Ownership brings opportunity. That’s what I’ve learned from Jay-Z, Puff, Dre. My whole career, I've been following this trio, even wrote a book called 3 Kings in 2018. One of the things that they've always done so well is ownership. For hip-hop, that came by necessity because of all of the obstacles, the systemic racism, lack of opportunity. Jay-Z had to start his own record label. Puffy had to start his own clothing line. And now we're sitting here decades later and talking hip-hop billionaires.
When I decided it was time to leave Forbes, I was confronted with the idea of giving up some of my intellectual property at my next gig. I thought that it would be hypocritical of me, having extolled the virtues of ownership my entire career. So instead of taking another legacy media job, I cold-called the founder of Substack. The idea was to release all my new work there and serialize my next book, We Are All Musicians Now
, in weekly installments. Have a direct relationship with my readers, get to have my own voice.
Whether it's words on the page, or a TV show, or a movie, it's all storytelling. Putting somebody in a different head space, transporting them, evoking something. And you can only evoke something if you deeply care about the subject matter. Storytelling is what I really love to do.