Rapper, Actor, Songwriter, Record Producer, Entrepreneur
Many people in the world call themselves (or are called) self-made men but only a few deserve such a title. Surely P Diddy is one of those. If we see from where he started and where he’s now, we can surely consider him a self-made man, being the second wealthiest rapper in the world.
Sean Combs was born in Harlem, NY on November 4, 1969, but raised in Mt.Vernon NY only from his mother since his father had died (by shooting) when he was only 2. His business predisposition wasn’t hard to reveal as he started by selling newspapers only at the age of 12. He then went to study at Howard University, a historically black university in Washington DC from which he never managed to graduate as he dropped out during his sophomore year.
His career started as an intern at Uptown Records in New York even though after some time he became an executive where he discovered new artists as a talent director. He also became vice president of the company even though he got fired from the company in 1993. He later created his own record label, Bad Boy records signing artists like Usher, TLC, Faith Evans, Machine Gun Kelly, Notorious B.I.G., Ma$E, 112, and more.
On July 1, 1997, his debut album No Way Out was released under the name of “Puff Daddy” and reached number 1 on the billboard 200 on the first week of its release that eventually sold over seven million copies and has been certified 7 times platinum. In the same year, his record label had already sold almost $100 Million in recordings.
In 1998 he was nominated 5 times at the 40th Grammy Award and won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album in the same year. In the same year, he started his clothing line Sean John that was later nominated for the Council of Fashion Designers of America award for Menswear Designer of the Year in 2000.
In 2001 he changed his name from “Puff Daddy” to “P. Diddy” and took complete control of Bad Boy Entertainment after ending its joint venture with Arista Records. The last album released by the joint venture was “The Saga Continues” on July 10 2001 that reached number 2 on the Billboard 200 and has been certified platinum.
He is not only a successful rapper as he also moved into the businesses of clothing lines, movie production, and restoration. His clothing label Sean John, is where P Diddy makes the majority of his money. In 2001 Combs started his acting career in films such as Made and Monster’s Ball.
In 2002 he was listed by Fortune Magazine as number 12 amongst top 40 entrepreneurs under 40. He is the CEO of Combs Enterprises. In 2005 he starred in Carlitos Way: Rise to Power and sold half of his record company to Warner Music Group. On October 17 2006 he released his album “Press Play” after 4 years that was certified Gold on the RIAA ratings.
In 2013 he launched Revolt, a digital cable television centered into music videos, music news and interviews related to the topic. In 2015 together with Mark Wahlberg, he partnered to purchase a majority holding in Aquahydrate, a calorie-free beverage for athletes.
To date, he won 3 Grammy awards and 2 MTV Music awards apart from many other prizes
5 Tips to Succeed
Tip #1: Fail Big
“Some of my biggest successes came because of my biggest failures.” When you fail, you inevitably find yourself in certain situations where you have only two choices: accept your situation and give up or fight back and find a way out of it. “When you’re in darkness you wanna sit there and wait for the light to come. When you’re in the darkness, it feels uncomfortable, but you can’t wait and sit in that darkness, the only way out is to step forward, face your fears and become your own light.”
Tip #2: Look for information & know how things work
Back in the cavemen times he said, it was all about surviving and getting your butt warm. If you knew somebody who could light a fire, then you’d be able to thrive. This today translates for him to be always around people and information as that’s where the power comes from. “A degree means something to me, but experience means more.”
Make sure that the actions that will bring you toward your goals are really sound and based on reality rather than on a successful fake model of reality that could have been conveyed to you by unconscious people. Everybody wants to be successful, but because of that there’s a lot of competition, that’s why you have always to know where you’re getting yourself into.
Tip #3: Believe
During an interview, he was asked: “What do you believe the most”? His answer was, “I believe in God and after that myself.” As many successful people in the world, he strongly believes in himself, and it’s no surprise that thanks to his belief, he managed to get to where he’s gotten. “I just feel I’m one of the baddest motherf**kers to ever walk the face of the earth. That’s just a fact, that’s just a pure fact.”
Tip #4: Accept the fear but go through it
It’s normal to feel fearful in life at times as that’s part of who we are; anyway, this doesn’t mean that we should let the fear hold us back from what we want to achieve. For that reason, you always have to go through the fear if you really want to become a better version of you.
Tip #5: Love what you are doing
He many times stated that he always loved what he was doing. “I think everybody can do what they love doing if they go after it with love.” He also stresses the importance of doing things for others rather than just doing them for himself, fame, or money. “If you do it to make history, to change people’s lives, to make people feel good, it’s gonna come naturally.”
“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.”
“But whatever I do, I want it to be groundbreaking. I think of everything I do as history in the making.”
“Don’t be afraid to close your eyes and dream but then you have to open your eyes and see the reality of what’s gonna take for you to achieve that dream.”
3 Lessons we can learn from his story
Lesson 1: Be aggressive in business
Combs never gave up even though he experienced many failures and was fired from his job at Uptown Records. He didn’t let those event bury him but he took them as lessons to be even more aggressive in his business ventures, so much that he later became a real entrepreneur by expanding himself hugely in various markets.
Lesson 2: Don’t be scared to dream big
Everything that he did was first conceptualized in his mind as a high magnitude goal. He always wanted to make the difference and, in fact, he did by dreaming bigger than probably 99,9% of people. That was surely a great factor helping him accumulate his $855 Million fortune.
Lesson 3: Think of yourself as a winner
Even when he was a nobody, he felt like he was already somebody. That high self-esteem, coupled with his high drive to win were the two most essential ingredients that contributed to his lifetime of success.
In 2007 he agreed to help develop Cîroc Vodka in exchange of 50% of all sales.
He owns a $7 Million home in New Jersey and a $14.5 Million home in Miami Beach.
He loves playing basketball and watching movies. sleeps with 15 pillows every night
He has a collection of super expensive vehicles amongst which the most expensive Rolls Royce on the market.
He is so afraid of clowns (coulrophobia) that he made a contractual agreement stating not to allow clowns where he’s performing.
He received an Honorary Doctor of humanity degree from Howard University in 2014.
He used to be a doorman at Marriot hotel while enrolled in college
He learned about his true father death cause when he was in college; Shot to death (real cause) vs. car accident (fake cause)
His $40 million mansion in the Holmby Hills LA is situated next to the playboy one.
Sean Combs has been one of the greatest rap music influencers in history. His lifetime of success wasn’t a random cause but a series of achievements rendered possible by his great business mind, drive to win and courage to dream big. If there’s an adjective that truly fits this man is self-made as from the lowest class he climbed the ladder until he got to be the second richest rapper in the world.