MADEUS Consider Erykah Badu for example, and her messages of freedom, that pair so beautifully with her vocal talents. Or activists like Malcolm X, whose message was able to survive through his way with words, and his ability to capture attention, and empower. Understanding the Landscape Become a student to your craft, and industry. It is nearly imperative that you understand the history of the landscape, as well as the what’s now. Look for the trends, but be sure to look for the gaps, and understand where or how you could fill them. Think of how you could do things differently than the norm, how you could disrupt the norm, while moving with intention. Understanding this landscape, also gives you a better positioning, to predict what’s next, and either create that change, or spearhead it. In parallel paths, study all of the key players, and the game changers. Study the people in your industry, who embody goals, for your mission. Here, you mainly want to study how they are maneuvering through the industry. Also study how they have gotten to the point they’re at now, and what steps they took in order to get there. Across all industries there is usually a certain set of things that you need to do or steps you need to take in order to break into it. Determine what those are, and if you could disrupt them. As you meticulously study the landscape of your industry, constantly keep in mind the ways in which you could innovate and activate within that space. what you will use, in order to create your blueprint. Turn those initial thoughts from the section above into actions or steps. From there, look into your research of the gaps in the industry, and consider ways in which you can fill them. Maybe even turn how you fill that gap, into your point of difference, or your way of standing out. Creating Your Blueprint Now that you’ve gathered all of the information you need, it’s time to put your strategy together. As you’re crafting this, it’s important to be intentional. Remember back to your purpose and mission, allow for them to guide your strategy. Start with what your objective is, and work backwards. If your mission is to get your music into the ears of as many people in your audience as possible, consider the steps you need to take in order to get there, and combine this with your knowledge of the industry landscape. Your understanding of the landscape, is made-magazine.com | 56 Be sure to spend a considerable amount of time at the foundation, so that no matter what you build on top of it, it’ll always be on rooted and grounded. Which should be based in intention and purpose. For your foundation, consider this like the storytelling of how you want to be perceived. Also, when creating this blueprint, rest in the spirit of take, in opposed to the spirit of ask. You are not asking for what you want, but are taking what you deserve and what you came for. While it may seem extensive, carving out your own opportunities isn’t just a quick one step process. Especially, if you want to be based in purpose, and experience longevity, you have to play the long game.