First, he conquered the music industry (30 million albums sold worldwide). Then, thanks to Vitamin Water, he hit a grand slam in the beverage industry ($140 million payday). He even has an 8 figure endorsement contract to promote an underwear brand! Today, he is trying to launch a competitor to Beats By Dre headphones called SMS Audio (Studio Mastered Sound). Clearly, 50 Cent knows a thing or two about the business world.
Earlier this week, 50 Cent sat down with Fortune Magazine to discuss his secrets to business success. Included in the discussion are the challenges he faces with his newest venture and how he decides on new investments. It's a quick video, but still definitely worth watching. I'll paste the transcript below…
On how and why he came up with the idea for SMS Audio:
"When I first came up with the idea for SMS Audio, I wanted to make sure I was able to continuously be a part of how people enjoy music. I dipped and dabbed in brand extension opportunities prior to that, and I felt like it would be cool to be associated with why people listen to high-quality products."
On how he finds his next investment opportunity:
"I'm constantly approaching people with the idea of what's next? [People with investment ideas will say…] 'Look, you think you did good with your last idea? Well wait till you hear mine. This is amazing. It's gonna make you a lot of money bro. Look, all you gotta do is put your money behind my idea. Because I have nothing. I've just got an idea'. It's almost like, [the people with investment ideas] are serious. With no package and no presentation."
On the challenges of launching and running a business:
"The challenges are finding the right people to work with, you know initially. Even when you find a company that has already had some success and you buy that company that is already working to have a team around it, there is a process of filtering to hire the right people for it."
As a business owner myself, I definitely agree with the points 50 makes above, especially the stuff about finding the right people. Wherever you are at with your business, whether you're just getting off the ground or you've been running it for years, being surrounded by smart and motivated people is crucial. In the beginning stages of your business, you'll need help tackling challenges you never would have dreamed about, even with the most diligent planning. Friends and mentors who have already been through those challenges will help you succeed without wasting too much time and energy. Building businesses is about building teams that run and succeed on their own without any input from the boss. You should always be focused on finding ways to get people to thrive independently so you can focus on the really big opportunities and problems.
Finally, as much as I hate to admit this, being successful means being paranoid all the time. You almost need to believe that you are constantly on the verge of losing everything. If you become complacent, someone out there who is hungrier and more motivated will swoop in and steal your lunch. Here's one of my favorite sayings: "The only cure for anxiety is hard work." That motto is true for everything in your life, whether you're worried about an exam, starting a business or trying out for a sports team. I guarantee that guys like 50 Cent, Diddy, Jay-Z and Dr. Dre never feel anxious, because they wake up and immediately work their asses off. If they lose at something, it's never due to lack of effort.