I remember it very clearly

The year was 2001 at around 6:30 in the morning. My local radio station was holding a singing contest, and the way to be a contestant was to call in and sing for about 90 seconds. I spent about 30 minutes just trying to get through (call, busy signal, hang up, repeat). At roughly 7:00, when my fingers started to take a toll on me, I told myself that I would call one last time. If I didn't get through at that time, then I would just forget about it.

Sure enough, after pressing redial for the last time, someone on the other end answered the call.

Something about how everything played out that day had inspired me to pursue an ambitious goal. I told myself that I would invest the next decade in trying to discover my voice as well as the type of artist I wanted to become.

After having auditioned for American Idol, X-Factor and The Voice (all of which passed on me), I then realized that those shows are all about putting you through the rat race, then tossing you away when the seasons come to a close. I simply do not care about being better than someone else. All I need to focus on is being the best I can be and constantly push that bar moving forward.

I have been shot down numerous times - yeah, it sucks at first, but it has helped me realize one important thing: life will eventually set you on the right path when you become determined and persevere. Think of it like "bumper bowling" -- sure you have a few bruises when you bump into the rails, but with that comes experience which you can use to your advantage later on. You truly miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

Why The Logo?

I knew there was a reason I was given the initials "RG". I believe that I stand for something that goes beyond my music, and I want to get that message out to everyone. I've discovered that a lot of the principles I follow can best be represented as statements derived from my initials:

Never ever settle for what's simply in front of you. Life is way too short to just live with no expectation that it will get any better. Make life happen for you, and don't wait for life to happen to you. You have the power to do great things and shape the world.

Getting knocked down is the best thing that could ever happen to you in life. Seriously. How you bounce back after getting knocked down (physically or mentally) says so much about your willpower. What you may perceive as failure I perceive as a learning experience. You only fail when you give up.

Every single person has something worth sharing. It is important to discover what it is and where it lies in you. One of the best ways to discover your gift is to realize the activities you gravitate towards on a frequent basis. What kind of emotional response do you get when doing these activities? Pursue those activies which give you satisfaction.

Be grateful for what you have in this world and demonstrate gratitude. There is no need to compare yourself to other people when you have the power to get (and be) everything you want. It all starts with a positive mindset. Once you realize your gift, it's only natural to "take the ball and run with it" while you still can.

Show the world what you have to offer. When you become at peace with who you are and learn to accept yourself, others will start to accept you. The world is your mirror. The people who associate themselves with you says a lot about the person you are.

The best possible thing you can do in this world is give to others. You become a better person as the result. Kindness is contagious, and I am all for doing my part to help it spread. Think about it: taking even a fraction of time out of your day to focus on someone else could very well change that person's life. Knowing that you have had something to do with that, well... that's pretty amazing!

As for me, I am extremely grateful that I have crossed paths with some amazing people who have helped me execute my vision the way I want.

I want to send a message out there to those who are trying to find their purpose in life, who want to figure out how to fight through the obstacles they are facing.

Above everything else, get your mind right, already in the zone of a winner, then act.