Thurs/9-950 – [Branding 102]: Longevity & Expansion

It’s finally Thursday and we’ve arrived at the end of this TNN University Lecture Series. So far, we’ve discussed the importance of being effectively translatable, thinking far and not just high, and diversifying your offerings. If I haven’t yet convinced you to start thinking outside of the box and leave your comfort zone from time to time, maybe today’s session will do the trick. Our last discussion is about breaking through, what I call, the Silo Effect. Let’s begin.

IV. Break Through the Silo Effect

Lesson: Expanding yourself and your brand can be tricky, and even dangerous, but when done properly, you can find yourself in a pretty dominant position with connections, influence, and financial rewards. Jay Z is a multi-platinum rapper, the founder of a very successful record label, he’s written a book, he’s served (and still serves) as an ambassador for a number of brands, co-owns the 40/40 Club and the Brooklyn Nets, has built a successful fashion brand, and has worked on political and philanthropic efforts across the nation and the globe. As you can see, he’s not afraid to move from one arena to another and dominate each one while he’s there.

No, it’s not about randomly involving yourself in twenty different endeavors; and spreading yourself super thin is not the optimal game plan. The point is to make sure that you don’t limit yourself to one area. Ever. Become good at something and then get better at it. Then, once you’re on top of that area, keep dominating, but find something new to dabble in.

Application: There are plenty of ways that you can explore some of the other opportunities out there waiting for you (without purchasing stock in your city’s basketball team or opening a night club…). From both a personal and a branding perspective, have some side projects to complement your main grind and interests. Think about what you like to do in your free time outside of your main passion(s) and try to find ways to make a bigger impact in that area. It shows others your versatility, while widening your creative credibility and your network.

Sidebar: Of course, money is often the motivation for a lot of young “creatives” and grinders today. You can break through the silo effect financially by being smart with your money. Operate like a businessman (or businesswoman) and [invest] your money in something that will bring you greater rewards, whether that’s a promising business venture, stocks, CDs, or something along those lines. Think smart and act like you work on Wall St., even if you’re just an aspiring rapper from BK or an artist in Harlem. Make your money work for you.

With that said, congratulations on completing this special 4-part course. I think it’s pretty clear that when it comes to building a long-lasting, far-reaching empire, Jay Z knows his stuff. I always say that in order to be the best, we have to learn from the best, so I hope these notes and examples will prove helpful for you in the future. Use this week’s four lessons to expand your brand and develop longevity in all that you do.

Thanks for attending TNN University. Your diplomas will arrive in the mail shortly.