Put These Tips on Repeat

The music business is one of the toughest there is, so it takes a lot of grit to make it to the top. Artists Drake, Brother Love (Sean Combs), Jay Z, Dr. Dre and Nicki Minaj all have pushed through the journey to success in hip hop. While it may seem that their industry is completely different from anything that exists in the corporate world, we find that their lessons can resonate with many people who want to achieve their professional goals. Here are ThinkTank’s top five tips from some of our favorite musicians:

Don’t be ashamed to start at the bottom. Canadian rapper Drake’s famous mantra “started from the bottom now we’re here” reminds us that even the most-streamed artist on the planet had to start somewhere. For most in the corporate world, that somewhere is an internship or entry-level job. Take those first steps, because you have nowhere to go but up.

Never stop learning and growing. Brother Love (Diddy, P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, Puffy, etc.) credits his rise in hip hop to his continuous efforts to learn and grow. Development should not stop at the diploma, so strive to continue to expand your skills and sharpen your craft, whatever that may be. Our favorite ideas include: studying a new language, learning to code, and taking a course on LinkedIn’s Lynda.

Push the industry forward. Throughout his work, rapper Jay Z has pushed the boundaries of the hip hop genre. It is always a risk to change the method, but for Jay Z and countless others, the risk turned into reward. Jay Z introduced new elements into his music. Brainstorm which new ideas you can incorporate into your workplace. After all, the best way to stay relevant in your industry is to set the trends.

Uplift others. Dr. Dre is known for his own pioneering beats (pun intended), but did you know that he also produced Snoop Dogg and Eminem? Truly confident people do not feel the need to tear others down as they rise to their goals. Instead, they bring others up with them. Dr. Dre used his influence to advance the careers of other talented people. Think – is there a talented intern or student that you can mentor? Compassion really does come full-circle.

Embrace your uniqueness. Female rapper Nicki Minaj knows that it takes confidence to succeed – as a woman in a male-dominated industry, she’s had to work extra hard to earn her place as a hit artist. She is known for her unique, Barbie-like style and original music video structure. As cliche as it sounds, the best way to present yourself is authentically.