Home » Blog » ‘The 50th Law’ August Book of The Month

by 50 Cent and Robert Greene

Before I crack on with reviewing another wonderful book, please let me know of any Thought Leadership books that you would highly recommend (please email me at info@alistairlobo.com)! 
My thanks to my client and friend Andy Hibbert (CEO of Karshare) for recommending this month’s ‘Book of The Month’ The reason I encourage my clients to read is that books like these empower entrepreneurs to think differently and to create radically different, more effective, revolutionary businesses. Andy is living proof of this. On the website https://karshare.com you can see how the business platform Andy founded some 3 years ago ‘Karshare’ is completely disrupting how people own and hire cars. Some people describe Karshare as a ‘revolutionary win-win for car owners, car lenders and the envronment!’ Some people also describe Karshare as ‘an Air bnb style platform for cars!’. You also can check out and rate their recently launched Mobile App ‘Karshare’ … starting at Bristol UK and coming soon to a town or city near you.

The 50th Law
Have you ever re-read (or re-listened) to a chapter FIVE TIMES?  I did exactly this with the final chapter of this book, because I found it so profound. I would highly recommend the audio book for this book as it is read largely by the author Robert Greene with some short powerful narratives from his co-author the infamous ‘rapper from the hood’ 50 Cent.

The coming together of these 2 authors from such diverse backgrounds makes this book stand out. Whether hustling on the streets, working in the world of business executives or just trying to be yourself in the world, FEAR is without doubt the biggest barrier to you fulfilling your potential. Some environments may be different and hasher that others, but the universal truth is that, fear more than anything else is what holds you back.

Those who overcome their greatest fears open a gateway to their greatest potential and indeed to the greatest freedom that exists …. freedom from fear itself.   

I love this book because it took me on an uncomfortable journey from the savage realities of life hustling on the streets to hustling in the board rooms to letting go of fear in order to lead a fuller more meaningful life where you come to understand that in the case of 50 Cent the building of a great business empire is a secondary outcome of his fearlessness in life.

I found some aspects of the early chapters a little uncomfortable, there is a savageness that comes from stories of power struggles that sometimes escalate to violence. But discomfort is often a prerequisite to understand great wisdom and this proved to be the case for this book. 

Transcending Fear
In essence the 50th law is about how we can transcend the fears and anxieties that are part of life and turn those fears into opportunities. We have a very small margin of control over the external world in which we live, however we have a vast margin of control over our internal world. The fullness of our lives is in actual fact mostly determined by how we manage our fears and the meaning we give to the external events in our lives. The philosophy presented by both the authors is very much aligned with my favourite book of all time ‘Man’s Search For Meaning’ which Victor Frankel wrote after surviving for nearly 4 years as a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp.
The core essence of this book is to explain how ‘fear holds us back from our potential’.  The book explains in great detail how our fears allow others to control us and how our fears prevent us from being our real self!

The 2 Authors – An unlikely alliance 
50 Cent was born ‘Curtis Jackson’ and started life with his single mother who died when he was a toddler, leaving him to grownup as an orphaned child in a violent ‘dog eat dog’ neighbourhood. Not surprisingly he grew up to be a drug dealing hustler, then he transformed to be a musician and rapper eventually gaining internationally acclaim, then he transformed to become a very successful entrepreneur with a business empire.

Robert Greene is an academic historical research author whose big breakthrough came in 1998 with the publication of his New York Times bestselling book ‘The 48 Laws of Power’. This book is interestingly described in Wikipedia as ‘a practical guide for anyone who wants power, observes power, or wants to arm themselves against power.’   I suspect that most people would like to think that they are in the later of those categories.

Despite recently seeing his net worth reduced from US$150 M to US$30 M through some unsuccessful investments in precious metal mining, most people would agree that in the context of where he started life, what 50 Cent has achieved and experienced in his life is inspirational.

The 2 authors hung out with each other for much of 2007, Robert Greene shadowed 50 Cent around in his everyday life involved in his music business and multiple other businesses and witnessing how 50 Cent applied the fearlessness he had learned hustling on the streets and his near death experience to the business world.  50 Cent’s fearless attitude to life and to business went to a whole new level, after his well reported assassination attempt when an old hustling rival pumped 9 bullets into the body of 50 Cent as he was getting into the back of a friend’s car. One bullet shattered his jaw and ended up millimetres from killing him.
During a near death experience on the operating table 50 Cent felt himself crossing over from the physical to the non-physical, but 50 Cent came back to life. As he recovered from his injuries 50 Cent experienced a level of fearlessness and a level of flow that he had never before experienced, he walked away from big deals because they were not aligned with his mission and he felt inspired to get up early write music and sometimes work late. He feared nothing and no-one is pursuit of his mission.   

Greene aptly describes 50 Cent and a ‘Hip hop Napoleon Bonaparte’ saying ‘What is it that separates 50 Cent from others? His fearlessness!  He is supremely confident, he takes risks, he feels like he has nothing to lose. He views any adversity as a supreme opportunity.

There is a profound quote in the book by 50 Cent, in my favourite final chapter: 
“In the face of our inevitable mortality we can do one of two things. We can attempt to avoid the thought at all costs, clinging to the illusion that we have all the time in the world. Or, we can confront this reality accept it and even embrace it. Converting our consciousness of death into something positive and active. In adopting such a fearless philosophy we are able to separate what is petty, from what is truly important. Knowing our days to be numbered we have a sense of urgency and mission; we can appreciate life all the more for its impermanence. If we can overcome the fear of death, then there is nothing left to fear.”

Knowing that if you did not fear death you would be fearless in life is one thing, living that reality is another.  I highly recommend this book to read or listen to, because in my own work I am committed to help people progress towards this profoundly inspiring reality where you do you are able to live a more fearless and fuller life.

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