He was no Suze Orman or Napoleon Hill, but if Big were alive today, he certainly could have published a book on managing finances and becoming a better business person. Although I’ve never dabbled in selling contraband, this song has been my personal anthem for years. The Source first published these street laws in a 1994 issue, and Big broke them down in music form for hustlers on the go. Still relevant today, here’s how you can apply the 10 Crack Commandments to business…and to life.
1. Never let no one know how much dough you hold.
Rule number one should just be common sense. It can be taken so many ways:
–If you have a hundred dollars in your pocket, act as though you only have 50.
–When it comes to negotiations: offer half of what you really intend to spend.
–Never flaunt or lend money that you can’t afford to lose.
–Don’t go bragging about how much money you’ve got unless you want to get robbed.
No matter how you interpret it, it’s a rule to live by.
2. Never let ‘em know your next move.
I’m guilty of breaking this rule from time to time. It’s easy to get excited about your plans, or a new idea, but don’t go showing your hand to the whole poker table before waging a bet. Less talk. More action. Don’t give your competition time to come up with a counter-action to your plans, or worse…steal your idea!
3. Never trust nobody.
In business, everyone is your competition. Everyone. This doesn’t mean that you have to be cold and militant towards them, but it does mean that you should always be aware of your competitors and their intentions. Always. Never be caught off guard–it’s a sure set up for failure!
4. Never get high on your own supply.
Well, I mean, in the crack game, this rule is pretty self-explanatory. But, we can take it a step further to mean: never become complacent. In business, and in life, you constantly have to be on your grind in order to accomplish goals and keep the momentum going. The moment you sit back, relax and start believing your own hype, is the moment the hustler just below you steals your crown.
5. Never sell no crack where you rest at.
Again…pretty simple rule for a Street Pharmacist. But the same applies to all business. With email, smartphones, tablets, etc., it is easier than ever before to bring the “office home with you”. But, even if your home IS your office, learn when to say enough is enough. If you don’t take care of yourself on a personal level, you, and therefore your business, will suffer. Set boundaries. Strive for balance. Take at least an hour or two out of the day where you don’t answer emails, don’t talk about anything work related…give yourself time to turn “off” for a while!
6. That g*damned credit? Dead it.
In the drug game, smart dealers hand out testers. (I mean, so I’ve heard). They let the fiends get a taste of their supply, hoping to get them good and open, so that they’re lined up around the block with cash in hand, ready for another hit of the good shit. I’m all for showing and proving. If you’re just starting out, you should be offering your skills/product for free at first to show people what you’re worth. But, if your “clients” start hitting you up repeatedly asking for favours, put your foot down. “Fuck you, pay me” is the motto to live by. My personal rule: the first time’s free, after that…pay a fee. (Pause. Pause everything).
7. Keep your family and business completely separated.
Entering into business with friends or family is always a great risk. Yes, there is a possibility that things will work out smoothly. But there is also a STRONG chance that shortcomings on the business end can trickle into your personal relationship. Disagreements may tarnish, or even permanently sever family ties. If you enter into a business agreement with a loved one, it is IMPERATIVE that you outline a partnership agreement that you both can live with. Talk about how you’re going to handle problems BEFORE problems arise. Or better yet, skip the “family business” idea altogether and partner up with a distant acquaintance.
8. Never keep no weight on you.
Ok, I couldn’t come up with a cute metaphor for this one. If you’re selling illegal shit, don’t keep said shit on your person.
9. If you ain’t gettin’ bagged, stay the fuck from police.
In the crack game, as in any other industry, image is everything. As we see here, it doesn’t matter if you’re actually a snitch or not. If someone merely perceives you as a snitch, it’s bad for business. (And bad for your health). So no matter what business you’re in, make sure you uphold your image. Your reputation is your most important piece of social currency. Protect it fiercely.
10. If you ain’t got the clientele, say hell no.
When becoming a salesman of any kind, the golden rule is to know your target demographic. Yes, you have a great product, but who are you selling it to? Crack is nothing without fiends to buy it. So, before you go asking for a loan, take the time to research your customer and make realistic sales projections. Because if you don’t have the bank’s money on time, you’re fucked. And if you don’t have your crack supplier’s money on time? You’re dead.
***Bonus*** Peep this video about the origin of Big’s “10 Crack Commandments”