I have got lots of respect for 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson) especially as regards the way he is able to focus and execute. You might see him as an internet bully/troll but if you look very closely, you would decipher that there is a method to his madness. He understands the media: All publicity is good if it is intelligent
The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.
In his very insightful autobiography. Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter, he shares some very great insights on seeing the big picture and betting on yourself. He shares the story of how he agreed on $17,000 per episode to act and executive produce the Power TV Show and how he finally landed the $150 million Starz Network deal by betting on himself:
One of the best deals I ever negotiated was with Starz for my TV show Power. It was also, at least initially, one of my least lucrative deals. But that didn’t faze me at all. My strategy when I started talking with Starz was not to get the biggest check possible—it was to create the biggest opportunity possible.
From the moment I came up with the idea for Power, I knew I was sitting on something special. My goal wasn’t just to launch a single TV show. I was looking to create a franchise where the characters were so compelling that eventually they could support their own spin-offs. What Marvel had done in movies, I wanted Power to do for TV. I wasn’t trying to create a planet. I wanted to create a universe.
To bring that universe into existence, I had to be very humble with my initial demands. Despite my success in music and movies, my track record in television wasn’t as strong. My only other foray into TV, an Apprentice-esque reality show for MTV called The Money and the Power, had been canceled after one season. I had to accept
The budget they were offering was limited. If I wanted the show to be a hit, I’d have to spread that money around.
That’s why I agreed to do the first season for just $17,000 an episode. Over eight episodes, that came out to $136,000. Mind you, it wasn’t just $17,000 for acting in the show. I was also the executive producer.
That’s why I agreed to do the first season for just $17,000 an episode. Over eight episodes, that came out to $136,000. Mind you, it wasn’t just $17,000 for acting in the show. I was also the executive producer. That meant I spent months in the writers’ room and working with showrunner Courtney Kemp. When it was time to promote, I had to be front and center on Good Morning America, calling into radio stations, and shaking sponsors’ hands. I was making a total commitment to the show. For 136 grand.
From a strictly financial perspective, it looked like a terrible deal for me. I could have made three times the amount just by doing a few club appearances or a ten-minute show. Forget about getting paid “fairly.” Given how much time I invested, I basically paid myself to make that first season of Power.
Forget about getting paid “fairly.” Given how much time I invested, I basically paid myself to make that first season of Power.
When some people found out how much I’d agreed to do the season for, they were shocked. They figured I would have told Starz, “Man, I’m 50 Cent.”
They figured I would have told Starz, “Man, I’m 50 Cent. I can walk into a club, pretend to drink a glass of champagne for five minutes, and get paid fifty thousand dollars. No way I’m signing this.” That response might have seemed in character for 50 Cent, but it would have been a very shortsighted strategy. That’s how Sha Money or Gillie Da Kid might evaluate a situation. But not Curtis Jackson.”
By doing Power for well below my normal rate, I was betting on myself again. And this bet paid off spectacularly.
Power quickly became Starz’s highest-rated show by a wide margin. Over the past five years, it’s singlehandedly driven the network’s success. That metric has given me a lot of leverage in negotiations. When I first started talking to them, I had to be a little down-to-earth. After the show blew up, I could afford to be more aggressive.
I built so much leverage that I just re-signed with Starz for $150 million. The deal includes a three-series commitment and a fund to help develop other G-Unit projects. When it’s all said and done, it will probably be worth a lot more than even that.
I built so much leverage that I just re-signed with Starz for $150 million.
I find the above story very inspiring from creating a hit show Power for $17,000 an episode to signing a $150 million deal. That is vision, patience and the need to always bet on ourselves. The morale of the story is to always know your worth, Bet on yourself and Execute.
As part of the Starz Network Deal, 50 cent would be executive producing “Black Mafia Family,” which is inspired by the true story of two brothers who “rose from the decaying streets of southwest Detroit in the late ’80s and gave birth to one of the most influential crime families in this country.
All the Best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.