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last night i was asked to speak to chicago college students interested in finding a job in the entertainment industry for “grammy u” which is put on by the chicago chapter of the recording academy to “educate. create. inspire.”   i shared the floor with a cool guy named david lewis who is the creative industry liaison for columbia college who I think would agree that our presentation turned into a really cool organic pro-chicago discussion that I thought many people could benefit from.  long story short, we knocked out the assumption that these kids (omg can’t believe i am calling college kids, kids- i’m getting old!) had to leave chicago for the coasts to develop…

…a resume, network, and future in the industry!  not only does it and has it always existed strong in our city from music, culinary, events, sports, theatre, film,… but the rest of the country, and the world, are especially taking notice of it right now more than ever and there is never a better time to be  a creative, developing, productive, hardworking chicagoan with respect to that!  most important though for them, and everyone else possibly in a similar position was the same and probably unexpected message we had about the importance of getting out there and networking with fellow chicagoans as aggressively yet naturally as possible, by any means necessary.  chicago isn’t as transient and cutthroat as most other big cities, we have roots, we give people much more of a chance to have a moment of time, an opportunity to make a fresh impression, to make and develop a meaningful connection if handled respectfully… i think it sort of stems from the midwest hospitality thing?  we are relationship based- and the more you make, the more support, options, and opportunities you will have when the time comes to make that move toward your ultimate goal (which each kid clearly had).  in case you didn’t know, i started as a club doorman to pay my way thru college and law school taking the time to meet every guest and making sure we exchanged names, understood each others personalities, wants, needs and potential value,… and really making sure they enjoyed the experience that I was associated with.  i always made sure i held on to that relationship always feeding it with nice gestures and communications whenever could, and always tried to let them know i was there for them if ever needed me to the best of my ability.  that lead me to where i am today.  without the constant commitment to networking, massive outreach, development of relationships, and eventual support of fellow chicagoans- none of what i do would have ever been an option to choose from, amongst all the other options that citywide effort to create relationships offered in time.  so thank you all!  i appreciate you-

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