I had dinner on Friday night with Charlie Heat and his manager / business partner, Xavier Champagne.

Charlie produced one of my favorite Kanye West records – Facts – so when I saw he subscribed to AoaM, I was excited to create together.

His and Xavier’s production company is called House of 99. When I asked them what it meant, I learned a valuable lesson –┬áThe 99 stands for the fact we will always be one step below perfection.

Our best will never be 100% perfect, even when our success is beyond our wildest expectations, such as Tom Brady never dreaming of playing in 9 Super Bowls!

Michael Jordan may have never lost an NBA Finals, but he still missed over 9000 shots and lost hundreds of games. The point is we all lose.

How those losses sharpen our vision and intention is what determines our character and our ability to win every day. Since failure is inevitable, we must embrace it and use it as a stepping stone to empower our future.

Another topic we discussed intensely at the dinner is quantity vs. quality, which I have covered several times before. My favorite quote on the topic comes from my former co-worker, Wade Davis, “Quality is subjective, quantity is for certain.”

An artist can’t control what the fans will think of their music, but they can control how often they entertain them with it.

Charlie brought up a great point though – Regardless if an artist is releasing frequently, what is most important is they are working every day. He’s making dozens of ideas every day, regardless if they come out or not.

You don’t have to release hundreds of songs, but are you still making them? If you want to be the best, you need to be constantly creating in order to get your reps in and refine your craft.

In other words, even if the public isn’t coming to see MJ play every day, was he still getting his shots in? Kobe was. Deliberate practice is necessary to play at the highest level in most industries, especially in sports and music where competition is so fierce.

Are you getting your shots in when nobody is watching? That’s a tell of success on the horizon.

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