3 Secrets of Wealth I Learned from Sean “Diddy” Combs


Sean “Diddy” Combs holds hip-hop’s 2013 top-spot for the industry’s wealthiest player, and his net worth is estimated by Forbes at $580 million. Reading this, I had to know what secrets of wealth could be learned from his incredible success story.

Sean John Combs, which, by the way, is his true name, was born in Harlem, New York. At age five, his father was murdered, and he was raised in Mt. Vernon, New York by his mother, a model. Sean’s childhood seems to have been solidly middle class as he graduated from a Catholic Boys School in the Bronx and majored in business administration at Howard University.

An Entrepreneurial Bent

While attending Howard University, Combs’ entrepreneurial leanings began to surface. While attending classes, he produced dance parties and operated an airport shuttle service. He pursued an internship with Uptown Records that led to a position as talent director. Combs rapidly rose to vice president and enjoyed great success producing a number of Uptown’s key artists, ultimately leaving the company in the early 90’s.

In 1993, Combs founded Bad Boy Entertainment, his own production company. No doubt as the result of connections he made while working at Uptown Records, he was working with some of the biggest names in hip-hop and pop music. A short 4 years later, after $100 million in sales, he inked a multi-million dollar deal with Arista Records to manage the label. Later, he recorded several albums, launched his own clothing line and launched a reality TV series titled: I Want to Work for Diddy.


Passion – Do What You Love

Clearly, Sean “Diddy” Combs is a talented individual and music lover. He built his fortune on a love of music and an eye for fashion, which he likely acquired from his mother through her work as a model in the fashion industry.



Sean used his contacts from Uptown Records to launch Bad Boy Entertainment, and he very likely used his mother’s knowledge and connections in the fashion world to launch his clothing line. Building a network seems to be an important component to success.

Successful People Share Common Traits

As I read Combs’ biographical data, I realized that all the successful people I know or have read about share common traits. These include:

  • Passion—that is to say, they love what they do

  • Focus—meaning they take all their life experiences and apply those experiences to the thing they love to do

  • Push—by this I mean they are driven by, not only by their passion, but by force of will

  • Ideas—successful people have ideas they are passionate about bringing to life

  • Persistence—successful people are unfazed by setbacks and persist on a path to reach their goals

  • Service—successful people accomplish things for the benefit of others, not just for themselves

  • Fun— money certainly doesn’t by happiness, but successful people find that what they do is fun and happiness is the result

I have no doubt that Sean John Combs possesses many of these common traits. His life history supports that.

Networking is an essential part of building wealth – Armstrong Williams

I know we have some highly successful readers out there. I’d really like to hear from you with your success stories. Tell others about your mentors, your network and how they contributed to your success. Can we hear a few secrets of wealth from you?