The rap superstar and entrepreneur talks about what it takes to sustain success, both in and out of the spotlight.
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Wiz Khalifa is a jack-of-all-trades. The Pittsburgh native is known for his multi-platinum Grammy and Golden Globe-nominated hit records like “Black and Yellow” and “See You Again,” one of the most-streamed songs in history.
In addition to his seven studio albums, Khalifa has acted in film and on television, owns an online restaurant, liquor brand, a cannabis company and is now a part-owner of the Professional Fighters League (PFL) martial arts league.
I’ve followed Khalifa’s music since 2007, so when I saw the words `Wiz has joined your Zoom’ appear on my screen, it was a bucket list moment for me. There was a lot I wanted to talk about with him, but mainly how he’s balanced his life as an entrepreneur, musician and parent.
You can watch our conversation below or keep reading for my summary of his responses.
Khalifa’s responses have been condensed and edited for readability.
1. Make training a part of your lifestyle
Exercise benefits the mind and body more than anything else. And Khalifa has made exercise, specifically mixed martial arts training, a part of his everyday life. “Working out is one of the first things I do in the day,” said Khalifa. Aside from the aesthetic benefits, he enjoys the daily challenges and the ongoing improvements it has given him.
“Sometimes you think you may not have it all there, but you push through anyway, and it can help you throughout your whole day. Physically seeing yourself grow and improve. You learn the importance of recovery, training hard, and resting hard too. Clearing your mind, hitting the pads, learning some new combos, it helps you every day.”
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2. Bring passion to everything
Everyone has heard the advice to “follow your passion.” Khalifa recommended my readers and viewers do the same, but with a caveat: show it all the time, in all things you do. “Show your passion 24/7,” said Khalifa. “Always communicate it to people, whether it’s your team or whether it’s a new opportunity. Move with real passion and drive.”
Success brings more success and, with that, more responsibility. And more commitment to one area of life can lead to neglect in others. Khalifa infuses the same level of passion into everything he does, as he does it, so nothing slips – and suffers – from a lack of his attention.
3. Switch gears seamlessly
Khalifa began writing, rapping, and performing as a kid. Music was his first love, and it’s what catapulted him to super stardom.
“I love music, and I love performing so much,” Khalifa said. “Doing it for 10-12 years straight with no break, you start to feel like that’s your purpose and that’s the only thing that you’re there to do. But for me, I learned how to switch gears. As important as it is to be tenacious in the studio and on stage, I go as hard, and I put that same passion into my regular life.”
A degree of suffering often follows success. While one area of your life starts to bear fruit, others begin to wither. Maybe you stop spending time with your family, or your sleep, hygiene and fitness routine begin to slip. So, when you’re working, be the best worker you can be. But when you’re with your family, switch your focus. Be the best parent or partner you can be, and so on.