Two Things I Learned on Tuesday from Jay-Z

Had the pleasure of meeting the one-and-only Sean Carter, a.k.a. Jay-Z a while back. This guy has one of the most incredible rags-to-riches stories of anybody. And, with him being a Brooklyn guy like myself, I’ve followed the way he’s built his business empire pretty closely.

From his rap career, clothing lines, music production, and now even a budding sports empire; it’s incredible to see how a guy like this is able to stay balanced and focused.

With that, here are two key things I’ve learned from the man they call Hova:

1) Tell your story. As a recording artist, storytelling is essential to your work, but it’s just as important to any aspect of business. Search for the truth in what you are doing and believe in your work just as much as you want your customers to believe in your work.

2) Use a “What do they know?” approach. Don’t give up just because someone told you, “No.” When Jay-Z was shopping his first album to record labels he got shut down by every single one, but rejection wasn’t a deterrent. Jay-Z kept consistent with his work and his effort, built buzz around his music, distributed it himself, and eventually the record companies came crawling back. Don’t be afraid to go out on your own to accomplish something.

It’s this approach that’s made Jay-Z one of the most recognizable names in music in the world. And it’s spurred his success as an entrepreneur, going from the streets of Brooklyn to a man with a net worth of half a billion dollars.

Brandon Steiner, Jay-Z and Mariano Riverea


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