Don't Chase Numbers, Chase Respect!

2017 is almost upon us. 2016 is winding down and I'm getting busier with wrapping up some projects and planning for the holidays. With that I thought I'd share some thoughts on a milestone. 2017 will be my 10th year as a blogger (now Entertainment Commentator) — A DECADE IN THIS GAME!!

Beside feeling like I am getting too damn old ((LOL)), I just want to give a shout out to people who have been on this ride with me since day one. My first article was in 2007. I joined TVSA way back when... and my life was transformed. 

My motivation to do this has always been nothing but to share an honest view about the industry I love and advance the conversation that I felt needed to happen to build up this business. It was never about the money. Actually I only started making money 3 years into this thing. 

The ride hasn't been without its hurdles. The main one has been not getting the respect and recognition I deserve for the work I do but I had to let that go. Feeling salty about not being given props fell into the very same nonsense drive I hate about this business. 

From jump I made the decision that I was not gonna try and chase fame. It was imperative to me that my voice carry some credibility with the people who support me. That spawned the decision not to play the industry suck up game. I was not in this to be friends with celebrities or to try and be one. I wanted to have an independent platform where my views can be received with an open mind and not seen as just another ((excuse my language)) dick riding. 

Unfortunately not sucking up has come with its own pitfalls. I have been banned from events. Some channels stopped sending me press releases because I gave them bad reviews. Some agencies and publicists have tried to intimidate me and have blacklisted me ... simply because I shared an honest about opinion on their events or work. 

We celebrate mediocrity too much in this country and I feel it is what is holding us back from achieving our full potential as an industry that can flourish financially and in stature. A lot of industry people I have dealt with have chosen to ignore the fact that my reviews and opinion have never come from a malicious place but were intended to highlight flaws and solicit some improvements. 

A decade on, I am a grown man and am able to look at the world the machinations of it in a more mature and less personal way. I am still Phil Mphela whether I am invited to an award show or not. I do not need parties for my work and contribution to be validated. I don't need 50 000 followers or Retweets to be heard. I have earned the respect of the industry and am making a living for my work.

Hasn't all been bad. I have had an amazing career as a blogger, entertainment commentator, brand influencer and media consultant. I have worked with some of the biggest names in television, been on few radio shows and worked with some major brands. I have never had a 9 - 5 job.

My aforementioned negative experiences are not a complaint but I am hoping it gives someone reading this some perspective that it is not easy trying to build a career in this industry. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had thus far and am humbled that a village boy with no qualification can sit at the tables I find myself around right now. It has been an amazing journey and I wouldn't change a thing. 

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge a lot of YOU reading this. Many of you have been with me since day one. You have shared my ups and downs, we have disagreed and may have offended each other here and there but through it all, you still clicked on my name. I truly appreciate that. 

In these times of people chasing social media validation and faux fame, it is hard to have principle and stick to what you do. It is a battle everyday to keep the focus on the work and not be enticed to follow the click baiting that is happening out there because, though I can pay my bills, often potential clients wants to know how many Twitter followers you have and not the quality of the audience you reach. 

As I take this next step and take on the next decade, I can only promise that; the Phil Mphela you have known will always stand. I will not be tempted by the lures of fame to abandon my quest to have real conversations about this industry and influence a positive change for our industry and country. Afterall, we cant all be doctors and politicians, some of us have different contribution to make that can take our nation forward. 

If there is one thing I hope you have taken from knowing me or about me is this: RUN YOUR OWN RACE. Just because someone got to the top before you, it doesn't mean they will stay there longer. Do what you love and make sure you can support yourself from it. It's one thing to dream but you have to wake up to make that dream become a reality. 

Should you want to be a blogger or a content creator online, my advice; DO NOT WRITE OR CREATE FOR COMMENTS... that's the easiest way to loose credibility. Do not chase numbers, let the work speak for itself. Treat your work as a business, take it seriously and people will pay you to keep doing it 

Thank you so much for a memorable 10 years. Let's make another 10 years (in whatever platform I take on) even more interesting. 

I love you all and if I don't post anything til Januaray... HAPPY HOLIDAYS and stay safe!! 

Phil Mphela. 

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