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Do you know that the limitations you see are barriers you set in your mind?  When you set a barrier in your mind, it often times becomes your reality.  Your thoughts become your reality through meditation. I mean the more you brood about the obstacle the faster it becomes your reality. You can live a limitless life if you choose to see opportunities in every challenge life bring your way.

When you talk about big-time success in the music business in the world, the name “Motown Records” will come to mind; more especially if you were born in the 60’s and 70’s. We can comfortably talk about the success of this record label because they were able to convert their challenges to opportunities.

Motown Records was founded by Berry Gordy Jr. 1959. They were responsible for creating a new sound that changed popular music in the industry and the company grew into the most successful African American enterprise in the United States. If we must discuss the success of Motown records, then we have to study the life of Berry Gordy.

Despite the seeming limitations, Berry Gordy was able to turn his challenges to opportunities to live a limitless life. Please follow me closely as we study this enigma to know how he succeeded in the business of music. Berry Gordy Jr. was born on November 28, 1929, and was raised in Detroit, Michigan. He was not the first businessperson in the family; both parents worked for themselves, his father as a plastering contractor, his mother as an insurance agent. He had interest in music; his song “Berry’s Boogie” won him a talent contest.

Here are five core principles to learn from Berry’s life:

1. Your Starting Doesn’t Define You

No matter how you start in life, you need to know that your starting doesn’t define you. There are people who started well but finished badly and vice versa. Your major concern should be that you should finish well. Gordy dropped out of Northeastern High School during his junior year to pursue a career as a boxer. Between 1948 and 1951 he fought fifteen matches, twelve of which he won, but his boxing career was cut short when he was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army during the Korean War (1950–53; a war between North Korea and South Korea during which the United Nations and the United States helped defend South Korea).

2. You can switch careers it is never too late

You need to know that it never too late to switch careers. But you need to be decisive especially when you are not succeeding in the line of career you are right now. Gordy, as he is fondly called, understood this, when his service in the army ended in 1953, he returned to Detroit and used the money he had saved from his military pay to open a record store called the Three-D Record Mart. His love for the jazz of Stan Kenton (1912–1979), Charlie Parker (1920–1955), and Thelonius Monk (1917–1982) influenced the records he tried to sell more than his customers’ requests and his business soon failed. He failed but Gordy did not allow the failure to define his next move.

3. Pick your next job but still stay focus

Most people would have been consumed by the seeming failure like the one Gordy experienced. But Gordy new better, he worked for his father for a short period and then on an assembly line at the Ford Motor Company. He did not find the work interesting, and as he worked he wrote songs in his head, some of which were recorded by local singers. The record company Decca Records bought several of his songs, including “Reet Petite” and “Lonely Teardrops,” and when Gordy compared the money he made for writing the songs to what Decca made from the minor hits, he realized that writing the songs was not enough. He needed to own them.

4. Take the risk to make your next move

To move to the next level, you need to take a risk. At the suggestion of a friend, Gordy borrowed seven hundred dollars from his father and formed his own company to make and sell records. Motown Records was headquartered in a house on Detroit’s West Grand Boulevard, where Gordy slept on the second floor and made records on the first. In time the company grew, with nine buildings on the same street housing its various branches, such as Jobete, music publishers; Hitsville, USA, a recording studio; International Talent Management, Inc.; the Motown Artist’s Development Department (which showed Gordy’s personal interest in his performers, as this was where they were taught to eat, dress, and act like professionals); and the Motown Record Corporation.

“In The Middle Of Difficulty Lies Opportunity.”  – Albert Einstein

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