The True “Hu$$le” as an Experiential Marketing Professional
The untimely death of entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Grammy-nominated rapper Nipsey Hu$$le in L.A. has sparked a range of emotions both nationally and globally. Many have reached out in support, and Nipsey’s death has also prompted a uniting of two of the most prolific gangs in history. Born as Ermias Joseph Asghedom, Nipsey’s life and legacy impacted many, but, it also raises the question:
What three of Nipsey’s seven ownership principles can you apply as an Experiential Marketing professional?
Motivated by his goal to change the culture by changing the community, Nipsey was the epitome of the word “Hustle.” Just Google his name, and you will find countless interviews and stories about his goals and the years of change he created in his community. So let’s dive into three of his seven money and business lessons.
Lesson #1: Hustlenomics
“You learn all the secrets to the game on your way up. Most folks want to skip the process. When you skip the process, you miss the lessons. Have you ever heard the saying: There are lessons in the struggle?” Working in the Experiential Marketing industry and obtaining consistent opportunities in any capacity is a hustle. Rarely will you meet an EXP who has been handed every opportunity without having to work for it. Starting as a brand ambassador and working my way to a tour manager was and still is a grind; however, the process to get here has imparted so many lessons. It fueled me to write my first book, launch my course, and taught me the importance of giving back to assist others on their journey. When you skip the process, you are not only hurting yourself but also the industry you work in as well as the people who come after you. So before you develop a sense of entitlement, understand that everyone’s journey to obtaining the opportunity you desire requires a different set of learning lessons to get there. Stay humble and grind — your time will come.
Lesson #2: Turn Up vs. Own Up
“It isn’t cool to be in the club spending all of this money or having cars and jewelry, but you don’t own any real estate? A fourplex? If the answer is no, you’re not a real hustler.” How many times have you questioned whether something was a want or a need? Do you truly understand what it means to separate the two and create generational wealth? The grind to obtaining consistent opportunities as an EXP takes time, but understanding the importance of saving and setting financial goals early on is important. Whether it’s a one-off event or a long-term tour opportunity, having a plan in place for your funds will assist you in staying focused on your goals. So while it may be tempting to buy that vehicle or new pair of shoes, first determine if it is a necessity or a desire. Opportunities and retirement are not guaranteed as an EXP, so ensuring you invest wisely and create supplemental income is important. Start now!
Lesson #3: Create Value
“I released 100 mixtapes and charged $1,000.00 for each because I understood the economic principle of scarcity. The profit funded my independent label.” KNOW YOUR WORTH! As an EXP and in life, never settle for less than you have earned and deserve. If you have gained the necessary experience to request higher compensation, request it. If you have the knowledge and information for others to benefit from, develop it. Start your business, and get paid for it. Never shortchange or discount your knowledge or experience because it is just that — YOUR knowledge and experience. Not everyone is meant to be on your team to support your goals and businesses, and guess what? That’s cool. Continue to grind, study, and educate yourself on your industry, and convey it in a way that speaks to your character! The ones who are meant for you will appreciate it!
Oftentimes, we get so caught up in the day-to-day issues of life that we do not take a moment to reflect on how far we’ve come and appreciate the simple blessings given to us. Nipsey’s unwavering effect on society has impacted many races and cultures. You may wonder how come his community and social works were not publicized as frequently? Why all this talk of him after his death? While we may not know the exact answer to this question, I am a firm believer that actions speak louder than words, and these traits are the essence of a leader: One who doesn’t command but shies away from attention; one who understands that their purpose is bigger than them; and one who is not remembered by their personal achievements but the candid testimonials of others. Isn’t this how we all want to be remembered? Whether you work in the Experiential Marketing industry or not, this is for certain, the passing of Nipsey Hussle is a reminder that it all starts with YOU. What legacy will you leave?