10 Things We can All Learn from Steve Harvey
steve harvey is certainly not the first Black man to break all the rules of Hollywood and to garner massive success for his brand. Before Harvey, tyler perry a virtual unknown did the same thing and beyond going from a homeless man to earning the respect as one of the most brilliant businessmen in Hollywood. Oprah Winfrey before him, Bill Cosby, Spike Lee, Denzel Washington, Will Smith and even those we may not realize made an impact on the industry with their own brands in the 70s like Rudy Ray Moore. Many people don’t realize Moore, for example, owned and distributed his own movies and music because Hollywood refused to. For those of us who are black and who understand how the Hollywood machine works, we know that we are behind the 8-ball from gate. To Hollywood’s benefit perhaps they are not as racist as they are ignorant of how the black community works. In addition, we don’t have the leverage, other blacks or the contacts to open doors for us in Hollywood even when we bring the money and the audience, Hollywood thinks the only way for anything black to succeed it has to be coupled with something white and the white has to be in the dominant position. tyler perry has proven Hollywood wrong time and again which is why they don’t like him and without a doubt he has forced the door of opportunity open for other blacks like steve harvey to make an impact. Truth be told, most of us would have given up long before many of the people above as all that glitters ain’t gold. We’re sure steve harvey has an amazing story to tell but the question is, will he ever tell it? The WHOLE story we mean, and even if he doesn’t, there are some things that are just as plain to see. They are listed below:
1. Make Your OWN Rules
We would sincerely doubt that there were not people in Steve’s life who told him he could never achieve what he has achieved. Growing up in the certain parts of the black community we are not often privy to people who are legally successful so we are either forced to make our own rules or wait for someone to show us… which could take a lifetime.
2. Believe in Yourself and What you Do
One thing about steve harvey that has always been obvious is his incredible level of confidence.
3. Don’t Leave Your Fate in Somebody Else’s Hands
One of the reasons Steve has been so successful in radio is because he did what many of us (radio people) didn’t do, he created his own opportunities by shopping his brand around and starting from the top at WGCI in Chicago, market #3. Most radio people have to work their way UP to mornings for years from an unknown small market but that’s where Steve started.
4. KNOW Your Value
Coming up in urban radio,many of us were told by several bitter mom and pop owners that we should be glad to have a job and that white radio stations would never hire us. That was the truth and a lie at the same time. Few of us ever get jobs on the pop or CHR side but the mom and pops should have been glad to have US for the little money they were paying and the work conditions. This was a horrible way to destroy a young black announcers’ self worth. Never accept demeaning things that other people say about you because they can’t see what you see and never accept the first offer for anything especially when someone comes to YOU. If they come to YOU they already KNOW your value the question is do YOU? Steve could have given up after his failed attempt at Radio One but he went to their competitor iHeartmedia (formerly Clear Channel) and told Cathy Hughes’ company to “Kiss my Entire Ass.” Cathy was not fond of Steve’s disrespect but she’s probably kicking herself IN the ass for letting him go. As much as we respect Tom Joyner, Steve is the one who we would have put our money on.
5. Find a Hole and Fill it
Urban radio morning shows have always done well in various markets and there was a time that there were MANY Steve Harvey’s working in black radio in the 60s and 70s. Some of those guys made MORE than black announcers TODAY but radio consultants destroyed the urban radio announcer’s brand as well as urban radio in the 70s. If it’s not evident yet, we don’t like consultants. Urban radio never needed them. After they destroyed urban radio most of us were boring and allowing “the music to be the star” as the consultants directed radio stations to do. So as successful as urban radio morning shows were, they were also stale. Comedians didn’t have to play by the rules they were ALREADY stars walking into the station PROVING that radio consultants are a waste of time and money and they were wrong! These days, you don’t hear about consultants as much anymore since syndicated radio has taken over at urban. Thus proving the announcer IS and can be the star. Steve saw that hole and filled it.
6. Surround Yourself with the Right People
Trust and support from those around you are by far THE most important traits that help a person climb the ladder of success. As quiet as it’s kept, Steve made some moves with people he had to get rid of that didn’t sit well with him publicly… but it’s obvious that he had to do what he had to do in order to continue to grow.
7. Timing is Everything
Opportunity is a very strange thing, without warning it can come knocking repeatedly or it may remain aloof for decades, the question is are we READY for it? Harvey has been prepared and he has succeeded with every (public) opportunity that has come his way over the last five years. Each success creates MORE opportunities. One has to wonder how he can do so much but he has a very powerful team behind him too. Your TEAM should have been number 11 but we figured 10 was enough.
8. Be Prepared for an Opportunity
As we said above Steve does this and we are sure that he keeps a large slice of the pie for his success for himself. He would be a fool to be as successful as he is without being a savvy businessman.
9. Create Your Own Opportunity
The person who is bold enough to create their own opportunity is the one who will win the greatest prize. People like Steve know how Hollywood works and there is an ENDLESS line of black actors and actresses who constantly complain about the lack of opportunities for blacks in Hollywood. Steve surely understands the level of truth to that by the way he cast his movie Think Like a Man. It is rare that you see many movies these days with almost an entire black cast and according to Hollywood, they don’t succeed. People like Steve, Tyler and several others have proven that’s a flat out lie. It’s great the he creates opportunities for himself AND for others.