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10 things Kanye West can teach you about business


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)


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)



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