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“It Doesn’t Come Easy’: Success Lessons from Hip-Hop’s Newest Billionaire, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs went from being an intern at Uptown Records in 1990 to running his own record label, Bad Boy Records, having a successful clothing line, Sean Jean, to today being a billionaire and the man behind various business ventures.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MAY 15: Host Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs attends the 2022 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 15, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Through a deal he made just last week, Combs now owns the country’s largest Black-owned, vertically integrated cannabis company. Combs is acquiring cannabis operations from medical marijuana companies Cresco Labs Inc. and Columbia Care Inc. for $185 million.

Combs also recently revealed he made at least a $10 million investment in Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter.

Combs, who launched the careers of such artists as Notorious B.I.G. and Mary J. Blige, is also a ht-making artist himself with three Grammy Awards to his name.

Combs is co-owner of the TV network Revolt and has a lucrative 50-50 deal with Diageo’s Ciroc as well as a partnership with DeLeon Tequila. On top of this, he co-owns the water brand AQUAhydrate with actor Mark Wahlberg.

In 2016, Combs opened the Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School, and has since opened several locations.

Some would say Combs seems to have the key to success.

Here are five success lessons from the man who now calls himself “Love.”

1.Be responsible

Running a business not only takes discipline and vision, but it also means you have to be responsible.

“When you are in a business, you are really responsible — especially if you have a staff — you are responsible for your investment and you are responsible to the people that work for you and so sometimes you gotta make the hard decisions. Sometimes you gotta make more of the conservative decisions,” Combs told Entrepreneur in 2013. “But also, any true entrepreneur knows that at some point you have to make that gamble.”

2. Bet Smart

Business ventures can be a gamble. To minimize risk, weigh all the odds, said Combs. “Make sure the odds are in your favor. And to do that, make sure that you are a master of that category that you are investing in, or you are trying to start a business in,” said Combs. “Any business I get into, I go and I do the proper studying and I do the research to make sure I thoroughly understand that business.”

3.Offer Great Customer Service

When he was young, Combs was a paperboy — but not the paperboy who tossed the newspaper on the lawn and kept rolling. Combs learned the names of all of the clients on his route, and he treated their product — the newspapers — with care.

“I started my business career at age 12, delivering newspapers,” he told Forbes. “I had a lot of elderly customers, so I would always put the newspaper in between the screen door and the door — that caring made me different, made me better than the last paperboy.”

Providing customer service is a lesson he has retained to this day.“If I give the customers my best and service them differently, whether music, clothing or vodka, I’ll get a return on my hard work,” he noted.

4. Knowledge is Power

Early on Combs learned the value of education, he said.

“My mother taught me the importance of education at an early age,” Combs told Black Doctor. “I was able to gain tools, secrets and knowledge about what it takes to be a leader, what it takes to win and what it takes to make your dreams come true!! That’s what we’re doing with #CapitalPrepHarlem!! We’re empowering our inner city youth with the knowledge they need to be great.”

He added, “I was able to be successful because of education.”

5. Have the CEO Mindset

“Go out there and get it” are other words of wisdom Combs passes on to others.

“You have to be honest with yourself. You have to tell yourself the truth. You have to tell yourself the truth about what it’s going to take for you to be successful. It doesn’t come easy, you’re going to have to go out there and get it,” Combs told Black Doctor.

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