Making a Mogul – The Four Differences Between Jay Z and DJ Khaled

He’s appeared as a guest on nearly every talk show. Millions have viewed his Snapchat videos, memes, and “keys to success” as he’s quickly become a household name. Yes, hip-hop artist DJ Khaled is everywhere. This self-proclaimed mogul’s success tips seem never-ending, but is he the real deal or a flash in the pan?

That same question was once asked about Jay Z, yet today his success in undeniable. His ascent from the projects to a penthouse has inspired the world and he’s been a driving force in the music scene for two decades. Estimates of his net worth put him above half a billion dollars, his Roc Nation group manages every aspect of sports and entertainment imaginable. Jay sold his clothing line, Rocawear, for over $200 million, he more than doubled the value of his minority stake in the Nets, he owns restaurants and clubs, and this proud papa is also married to Beyoncé.

He may be many things, but a flash in the pan Jay Z is not. Over the years, he has proven to be a sharp, innovative mogul with a Midas touch. While DJ Khaled is making his rounds on the Internet, Jay Z is behind the scene creating art. DJ Khaled is right now, but Jay Z has shown he has the chops for the long haul.

Here are four key differences between Khaled and Jay Z that can help propel your own success to Empire-like status:

1. Intention.

Though doing a top-notch job of capitalizing on his newfound popularity, DJ Khaled shows no signs of having thought much of anything through. His infamous late night jet ski trip that left him lost along the Florida coastline is a great example.

Jay Z, on the other hand, seems to do nothing haphazardly. That’s not to say that he doesn’t take risks, but he plays the game like a chess grandmaster. Jay Z thinks many moves ahead and connects each deliberate action with the precision of a surgeon. It’s allowed him to build continuous momentum rather than succumb to a series of false starts.

2. Focus on Excellence.

DJ Khaled is constantly talking about his success, but it’s unclear exactly what he’s accomplished. Boasting does not equal accomplishment.

In contrast, Jay Z has substance along with sizzle. He’s deeply committed to his craft, constantly pushes artistic boundaries, and never coasts on past wins. Jay Z has the humility to admit when mistakes are made, and the ability to improve from setbacks. One artist commits to delivering the goods, while the other’s only gift is crafting a shiny – yet flimsy – veneer.

3. Learning.

Jay Z’s resume is eclectic. He has collaborated with Rihanna, Linkin Park, Kanye, Alicia Keys, Coldplay, and even his mom. When Jay Z talks about these endeavors, he describes them as both artistic partnerships and unique learning experiences. Despite being one of the best-selling rappers of all time, Jay still considers himself a student of music and his fellow artists.

DJ Khaled’s work, on the other hand, is mainly about himself. When you’re doing all the talking, you don’t leave room to listen, learn, and grow. This blowhard will likely fade away because he doesn’t show a love of learning.

4. Embrace Failure.

DJ Khaled conveniently doesn’t mention failing, except in the general sense, as something you set your mind against. As if you can build up a mental wall so that it will never happen. He doesn’t talk about specific failures or how they factor into his vision of success.

For Jay Z, failure is part of success. He’s said that he has learned more from his failures than his successes. Looking at his life and career, it’s hard to think of something that Jay Z hasn’t succeeded at. But he doesn’t rest on his laurels or bill himself as a savant. Instead, he reminds us that has he failed and those failures have helped him to become who he is today.

Intention. Excellence. Learning. Failure.

When embraced, these four principles can drive sustainable success. Ignore them, and you run the risk of fizzling out. It’s one thing to reach some level of success, yet an entirely different thing to stay there. Ten years from now, Jay Z will remain impactful and relevant while Khaled will be long forgotten. Embrace the strategy of legends, not loudmouths, to blow past the wannabes and achieve your full potential.

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