Being a 31-year-old white Scotsman who often wears blazers and dress pants doesn’t align with the stereotypical image of a hip-hop music fan. I’ve had my share of perplexed glances while driving through London, dressed in business attire with hip-hop music blaring from my car’s sound system.
One day, after a long day at work on my business, I listened closely to the lyrics of a popular hip-hop song from this year. To my surprise, the song conveyed themes of independence, aspirations, financial improvement, pursuing dreams, embracing individuality, achieving success, and self-reliance. It made me realize that many songs in my music collection shared similar messages.
So, what does this have to do with entrepreneurship?
Business Lessons for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Having embarked on my entrepreneurial journey a little over three months ago, I’ve come to appreciate that many characteristics and traits mentioned in hip-hop songs are relevant to entrepreneurship. Hip-hop music resonates with the ambitions, dreams, and sense of progress that entrepreneurs often experience. However, it wasn’t until I became an entrepreneur that I understood why I was drawn to hip-hop music.
Here are three subtle lessons that I’d like to share:
Lesson #1: Your Music Preferences Offer Clues About You
We all have favorite books, songs, movies, and TV shows, but we rarely delve into why we enjoy a particular song or character. Our choices reflect aspects of our identity. According to Todd B. Kashdan, Ph.D., understanding our musical preferences can enhance our self-awareness, a crucial element for entrepreneurial success.
Lesson #2: Self-Motivation Is Attainable
Three months into my entrepreneurial journey, I discovered a second lesson in self-motivation. Many people claim they lack the discipline to work from home, similar to the early days of a startup. Yet, when we reflect on our higher education years, we realize we spent a significant amount of time studying independently, demonstrating the ability to motivate ourselves. The self-starting skills we employed during our academic pursuits are easily transferable to running a business, which can be much more enjoyable than writing lengthy essays.
Lesson #3: The Advent Calendar Effect
After working for myself for three months, I’ve encountered a powerful third lesson, what I call the “advent calendar effect.” This term describes the phenomenon of many doors opening in a short period.
In typical social interactions, when asked about work, people often provide polite and cursory responses. However, this dynamic changes dramatically when you become an entrepreneur. People suddenly become genuinely interested in why you left your full-time job, the details of your business idea, and your prospects for success. Their enthusiasm often rubs off on you, and they may offer help, mentorship, introductions to potential clients, or constructive input. This experience has shown me that your network will go above and beyond to support your success; you just need to get started.
The surprising revelation is that people are eager to help you when you pursue your passion. I’ve encountered countless individuals who offered their assistance by suggesting useful software, providing mentorship, proposing introductions to potential clients, or even reviewing the new company’s website. This lesson reinforced the idea that your network will be highly motivated to assist you in your entrepreneurial journey.
In conclusion, entrepreneurship is an enlightening adventure, and I’ve gained invaluable insights in just three months. To summarize these lessons, let’s keep it concise:
Pay attention to the messages hidden in your music; they might reveal your aspirations.
If you doubt your ability to start, recall your college days – you can do it again.
Remember that entrepreneurship can rally others to support your journey; leverage your network to supercharge your startup.
Do you have your own favorite entrepreneurial lesson to share? Feel free to do so in the comments below.