Anthony Flagg: Embracing the Grind

In this episode, Tom sits down with Anthony Flagg. The pair discuss the grit necessary to overcome obstacles and become a success.

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3 Must-Hear Takeaways from this episode

Take a step out and you’ll realize there are things you’re good at that weren’t part of your culture.When you’re on your journey, you need to make peace with the fact that not everyone will be able to join you.Being able to respond to “no” is a very tough, but necessary obstacle that needs to be overcome.

Show Notes:

Anthony Flagg is a rapper with the stage name FEDEL. With eight albums to his name and fame from producing tracks for the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA team’s warmup, the Dallas-based musician sat down with Tom to talk about lessons from his career.

Tom: Music is based around the theme of “I will be everything they said I could not be.” What are the things that people said you could not be?

Anthony: I grew up in an abusive home. My father was physically and verbally abusive. I grew up in an area that is drug and gang infested. A lot of times, your goal is not to live that way. I knew I wanted to make it out of this and help people who come from any level of oppression. As an artist, I knew my music would be based on helping people do what they’re scared to be. Anything we need to do in our lives to make it better is scary.

Tom: When did you know you had that ability?

Anthony: I had the desire before I knew I had the ability. My friends and I would joke around in music and the more we did it, I knew I wanted to do this. As I followed the desire, I had the ability to write and share my emotions, then I had the ability to perform on stage. Over time, the more I took those steps and kept doing it, then I saw I could do it.

Tom: I challenge people to take risks because in your failures, you learn. You get better finding those points of failures. You take the risk, keep that desire and hunger and then the talent clicks in. People get this idea that you can only be good at what you’re good at instead of taking some risk and finding some talent.

Anthony: We grew up in environments where that thing we’re good at wasn’t a thing in our family. If you grew up in a home full of business people, they don’t understand creatives. Take a step out and you’ll realize there are things you’re good at that weren’t part of your culture. Have to be willing to not be good at stuff if you’re going to try it. Most people don’t want to do anything they’re not good at and that’s dangerous.

Tom: We’re all about cultivating grit, nothing comes without hard work. How do you cultivate the grit to break through and pursue your dreams?

Anthony: Where I’m from, we call it the hustle and the grind. I remember when I realized the next phase of what I do would be lonely. That is the hardest part – learning that you can’t bring people on the journey or they won’t appreciate the journey. That’s harder than the long days, driving all night and all the rejection.

Tom: I see a lot of people giving up on a journey. What are some of the things you’ve seen that people need to get through?

Anthony: Being able to respond to “no” or people laughing at whatever you’re doing is a very tough thing to process and work through. Also, having a lack of resources. There will be politics in everything you do and can you deal with being overlooked because it’s not fair?

Tom: What is your favorite tool or resource you love right now?

Anthony: It’s Youtube and audio books. With everything going on in our country, I love listening to multiple viewpoints. It’s one of the best ways to consume people’s ideas.

Favorite book:

Healing the Shame That Binds You by John Bradshaw