September 14, 2013

Entrepreneurial Advice in Rap Music (Part 2)

Rap and entrepreneurship share many similarities as expressed in hip hop’s lyrics. Enjoy this follow up to part 1 of Entrepreneurial Advice in Rap Music, collaboratively written with the Medium community.

Follow along with the beats with this Spotify playlist.

“Stay far from timid
Only make moves when your heart’s in it
And live the phrase sky’s the limit”

- The Notorious B.I.G. (Sky’s The Limit) h/t Alex Turnbull

Don’t start a business you’re not passionate about, because it’ll wear you down. Fast. But when you do go, go hard.

"Make a business for yourself, boy, set some goals
Make a fair diamond out of dusty coals”

- Big Boi (Bombs Over Baghdad), h/t Cormac Driver

If you work hard enough with seemingly minimal resources, you can produce something of great value.

"You know white people get money, don’t spend it
Or maybe they get money, buy a business
I rather buy 80 gold chains and go ign’ant”

- Kanye West (Clique) h/t Hartley Brody

Remember, not everyone is like you. Not everyone has the same problems and uses technology in the same way. Think outside your ‘hood.

"Baby if you give it to me
I’ll give it to you
I know what you want
You know I got it”

- Busta Rhymes (I Know What You Want)

Build something people want, let them know about it, and they’ll give you money.

"Ask for money, and get advice
Ask for advice, get money twice”

- Pitbull (Feel This Moment), h/t Ricky Yean

Few people are handing out money but true prosperity comes from learning and understanding the wisdom of others.

"We gotta take these cards ourselves and flip em
Don’t expect no help
Now I could’ve either just sat on my ass and pissed and moaned
Or take this situation in which I’m placed in
And get up and get my own!”

- Eminem (Beautiful) h/t Contri

Startups are lonely and hard. You can either choose to give up and complain or stay focused and do something wonderful.

"Why they say the sky is the limit
When I’ve seen the footprints on the moon
And I know the sky might be high
But baby it ain’t really that high
And I know that mars might be far
But baby it ain’t really that far
Let’s reach for the stars”

- Will.I.Am (Reach for the Stars), h/t Matt Moore

Things can always be better. Never stop making forward progress.

"I’m not a businessman,
I’m a business, man”

- Jay-Z (Diamonds From Sierra Leone), h/t Amie Kjellstrom & Kyle Tibbitts

Personal brand and personality can be a multiplier in building a successful venture.

"Y’all don’t know my struggle
Y’all can’t match my hustle
You can’t catch my hustle
You can’t fathom my love dude
Lock yourself in a room doing 5 beats a day for 3 summers
That’s a Different World like Cree Summer’s
I deserve to do these numbers”

- Kanye West (Spaceship), h/t Adam Kazwell

Entrepreneurship takes hustle, persistence, and several iterations to be successful.

"Don’t call it a comeback
I been here for years”

- LL Cool J (Mama Said Knock You Out) h/t John Joseph

The product managers, engineers, designers, and others spend significant time and effort in the background, invisible to most people until a big feature is released. Only then is recognition given but in reality, these creators made forward progress the entire time.

"It could all be so simple
But you’d rather make it hard”

- Lauryn Hill (Ex-Factor)

Entrepreneurs often fall into the trap of building overly complex products.

"The leader of the new school, uncool
Never played the fool, just made the rules”

- Public Enemy (Don’t Believe the Hype) h/t Carlo Almendral

Don’t get caught up in the hype. Transformative products require entrepreneurs to make their own rules, challenge anti-patterns, and blaze new trails.

"Can’t nobody take my pride
Uh-uh, uh-uh
Can’t nobody hold me down… ohh no
I got to keep on movin”

- Puff Daddy (Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down)

You’re doing something wrong if you’re not receiving rejection on the reg. Push forward through the trough of sorrow in the face competitors and haters.

"No lie, just know I chose my own fate
I drove by the fork in the road and went straight”

- Jay-Z (Renegade) h/t Contri

The less traveled, more challenging approach is often the most fruitful. Entrepreneurs create their own path.

"I’ve been so quiet, I got the world like ‘What the fuck is he planning?’”

- Drake (Versace)

Sometimes the best marketing strategy is to not reveal everything at once.

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