Many of our heroes express gratitude and humility in awe-inspiring ways, but humble is not a word I’d use to describe Sean “Diddy” Combs. Out the gate he had something to prove and was determined not to stop until it was done. His mantra “can’t stop, won’t stop” essentially became the creed of young hustlers and go-getters everywhere!
It takes a lot to follow a vision that no one sees but you and he did JUST THAT. Despite rumors, arrests, fainting loyalty he crafted a record label that is internationally known and recognized. That provided the opportunities to impart knowledge and success into the careers of dozens of people signed to Bad Boy Entertainment and hundreds of others who have worked for and with Mr. Combs. It also open doors for film, television and world tours. Bad Boy is a dynasty whether you like it or not.
The release of the documentary, Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop chronicled the journey to craft and present the Bad Boy Anniversary Tour. This one hour documentary served as a window into Combs’ values, processes and business acumen. Here are five absolute gems I found in the film. I hope you can learn something from it. Oh, and watch the documentary!
- Make Your Purpose Crystal Clear
One of the things Diddy says in the film is that when he first got the idea for Bad Boy he knew he wanted to be different. Instead of following the emerging trend of gangsta rap, he knew he wanted to make people dance and have a good time. Now think of iconic Bad Boy songs like “Hypnotize”, “Feels So Good” and “Only You”. The music certainly matched the mission and so did the style, the visual details and the personas. Because his purpose was clear, the foundation that he built was unshakable. Have you identified your unique gift to the world? What’s your purpose?
2. Opportunities Are Greater Than Money
Diddy interned for Andre Harrell for two years without pay. In that time, he was able to learn the music business and network with up and coming artists. Here, he perfected his grind and his idea for a record label of his own. Are you taking advantage of opportunities that can challenge and grow you into the person you want to be?
3. Fight For What You Want
At times the vision became cloudy especially as controversy began to creep into the company. The very image Diddy was trying to avoid seemed to chase them down as a friendship between Biggie and Tupac became vicious. But this didn’t deter Diddy was his mission. In fact, it urged him to fight harder, do more, connect on a higher level. He was able to constantly brand and re-brand Bad Boy as the premier record label for not only hip-hop artists, but young professionals. How are you pushing through circumstances to achieve your goals?
4. Don’t Stay in Your Lane, Explore the Entire Highway
Diddy began managing artists and dabbled in producing and directing music videos. The clarity of his vision served to make him a curator of content which allowed him to easily traverse between roles. Yes, he was always dancing in the music videos, but he was also sitting at round tables negotiating deals, making hit records, designing clothing (Sean John), opening restaurants (Justin’s) and producing tv shows (Making the Band). While all of these entities are distinctly different they fall under one umbrella, Bad Boy. The brand’s image was strong enough to be translated in any industry. Because of his fearless, Diddy was able to make his record label a global entertainment brand. Are you limiting your talents to just one arena?
5. Build a Team That Believes in You
Don’t surround yourself with people who want to get ahead or make money. But make sure there are people on your team who believe in YOU, the creator of the brand. If they buy into you, they will do whatever it takes to make your vision come alive. This is crucial to Diddy’s success. In the film, Mase explains that Diddy brought artists into bad boy under the premise that if they trusted him he would make sure they were legends. And…the rest is history. Does your team trust you?