Hustle like mad- the 50 cent story
Life is tough for most of us, but as soon as we start to feel sorry for ourselves, we find others who will be so happy to exchange places with us. You may remember the poem about ‘the man complaining about not having shoes to wear, until he saw another with no legs.. etc
I didn’t start out being a fan of 50 cents (the rapper). I remember when I owned a night club around 2003. I was on deck playing some fancy music (so I thought), when a young lady came to the DJ stage to ask me if I had 50 cents. I had to admit that I was a little confused, but not wanting to show my ignorance said no. I wondered why anyone in England would be interested in 50 cents rather than 50 pence. The young lady was even more bemused when I showed my empty pocket. I later found out it was the name of a rapper and not a denomination of the popular currency. The song became one of the hit sounds that I used when I wanted to get people onto the dance floor in 2003/2004
If you are wondering about the track, well, its “In da club”
It is not about how you start, but where you end up. To appreciate the work of 50, you have to separate the man from the myth, listen to the audio version of his book. Why am I blogging about a rapper? Well, he is a great entrepreneur. Curtis Jackson a.k.a. 50 cents is a great business man. He started life being poor, had success and lost it all only to make it back. I believe many entrepreneurs can learn from others who have been through tough times as well. He never gave up and will outwork everyone. Here is the book
The incredible story of the biggest hustler in the history of rap. But in this book, 50 cents did not only talk about himself, he gave great real examples of others. He was candid about his fears and weaknesses.
He gave examples using some of the experiences of other great business leaders. There was the story of Isaac, he that was sent to prison for the offence he did not commit. Isaac not only defended others, but read law, freed himself from prison and started a project helping others who have been wrongly convicted. You just have to listen to this video. The success and failure of one of the biggest rapper of all times.
The book “Hustle harder: hustle smarter” is a great book from the man who hustled hard on the streets of NY.
There is a lesson that one needs to pick up from the book. I passed on several chances to listen to the book because I wasn’t sure 50 cents had anything important that i would be interested in. The video kept popping up until I decided maybe it was time i listened to it for at least a few minutes. Then i was hooked. I am sure this has happened to you as well. The persona of the man is completely different to the way he wrote his book. There is always something to learn from other people’s experience and I hope you will have the opportunity to do the same.
In the book, there are so many things one can pick up from the attitude of the man and his experience. As an academic, you can pick up so many strategies that you can apply in the real world.
Never be afraid to take risk
We are sometimes too afraid of failure that we don’t take the risk to move to the next level. Another great lesson from 50 cents is never be afraid to take risk. Only a few of us will and I hope most will never have to be shot 9 times. It must be something else to live with the fear of being shot that many times.
Of course, we can all learn from the experience of others, but in the book, 50 cents showed himself as one of the smartest people you can meet and changes the impression many people have of rappers in general. 50 was insightful, displayed the thinking of a great mind. Here is a guy that i will be happy to invite into my MBA class as a guest to fire up the imaginations of my students. Yes, life can be challenging, but never complain and feel you are entitled to a better life. Make the best of what you have and keep on moving.
Independence and freedom
The story of 50 is really about independence. There is so much to learn from the street hustlers and drug dealers on the streets of LA or New Year. This is the story of making the best use of what we have. Towards the end of the book, 50 travelled to Africa and saw more sufferings than he thought was possible. Even when we think our circumstances are bad, someone will be so happy to trade places with us. At least the drug dealers in NY had a roof over their heads and functioning toilet facilities, there are people who genuinely are unable to find anything to eat for several days. Imagine the sufferings of those children who faced starvation in Ethiopia and Sudan.
I am not downplaying the challenges that we all face, but I hope we can all put things into perspectives and become the best versions of ourselves.
Another of my blog on 50 cents and his strategy of drawing attention
My conclusion, life is a hustle. Just listen to the sound of the clock clicking away, it waits for no one, so hustle like mad because there will come a time when you may not be able to hustle, even if you want to.