Business News

The stunning lesson Tupac teaches struggling entrepreneurs

April
5, 2016

Read for 5 minutes

The opinions of entrepreneurs' contributors are their own.

Twenty years after his death, Tupac Shakur is still making music.

Can someone explain how this is possible? Seriously. He has produced 15 albums – 10 of them posthumously.

In a five-year period from 1992-1996 he created a dozen albums, eight feature films, countless commercials, music videos and even two volumes of poetry.

And that was before the internet.

From an interview:

"I approach them 100 percent. I don't compromise. Everyone who talks about me has problems. Do you know what I'm saying? I approach them directly. That's how I get to the whole world. And I am really there. And I will grow with my music. "

I think it goes without saying: PROLIFIC.

And yet … for all his best efforts, Tupac only had 13 Billboard Hot 100 hits – and he only climbed to the top of the list ONCE with California Love.

Crazy, right?

If Tupac had just one number 1 hit, how the hell do you expect to create something of great, lasting value? How do you maximize your chances of producing a masterpiece or just a profitable business that will stand the test of time?

Easy. You come up with MANY ideas.

According to Adam Grant in his NYT bestseller "Originals", creative geniuses and very successful entrepreneurs in their field are not qualitatively better than their colleagues – they simply produce more work. A lot more. This gives them more variety and thus the higher chance of massive success.

Related: 5 Quotes To Remind You To Act Urgent

Do you want evidence?

Shakespeare. Produced 37 plays and 154 sonnets in two decades. Lots of duds are scattered along the way. Ever heard of Pericles or Timon of Athens? No, me neither. Thanks Wikipedia.

Einstein: Transformed physics (and basically our understanding of everything) with general and special relativity but almost all of his other 240 publications had minimal impact on science.

Stephen King: Has written over 55 novels, hundreds of short stories, and half a dozen non-fiction books. There was a time when they weren't always automatic bestsellers.

Thomas Edison: Between the ages of 30 and 35, he pioneered the light bulb, the phonograph and the charcoal phone. During that time, he also filed over 100 other patents that no one has ever heard of (including a SUPER creepy talking doll). A total of 1093 patents and yet the number of really remarkable achievements can be counted on one hand.

Do you notice a pattern here?

In each area, even the most extraordinary, "gifted" "geniuses" have done a lot of work that was forgotten, average, or below average.

"The Tupac Formula": Producing more work

It's easy. The more ideas you have, the more work you produce, the more successes you will have.

Tupac proves this "formula" perfectly. Between 1992 and 1996 he produced between 700-900 songs !! Just like his more academic predecessors, he had to come up with a few bangs! He reached the charts 13 times. Not bad.

(Remember, he died at the age of 25. What did you do when you were 25?)

It's not surprising that he only just made his move before he was killed.

According to Grant, the most productive creators are most original in all areas and perform at their best during the periods when they are producing their greatest volume.

Similar: Selena, Resurrected Via Hologram, is scheduled to start a tour in 2018

Quality vs quantity.

Popular belief and science would make you think that if you want to do better, you need to do less. Of course there is a tradeoff between quantity and quality.

Not so fast.

This turns out to be wrong, according to Grant. When generating ideas, quantity is usually the most predictable path to success.

Why is that important?

Because as an entrepreneur you have to act FAST. You can't get into an idea, put all of your energy and resources into it, and expect it to make a big difference.

That's not how it works.

Many YouTubers never reach their potential because they have few ideas and then become obsessed with refining them.

As a creator, there is no way you can KNOW what is going to work – no matter how original or revolutionary your idea is. All creators protect and even idolize their ideas. This means that many YouTubers prefer projects and ideas that don't turn out to be popular.

Stupid!

Channel your inner Tupac.

Produce a lot and then collect feedback.

That inspired me to write over 100 blog posts within a year. I had some very popular posts in there, but most of them were forgotten! Damn, I even embarrass a lot of them. But that's the point. You have to go ahead and make the public your litmus test.

The best way to better judge your ideas is to collect feedback. See what ideas resonate with your target audience, then quickly repeat them. Absolute belief in your ideas is downright dangerous.

Related: 10 Inspirational MLC Quotes On Leadership And Purpose

(Can you imagine Tupac spending a year on each record? We probably never would have gotten Me Against the World or All Eyez on Me – some of the best albums ever made.)

Nope. Want to see how Tupac produced albums? Watch him explain. There is your weekly motivation.

Entrepreneurs create opportunities by continuously creating solutions.

Keep channeling your inner Tupac.

Related Articles