5 Powerful Entrepreneurial Lessons From an Unlikely Source: Rap Music

Most people who listen to rap like it “just for the beat, bro”… or they don’t like it at all because it seems like “it’s all b****es, drugs, and money”.

I’m here to prove both sides wrong — that as an entrepreneur, you can actually gain a lot of value from some of the minds in the rap music industry.

1) DECLARING YOUR FREEDOM.

“Lord willin’, I’ll survive,
but not like that 9 to 5” — Logic, Lord Willin’

For many entrepreneurs, this is actually their Primary Motivation. They’re not only in entrepreneurship for some of the other results like increased income, larger/diverse network, etc.

These entrepreneurs, myself included, are motivated to run their own business to own their own work life. To not have to check into work. To not have to ask your “boss” to go to the bathroom. Even to work the night shift, starting at midnight — if that’s what their heart desires and how they get in the zone the best.

2) FOLLOWING THROUGH ON YOUR DECISIONS.

Man, I could write a whole post on this lyric alone:

“making major changes to the life I’m livin’…
I had no choice, I had to prove I made the right decision…
That was back in the days, Acura days” — Drake, Underground Kings

This lyric is especially important to me because, right after high-school, I had made the (seemingly arrogant) decision to not go to college as planned, and instead chase my dreams of being a full-time entrepreneur and working for myself. At the time (and still to this day), the lyric really stuck with me — because I knew that with hard work, perseverance, and diligence…. I wouldn’t have to work for someone else and call them my “boss”. I made major changes to my life, and I had to prove that I made the right decision. For me, that was back in the Pontiac Bonneville days, haha.

A lot of entrepreneurs experience this, where they get a lot of negative feedback from friends and family about their attempts at a better life. When they can provide nicer things for their family, healthier food… not to mention being around more and making it out to their kid’s soccer game, because they “survive, but not like that 9–5”.

Dr. Phil, among many other people throughout history, has said something along these lines: “Sometimes you make the right decision, and sometimes you make the decision right.”

Make the decision… but then make it the right one.

3) TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OPPORTUNITIES.

It’s easy to let moments pass by. That smart guy, in the same industry as you, who you got along with well at that last networking event — it’s easy to not think much of the potential a business partnership could look like.

You could see that pretty girl in the row in front of you and never say hi… even though your heart urges you to do so. It’s easier to just go your own way.

“You better lose yourself in the music, the moment –
You own it, you better never let it go.
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow –
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime” — Eminem, Lose Yourself

We all have different opportunities in our lives, especially in this day and age. It is easier than ever to make an income for yourself, and you can do it from the comfort of your own home, at your own hours… Giving you the time freedom to do what you love to do during the rest of the day. And if you love your work, then you just keep doing more of that 😉 (we’ll go over this one next)

“Opportunity waits for no man. Today it is here; soon it is gone. Therefore, delay not”

– the parables from ancient Babylon

Enough said.

4) ALWAYS STAY HUSTLING.

It goes without saying, that as a rule of thumb, the harder you work, the more successful you’ll become.

When you were in practice for your favorite sport in high school, you realized, innately, that the more sweat came down your face, the harder you were working, the stronger/better you were becoming.

“Still grinding,
Still hustling,
No more pain,
No more suffering.” — T-Pain, All The Above

When you continue to put in that hustle, to continue on your grind, you likely don’t have to experience the hardships of poverty. In a country where we are blessed to have the freedom to make a better future for our family, it’s wrong not to.

Even King Solomon, the richest man in history, records in the book of Proverbs:

“Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor.” — Proverbs 12:24

People who work diligently will become leaders. Those who are slothful, or lazy, end up working, doing things they don’t want to.

As entrepreneurs, we must continuously work diligently and persevere when the going gets tough.

5) GOING ALL IN.

We started with a Logic quote, and we’re going to end with one. He is one of the bigger inspirations for writing this post, along with many others. Nearly every song has a few lines that I could include in this post.

As an entrepreneur, there are no “half-deals”. There’s no one foot in, one foot out — you’ve gotta take the leap sometimes, and don’t look back.

“Livin’ my life — no inhibition,
life to death with no intermission” — Logic, Fade Away

He’s not talking about taking a retirement at 55.

He’s committed to going ALL IN, without anything stopping him, from today to the day he dies. To make the world a better place. To spread love where love needs to be spread. Etc etc.

I’m grateful for the role rap music has played in my life. I’ve been able to consciously choose lyrics that match up with previous beliefs I have and nod my head to them, sing to them. It engrains it that much more and helps me to live it out daily — whatever the lesson may be.


Originally published at bryceclark.com on January 30, 2017.

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