Can't Stop Won't Stop: Three Tips to Diddy-Inspired Success


Like many in Black America, I spent an hour and a half earlier this week watching Diddy's motivational documentary, Can't Stop Won't Stop. While many themes were evident throughout the movie—loyalty, work ethic, and the power of Bad Boy Entertainment in the 90's—one stuck out most to me: be hungry. 

Throughout various accounts of Diddy's rise to fame, his hunger remained constant. He was determined to not only create a better life for himself, he was determined to do the same for everyone around him. Diddy fought (figuratively and literally) and worked his NY-native butt off to achieve his raving success. However, it wasn't just the work, inspired by his hunger to make it, that landed him in the top stop of Forbes Richest Men in Hip Hop list, it was his desire to continue working. His passionate demeanor to get hungry and stay hungry.

I know what you're thinking, though: How do I get hungry enough to make $820 million, like Diddy? Ha! I'm glad you asked. While I can't give you the secret success to becoming an almost-billionaire (for obvious reasons), below are a few things I took from the documentary that may get you well on your way. 

1. Get hungry.

So many of us want success—whatever it means to us—but aren't hungry enough to do what we must to get there. We let our insecurities get in the way; we let our laziness take control. We want success, but not bad enough to step out of ourselves and get things done. We're anti-social, shy, and don't want to network. We don't want to start at the bottom, don't want to take orders, and don't want to learn. We want to jump right in and get it right. We don't want to fail first. We'd rather play it safe. We'd rather stick to what we know, and hope that it turns into something lucrative. But, hunger...Hunger makes you grind in ways you never thought you could; in ways you never truly wanted to.

Hunger will have you going to events you weren't invited to, just to network. It'll have you e-mailing VP's introducing yourself requesting meetings. It'll have you dropping by offices and stalking LinkedIn profiles. Hunger will have you pitching and posting in quantities you never have before; it'll have you creating every minute you're awake. Hunger will have you demanding a chance from anyone who has the time to listen to you—and probably those who don't have any time at all. Hunger will have you operating differently. More boldly. With a little more confidence, and a lot more intention. Hunger will have you taking steps you otherwise would have no interest in. Saving face and ego flies out the window when you get hungry. Growth, progress, and success happen when you get hungry. 

2. Stay hungry.

Don't let your hunger be conditional. It's so easy to get hungry when we're actually hungry. When we're down to our last dime and are eating egg sandwiches, of course, we're going to want to grind it out. When we don't know where our next meal is coming from, we go to the Earth's end to figure out a way to make end's meet. But what happens when things are smooth? When the fridge is fully stocked, all your bills are paid, and you still have play money? When you're eating at NYC brunches every week and you're content? So many of us are hungry when things aren't going right, and okay when we're content. But the Diddys, Oprahs, and TD Jakes' of the world are hungry all the time. They're always thinking of new ways to grow. New endeavors to start. New goals to achieve. Truly successful people, never stop being hungry. They are eating just fine, but they refuse to wait until they're starving to get more; to do something else. They're always a step ahead of their appetite and their finances. 

Don't let your situation dictate your hunger. Don't let your appetite be determined by your circumstance, your friendships, your job, your paycheck, your family issues, or anything else. Be consistent in your desire to go further and be better. 

3. Eat, even when you're not hungry.

And, by eat, I mean work. Even when things are going well and you feel like there's nothing left to accomplish—keep going. Though a little relaxation is good, don't allow your new found fame, status, or affiliation to affect your work ethic. Diddy could have stopped working when he signed his first $40 million dollar deal, but had he done that, he wouldn't be $780 million richer. When you get your first meal your hunger may subside. You may feel at ease because you were well fed. You may have gotten your fix and think you can chill now. Your hunger will waiver—especially if you've decided to ignore tip 2—but do not stop working. Never stop working. Even when you feel no one is listening, no one is reading, no one is watching—keep going. Keep doing. Keep pushing. Keep sending e-mails. Keep making phone calls. Keep strategizing. Keep connecting with people. Keep pursuing. 

Diddy taught me a life lesson on hunger in less than two hours. A lesson I needed to learn as I struggle to create an imprint on this new professional journey, while trying to maintain (and grow) this brand, heal and grow personally, and get more involved in the community (local and professional). He taught me that where I am in this moment doesn't matter. The things I have to do, the people whose nerves I have to get on before getting a response, the lessons I have to learn, the humility I have to experience, are all part of this journey. They're all part of being hungry. And I commend Diddy on knowing that from the beginning. On never giving up on himself despite the circumstances that he came against. And on remaining hungry, even when everyone was well fed. 

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