“Die Jay-Z, this ain’t back in the days/You don’t need an alibi, Jay-Z/Cry Jay-Z, we know the pain is real/But you can’t heal what you never reveal” – Jay-Z from the song “Kill Jay-Z”
When you think of Bad Boy, Sean “Diddy” Combs comes to mind. The same thing goes with Def Jam, and Russell Simmons or Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella.
But each of these men were also careful not to let their identities become wrapped up in any one of their brands
Each one of these entrepreneurs has managed to carve out separate identities apart from their successful businesses.
Diddy transcended Bad Boy with Sean John Clothing and Ciroc, Russell Simmons has Def Comedy Jam, Phat Farm, and Rush Card, while Jay-Z ran Def Jam and launched Roc Nation.
Entrepreneurs are often so tied to running their businesses, that often times, their job becomes their identity.
Interscope boss Jimmy Iovine applied a valuable piece of wisdom shared by fellow mogul, David Geffen: Don’t let your career become your identity.
“I was consumed by being successful, but it was never who I was. I left Interscope, and I could pivot, because I didn’t give a fuck, it has nothing to do with who I am.” – Jimmy Iovine
It’s an important concept because if your business fails it can drastically impact your mood, and outlook on life.
According to a 2015 survey of 242 startup entrepreneurs by Dr. Michael Freeman, a clinical professor at UCSF, 49% reported having a mental-health condition.
Depression was the # 1 problem, with 30% of all entrepreneurs suffering from the condition.
“Some of my friends can’t let go because it’s who they are and, to me, that’s no fun,” Jimmy Iovine said. “You work your ass off all these years, and then you’re trapped. That sucks”
This mindset is most likely one of the biggest reasons Jimmy has had such success over the years, with companies like Interscope, Beats and running Apple Music.
“I will not be trapped, I hate it more than anything. I’m fucking Houdini; I can get out of any trap. As soon as I feel trapped, I move on to something else.
I’m not braver than anybody, I’m just saying I can’t take it.”