Three Powerful Business Lessons From DMX

By Herman Pool
In Marketing
July 25, 2014

Herman Pool / Vertical Axion

True entrepreneurs know that there are times in life that you must consult a high fountain of knowledge to make breakthroughs in their business. Some of us read business books to learn more about a subject we feel we may lack in. Many of us (myself included) employ business coaches to help get over a growth hump.

Still more of us either read or listen to one of the world’s many well know business though leaders. Names like Richard Branson, Seth Godin, Jay Conrad Levinson and Michael Gerber are common to hear. I’d like to bring your attention to another huge inspiration that has influenced my business on a weekly, if not daily basis. I would like to introduce to you, rap star and motivational business speaker, Earl Simmons more commonly known as DMX.

I know, right now you are thinking, “Ya’ll gon make me lose my mind, Herman”. Hear me out.

Have you ever had trouble focusing on a project, then put on your headphones so you can focus better? I imagine you have. I sure do. Studies indicate that workers who listen to music come up with better ideas and complete tasks better than those who do not listen to music because listening to music improved their mood.

Have you ever listened to a song and got the chills? That is a dopamine release. Your body releases dopamine and triggers the pleasure center of your brain. Knowing that, I regularly use music to focus my energy and thoughts to get work done.

My music of choice to really kick work into overdrive has been DMX. I never really got why. I just know it works. Then one day while listening to DMX with my wife on the way to a restaurant I understood why. DMX is secretly a motivational business speaker who uses powerful double meaning in many of his songs.


All his best songs are straight up about good business practice. Let’s look at the lyrics of some of them and how they apply to business. These songs contain adult words so if you are easily offended, just catch my next blog post. On second though, if you are offended by dirty words, we probably haven’t met yet.

DMX Motivational Message #1 – Marekting to your prospects

X Gonna Give It To Ya

“X gon give it to ya
F- wait for you to get it on your own
X gon deliver to ya
Knock knock, open up the door, it’s real”


  • “X gon give it to ya, F- wait for you to get it on your own, X gon deliver to ya”: Mr. Simmons (X for those who don’t know) is obviously teaching us that you can’t wait for a prospective client to walk through the door, you must deliver your marketing message in a clear and “real” way .
  • “Knock knock, open the door, it’s real” Here DMX makes it clear, you have to reach out to where the client is most likely to see your marketing message and whenever possible make sure to include a guarantee.


DMX Motivational Message #2 – How to deal with the competition when they talk trash.

From time to time in business you may find a company using negative marketing directed at you. Personally, I don’t look at business as a competition, but others feel it is and are bad sports about it. I’ve personally had competitors go as far as call my clients to say negative remarks about my own business. I was so angry that I almost lost focus on my business. I was both angry and sad. I was mad that this jerk would try something so lame as to disparage me personally, then I was sad that their business was so poor for clients they had to target mine and stoop low to get them. I wanted to reach out to this person and both strangle them and ask them if I could some how help them out of the hole they were obviously in. Then I remembered the words of my mentor, DMX.

Ruff Ryder’s Anthem

“Stop, drop, shut ‘em down open up shop
Oh, no, that’s how Ruff Ryders roll”

  • “Stop”: Stop worrying about haters. They hatin’.  Just remember…
  • “Drop”: Drop the thought that communicating with people like this will do any good.
  • “Shut ‘em down”: If they are being libelous or slanderous. Use proper legal channels and they will make the offender stop. If they aren’t, just ignore them. Ignoring a troll is the best way to have them stop.
  • “Open up shop”: Double your focus on your business. Success is often the best form of revenge on those who wish you ill.

Ultimately, my crew (employees) rallied around me and we handled business for real by refocusing on our own business.  The moron that tried to punk us split and we stood strong.

By the way, the guy that called my client to talk trash about me ended up opening a conversation between me and that client that led to $10k in additional revenue. “That’s how Ruff Ryders roll”


DMX Motivational Message #3 – The imporance of follow up for brand building and customer loyalty


What’s My Name

“What’cha really want, what
D-M-X, uh, uh
Come on, Ryde or die
Ay yo, ay yo, ay yo
What’s my name? DMX and I be the best”

  • “What’cha really want, what “ : Here X reminds us that it is important to ask the customer what their true needs are. Questionaires are a great way to find out if your clients are satisfied with your products and can also help you create new products.
  • “D-M-X, uh, uh”: He goes on to repeat his brand of “DMX” several times throughout his songs in an obvious nod to the fact that a prospect must see your brand messaging dozens of times before they take action.
  • “Come on, Ryde or die “: Building brand loyalty is a great effect of the good follow up that comes from keeping in touch with your existing customer base. With great follow up your clients will “Ryde or die” with your brand for life.
  • “What’s my name? DMX and I be the best”: Don’t assume the market knows who you are. DMX can get away with the elevator pitch of “I be the best”, you can’t. Create a compeling elevator pitch and always be ready to give your elevator pitch at a moments notice. Even if the market knows who you are, constantly reminding them through repeated impression via multi-channel marketing keeps your brand strong.

If the Illuminati keeps holding X down as a rapper, it’s obvious he has the chops to become a motivational business speaker.

Since hardcore rap might not be your thing, I am sure you’ve found some unexpected sources of motivation. Open up your mind and share your comments with the rest of us regarding the unexpected sources of motivation have you found for your business.   What are your unexpected motivational sources?

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