I love me some hip hop. If you see me out and about town with a pair of giant Sennheisers on my head, I’m probably listening to some Jay-Z, 2Pac, Run the Jewels or Nas.
The magnitude of whatever I’m trying to accomplish at any given moment is directly proportionate to the height of my heels and the volume of my music.
I started this habit back when I was raising venture capital for the first time. I felt completely in over my head and so I listened to a lot of hip hop because to be honest, it made me feel the way I needed to. Despite whatever odds were against me I could show up and lay it all out in the meeting, just like the hip hop artists I was gleaning inspiration from did on stage.
They were rapping on street corners and in underground clubs. I was pitching in elevators and empty conference rooms. Hustling to get in front of customers and investors, wearing down the soles of my stilettos. I felt like if we ever met, as different as we were, we’d get each other. I wasn’t selling crack, I didn’t have mouths to feed (except my own), and the streets weren’t nearly as mean to me as they were to Jay-Z (thank God), but I felt a kindred spirit in the lyrics.
I’d take solace in turning up the volume and letting the beat and the lyrics create the armor I needed to face whatever.
Growing your business is hard, increasing your sales is hard, laying it all out there to a customer, an investor, or a partner never gets easier.
Nor should it.
Because in the spirit of hip hop, we’re always pushing forward.