I remember watching a documentary about Agnetha, and learnt a lot more about her story, and since April also sees her birthday, let’s take a closer look.
She had been into music from an early age, writing songs as a young child. At 16 she was working a day job and performing in a band at night. When she collapsed at the day job from exhaustion, her mother told her to choose between the day job or the music. No surprise that she went for the music, and having a supportive parent should be noted as an important factor in facilitating that decision.
The band sent a tape to a talent scout, but he was only interested in the singer, not the band. Her first single, written by herself, was released, and at just short of 18 she found herself at the top of the Swedish charts.
You can already see the success lessons – following a passion, hard work, making choices, taking opportunities.
Agnetha then became well known in Sweden doing lots of shows, and travelling around on the circuit she got to know various people, including Bjorn Ulvaeus who she started a relationship with. The two of them started performing around the cabaret tour in a group with 2 other friends, with the rather clunky name of Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid.
Agnetha had entered to Swedish competition to find their Eurovision entry back in the late 60s, as had Benny Andersson, and also Anni-Frid Lyngstad. When the group was offered a chance again in 1973, they wrote ‘Ring Ring‘, translated into English by Neil Sedaka.
Despite confidence in the song, it didn’t even win the Swedish selection event. End of the road? Er, no! They tried again the next year with another song you might have heard of, ‘Waterloo’.
That song won both the Swedish event and the main event, and that’s the moment when people would say ABBA got lucky. It did give them huge exposure, yes, and it did provide a launch pad for a worldwide phenomenon, yes, selling nearly 400 million albums – not 4 million, not 40 million, nearly *400* million.
It wasn’t just a lucky break that came out of nowhere though, there was a lot going on up to that point.
In fact the massive global success proved a hard strain for Agnetha, finding the travelling and punishing schedules difficult to balance with a young family. People often don’t realise the workload that goes into keeping a pop group at the top of the tree.
Eurovision can be easily dismissed as nothing more than a meaningless sequin-fest, and although it’s certainly a different beast than it was 40 years ago, it provides entertainment for millions of people, and the goal achievement lessons sparkle along with the sequins right up to today.
Think about Agnetha’s story, and look to your own goals – are you putting in the work to create your own ‘luck’ just as she did 40 years ago?
Let me know what you think!
‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. You may enjoy this article Goal Achievement – Mama Mia!
p.p.s. Don’t forget to take a look at my book ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’