Last year, Andre Young aka Dr. Dre became the wealthiest person in the history of the rap game, after selling his Beats by Dre headphone company to Apple. The end result netted enough money for Dr. Dre to legitimately say he’s made a billion dollars in sales. Can you imagine what it’s like to come from the gutters of inner-city America to the top of the ivory tower?
Dr. Dre’s story is amazing. He’s one of the most inspiring people on the planet. To overcome the hardships and adversities he’s had to takes a certain type of mindset. Dre brought innovation to the front lines of hip hop. Matter of fact, he pioneered the West Coast gangster rap movement.
You may not agree with his lyrics, but you can’t knock his hustle.
If you look at Dre’s life, there are a lot of lessons in resilience to be learned. He’s been burned by record executives, best friends and the list goes on. Each one of these instances has led to more experience, which in turn led Andre Young to be able to execute a financial transaction like the one between Beats and Apple.
Let’s take a close look at some of these lessons and how you can apply them to your everyday life in business.
Set A Goal And Stick To It: When Dre was young, he set a goal to bring the problems of inner-city kids to the forefront of mainstream media. Which was not going to be easy, considering his songs included lyrics like “F*ck the Police.” The mainstream music industry told him it would never work out. Yet, he had a goal that existed with or without them. Twenty years later, you can find him sticking to the same plan.
You Never Have To Stop Being You No Matter How Many People Try To Change You: Can you imagine how many record executives must have said to Dre, “Hey man if you’ll tone it down with all the cussing, we can make you so much more money with airplay”? But, despite the offer of making more money, he didn’t sell out. He made them cave and come to him. This attests to Dre’s marketing ability, too.
Run Your Own Label: After being ripped off, turned down and forced to change, Dre wised up and started his own label. A record label is nothing more than slang for a company. Dre ran his own business and took control of his finances. This allowed him to get other artists on board with a label he had already built, and then profit from their songs. I’m talking artists like Snoop Dog and Eminem.
Build A Brand: Dr. Dre has to be one of the best marketers on the planet. Beats headphones are overpriced and not really efficient for carrying around. Yet, he turned them into a fashion trend. When he was denied at the record companies, he marketed his own music and built a name off of his own marketing efforts. All the while building a brand that’s now worth 10 figures.
Diversify Your Portfolio: Most artists go broke a few years after they stop making hits. You read about it every day. Yet Dre, who rarely releases new music, is printing money like a Vegas casino. He leveraged his music money and diversified his portfolio. The bulk of his net worth comes from the sale of a headphone company, not a record label. Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket.
The items on the above list are nothing life-changing. In fact, they should be common knowledge. Dre had almost 35 years as a business owner and entrepreneur under his belt before he made his first billion. His net worth is around $710 million at the time of this writing, but he has earned well over a billion in his career. Dr. Dre is a straight-up closer.