4 Work Lessons Learned From Lady Gaga’s Former Manager, Troy Carter

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So you got fired. Now what?

I am sure many of you, like me, have asked yourselves that question at some point in your career. I have been fired/let go/laid off quite a few times to the point now I automatically understand it just means that there is something new on the horizon, or I just had no business being there. I am not going to sugar coat anything; getting fired/let go/laid off is not fun. It is scary, embarrassing and a blow to the ego. Despite the negative feelings associated with being fired, you can always turn a let-down like this into a lesson and use it to build an infrastructure for future employment options.

Must Read: 6 Tips to Help Improve Your Work Relationship With Your Boss

As recently noted in an article published by Fast Company, Mr. Carter detailed his management break-up with Lady Gaga, but specifically, he noted everything he did before and after his firing to ensure his success continues, despite the setback. Here are four lessons taken from Troy Carter which may help you on your ladder to success despite being fired:

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1) Understand it Happens…Often

“The first time Troy Carter was fired, he was in his early twenties. He had grown up the kind of poor where there might be no running ¬water or bus money, in a neighborhood crawling with drugs. He’d dropped out of West Philadelphia High School at 17 to be a rapper in a group called 2 Too Many. It flopped, though it led Carter to a job with Jeff Townes and Will Smith, at the time known as DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. Carter soon became a local concert promoter for then-upstarts like Notorious B.I.G. until Smith’s business partner James Lassiter recruited Carter to Los Angeles. But Carter was cocky, more interested in success than working for it. “James called me in his office and said, ‘You gotta get your act together. This isn’t working,’”

“And Carter’s seen other lows himself: When he was in his early thirties, his first big client–the rapper Eve, whom he had spent eight years building–walked into his office one day and cut him loose. He had nothing to fall back on. The loss put him close to bankruptcy. His house was foreclosed upon, cars were repossessed, and he barely had enough cash to fill his one remaining ride with gas. The global phenomenon that became Lady Gaga? That was actually just Troy Carter standing back up.”

2) Constantly Seek New Opportunities

“He’s an investor in more than 50 startups, from Uber to Dropbox, and has elevated himself to a fixture in the tech scene, now one of the best human bridges between the complicated frenemies of Hollywood and Silicon Valley. He’s ¬acquired heady titles like Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow and UN Foundation Global Entrepreneurs Council member. “

3) Never Put All of Your Eggs in One Basket

“This helps explain why, as Gaga rose to fame, Carter methodically prepared to live without her. He doesn’t put it that way; he speaks of diversification, of curiosity, of building a stronger business. “

“Despite Pop Water, despite Silicon Valley, Troy Carter is not done managing (or ¬breaking) acts. Atom Factory has about a dozen artists, including John Legend and Lindsey Stirling; in December, post-Gaga, he signed John Mayer. He also has smaller groups such as the ceremonies, three brothers who are playing at 9 p.m. on a Tuesday night in a Hollywood Boulevard bar.”

4) It’s Business, Never Personal…So Move On

“Hemingway’s Lounge is an intimate space with vintage typewriters bolted to the walls. ‘We want to spread our art form as much as we can,” says Matthew Cook, the oldest brother, a 22- year-old whose chest hair pokes out over a cardigan. The band, he tells me, is inspired by the multimedia style of artists like David Byrne and Lady Gaga. “I’m totally envious of everything Gaga’s doing right now, working with fine artists.”

“Carter is carded as he enters the bar. He positions himself in the back, arms crossed, as the partially empty room populates. The band begins. One of the brothers onstage is shaking his hips, playing a tambourine. Carter’s foot taps. Gaga is busy making her debut at the Louvre, where an artist is replicating a series of famous paintings with the pop star as the subject. But Carter seems content to be here at this joint instead.”

Being fired or let go is never the end of the world, yet, it is just a point to press the “reset” button and go for whatever is next, or continue the edification of other ventures already under your umbrella.

Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates (www.jmaplesandassociates.com). She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.

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