The Keys

DJ Khaled

So what are 'The Major Keys' that DJ Khaled wants to share?

Life, as Khaled sees it is all about fulfilling your vision and dreaming big.

What are your major keys?

Here are mine:

  1. When you combine what comes naturally with what makes you happy, then you will be successful.
  2. I cancel complaints - they are a faulty intepreter of information.
  3. I cancel criticism (complaints fall away as well)
  4. My dosha reveals my natural tendency to overdo it and while it's an advantage, it sometimes works against me (see note about going at 70% below).

When it's right, I aim to run at 70% when I realize I'm pushing myself (or others) beyond what is sustainable. But I also know that they a key is to push your effort a little harder than you did before.

Here are some of my own key takeaways from his book:

Khaled reminds us throughout his memoir that everything he has was 'believed into existence.' (p.156) He believed in himself because no one else would. His path to where he his today was unconventional, but his devotion and dedication to his belief is a common thread that 'special cloth' share.

Although he speaks again and again of staying humble, he loves to name drop.

Stay Away from "They"

A running theme in The Keys is about the struggle with 'they.'

What is 'They?'

'They' are: * People who don't support your uniqueness * People who try to cut you down (the cutters) * Bad habits that limit your potential * Temptation and lack of discipline (favoring the immediate gratification over the long-term win) * Drama and social media, opinions and pointless arguments * The dream killers - those who shoot down your aspirations

I think about my cousin who has cancer. She has 6-12 months to live. One of the things she is doing very well right now with is avoiding all the 'they' BS in her life. The small shit doesn't bother her like it used to (not at all). And much of what we fret about in our day-to-day existence is small shit.

It's also a prevalent theme in the Tall Poppy Syndrome. When you become successful, it makes others uncomfortable - especially those in your own tribe... who like crabs in a pot, what to prevent you from making it out. They don't want to lose you.

Be Yourself

It doesn't matter what everybody else is doing: I just have to keep doing me.

If you ain't being yourself, how are you living with yourself? How is it to live with a stranger?

Most people in the world are not being themselves. Being real when others are fake is what will set you apart. True success never begins until the first chapter begins with being yourself.

Take Aways - The 'Major Keys'

  1. Excuses are an insult to hard workers
  2. Always be prepared for the next step in your vision (p. 97)
  3. Believe in the Hustle (p. 97)
  4. Workers Work. Bosses Own. Ownership is Key.

Glorify Your Success

This is all about self-promotion and celebrating your wins in the biggest way possible. While this seems counter to my view of staying humble, I get that not sharing your 'weekly wins' is a missed opportunity to market yourself. And today more than ever, the ones who win aren't always the best at what they do, but they are the best at sharing what they do. He advises that 'Marketing yourself regardless of your audience is a major key because you never know who's watching.'

More Highlights

"When everybody's in a positive mood and everybody's just having a good time, that's called catching a vibe. Everyone who comes to my home knows about the vibe. Look in my fridge: There are delicious juices and smoothies. I have healthy snacks all over my house for everyone, the chef will cook up whatever you want, and you can sit by the fire drinking Ciroc or D'Usse or some Belaire and relax."

"You can see my competitive spirit manifest itself in so many aspects of my career. From my collaborations to my sneaker collection you can see testaments to my "Go harder" philosophy. If "they" say I can't get summer Jordan 3s, then I'll make sure to get summer Jordan 3s. And don't even get me started on the Eminem 4s."

"I'm a boss, so I don't ever get to just be the artist. Other artists might get to imagine themselves floating in outer space, making music, and that's beautiful, but I know what it takes for the whole team to take product to the next level."

"Don't invest all your energy in one place. It's like financial investments - spread it around. Secure all types of bags. More rooms equals more success, so be kind to the people around you, like your team, and support them and let them cook, too."

"If you want to be treated like a boss, you've got to look the part. Get a fresh cut twice a week. In fact, get three haircuts."

"People always ask me why I smell so good, and the answer is Palmer's cocoa butter. I don't wear cologne."

"So get a fresh cut twice a week and definitely before an executive decision. And when you're ready and you graduate to the next level, get a pedicure and a manicure once a week, too."

"A lot of us don't have a lot of pillows. I didn't have a lot of pillows growing up. Let me tell you, I had no pillows when I slept in that Honda. Plus, when I got an apartment all I had was my music, and I had no pillows. I would have my one sheet and I'd rest my head on records. I don't recommend it. So you know one of the first things I did when the wire hit was get a couple of pillows. Everyone has a different idea of luxury when they first get a little money. One person might only wear brand-new sweat socks every single day. Another might eat Cheesecake Factory for every meal for like a month. Me, I got a lot of pillows, so I'm grateful for all of them . . . Pillows are like the angels of my bedroom."



All my life I’ve had to rip down doors, break out of boxes, fight for what’s mine, never surrender, and that’s never going to stop. I expect storms and never get comfort¬able with the wins, and that's how I stay winning. But, man, let me tell you, these days, when I look around me and truly reflect on this past year, I have to give thanks because it s been so exceptional. The blessings on blessings surprise even me. Right now I have the number one album in the country. It took ten years and I’ve had a lot of wins, but Major Key is so special to me. And it means so much to me that I get to announce such a blessing in this book to you, Fan Luv. Plus, I want to take the time right here to celebrate what I already know will be the number one book because I m going to speak it into existence, and I hope that you enjoy my blood, sweat, and tears in these pages. I pray that you’re inspired by my stories.

I keep pinching myself when I think about this year. I've been to the White House. Twice. I’ve sat at a table with the president of the United States to talk about what we can all do to make the future brighter for our kids. I was even invited to the White House Correspondents' Dinner. That’s crazy. And this was all going down while I was invited on the Formation tour with Beyonce. Plus, you’ve seen the logos. Apple, Epic, Roc Nation. But it doesn't matter if I become a household name, or what phone calls I get, or what wire hits. Every time I put a win on the board, I turn to my team and I tell them, "Let’s win more." Don't misunderstand me. It’s not about ego and it’s not about being greedy. I don’t achieve more so that I can compete with another mogul. It's not about money or how many mansions I could have. It’s not about the Jet Skis, the shoes, the watches—it's not about any of that. I told you, don’t chase the money, the money will chase you. For me the greatest part of the reward is just getting to do what I do. It's that simple.

The biggest success is the honor of doing the work that you love.

But the only way you're guaranteed to stay being able to do what you do is if you're successful. That's why I say win, win, win, no matter what. And not only that, but the answer is always more success. Going hard can never stop. Winning can never stop. I’m not trying to be an industry secret. I don't want to be the independent dude everyone loves. I want to go big and be number one in everything I do. I want to share my keys with everybody, no matter where you are or what you do, because 1 really believe they will help you.

We The Best is about staying the best. Raise the bar. Keep moving the goals, and keep hitting them. Then, surpass them.

You’ve got to stay hungry. Just because I have the number one album doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about the next goal. You have to wake up each day with that fire, that same energy you had on day one. You have to stay motivated. Getting comfortable is dinosaur shit. Not watching your back for what’s next will guarantee your extinction. And don’t ever think you’re too big to fail. Ego-fueled behavior like that will end you. It’s that simple.

Listen carefully: Success breeds more success. People love you when you’re hot. I tell you people kick you when you're down and want to kick it with you when you're up. But it’s not just them. Everybody loves winners. It doesn't matter what culture you come from or what country you re from. People understand when you shine. Everybody—even "they”—recognizes success when they see it.

Plus, winners attract winners. When successful people do business together, the investments just come. I talk about another one. And another one. It’s because each success is an opportunity for the next success. If you can’t make that connection, and if you don’t keep working for that connection, you're over. Never surrender. Always secure your bag and stay focused, but the second that wire hits is when you need to be thinking about the next win, and the win that comes after that. Always stay three moves ahead, and cook with everything you've got. Keep as many deals and projects going as long as you can without the quality of the work suffering. Know your limits, but never forget that sometimes when the time is right, you have to push past them.

People don’t tell you this, but after a while it might seem like the uphill battle isn't a battle anymore. It might appear at times that people are opening doors for you and inviting you in. It’s a beautiful feeling to be standing there ready to throw everything you've got at the door, only to find out that you don't have to lift a finger. But the day every battle feels relaxed you'd better wake up. That means you retired and you didn’t even know it. If you don’t feel challenged at all, you need to look around and see if you ain’t missing opportunities that you should be up on. You need to be thinking about why you're not setting your sights on the next level of your life. Level Up. It's important to be curious about NEW OPPORTUNITIES. Don't ever forget that.

You can’t just be successful at one step of the mountain and then chill. You’ve got to get to the top. And once you get to the top, you’ve got to keep looking up to see how that next mountain’s looking. It’s like you can’t just be the biggest fish in a tiny-ass pond. You got to swim out to the ocean and do it big. See big things and really understand how much more there is out there. The key is to keep growing. That’s what I mean by “The answer is always more success.” We have to give thanks for every day, be¬cause every day is a step on the pathway of more success. When it comes to progress, every step counts.

Another One

Positivity is important—it’s great to have an optimistic energy—but it’s also helpful to use positivity to fuel your competitive nature.

I never graduated high school. People always told me I would never be what I wanted to be. I came from nothing and lived in my car. But if you believe that you can do it, make sure and do it. I’m competitive; I’m confident.

I bet on myself and I believe in myself. Plus, I am myself. I also choose to be happy no matter what negativity and hate is out there—I stay away from “they.” I have the best management team, the best friends, an amazing family, a flourishing business, and a number one album. I got all these things by following the keys. I told you in the beginning of this book that the keys will help you. I showed you how they applied to a career in entertainment but also how they apply to your job no matter your vision.

Plus, I taught you how to use the keys to better your personal life with your friends and your family. You’ve heard of the keys, but this is a deeper dive into what I mean. I love Fan Luv and with this I want to show you how much.

Now that you’ve read the keys, go out into the world and win. Do your best. Like I always say, be a star, be a superstar. And then win more. And when your life is filled with so much joy that you feel like your heart will burst, share that joy and teach everyone you love the keys. That’s what I mean by another one. And another one. Another one.

Going Further