Book Notes: Hustle Harder Hustle Smarter

Updated: May 12, 2020

50 recently released a new book called Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter. He has always been someone I was intrigued by. I don't usually like huge mean personalities like that, but he's different. He's more calculated and smart. He's a hood genius. What makes a person like 50?


Well, when I heard that he had released a new book about what made him the hustler that he is, I HAD TO READ IT. I've never thought of myself as a hustler, but since I've started selling my artwork, I've learned new things about myself that I've never known. I am a hustler. I just didn't fit the definition or examples that were in my head at the time. I feel that the info is this book is priceless. 50 sharing the wisdom he's gained over the years about hustling to be successful. Yes please! 50 being candid about mistakes he's made over the years, just so I don't have to make those same mistakes? Yes please! I'm taking notes...


Chapter 1: Finding Fearlessness

  • He goes into detail about what makes him fearless. He explains that he does feel fear, but he doesn't let it control him. He attacks it head on. He got that mentality from taking punches as a boxer. and later getting shot.

  • He described the fear he had for the guys that shot him, right after he survived. What made him push past that fear. I'd go into detail, but I'm writing from memory and I don't want to mess up his words. Read the book for more detail.

Chapter 2: Heart of a Hustler


Chapter 3: Constructing your Crew

  • An astute judge of character. The greatest skill for an entrepreneur. Strong character, with the ability to stay calm under pressure.

  • He has a deep fear of trusting people. He fears being betrayed.

  • Once you find someone with loyalty and work ethic, put them on your team.

  • He added new people to his circle. Kept a good balance between the day 1s and the new people.

  • Bringing the hood with you: He bought Mike Tyson's old crib so that he could bring the hood with him. He did it for validation. He spent way too much money on maintenance 70k. He eventually cut many of those same friends out.

  • Crabs in the Barrel: After you find success, you feel obligated to maintain your roots. Especially black people. Every other race gets money, they move to the suburbs w/o guilt. Black people feel that guilt heavily, but we shouldn't. This same guilt had 50 buying Tyson's old crib. He used Jam Master Jay and Nipsey Hussle as examples of people who found success ans stayed in the hood. The crab in the barrel mentality killed them.

  • Demand discipline: No fighting within the team. 50 had a rule that he learned from Nas. He told his homies that there would be no fighting with each other. If they needed to blow off some steam, do it on one of those haters that we encounter along the way. He'd always have your back. But the second someone fights someone else on the team, they were going home the next day.

  • Handle internal problems first: The Tekashi69 example. A nice kid that got involved with some real street dudes, that started to see him as food. He went to 50 for advice. He told 69 that his issues were internal. 69 had people around him that didn't have his best interest at heart.

  • JayZ took over Def Jam to construct a new team. Swapped those Philly artists for Kanye and Rihanna. When things didn't work out, he was savvy enough to move on to the next plan.

  • 50's pep talks. If someone isn't in the right head space put them there. Different people need different energies. One size does not fit all when dealing with people.

  • Learning to trust again: Chris Lighty's death devastated 50. He was 50's closest business associate. They deeply understood each other. 50 didn't realize how much he trusted Chris until after he died. It was very hard to fill that void. He admits that he's been too guarded to find another manager like Chris.

Chapter 4: Knowing Your Value

  • Know your worth then add tax.

  • Evaluate all the ways an opportunity can help you. Don't just consider the money

  • The right deal is out there, the wait on it. 50's first deal was with Jam Master Jay's label. He learned what he needed to, then paid his way out of the deal. Then he signed with Columbia. He recorded his album, then got shot. After that, Columbia dropped him. Things started looking shaky. He still wasn't trying to sign any old deal. He passed on a deal with Universal. He passed on a deal with Capital. Don't try to prove yourself to someone who doesn't see your value. He signed with Interscope because that gave him access to Dr.Dre. YOU CANNOT COMPROMISE WHEN YOUR VISION IS ON THE LINE. When you settle, you demonstrate a lack of confidence. If just one person is interested, then your idea has value. Remember that when you are struggling to find you confidence in waiting on the right deal. Don't let your ego get in your way, by focusing on what the next man got, or the money . Focus on the larger opportunity. Focus on the long term potential, not the payday.

  • Fun Fact: Water is always the top selling item at events. 50 did the vitamin water deal because it fit his lifestyle. He liked the water so much. He asked for equity in the company instead of just an endorsement deal. He presented himself as a loyal consumer, and a person that would work his ass off to make the business opportunity successful. It eased the water company's reservation. 50 went hard promoting the water and the market share began to rise so much so that Coke bought the company for 4.1 billion. "I took quarter water, sold it in bottles for 2 bucks, then Coke A Cola came and bought it for billions. What the fuck?" ASK FOR EQUITY. Hire a lawyer, even if you're broke. Borrow the money if you have to. Get educated

  • Equity: Get educated. Ask difficult questions early. Salary and stock options. Did the company put out an IPO and issue stock yet? Is the stock vested? Vested means you have to stay with the company for a period of time before you can cash out. Never get fixated on a number. You want the person you're negotiating with to think you're stuck, then move if you have to.

  • Negotiations are never personal. They never start where you ant them to be. Don't react emotionally, even if you pretend to feel a certain way. He took well below his worth to make the first season of Power. He bet on himself. After the show blew up, he had the leverage to ask for his true value. Sometimes you have to sacrifice to do that.

  • Just do shit: Don't wait for permission or a gatekeeper. Go directly to the people with your idea. Connect with people on the most basic level. He sold Effin by hosting as many events as possible. He did "meet & greets" at liquor stores for the vodka. They were so successful because he went to markets were 50 never gets seen, like Milwaukee. Then he created an online movement by using #EffinVodka. People wanted to be posted on 50's IG so they used the hashtag. The most important thing is to make something from scratch. You must deliver. By create things out of your ideas. Make sure your product is sooo good that people can't deny it. Travel bloggers just started traveling and taking pi