Entrepreneur Lessons from 50 Cent

I was in my dad’s construction office earlier helping with some insurance paperwork. While there I flipped on the telly to VH1 expecting to have some music videos on for background noise. That was a mistake. I’d forgotten that music television channels don’t play music anymore. It turned out to be a blessing in disguide though. There was a show on called Behind the Music that profiled the life of famous rapper 50 Cent. Here’s the link to the episode if you’d like to watch it. Most of the story was also told in the thinly disguised autobiographical movie Get Rich or Die Trying.

It was pretty interesting but really made an impact on me from the viewpoint of living out your calling and your passions in life. I certainly don’t approve of many of the things that 50 Cent has done, but his story is absolutely inspiring. Here’s what hit me hardest. I have a couple of friends who live by the mantra that you should do in life the thing that you would do for free if you had to. In other words, your passion and your calling should be so important to you that even if people didn’t pay you, you’d still be doing it as a volunteer or as a ministry.

50 Cent took it nine steps further than that. Instead of living what he would do for free, he decided that he would live a passionate life that he was willing to die for, and he almost did. I said nine steps further because he was actually shot nine times in an attempt to silence him- a man that lived by the spoken word. His family actually refused surgical procedures that would threaten his ability to speak post-surgery. According to the show, he still has one bullet in his tongue from a gunshot to the face. During the recovery, with his jaw wired shut, he said the greatest pain, even more than being riddled with bullets, was the uncertainty that he might not be able to rap in the future.

After the incident, he came back harder, stronger, angrier, and even more determined to live what he considered his passion and his calling despite even more death threats and problems. I just finished reading his recent interview in Vibe magazine, and it is absolutely amazing what this determined young man has become because he was willing to literally die to achieve it. Business, producing, singing, acting, etc, etc.

Forget doing something for free. What passion and calling in your life are you willing to die for?


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