Jay Z is a man of many talents. Aside from his music ventures as a rapper and producer, he has run a record label, a clothing line, owned part of the Brooklyn Nets, and is now a certified sports agent. Clearly, he's doing something right. He's one of the most productive businesspeople around, so Lifehacker put together some of Jay Z's productivity tips.
Train Your Memory
As a rapper, the ability to memorize lyrics is everything. For Jay Z, that means writing down lyrics whenever you think of them.
"I would run into the corner store, the bodega, and just grab a paper bag or buy juice — anything just to get a paper bag," he told Fresh Air. "And I'd write the words on the paper bag and stuff these ideas in my pocket until I got back. Then I would transfer them into the notebook. As I got further and further away from home and my notebook, I had to memorize these rhymes — longer and longer and longer. ... By the time I got to record my first album, I was 26, I didn't need pen or paper — my memory had been trained just to listen to a song, think of the words, and lay them to tape."
However, Jay Z notes that his method wasn't the best way, as he has lost a lot of material along the way.
Learn to Budget
"I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer," Jay Z once told Vanity Fair. "To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up. Or if you want to start some sort of barbershop or car wash—those were the businesses back then. Things you can get in easily to get out of [that] life. At some point, you have to have an exit strategy, because your window is very small; you're going to get locked up or you're going to die."
Jay Z's advice here is that entrepreneurs and solopreneurs need to budget everything and know how much your vision is going to cost you.
Keep Your Eye on Long-Term Goals
"In America we have an overreaction to everything. I'm not concerned with noise because I'm playing the long game. I see 10 years down the road and then we'll really be able to judge the album for what it is."
Jay Z plays the long game in all aspects of his life, including his many business ventures. As Men's Health once said, he isn't interested in short-term gains.