Since moving out to a small town, there’s a song I keep hearing around town. While this song is popular pretty much everywhere, it’s exceptionally popular here.
It’s impossible for you NOT to have heard this tune at least once by now.
It’s repetitive as hell, sticks to the walls of your cranium like oatmeal to your ribs.
If you have kids, they’ve probably smugly sang one of the song’s hooks to you with the hopes of maximizing annoyance.
I’m talking about the YouTube smash hit, Old Town Road by Lil Nax X.
Regardless about how you feel about this song (which has almost a billion listens on YouTube if you tally up all the various uploads), the origin story is nothing short of spectacular.
See, we’re all conditioned to think that success in business is hard – that there’s some kind of magic formula.
This story proves that if there is a formula, it’s really just a bag of powders waiting to be whisked and heated into soup – just add agua.
Now this isn’t to take anything away from Nas – what he accomplished is to be applauded, but he didn’t do anything original. (We’ll get to what made it all happen in a second).
Good artists borrow, Great artists steal…
It all started with a pitstop to a stock music site where he bought the guitar hook that would go on to become iconic. He paid $30 to acquire full rights to the track.
What’s funny is the guy he bought it from didn’t even write it – he swiped it from a Nine Inch Nails song and sped it up.
So now he’s got a song ready and this is where the success comes in.
Nas would go on to put in the work…by spending an endless amount of hours orchestrating viral campaigns by coaxing people into doing memes on Twitter, TikTok and Instagram.
The memes couldn’t have been simpler, either.
It was on the TikTok app that things really started to take off as anyone looking for 15 seconds of attention was more than happy to take Nas up on his “dance to Old Town Road” challenge.
All those efforts were enough for Nas to get signed to Columbia Records – a dream millions of musicians who spend years striving, only to come up snake eyes.
But Nas wasn’t done yet. In fact, now that he had Columbia’s clout backing him up, he used that clout to get partnered with Billy Ray Cyrus, which would take the already popular Old Town Road to an entirely new level.
What Nas’ success with Old Town Road is two simple elements:
Hard Work – He wasn’t afraid to deprive himself of sleep and post endlessly across several social media platforms. He also didn’t hesitate to experiment with new promotional ideas.
Strategic Networking – Once Nas got signed to Columbia, he could’ve kicked up his cowboy boots and reveled in his success. Instead, he made a point of connecting with Billy Ray Cyrus, with whom he’d go on to TRIPLE the popularity of his song.
Now, if you’re reading this, I’m willing to bet your life situation is entirely different than Nas’.
The dude’s 19 (maybe 20 by now), lived at home while building his empire, has no kids to take care of and therefore has a far greater luxury of time than you do.
If you know you need to put in the work, but you’re short on time, perhaps you need to seek out your BIlly Ray Cyrus.