Everyone knows that 50 Cent, aka Curtis James Jackson III, is a powerful man. Besides being certified eight times platinum as a rapper, he’s an entrepreneur who controls a business empire that sprawls from sneakers to film to an energy drink christened “Street King.” As he himself says, he went from nine shots to nine figures. But what if the essence of 50 Cent’s power was a single trait you could cultivate to improve your own life? Are you intrigued?
That’s the basic claim of a book called The 50th Law, co-written by 50 Cent and self-help guru Robert Greene. Greene made an international splash with his first book, The 48 Laws of Power, which pulls broad examples from history and distills practical lessons for gaining power in your everyday life. It has also received criticism for being second-rate Machiavelli for the New Age crowd. Be that as it may, the story goes that Robert Greene thought he’d found the formula for power, the exact right amount of laws, then he met 50 Cent. What happened to the elusive "49th Law of Power," we will never know. But what we do know is that 50 Cent’s life showed Greene a quality that perhaps he hadn’t given its fair due: utter fearlessness. And with a snap of his fingers, "The 50th Law" was born.
Though at times the book can be abrasive in its simplicity, there are a remarkable amount of lessons from 50 Cent’s life that are particularly relevant in our age of digital entrepreneurship and shifting labor markets. 50 Cent was loyal to no one, built his own skills, and strove for control of his products at all times. He didn’t fear change or uncertainty, but rather embraced them. Greene’s thesis is that 50 Cent’s lack of fear allowed all of this.
We’ve dug through some of Greene’s more pedantic passages, and his mostly overstated comparisons of 50 Cent to historical figures, to bring you ten of the book’s most cogent points, all of which might help you answer one question: can the story of 50 Cent help you gain power in our increasingly digital and uncertain era?Continue Reading