Jay-Z Business Moves That You Can Use Today!

Jay-Z Business Moves That You Can Use Today!

Today we’re going to discuss several Jay-Z business moves that you can use on your route to making your own billion in entertainment.

Most of the content that covers this sort of thing is very “birds-eye-view” and doesn’t get into the nuts and bolts of what you can start doing today…

…As an artist on the come up trying to already strategize like Hov.

This article will help you with some Jay-Z business tips that you might have heard before, but never with PRACTICAL STEPS you can take starting right now!

Here’s our full YouTube training on, “Jay-Z Business Moves”!

Overview: 

Jay-Z Business Tip #1 – Look For Undervalued Assets

An asset in this case meaning a person, place, or thing that can make you lots of money in the long-term…

..But in the short term, that asset is cheaper than it SHOULD be… hence being “undervalued”.

When you find something that is worth more than it’s cost… SNATCH it up immediately, much like Jay did with Tidal and Armand de Brignac.

We’ll give you some of our own tips in undervalued assets for you to start using now. 

Jay-Z Business Tip #2 – Use Deals To Fund Other Deals

Hov inked in an extra $25 million in his 2007 deal with LiveNation JUST for investments. He utilized one deal to fund future deals…

…And watch the money stack.

Jay-Z Business Tip #3 – Disrespect Can Pay Dividends

One of the most common mistakes artists make is getting pissed off by perceived disrespect and then using that to start a beef.

Jay-Z on the other hand, level-headed as he is, uses that disrespect to create his own brands and is laughing all the way to the bank.

Jay-Z Business Tip #4 – Patience Can Beat Power

Jay-Z business associate Darryl Cobbin has noted that Hov has been “taking his time, tap by tap by tap, to build his masterpiece” when it comes to business. 

Now that Jay is truly at a billion, it’s clear that his patience won out the powers-that-be in the long run. 

Jay-Z Business Tip #5 – Know Your Worth

Back in his hustling days, Jigga was known for never cutting the price of “substances” no matter what. 

He knew he had great product and was not going to short HIMSELF on a deal. 

We’ll discuss how you can take this mindset for your own career.

Jay-Z Business Moves: The Best Books To Read

All of the information here regarding Jay-Z’s business moves are compiled from the excellent books on Shawn Carter written by Zack O’Malley Greenburg

3 Kings: Diddy, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z and Hip-Hop’s Multibillion-Dollar Rise

Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went From Street Corner to Corner Office 

These two volumes are amazing resources for learning the full backstory of Jay-Z meteoric rise to a billion. 

Also, be sure to check out Zack O’Malley Greenburg’s Forbes article where he breaks down Jay-Z billion dollar assets. 

Jay-Z Business Moves 3 Kings Book
3 Kings is a must-have guide to Jay-Z business moves

Jay-Z Business Move #1 – Look For Undervalued Assets

“…Jay-Z had pulled off the same feat he’d achieved with Rocawear, convincing a multibillion-dollar company in search of cool points to cough up a nine-figure sum for a generic product upon which he’d sprinkled his stardust. The Tidal move also smacked of his Armand de Brignac strategy. Once again, he had purchased a generic European consumer product that American’s hadn’t heard of, dressed it up, and peddled it as a high-end specialty item.”

3 Kings, pg. 231 

The first major, and most important, Jay-Z business move you should start using is looking for undervalued assets.

An asset in this case meaning a person, place, or thing that can make you lots of money in the long-term…

..But in the short term, that asset is cheaper than it SHOULD be… hence being “undervalued”.

Just like Hov did with Rocawear, Tidal, and Armand de Brignac (the largest part of his wealth)… here are some undervalued assets you can start using immediately in your up-and-coming career:

People 

One of these easiest ways to find undervalued assets as far as employees is freelancer sites like upwork.com, fiverr.com, and freelancer.com

A good place to start is identifying a piece of your career (or business) you no longer WANT to handle

…Or believe your time would better spent else where.

One of the most common versions of this is posting your social media regularly. 

I would suggest going to a freelancer site and looking for a “VA” or virtual assistant to begin handling your social media, and posting on a regular basis. 

You can find HIGHLY skilled virtual assistants for as little as $5 on sites like Upwork.

If you have old pictures or content you’d like to ‘recycle’ so you can have fresh ideas, simply get them into a cloud folder and instruct the assistant to post them for at a time you think your audience will see them.

You can also use sites like freelancer.com to set up contests to compete for making your logo, YouTube banner, and other “assets” you don’t feel like making or don’t know how to. 

Places

An undervalued place to find new fans and interact with people, at least to me… is reddit.com 

I was definitely always one of those people who thought reddit was just a haven of trolls, but there are many very active forums that have people very active on there.

It’s totally free AND a lot of artists are not active on it.

A hidden benefit is that reddit often gets placed high up in the algorithms of Google so if your post goes viral, it makes it easier for people to see. 

Jay-Z Business Moves Camera
Affordable cameras are an undervalued asset

Things

A very undervalued asset in the world today is a decent DSLR camera. It can take high quality photos, it can record your video content at a MUCH higher rate than your phone camera, AND it can serve as an item for you to leverage connections in your local area. 

Think about it: anybody in your neighborhood or town would be of SUPREME value to you as a musician if they would shoot some content for you…

…And if they knew what they were doing, you’d probably be willing to actually pay them a bit to get you looking good…

…So WHY not cut out the middle and get the camera yourself for cheap?

A great place to start is getting a refurbished Canon DSLR for like $150-$250. 

If those prices scare you, think about how much you would be paying for SOMEONE else to do it…

…Even a trash cameraman will cost at least $30 an hour or so. So within two days of shooting, you’re paying TWICE as much for someone to shoot you as the price of a decent refurbished camera

…Not to mention the camera is an investment you can use to make MORE money…

Jay-Z Business Move #2 – Use Deals To Fund Other Deals

“[In December 2007], Jay-Z took his next step professionally, agreeing to a ten-year, $150 million deal with concert giant Live Nation that would encompass music, touring, and his thirst of outside business ventures. The pact included $50 million up front plus $10 million for each of at least three albums, $20 million for certain licensing rights, $25 MILLION MEAN TO FINANCE JAY-Z’S INVESTMENTS, and $5 million per year for five years to cover the creation of Roc Nation, a multipurpose entertainment company whose profits would be shared with Live Nation”

3 Kings, pg. 167

The most important part of this quote is that Jigga leveraged $25 million in extra funds for his deal to go towards OTHER investments.

You as an artist should always be looking for ways to make your money… make you more money.

Using our camera example from tip #1, I would suggest using that new refurbished camera you have to secure opportunities to get paid to do photoshoots or paid interviews for some extra cash.

The cameras I use for How To Rap are also used to produce podcasts for comedians and actors in the local LA scene where I live.

I make a few extra thousand EVERY MONTH just using the materials that I use to make How To Rap

…Now that $300 camera is worth TEN TIMES the amount I paid for it!

You can do the same thing with your camera or even your ASSISTANTS. 

My current video editor has team behind him that I’m currently shopping around for other influencers in L.A. to use. 

When I find an influencer who needs editing, I’ll skim a little off of the top (“finder’s fee”), and then that will actually SAVE me editing costs since the editor I’m using… is actually MAKING me money as well. 

Take a page out of Jay’s book and let your investments make you more money.

Jay-Z Business Moves Laugh
“Put me anywhere on God’s green earth, I triple my worth”

Jay-Z Business Move #3 – Disrespect Can Pay Dividends

“In May 2006, Frederic Rouzaud, the managing director of the company behind Cristal champagne, the brand historically preferred by Russian tsars [was asked by a reporter from The Economist] if the rap world’s preference for Cristal had tarnished the brand’s image. ‘What can we do?’ He said. ‘We can’t forbid people from buying it.”

“During the late 1990’s, Jay-Z wore a lot of clothing by the European designer Iceberg; he often donned the brand at concerts, and soon he found his fans doing the same. So Damon Dash arrange a meeting with the company’s brass, hoping to land an endorsement deal. He and Jay-Z demanded millions of dollars and the use of a private jet; the Iceberg executives offered free clothes. Needless to say, there was no deal, and Jay-Z and Dash decided they would try the do-it-yourself approach.”

3 Kings, pgs. 183 and 128, respectively

Jay-Z and his Roc-a-Fella team don’t let a disrespectful move by someone affect them negatively… in fact, they use that as a POSITIVE to make more money.

As the old saying goes, “success is the best revenge!” 

Just like Hov turned the “no” into a “yes” by making his OWN money in clothing and alcohol getting dissed… you can do the same thing.

One of the sneakiest ways to do this is by having your posts promoted in forums by having a “debate” with a hater.

This is extremely sly but I used it in the early days of How To Rap

What I would do is when I posted something about the channel and someone started hating on it…

…I would get into a back-and-forth debate with them. 

Now, most trolls online are bored, aggressive, losers with neckbeards in their Mom’s basement, so they will be more than “happy” to start debating you.

What they DON’T know is every time a new post comes up, it “bumps” the post up to first on the forum / in the algorithm and, voila…

…Your post gets twice the amount of views than if no one commented! 

Use disrespectful people to make you gain power.

Jay-Z Business Move #4 – Patience Can Beat Power

“‘Michelangelo has a quote, says Cobbin. ‘I’m not going to get it right, but he said when he looks at a piece of stone, he sees the imagine already in the stone, and his job is to chip away the excess. I think that’s Jay… You can’t go fast when you’re chipping marble. You fuck up the whole thing. I think that’s what he’s now doing: he’s taking his time, tap by tap by tap, to build his masterpiece”

3 Kings, pg. 204

Hov is the consummate patient professional. 

Often in the modern social media realm, rappers want everything fast… the cars, the clothes, the clout.

But the best moguls are patient and wait for their deals to mature.

The best way to do this on a smaller scale is to use content calendars to help plan out your social media and build up a “vault” of content to make it easier during the lulls.

So, building on our earlier tips…

You can hire someone cheaply to be your personal assistant online to post while you sleep.

As they are posting the most recent topics, you can be building up a content “vault” in your cloud folder or automated posting site like buffer.com

…And then having a reserve of social media and promotion for when you are on vacation, with family, or exam week if you’re a student.

Having a reserve of promotional materials will help you when your motivation is low and give you the patience needed to succeed.

Think of your personal social media vault like your cash reserves in your future business empire.

It’s chess, not checkers!

Jay-Z Business Moves Denzel
Denzel Knows Jay-Z Business Moves

Jay-Z Business Move #5 – Know Your Worth

“Jay-Z would never cut the price [of his crack cocaine] to nine dollars. Like an airline executive refusing to slash fares on unsold seats two hours before takeoff, Jay-Z didn’t want to condition his customers to expect discounts, a philosophy that would follow him into the music business.”

3 Kings, pg. 45 referencing an interview from Empire State of Mind

Jay-Z doesn’t want to condition his fans to expect nothing less than the best, and neither should you.

The most direct way for you to do this is never have what I call “the homey price”

…The homey price is where you give an extra discount to someone because you want them to like you.

It’s a VERY common occurrence in Los Angeles specifically, and I’m sure there are versions of it everywhere else.

For me, the way I handle “the homey price” is this:

I set my price for something business related (features, press, etc.) about 20% higher than the industry average. 

This is to let people who I DON’T know be aware that my time is valuable and if I’m going to go out of my way to work with them, I need to be paid right.

THEN, when somebody I’m COOL with wants to do business, I say, “My normal price is (20% industry average), but for YOU… I’ll do (industry average)”

Haha, again a sneaky trick but it pays off well and people who are truly your HOMIES will understand. 

JEAH! #JayZVoice

Jay-Z Business Moves Laughing
“I’ll show you the difference between me and them…”

Conclusion

Let’s look over what we’ve learned today from the true “Billy G.O.A.T.”, Jay-Z: 

Jay-Z Business Tip #1 – Look For Undervalued Assets

Just like Jay-Z did with Tidal, Roc-a-Wear, and Armand de Brignac, look for undervalued people, places, and things that you can leverage to build your empire on.

Some quick ideas we discussed were getting a personal team together on the cheap at freelancer sites like UpWork.com, freelancer.com, and fiverr.com… tapping the undervalued reddit.com community, and copping an affordable high quality used camera to leverage content creation.

Jay-Z Business Move #2 – Use Deals To Fund Other Deals

Similar to Jigga’s writing an extra $25 million into his LiveNation contract, we suggest that you use your undervalued assets like your affordable freelancer team or camera to secure more content deals so you can skim some off of the top!

Jay-Z Business Move #3 – Disrespect Can Pay Dividends

Jay-Z and the Roc used the disrespect of Cristal and Iceberg to jumpstart their own alcohol and clothing brands on the road to millions…

…You can do the same with haters and trolls on forums and comments to get your promotional posts to always rank high in the algorithm. 

Jay-Z Business Move #4 – Patience Can Beat Power

Shawn Carter is on the record for having a chess-like patience with his business moves.

You can do the same thing by creating a content vault of promotional materials so that when you are lacking in motivation or on a break, your social media empire is still running like a well-oiled machine.

Jay-Z Business Move #5 – Know Your Worth

Jay NEVER cut his prices or conditioned his customers to expect discounts when he was hustling on the streets.

We suggest that you make your standard price around 20% higher so that IF you do give a discount, it’s actually the regular industry average, and YOU GET PAID! 



Comment below: 

Which Jay-Z business move do you plan to start implementing TODAY? 

Drew Morisey, @drewmorisey on Instagram and Twitter

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