Jay-Z has been riding high on a few succesful creations recently. His collaboration with Kanye West broke was critically acclaimed, his performance at the VMA’s was huge, and he knocked up Beyoncé which turned out to be big news. But behind every success there are probably more failures than you know about. That’s because Sean Carter is very good at creating and keeping up his persona, a winner in all things. Yet like all folks, Jay-Z probably learns more from his failures than his success. Forbes writer Zack O’Malley Greenburg is close to releasing a biography book on Hova but dropped a few nuggets of gold into a recent article. Check out the whole thing here, but below I’ve grabbed a few of the more notable ones below.
In many ways, though, Jay-Z’s failures are more instructive than his successes, especially for people who aren’t lucky enough to be famous rappers….
…But as Warren Buffett says, “Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.”
Jay-Z took that advice, which resonates for many people across a spectrum of situations, from workplace drama to relationship problems to actual vehicle trouble. Like many successful people, his time is simply too valuable to waste on a troubled situation, even if the payoff could be huge.
Another lesson from the Jeep episode: Don’t publicize your failures. By all means, tell your significant other, tell your best friend, tell your shrink. But don’t make a scene every time something goes wrong, or people may start to judge you as harshly as you judge yourself. Jay-Z’s invincible aura, both as a musician and a businessman, has been cultivated through constant emphasis on victory—and by sweeping under the rug anything with an unsavory result.
To the aspiring entrepreneur, there’s something heartening in knowing that even Jay-Z doesn’t get it right every time. Sure, he’s got the fame, the money and the girl (and soon, the baby), but he’s taken his lumps like everybody else. That might be even more inspirational than his success—and Jay-Z probably knows it. But publicizing his defeats just doesn’t work for his image.
Besides, “I will not lose” just has a better ring to it than “I might lose sometimes, and though it’s not necessarily my fault, it’s a lot more instructive than when I win, which is what usually happens these days.” (More here)