I recently celebrated my 36th birthday on July 4th and one of my gifts to myself was an audio book. A little over a week ago, a mentor and great friend of mine allowed me to hear the audio for 50 Cent's newest book, Hustle Harder Hustle Smarter. Looks like I am late to the party, because this book launched earlier this year in April. Anyone who knows me, know that I love the success story of 50 Cent. Yes, his story is one that I admire and I am not ashamed to admit it.
This is the same man who didn't know his father and was motherless by the age of 8. This is the same man who was shot 9 times and lived to tell the story. This is the same man who signed on to produce the Starz TV show POWER for only $17,000 an episode, only to turn around and make it a multimillion dollar multi-series deal, shortly after.
Curtis Jackson is the type of person who defies all odds and knows how to play the game of smoke and mirrors. For instance, although he promotes alcohol, he barely drinks but he understands marketing and how to sell an image. He is a man with a plan. No matter how outrageous or ridiculous his antics are, he is always plenty of steps ahead.
I personally like 50 Cent. Not only is he humorous, strategic and creative, but he is also a brilliant business man!
I read reviews where people stated that they were surprised to see or hear this version of Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson. I guess the same people didn't get to read "The 50th Law," a book that highlights the life and moves of 50 through the lens and thoughts of author, Robert Greene. Everyone knows Robert Greene for his infamous book, "48 Laws of Power", which is a must read if you enjoy strategically planning to win in life and in business.
Let me be clear: This article is mostly about strategy. You need a strategy for your wins as well as your losses.
50 candidly broke this down in chapters where he discussed fearlessness, the heart of a hustler, constructing your crew, knowing your value, evolving, the power of perception, learning from losses and the entitlement trap.
There were so many gems in this book and 50 did not hold back on truths about what comes with success. He had no problem highlighting failed relationships with his friends, family, old business partners and his own son, Marquise. He also had no issue shedding a bright light on his flaws and areas in his life that still needs improvement. This transparency was the most impressive to me!
There is something extra special about the way this 45 year old (Happy belated birthday, 50) entertainer combined what he learned from the streets and how he brought those same skills into boardrooms. He referenced dumb decisions he's made like the time he purchased retired American boxer, Mike Tyson's old 52 room mansion. That was an interesting story! Mind blowing, in fact.
50 Cent also shares how he made great investment decisions, like the Vitamin Water deal he secured, where he pitched for equity in the company versus a accepting a standard contract. This agreement had proven to be more valuable in the long haul.
I loved how he continously stressed the importance of mentorship and taking notes from people much smarter than him. This mogul and entertainment executive knows his worth and he doesn't negotiate on getting what he believes he deserves.
As a personal brand strategist, I appreciated how he spoke of the power of perception. He mentioned how the higher he rose with fame, the less human it had seemed that he appeared. When he makes a great business decision, he is called a mogul but when he is being controversial, he is called "the rapper 50 Cent". He says that "50 Cent is the perception and Curtis Jackson is the reality." He expressed how significant it is to present the best version of yourself, because that determines how receptive people are to you. It also has the greatest impact on the success you are capable of creating for yourself.
I also truly appreciated this raw, unfiltered piece of work by a man who can tell his story and not worry about how people feel about it. I'm not sure if it is his growth, transparency or all of the above. What I do know, is that I believe 50 is still only scratching the surface with his achievements. Maybe I will get to interview him in real life someday. In the meantime, I will continue to consume anything this man produces in the self help genre. No matter how outrageous or bizarre, I will always be able read between the lines.
When you hustle harder by hustling smarter, I don't believe there are any glass ceilings that will limit you.
If you haven't read in a while, you may want to add this book in your collection. If you're an avid reader like me, I think you will truly appreciate this book. I typically do not listen to audio books, but this book has become the first of many to come.
Job well done, 50 Cent!
Like many of his award winning albums, Hustle Harder Hustle Smarter was truly a hit!