It doesn’t matter what’s happened. I don’t care what’s happened. I don’t care what you are on or this person’s on. This is what I like. My life is tailor made for me.
If I was going to be successful, I had to be successful at myself. I couldn’t be successful doing what other people were doing. I had to do what I believed in.
I like to advance every year, to advance myself. You know, spiritually, mentally, everything, I like to advance myself. I have more fear of going back then losing money.
Jay Z Top 10 Rules For Success
Evan: He’s an American rapper and businessman.
He’s one of the best selling musicians of all time. having sold over 100 million albums.
He has an estimated net worth of 610 million dollars.
He’s Jay Z and here’s my take on his top ten rules to success, volume two.
Rule number one is my personal favorite, and I’d love to know which one you guys like the best.
And as always, as you’re watching, if you hear something that really resonates with you, please leave it in the comments below, put quotes around it so other people can be inspired as well.
And when you write it down it’s much more likely to stick with you as well. Enjoy.
Jay Z’s Rules
- Rule #1: Be The Best
- Rule #2: Make Your Own Success
- Rule #3: Take A Chance
- Rule #4: Have Confidence
- Rule #5: Learn From Your Failure
- Rule #6: Avoid Engaging Egos
- Rule #7: Advance Yourself
- Rule #8: Create With Meaning
- Rule #9: Have Great Friends Around You
- Rule #10: Have Fun
- Push Forward
- Be Driven
- Reinvent Yourself
Rule #1: Be The Best
I love what I do. And then when you love what you do you want to be the best at it. You know, you don’t make music to be second best. You make music to be the best, so whatever you do, whatever you do, it don’t have to be music. You’re not sitting here trying to be second to Piers Morgan or one of those crappy.
Zane Lowe. You don’t want to be the, you don’t want to be second to Zane Lowe. You’re looking at Zane Lowe like are you kidding me? In a good way.
Yeah, of course.
You know, like in a good way. Like, are you kidding me? I do this, like I’ve been doing this so long. So, sometimes you have to throw your stats out there to remind people your last shit ain’t better than my first shit.
It’s a true statement to me.
It’s a lot of people last. I mean it’s reasonable doubt so. It’s hard to beat, you know what I’m saying and you know you just have to put your stats out there to remind people like yo, I’m the real deal.
Rule #2: Make Your Own Success
The worst thing to be is as successful as someone else. You know, it is a very difficult thing to upkeep and it’s very tiring. You know, I feel sorry for someone who has to walk out the house everyday as someone else to make this art and to make something that people connect to and whatever you made is not you.
And you’re not happy about it, but it’s successful. Just to maintain that level of success, it has to be very draining and, you know, a very sad existence, because at sTome point you have to go home. When you go home, all the lights are off and everything’s off and you have to look in the mirror and you have to look at yourself and say man, I like who I am, or I’m not very happy with who I am.
By my third album I had the combination of failing with those pop records and the true and real music that I wanted to make, and I blended those two together and I made a song called Hard Knock Life. And that album was when I knew that I can do it.
Rule #3: Take A Chance
♫ No one cares whether you live or die. That’s what I’ve been telling ya, you can roll that part. I’m going to get it or I’m going to die trying. If I don’t try, what am I doing? What kind of life am I saving?
Like these things is wicked in these mean streets, none of my friends speak, we all tryin’ to win, we all tryin’ to win and a lot of times we all bumpin’ heads cause we all tryin’ to get out. That’s like the crabs in the barrel mentality, you know, that we have, cause everyone’s tryin’ to survive, and we tryin’ to survive at any cost.
You have to look at that, you have to look at the environments and places we live in, and how things are set up and how things are structured and how we always the last on the totem pole. Even for my schoolin’, til I rose to all the obstacles that’s placed in front of us.
Even our living conditions. Being broke is a great motivator. To have 26 floors and there’s a ton of them, right? These low income houses, and everything is messed up there, so, that’s like living dormant. If this is what I have to live for, then I’m going to take the chance to get more. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what happens to me.
Rule #4: Have Confidence
Do you people feel like people consume music too fast, cause you create these amazing moments, but then the moment is fleeting. As soon as you put the album out it’s like people want it for a few days, then okay Jacole came out, Wally comes out the next week. Wally’s out, now Hove’s out. You know what I mean?
Yeah, yeah, it’s just, yeah, again, the time that we in, right? We have to figure out, I mean, it’s up to the individual to figure out how to slow it down, because you know, it’s just going faster and faster. Everything is moving, you know, quicker, you know, information is going quicker.
Again, like you said, you know, these great things are fleeting. They’re going faster and faster and it’s up to the individual to slow it down and be like, okay, I’m living with this album. This is what I choose to ride to, this is going to be the sound track to my life for these next couple months.
You know what I’m saying? That’s an individual thing, I’m not going to let anybody speed up my process, I don’t care what’s happenin’ out there. That’s the great thing about, you know, having ultimate confidence in yourself is it doesn’t matter what’s happenin’.
I don’t care what’s happenin’, I don’t care what you’re on, or this person’s on. This is what I like. You know, my life is tailor made for me.
Rule #5: Learn From Your Failure
I’ve learned more from failures than success, and it can be paralyzin’, this failure and the fear of it. My first album I made was an album called reasonable doubt, which, in the small circles, was considered the album, like a classic album, like the album for that generation and the voice of people that were going through similar situations, but it didn’t sell massive numbers worldwide, right?
It was still very niched. In my second album, because of Reasonable Doubt and it’s lack of commercial success, I tried to make these records that were bigger and would be more popular, which was a failure. Going for that success really messed up that project, and you know, set a bad tone.
It was a huge learning lesson for me, that, if I was going to be successful, I had to be successful at myself, I couldn’t be successful doin’ what other people were doin’, I had to do what I believed in and what felt real to me and felt true to me.
Rule #6: Avoid Engaging Egos
I started, even in my beginning, you know, I just lived such a rich life. A full life, you know, that my first album was, it came out I was 26, and I had seen so many things in the streets, so my attitude was like man, I’ve seen so much, and I don’t have anything to prove. I know who I am, I’m a very self-aware person.
So when you’re self-aware, even when you’re dealing with someone’s ego you know when you allow, you allow their ego to live in it’s own space. You know, the problem is when you engage that energy. That’s when there’s a problem. If you engage the ego with your ego, then it’s like okay, now something has to happen. It keep escalating to a level that can be irreversible. But if you don’t engage the ego, if you know how to manipulate, or play around with the ego.
Man: But that’s weight in itself to people.
And you give light back to darkness, you know.
It’s very difficult.
Rule #7: Advance Yourself
I have more fear of going back, you know, I like to advance every year, to advance myself. You know, spiritually, mentally, everything. I like to advance myself. I have more fear of going back than losing money. Like I said, I’ve lost money. I’ve been broke, I’ve been rich, I’ve saved and blown bread. It’s a lyric, you know.
Yeah. Oh boy.
But it’s real. You know, money is just a byproduct, and that sounds really cliche, but it’s true, of doing a great job.
Rule #8: Create With Meaning
When, as I start approaching, you know, I got on this side here and start approaching September, but I thought it was only right to bring it full circle being that the first one came out on the eleventh. And this being the end of the trilogy, to put it out on the eleventh, and this way we could recognize what happened that day, cause the first time, of course, it wasn’t planned.
Right. But the thing about Blueprint One is people hold that album like sacred to their heart. Like, that’s a lot of people’s favorite album, it’s like a classic.
Radio Announcer: It’s my favorite J album.
Your favorite J album ever?
And I’m like the underground, you know, backpack, nerd dude, and I sing Reasonable Doubt, but then Blueprint actually probably eclipsed it as my favorite J album, yeah.
So, when you put out Blueprint Three, people are obviously going to compare it to the first one. Why didn’t you just put out another album? Why did it have to be Blueprint Three?
Um, I’m used to that type of pressure. I put out Blue, I put our Reasonable Doubt, you know that was supposed to be the classic, you know.
Interviewer: Yeah, but you never did a Reasonable Doubt Two.
Hold on for a second.
Interviewer: Hold back.
Woman: Hold back.
That’s why I don’t get up at 6:30 man, guys cut you off and everything.
Interviewer: I’m listening.
I put out volume one, right?
Then volume two, then volume three. That was another trilogy. So, I wanted to the Blueprint series to be a trilogy because of what it represented. The first Blueprint was those soul samples that I grew up on, it was my Blueprint.
Then the Blueprint Two was me searching for all the different type of musics that I like. But I didn’t have a reason to do the third one, so I didn’t do it for a while. I held it off, I did the Black album after that and did all those other albums.
But, it just was fitting right now, where I am in my career, for me to set the Blueprint for my next journey. Rap and music is really a micro chasm of life. You know, my music is based on life and the things I’ve experienced. Like, I made a song called Give it to Me, which was inspired totally by a party that I went to by Mary J. Blige.
When she hears that song, she knows exactly, because she was there, she knows exactly what I’m talking about. So, it’s pretty much inspired by life, so if anything, it’s inspiration.
Rule #9: Have Great Friends Around You
A lot of times you’re flying at 50,000 feet, you need someone to always keep you grounded. I have great friends around me who, I don’t shun their advice, you know, I encourage their advice, which I think is very important. You can live in your own, alternative universe, with how people treat celebrity these days, but as long as you keep good friends around you.
And also not puttin’ yourself in a box and becoming a prisoner of your fame. A lot of people, once they become famous, they stop doin’ things that they did. They don’t go to the store, or, you become a prisoner of your fame, and I’ve always been aware and cognizant of that, not to let that, allow that to happen to me.
Rule #10: Have Fun
♫ Little boy from Brooklyn, made it from the start. ♫ Girl out the South, made it to the, Okay, I’m freestylin’ this so.
Okay, you just makin’ it up, right now?
Here we go.
What am I supposed to do?
♫ Little boy from Brooklyn, made it out the star, ♫ Girl from out the South, made it out the Chi. ♫ Mm, ah, oh, made it out the Chi. ♫ Girl don’t miss it, and made it out the Chi. ♫ Only goes to show that the limit is the sky. ♫ If they give you lemons, then you make lemon pie.
Oh, you got it good.
Where did you?
Me, I’m from Brooklyn, that’s sta, so I made it out the sta. You from out the South, you made it to the Chi.
Made it to the Chi, Chi town. Got it.
Only goes to show.
That the limit is the sky.
Only goes to show that the limit is the sky.
Life give you lemons and you make.
Okay, let’s do it one more time. Okay?
Start the beat over. I’m from Brooklyn, the sta.
The sta. Okay.
I’m from Brooklyn.
Audience: Go Oprah.
Audience: Go Oprah.
Audience: Go Oprah. Go Oprah.
Audience: Go Oprah.
Well, you’re going to start it, right?
Okay. Little boy from Brooklyn, made it from the sta. Girl from out the South, made it to the Chi.
Made it to the Chi.
To the Chi.
Made it to the Chi.
Yeah, made it to the Chi. You don’t need the hand, just.
Yeah. You know, just keep it smooth, you know. Swag, get your swag.
You see that? Boy from out Brooklyn, made it out the sta. Girl from down south, made it to the Chi.
Made it to the Chi.
Only goes to show that the limit is the sky. Life give you lemons, then you make lemon pie.
Make lemon pie.
Thank you guys so much for watching. I made this video because Eduardo Guzman asked me to.
Also, if you want to nominate someone for the next Top 10 video, please check the description for a link to video where you can vote for people, and put in your suggestions as well.
I’d love to know, what did you take from this video, what was the most important lesson that you learned, that blew your mind, that you’re going to immediately apply to your life or your business somehow. Please leave it down in the comments below. I’m super curious to find out.
I also want to give a quick shout out to John Jenkins. John, thank you so much for picking up a copy of my book, Your One Word, and doing the review on your YouTube channel. I really appreciate the support, man, and I’m glad you enjoyed the read.
I just want to tell you about this new book I bought.
So, thank you guys again for watching. I believe in you. I hope you continue to believe in yourself, and whatever your one word is. Much love. I’ll see you soon.
Someone has to experiment and go do it first, and then, you know, artists will sit back and watch, and be like okay, I like this, I don’t like that. You know, I like this part. And they’ll perfect the methods, and then, you know, and it all pushes the genre forward.
Anytime that you try to do something different, and you should always try to push forward, and whatever you’re doin’ it’s going to be problems, cause it’s never been done before, so you can’t, again, you can’t anticipate all the things that’s going to happen.
You know, I don’t write anything, when I’m recording I don’t write lyrics. I just listen to the music, and I formulate the song. Like, just off the top of my head. I just go over the lyrics again and again until I have the song and then I just go on in and record it.
So, it’s definitely a God-given talent, and it was drive also. It was drive. I mean, it was tough. I mean, we toured the whole Eastern Seaboard, cause that’s where our records would get played. We wasn’t national yet, so we would tour all the way up to North Carolina.
Host: Oh, right.
We just hit that area. Not even Atlanta. We just, all the way to North Carolina we would tour. Just jump in the van and just drive ourselves, and just do endless, endless shows. I mean with 20 people in the building sometimes.
Host: Is that right?
Always believing it would get better and better and better.
Mm Hm. I just shot, I shot a commercial, when this album had came out. And it was like going back in time, through all my album covers, and, you know, I had to recreate ’em. And I realized how easy it was to recreate. I had the same haircut and the same thing in every single shot.
So, I don’t know if I’ve been great at reinventing myself, but as far as the company, we had the opportunity to reinvent ourself for, out of necessity. With everything that’s going on you have to reinvent yourself. The playing field has changed. It’s difficult in the music business because the internet and everything that’s going on, but if you are fearless it’s a beautiful time for entrepreneurs.
The most fun I had in the music business was us having this little rinky dink record company and going up radio stations and other places as if we were universal, and speaking as if we sold a hundred million records, when in fact we sold nothing.
So, it feels like that time again for me, because the models have to be redefined and that’s exciting to me. I don’t know if you’re ever done, right? It’s almost like climbing a mountain, and you see another mountain and you go to the next one and the next one.
My goal was to have one gold album, and that was it. It became more from there, and all the way up until The Black Album, then it became I want to show that artists can ascend to the executive ranks. You know, it just kept redefining itself, which is why I took over the presidency of Def Jam. It just keeps reinventing itself and redefining itself every single day.