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You may or may not know KISS, the band. If you don’t know, they are the band that would wear 6-inch heels, paint their faces, and one member would spit blood and blow fire. Remember now?


KISS, the band, is NOW a worldwide name. They have sold over 100 million records played in uncountable numbers of sold-out arenas. Numerous companies have made action figures, lunch boxes, and clothes from the band’s success.


Just like any successful startup company, restaurant, or band, it was not always that way. KISS, the band, was no more than two guys wanting the same thing. The founding members, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, never knew one another growing up. They came from different backgrounds and once they met for the first time they didn’t even like one another. But what made them stick together were their ideas, plans, and vision of what they would become.


Gene and Paul wanted to become famous. They wanted to play in front of sold-out crowds, not only in America but around the world. They knew they could make this dream happen, but they needed to put the pieces into play.


First they changed the name of their band. Second they found two other members to help in their quest for world band dominance. They started learning from all the other successful bands at the time. KISS started to listen to other bands that were super popular and learn why they were successful and why people went crazy for their music.


Then they took their new name, style, ideas, and passion and started to play at any event they could. There are numerous documented stories of KISS playing at charities held at libraries, community centers, and even at a place called the, “Popcorn Club.” Not only did KISS play at these events but they helped set up tables and chairs, they mingled and talked with the audience, and after the show they stayed late cleaning up the room.


It wasn’t until many, many years later when KISS finally had their big breakthrough. As they say, the rest is history.


I did not write this article so you can like the band KISS. KISS is a true example of a startup. Like I stated early in this article, a startup is not just for companies and business; it can also be for your dreams.


KISS had a dream of making it big. They were nobody and nothing when they started, but what kept them going through long nights, the studying of other bands, the arguments, and the times where they had absolutely no money… was their dream. That was it. A dream of making it big and an endless pursuit of wanting it.


I don’t know what you want in life right now. I cannot read your mind but I am guessing if you are reading this far you might want something more. More love, more experiences, more enjoyment, or more success. Only you can answer what is that “more” for you.


If you have a dream, a goal, an objective, I want you to pull a few things from the story of the journey of the band KISS.


  1. Find others who want the same thing in your life. Gene met Paul and they didn’t hit it off at first, but they had the same vision and dream. Find others who want the same thing in life.
  2. Become you. KISS, the band did not start with the high heels and the face paint. They tried a few things out until they found their identity. It will take you time to find your voice, style, audience, or niche. Once you do latch onto it and make it yours, you will have people say “that is not right” or “I would not do that.” Don’t listen to them. If you feel comfortable and it just feels right, stick with it no matter what.
  3. Learn. KISS knew how to play music that was unique to them. But they wanted to lean how to become huge like the band, the “Beatles.” They learned from their songs, found patterns, and replicated them in their own way. Find your ideal or competition and find what works and what does not work. Learn from them to become better than them.
  4. Give. KISS did not play for the big audience at first. They went to any event that would ask them to play. That meant they played at small venues. No matter how small the place was, KISS would always help wherever they could. KISS would help set up and take down after the show. They would even talk to the audience and become friends with them. No matter what you are or want to do in your life, you need to give. Help wherever you can and talk to people you would never otherwise talk to. I don’t know if what KISS did helped them become famous but I know it did not hurt the band; it only helped them.
  5. Own it. KISS struggled for many years along their journey. They had highs and lows. But it took a long time for them to gain enough traction where they could travel from arena to arena. Your journey in life will have ups and downs. Sometimes there will be no method to the madness, as they say. You might feel you’ve made it, and then all of a sudden it slips out of your reach. No matter what happens, you need to focus on your ambitions and dreams. Understand it will take time, but keep on hiking up that mountain. Never stop until you reach the summit.
Jake Nawrocki
Jake Nawrocki
Motivational speaker, Inventor, Entrepreneur, Real Estate Owner, and Life Coach.

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