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

Comments

More

John Legend just sat down at a piano at St Pancras and started playing

Unrelatedly, tickets to his stadium tour go on sale Friday

by Tom Mendelsohn
29 Mar 2017

An amazing extended version of George Michael's 'Fastlove' exists

I won't bore you with the details, baby

by Dave Fawbert
28 Mar 2017

A woman has been jailed for playing Ed Sheeran on repeat

Fair enough?

by Gary Ogden
28 Mar 2017

13 amazing garage bangers that were hidden away as album tracks

Make this the soundtrack to your summer

by Gary Ogden
24 Mar 2017

Listen to brand new Kendrick Lamar song 'The Heart Part 4'

'Y'all got til April the 7th to get y'all shit together'

by Matt Tate
24 Mar 2017

Is Kendrick Lamar about to unveil his new album?

A 'To Pimp a Butterfly' follow-up seems to be imminent

by Dave Fawbert
23 Mar 2017

Here are the best picks for Record Store Day

From David Bowie to Aqua

by Emily Reynolds
22 Mar 2017

This brilliant video shows every song Daft Punk have ever sampled

Where have you heard that before? Probably in a Daft Punk song

by Matt Tate
21 Mar 2017

Watch Calvin Harris show how he made his latest single bit-by-bit

This is actually pretty fascinating

by Dave Fawbert
20 Mar 2017

Liam Gallagher has gone on yet another rant about Noel

Is that something pigeons can do?

by Emily Reynolds
20 Mar 2017