You’ve probably never heard of Andreas Carlsson. But you’ve certainly heard his music.
Together with Max Martin, Andreas is one of Sweden’s most successful songwriters and music producers.
He’s written and produced songs for Katy Perry, Bon Jovi, Backstreet Boys, and Céline Dion, to name a few. His CV is impressive.
I recently finished his autobiography Live to Win: The Songs That Wrote My Life, and I’ve picked out a few common themes that are essential for smarter growth.
Follow your passion
Andreas grew up in a small Swedish town called Tingsryd, where he started to pursue his passion for music. He went “all in”, so to speak, and was convinced he was going to Hollywood.
But was Carlsson really going to become a superstar? Many people had their doubts.
“Get a grip”, they told him, maybe out of jealousy and envy.
Swedish culture is based on a Law of Jante, which frowns upon individual achievement and success. You’re not to think you are anything special.
Pretty crazy, right? Andreas Carlsson gladly challenged the underlying beliefs and mindsets. I’m glad he did, because I did too.
Despite early setbacks, the handsome and talented Swede kept on going.
He tried a music career as an artist, but soon realised he didn’t like it and wasn’t very good at it. His talents and his passion were better suited for the studio. And that’s where his career truly took off, and he finally went to Hollywood.
Find mentors that can help you grow
Andreas Carlsson points out he couldn’t have succeeded without the guidance and help from his mentors. This is such a useful piece of advice, which is often overlooked. Just because we want to follow our own path doesn’t mean we have to do it all alone.
What mentors do you have that can help you grow personally and professionally? Look for mentors that challenge and encourage you. Be humble towards their feedback and hard-earned wisdom. You’d be smart to listen to it.
As the saying goes: when the student is ready, the teacher appears.
Just keep singing
Andreas shows the sign of a true optimist. He doesn’t merely dream, he goes out there and takes action on it. He explains his failures in a very specific and temporary way. Failures happen and we must learn from them.
The show must go on. Just keep singing.
And if the melody ain’t right, you have a responsibility to change it.
Andreas has both succeded and failed, which goes to show that nobody is an “overnight success”. As Andreas Carlsson likes to say:
There are no shortcuts to success. Dig where you stand.
His optimistic and curious “can-do” attitude has introduced him to new things and made him enjoy life in different ways. In short, he focuses on mastery, creativity and has made a commitment to live a life on his own terms.
Carlsson is very good at re-inventing himself, and by that I mean he is not afraid to tell himself a new story.
We are the stories we tell, and the more stories we can draw on, the more we can grow, and the more fulfilling lives we can lead.
Follow your passion, appreciate good mentors, and keep singing.
What is your tune? Have you found it yet, or is it time to reinvent yourself? Please let us know in the comments!
I want it that way
Naturally, I have to include a popular song, courtesy of Andreas Carlsson… You might have heard it. 😉
PS. If you liked this article, read this next: 13 Timeless Life Lessons from Walt Disney