For some time now I've been working to create a name for myself in this industry as a media personality. It's definitely an uphill battle but I'm determined to keep working and get where I want to be. Over the years I've come across many who have claimed to support me but secretly didn't, many who have straight up laughed at me, many who put me down and criticized me and a few who have genuinely supported my efforts.
Being a part of the younger generation in this industry AND a female I've seen first hand how difficult it is to honestly be taken seriously sometimes. It was something that bothered me for years and it continues to bother me until this day. Many in the older generation who have already made their mark refuse to believe that some of us in the younger generation actually wish to see this industry progress with time as well as our personal careers and brands. They think this is just a hobby.
I'm not trying to bash the older generation, but for the longest time all I heard was criticism (and no, not constructive criticism). It was the type of criticism that people give when they're trying to tell you to quit or trying to say you'll never make your mark because 'you're too naive', or 'things are easy for you guys now a days'. Many who have been through the phase we're going through now as the 'newbies' are so quick to tell us what we're doing wrong but don't necessarily tell us what we're doing right.
The older generation who saw this industry at it's peak have seen a lot more than we have. They know the tricks of the trade and have a lot more wisdom and knowledge than we do. People can complain that this industry is dead or going downhill as much as they want but in order to truly progress as an industry it is ESSENTIAL for the older generation to be an active part of our growth. At the end of the day, there's only so much someone can learn without a mentor or guide. By the time we gain as much knowledge as they do, it'll be time for the next generation to take a stand and learn from us and our time will have passed.
Now here's the disclaimer: I'm not saying that everyone who's more experienced in this industry is completely wrong in any way. There are a handful of folks who genuinely support the younger talent in our community and we truly appreciate that. But those who aren't: sitting back and watching us make mistakes will not help the industry prosper. We will value any constructive criticism or input you'd like to give us. To those who I've personally seen genuine support from, like Raju Sethi, Amen Panesar, the team at SimplyBhangra.com, anyone else I may have missed and last but not least my late father who I'm sure is supporting me from up in heaven, thank you. Thank you for being mentors and guides and working to truly see the newcomers in our industry succeed.
PS: It's been one year today since I joined the Simply Bhangra team! Yay!