Wiz Khalifa is one of the most influential hip hop artists working in music today. Ever since he broke onto the rap scene in 2008 with his first single “Say Yeah,” he’s been an artist to watch. His big hit, 2010’s “Black and Yellow,” cemented his status as a front runner in the hip hop game and a real taste maker in popular music. His seven Grammy nominations, three Billboard Music Awards, and his 2011 BET Best New Artist Award are all a result of his musical and lyrical prowess, but he hasn’t stopped there: Wiz is also working on his acting chops, and he’s had roles in several films.
Even though he’s been on the scene for just a few years, Wiz has been working at his craft since he was just a teenager. Years of practice honed his skills from average to good to great, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down. He’s enjoyed tremendous success as a result of his hard work, and those of us who are entrepreneurial as a result of our creativity can learn a thing or two from Wiz’s career. Here are the ten rules of success according to Wiz Khalifa.
1. If you feel passionately about something, then go for it.
Wiz has a real “just do it” attitude, and he attributes this for much of his success. He’s been passionate about music and writing rhymes since he was just a kid, and he’s always kept at it, pushing himself to always do better. It’s a tenacious approach, and for Wiz, it’s the approach that took his career over the top. It’s also an approach that you can emulate: as long as you don’t give up and you remain true to yourself and your goals in life, you’re likely to remain on the path to success.
2. Don’t do what others are doing — do your own thing.
This one’s a variation of the road less traveled. If you want to be a leader and a pioneer in your field, you’ve got to take the lead rather than follow the crowd. Consider Wiz’s music: it sounds fresh and new, and unlike the music that other artists make. It’s this new sound that caught the collective ear of the nation. Whatever your line of work, don’t do what’s been done — cover new ground. Innovation is challenging, but it’s a surer route to success.
3. You’ve got to take risks if you want to get ahead.
We’re not saying that you should throw all caution to the wind, but in general, the old adage holds true: the greater the risk, the greater the reward. This usually means trying something new, branching out, and growing your skill set. Of course, success is not a guarantee when you take a risk, but success rarely comes without a risk or two.
4. Always put your best foot forward.
Wiz pours his heart into his music. He puts out the best work he can, and in turn, his fans respond by buying and listening to his rhymes and beats. He calls this showing love to your fan base; if you put your best foot forward, so to speak, you’ll improve your chances of getting noticed. And, this philosophy can extend this to any line of work: give everything you do your best effort, and it’s likely that people will respond by taking notice, investing, and buying.
5. Energy and passion are paramount.
If you’re doing what you love, and if you’re passionate about your mission, it’s easy to outwardly display energy. What’s more, it’s that energy that’s magnetic and even contagious: if you’re excited about your endeavor and your business, others will catch that vibe and ride the wave with you. According to Wiz, his love for both music and performing helps him create exciting, high energy shows for his fans. The bottom line? Keep your passion and your energy levels high!
6. Always work toward bigger and better things.
It’s easy to get complacent and comfortable, but you always have to be thinking ahead and working on something more. After all, what makes you a success now may not make you a success in two years, or five years, or at some point in the future. Ultimately, success isn’t a destination — it’s a ladder. You’ve got to keep climbing.
7. Work for yourself.
As a student, Wiz was a frustrated student. He was taught many things, but he was never taught how to work for himself — how to be his own boss and put himself first. This may seem like a minor thing, but it’s important if you not only want to be successful, but want to enjoy your success. Work for yourself, be a good supervisor to yourself, and your success will be a true blessing.
8. Cultivate a strong network of associates.
Building relationships is crucial in any line of work. It’s really difficult to work in a vacuum, and it’s nearly impossible to be successful in a vacuum. Wiz knows that no matter how great you are as a rapper, you need a great team of producers, managers, and others to work with you in order to be successful. By cultivating good relationships and working at building bridges rather than burning them, you establish a reliable network of people who can help you out, offer advice, and push you toward success.
9. Never stop working, never stop hustling.
Hard work, not talent, is and has always been the foundation of success. Sure, talent is important, but it’s nothing without a lot of hustle. Wiz tours relentlessly, he writes constantly, and he records as often as possible; he even has a home studio and a mobile studio. Whatever your line of work, remember that when you’re an entrepreneur, success means that you’re always hustling.
10. Be in it for the long haul.
Longevity in any field is key. Otherwise, you’re just a flash in the pan, and that’s not really success, is it? Wiz plans to stick around the hip hop game for a while; he’s not going anywhere, and if you want to be a success like he is, then neither should you.
Photo via Twitter