This is the length of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, rock star, Freddie Mercury and Queen’s first hit single in 1975. 6 minutes that launched them on their path to international fame that continues even today.
This week I heard a radio interview with someone who knew Freddie Mercury well at college and it got me thinking about the practices that Freddie Mercury implemented to engineer this success. Practices which are relevant whether you’re looking to achieve a personal or a business goal.
The journey towards attaining your goals only starts when you know what you want to achieve and you make the vision so tangible, that you find a way to make it a reality.
Freddie Mercury (formerly Farrokh Bulsara) embraced his vision to make it in the music industry. Having been born in Zanzibar and schooled in India, he travelled to the UK as a young adult, where he attended a technical college. Although studying art, he always referred to himself as a rock star and even included this in his passport as his occupation. He literally was living his dream.
When you follow your passion, there will be some people who will be critical – perhaps this is an indication that you are in fact on the right path.
Freddie enthusiastically participated in a series of bands – one of them a band called Wreckage, which was unsuccessful. There were some who believed that Freddie could not sing and ironically when he approached Queen to replace their singer; Queen guitarist, Brian May, initially rejected him.
Ever determined and not disheartened by previous failures, Freddie eventually secured his position within Queen and became their driving force.
Warren Buffett, CEO and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, is one of the world’s wealthiest individuals, and in 2012, Time magazine named him one of the most influential people. He says, “It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behaviour is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.”
Although an art student, Freddie Mercury constantly mingled with the music students. In fact, he met David Bowie when Bowie bought clothing from a second-hand clothing stall that Freddie had set up in the Kensington market.
Whether you are developing your own personal brand or you’re building a business, you need to find a differentiator, a unique quality or service for which you can become known.
Freddie Mercury understood this essential principle of marketing and using his art knowledge, he developed story boards of how Queen should be perceived on stage. He changed his surname from Bulsara to Mercury and developed a flamboyant stage persona. This highly theatrical style became his trade mark.
Find different ways in which you can show case your strength. If you are an expert in your field, write articles and get them placed in industry online and off line media; capitalise on any opportunities to position yourself as a speaker in your field.
Although Mercury was Queen’s lead vocalist, he played the piano for many of their songs. He also composed 10 of the 17 songs on Queen’s Greatest Hits album. Freddie claimed that he could barely read music, and wrote most of his compositions on the piano. He certainly optimised on his skills.
Successful people never stagnate – they are constantly reinventing themselves. They understand that this is a prerequisite for staying at the top of their game. As international media tycoon, Rupert Murdoch, states, “Fortune favours the bold.”
Freddie Mercury was known for always wanting to do things bigger and better. This was probably a key ingredient of Queen’s success and accounted for their continued popularity.
The band was the first ever to perform in South American stadiums and they also played behind the Iron Curtain.
In 2009 the other Queen members argued with Freddie that they could not record a song claiming that, “We Are the Champions of the World.” Freddie won over his fellow band members and the song went on to be an international hit with a ground breaking promotional video, which practically invented the music video.
Freddie Mercury found the 6 minute activity that would fast track him on his path to fulfilling his vision. In 2012, long after his death, “Bohemian Rhapsody” topped the list of an ITV nationwide poll in the UK to find “the nation’s favourite number one song” over 60 years of music.
Is there a particular activity which is going to fast track and propel you towards your goals?
Please leave your thoughts below. I’d love to hear your feedback.