Famous Entrepreneur Quotes
Trent Reznor’s Quotes
“Over the years I realized I could put myself in places where it’s more likely to occur, inspiration that is.”
“It’s tough to keep up with something that you can’t catch up with, but to be inspired by it.”
“I just want to do this. I don’t need to approve it by anybody, I just really need to do this thing.”
Trent Reznor’s Top 10 Entrepreneurship Rules for Success and Business
He is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, film score composer and founder of the Nine Inch Nails. He’s Trent Reznor and here’s my take on his top 10 rules for success.
Rule #1: Express Yourself
Eight years ago when I did the music that was going to be Pretty Hate Machine I always wanted to be in a band I thought and I wanted to do this I thought.
And when I finally had the courage to sit down and try to write music, at first I just tried to write lyrics just to have lyrics to put in a song, they didn’t mean anything and they were bad. And it wasn’t until I had the courage, I realized I was journal of things that I wouldn’t show anybody, things I wasn’t really proud to feel but I had to get it out somehow.
And so when I incorporated them into a few songs I realized that I’d struck something that made me feel better to get it out and it had an honesty and an integrity to it that I think can only come from meaning something instead of pretending that you’re a character doing something.
So I kind of used that as a framework for Nine Inch Nails. Every record I’ve done really expresses where my head’s been at when I’ve done it. I think it has a truthfulness to it and an integrity or sincerity that I think that’s where it’s gone.
And I know that, I mean, now I’m faced with, fragile doesn’t sound like Downward Spiral, in America it hasn’t sold as well as Downward Spiral did. Oh, did you think its a failure? No I don’t, it reflects where I’ve been when I did it, and that’s the record I happened to make, and very proud of.
Rule #2: Seek Inspiration
What I’ve learned about inspiration over the years is I used to live in constant fear, I was afraid of writing, I was afraid of, I love playing live, I loved executing, I loved that side of it but that blank piece of paper was my worst fear. I know now that, staring at the piece of paper saying I’ve got to write the best song in the world.
How did I ever write that song? What was I thinking of? Am I ever going to be able to write something as good as that? Was that an accident? Did I subconsciously steal that from someone and I don’t realize it, you know? All those things. And I’ve kind of, over the years, realized I can put myself in places where it’s more likely to occur, inspiration that is, I can cut time out of my day to go for a walk or I can ride in the car with the tape deck in my pocket or a little recorder, and if I’m thinking about something capture it. If I’m in a place where I can lay in bed for an extra 20 minutes in the morning, which is when I get most of my ideas, if I set that time aside, those ideas are out there I just have to tune into, I have to be in the right frame of mind. If I’m living in a head down, execute, million things to do today world it doesn’t come to me as much.
Rule #3: Be Creative
We found over the years that if we put up creative limitations and rules, for example, with the How to Destroy Angels record that we did we focused on it having a very synthetic rhythm section, we wanted it to feel kind of dark, and a little bit dirty, but we wanted it to have a beauty to it.
Not be abrasive but have a kind of sexiness and that tells us in a language of instrumentation that we’ll probably use these instruments and start that way. When we start actually working on it we might find that, and we often do, that hey this isn’t as exciting as playing on a piano for example, and then we modify that rule to go that direction.
Again, what Atticus and I were doing, we’re thinking okay we need something that sounds like the spark of creativity, you know, of acceleration, of that you got a good idea and you want to follow it to its course, and that excitement, for example. And I put the act of creativity became something that I look forward to now instead of dreading.
I went into projects thinking I’m going to give it my best and see what comes out. That as opposed to staring at a blank page and saying I have to write the best thing ever is a guaranteed way to make sure the page stays blank.
Rule #4: Evolve
I’ve worked with, I’ve certainly embedded myself and watched how some people have done stuff. I have younger friends and newer bands that I watch how they, I’m inspired by how they put things together. I very much do that listening to music. I’ve unashamedly have studied production techniques on records and try to keep, To keep up with something you can’t catch up with, but to be inspired by it.
My favorite records are the ones that I usually don’t like at first because I don’t get it but I’m intrigued enough and I’ll listen to it a second time and it starts to reveal itself. I can think of records that after 10 listens have changed me, after a hundred listens have now, I understand, I have a new vocabulary I didn’t have before I went down that path. I try to balance that out with my nature is to be insular and just hide in a cave somewhere and not interact with the outside world.
Interviewer: Hard to be a rock star hiding a cave.
It can be done.
Interviewer: I guess it can be.
I lived in a cave in New Orleans for 12 years. It’s a weird world in itself. The only thing that matters to me throughout that is trying to do the best work I can do, and trying to continue to evolve into whatever my final form is. You know what I mean right now?
Rather than getting stuck at a comfortable spot along the way.
Rule #5: Do It Your Way
I started this record off really pretty afraid to see if I could write. I was afraid to test that out in my new world and life I was living. And I started talking to Rick, and Rick’s been a friend of mine for quite some time, and it was really good. A good thing, a good person, a good amount of input to have around. He was a mentor.
When I came out to L.A. after that to start writing I would check in with him and send him songs and start the feedback on that. There came a point when a part of me just felt like, my confidence had grown. I never felt more strongly that I did at the time about what I was working on.
And I felt like I just need to do this my way, I need to see it through the way I would see it through. For better or for worse. And it wasn’t against any ideas Rick had it was just every cell in my body as an artist said just do this record the way you would do it.
Because I didn’t feel short of ideas, and I felt like I had a plan, and I felt like I just want to do this, I don’t need to approve it by anybody I just really need to do this thing. I’m happy with how it turned out. I don’t know how it would have turned out and I never will. But it was, I feel like it’s what I needed to do.
Rule #6: Limit Your Options
Limiting your options can be a very inspiring thing. We do that, to some degree, on every project we do. There’s a tipping point where it probably isn’t fun and it’s just frustrating, but, Often we have option anxiety because we’ve spent our lives collecting this room full of stuff. You know, the exotic thing that does this one thing great.
And you sit in that room and you’re not sure where to start because there’s an infinite amount of places to start. Limiting options, creating rules, making yourself work a certain way, initially feeling uncomfortable I think has great value in terms of, for us, sparking an idea that you wouldn’t have come up with left to the comfortable way to do it.
Rule #7: Keep Pushing Yourself
To me, I feel like I have a long way to go as a songwriter. And I have a long way to go in terms of learning how sound works, and how arrangements can be, can achieve something in the listener.
My goal really is trying to evoke emotional response from the listener, whether it be happiness or dread or anger or goosebumps whatever that means to people. But by no means do I feel like I know how to do that really well. I feel like I’ve got a lot to learn. So I try to keep pushing myself into getting better at things.
Rule #8: Go With Your Gut
Knowing the right way to do things or understanding the process behind other technique. I practiced long and hard on several instruments. I know how to read music, I’ve studied music theory, I have that knowledge. I try to often not pay attention to it and try to go just with that and not turn over analyze.
Oh I’m playing to this and that should resolve to that and just find my way in. In later years it may just be loss of memory. I’m getting old. But I think I can pretty successfully feel my way from my soul into a place and then have the ability to switch and go, I understand this, that might lead to this thing, and use that tool of technique.
Rule #9: Get Outside Your Comfort Zone
The experience I’ve had with social network has been, from start to finish, just unmatched. The respect I’ve gotten from the filmmakers, also the people involved in the studio and producing level, has been such a good experience.
Creatively it was interesting. And also just dealing with smart people that had a common goal was a fun process. And also, to be frank, seeing the accolades that are coming in for the film and being involved with a project that’s of this caliber was just a great experience. There’s nowhere to go but down from here.
I was waiting for you to get to the end of that answer because I’m like Trent’s walking all around my question. You’re explaining how great this process was. I can take that one of two ways, that you don’t ever want to do it again ’cause you know it can’t get any better , or you’re happy to do it again to see if you can pull it off again.
I’d be interested in pushing myself a bit and getting outside of my comfort zone in terms of the way that we scored this. It was something familiar, the sounds, the clay I sculpted this from was not a big stretch from where I would be if I wasn’t doing this. I’d be interested to see what happens if I had to do it, if another, the process was different.
Rule #10: Have Passion
Thank you guys so much. I made this because Nowotny Nanomite asked me to. So if there’s a famous entrepreneur that you want me to profile next please leave it down the comment below. I’d also love to know which clip resonated the most with you, what lesson are you going to take from this article and immediately apply to your life or to your business somehow. I’m really curious to find out what you have to say.
Also, I want to give a quick shout out to Insight Junky. Thank you guys so much for picking up a copy of book, Your One Word, and doing that review on your YouTube channel. I really, really, really, appreciate support, and I’m so glad that you enjoyed my book.
I believe in you. I hope you continue to believe in yourself and whatever your one word is. Much love. I’ll see you soon.
Just Keep Going
The other thing is just to not think you have to write the best thing in the world. Just write, keep writing. I’ve read that, and someone told me that years, and years ago but I couldn’t, I knew better. I thought I did.
Now I just keep at it. I have the confidence to try things and I hope I have the editorial hat to put on later to stop you from hearing most of the stuff that doesn’t reach the quality control level.
Don’t Do It For The Money
Personally I find a sense of, lack of sincerity or a bit of posturing. Bands that I find I like I inherently have a sense that they mean it and that matters to me. If I think somebody’s just following the trend, because that’s what you do today.
Interviewer: Do you think it’s the industry that kind of makes, or that artists choose to buff the edges ’cause they think they’re going to sell more?
I think it comes down to an artist’s decision, which is specific to each artist, why they’re doing it. If they’re doing it to, I’m trying to put my, vulgarity censorship chip in right now. I can sound full of myself but I can tell you that I’m glad to make money doing this but I’m doing it because I love music and this is what I would do anyway.
If I had to work at McDonald’s and make music at night that’s what I’d do. But I think a lot of people now are doing music just to make money and try to hoodwink people into believing that there’s sincerity there. That’s just my opinion on it.
But I think when you’re in a climate where you’re much more congratulated on your business sense than you are your talent that something’s not quite right with scene right now.
Be Comfortable With Yourself
By nature, I’ll find myself isolated if I’m left to my own devices, so I’m more aware of what I do and I try to make myself do some things that avoid that occasionally. We’re in this together now I used to really fear being alone and hated it. Lately I’ve come to terms if I’m not saying I hope to be alone the rest of my life, everybody is alone really.
I’m a lot more comfortable with who I am in my head. I’m not real comfortable with being treated as celebrity all the time. I don’t think it’s good for your soul to be around that.
Rule number eightis my personal favorite, and I’d love to know which one you guys like the best.
Trent Reznor’s Rules
- Express Yourself
- Seek Inspiration
- Be Creative
- Do It Your Way
- Limit Your Options
- Keep Pushing Yourself
- Go With Your Gut (Evan’s Favorite Rule for an Entrepreneur Mindset)
- Get Outside Your Comfort Zone
- Have Passion
I hope you enjoyed this article, make sure to check my Trent Reznor video on his Top 10 Rules For Success as well.
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