Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Successful People

This week I wanted to use the blog to talk about successful people and the things I think are stopping successful people being as successful as they could be.

Now one of the most successful businessmen of our generation is Bill Gates. Unlike a celebrity who’s film you may have seen or song you may have heard you are practically guaranteed to have used a bit of software which was made or designed by Bill Gates company Microsoft by the time you are 18. With this success though I bet you don’t talk about him as much as your favourite singer or actor even though he is richer and more successful than that singer or actor.

Now I can’t claim to be an expert on Bill Gates and how he made his money but the one thing I always see in the news is him or his company being stopped from doing something because of some legislation which says he can’t have a monopoly or become too big or strong in the market.

Now I know competition laws and other assorted business laws are put in place to benefit us the consumers and other business owners but I have always found these very restrictive. If one person can build themselves up from nothing and want to conquer an entire business sector I think they should be allowed to. It is not the successful persons fault that they make themselves bigger or more successful that other people in the market. It should be up to other people and other companies to compete and want to get better not having some legislation bringing the successful person down.

People need to be motivated and inspired to succeed not put off by legislation, red tape and bureaucracy. It’s like all the hoops people have to jump through these days to get funding or placements to further their careers. The world is getting tied down in paperwork and political correctness most of which could be ripped away by using common sense and logical ideas.

Going back to finish with Bill Gates, laws and legislations aside it seems that instead of supporting successful people these days successful people are targets for others to bring down or to try and stop from getting further ahead. From the common person to legislation makers we need to all support successful people and support people to give them the chance of being successful.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

American Idol

Hot off the heels of UK talent series X-Factor, American Idol has launched on to our screens in the UK this week. The series premiered a couple of days earlier in the states that it was aired in the UK where it is a weekly ratings winner on Fox and in a prime time slot. Here in the UK we have to tune in to ITV 2 to catch the first screenings at a decent hour or wait and hope that it is shown during the day on the main ITV channel.

I think it is brilliant to be able to see talents shows from different countries as by watching them we can make general assessments about talent levels in comparison with our own nation and know if we are falling behind.

I feel American Idol has a very different feel to UK shows like X-Factor. On American idol when they show the audition stage its edited together in a way which makes you think that all the auditionees think they are great and that the judges expect to have quality performers in front of them. As soon as they get in to the audition though it’s like the judges can’t wait to bring them down. The programme seems to be very orientated around the American Dream philosophy.

Now I’m not saying the judges don’t like bringing them down on the X-Factor but I feel our contestants on the whole have lower expectations and that the judges don’t go in expecting greatness like they do in the US. Also the way it’s edited is different to American Idol, it’s not done in the same set the contestant up for a fall type of way.

I enjoy watching both shows, as I love seeing the talented people shine through. It’s also good to see different types of talent and different voices shine. In the UK the voices are influenced by Pop and Indie whereas in the US it’s more of a Country, Gospel, Classic Rock influence.

The one thing about these shows that scares me is burnout. I will always want to see talent shows on TV but with the constant 12 month cycle of talent/celebrity shows the ITV have at the moment they will soon lose their appeal to the masses. As soon as a talent shows loses its appeal to the masses then there is little point to it. On ITV you can almost tell beforehand without seeing adverts what the next series is going to be when the current one finishes as we cycle through shows like Dancing on Ice, Soapstar Superstar, I’m a Celebrity, Britain’s Got Talent, X-Factor, American Idol etc. I know the BBC aren’t much better in this respect with their dance and musical programmes.

I will leave you with one last thought. I know we all like to be entertained but when you are laughing at the auditionees who maybe not so good as others remember they are human beings and are brave for giving it a go on national TV.

As part of our discussion topic of the week we would love to hear your thoughts on American Idol. Have you caught the first few episodes? What do you think? Do you prefer it to X-Factor? We want to know, follow the link to join in:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Downloading Music on the Internet

This week British Record Label EMI have announced they are to cut 2,000 jobs worldwide to cut costs in the face of falling CD sales and the problems encountered with the new digital music era. In light of this news I am going to give you my take on the current state of the worldwide music scene and what I think needs to be and can be done to help young people in the music industry.

I think that the music scene was always going to see casualties and a lot of money expended by companies in the transition between CD being the leading format to Digital Downloads taking the helm. This will only be a short term financial problem as when Digital Downloads, MP3’s and MP3 players are as common in the home as CD Players and CD’s have been over the last decade then the Record Labels will have the chance to reap higher profits through smaller distribution and production costs.

The brilliance of the new digital age is that it has levelled the playing field for smaller record labels and up and coming artists that can’t afford to do a full CD release. Now smaller artists can be made available to download and purchase on the same websites that the bigger more recognised artists are on whereas they may never have been able to get themselves on the same high street shop shelves as the big artists.

The main problem with making music available to download on the Internet is that millions of people each day are finding ways to illegally download and trade music for free. This is taking money away from the record labels which causes them to invest less money in promoting their new or fringe artists who need that investment. Record labels will always spend money promoting their big artists and this won’t change regardless of the state of illegal downloads but it will affect the young up and coming artists.

Now I think there needs to be a place online which is regulated by the music bodies where artists and companies can post their music to be available to be downloaded for free. I think if artists released some of their music for free they would encourage more people to pay to download their more popular songs. Also it should be a place for unsigned artists to post their music for free if they wish. By having popular artists giving away the occasional track for free it would encourage more people to the site who would then see a host of free downloads for unsigned artists.

When I go to the websites and MySpace pages of up and coming artists I see a lot of them trying to sell their music on CD or legal download. I don’t blame them for wanting to make some profit after all there investment but I personally would give all my tracks for free download if I was an up and coming artist. If you ask people to pay for your tracks not many people will hear your music but if you make them available for free you will expand your fan base and improve your chances of getting signed and making big money down the road instead of making a few pounds here and there but never making it big.

Going back to Record Labels I think they need to capitalise on this new digital age. The age we live in has made it easier for young talented singer and musicians to record, produce and distribute their work so it is much easier for the record labels to scout new talent but they don’t seem to be investing time to do this.

One question I get asked a lot is how do I get signed by a record Label? To this there is no one answer as it seems that the record bales employ a million and one different ways to notice talent. I think record Labels need to be clearer on their websites and publications on how they discover new talent. I think instead of deliberately not informing people on how to get signed they should set up an address and a policies and procedures guide on how to submit demos to them and encourage people to send them in.

Remember if you are illegally downloading music on the internet you aren’t hurting the established artists the most it’s the up and coming artists you are hurting.

Do you download music on the internet? What are your thoughts on downloads over CD’s? And what are your thoughts on illegal downloading we here at Talented Young People want to know and you can share your opinion by joining in our topic of the week by going to:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Big Brother Celebrity Hijack

Last Thursday the latest series of Big Brother kicked off but with a twist this time instead of the housemate being celebrities they are a group of talented young people who could go on to be celebrities. Some of the housemates include a MoBo nominated singer, the Chairman of the Scottish Youth Parliament and one of the top young fashion designers in the world who have had their work showcased at New York Fashion week. You may remember we broke the news on this series many months ago on the blog when the production company were looking for housemates but now I am going to talk about how the series is going.

The first we need to ask ourselves is would this series be going ahead in this format this year if it wasn’t for last year’s race row? And if it wasn’t for last years race row would this series still be on Channel 4 and not E4? All the questions aside no young person with talent can’t afford to look a gift horse in the mouth and need to seize on opportunities when they arrive, so even though it’s only on E4 I’m so glad this series is happening.

Now down to the format of the new show. Instead of like previous series of Celebrity Big Brother when the celebrities were housemates this year they are not in the house and unlike previous series of the regular version Big Brother is no longer in control. The Celebrities are now in control of the house playing the role of Big Brother. Celebrities take it in turn each day to set tasks for the housemates and to listen to their problems.

Now to get the viewing ratings they have to use celebrities which has shown by the drop in viewing ratings from last years Celeb Big Brother by not having celebrities in the house itself. Saying this though for my personal tastes they pay too much attention to the celebrities well at least they did in the first night instead of putting the focus on the housemates but again I understand why they do this. I would have much preferred for them to have put some of the celebrities in to the house as I think this would have been an interesting learning experience for the housemates.

Going in to the show you knew that it was a reality show and that was going to be a fundamental part of the show so the producers were going to want to create conflict and interesting situations to keep the general public gripped. I am however loving the conversations in the house that centre around their talents and how they got to where they are today with them all seeming interested in each others achievements and learning from them. They really seem to be inspiring each other which I think is going to be a positive effect of the show.

I cannot however recommend the show to our younger viewers as there are some things on the show which aren’t suitable to the young audience. The one thing that the young housemates need to remember is that they have all worked hard to get their talent to the stage it is now so it is important they don’t let any of their actions on the show takeaway from what they have already achieved or to hinder their future development as sometimes what has taken years to build up can be taken down in a matter of seconds. On the other hand if the housemates are able to communicate positive messages about themselves to the audience at home their time spent on the show may help accelerate their path towards their dream.

I think it’s great that these young faces will now be known on a larger scale and on a scale they deserve but I just hope this programme doesn’t harm any of them in their pursuit of their dream. The longer the young housemates stay on the show and the more pressure they are put under I hope they don’t act in a way in the heat of the moment that may put them in a bad light.

What do you think of Big Brother? Are you enjoying the new series? Please let us know by getting involved on our topic of the week in the forum by going to:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year everyone and welcome to 2008. Most of the world were out partying last night to bring in the New Year and with that has probably brought a lot of tired people this morning, as I write this blog it is 10am on the 1st of January and I have already been up for four hours.

With much of the day wasted for many recovering from the night before it is important that we don’t let this become the norm or else before you know it we will be celebrating 2009 and you will again look back on another year which promised so much but delivered so little. The truth is life only delivers on what you have put in and you need to make sure that 2008 and every year after is one which delivers great things for you.

Today will see many New Year’s Resolutions made which will include everything from dieting to choosing a new hobby. The two problems I have with many New Year’s Resolutions are that many of them are made in areas of your life which are either not that important and the other problem is that most New Year’s Resolutions are soon broken with many not lasting for more than day let alone a year.

New Year’s Resolutions should be made in areas which are going to change your life and help you achieve your dreams. The only thing I can is that if you have chosen a New Year’s Resolution which isn’t linked to achieving your dream is that if you stick to it you can use that power and sense of determination to help you in the important areas of your life as it shows you have that dedication to achieve great things.

The people in life that achieve great things in life don’t need to wait for New Year’s to come around to set themselves goals and targets. The people that achieve are the ones that can set themselves these challenges at any time of day or year. Just telling everyone your New Year’s Resolution isn’t good enough if you don’t follow through on it. It’s better not to tell anyone and go out there and do it than tell the world and then not achieve it. Promises and threats of actions are worthless unless you put in the action to back them up. If you can use New Year’s as a motivator use it but don’t rely on it.

It’s like me the other day I decided it was time to see what my body was capable of and how fit I could actually get so I started what I call the 6am club. I could have waited to New Year’s day to make a resolution but this was something I wanted to do for me right now so yesterday I got up at 6am and went on a run something which I will be now doing everyday for the foreseeable future. On top of this I have cut out all fatty and sugary snacks opting for three square healthy meals a day. I could go and run at anytime but by doing it at 6am it is more of a challenge and shows how dedicated I am to do it so to me the 6am club represents dedicating yourself to achieving your goals.

If getting healthy and getting fit are your objectives then you need to know that no book or diet plan is going to help you get fit and healthy. The only thing which is going to get you fit and healthy is your determination without it a diet is useless. At the end of the day to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you are consuming plain and simple it’s not rocket science.

Don’t let 2008 be a year closer to retirement with no more achieved. The time we get here on earth is short and precious and it goes by far too quickly whatever you do don’t let it pass you by. Make 2008 the year where everything changed for you and the one you can look back on and say was the year that changed your life.

At New Year’s people like to reflect on what they have achieved in the past year but don’t sit back admiring your achievements. What I have achieved so far doesn’t excite me nearly as much as what I know I can achieve.

This is your chance to change your life, take it, you’ve only got one life and you have got to live it to the full if you don’t want to end up with years of regrets and no chance of doing anything about them.

Do you want to share what you have planned for 2008, what you are going to achieve and how you are going to do it? Well then head over to our forum and get involved in our topic of the week by clicking the link below:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"