Last updated August 22, 2021
No matter how much time has passed, this loss is still so incredibly unreal & unbelievable. Nipsey Hussle's legacy + innerG lives on forver; his successful entrepreneurial strides, patient creative process, & complete embodiment of what dedication, loyalty, & hard work means will always be remembered. Here are six entrepreneurial lessons I've learned from Nipsey.
1. Invest Appropriately
Hussle Lesson #1: "Invest in some assets, as opposed to trickl[ing] off all [your] money on some liabilities, like diamonds [and] cars," said Nipsey in one of his earliest recorded interviews (from 2006 but published in 2013). There's absolutely nothing wrong with having nice things, but play your cards right & be smart about it.
A few weeks before his untimely demise, Forbes wrote a detailed article about his real estate accomplishments. The same block that Nipsey used to hustle on is the same block that he bought back to create jobs for the people & circulate legit wealth for the city.
In addition to rebuilding his block, Nipsey Hussle also has other business ventures. The Marathon Agency, Vector90, & Steve's Barbershop are just a few businesses that Nipsey co-founded. This man has upwards of 15+ businesses!
2. Marketing Matters
Hussle Lesson #2: Know the value of your work & don't undersell yourself. YOU set the value/price of your product or service, so only YOU can determine how much something is worth. Just because there are competitors around you selling a similar product/service at a different price point than you doesn't mean anything. As long as you can properly position + execute your product or service, it is worth whatever price you give.
Shortly after, Nipsey shared in an interview with Hot 97 that he got the idea from a book called Contagious. It's about how to make things go viral & how to properly position your product/service. Author Jonah Berger details the six key factors that contribute to something going viral: social currency, triggers, emotion, public view, practical use, & stories (STEPPS).
Long story short, there's an example in the book that talks about how a local restaurant decided to start charging $100 for their sandwiches, & although it made a lot of people mad, it also spread like wildfire. Nipsey applied this to his eighth mixtape, & it was a huge success--he sold 1,000 copies in the first day!
I was still in high school at the time, so reading a book for fun was the last thing on my to-do list. Fast forward to 2016, my third year in college; I'm sitting in the lecture hall, reading over the class syllabus, & guess what one of our required readings was titled? Contagious. Truth be told, I honestly only read it because I remembered it from the Rosenberg & Ciph interview. It's amazing how things come full circle.
3. Share the Secrets
Hussle Lesson #3: When your team wins, you win too. You can only do so much on your own, & there's nothing wrong with trying to put your people on. Don't be greedy; share what you know & do your best to help your team succeed.
I've never understood why people are so afraid of helping each other out, or why everything has to be so secretive. Don’t get me wrong, competition can be healthy, but numbers, stats, etc. doesn’t really translate into anything valuable. Even if it's people close to you who want to do the same thing--why would you stop them from being great?
Be confident enough in yourself to know that even if you put someone on, they'll never do it how YOU do it. There is only one you, & no one can do it like you do & how you do it. When you give back to your day one loyal supporters, only greatness can come out of that.
4. Be Multidimensional
Hussle Lesson #4: It takes a lot of confidence to truly be multidimensional because it means you're fully comfortable with all parts of you. Success requires being able to adapt to the environment you're in while withholding integrity.
Nip has never kept quiet about his past or the cruelty of the streets, but he also often talked about connecting with Spirit, understanding energy, holistic healing, & more. So many people overlooked him simply because the tattoos on his face or the pants below his waist, but yet look at the impact that he's left behind. Who would have thought that a Crip from South LA would have the whole world mourning after his assassination?
5. Stick to the Script
Hussle Lesson #5: Nipsey has repeatedly said this in songs & interviews: Stick. To. The. Script. Create a plan, then execute it; be patient if it doesn't go the way you want, but don't fold just for an immediate reward. Everything happens in the timing that it should be in, so if something doesn't work out the way you want, it was for a good reason--even if you can't understand why at the time.
Hussle stuck to his script, stayed true to himself, & was able to control his whole narrative exactly how he wanted to. He eliminated the middle man. He proved that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. He showed that dedication, hard work, plus patience is how you win.
6. The Marathon Continues
Hussle Lesson #6: Keep going; don't stop, don't give up, & don't quit. You have to play the long game & look at the bigger picture. In Perfect 10, Nipsey says, "I just didn't quit. That's the only distinguishing quality from me & probably whoever else."
So many people doubted him because he was independent & wasn't signed to any major label. So many people laughed when he released a $100 mixtape & kept pushing back his debut album release date. So many roadblocks were put in front of him from the music industry & the government. Nip didn't care, though. He always pushed through & continued with what he was doing; he didn't ever stop.
Nipsey created his own lane & did things the way he wanted. He definitely didn't play by the rules, & that's what makes him so damn prolific. Even after his physical body has left this earth, his legacy continues to run deep throughout Los Angeles, the rest of the States, & the w.o.r.l.d! The marathon will always continue.
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