. “It’s exciting to me. There’s an appetite for more original content than ever, and I have a company that creates content, whether it’s distributed in short form, reality form, live form, or game form.” Like the other moguls on the board, Seacrest has used his vision, his talent, his savvy, and his blood, sweat, and tears to develop a career on the cutting edge of his field.
Welcome to the board, Ryan Seacrest! We look forward to seeing where you go in the years to come!
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