On March 9th, 1997, Christopher Wallace a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls, was killed in a drive-by shooting. Known in the hip hop world as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, rappers of all time, Biggie is still played on radio stations daily. His mark on the hip hop world will not likely be forgotten. This morning, Hot 97 (a "mainstream urban" (source) radio station based out of New York) was playing a series of Biggie songs in celebration of his 41st birthday, which would have been today. A song called "Ten Crack Commandments" played. As a Caucasian-American female growing up in a middle-class New Jersey suburb, I never quite related to Biggie's music, though I certainly enjoyed listening to it. The song I heard this morning, "Ten Crack Commandments" also doesn't directly relate to my life, though I couldn't help but notice something. Biggie's lyrics in the song are basically a guide for drug dealers on how to not get caught or killed, but the rules he delivers can be applied to the life of a blogger/Etsy seller/small business owner such as myself. And now, Biggie's rules, adapted...
"Rule Nombre Uno: never let no one know how much dough you hold"
Your money is your concern. From the amount you make in your Etsy shop to your blog advertising money, that is no one's business but yours.
"Number 2: never let 'em know your next move"
Sneak peeks are fine and dandy, but you shouldn't disclose all your upcoming plans, for a few reasons. First of all, you could have someone grab your great ideas right out from underneath you. Also, if your plans fall through you'll look foolish.
"Number 3: never trust nobody"
Double negative aside, this one is a little extreme. You should trust a few people, like your accountant. Mostly just trust yourself though.
"Number 4: I know you heard this before 'Never get high on your own supply'"
Biggie's talking about drugs here, but in my world this means, "Don't take vintage from your inventory!" Your inventory is your asset and if you buy a nice vintage Coach bag for your shop, you just have to list it in your shop. It isn't yours, Lauren.
"Number 5: never sell no crack where you rest at"
Keep your office/workspace separate from your bedroom. If you're like me and have no choice but to share the space, try to make it as divided as you can. No laptops in bed, no pajamas at your desk, etc.
"Number 6: that goddamn credit? Dead it"
Be wary of buyers asking to put items on reserve. Don't give anything away for free. Value your work.
"7: this rule is so underrated, keep your family and business completely separated"
Similar to rule 5, don't bring your work home with you. One of the most important parts of running a small business is knowing when to stop for the day. If you don't make time for personal relationships with family and friends, you'll go mad.
"Number 8: never keep no weight on you!"
Hire an assistant! If things get too crazy and busy for just one person, find someone to bear some of the burden. You can't do it all by yourself, you know.
"Number 9 shoulda been Number 1 to me: If you ain't gettin' bagged stay the f**k from police"
Ummmm, maybe this one does only apply to drug dealers. Sorry!
"Number 10: a strong word called 'consignment'"
This one's kind of obvious. If your vintage or handmade items aren't selling as well as you'd like, maybe consider outsourcing to a consignment store.
And finally, he closes the song with "Gotta go gotta go, more pies to bake up, word up." And I mean, have you read a lifestyle blog? We're all about baking pies, aren't we?
The Notorious B.I.G. Wikipedia
RapGenius page for "Ten Crack Commandments"
Listen to the song below. WARNING: adult language and themes.
Quick note: this post was written (hopefully) obviously in jest. I do not intend to offend anyone. A Wild Tonic does not condone drug dealing or gun violence. I do, however, condone listening to Biggie Smalls. Happy Birthday, Notorious! ;)