art first.

Jay-Z is one of my favorite artists.  Not just because of his music or that he’s married to Beyonce, but because of the way he crafts and strategically places his next move. He’s the epitome of an entrepreneur, creating and mastering his craft through trial and error.

I forget which late night talk show he was guest appearing on, but he said such a profound statement that resonated with me:

"I'm all for collaborations. Whether it be with business or artists. It can't be about money. There has to be something in there that is true to both sides. At the end of the day, no one loses when it's like that; the fit just has to be organic and natural. That's when it works best. You can't make art with business in mind. You know, you have to make art first. Make it [music] out of passion, then figure out how to be a businessman after that." - Jay-Z 

His first album was released when he was 26.  For most rappers, that’s considered to be pretty late in the game. But for Jay, he spent that time observing.  He was more mature, and had more experiences at this age – perfect age to release something that took years in the making.

I work very differently than most people I know.  I take the time, maybe sometimes too much, creating my art – through conversations, through workouts, through meditating, through writing.  Being reminded of this quote, always gives me a sense of balance and comfort to know that what I’m doing is okay.

Pursue what gives you life – what you utterly enjoy doing every day – and create a network that feeds off of your passion.  Being genuine in your actions, honest with your words, and creating something that grows from that will show you what path you need to be on.  No one has to know what your idea is, hell you might not even know, but opportunities will show up when you’re keeping this in mind first.