In today’s fast-paced world, it is not uncommon for people to look for inspiration and guidance in unusual places in an attempt to stay ahead in the game. Surprisingly, one can find such valuable lessons in an unexpected source – a 1990s hip-hop classic, “Ten Crack Commandments” by the legendary rapper Notorious B.I.G. At first glance, it might seem like an odd choice as a guide for entrepreneurs, but when we dig deeper, we discover that the lyrics of this iconic song contain crucial principles applicable to the world of business.

In this article, we will explore each of the ten commandments and discuss how they can be utilized as valuable lessons for entrepreneurs from all industries. Although the language and context of the song might not directly relate to the challenges faced by modern-day entrepreneurs, the core themes and ideas presented within the lyrics provide useful insights. By understanding and applying these commandments, business owners can navigate the complexities of the industry, build successful enterprises, and achieve their ultimate goals.

Prepare to be enlightened and challenged, as you uncover the wisdom and knowledge hidden within the lyrics of a classic hip-hop track.

1. Never let no one know how much dough you hold

In the world of entrepreneurship and business, one of the critical factors for success is the ability to maintain discretion, particularly when it comes to financial matters. Drawing inspiration from the first commandment of The Notorious B.I.G’s “Ten Crack Commandments,” this principle emphasizes the importance of keeping your financial situation private to avoid attracting unwanted attention from competitors or potential threats.

As an entrepreneur, it is crucial to recognize that discussing your financials openly can lead to various negative consequences. For instance, divulging information about your earnings, investments, or profits can pique the interest of competitors who might get ideas to replicate or sabotage your business model. Furthermore, it could lead some to overestimate your company’s value, resulting in inflated expectations and potential disappointments.

To avoid these pitfalls, entrepreneurs must maintain confidentiality around their financial information. This can be achieved by implementing strict controls over access to sensitive data and ensuring that only trusted individuals are privy to such details. Additionally, refraining from flaunting one’s wealth or boasting about financial achievements can prevent onlookers from gaining unwanted insights into your business’s financial standing.

Protecting your financial information is not only essential from a competitive standpoint but also from a security perspective. In a world where cyberattacks and data breaches have become increasingly common, safeguarding sensitive financial data is more important than ever. Implementing robust security measures, both online and offline, is crucial to protect your assets and ensure your business’s long-term stability.

It is also beneficial for entrepreneurs to adopt a humble and low-profile approach to their financial status. Embracing modesty helps you stay grounded and focused on growing your business without getting distracted by success or criticism. Ultimately, maintaining discretion in financial matters allows you to be in control of your business narrative and keeps you a step ahead of potential threats or competitors.

By understanding the wisdom behind the first commandment of The Notorious B.I.G’s “Ten Crack Commandments” and applying it to the world of entrepreneurship, you’ll be better equipped to make strategic decisions that protect your business’s financial well-being and foster sustainable growth.

2. Never let them know your next move

In the highly competitive business landscape, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for success. Entrepreneurs need to be agile and adaptable in their strategies, which often means keeping their future plans under wraps. The second commandment from The Notorious B.I.G’s “Ten Crack Commandments” emphasizes the importance of maintaining secrecy when it comes to your next move.

Revealing your business plans prematurely can provide competitors with the opportunity to capitalize on your ideas or impede your progress. Stealth and strategic planning are essential for entrepreneurs aiming to disrupt established markets or seeking an edge in a saturated marketplace. By keeping your cards close to your chest, you retain control over your business trajectory and maintain the element of surprise.

To apply this lesson in practice, start by cultivating a culture of confidentiality within your organization. Encourage employees to respect non-disclosure agreements and be mindful of what they share externally. When engaging with partners or investors, be cautious about the level of detail you divulge. While transparency is vital in building trust, you must strike a balance to avoid exposing vulnerabilities.

Another key aspect of mastering the art of concealment lies in implementing a strong competitive analysis. Understanding your competition thoroughly allows you to identify gaps in the market, capitalize on weaknesses, and foresee potential challenges. Regularly reviewing and updating your competitive analysis ensures that you stay up-to-date with industry trends and avoid being blindsided by rival advancements.

Lastly, staying agile and open to change is invaluable for maintaining secrecy around your next move. In today’s ever-evolving business environment, adapting quickly to market fluctuations and embracing innovation can be the difference between stagnation and growth. By cultivating an adaptable mindset, you can respond effectively to new opportunities as they arise and ensure your business remains one step ahead.

Taking inspiration from the second commandment of The Notorious B.I.G’s “Ten Crack Commandments” can be instrumental in maintaining a competitive edge in business. By safeguarding your plans, fostering discretion within your organization, and remaining agile, you can secure your position at the forefront of your industry.

3. Never trust nobody

In the world of entrepreneurship, trust is a valuable, yet precarious, currency that can make or break your business. The third commandment from The Notorious B.I.G’s “Ten Crack Commandments” serves as a powerful reminder to never blindly trust anyone in the realm of business. While this advice may sound cynical, it highlights the importance of exercising caution and prudence when forging partnerships or entering into agreements.

As an entrepreneur, you will undoubtedly encounter circumstances that necessitate collaboration with individuals, vendors, or other companies. Trust is the foundation on which successful business relationships are built; however, blind faith can leave you vulnerable to deception, exploitation, or betrayal. To mitigate these risks, approach deals and negotiations with a healthy dose of skepticism, while still maintaining professionalism and openness.

One way to apply this lesson in practice is by conducting thorough due diligence on potential partners or collaborators. By gathering information on their past dealings, work ethics, and reputation, you can make informed decisions about whether they align with your values and can contribute positively to your business. Background checks and references can also provide valuable insight into a person’s character and trustworthiness.

In addition to performing due diligence, prioritize open channels of communication within your business relationships. Transparency and accountability foster mutual trust, enabling you to address issues efficiently and mitigate potential misunderstandings. Moreover, be prepared to seek legal advice when necessary. Well-drafted contracts and agreements protect you and your business against unforeseen contingencies and ensure that all parties adhere to their responsibilities.

Ultimately, balancing trust with caution enables entrepreneurs to navigate the complexities of business relationships without compromising their interests. While it is essential not to become overly suspicious or paranoid, adopting a discerning mindset allows you to identify genuine opportunities and cultivate successful partnerships.

Adhering to the third commandment of The Notorious B.I.G’s “Ten Crack Commandments” can serve as a valuable lesson for entrepreneurs seeking to safeguard their businesses and cultivate fruitful collaborations. By approaching trust with a watchful eye, you can steer your enterprise towards sustainable growth while avoiding potential pitfalls.

4. Never get high on your own supply

The fourth commandment from The Notorious B.I.G’s “Ten Crack Commandments” carries a valuable lesson for entrepreneurs: never get intoxicated by your own product or service to the point that it clouds your judgment and hinders objective decision-making. In the context of entrepreneurship, this message is a reminder not to let pride, ego, or an unwavering belief in your offering make you blind to constructive feedback, market realities, or potential flaws.

A critical element of entrepreneurship is having faith in your ideas and vision; however, it is essential to strike a balance between confidence and humility to make well-rounded decisions. A balanced mindset allows you to see the bigger picture, identify opportunities for growth, and be open to learning from mistakes. Practicing self-awareness and recognizing when personal biases might be affecting your perspective can help keep you grounded and focus on making decisions that align with your business’s best interests.

One way to apply this lesson is by actively seeking feedback from customers, stakeholders, and industry peers. While positive feedback can instill confidence, it’s crucial to pay heed to criticism and use it as an avenue for improvement. Negative feedback, when approached constructively, can highlight areas in need of attention that might have been overlooked due to personal attachment or emotional investment.

Another strategy to maintain objectivity is to surround yourself with diverse perspectives within your team. Encouraging open communication and fostering an environment where dissenting opinions are respected can lead to better decision-making, problem-solving, and overall progress.

Lastly, be open to the idea of pivoting or making changes when necessary. Staying adaptable and responsive to market shifts is crucial for long-term success. Just because something worked in the past doesn’t guarantee its continued relevance or effectiveness.

The wisdom behind the fourth commandment of The Notorious B.I.G’s “Ten Crack Commandments” can help entrepreneurs navigate the delicate balance between confidence and humility. By maintaining objectivity, welcoming feedback, and being open to change, you can better equip your business for sustainable growth and long-term success.

5. Never sell no crack where you rest at

In the world of entrepreneurship, drawing clear boundaries between business and personal life is essential for long-term success and well-being. The fifth commandment from The Notorious B.I.G’s “Ten Crack Commandments” underscores this need for separation: “Never sell no crack where you rest at.” While the wording might be provocative, the essence of the lesson is to keep business activities separate from your personal life to avoid conflicts, distractions, and potential risks.

A key aspect of applying this lesson is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Entrepreneurship often demands long hours and significant commitments, which can lead to blurring lines between professional and personal obligations. Setting clear boundaries can help prevent burnout, preserve relationships, and ensure that both aspects of life receive adequate attention. Establishing dedicated workspaces, setting scheduled work hours, and refraining from conducting business activities during personal time can contribute to a more balanced lifestyle.

Another important consideration is avoiding conflicts of interest that arise from intertwining business and personal domains. Combining finances, resources, or even clients from both spheres can lead to ethical dilemmas, legal entanglements, and strained relationships. By keeping these areas distinct, you can exercise objective decision-making and protect your business and personal life from undue stress.

To achieve this separation, entrepreneurs should aim to establish mechanisms that safeguard their personal space and time. This may include delegating responsibilities, automating processes, or outsourcing tasks, allowing for specific periods of disconnection from work-related matters. By creating these physical and mental boundaries, you can enjoy greater clarity, efficiency, and satisfaction in both your personal and professional life.

Taking to heart the fifth commandment of The Notorious B.I.G’s “Ten Crack Commandments” can prove instrumental in laying the foundation for successful entrepreneurship. By setting clear boundaries between business and personal life, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and avoiding conflicts of interest, you can navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship with greater ease and pave the way for lasting success.

6. That God damn credit, dead it

The sixth commandment from The Notorious B.I.G’s “Ten Crack Commandments” serves as a cautionary reminder for entrepreneurs about the potential perils of debt and credit: “That God damn credit, dead it.” Though credit can be an essential tool for businesses to grow and expand, it also carries significant risks when misused or poorly managed. This lesson imparts the importance of maintaining financial responsibility and prudence in dealing with debt and credit.

To apply this principle in the context of entrepreneurship, it is crucial first to develop a solid understanding of your business’s financial standings. Assessing your cash flow, budget, and balance sheet can ensure that you know when leveraging credit makes sense and when it might be better to seek alternative funding sources. Additionally, having a clear grasp of your finances allows you to make informed decisions about which types of credit or loans are most suitable for your business.

Another practical application of this lesson is to exercise caution when considering high-interest loans, lines of credit, or short-term financing options. In some cases, these can exacerbate financial stress by adding further debt burdens and leading to a vicious cycle of borrowing. Before entering any credit agreement, thoroughly evaluate the terms, conditions, and associated costs to minimize the risk of falling into this trap.

Furthermore, establishing sound credit management practices within your business can help you navigate the complexities of debt and credit more effectively. Regularly monitoring your credit score, promptly addressing overdue payments or disputes, and maintaining open communication with creditors can all contribute to a healthier credit profile. Ensuring that you only borrow within your means and repay debts on time can also strengthen your business’s financial resilience and long-term stability.

The wisdom behind the sixth commandment of The Notorious B.I.G’s “Ten Crack Commandments” emphasizes the importance of financial prudence and responsibility in managing debt and credit as an entrepreneur. By developing a keen understanding of your finances, exercising caution when leveraging credit, and practicing sound credit management techniques, you can minimize risk while capitalizing on growth opportunities.

7. Keep your family and business completely separated

The seventh commandment from The Notorious B.I.G’s “Ten Crack Commandments” highlights a seemingly simple, yet often overlooked, rule for entrepreneurs: “Keep your family and business completely separated.” Mixing personal relationships with professional endeavors can be a recipe for friction, miscommunication, and broken ties. It is crucial to establish and maintain boundaries between family life and business matters to ensure success in both areas.

One of the primary challenges of involving family in your business is the potential for emotions and personal biases to cloud your judgment. When working with loved ones, it can become difficult to make objective decisions or enforce professional standards, which may lead to inefficiencies and conflicts within the company. To mitigate these risks, establish well-defined roles and responsibilities for family members involved in the business and communicate your expectations clearly.

Another concern is the possibility of family disputes spilling over into your professional environment. Resolving personal disagreements outside the workplace and ensuring that they do not interfere with business operations is essential for maintaining harmony within your organization. This separation also helps protect other members of your team from becoming tangled in family conflicts, creating a more stable and inclusive work environment.

A practical approach to achieving this separation is developing clear communication channels and reporting structures within your organization. Ensuring that family members are held accountable for their performance, just like any other employee, can create a more equitable and productive work culture. Additionally, incorporating regular reviews and feedback sessions can help address any issues that arise and foster a positive atmosphere of professional growth.

Adhering to the seventh commandment of The Notorious B.I.G’s “Ten Crack Commandments” can be invaluable for entrepreneurs navigating the delicate balance between family and business. By setting boundaries, maintaining open communication, and preserving a clear distinction between personal and professional relationships, you can create a cohesive and thriving environment for your business to flourish.

8. Never keep no weight on you

Drawing inspiration from the eighth commandment of The Notorious B.I.G’s “Ten Crack Commandments,” “Never keep no weight on you” is a powerful reminder for entrepreneurs to mitigate risk and avoid shouldering excessive personal liability. In business, this lesson translates into delegating responsibilities, diversifying your assets, and establishing legal safeguards to protect yourself and your company from potential pitfalls.

One essential aspect of implementing this principle is understanding the importance of delegation. As an entrepreneur, it is tempting to try and handle every aspect of your business personally; however, this can not only lead to burnout but also hinder your organization’s growth. Delegating tasks and responsibilities to a capable team allows you to focus on high-impact areas of your business, reduces personal stress, and fosters a more efficient organization overall.

Another critical component of this lesson is asset diversification. While investing heavily in your own business might seem like a sound strategy, it can expose you to significant financial risk if things do not go according to plan. Maintaining a diversified investment portfolio, including stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments, can help shield you from economic fluctuations and provide a safety net in the event of business setbacks.

Finally, establishing appropriate legal safeguards is crucial to protecting yourself and your business from potential liabilities. This can include incorporating your company as a separate legal entity, obtaining comprehensive insurance coverage, and drafting well-structured contracts and agreements. By proactively addressing these concerns, you minimize the risk of unexpected legal or financial issues derailing your business endeavors.

Following the wisdom of the eighth commandment of The Notorious B.I.G’s “Ten Crack Commandments” can help entrepreneurs foster a more secure and sustainable business foundation. By delegating responsibilities, diversifying assets, and implementing legal safeguards, you can alleviate personal liability and ensure that your business continues to thrive even in the face of adversity.

9. If you ain’t getting bags stay the fuck from police

The ninth commandment from The Notorious B.I.G’s “Ten Crack Commandments” may appear unconventional at first glance; however, it holds an important lesson for entrepreneurs when interpreted metaphorically. “If you ain’t getting bags, stay the fuck from police” can be understood as a reminder to focus on your core business objectives and avoid unnecessary distractions, especially those that may lead to legal or regulatory issues.

In the world of entrepreneurship, it is easy to get sidetracked by seemingly lucrative opportunities or shortcuts that promise rapid growth. However, these distractions can often result in wasted resources and attention, diverting you from your main goals. This commandment emphasizes the importance of staying focused on your primary objectives, maintaining strong ethical standards, and avoiding any activities that could compromise your business’s reputation or legal standing.

One way to implement this principle is to establish clear priorities within your organization. By defining your company’s mission, vision, and long-term objectives, you can create a solid foundation for decision-making and resource allocation. This clarity will help you identify when a potential opportunity aligns with your goals and is worth pursuing or when it is best to steer clear and maintain focus on your core business.

Additionally, cultivating a strong understanding of relevant laws and regulations governing your industry is essential to avoid costly mistakes and potential legal pitfalls. By staying informed about the legal landscape, you can ensure that your business operations are compliant and mitigate risks associated with non-compliance.

Lastly, fostering a culture of integrity within your organization can help keep you and your team on track. Encouraging ethical conduct, transparency, and honesty in all aspects of your business will contribute to a strong and reputable brand, ultimately leading to long-term success.

Adhering to the wisdom of the ninth commandment from The Notorious B.I.G’s “Ten Crack Commandments” serves as a powerful reminder for entrepreneurs to maintain focus on their core objectives, uphold ethical standards, and avoid distractions that could jeopardize their business. By staying true to these principles, you can pave the way for sustainable growth and success.

10. A strong word called consignment

The tenth and final commandment from The Notorious B.I.G’s “Ten Crack Commandments” refers to a seemingly simple, yet often misunderstood concept in business: consignment. “A strong word called consignment” highlights the importance of understanding different business models and strategies and recognizing the potential risks and rewards associated with each one. In this context, consignment serves as a broader metaphor for entrepreneurs to thoroughly evaluate their approaches to selling, partnering, or outsourcing.

Consignment typically involves an arrangement in which a retailer agrees to sell products on behalf of a supplier without purchasing the goods upfront. Instead, the retailer only pays for the items when they are sold, returning any unsold products to the supplier. While this model can offer certain benefits, such as reduced financial risk for both parties, it also comes with potential drawbacks, like limited control over pricing, distribution, and customer experience.

For entrepreneurs, the key takeaway from this commandment is the need to carefully analyze every aspect of their business operations and make informed decisions based on the assessed risks and opportunities. Beyond consignment, this lesson applies to various other elements of business, such as choosing suppliers, forming partnerships, and expanding markets.

One way to implement this principle is to conduct thorough research and due diligence before entering any new business arrangement or adopting new strategies. Evaluate the potential advantages and disadvantages of each approach and consider how they align with your overall goals and objectives.

Furthermore, be prepared to reevaluate and adjust your strategies periodically as your business evolves and external factors change. Staying agile and adaptable in the dynamic world of entrepreneurship is crucial for long-term success.

The insight provided by the tenth commandment of The Notorious B.I.G’s “Ten Crack Commandments” emphasizes the importance of thoroughly evaluating your business strategies and being aware of the associated risks and rewards. By taking the time to understand your options, weigh the pros and cons, and make informed decisions, you can optimize your business operations and set the stage for lasting success.

Conclusion

In summary, The Notorious B.I.G’s “Ten Crack Commandments” provide a wealth of wisdom that transcends its original context and offers valuable insights for entrepreneurs. By interpreting these commandments metaphorically, we can extract essential lessons on risk management, maintaining a work-life balance, financial responsibility, and ethical conduct within our business endeavors.

Each of these commandments emphasizes the importance of staying focused, being objective, and making informed decisions in the dynamic and unpredictable world of entrepreneurship. As we navigate the challenges and opportunities presented in our professional lives, we can draw on the wisdom imparted by these principles to pursue sustainable growth and lasting success.

Ultimately, these ten commandments serve as a powerful reminder that success in business requires not only passion, determination, and hard work but also awareness, adaptability, and thoughtful consideration of various factors. By embracing the lessons derived from these commandments and applying them to our own entrepreneurial journeys, we can foster resilient, thriving businesses that stand the test of time.

About the Author: Geoffrey Byers
Geoffrey is one of the world's foremost Designers. He is also a Serial Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, and Mad Scientist. Hypothesis-Driven experimentation is his love language.