How far will you go as an entrepreneur? Do you see your company getting featured in magazines, growing year-over-year and making a global impact?
First, let me assure you that your dreams are possible. The only catch is that everyone has the potential to do something great. Going from possible to probable is about developing the right habits for success.
In this episode of Brilliant Thoughts, music mogul Dre London (born Andre Jackson) talks to Tristan Ahumada, SUCCESS People Editor, about what entrepreneurs need to succeed. London is the founder and CEO of three businesses: Kruel London (women’s luxury footwear), London Entertainment Inc. (music management) and AUX Live (streaming platform). London is credited with discovering music artist Post Malone, and he was named Manager of the Year by Variety in 2019. Clients on his management roster include Tyga, Tyla Yaweh and, of course, Post Malone.
Here are the four habits that took London from serial dreamer to entrepreneurial success.
Listen to your gut.
Some entrepreneurs struggle to find a growth opportunity for their business. But what if the “discovery” part of the equation isn’t the real problem? What if we just can’t see the opportunities clearly?
The best way to see something that isn’t there is to follow your gut, London says. It’s what champions do to win at anything they’re pursuing. People like LeBron James, Mike Tyson and Micheal Jordan are great examples: No matter what, they pushed the boundaries of what was possible in sports and life.
“I see things that others won’t, and that’s what entrepreneurs do,” London says. “I see things in a space where others might not find an advantage. They might not see where that door opening could take you. I see the whole horizon.”
To become a better opportunist, look beyond “what is.” A project may be unglamorous on the surface, but what will you receive after putting in some work?
Pursue your dreams urgently.
If you have an idea for a business or product, start working on it now. Waiting even one month leaves the door wide open for a competitor to walk through.
London had a life-changing idea right before the pandemic. What if, instead of going to in-person concerts, viewers could watch live shows from their phones? It would mirror the concept of pay-per-view TV, but for the music industry.
He shelved the idea for a while, but a Post Malone concert rekindled his urgency. The live-streamed show was a huge success, but that wasn’t the only thing London had noticed. The event, in which Post Malone performed a Nirvana tribute, had 200,000 consecutive viewers and 1 million views total. That was the proof he needed to launch AUX Live, a platform for streaming live events worldwide.
“[I thought], ‘If I don’t do this now, someone else is going to come out with it,’” he says. “So I kind of looked at all the different models. I looked at Netflix, Amazon Prime. I looked at all these things, and I said, ‘There is not one streaming platform for live entertainment.’ I looked at that and said, ‘I’m going to build the Netflix of live.’”
Treat entrepreneurship like a sport.
Getting knocked down is part of any entrepreneur’s journey. There will be setbacks that truly sting, even if you win more than you lose. But if you genuinely believe you’re on the right path, don’t give up. Instead, treat entrepreneurship like a sport.
This mentality helps you understand that:
- You’re not going to win a championship every year, which, in business, usually means more growth or money.
- Some years, there will be better teams. That doesn’t mean you had zero achievements. Maybe you reached your hiring or marketing goals rather than making more money.
- Getting knocked down is temporary. You have to get up to stay in the game.
Plus, sports and entrepreneurship tap into the same business models, London says. There are employees (players), bosses (coaches) and franchise owners.
“How is that any different from Netflix?” he says. “How is it any different from Amazon? How is it any different from the American government?… If the communication doesn’t come down from the franchise owner to the manager to the coach to get the players to play well, how are they going to win?”
Build your business with a DIY approach.
It’s always nice to tap into venture capital or bank loans, but consider the resources you already have before you do. You might need less than you think to start a business. What relationships or skills can you leverage?
For example, London has an expansive music career. He’s able to pull from several resources and relationships to create new projects.
One of those undertakings is High Heel, a TV crime drama London is executive producing. Both Tyga and Post Malone have producer credits in the show. Plus, London uses his women’s footwear brand as a central storyline in the project.
“I just like to use all the accessories around me to create a world,” he says.
Are there risks when you’re building something DIY-style? Definitely, but that’s just part of the game—and fun—of being an entrepreneur.
“Ninety-nine percent of the time, it’s the risk that gets the reward,” London says. “So if you don’t take the risk, you don’t see the reward—the R and R moment.”