You can do better. You deserve better.
The Grammy Award-winning album that shot rapper and business mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs to stardom in the ’90s was titled “No Way Out.” But if Combs could decide his true legacy, it’s that he has inspired inner-city kids to realize they can get out. Just like he did.
When he looks back on his career, Combs wants to be sure that he was an example for others, particularly those growing up in poor neighborhoods. He wants to know that he “was able to give them hope,” and that success is possible with hard work, no matter where you start off in life.
Here are his top business tips.
1. If you are going to run a business, make sure you have a way to make money. Combs says there’s truth in the saying “If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.” To run a business, revenue has to come first.
2. Be deliberate, but jump when the time is right. As a business owner, you have to take care of your employees. If you have received outside funding, then you are also the caretaker of somebody else’s money. Don’t be foolish, says Combs.
“When you are in a business, you are really responsible — especially if you have a staff — you are responsible for your investment and you are responsible to the people that work for you and so sometimes you gotta make the hard decisions. Sometimes you gotta make more of the conservative decisions,” says Combs. “But also, any true entrepreneur knows that at some point you have to make that gamble.”
3. Be the master of your domain. Inherent in taking a risk is the possibility of loss. The way to be sure that you are taking a smart risk, and not a foolish risk, is to know the market you are working in, backwards and forwards, inside and out.
“Make sure the odds are in your favor. And to do that, make sure that you are a master of that category that you are investing in, or you are trying to start a business in,” said Combs. “Any business I get into, I go and I do the proper studying and I do the research to make sure I thoroughly understand that business.”
As a record producer, rapper and now founder of a music cable network, Combs follows his own advice. Most of his entrepreneurial ventures have all been in the music industry, a field in which he is an unabashed expert.
Read more at Entrepreneur.com.