Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

10 things Kanye West can teach you about business

kanye1.jpg

It's good that the notoriously shy Kanye West was named as one of TIME magazine's 100 most influential people last year, and placed on the cover, as he could probably do with a bit of a confidence boost.

Naturally, we jest. Mr. West has turned arrogance into an art form, but you can't deny that the guy's been successful, selling millions of albums and branching out into the fields of fashion, art, film and entrepreneurship.

Here's 10 nuggets of wisdom that Kanye has given us in the field of business. Just remember to say thanks when you bank your first billion.


1. Aim For The Top

'My goal, if I was going to do art, fine art, would have been to become Picasso or greater… That always sounds so funny to people, comparing yourself to someone who has done so much, and that’s a mentality that suppresses humanity.'

(Talk at Oxford University, 2015)

Pablo Picasso

Pablo, you've got some competition


2. Chase Your Invoices

"Two words, chi-town raised me crazy, so I live by two words: 'fuck you, pay me'."

(Two Words, 2004)

Accountancy

Never underestimate the importance of thorough accounting


3. Learn From Your Mistakes

'If you read books - which I don't, none at all - about how to become a billionaire, they always say, 'You learn more from your mistakes.' So if you learn from your mistakes, then I'm a fucking genius.'

(Talk at Oxford University, 2015)


4. Make Great Products

"This guy that was talking to me doesn’t make Christmas presents, meaning that nobody was asking for his [stuff] as a Christmas present. If you don’t make Christmas presents, meaning making something that’s so emotionally connected to people, don’t talk to me."

(New York Times, 2013)

Home Alone

If Kevin wouldn't want your product under his tree, then forget about it


5. Know Where To Draw The Line

"No flip flops for black dudes. I don’t care where you at."

(Zane Lowe Radio 1 Show, 2013)


6. Don't Be Scared Of The Big Suits

"When I entered the fashion world and I encountered a lot of elitism and all that, it just made me happy."

(TIME Interview, 2015)


7. Be Confident In Your Own Abilities

"I am Warhol! I am the number one most impactful artist of our generation. I am Shakespeare in the flesh. Walt Disney, Nike, Google."

(Sway In The Morning Radio Show, 2013)

Kanye West Shakespeare

It's obvious now you see them side-by-side


8. Don't Be Afraid Of Appealing To The Masses

''People always say that you can't please everybody. I think that's a cop-out. Why not attempt it? 'Cause think of all the people you will please if you try.''

(Telegraph, 2006)


9. Enjoy The Creative Process While It Lasts

"I thank Marc Jacobs so much for giving me the opportunity to design a shoe for Louis Vuitton, but the thing that broke my heart most was when they said, 'You're finished. The shoe's finished'."

(ACE Awards Speech, 2010)

Kanye West Louis Vuitton

These shoes cost $1140, which is enough to make anyone cry


10. Be Wary Of Style Over Substance

"Fur pillows are hard to actually sleep on."

(Slate, 2010)

Cat Fur Pillow

This poor cat hasn't slept for five days


(Images: Rex/Getty/Shutterstock)

Related

hip-hop-hero.jpg

The 30 greatest hip hop albums ever

straightouttacompton3.jpg

New Trailer for Straight Outta Compton

festival1.jpg

The Non-Glastonbury Festival Guide

thriller.jpg

The 20 Greatest Halloween Songs

kanye1.jpg

Watch Young Kanye West Rap With His Mother

tidal2.jpg

5 Things You Need To Know About Jay Z's Tidal Music Stream Service

More

Rick Astley and the Foo Fighters just nailed the best rickroll ever

This version is a proper tune

by Dave Fawbert
21 Aug 2017

When should you give up on your favourite band?

Even if they turn rubbish, can you ever truly let them go?

by Tom Victor
16 Aug 2017

Loyle Carner on Croydon, being a softie & cooking ragu on date nigh

"People say 'Loyle Carner is a softie', I don't give a shit. Loyle Carner pays the mortgage for his mum."

by Sam Diss
16 Aug 2017

Reading and Leeds Festivals have banned pineapples

It's all thanks to Glass Animals

15 Aug 2017

The 30 greatest hip hop albums ever

You are about to witness the strength of street knowledge...

11 Aug 2017

100 Liam Gallagher quotes that prove he's a comic genius

The wit and wisdom of the legendary rock 'n' roll star

11 Aug 2017

A 3D version of Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' is coming

Director John Landis promises "a rather shocking surprise"

by Gary Ogden
08 Aug 2017

Drake's dad has released his first music video and it's a legit banger

Outta the way son, pappa's coming through

by Gary Ogden
07 Aug 2017

Listen to all the Mercury Prize nominated albums right here

Ed Sheeran's getting some much-needed exposure

by Dave Fawbert
27 Jul 2017

The best album of every year since 2000, according to the critics

Did they get it right?

by Dave Fawbert
25 Jul 2017