Is Jay-Z a successful businessman? Forbes thinks so. He was named in September by the magazine as one of the top hip-hop moneymakers.
But Jay-Z’s successes weren’t enough for Ivy League Harvard University, which initially rejected Jay-Z as a “proper” business model. Could it be because he was once a drug dealer? Well, Harvard isn’t talking. The university did not respond by press time to requests for comments.
Here’s what has been reported: In 2005, a freshman student, Chanequa Campbell, turned in a profile for an on-campus recruiting program in which she listed Jay-Z as her business role model, reports Business Insider. The Office of Career Services told Campbell to find another subject. Campbell, who grew up just blocks away from Jay-Z in Brooklyn, stood her ground and refused to redo her report. Career Services eventually relented and allowed her to submit the profile using Jay-Z’s legal name, Shawn Carter.
Why is this info now just surfacing? Campbell, who was later kicked out of Harvard and who is now teaching in New York City, is thinking of writing a memoir on her times at Harvard.
Still the fact remains that Harvard University got it wrong. Many in business consider Jay-Z a successful entrepreneur. CareerBuilder, in fact, published a “5 Things You Can learn From Jay-Z’s Career.”
Among the points:
· Find something you’re passionate about and make it part of your life. Jay-Z is a sports enthusiast. Not content with just being a fan, Jay-Z assembled a team (that included Lebron James) in 2003 to play an Entertainers Basketball Classic (EBC) and then became a partial owner of the Brooklyn Nets.
· Market yourself. One of the other reasons Jay-Z decided to assemble was the great marketing opportunity. He branded a bus with the image of a sneaker he designed for Reebok, had the team tour in it, all while his music blared.
· Know when to move on. In 2003, at the peak of his career (up to that point), Jay-Z retired. Most of us don’t have that luxury right now, but if you’re just going through the motions and the excitement and passion you once had are lacking, don’t be afraid to look around.
CareerBuilder isn’t the only group impressed with Jay-Z business instincts. He rolls with other multi-millionaire businessmen. Business magnate Warren Buffet, considered one of America’s greatest financial minds, even sat down with Jay-Z for a joint interview.
Speaking of Forbes, a staff writer for the magazine, Zack O’Malley Greenburg, even inked a book about Jay-Z’s business prowess, Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went From Street Corner to Corner Office.
With investments worth up to half a billion dollars and including the Brooklyn Nets, ad firm Translation, cosmetics company Carol’s Daughter, Rocawear, and the 40/40 Club, we think Jay-Z knows a little somethin’, somethin’ about business.