So after devouring Gucci Mane’s autobiography last week – now one of my favorites – I quickly snapped up his most recent book hoping to get some more insight into his success, “The Gucci Mane Guide to Greatness.”
(FYI Gucci’s a platinum selling recording artist/rapper/producer)
Sadly it wasn’t nearly as good as the first one and very self-indulgent at times, but despite the half naked pictures of himself on every other page there were some great gems in there ;)
And I’ll admit, I probably didn’t get as much out of the book as others might due to being on a self-improvement kick for over a decade now. If you’re just starting out on your own personal journey it might just be the kick in the ass you need to turn up the burners!
Still, it was a quick read and kept my interest enough, and now it makes me want to work out LIKE CRAZY seeing how ripped you can get in a relatively short amount of time! He basically went from 300 lbs and on drugs the entire time in the last book, to now completely sober and 100 lbs leaner (!) just a couple of years later, now out of jail and OWNING his life.
And if he was dripping with confidence back then, you can only imagine how confident he feels now ;) (Hence – all the half-nude pics!)
It’s a pretty inspiring book on that regard, but only if you know the background and what a drastic journey he’s been on. Still, it gives you hope that you can really change your life if you want it enough and put in the time. He mentions over and over again there are no secrets to this stuff – which I liked to hear – however if you can commit and believe in yourself enough the world is at your fingertips.
Here were my favorite lines from the book – maybe they’ll inspire you too?
You either practice quitting or you practice winning.
“Everyone’s going to fail at some point, so which one are you going to be? Are you going to be somebody who’s faking, not going hard, and making excuses? Or are you going to be the person who’s aware, who’s practicing and pushing yourself to do what’s right no matter what it is? I now know who I am and what I want to do. So stop underestimating yourself and just do it.”
(That last part is an important part – knowing WHO YOU ARE and what you want to do… It’s hard to chase something when you don’t know what you’re chasing or what you believe in.)
You can change the narrative.
“We are the authors of our lives. We are the writers of our own stories. We have the power to say who we are and what we want to be… If you don’t like the story you’re living, change the narrative.”
(Yes yes yes to all of this! If you’re not living the life you always wanted for yourself right now, change the story and make some moves! It doesn’t have to be like this forever – you have the power to change it up on *any* given day. Even today!)
The less you need the more you have.
All minimalists will appreciate this one ;) And it applies to more than just the “stuff” in our lives too. Specifically even FIRE! The less you need to live off, the less you need to save up/earn! An epiphany I had only a few years ago that completely blew my mind as common sense as it is. As Mr. Money Mustache famously stated:
“The most important thing to note is that cutting your spending rate is much more powerful than increasing your income. The reason is that every permanent drop in your spending has a double effect: it increases the amount of money you have left over to save each month, and it permanently decreases the amount you’ll need every month for the rest of your life.” – The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement
Every day is a chance to get better.
100% true. Learn from yesterday and do your best, but today is a brand new day and if you’re fortunate enough to still be on this Earth breathing, push yourself to make the best of it! Even if it’s just 1% every day! It all compounds, and the days are going to pass anyways…
Avoid lazy and miserable people.
This one’s so good:
“When you start living by this principle. You’re looking in the mirror and telling yourself, “Hey man, I expect a lot out of you.” You’re demanding the best out of yourself. You are your best asset. And when you get rid of people around you who might disrupt that, you stop being naive. You become more aware. A lazy and miserable mindset leads to a lazy and miserable life. So avoid lazy and miserable people.”
Pay attention to women. They are brilliant.
No further explanation needed :)
You’ve got to do more if you want more. There isn’t any secret to it.
YES!! You do average, you get average. You do less, you get less (generally speaking). Everybody wants to get rich and famous but not everyone wants to put the time in. Unless you’re Matthew McConaughey whose autobiography I’m reading now (so wild!!) you’re gonna have to up your game if you want anything extraordinary in this life. It doesn’t mean you have to hustle forever, but if you’re chasing something bigger than yourself you’re gonna have to buckle up and immerse yourself…
(I will say, though, that the one thing I did *not* agree with in this guide was the constant reminder to hustle hustle hustle and keep going after “more”. We all know you have to grind and some seasons will be longer than others, but at some point you have to be able to know when you’ve reached “enough.” I’m not sure Gucci will ever come to that part despite how successful he’s been.)
Never let being liked get in the way of being respected.
This is probably my favorite line of the whole book, but also one of the hardest to follow!
“Don’t compromise your principles or your integrity just to fit in or be liked. Don’t succumb to peer pressure or waver on what you stand for. Being respected is far more valuable than being liked. Not everyone is going to like you. That’s just the reality… If you are too focused on being liked, you start to make decisions that don’t reflect who you are. You start trying to please people. Once you start trying to please people, you lose sight of who you are and where you’re going.”
(And of course this is both true in terms of your actions, as well as your purchases. I.e. buying fancy clothes, cars, houses, etc to show off more than to enjoy… which there’s nothing wrong with if you genuinely like them and can afford ’em! But we all know people tend to over-extend themselves in the name of looking good and fitting in better with certain groups of people…)
Either do what you say or stop saying it.
Love this one too so much!! Start doing something about it or stop complaining… As a good friend of mine likes to say, “I will listen to your complaints twice. Once right now, and one more time later. And then it’s done or solved, and you can’t complain to me about it again.” Complaining feels good, but it gets you nowhere… Either start doing something about it or keep it to yourself!
Nobody cares. Work harder.
Another great one:
“I got these words of wisdom from Lamar Jackson, quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens. I find myself saying it in my head all the time. I always go back to it, but it can’t really give you any solace. Because you’ve got to work hard. That’s what it is. It doesn’t matter if you’re sore, if you’re tried, if you’re behind on the bills. Nobody cares. You’ve got to keep going.”
(I like to think about it as “nobody cares” about your life as much as YOU do so take control and do your thing, but this interpretation works too… Nobody cares about what’s going on behind the scenes, they only want to see the results! And unfortunately to get to those results it takes a lot of hard work and pushing through the frustrations to achieve ’em… (as well as ignoring all the people who actually want you to fail!))
The world never stays in place…
“You can’t stay in place. The world never stays in place, so how are we going to stay in place? How can you be like, “Okay, I’m good.” Then two years from now, you’re going to be good? No. You’re not going to be good, man. There isn’t anybody who is secure in the world, man. The world keeps spinning. We could all fall off at any time… That’s why you need to be prepared, have a backup plan, and make today count.”
(And also why you gotta keep on adapting!! Your opinions and plans! Things change. You change. The world changes. If you’re constantly holding onto your old thoughts/habits you’ll be left behind while everyone else moves forward… Accept the changes around you and keep adapting!)
God blessed you with two ears and one mouth so you can listen twice as much as you talk.
“I’ve got more money. I’m way more calm. Life is way smoother. But when I didn’t have it, I made a lot more noise coming down the road. I wanted everybody to hear me… When you see a bunch of people, the loudest ones are usually the ones that don’t have anything going on. They’re the ones that want to start a mess. Everybody that’s got something going on, they’re calm. They’re respectful and nice.”
(Stealth wealth at its finest ;) There’s no need to draw more attention to yourself when you’re already winning! More listening, less yapping!)
And then lastly, here was just an interesting nugget I liked because you always assume singing or acting are peoples’ passions, but sometimes it’s just a means to an end:
“With my music, it was never about being a rapper or waking up making music. It was different for me. I didn’t start rapping at eighteen and immediately was dope. It wasn’t a childhood passion of mine, something I dreamt about as a kid. It was always, “How can I be creative enough to be productive enough to make a living off of rap? How can I turn my 2005 tax returns into a big one?” By 2007, it was, “How can I employ more people? How can I sign better artists?” The albums were just a tool to get me where I’m trying to get to, which is financial freedom. That’s how I always approached rapping.”
Well, it might not have been a dream of his but it sure is a helluva way to get to FI! And yet another reason to go “all in” if you’re really good at something, whether you’re passionate about it or not… Get as much as you can out of it, and then change it up later once you’ve capitalized on it all! Or keep going if you like the thrill of the hunt!
It’s pretty obvious Gucci likes the thrill of it all, so unless his mouth stops working one day I’m pretty sure we’ll continue hearing from him ;) Which I love – he’s a bit extreme, but it’s hard to deny how far he’s come. So thanks for putting it all out there for us, GM! And I’m glad you’re back at the top and staying there!
Here’s to all of us becoming better versions of ourselves… All we can really shoot for 🙏🙏
You can pick up the book here if you’re interested in it:
“The Gucci Mane Guide to Greatness“
(Though I’d recommend checking with your library first ;))
*Links to the books in this post are Amazon affiliate links
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Wow. Thanks for pulling words of wisdom out of this book. Inspiring. It cheered me up to keep going.
I’m so glad! Thanks for letting me know!