Take it straight to the bank!

3 Key Lessons every entrepreneur can take away from 50 Cent’s new book Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter

Today, it’s impossible to open any social media app and not be bombarded with a Twitter thread or Tik Tok telling you the decision you made to pursue a traditional 9 to 5 was a foolish one. If it’s not the entrepreneur who made a million in crypto telling you “ if you only took your life savings and bought a bored ape…” then it’s the Gen z Tik Tok star reminding you that you’re a joke because they get up and dance online for 30 minutes and a brand pays them your monthly wage for it. The truth is, in a way, they’re right. In our current economic state, one of the best ways to secure yourself financially is to either invest in emerging markets or to find new and creative ways to apply your expertise for the benefit of others through the selling of goods or providing services. Statistically speaking, it’s in your best interest to pursue entrepreneurship. According to Quickbooks, “28.2% of American workers had some form of self-employment in 2019”. Then when we look at Fact Finder, “83.1% of business owners built their companies from scratch”. The most important statistic however comes from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor that states “63% of Americans believe that entrepreneurship is a good career choice”. What at one point seemed reserved for the wealthy elite, has now become a clear path to freedom for those of us who had to seize success while fighting off the disenfranchisement brought on by an economy that was designed to keep the rich, wealthy, and the working, working for the wealthy.

50 Cent’s new book Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter is best described as a collection of tried and tested principles filtered through the raw experiences that shaped his business empire. Echoing a lot of the same instincts as his first outing as a co-author for The 50th Law with Robert Greene, this solo project places 50 Cent at the helm as he guides the reader through a masterclass of honesty, commitment, and self-accountability. As more people pursue entrepreneurship today, this book stands as a strategy guide with 3 key elements for any entrepreneur to rely on as they make their wildest dreams their present realities.

Lesson 1: Hard work and Discipline Trumps All

As our technology continues to outpace our personal development, we as humanity find ourselves, more often than not, being completely dependent on specific conditions in order to perform at our best. This dependency has the tendency to become an intoxicating spell that convinces even the most passionate that “working smarter” is enough. With access to any information, celebrity, or money-generating opportunity at the swipe or press of a button, many entrepreneurs are given a false sense of security through these various access points. The irony of it all is through working smarter, many entrepreneurs hope to reach the heights of idols who simply worked hard and maintained their discipline in the face of constant distractions and demands to relent.

Take arguably the greatest boxer of all time, Floyd Mayweather. Outside of being a defensive savant with a gifted IQ for the sport, Floyd Mayweather is known for having a work ethic and discipline that could rival any legend in their category. After beating Zab Judah in 2006, Floyd Mayweather brought Zab Judah in as a sparring partner before his bout with Manny Pacquiao. According to Zab Judah,

“We’d pull off four or five hour gym sessions, right from the gym session, leave there and then go for a run for ten miles. I was like ‘This motherf***er is crazy! We’d go home and lay down and he’ll call you again, like two or three in the morning and say ‘Yo, what’s up, let’s go running’.

If we also look at the Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter author 50 Cent, we see the same commitment to a relentless work ethic. Whether it’s an eighteen-hour shoot day on the set of his hit series Power on STARZ, or an all nighter at the studio that ends just in time for him to get a two-hour nap before he makes his 5:00am gym call, the truth is the smartest thing you can do as an entrepreneur is work harder.

Lesson 2: Never accept being afraid

Fear is real and more often than not, necessary for forward momentum. Toxic rhetoric aside, it’s not being afraid that's the problem, it’s in finding comfort in being afraid that becomes a snare for so many entrepreneurs today. To be a successful entrepreneur, you have to be willing to embrace the risks as much as you desire the rewards because it’s in the risk that the rewards reveal themselves. When you find comfort in fear, you become fooled into believing that underachieving is not a result of your lack of strategy or consistent effort, but due to external conditions only. It tricks you into looking at what you don’t have and your areas of deficiencies. You become addicted to constantly comparing yourself to others in the hopes that you find more ways to defend the idea that you would be better off if only you had what they had.

In the first chapter, 50 Cent reminds us that what we can’t do is become complacent or accepting with any fear that we feel if we want to be high achievers.

If you fear loss, you can’t spend your life avoiding intimacy and love. If you fear failure you can’t stop taking risks. If you fear the unknown you can’t stop trying new experiences. — 50 Cent

It’s only in attacking the fears and not adjusting your goals to suit them that you’ll find the results you’ve intended when you first started your business. It’s only in attacking the fears and not adjusting your goals to suit them that you’re able to reinforce your belief in your business.

Lesson 3: You’ll only go as high as the value you place on yourself

Whether you have the greatest idea of our time or can build the solution to every problem under the sun, you’ll only be as successful as you believe you’ll be. Nothing matters if you don’t believe in yourself because your view of yourself becomes the foundation of your views as an entrepreneur. This is why it’s important to ruthlessly cultivate a sense of self so strong that it’s unphased by the conditions of the market, or even the competition. As an entrepreneur, you can’t lose sight of the value you bring to the table when its your vision on the line. More often than not, to execute your vision you’ll have to go against popular opinion and turn down good moves for great ones.

In his book Hustle Harder Hustle Smarter, 50 Cent details some of his most lucrative deals over his career ranging from his deal with Shady Aftermath to his deal with the STARZ network. In each deal, there was a moment where he had to make a decision that looked strange, even down right stupid, in the short-term to the people around him. When it came to his deal with Shady, it came only after he decided to turn down a $1.3 million deal with Universal, a Capital Records deal, and all while being seen as damaged goods due to Columbia Records dropping him in fear of the recent attack on his life. When it came to his famous deal with Vitamin Water, it came at a time when Vitamin Water was just a scrappy upstart based in Queens and the rest of his peers were collecting big checks branding liquor brands like Hennessy and Courvoisier. His own manager told him “Sell water? To Who?” in disbelief, but 50 cent new to trust his instinct and choose to bet on his belief vs. what the market demanded. For STARZ, 50 Cent accepted only $17,000 per episode which came out to $136,000 (only for his acting) in his first deal with the network. “From a strictly financial perspective it looked like a terrible deal” he said because he could make 10x the amount from a ten-minute performance alone.

Forget about getting paid “fairly”. Given how much time I invested, I basically paid myself to make that first season of Power. — 50 Cent

The bet that 50 Cent was willing to make in his major business deals is a bet all entrepreneurs have to make along the journey, the bet on themselves. By doing Power well below his rate, he got a chance to prove his prowess in a completely different media arena. The result of that bet? A $150 Million deal with the STARZ network which included a three-series commitment, and a fund to help develop other G-Unit projects. To be able to have the foresight and see the value in your vision, trust yourself to execute it even under duress, and work it to the finish demands a degree of confidence in who you are and what you’re here to do.

Here’s the reality, entrepreneurship isn’t as easy as social media makes it seem. All the smart devices, short cuts, tools, resources, and access in the world still won’t prevent you from having to confront the challenges that come with choosing to build a career for yourself. Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter is a raw account of what it takes to succeed in the market place from one of the most competitive and relentless entrepreneurs in the world today. The book is comprised of nine chapters that can be summed up in three key categories for success:

  • Hardwork and Discipline trumps everything else.
  • Never accept being afraid.
  • You’ll only go as high as you value yourself.

If you’re going to build a successful career as an entrepreneur, these three keys will unlock your potential, and Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter by 50 Cent will provide the steps that guide you far past any finishline you thought you had.

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