WAIT

Wait. Something nobody likes to do. It's irritating, it's stressful, and it takes soooo long! For anyone who is trying to pursue goals or do anything special in life, waiting can be one of the most frustrating things to go through. But, it's through the "WAIT" process that we achieve the development that propels us towards and helps us flourish in the "Success" stage. This is one of my longest but probably one of my most inspirational Jonez blogs. If you need some encouragement, it'd be worth your time to "WAIT" it out and read the whole thing :) 

Today (6/24/14) is my 29th birthday! Today I enjoy a life that didn't even seem possible 10 years ago. Many people see my success now and think things are that way just because I'm extraordinarily talented. There's ALOT more that goes into success than talent. I myself went through the "WAIT" process just like everyone else. Here is a portion of my 10 year wait process (2004-2014). 

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was my senior year of high school 2004. I'd been perfecting my musicianship skills since 1988 and my beatmaking skills had grown immensely since I started in the 90's. Everyone would always compliment me on how talented I was. Although I started making beats on keyboards and tape decks, I eventually graduated to making tracks on my cousin's computer. I was so hooked on the sequencing power and freedom of software that I would be over his house all the time making beats. I used to dream of having my own computer so I could make beats in my own room at any time. I remember sitting impatiently waiting for my turn to get on the computer so I could make music. And when I finally did get there, I could barely hear because he was blasting BET and making all kinds of noise. I wanted to make music so bad that I eventually learned how to concentrate in the middle of the madness lol! The wait was very long, but eventually I got my own computer! I got a job at Fire Mountain and saved up enough money to go in half with my Mother on a new computer. It was a wack computer lol, but it was MINE! The day I took that computer home, I told my Mother I was about to blow up lol! I thought it would happen in no time. I was very wrong! 

I enrolled in college for computer science. Even though I loved computers in general, I found myself spending most of my time creating music on the computer. I was putting so much attention into it that I flunked out of college. Most days in class I'd be reading mixing articles rather than listening to instruction. And I definetely didn't do any homework lol! I acquired a better job at a records processing business but got released after my boss said she didn't have anymore work for me to do. Being 19 years old with no job, I felt like a bum and at that point decided to make something serious out of this music I'd been spending all my time on. So I grabbed a free Net Zero cd from the local store so I could get dial up internet on my computer. I created an account on soundclick, uploaded my beats, and sat back waiting for the money to pour in! Nothing. So, I joined online forums and started sharing my beat links. Nothing. I even made posters to put on my car and pinned cards inside the local laundry mats (what chance would I have selling beats in a laundry mat lol). Nothing. I felt like a failure. 

With no job, no school, and no income, I figured I had to do something to make money. I grew tired of waiting on music so I started selling things on eBay. It was a nice side hustle! I started with my college books and ended up selling studio equipment and all kinds of things! I was making a little money but nothing serious at all. Due to the unpredictability of selling things on eBay, I eventually ended up getting a job at chik-fil-a in 2005. I would have rather been at home making music, and the pay was horrible, but I learned ALOT about customer service at Chik-Fil-A! This job taught me how to interact with people in a professional manner. I was doing so well that I was offered a management position, but I ended up landing a job as a bill collector at a major utility company in 2007. I hated that job with a passion! Getting cursed out everyday for a living was not favorable, but this job taught me a lot about conflict resolution. I learned how to de-escalate situations and generate solutions. Often calls that started with the customer calling me every foul name in the book (even racist terms) ended with apologies and many thanks. I gained a great deal of patience as a bill collector. I also learned how to type very quickly, how to handle sensitive information, and how to conduct a professional phone call. I didn't see it at the time, but I was in heavy development for the success stage. 

Often times I'd sit at my desk with a couple copies of Scratch Magazine and just dream about doing music as a career. Until my supervisor would come and tell me to put my magazines away lol! I ended up moving out of my Mother's house and living in a trailer with my best friend. Now I could stay up and do music as late and as loud as I wanted to! I only worked 16 hours a week so a lot of my time went towards my music. My craft grew tremendously during this period! One day I got reconnected with an old friend, Bdunn, in Atlanta that did music as well and we began to talk on the phone all the time. I'd tell him about how I wished I could do music for a living and how much I hated my job. He had a passion for music as well so eventually me, Bdunn, and my cousin LT formed a production company called Strong Foundation & Co., LLC. We officially had our own business! We were having meetings, attending beat battles in ATL, and making awesome music! A pastor (now my father-in-law) even prophesied to me that I'd be moving to Atlanta, getting married, starting a business, and having multiple bank accounts. I was excited at the time but had no clue it would take 7 more years for all those things to come to past lol! There I was waiting on music again. Tired of waiting. 

Things began going downhill for me. My only means of transportation, a 94 taurus, suddenly broke down and I had no way to get to work. My Mother ended up helping me get a car, but now I had car payments to make. With only making several hundred dollars every two weeks at my job, things were looking very grim for me financially. I got a credit card thinking that would help my situation. Due to poor choices, I made things worse lol. My roommate was out of employment a lot so with both of our finances being hit so hard, there was barely anything to eat. Also an animal had got under the trailer and tore up the ventilation system so there was no air conditioning or heat available. I remember plenty of days working on music hot in the middle of the summer and freezing in the middle of winter just wishing for something to pop off with this music so I could finally enjoy my life. I knew God had blessed me with the talent but nothing was working. I felt like giving up. I'll never forget the day I hit rock bottom. There was nothing left to eat but canned corn, old bacon bits, and faucet water to drink. After I finished my "meal", I had a long talk with God. I was tired of my situation and needed a change desperately. As Bdunn saw my situation decline, he felt bad for me. He saw all the potential I had inside of myself, even though I couldn't see it. Desiring to help me get of my situation, one day he dropped the sentence that would change my life. He told me I should move to Atlanta with him and his Wife. This is the point where the struggle inside of me began.

South Carolina had been all I knew my whole life. I knew I would never reach my potential by continuing to stay there, but I couldn't imagine leaving everyone I love and everything I know. Bdunn kept telling me I need to move to ATL. He was pretty aggressive about it lol! After much thought and prayer, I decided to make the jump. This was a HUGE decision and it was the first time I EVER took a risk. This decision gave me the initiative that I needed to take risks business-wise today. I turned in my resignation letter, packed up my things, sold my old Taurus to the scrap yard, and prepared to move to Atlanta in 2008. I thought surely things wouldn't take long to pop off now! But, again I had to wait. Upon arriving to Atlanta, I began work as courier driver. But, music was still my primary focus. Me and Bdunn did enough networking that eventually we caught some ears and our production company got signed to a label with major distribution! Surely the wait was over now! With us having photo shoots, being promised houses by the summer, and being assigned our own manager, how could things not pop off? You guessed it. Things didn't pop off. Again, left waiting on this music.

But, one awesome thing that did happen during that time is I got married in 2009! Being so captivated by the married life, I let the music industry dream take the back seat for a MINUTE. I was still making music, but only for my own personal enjoyment. I did routes for a while then worked a few office jobs. Being sick of working for other people, I took a second shot at being an entrepreneur! I created several websites/ventures in different industries that failed really bad lol! One in particular was a headlight cleaning business. I never made a dime haha! So..... it was back to the music again! I started uploading my beats to soundcloud and created the first ToneJonez.com in 2010! Word caught on with my music pretty quickly and by the summer of 2011, I was doing music Full-Time! The wait was over!!!!! Actually not. I was failing miserably by the end of 2011 with my back up against the wall. Desperate for change, I switched up my strategies and had an amazing 2012. I had an even better 2013. And now in 2014, I'm finally where I wanted to be in 2004! I have my own successful business, financial freedom, a family, and business is now at a level where my wife was able to leave her job to pursue her dreams of owning her own daycare! This is only the beginning! 

It took 10 years of struggle, mistakes, and WAITING to finally get here! But along the way I learned these and many more powerful skills that I use today: Focus, perseverance, humility, customer service, de-escalation, conflict resolution, risk-taking, professionalism, business savvy, and most of all, PATIENCE. So why would I write all this? Because I want to encourage you to stay focused during the waiting process. You're being prepared for something greater and this is the only way you're going to get the skills you need. Discomfort comes before comfort. Don't give up! Don't rush the process! Similar to having a baby, being pregnant with an idea is only the first stage. But you must WAIT and give that idea time to develop and grow so that one day it will be healthily birthed into existence. Keep believing, keep learning, and keep waiting. Your time will come! 



 

4 comments

  • Cole Mize

    Cole Mize Georgia

    Wonderful article Tone! Thanks so much for sharing your story with us all. I'm happy for your success and hearing about your struggle and overcoming the obstacles you faced is a huge encouragement! Much love! -Cole Mize

    Wonderful article Tone! Thanks so much for sharing your story with us all. I'm happy for your success and hearing about your struggle and overcoming the obstacles you faced is a huge encouragement! Much love! -Cole Mize

  • Nagra Beats

    Nagra Beats Melbourne, Australia

    Awesome blog brother, really inspiring.

    Awesome blog brother, really inspiring.

  • Kartik

    Kartik Toronto,Canada

    That was an inspiring article. I can definitely relate to this article. Were all human and we all have obstacles and challenges we gotta face to acquire what we desire. Patience is definitely a part of the game, and ive been waiting for a while now too. But imma hang on, because great things are definitely heading my way.

    That was an inspiring article. I can definitely relate to this article. Were all human and we all have obstacles and challenges we gotta face to acquire what we desire. Patience is definitely a part of the game, and ive been waiting for a while now too. But imma hang on, because great things are definitely heading my way.

  • Scarecrow Beats

    Scarecrow Beats The Netherlands

    Beautiful brotha! You deserve the best. Your music inspires me every day lol! I'm a fan!!

    Beautiful brotha! You deserve the best. Your music inspires me every day lol! I'm a fan!!

Add comment