I like to listen to 50 Cent (Fifty) while doing cardio. There are two reasons why Fifty is always on my playlists. The first is that his music pulls me to another level. I’m not sure why, but it just does. The second reason is that I find him to be an incredible inspiration.
Now, I realize many reading this may not care for Fifty. I also understand that he’s far from perfect and may not be the best role model. Regardless, there is a lot we can learn from him on how to create an amazing life.
Let’s start with the following…
1. Fifty grew up in Southside Queens, a very violent neighborhood.
2. He never knew his father. His mother was only 15 years old when he was born. To provide for him, she had to deal drugs and was actually murdered in a drug deal when he was 8 years old. Curtis moved in with his grandparents, who were already caring for a large family.
3. To earn money, he started dealing drugs around the age of 11. He became one of the top drug dealers in Southside Queens as a teenager making around 10k a week. He was actually expelled from high school because he was caught with crack cocaine.
4. He was arrested three times and at the age of 16 spent nine months in electric shock rehabilitation. While in jail, he got his GED and started writing his own music. He also realized that hustling (drug dealing) had only two outcomes, death or jail. Fifty decided to get into music as a way to escape these two outcomes.
5. He worked his ass off to get signed to a record label. Days before his first album was to be released, he got shot nine times, including two shots in the face. He survived but his record label became concerned about their connection with him and canceled his contract. After canceling his contract, they also blackballed him so other record labels wouldn’t sign and profit from him.
6. At the age of 25, he is broke and back at ground zero. He realizes he can’t go back to hustling (dealing drugs) on the streets, so he doubles down on music without a record label by giving his music away to top DJs for free. As he is writing new music, he uses his creative freedom with no record label to write the most compelling music from his days hustling. Eminem notices him and signs him to a new record label. His lyrics are so real because of his experiences in life. He turns all of this adversity into music and quickly becomes one of the best-selling artists in history, selling over 30 million albums.
7. He builds a massive business empire around his “50 Cent” alter-ego, using his music as the backbone. This empire includes books, movies, TV shows, clothing, bottled water, supplements, headphones, Vodka, boxing promotion and many celebrity endorsements.
Using the earnings from his business empire, he invested in private companies, real estate, stocks and bonds. He also invested in the mining and precious metals industries.
Before we go further, remember this is a kid who grew up in a violent neighborhood without any parents. He didn’t even finish high school. He pulls himself out of drug dealing, gets shot nine times and goes on to build an empire. Are you starting to see why he may be worthy of study?
But wait there’s more…
Like everyone else, Fifty lost a lot of money in the 2008 recession. In addition, he was also involved in several large lawsuits surrounding his various business deals. The legal fees and judgments from these law suits eventually forced him to file bankruptcy in 2015.
His bankruptcy filing indicated that Fifty had ownership positions in 32 different businesses. His monthly income was $185,000, and the majority of this income came from his businesses and royalties. He also had monthly expenses of $108,000.
Prior to his bankruptcy, his net worth was estimated at $400,000,000. His legal problems and mounting debts ended up consuming his net worth. Various estimates suggest his current net worth is around $20,000,000 to $30,000,000 today.
(Remember, net worth is completely meaningless because it’s based upon the market values of assets. We have zero control over the market value of our investments. We do have complete control over the cashflow from our assets).
His bankruptcy only took the assets he owned in 2015. It didn’t take away his ability to create new income streams, which is exactly what he’s doing. He simply rolled up his sleeves and got back to work, creating evergreen income-producing assets.
That’s the thing with bankruptcy, it only takes away external assets. It doesn’t take your ability to think and create. The average person is deathly afraid of bankruptcy because they don’t think and they don’t create. External assets are there only assets.
Considering what Fifty has been through, a bankruptcy is literally a small distraction.
Every time I listen to Fifty, I think about what I’ve just shared with you. The guy is simply UN-stoppable. Whenever he fails, he gets up and keeps going. He uses every adversity to his advantage.
You and I grew up without many of the challenges Fifty had. We’ve probably never been to shock therapy for drug dealing. We probably didn’t lose both our parents before the age of 10. And thankfully, we haven’t been shot multiple times.
If Curtis Jackson can accomplish what he has considering the adversity he’s faced at every step of his life, what should you and I be able to accomplish?
Seriously, this is an extremely important question.
We have been far more fortunate than he has been, and he yet has accomplished far more than we have.
To dig into why he has accomplished more, I’ve been studying Mr. Jackson. This study included rereading “The 50th Law” by 50 Cent and Robert Green. This book is required reading for every Cashflownaire.
It seems to me that the biggest reason Curtis Jackson has accomplished so much is because he’s fearless.
From the “The 50th Law”:
“After observing Fifty and talking to him about his past, I decided that the source of his power is his utter fearlessness. This quality does not manifest itself in yelling or obvious intimidation tactics. Any time Fifty acts that way in public it is pure theater. Behind the scenes, he is cool and calculating. His lack of fear is displayed in his attitude and his actions. He has seen and lived through too many dangerous encounters on the streets to be remotely fazed by anything in the corporate world.
If a deal is not to his liking, he will walk away and not care. If he needs to play a little rough and dirty with an adversary, he does it without a second thought. He feels supreme confidence in himself. Living in a world where most people are generally timid and conservative, he always has the advantage of being willing to do more, to take risks, and to be unconventional.”
Fifty turned his disadvantaged life into a massive advantage. Because he had nothing to lose, he could do anything he wanted. He had no limits, no rules and could become anyone he wanted to become.
Please pay particular attention to these words…
“Living in a world where most people are generally timid and conservative.”
The majority of people are generally timid and conservative. This is why we shouldn’t pay much attention to what everyone else does… because they’re
After Curtis was released from shock rehabilitation, he realized that he lost his position on the streets. All of his customers found other dealers. The problem was he needed money, so he agreed to go to work for a friend
who was running a large crack-cocaine operation. His job was bagging up drugs, and he would be paid an attractive daily wage.
“But from the first day on the job, he realized that this was all a mistake. He was working with a group of other baggers, all former dealers. They were now hired help; they had to show up at a certain time and bow down to the authority of their employers. Curtis had lost not only his money but also his freedom. This new position went against all of the survival lessons he had learned up till then in his short life.”
This picture is from The 50th Law, and I’ve included it because of this:
“When you work for others, you are at their mercy. They own your work; they own you. Your creative spirit is squashed. What keeps you keeps you in such positions is a fear of having to sink or swim on your own.”
I can still remember how nervous I was to put in my two week notice to quit my great accounting j-o-b. A j-o-b I had previously worked very hard to get. Everyone told me I was making a mistake and that I would regret my decision. These words were coming from timid people.
People who were too scared to do what they really wanted to do. I know because we all talked about what we would do if we didn’t have to work 80 hours a week at jobs we all hated.
Many of these same timid people are still working six days a week in jobs they don’t enjoy. 🙁
Fifty ended up scamming the dealer he was working for and used the money he made in the scam to get back in the game on his own. He wasn’t willing to live timidly. He wasn’t willing to sacrifice his freedom for a steady paycheck.
Fifty has an advantage over just about everyone else, because he’s willing to be bold and unconventional. He says things others won’t say. He does things others won’t do.
This means you’ll have an instant advantage over everyone who lives timidly, IF you allow yourself to be bold and unconventional. Have you ever read any biographies about timid and conservative people?
Do you have any timid role models?
TIMID PEOPLE LIVE THEIR LIVES WITH IMAGINARY LEASHES AROUND THEIR NECKS. THESE IMAGINARY LEASHES HOLD THEM IN PLACE WHILE OPPORTUNITY AFTER OPPORTUNITY PASSES THEM BY.
Curtis realized this as a young man. He simply unhooked his imaginary leash and began living without fear. When he did, the world opened up to him. It will open up for you, too.
If you’re not making massive progress towards your goals, fear is holding you back on some level. This could be fear of failure, fear of loss, fear of embarrassment, or any other related fear. Once you overcome this fear, you’ll make massive progress towards your goals.
Think about our first Cashflownaire goal of creating monthly cashflow equal to twice your living expenses. How quickly would Fifty accomplish this goal?
Why is that? Why would Fifty accomplish this (or any goal) faster than others?
BECAUSE HE IS FEARLESS
The reality is that it’s a pretty easy goal to achieve IF you’re fearless. If you live timidly it becomes a very challenging goal to accomplish.
This simply means the only thing standing between you and the life you want to live is conquering your fear(s).
Oddly enough what you probably have to do to accomplish your goals carries very little risk. Chances are you won’t get arrested, you won’t have to deal with shock rehabilitation, and thankfully, you probably won’t get shot by your competitors.
And if you go really big ignoring all of my advice on debt and end up in bankruptcy court, so what? It will make you stronger. Teetering on the verge of bankruptcy made me A LOT stronger.
Fifty is far better off doing everything he did and filing bankruptcy then he would have been living timidly. The same is true for you. We are better off for trying and failing then we are living timidly.
To overcome fear, we can actually learn a great deal from Fifty by copying this mindset:
“EVERY NEGATIVE IS A POSITIVE. THE BAD THINGS THAT HAPPEN TO ME, I SOMEHOW MAKE THEM GOOD. THAT MEANS YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING TO HURT ME.” – 50 Cent
Fifty lives this mindset with everything he does. He sees EVERYTHING as an opportunity. This means problems and challenges are for his benefit. In fact, negative situations create immense opportunity for him because of what everyone else tends to do… quit. Negative situations eliminate competition.
After Fifty got shot and was blackballed from the music industry, he was aware that whoever tried to kill him would come back to finish the job. He realized this situation was a massive opportunity…
“In just a few short weeks he had gone from being poised for fame and fortune to hitting the bottom. And there seemed no way to move out of the corner he found himself in. It would have been better to die that day than to feel this powerlessness. But as he lay in bed recovering from his wounds, he listened a lot to the radio, and what he heard gave him an incredible rush of optimism: an idea started taking shape in his mind that the shooting was in fact a great blessing in disguise, that he had narrowly survived for a reason.”
(NOTE: He would rather have been dead than live timidly. The average person would rather be dead than live fearlessly).
Fifty realized that the radio was playing “fake” gangsta music. He had been shot nine times. This gave him massive street credibility. His life was not fake and he could use this to rise above everyone else. “This was the moment to convert all of his anger and dark emotions into a powerful campaign that would shake the very foundations of hip-hop.”
“In the summer of 2001, just as people had begun to forget about him, Fifty suddenly released his first song to the streets. It was called “Fuck You,” the
title and the lyrics summarizing how he felt about his killers and everyone who wanted him to go away. Just putting out the song was message enough – he was defying his assassins openly and publicly. Fifty was back, and to shut him up they would have to finish the job.”
How about that? His first song back after being shot and blackballed is “Fuck You!” Gotta love him.
If everything bad thing that happens to you becomes an opportunity for you, you have nothing to fear. This is such a liberating perspective that you can use to let go of timidity.
Back to Fifty’s job bagging drugs…
“As he sat there bagging drugs that first day, Curtis realized that this went far beyond a momentary lull in his life in which he needed some quick money. This was a turning point. He looked at the other baggars. They had all suffered downturns in fortune – violence, prison time, etc. They had become scared and tired of the grind. They wanted to comfort and security of a paycheck. And this would become the pattern for the rest of their lives – afraid of life’s challenges, they would come to depend on other people to help them.”
Are you starting to see how lethal fear can be? Fear leads to dependency. Dependency leads to misery. This dependency could be on a paycheck, debt, a partner, an employee, a customer, drugs, sugar or alcohol.
One way to help get over fear is to think about Fifty any time you have to do anything outside of your comfort zone.
Consider the worst case scenario that could occur and compare the this potential bad outcome to what Fifty has been through in his life. I’ve found this to be very helpful because it helps me see what I’m fearful of in a completely different perspective
Finally, try and force yourself to truly believe deep down that every adversity is really an incredible opportunity. Other people who live timidly do not get these same opportunities. This is because they tend to avoid all adversity.
Please notice that I specifically used the word “believe” because what you allow yourself to believe controls what happens in your life. Fifty truly believes that every negative is really a positive. His beliefs become
reality. Yours do too.
The next time you have to do something outside of your comfort zone, ask yourself would Fifty be afraid of what I have to do?
Would Fifty be afraid of buying an income producing asset? (land, mobile home, single-family home, multifamily property, etc.)
Would Fifty be afraid of starting a positive cashflow business? (Airbnb, short-term rentals, membership biz, info product, etc.)
Would Fifty be afraid of failing at _______________? (In the space, list whatever you’re afraid of doing).
Would Fifty be afraid of being unconventional?
Would Fifty be afraid of living with boldness?
Would Fifty allow himself to living timidly?
After answering these questions, reach up and unhook your imaginary leash and go create your cashflow.