Bryan Helmig

Co-founder of Zapier, speaker, musician and builder of things.

In case you need a refresher, check out the tune here. While some are a stretch, a few are really quite relevant.

1. Never let no one know how much dough you hold.

Keep your finances (good or bad) to yourself.

Don’t make the mistake of bragging about how well or mentioning how badly you’re doing unless you have a very good reason for it. What you think of as idle talk amongst friends can get around very quickly and can affect future deals or relationships. When it comes to finances, its just better to keep your mouth shut.

2. Never let ’em know your next move.

Keep your core strategies/opportunities under wraps.

I know its tempting to talk about your plans or techniques, but just like #1, sometimes it’s just best to shut up. Biggie elaborates on this with “don’t you know Bad Boys move in silence or violence” which is just another way of letting you know that the big dogs don’t over-plan and discuss, and they act.

3. Never trust nobody.

Words are words. Get a contract.

Trust is a funny and terribly fragile thing. While your business partners or clients may not want to ruin you from the outset, who knows what the future will bring? You need to protect yourself. Hire a lawyer, get a contract. Live by this motto: “Everybody signs something.”

4. Never get high, on your own supply.

Discover the customers’ needs; don’t substitute your own.

While you may think you have it under control, your customer should come first. They are the ones controlling your paycheck. Don’t forget that. If you think you have all the answers, be prepared to fail. Badly.

5. Never sell no crack where you rest at.

Don’t mix business with personal life.

It’s easy to bring your personal life into business, and some people have no problems maintaining the difference. But when you become a friend to all, you may have trouble making necessary decisions in the face of emotion. Just know that if you do mix the two, you may need to break the connection to make the right decision.

6. That God damn credit, dead it.

Get cash upfront unless you don’t care about being paid.

This goes back to #3, don’t trust anyone. Get a contract and get the cash upfront. While Biggie was dealing with unreliable crackheads, you’ll still run across unreliable or dishonest businessmen. When in doubt, get it in cash.

7. Keep your family and business completely separated.

Don’t work with family for family’s sake.

This is an elaboration on #5, but don’t hire friends or family just because they are who they are. Do they have a strong skill-set? Can they contribute to your bottom line? If you can’t be honest here, you won’t make it far.

8. Never keep no weight on you.

Learn to delegate effectively.

Biggie clarifies this with the line: “them cats that squeeze your guns can hold jumps too.” In Biggie’s case, he doesn’t want to get nailed with possession. In your case, hire someone to do your dirty work for you. Learn to delegate and get on with more important things.

9. If you ain’t gettin bags stay the fuck from police.

Watch who you are perceived as working with.

There are probably a lot of people who in hindsight would have taken a different route when dealing with unsavory people. Biggie had the right idea, your colleagues will form their own assumption, some of them negative.

10. A strong word called consignment; if you ain’t got the clientele say hell no.

Don’t take credit without a means to repay.

This is the flip-side of #6, don’t take obligations you can’t repay. This is one very quick way of run yourself into the ground. If you already have revenue and need to grow, then by all means.

What do you think? Did I interpret one wrong?

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