Niraj Kapur as a teenager in a field, in front of an old car

Lessons learned as a failed rock star

A photographer contacted me on Facebook saying he had pictures of me as a teenager – and that it would be in my best interest to contact him 😱 For a moment, I panicked. At my age, I can't remember what happened yesterday, let alone 30+ years ago.

Then he explained the pictures were from 1990 when I avoided university to fulfil my dreams of becoming the ultimate rock star.

The first Indian Bon Jovi 🎵🎸🎤🎶

It made me think back to my teenage years with a mixture of pride and angst.

Here’s my journey and how it relates to business and sales.

  1. Do it for the right reasons

I wanted to be rich, successful and popular because I got bullied at school and had strict Indian parents that never let me do what I wanted. The quality of music always came second. Like many young people, I thought money and fame was the route to happiness. It’s not, so don’t focus on the wrong things in life.

2. Invest in a coach

I was a competent piano player, a great drummer and a good songwriter. My singing was off-key. Producers took my savings and nobody told me I needed improving. I knew nothing about how to succeed or do business in the music industry. I should have hired a coach. When I see people failing in sales and LinkedIn, it’s because they don’t invest in themselves and always make excuses.

3. Develop Emotional Intelligence

After a year of getting rejected by every record label and the days before any music sharing or internet, I gave up. Unemployment followed, which led to anger, self-pity, shame and depression. Two years of my life gone. It’s okay to be upset when you fail. Don’t waste years, months or even a day feeling sorry for yourself. Reading books on stoicism and understanding mental health makes a huge impact. You can learn more about vision boards here.

4. Surround Yourself With Great People

I tried to do everything myself. I reached out to nobody because I was embarrassed to ask for help. Now I have a strong network of LinkedIn connections who advise, support and take me higher. Always surround yourself with good people and avoid complainers and energy vampires.

5. Have A Purpose Bigger Than You

If you live for your work, you will burn out. The rejections also affect you more. We are not built to work. At the same time, you have to work hard. Find something bigger than you to work for like family or making the world better.

Niraj Kapur sitting on steps, looking at the camera

Niraj Kapur is a LinkedIn Top Voice, keynote speaker, and trusted LinkedIn coach and sales trainer. If you want to get better results in 2023 for yourself, your business or have me speak at your event please get in touch.