The only business where it’s acceptable (actually, encouraged) to brag about how much money you make

June 23, 2008          Comments (5)

I’m listening to 50 Cent’s “I get money” right now and it got me thinking. When can a rapper go from rapping about how he used to kill people and sell drugs to how much money he is making?

Rappers are typically limited to a few select topics. They are either rapping about how they used to kill people or how they will kill people (and maybe even you), how they pushed the highest quantity of drugs from wherever they’re from, how every girl on this planet wants them and how they don’t want them, or, how much money they make and how they spend it.

I find this very interesting because this is the only industry where the person/company selling goods can actually flaunt to their customers (who are affording them their lifestyle) how much money they’re making. And it doesn’t turn off the customer. Actually, I think the customers like it.

You’re certainly not going to see Howard Schultz (Starbucks) on MTV Cribs anytime soon showing off his ridiculous cars and houses. You’re not going to see Shelly Hwang and Young Lee, founders of the highly popular Pinkberry (still boggles my mind), flaunting their newfound fortunes, either.

In fact, if they were flaunting their money it would most likely turn you off from their company. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t enjoy the finer things in life, either. These people had big ideas and brilliant execution. They deserve their success. But they definitely shouldn’t have commercials promoting their products while deliberately showing off their Bentley’s and other ridiculous cars and houses.

However, for rappers, it’s part of the gig for some reason. It’s part of their image. Seeing 50 Cent get out of a Toyota Prius just wouldn’t do it.

I think a huge part of what rappers are selling is fantasy. And that’s what music does. It makes us dream. It inspires us. Hence, why I want to be a DJ.

But for some reason, rappers are all about the Benjamins. The hotter they are (in terms of popularity), the more money they make…and the more they’ll rap about how hot they are and how much money they make.

Are there any other industries where this is the case?

Of course there are. It’s just not so blatant.

Do you want your heart surgeon driving around in a ’88 Chevy? No. You want to see (if you do see) him driving around in his brand new SL 600. You want the best in the World.

It also works the other way.

Do you want to see your cleaning lady that you pay good money driving around in a yellow Ferrari?

Do you want your sweet and innocent insurance agent driving around in a nice car? Sure. But not too nice because then you’re going to wonder how he makes all of his money.

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  1. Hi Adam – Interesting and great post, as usual. Question: Are you implying that you are making a ton of money? I don’t think you’re implying this at all but one of my friends who also reads your blog is wondering.

    Also, I’m a big fan of 50 Cent. Keep writing like it’s your birthday! 🙂

    Comment by Calvin — June 24, 2008 @ 8:21 am

  2. Calvin – Thanks for reading. Uh, not sure how your friend got that from this post. This post has absolutely nothing to do with my business.

    Thanks man. Big fan of 50, as well.

    Comment by Adam Gilbert — June 24, 2008 @ 8:39 am

  3. Adam – When you navigate to this page, the title reads as follows:

    “Guru Gilbert >> The only business where it’s acceptable (actually, encouraged) to brag about how much money you make”

    Taken out of context, you might believe that your company makes you so much money, and you’re encouraged to brag about it…

    Outside of this faux-pas – great article 🙂 Loving the out of the box thinking!


    Comment by Ken — June 24, 2008 @ 1:09 pm

  4. Ken – Interesting but yeah, not referring to my biz at all. And thanks!

    Comment by Adam Gilbert — June 24, 2008 @ 7:33 pm

  5. […] And if he believes in it, it must be good enough for me the conventional thinking goes. If I love rapper 50 Cent then why shouldn’t I drink his Formula 50 beverage or buy Britney Spears […]

    Pingback by Guru Gilbert » Tiger Woods Business is Nobody’s Damn Business! — December 9, 2009 @ 11:42 am

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