5 Things we can learn from 50 Cent

A smart and successful entrepreneur will always study those who have been successful in their niche. And why wouldn’t they? You’re basically looking at a free blueprint to success, given of course – that you can apply an appropriate degree of initiative and critical thinking to what you’re reading. But what about those outside your niche? The formula to success is sometimes present in the most unlikely individuals and situations.

This is exactly why analysing the career of rap sensation 50 Cent (otherwise referred to as Curtis Jackson), who was, in fact, a drug dealer at the age of 12 – can be extremely rewarding. Why? Because 50 Cent is a man who rose against all odds, and overcome the biggest hardships in order to effectively set in stone what he ultimately envisioned. These are the traits of a successful entrepreneur – turning dreams into reality.

Among of the richest performers of hip hop music, Curtis is now worth approximately $440 million (2008).

Why? Let’s have a look.

1. His work ethic is admirable

50 Cent has got to have one of the most admirable work ethics I’ve heard of. In his semi-auto-biographical movie, he describes himself as always being the first one awake within his group during his cocaine-dealing days. He focused his attention on continuously earning money, rather than indulging solely in a lifestyle associated with spending it. And of course – his portfolio speaks for itself. From creating his own clothing line, to flavoured bottled water, to video games, to even engaging in a joint venture with Motsepe (a mining company), this man is simply involved in everything.

2. He is continuously innovating

Let me start by asking how many other rappers have been behind the launch of a video game? Not too many. And this is why he succeeded. Because he realized that many fans would pay for the ability to effectively live his lifestyle. While getting into shootouts with insurgents – crashing hummers and flying military planes is pretty unlikely to be the daily norm for Curtis, the ability to establish a connection beyond the realms of ordinary music with his fans has effectively torpedoed him into success.

And this draws me to my next point.

3. He follows the money

Many people often reach a certain level of comfort in the infinite world of internet marketing, and consequently, stop looking for ways to make money. 50 Cent has a track record of following the money – and it has ultimately driven him to success.

For instance – once 50 Cent established himself in the rap industry, he effectively moved onto film. His profile as a rapper created a sense of anticipation and high expectations towards any project he was involved in, and his ability to meet these expectations once again led to success. Similarly, he moved into selling healthy bottled water (Vitamin Water) as a result of his extremely buff figure.

4. He demands the best, from the best people

When rapper ‘The Game’ wouldn’t side with 50 Cent and his rap group over a ‘beef’ with another entertainment group in early 2005 – he was consequently dropped. Loyalty is an absolutely necessary trait which you should demand from your employees, and of course – loyalty is usually associated with the best.

It is hard to imagine Curtis Jackson as a successful rapper without the support of his rap group – G Unit – after him. Why? Because they are among the best. They understand what their listeners want to hear and they can subsequently give it to them. This is again reflected by 50 Cent entrusting Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to manage his investment portfolio.

After all .. what good can a captain do when the crew is incompetent?

5. He never fails to bring attention to himself

What good is being kick ass in your niche when nobody knows about it? Publicity is a no brainer for any business owner, but the way in which 50 Cent goes about attaining it is often fascinating.
  • Rapper 50 Cent, real name Curtis Jackson, has said that he needs to turn Inglourious Basterds star Brad Pitt for a day, so that he can gain passionate love to his wife actress Angelina Jolie. 
  • 50 Cent also indicated that he gets drunk after two drinks because even though he’s buff, his alcohol tolerance is really low. 
  • 50 cent arrested in NYC. “If Kanye West sells more records than 50 Cent on September 11, I’ll no longer write music. I’ll write music and work with my other artists, but I won’t put out anymore solo albums.” 
  • 50 Cent pulled off a publicity stunt Monday (September 28) afternoon with reports of him being rushed to the hospital after listening to the new Fat Joe album, J.O.S.E. Part II... doctors say after performing a Cat Scan and EKG there seems to be some damage to his auditory cortex, which is the region of the brain that is responsible for processing sound. 
All in all, I’d really encourage you to do a little bit of reading on 50 Cent, and analyse his journey. Sometimes the ingredients behind success are blatantly plastered on your television, and it can often pay to pay attention to the finer details.

I would love to hear your opinions.

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