Surprisingly, Drake’s Lyrics Provide Solid Lessons for Entrepreneurs

Aubrey Drake Graham is an award-winning rapper, actor and entrepreneur from Canada. His initial success came from his 2001 role on the TV show Degrassi, as the character Jimmy. Seventeen years, four studio albums, and 96 awards later, Drake is still one of the most relevant and influential people of our generation. Drake’s music focuses on his personal life, his success and failures in the music industry, and all of the lessons he’s learned along the way. After listening to way too many Drake songs than I care to admit, I started noticing a lot of advice that would be great for startups and small-business owners.

1. “Know yourself, know your worth”

Self-awareness is one of the most important skills to have in business. Knowing yourself not only helps you separate your strengths from your weaknesses but it also puts you in a better position to delegate or hire someone else to handle those things you’re not the best at. That’s why it’s very important to know yourself and know your worth in business. Lastly, the lack of self-awareness and self-worth normally leads to us under-charging for our products and services — one of the quickest ways to go out of business.

2. “People with no money act like money isn’t everything”

The dictionary definition of a business is “the purchase and sale of goods in an attempt to make a profit” — as in, making more money than you initially invested. Sometimes it’s easy for us to celebrate things like traction, funding and virality but at the end of the day, profit is what makes a business, an actual business. In fact, according to a U.S. Bank study, 82 percent of business failures are caused by lack of cash flow. So, in the context of business, money is everything.

3. “Never see me out ’cause I live in my workplace”

If you ask any entrepreneur, he or she will tell you building a business is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do. It takes sacrifices, it takes mental toughness and most of all it takes time. If you want to be successful, you have to put in the time. Self-made millionaire Grant Cardone once said, “If you ever want to be a millionaire, you need to stop doing the 9-to-5 and start doing 95.” Ninety-five hours per week, that is, which breaks down to 14 hours each day. Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, on the other hand, says he works 18 hours per day.

4. “It ain’t about who did it first it’s ’bout who did it right”

There’s a big difference between being the first and being the best. Before Uber, there was Taxi Magic. Before Airbnb, there was HomeAway. Before Instagram Stories, there was Snapchat (too soon?). You get the point. We’re all capable of coming up with great ideas, but at the end of the day, it’s the way we execute on those ideas that really matters.

5. “You only live once”

peaking of great ideas, some of us have had them for years — ideas for companies and inventions that have the power to change the world. However, a lot of us find it difficult to pursue those ideas because of a four letter word: fear. To that, Drake and I say, YOLO! Life is all about facing your fears and taking risks. As an entrepreneur who has started, failed, ran and sold multiple businesses over the last 10 years, starting a new business is a scary thing. Entrepreneurship is like jumping out of an airplane and building your parachute on the way down, while being afraid of heights. But, life is short, and tomorrow is not guaranteed, so it’s important that we live our best lives, today — even if it means doing the things that scare us in hopes of finding the things that bring us true joy.

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