Be a Business, Man

“I’m not a businessman. I’m a business, man. Let me handle my business, damn!” -Jay Z, “Diamonds from Sierra Leone,” Late Registration

In one of his most quoted lyrics, acclaimed rapper Jay Z described himself as not just an entrepreneur whose current diverse business holdings include RocNation, a label and management company, Dusse’ cognac, and Tidal, a music streaming service. Prior to these pursuits, Jay Z owned a percentage of the Brooklyn Nets, Roc-a-Fella Records, and Rocawear Clothing. Jay Z’s business acumen became almost as big a legend as his rap skills in the early 2000s, he was regularly associated with notable investor, Warren Buffet and more. Jay’s current net worth is valued at over half a billion dollars.

In this lyric, we can learn a lot from Jay, that there is a way to run your life as a business, writer Riley Hilton from agrees. In his article, Hilton lists 7 Ways to Run Your Life Like a Business. Hilton states that time management, choosing the right mentor, and carefully budgeting your money are some of the greatest ways to run your life like a business. Hilton states that, “just like in business, money plays an important factor in your personal life as well.” The author advises readers to feed their dreams, but still occasionally treat themselves.


Blogger AbbyinOz writes on Why You Should Run Your Life Like a Business. In her article, she gives great advice and offers tools. She uses To-Do Lists to manage her life. Her daily list includes: working out, cooking, and playing with her children. Her weekly items are to pay bills, read articles for professional development, and to have a weekly meeting with her husband where they discuss their budgets and schedules. Abby then has a monthly list which includes working on the spreadsheet of their household income and expenses as well as paying monthly recurring bills.

As a writer and hip-hop head, Jay Z’s lyric about being a business resonates with me. I am currently self-employed and must account for all money that comes in and goes out. I am also very aggressive and ambitious, so my daily contacts and follow-up contact emails and phone calls are extremely important. I have created Three Important Ways to Be a Business, Man that incorporate a variety of great business points.

1)      Be Organized-Time management is one skill that people often complain about, but it is only a matter of being organized. I am also sure to keep my home clean, my books neatly organized, and my clothing categorized. I live very lean throwing away things that I don’t need and trying to ensure that I always know where what I need is, when I need it.

2)      Be Optimistic-Being a business is challenging, it is something that can be stressful and can consume your life. It is also full of ups and downs that can bring about stress. Being optimistic and believing in one’s talent is key. I read a lot of inspirational books and have Post-It notes with inspirational quotes taped all around my house. I also do meditation and get a lot of exercise.

3)      Be Outstanding-The best way to be a business, man is to be the best you that you can possibly be every day. Dedicating yourself to your craft and working at it daily is the best way to be successful. You can do it!

Biba Adams is a NYC-based writer, dreamer, and doer. She specializes in urban and hip-hop writing, as well as womanist theory. Biba has a Bachelor’s degree in History and a Masters in African American Studies, she hopes that her work will inspire others and help to preserve the culture that means the world to her. Follow her on social @BibatheDiva and visit her blog, where she writes eclectic personal essays.


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