Radio legend, Angie Martinez book My Voice is truly inspirational. The book details the NYC native’s journey from growing up in the Bronx to becoming the ‘Voice of New York.’ Even though the book could be a Hip-Hop encyclopedia for Hip-Hop heads, Angie also gives life lessons in the book that people from all walks of life could use.
1. Enjoy the moment
In the book there was a part where Angie was recording her first album Up Close and Personal. She wasn’t recording with b-list rappers either. She was working with the legends of today’s Hip-Hop; Neptunes, Snoop Dogg, Jay-z, and Mary J Blige, just to name a few. But she was so nervous and critical of herself that the greatness of that moment never really hit her. A quote that stuck with me that she said was:
Sometimes you have to get past the fears and insecurities that may actually hold you back from being great or from truly experiencing the something the way it was meant to be experienced.
You have to enjoy the moment, if its bad, embrace the storm, stand in it. If it’s good embrace that with everything too because that’s literally all we have is the moment. The future didn’t happen yet and that past is forgotten. This brings me right into the next lesson.
2. Everything leads to something
Angie had just gave birth to her first child, she was still getting acclimated to motherhood and had not returned to work. But when an opportunity to host the show, The View came, she reluctantly accepted it. Doing the show she felt that she didn’t fit in and it really wasn’t her audience anyway. But doing the show did help to plant seeds that she did eventually want to get into television, so doing the show wasn’t a total loss. Angie said in her book:
Everything leads to something and even losses can become material to grow from later.
So even a perceived loss isn’t really that. Everything happens for a reason and is for your growth.
3. Use your voice
Angie is known as the ‘Voice of New York’ but even she at one point had to learn to speak up for herself. In 2015 women made 79 cents for every dollar made by a man. Angie was not a stranger to this treatment. She was working in radio for years before she decided to ask for a raise, and when she asked for it, she got it. Closed mouths don’t get fed. When you know your worth ask for it and don’t settle for anything less. There was also another situation where she could have lost her job if she didn’t stand up for herself and tell her side of the story. She wrote:
When I first saw the importance of finding my voice and using it to stand up for myself.
Always speak your truth and ask for what you want.
4. Ignore the noise
Angie was always around a lot of noise, especially at that time in Hip-Hop. There was always artist beefs, radio beefs, and just a lot of controversy to combat. But Angie knew that she had to ignore the noise. People are always going to talk and have something to say but that can’t effect what you’re doing.
Noise is just noise, good or bad. In [those] moments, I always try to get quiet and stay focused on whatever matters most in the long run.
5. Stick to your 3 core values
There was a point in Angie Martinez’s book where she wanted to date. Her friend told her to think about what her core values were and look for those. Because she was able to look for those things specifically she found someone special.
Because you can get distracted with somebody who’s funny or smart, somebody who entertains you, or somebody’s swag-but none of that is real. None of that is the thing that is going to hold you together.
This just doesn’t count for love. We live in a society where everything is so surface oriented, and we forget about the things that matter. We’re caught up in all of the glitz and glamour. But what truly matters is the core of a person. That’s not going away, that will always be there. So think about your core values and look for them in everything you do, whether it be personal or professional.
Angie Martinez book, My Voice is available on Amazon.