This week the world respectfully remembered rapper, Tupac Shakur on the 15th anniversary of his death.
Hip-hop artist, Tupac (also 2Pac, or Makavelli), was shot while stopped at a Las Vegas traffic light in 1996. He spent 6 days in critical condition before succumbing to respiratory failure and cardiac arrest. On September 13th, 1996 he was pronounced dead. This week, the world mourns Tupac as The Outlawz release a new album in honour of the occasion.
Tupac left behind him a legacy that continues to influence hip-hop music all over the world. Although the man died 15 years ago, his business and record label are still very much alive.
His family continues to earn royalties from Music and movie rights. The business lives on.
Imagine having such a business that earns without your involvement…
Stress Causes Heart Attacks
Many small business owners find themselves stuck shouldering all the responsibility and stress associated with running the day-to-day operations of their business while employees are able to clock-in, put in their time, and clock-out.
Smart entrepreneurs strategically build their businesses so they run themselves, leaving the founder free to spend time on the golf course or to start new financial enterprises that increase their worth.
What is it about small-businesses that can stress the owner right out of their mind? What makes the difference between the big companies and the independent local guys?
Tupac Made People Think
It is worth noting that Music is known as the Music BUSINESS, because it is a business. The artistic talent is both an asset and a face that represents the business.
Smart musicians quickly move into record-label ownership. They turn their music into a brand and build equity through adding new artists whose style is congruent with their brand.
While Tupac’s mortal life ended 15 years ago, his legendary music and legacy live on through his label.
His music has undoubtedly had influence on the industry and has helped to form an entirely new generation of rappers and hip-hop stars.
On the anniversary of his death, some of music’s biggest names spoke out about how the respected rapper had impacted their lives…
Snoop Dogg commented:
“His legacy is deeper than anyone could ever imagine… He gave people a different train of thought. You can be a thug, but be an intelligent thug. I see gangsters walking around with laptops and becoming smarter. I attribute that to him because he was a thinker. He made people that were around him think.”
Shakur was well liked. His music has become some of the most popular the industry has seen. Many marvel that he has become more famous and sold more records dead than when he was alive. Some, even go so far as to claim Tupac faked his own death, intentionally using the controversy and mystery surrounding his murder to boost record sales!
During his rapping career, Tupac released 6 studio albums, 4 of which went Platinum. The 1996 album entitled “All Eyez On Me” went 9 times Platinum making him one of the best selling artists in the world! An amazing accomplishment, certainly.
A Double Edged Sword
To further their career, musical artists are often picked-up or signed by record labels when they have demonstrated exceptional talent or potential.
A Music Label typically provides not only financial support for the artist but a system of management as well. The artist doesn’t need to worry about booking a tour or making sure the rest of the team gets paid. He is solely responsible for focusing on writing and performing his music.
Although an artist is a hybrid employee of the label, smart musicians build reputation and to gain experience. Soon after, they add business systems and go on to recruit talent into their own labels.
Similarly, small startup businesses often begin the same way. Due to either a lack of funds or not enough business to justify the cost, they typically get their start with very few or no employees at all.
The owner takes on all roles and with a good amount of effort, dedication, and a little bit of luck they are able to build reputation and experience with the in’s and out’s of the market.
For most, however, the problem lies in the fact that once money flows, they do not systematise properly. Even when they hire employees, the owner remains very involved in the task-level assignments.
The Miracle of Systemization
There have been 8 albums released SINCE the death of the hip-hop legend. 6 of these albums have gone Platinum and 3 went Multi-Platinum.
According to Forbes Magazine, in 2008, 12 years after Shakur’s death, his estate has earned over 15 million dollars. In 2002, Forbes listed Tupac as number 10 on their Top Earning Dead Celebrities!
The Outlawz, an American hip-hop group founded by Tupac himself released ANOTHER album on the anniversary of their founder’s death entitled “Perfect Timing”.
While alive, Tupac formed the group, invented the lyrical style and formula (basically, the system) which enabled the Outlawz business to run itself.
Interestingly, The Outlawz most regularly performed WITHOUT Tupac or his involvement, even when he was alive.
His function as founder was to be the visionary. The system was set in place and continues to run today even 15 years after Shakur’s murder.
Working From The Golf Course
In my experience both as an entrepreneur and as an employee I have seen 2 different types of businesses and ownership.
In one type of business the owner has people and systems in place to help the company to run efficiently and smoothly. This level of detailed systematization is what draws the line between small-business owners and large-business owners. Large business owners are able to spend their time focusing on the vision and legacy that they are to leave behind.
Whereas, in the second model of business, the business remains small because its system is in the head of the owner alone. It is undocumented. Sadly, this means the owner must run and operate the business and work much harder than the employees.
Tupac’s legacy continues to gain momentum and popularity after his death. His posthumous albums have made so much money that there many people that think the famous rapper may have even faked his own death!
Take a lesson from rapping legend, Tupac Shakur. Develop a plan and document it ongoingly. So you can, one day, your business too can run exactly the same while you are absent.