A teacher once told this beautiful story,
“A father had twins named Pessimist and Optimist. Their birthday was about to come in a few days. Now, Pessimist wanted the best of gifts. He always thought that there’s something wrong with anything given to him. Whereas Optimist was simply satisfied with anything given to him. The father was in a huge dilemma with what he should do. Instead, he decided to play a small test with the twins.
On the day of their birthday, the father filled the room of Pessimist with gifts that would blow anyone’s mind. Whereas, the father gifted Optimist a box full of cow-dung. And he simply waited outside their rooms gauging for reactions.
He quietly glanced inside the room of Pessimist, only to find him frowning and making faces to everything gifted to him. This saddened the father’s heart. He wondered what more could he do to make his child happy?
Suddenly, he heard howling and hooting from Optimist’s room. He went to his room. He saw that Optimist had opened his gift which filled the whole room with the smell of cow-dung! But what the father didn’t understand was: Why Optimist was jumping with elation and excitement on the bed ?!
Optimist came running to his father and hugged him real tight, ‘Thank you, papa! Thank you so much !’ He began to cry tears of joy. The father was really puzzled and he asked, ‘Why are you so happy? I gave your brother the best of gifts and all I’ve given you is cow-dung !’
Optimist, through his tears of joy, croaked to his father, ‘If you have gifted me cow-dung, doesn’t that mean there’s a COW that you’ve got for me?’ ”
This is how the life of Jay-Z has been. He never let pessimism push him down. He always had an optimistic approach to his life even through the darkest of times. His constant motivation was to do all those things that people told him he couldn’t do…
“Just know I drove my own fate. I drove by the fork in the road and went straight”
Youngest of 4 siblings, Shawn Corey Carter who later gave himself the stage name of ‘Jay-Z’ grew up in a housing project in Brooklyn known as Marcy Projects.
The now self-made entrepreneur grew up in an area infested with drugs, violence and where gun-culture was the solution to every problem. A child who was no more than 11 years old, saw his father walking out on his family. His mother worked every possible job to make a living for the four kids.
The rapper never graduated high school but that didn’t stop him from having complete faith in himself. His mom on one of his birthdays bought him a boombox, he’d bang that boombox every morning waking his siblings up. It was music that connected to his heart and soul. His passion for music drove his sleepless nights to fury even in the most unimaginable living conditions.
When no label was ready to sign him, he would sell CDs from his car. One thing he always followed, were his life’s principles. His brother once partook in a robbery, an angry Jay-Z shot him on his shoulder!
Everybody in his neighborhood would call him ‘Jazzy’. Jazzy became Jay-Z as a tribute to his mentor Jaz-O. He is the kind of person who’d never complain why roses have thorns but rather rejoice that thorns have roses!
“I’m far from being god, but I work god damn hard”
Shawn Carter a.k.a Jay-Z opened windows for himself when doors shut on his face. Most people would just give up if they had to face constant struggles. As a response to no major label signing him, Jay-Z created Roc-A-Fella Records as an independent label in 1995 along with Damon “Dame” Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke.
Even though the songwriter had begun to strike fame, he had his own monsters to face. He was rising up from a life where once he had to sell drugs, where he was shot 3 times, where he had unparalleled anger issues to being a songwriter, producer and soon becoming an entrepreneur.
“Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light,” Madeline L’Engle once said. This is the phase Jay-Z was mentally going through. He once stabbed a record executive at a nightclub because he couldn’t handle criticism on his music. Jay-Z came really close to being jailed for 15 years and that made him fear everything he would lose if he didn’t rectify his mental health. He put himself in therapy and until today says, “It was music that saved my life” #believe
He worked hard every day of his life on his personal issues and career silently and let his success make all the noise!
“I’m not a ‘Business-Man’! I’m a Business… man”
Every time someone told him you can’t do that he said, “Let me handle my business, damn!”
He expanded his base like no other artist ever did.
If record companies told him NO, he made his own Label!
If he was told that artists only make music, he ventured in making a chain of sports bars and lounges called ‘40/40 Club’
If someone told him you need to take a break, he started an urban clothing brand, ‘Rocawear’
If someone said you’ve done enough he said, “Bro! I am gonna start ‘Roc Nation Sports’, a sports agency”
His life had its fair share of ups and downs but hey! If an ECG line goes straight, aren’t you dead?
From a person who sold drugs for a living, he built an empire. He now has a beautiful superstar wife ‘Beyoncé’, three wonderful children and a life everyone wants to have. He just never lost his vision and focus.
Why didn’t Jay-Z stop? Because he is a genius. MagTapp empowers you & you discover the true you and your vision. It’s time to rise and shine because you are a genius & you need to know that genius inside you. Sign Up for MagTapp Now….. or “Regret it for the rest of your life” – Jay-Z