Kanye West Career Tips & Life Lessons In The Spotlight
Kanye West is one of the best-selling artists of all time. He’s won 21 Grammy awards making him one of the most awarded artists of all time as well as the most awarded artist for his age. Kanye West is successful by anybody’s definition. Since he broke out onto the music scene back in 2004, he’s managed to maintain his wave of super-success for eleven years and counting. The following are five career tips & life lessons that we can all learn from the infamous Kanye West.
If you know anything at all about Kanye West, you’ll know that the man considers himself to be extremely creative, almost to a fault.
Although his name may be surrounded in controversy at any given moment, Kanye West continues to be one of the most respected and highest earning rapper-turned-entrepreneurs of the 21st century. Kanye may be dealing with different life issues these days, but throughout all the drama, he holds his own. And his track record speaks for itself, having released 8 albums, and worked on several clothing and footwear lines ranging from Pastelle to Louis Vuitton and Nike to adidas.
Many people might lose their mind when I say Kayne West is a respectable celebrity, but the way he has reformed the rapping industry, he surely deserves a bow.
There is no second opinion that Kanye West can be accused of referring to women in an unfortunate misogynistic way. But, when we look back on his career and how he has made himself what he is today, this accusation seems too small to fight for. From being a 27-year-old rapper who wishes to rock the record charts to becoming a man of fame and wealth. Kanye West have given a lot of life lessons throughout his career. No matter what phase of life you are dealing with, these life lessons are enough to put back motivation in your dull and tired mind.
Despite his ego and public outbursts; Kanye has learned a lot from his journey to greatness.
While Kanye West might not be the hero our generation wants, he is without a doubt the hero our generation needs. Along with how to artfully toe the line between confident and cocky, here are five life lessons and career tips that we can all learn from Mr. West.
Lesson #1: Speak your Mind
Nothing is more aggravating than when people share unsolicited opinions about your choices. Ignore these kinds of things. When you stop caring about what people think of you, life becomes so much easier. You must tell the people who have doubted you that the joke is on them. Like Kanye said, “We don’t care what people say.”
Don’t let likeability be a millstone around your neck. Work on what needs to be worked on, but don’t fixate on what is outside of your control.
Whether you’re a student, employee, artist, athlete, or a human being in general, we’re all plagued by criticism at some point in our lives — if not daily. However, what’s far more important than the harsh words you face from others is the way in which you respond to it. As someone who’s received more than his fair share of hate, Kanye West has taught himself to handle criticism like a champ. In other words, it’s all about flipping your perspective and the way you perceive the criticism that surrounds you. Would you rather spend your entire life playing things safe, or take creative risks that stir controversy and emotion? I think we all know what Kanye would do.
Kanye West might not be a role model, per se, but he can teach us something about being authentic.
He may not always choose the most appropriate times to assert his beliefs, we can still find inspiration in his passion and willingness to stand against what is wrong. It takes courage, but it’s worth doing. These actions remind us to fight for what is right and what is fair, no matter the opposition we face. Have you noticed something going on at your workplace that is unfair? Say something! Just choose your time and method tactfully. His infamous interruption of Taylor Swift at the Video Music Awards is a good example of bad timing and method.
But why aren’t we speaking up? Simply put, we are afraid. Our fears are born of our perception of reality.
If you want to move past the initial feeling that stops you from speaking up, you are going to have to do some digging and understand the kind of thoughts and arguments that contribute to these feelings. Keep doing it until you feel that you have covered all of the possible fears and arguments that are stopping you. The more responses you come up with, the greater the opportunity to expose the source of your fear. Look for the logic in your arguments. The brain loves evidence and real data. Very often we make assumptions and consider them as facts; but if there are no supporting facts, then you know that you are really just making it up.
Authenticity is about making the listener see what it is that you see and feel what you feel.
Being honest and open about who you are and what you really care about is in fact a powerful place to be, and key to getting respect. Authentic people are less concerned with judgment and don’t worry what others think of them. Instead, they tune outwards in order to engage empathetically so they can deliver what they believe the audience would like. Sadly, most people are thinking about themselves: they’re concerned with how they look and sound, and want to be judged as competent and doing a good job.
Lesson #2: Believe in Yourself
Kanye West has always been known for being arrogant and proud of his accomplishments. He vocalized it plenty of his tracks. His extreme self-confidence is part of why he’s in his current position. Every now and then, it’s okay to be extra confident. If no one believes in you, you must believe in yourself. It’s the only way you’ll be able to get people to support what you’re doing.
I believe we all innately know the way to our own greatness. The key is trusting yourself enough to navigate toward it.
Criticism and doubt from ourselves and others stifles this. Hailing from South Side of Chicago, Illinois, Kanye West debuted in the industry with his album, “The College Dropout”. Despite it being a great musical composition, there were many naysayers who did not believed in his talent. Experts said, he do not hold strong chance to make a great rapper. But, Kanye did not take effect of such things. He believed in himself and tapped every opportunity available. We all face criticism, many time we self-criticize ourselves for not being deserving for our goals. When the same happened with Kanye, he stood against the odds and proved his worth to the world.
Greatness is possible for any of us. And it exists in all of us.
We all come into the world with powerful and unique natural talents waiting to be discovered and expressed. So what makes Kanye special isn’t that he has talents. What makes Kanye special is that he knows what his strongest talents are. And he uses them. No matter how many other projects and businesses he ventures into, he always remembers to come back to the talent that made him a star: creating good music. After so many years, Kanye West is still making good rap albums. He knows his talents. That’s a success tip we can all learn from.
If your ideas are your livelihood, then don’t give them away for free. Make people pay you for what you’re best at.
One of the fundamental rules of business is believing in your products and services. If you don’t, how can you expect a potential client will invest money and possibly time in you at the start? Kanye has been very vocal across his career about individuals and companies who doubted his ability and, the music he was producing. Despite being turned down for a recording deal by Capitol Records at the early stage of his career, Kanye continued to believe in himself and the music he was producing.
Besides, confidence is the cornerstone of leadership. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can others believe in you?
If you lack self-confidence, you will always feel like you’re at the mercy of other people. When you assume a victim mentality, you are no longer resilient to life’s inevitable obstacles and roadblocks. When you stand at the edge of the water; waiting, wondering, worrying if you can do something, you lose confidence. Your fears creep in and you begin to doubt yourself. But when you take a leap of faith, jump in and get started, your confidence immediately builds. Action builds confidence and each step you take builds it further.
Lesson #3: Dare to Be Different
Growing into fame, Kanye West was and still remains unapologetically different from the other rappers of his time. His ability to stand out, however, goes beyond his story-like lyrics or high-end sense of style. While today’s celebrities and artists are constantly encouraged to remain grounded and selfless, Kanye West recognizes his own abilities and challenges others to do the same.
If you try to be like everyone else, you will be unlikely to stand out.
Being different and/or eccentric is something to be prized and it is something that we often overlook. Society favors the average Joe who goes to work and pays his taxes and follows the rules like a nice little obedient citizen. That said, being different can be the trigger for bullying and being ostracized. They key to being successful is to highlight your differences and use these to offer something unique back. Another thing to refrain from doing is comparing yourself to others. Difference is the quality that sets you apart on first dates and job interviews, that signals your singularity to potential friends. Embracing your quirkiness helps you become the best version of you and share that you-ness with the world. It’s just a matter of figuring out your particular thing and not hiding it.
Highly successful people are, by definition, unusual people!
One of the great paradoxes of life is that being normal or even reasonable usually means settling for average, ordinary results, while success requires that we step outside our normal routines, dare to be different and often, uncomfortable. Success in life is not achieved by being “ordinary.” It is achieved by being “different,” by following your own path and trusting your own instincts. To achieve your unique version of success, follow your heart. Yes, you’ll want to obey the law and applicable regulations, but aside from those things, you become great by being exactly, and uniquely yourself. This is a call for more eccentrics, more individuals, more creative, unrepentant adventurers. Go where your heart and your instincts lead you. Follow your dream. Instead of following the “normal” highway, blaze a new path and leave a trail for others to follow.
Gone are the days when you just show up and you do average work in an average time.
Freedom is not being the “yes” person. It’s saying “no” to what doesn’t work for you, and “yes” to what wants to emerge. That’s how you make a difference. Kanye West was very much transparent right from the start. College Drop out pretty much narrated his side of the story. It implies on everybody. We are different individuals with different aims and different talents but we all seek the same thing- happiness and success. Telling your stories, moreover, accepting your story is the first thing you can do before you are ready to embrace true success. So, when everybody choose to zig, you choose to zag. When everybody is saying, “It’s got to be done this way,” be willing to stand up, be the odd person out and walk the opposite direction.
You will want to reject popular thinking. Challenge assumptions, think laterally and outside the box, consider approaches you’ve never thought about before.
Too many of us have sacrificed our true identity in order to fit in with what is culturally acceptable. Compromising our uniqueness for social acceptance only diminishes our dreams to the lowest common denominator. It’s time to celebrate our differences, dare to dream, and express our destiny through our unique creative gifts and talents. I want to encourage you to find something different about you each day for the next 7 days to celebrate. Then, find something you can celebrate in someone else, and tell them, so that they can be encouraged to be different to make a difference. Remember, you are born to create!
Lesson #4: Don’t Be Afraid
Out of all the lessons we can learn from Kanye West, the most important is his positive mental response to pain. On October 23rd of 2002, Kanye fell asleep at the wheel while driving home from a recording studio and fell victim to an almost fatal car crash. To heal his broken jaw, doctors wired his mouth shut with reconstructive surgery. As an up-and-coming producer and rapper, Kanye’s life and his career were both in jeopardy. Placed in that tragic situation, many people would of felt fazed, demoralized, or pessimistic. But Kanye was optimistic. He responded with positivity.
Many people would have felt fazed, demoralized, or pessimistic when faced with that tragedy. But Kanye chose to respond to his pain with a positive mindset.
Kanye returned to the recording studio only two weeks after the accident—with his mouth still wired shut—to record his first hit single “Through The Wire.” He used the pain of his almost-fatal car accident to create a powerful and career-launching song. He used that suffering to jump-launch a star-making album — an album that eventually made him a household name. He chose to respond to his pain in a positive way that created growth, purpose, passion, happiness, and success in his life. He used his pain to his advantage. Life gave him a misfortunate situation and he turned it into something beautiful.
Taking risks can radically redefine your success and personal growth, but one of the greatest initial challenges is daring to break out of routine in the first place.
Human beings like stability; it has allowed us to blossom and thrive as a species. So it’s perhaps unsurprising that we’re hardwired to avoid anything that disrupts the established routine. The fear of failure can be so potent that it overshadows the (often likely) possibility of winning. The key to this lies in redefining success. If we only measure success in terms of monetary value, it closes us off to anything that might pose a risk to our material stability. If, however, we shift the emphasis to personal growth, the threat of failure becomes redundant; every failure becomes a lesson learned, taking us one step closer to our full potential. As Einstein supposedly said, ‘failure is success in progress’.
Whether it’s dealing with self-consciousness or arrogance, Kanye doesn’t shun adversity.
When we have problems in our lives, we too often try to play them off as minor issues. Sometimes, we need to just admit when we have problems. It makes life easier when we don’t have to pretend problems are smaller than they are. That said, adversity is a great teacher. This is your chance to gain valuable insights; to truly learn from your mistakes so you’ll have a better chance of success next time. However, you will have to engage in some self-reflection. Where and how did things go wrong? As entrepreneur Mark Cuban has said, “With every effort, I learned a lot. With every mistake and failure, not only mine, but of those around me, I learned what not to do.”
Challenges are opportunities in disguise.
Adversity will challenge you in new ways resulting in experiences you otherwise would not have encountered. Facing these challenges head on, coping with them, and developing a recovery strategy emboldens you and gives you the confidence to face the next obstacle. Plus, these experiences develop your capacity to maintain resolve and determination through the tough times. Being able to effectively cope with the stressors associated with adversity enables you to cultivate a range of skills which makes you stronger, better equipped, and more resilient for future events. When faced with adversity find the inner strength to be courageous and resilient. Your attitude and mindset are central to overcoming this challenge.
Lesson #5: Ask for Help
Each person has “day ones.” They’re the friends who have been by your side during the good times, bad times and ugly times — since day one. The ones who’ll tell you what you need to hear rather than what you want to hear. Kanye West had a couple of day ones throughout the making of College Dropout. Heck, some of those “day ones” initially weren’t so thrilled about him wanting to rap. Others were right behind him throughout his ascent to success. It took them some time, but eventually they were rallying for their guy to make a statement with his music.
Many of us either have no idea that we could benefit from help, or are too afraid to come forward because we assume this is seen as weakness, or a lack of intelligence.
However, the truth is that it takes a strong person to ask for help. The most successful people in this world could not have achieved all that they have without a little help along the way. Since releasing ‘The College Drop Out”, Kanye West has worked with the widest range of musicians and artists who he could call upon at the drop of a hat. Putting aside Hip-Hop’s current heavyweights, Kanye has worked with Daft Punk, Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Mr. Hudson, indie-folk band Bon Iver and probably the biggest musician alive, Sir Paul McCartney to name a few.
My personal philosophy has always been: It never hurts to ask.
What is the worst anyone is going to say? No? Unless you’re asking someone to do something improper or illegal, if it’s a legitimate ask, why not try? I’ve never taken advantage of the relationships and use the asks sparingly, but the value that comes from having the ability to reach out at will, is immeasurable. Take the risk and go for it! If you get a “no” or “not now,” move on and ask someone else or ask for something different. Remember that to receive what we want; we have to ask for it and most people are willing to help us get what we need.
It is often said that behind every great man, there is a great woman.
When we look at the world’s most successful and influential individuals, it’s hard not to notice that many of them are married to spouses that share their success. Quite a few of the world’s most successful people belong to power couples. No matter who you are, the first quality you should look for in a relationship is love. But if success is your goal, you should also look for a partner that shares your values, ambition, drive, motivation, and greatness. Set up your very own Jay-Z and Beyoncé power-relationship. Be a part of a power couple. Be a part of a Kanye West and Kim Kardashian power-couple. Find someone who you love but also shares your values, ambition, drive, motivation, and greatness. Marry the right person.
Just because your formal education ends or you finally turn 18 doesn’t mean you’re done learning for the rest of your life.
Even as an adult who’s been around the block a few times, Kanye admits that he’s still learning lessons every day. However, his carefree attitude and ability to focus on the future and his goals keeps him from getting caught up in the mistakes of the past. Not to mention, he’s constantly surrounding himself with other greats of the music and entertainment industry — this is evident through his collaborations with artists like Jay-Z, John Legend, Frank Ocean, and Lupe Fiasco. He shows us that by surrounding yourself with the best in the business (whatever your business may be), you’re setting yourself up for success.
Kanye West has everything that can make a man envy from owing beautiful house, an armored car and many pricey possession to having a loving wife and family, Kanye has accumulated the true wealth for himself. He is one gem of a personalities that have made their own mark. From being an underrated rapper to becoming a billionaire with everything at his disposal, Kanye West had been a true motivator throughout.
So what exactly is Kanye West telling us? Take a stance. Write something controversial. Don’t shy away from pointing out that elephant sitting across the room.
It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day, but it’s a good idea to pause every so often to reflect on what makes us successful in our professional and personal lives. Whether or not you like Kanye West’s music or public persona, there’s no denying that he’s achieved a great amount of success in his career. Look beyond the showy celebrity moments and you’ll see the more admirable characteristics that we can all strive toward.
While Kanye West might not be the hero our generation wants, he is without a doubt the hero our generation needs.
You might not like what Kanye believes in. You might believe that he believes only in Kanye. But he fights for his talent. He even fights paparazzi. He believes in (his own version of) integrity. You might contrast this with many (bad) managers who believe in nothing other than themselves. They don’t care about their products. They don’t care about their employees. They just want their lucre. By contrast, Kanye actually takes his album off the market, so that he can perfect it. How many managers would dare do that?
When you picture the ideal role model for the modern-day youth, Kanye West probably isn’t the first person that comes to mind.
However, there’s a lot youth generation can learn about channeling confidence and self-love from the artist who’s never been afraid to put himself first. Next time you’re faced with harsh criticism, a creative block, or a mistake from the past, ask yourself: what would Jesus do? To be successful, you will want to fight for your dreams with Kanye’s confidence, boldness, willingness to stand up for what you believe in — even when there are negative consequences.
You have to be ready to stand up for your greatness. Never Back Down — to anybody.
I learned so much from Kanye West, including the importance of having confidence as well as the conviction to create a distinctive voice or sound. What do you think of Kanye West? Which Kanye West lesson resonated with you the most? Fell free to share your thoughts with our community in the comments below!
Digital Dandy. Hacker From Heart. Workaholic. Coding Artist. Self-made.