Jay-Z is one of the highest earning artists in the music industry. Forbes estimates his net worth to be around $520 million in 2014. He is also married to another powerhouse in the music industry, Beyonce Knowles. Together, their combined 2014 net worth is around $900 million.
So what makes Jay-Z so successful? Rumor has it that he is part of the Illuminati (Satanic Music Industry). We don’t know the truth about that, but the list below is what we know for sure. These are the ten principles behind Jay-Z’s successful life:
Jay-Z was born as Shawn Corey Carter in 1969. He grew up in Marcy, a housing project in Brooklyn, New York City. In 1982, Jay-Z’s father left, and his mother had to support her family alone. It was by following her example that Jay-Z got his unrelenting work ethic – his hustle.
“Without the work, the magic won’t come.” – Jay-Z, from “Decoded.”
Don’t be afraid to work really hard and hustle in the beginning. The future you will thank the present you for hustling hard now.
2. Don’t Wait Until You Have Everything You Need
“It just got to a point where it was, like, ‘Make this decision, because this is something you really love and you love to do. It’s time to really focus on and then get serious about it, give it your all.’ And once I did that, it was no looking back from there.” – Jay-Z, Interview with Forbes.
Jay-Z didn’t have a drum kit or Pro Tools growing up, but that didn’t stop him from making beats to rap over (he used his fist and a kitchen table).
If you want something badly enough, you can make it happen. Don’t let imperfect circumstances prevent you from executing your goals.
3. Don’t Run Your Mouth
Jay-Z was still struggling to break through into the music business when his collaborator, Jaz, got a big record deal from EMI. Jaz was going to London to record and he wanted Jay-Z to come along.
When Jay-Z told his crew about it, their response was less than enthusiastic. They felt like they were being deserted and told him that rappers were just being used by the music industry.
Of course, Jay-Z ignored their negativity, but he also learned a valuable lesson: sometimes it’s best to keep your mouth shut about your aspirations. From then on, Jay-Z says he knew he wanted to get a record deal of his own, but that he “didn’t go around talking about it to even [his] closest friends.”
It’s tempting to share your dreams and goals with people, but be careful not to talk too much. Sometimes even your closest friends and family members won’t be able to see your vision and their responses may be discouraging. Actions speak louder than words.
4. Skills are Transferable
Jay-Z never went to business school. But that hasn’t stopped him from founding $100 million companies and serving as a co-brand director for Budweiser Select.
While others were out getting their MBA, Jay-Z was learning real-life business skills on the streets. He learned sales, management, and promotion on the streets, so it’s no surprise that he slipped comfortably into the many roles of an entrepreneur.
We all have a breadth of experience to draw from. Try to learn as many skills as possible. What might seem like a useless skill now, might prove to be very useful in the future. Also, always keep a look out for how your skills in one field can be used in another.
5. Know How to Handle Rejection
Jay-Z was turned down by every label in the industry. So did he give up on his dream of becoming a professional rapper? No. Instead, he started his own record label.
Jay-Z was offered a weak endorsement deal from Iceberg Apparel, even though Jay’s shout-outs for the clothing company were boosting their sales through the roof. So did he accept their offer? No. He started a competing clothing line and sold it ten years later for $200 million.
Jay-Z has an amazing knack for bouncing back from rejection. We would all benefit from adopting this mindset.
We should learn that rejection is part of the journey to success. Do not give up easily when you are rejected by people. Instead, you should see this rejection as an opportunity to improve yourself.
6. Make a Plan
When Jay-Z, Damon Dash, and Kareem Burke founded Roc-A-Fella Records in 1994, they drew up a business plan. Jay recalls, “We made short and long-term projections, we kept it realistic, but the key thing is that we wrote it down, which is as important as visualization in realizing success.”
Make sure that you write your plan down on paper. Sometimes we think we know how it’s all going to play out in our head, but there’s something powerful and clarifying about actually writing things out.
7. Don’t Take Your Eyes off the Prize
It’s a common story in the entertainment industry: an up-and-coming artist gets a little taste of success and then everything comes crashing down when they get caught up in the lifestyle (i.e. parties, drugs, and alcohol).
Jay-Z’s music and business career took off simultaneously, but he managed to keep a level head. Even though he rapped about champagne and margaritas, he was only a light drinker. Jay prefers to be sober so that he can, “stay focused on making money.”
It’s this ability to resist temptation that has allowed Jay-Z to turn his initial success into a business empire.
The lesson that you can learn from this is to always stay focused. Do not let distractions keep you from the main prize (success).
8. Dream Enormous
As a poor kid growing up in a housing project, nobody ever told Jay-Z he could one day be worth $520 million or that he would pack Madison Square Garden.
But he did have a sixth-grade teacher named Miss Lowden who “must have seen something” in young Shawn Carter. That little show of support gave Jay-Z the confidence to imagine a life beyond the projects.
Accomplishing enormous goals starts with the ability to imagine them and the willingness to pursue them.
9. Demand Respect
In 1999, Jay-Z won his first Grammy award: Best Rap Album for “Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life.”
But he was nowhere to be found at the ceremony that night. Jay-Z had boycotted the Grammys because he “didn’t think they gave the rightful respect to hip-hop.” So even though attending the event would have been good for Jay’s career, he passed it by.
Jay-Z clearly has zero tolerance for disrespect – and as a result he’s very rarely disrespected.
You should also know whether a situation is right for you to be firm and demand to be respected by your colleagues. It will make you more charismatic and people will start to respect you more.
For example: you have been working really hard for many years, but your boss still treats you badly, and you are still being underpaid by the company. Your reaction to his behavior is the key here. If you keep accepting his bad attitude towards you, your colleagues will look at it and do the same to you. However, if you react by being clear and firm that you will not tolerate the disrespect, your boss will see this change in attitude and start to treat you better and show you respect.
10. Accept Help from Mentors
Entrepreneurs and artists tend to be strong-minded individuals. Jay-Z is both, but that hasn’t stopped him from seeking the guidance of a host of mentors through the years.
A good mentor has already been in your position. That means they can see what steps you need to take and what mistakes you must avoid – all while still giving you room to breathe and grow on your own.
Without the role models below, Jay-Z couldn’t have become the entrepreneur, rapper, and championship-caliber performer that he is today.
Some of Jay-Z’s mentors are:
- Russell Simmons – Co-Founder of Def Jam Records
- The Notorious B.I.G. – Rapper
- Michael Jordan – Six-time NBA Champio
There are a lot of things that you can learn from these ten principles behind Jay-Z’s success.
I personally think the last principle is very important. You need to get mentors so that you can significantly improve many important areas in your life, such as your finances, health, relationships, and many more.
I personally have seen many people struggle with their health and body. They have tried to lose weight for a while but with no results. Finding and working with a mentor unlocks their abilities and they start to get results.
How about you? What do you think is the most important principle behind Jay-Z’s success? Share it in the comments section below.
Featured photo credit: Huffington Post via i.huffpost.com