I wasn’t really sure what to expect, however I was told that the book was fantastic, and I had a little time to kill. After reading the first few pages, I was sucked in…and I even came across something really thought provoking.
In the intro to the book, Jay talks about finding his voice in hip-hop. Using Run DMC and Kurtis Blow as examples, he talked about the two predominant mindsets in hip hop, which were the braggadocios and the hustlers. But does that really tell the whole story? No one had ever talked about the mindset of the kid on the corner selling rocks, or the reason why the big gold chains and flashy cars were the epitome of being hot in the hood. That’s where Jay-Z found his niche. It’s almost the same way I found mine.
Jay’s story is powerful in two ways. One, he reminds us of the importance of finding your voice. If you’re a writer, an artist, a salesman, or whatever, you have to find something that sets you apart, otherwise, you’ll be lost in the shuffle with everyone else. There are billions of people on this earth but there is only one you. You have the power to be a game changer, but, you have to know what makes you special & sets you apart.
Finally, you must have purpose behind your hustle. How many people do you know who want to be rappers, or generally want to be famous…just because. I know many. I recently sat down with a notebook and wrote out my goals, including the reasoning behind each of them. I would like to be famous. For a long time I didn’t know why, other than the allure of the flashy lifestyle. I’ve now come to realize that my quest for notoriety is less about me and more about sharing and spreading my message of positivity and self-worth to people (especially young girls) everywhere. Empty lofty goals will never get accomplished, so if you have a mission behind your hustle, you’re more likely to reach the pinnacle.
I believe each of us has a God-given purpose, that we can all tap into, if we just pray, listen, and focus on the things we know we are skilled at. We are all given the opportunity to be great, and we all should have the opportunity to do so…if we embrace our unique qualities.
The bottom line is, you have to be willing to let your light shine, and offer your one of a kind gift to the world. If you want to be famous, cool. But why? What impact do you want to make? Life is more than money cars and clothes. You can be whatever it is you want to be…as long as you’re doing it on purpose.