” The best thing you can do for a person is to inspire them.” – Nipsey Hussle
Can’t believe it’s already been a year since Nipsey got shot. His legacy has just been on a trajectory since March 31, 2019. He has won 2 Grammy awards, got the Neighbourhood Nip Foundation set up, and still The Marathon Continues. In this post I just want to share the lessons Nipsey taught me, he was more than a rap artist, he was a gift. His Victory Lap album is part of my everyday life, it’s part of my morning playlist which gets me ready for the day.
Nipsey was more than a rapper, he was an entrepreneur, visionary and leader. He provided hope to so many people, including myself. His life showed us that it didn’t matter where you come from or what happened to you, you could still accomplish anything. He taught that by betting on yourself and keeping it real you can still make it to the top.
Nip was a business savvy genius who used music as an outlet and gave back to his community in big ways. The world will no doubt feel his void, because people like him are a once in a generation type of people. In honour of what Nipsey taught me, here are seven lessons I believe we can take from his life and his legacy.
1. Continue Learning.
Nipsey was never one to stop learning. Maybe he built his business from a natural sense of savvy, but he also built it by listening and learning. He read a lot of books, which gave him a lot of different perspectives to see life. When he released the Crenshaw Mixtape for $100 a piece, where he made only 1,000 copies, the idea was born from the book Contagious by Jonah Berger. Anyone that knew him will tell you he was relentlessly focused on getting better in every way, and made a habit of personal development and growth.
In most of his music Nip would share who he is reading or learning from, he was an avid follower of Dr Sebi and even proclaimed to have been learning how to build wealth from Jay Z and Rick Ross.
2. Be prepared to do all the work.
The second thing Nipsey taught me was to be willing to do any work, no matter how menial it may have seemed at the time. Even as he soared further and further toward the top, he still maintained a willingness to do the tasks that others might consider to be below them. “Most people want to skip the process, not knowing that when you skip steps, you miss the lessons.” he said.
He took out the trash and swept the floors in his own studio. Starting out, he built his own basement recording studio to make sure that he could engineer and record his own music. Without this willingness to put in all types of work, he would not have learned what it would take to achieve the goals he set. True leaders lead from the front not from the back, if you are going to be successful at anything you will need to know how the whole process works.
3. Make genuine connections.
Entrepreneurs and creatives know the importance of networking and making connections. For some, it’s a tedious process of trying to get in with important figures of a particular industry. But for Nipsey, he focused on making genuine connections based on people not talent. Relationships he formed with musicians such as Kendrick Lamar and Puffy were lasting and real because they resonated with him at a person level. They were collaborations that meant something more than just music or hits. He also knew how to create genuine connections with the people who consumed his product. He’s always been the people’s king and it’s because he not only shared the good but his struggles too, which made him that much more relatable. The afternoon he got shot, he spent over 30 minutes outside his store signing autographs and taking pictures with people around, he never got to get into the store.
Just from watching this, Nipsey taught me that people do not buy product, people buy stories. People will connect with you more if you present yourself as a person not as a sales rep or marketer. People that know me well know I have the utmost respect for Steph Curry and the Under Armour brand.The reason is what they represent resonates with me and what I am about in life. Remember this when putting yourself out there, tell your story because you are the brand.
4. Build your brand.
Continuing from lesson 3, Nipsey understood his brand and what it represented. He was the one who built it and promoted it. He knew what he wanted to represent. His brand-based goals were clear. Nobody understands his brand like he did, and that’s part of the reason he was so successful.
“I never wanted to alienate my brand for business. I always wanted to keep it authentic and keep it as pure as I could.” he would say. You are the brand, and as the vision bearer no one can articulate your vison better than you. You need to become and embodiment of your brand. There is a reason why Apple re-hired Steve Jobs after they had fired him from his own company, the visionary always knows where the vision is going.
5. It’s a marathon.
Most people want success to happen overnight, and I blame social media for this stupidity. It doesn’t work like that. Nipsey taught me that the road to success would be paved with dog-on long hours and year after year of struggle. Talent alone won’t cut it. A true desire to achieve success, whether as an artist or as an entrepreneur, means never approaching your work halfheartedly. Nipsey didn’t focus on immediate wealth or instant gratification. He didn’t want to churn out one hit single after another. Nipsey wanted to build and develop his own label. He focused on long-term wealth and a lasting legacy as an artist.
“I’m about seeing the long-term, seeing a vision, understanding nothing worthwhile happens overnight, and just sticking to your script long enough to make something real happen.” – Nipsey Hussle
Living in your purpose is not easy, it will take time and most of all it will take sacrifice. If you do not have the patience then maybe you are not cut out for it. It’s like planting a vineyard, you cannot expect to start drinking it’s wine in a year. It will take time, so hand in there and keep grinding.
6. Focus on your purpose.
This can easily be the biggest lesson Nipsey taught me. It’s easy for people to lose themselves in their desire for success. When people are pursuing success, most times it is of monetary value, very few know what they would do with a million dollars when they make it. Fortunately, Nipsey knew himself and stayed true to that image and to his own story. He found fans that loved and related to him. He didn’t create a character or pursue something that just wasn’t him.
Like he said in Victory Lap, “Find your purpose or you wastin’ air.” From the start his community was at the core of his heart. Everything he was doing he was doing to put his community on the map, it was bigger than him being famous and being a millionaire. Listen, you purpose is bigger than you, I have said it before, one man’s obedience is linked to multiple destinies. You living in your purpose will open doors for people you will never even meet in your life. So what are you waiting for? Share your gift with the world because there is someone out there waiting for you to inspire them to be their best. Please know thy self. I beg thee.
7. Remember your tribe.
The last thing that Nipsey taught me was to love and honour your tribe. There is no doubt that Nipsey loved the community he came from. His childhood neighbourhood is known for being violent and rough, one of the places where its residents try to leave and outsiders tend to avoid. Nipsey found success, but he never left that neighbourhood behind. He invested in it, building playgrounds, helping children learn and offering residents opportunities for economic success. The store he was gunned down in front of was known to employ ex convicts and help the rehabilitate back into society.
There are people in your corner right now that you need to honour once you make it.There are people praying for you, rooting for you and sharing your content on their socials. Please do not forget these people, they gave you an audience when no one else would listen to you. I love my tribe, they are my ride or die. They hold me down and it is only right that I honour them too with my gift.
Nipsey was no doubt a brilliant creative and visionary. He was smart and charitable, and he believed in his roots. He never wanted to take his achievements for granted and he wanted to give people the building blocks to create achievements of their own. Had he not seen such an early and tragic end, he would have certainly seen further successes.
Prayers to his family, real friends and all fans. But, as he would tell us all, the marathon continues. And, his legacy will live forever through his words. Also the people he inspired on a regular through his music and actions. Long live Nipsey, may he never be forgotten. Top of the Top!!!
“Try to have more faith and less fear, try to express it to your peers, I’m talking about dreams / Better to do it and let it be seen, cause then it’s so clear.” (“Am I Gonna Make It”)
Share with us your favourite Nipsey Hussle quotes in the comments section.
Photo Credit : TaskEvasion