Most people know TI as a rapper – but as you will learn from our recent interview with Start your business podcast, he is also an extremely accomplished businessman from Atlanta.
How can this help you?
In our conversation, he shared valuable information:
- Find purpose in your fight
- Trust your mentors
- Why vision is critical to your success
I will share some of my key findings below.
The importance of a vision for your life and business
I started our discussion by thanking TI for his song “Live Your Life”; When I first moved to New York, I (to put it mildly) went through it. I was broke, five months past due on rent, and almost got evicted. But I would listen to a TI song and imagine a life where I didn’t have to worry about the electric bill.
TI said it was a great first step.
“Before you do anything, you have to adjust your vision. You must have a vision of something greater than what you currently see around you. So I think this vision is more fair to your outcome than this song. But I am proud to be part of the presence.”
TI has brought its vision to a wide range of businesses. Thanks to his uncle’s advice, his first non-rap endeavor involved real estate (more on that in the episode) and eventually clothing, food, drink, Trap Music Museumand more recently, cannabis.
“It has always been about what our culture spends money on?” TI said. “It’s always been about how (I can) influence the market with my platform by offering something that the culture is already spending their money on.”
A perfect example of this is TI’s new partnership with SIGNATURE. According to website
Designed with a focus on culture and ownership, CIGNATURE was created with the sole mission of providing a platform for black ownership in the tobacco and cannabis industry. to create your own specialized fragrance.”
But the goal should not only be to provide something your audience wants, you should also improve current offerings. Here is an example from CIGNATURE.
“The CIGNATURE line is proud to offer alternative options including vegan hemp wraps that are 100% organic, non-GMO and vegan, as well as CBD and Delta8 that are also derived from hemp.”
So you need to consider usability (is there room for your product in the market?) as well as your uniqueness (how can you improve what is currently available?).
But you also need to have a good idea of the big picture. TI said that when it comes to seeing, there are a few pitfalls to avoid: limiting your vision to only yourself and letting others limit you. Let’s dive into them one by one.
Find a big goal for your business
You may have heard the phrase “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” TI gives even more information about why it is important to understand your WHY.
“First, you’re trying to focus on something bigger than you,” TI said.
“Many people would call it energy (or) the universe. A lot of people are religious… I think family is always a good thing, but faith in something bigger than you. Because if you think you were the greatest thing you are in life, then your failures will hit hard.
“Your lack of perfection will affect you in such a way that it will be difficult for you to find the joy in life that everyone else can find, you understand?” TI continued. “When you believe in something bigger than yourself, no matter how imperfect you are, you still see greatness, the potential for greatness.
If your outlook on life is based only on your work, then you will be sad most of the time. Because in order to get through to your father, you need to be prepared for even more failures.
Don’t let others limit your vision
The other big trap is that you let others influence too much how far your vision is within reach. TI says this is actually the biggest thing he would like to learn early in entrepreneurship.
“Your vision is yours for a reason,” he said. “My vision is mine for a reason. Usually the first thing we do when we get a vision is tell the people around us about it and say, “Hey, look, this is what I came up with.” ‘
Because of their fears, their failures, because they don’t believe they can do it, because it’s not their vision, they would say, “No, dude, why are you doing this? No, it won’t work. This will never happen.”
Worst of all, when in two or three years you see someone else realize your vision, you will have no one to blame but yourself for being cold because your friend could not see the vision.
Moral of the story: Surround yourself with people who accept you for who you are and at the same time encourage you to keep climbing.
I love feedback! If you have any questions or suggestions for future podcasts, please contact me at LinkedIn or Instagram.
Listen to the full episode with TI below.