Lu-Hai Liang

thoughts from a freelance foreign correspondent

How to make a name for yourself pt. 5: what can we learn from Jerome Jarre

with 2 comments

If you don’t know who Jerome Jarre is, he’s a French 25-year-old entertainer who rose to fame using mobile apps Vine and Snapchat. Here is an example of his work:

He has over 8 million followers on Vine, 1.2 million followers on Snapchat, the same again for Twitter, and over 900,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel.

That’s a lot of people who enjoy what he does, and a large audience he has unmediated access to. This has, of course, made him a huge attraction to advertisers and brands.

Last year, he was offered $1 million to spend a year in NYC, working for an advertising campaign. He turned down the offer, saying that money was not his priority, and he made an inspiring video from his decision.

Two things struck me about this video.

First of these is how the young Jerome made such big decisions, took such huge leaps.

At the age of 19, he dropped out of business school and moved to China, spending a year there, learning English and Mandarin, and starting several businesses.

One of these became a success and he used the money to relocate to Toronto.

He set-up a Vine account on the day it was launched and started posting videos. If you don’t know what Vine is, it is an app for creating and disseminating six second videos.

The rest is history.

The second thing that struck me is this. The fact he slept on floors and in offices, places where he shouldn’t be sleeping, when he moved himself to New York.

I felt huge pathos for this.

I slept on friends’ couches and in an office building for a little while and with that curious third-person voice you adopt when examining some absurdity, I’ve thought to myself: “how on earth are you in this situation?

You can’t learn that much from Jerome Jarre, but the one thing you can do is to start believing that what you’re doing is the right thing.

This is a continuing series exploring the strategies of success, and related stories. Part one in the series is here, and here is the previous entry.

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Written by Lu-Hai Liang

July 11, 2015 at 3:17 pm

2 Responses

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  1. It’s common to hear that say 85 to 90% of new businesses fail within 12 months, which is true. However, the figure drops to 30-40% when it comes to second businesses, and further still when an entrepreneur has 3, 4, 5 or more start-ups to his name. Failure is an opportunity to learn, so said about a thousand self-help books over the past century or so.

    I’m sure this principle works with the business of freelance pitching too: plenty of first timers fail, but once you try 20, 30, 40 times a paid commission will happen along.

    Definitely had that feeling of self-examination before. The lace I recall the “How the heck did I get here?” happening was the Philippines, sitting in a hilltop hut as Typhoon Haiyan struck the place.

    Good to check back in and find so much interesting blog to read. Keep it up Lu-Hai!

    • Thanks Gordon, always a pleasure to hear from you. I think perhaps those times of self-examination are in the end quite good for you. Gives you a stronger mind.

      Lu-Hai Liang

      July 21, 2015 at 5:28 am


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