The Five Steps to Becoming Mogul Minded

Curtis Jackson’s evolution from basement rapper to media [mogul] is one that no one can deny. Since hitting the mainstream scene in the early 2000’s, 50 Cent has slowly, but surely, conquered the world of pop culture. The 35-year-old has proven himself as a businessman in and out of the studio, boasting a total net worth of nearly 200 million dollars. But how is it possible for one man to execute such a massive takeover? I’ve taken a few notes on this [boss] and I think I have a few concrete tips that will help get you in a mogul state of mind.

1. Perfect Your Brand and Defend It With Your Life
First things first: figure out who you want to be and what you want to stand for. When people see you or hear your name, you should already know what they’re thinking. Once that image is set, keep it consistent and guard it fiercely. Your brand is the foundation that your products and profitability are built upon. During 50 Cent’s first steps into the retail industry with his G-Unit Clothing and Footwear lines, he quickly learned that the conventional strategy in retail is to push sales and maximize numbers at all cost. Following this tactic, he found that his products were winding up in discount stores, a location that certainly didn’t mesh with the G-Unit brand. While he considered the Ecko collaboration a great experience, he developed a sense of how to effectively monitor the markets that he associates his name with. During the summer of 2008, 50 Cent sued Taco Bell for inappropriately using his name in a publicity campaign for their dollar menu. The lawsuit showed Taco Bell and anyone else that might have any similar ideas that they would neither profit from his brand nor misrepresent it in any way.

2. Tailor Yourself Accordingly
No, I don’t mean dress appropriately for everything you do (although you should). What I’m saying is that you should carry yourself in a manner befitting any environment you may find yourself in. This tip can be tricky because, at times, it means finding a delicate balance between brand consistency and catering to your audience. Robert Greene, bestselling author of the 48 Laws of Power and co-author of 50 Cent’s book, The 50th Law, considers Jackson to be a cool, collected, and thoughtful individual, despite his typically hard, sometimes thuggish facade. 50 has no problem breaking down his tough exterior as a rapper from the streets of South Jamaica, Queens if it means passing that contract for his next big deal. A large part of this tip also includes connecting with consumers, or fans in his case. From his albums to his autobiographical film or even his book, he brings his real life into his work and gives himself to his fans. He knows just how much to give and when to pull back.

3. Get Your Hands Dirty
One trend that you can pick up on with Curtis Jackson is that he doesn’t get involved with any endeavor that he can’t be completely involved in. During the production of his two video games, Bulletproof and Blood on the Sand, he participated in each step of development. From the first stage to the final one, 50 and his team chose music, did simulations, and made sure that every detail fit perfectly with his brand. Furthermore, the involvement allows you to express and increase your enthusiasm for whatever it is that you do. Through his work in his production company, Jackson’s passion for filmmaking has grown immensely. “It’s turned into a passion of mine where I now actually want to be a part of it on a different level,” says the producer/actor. Having a steady amount of control puts the power in your hands and really makes you a “boss.” His 100% ownership of G-Unit Records allows him to receive anywhere from 50-80% of his artists’ profits. It’s gotta feel amazing to be in the driver’s seat.

4. Be fearless
Always be bold enough to take a risk; that’s how most of the world’s influencers made it to where they are now. In The 50th Law, Jackson actually refers to fearlessness as the foundation of his success and power. Scared money doesn’t make new money, so don’t be afraid to invest it in something different. During production of his debut fragrance, Power by Fifty Cent, he used several independent companies as opposed to the more popular, traditional fragrance houses. Lighthouse Beauty, a company that 50 has a 25% stake in, produced and marketed the product. What a way to make twice the profits! As you find your inner courage, test out different principles of business to see which ones work for you. 50 Cent recently gathered together a group of kids in his neighborhood, with whom he charged his neighbors $100 to shovel the snow out of their driveways. The motivation behind this atypical day of work was so that he could test whether or not certain general professional principles that he believed in could be applied to any type of business. Although he gave the $1,000 of profit they made to the kids, I’m sure whatever lesson he learned through the experience will be far more valuable.

5. Never Stop
Go hard at all that you do and don’t stop searching for ways to expand. It’s obvious that Curtis Jackson splits his time and effort generously into several different financial ventures. He has a term to describe some of the artists today. He calls them “timekeepers,” which he defines as people that limit themselves by focusing on one single area. According to Jackson, these artists may be all the hype right now, but they aren’t making money in their sleep. He has his mind focused far ahead in the future, saying, “I want to build something sustainable so that even when I’m not as popular as my talent, my production companies, movies, or music that I discover will live on… Those people who stick around for a long time… have the intelligence to maneuver themselves and market themselves to the public.”

If you follow these rules, I guarantee that your stock will rise in ways that you never would have imagined. Do everything right and you just may find yourself sitting next to Curtis Jackson, Sean Combs, Shawn Carter, and the rest of the royal family.

-JRP