On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, business executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and rituals.
People might refer him as P. Diddy, Diddy or Brother Love (doubt it), but I’ll always know him as Puff Daddy or Puffy, the founder of Bad Boy Entertainment and the man who introduced The Notorious B.I.G. to the world.
The intern-turned-promoter-turned-record-label-owner-turned-media-mogul has had one of the most legendary runs in the music industry, and embodies the hip hop hustle and grind more than anyone else in history. Since his days as an intern at New York’s Uptown Records to now, Puffy has been on his “can’t stop, won’t stop” path and made famous the “no sleep” routine so prevalent in the rap world today.
For maybe like seven years, I was the hip-hop artist with the most No. 1’s in history. It was like I couldn’t miss a shot.“Ain’t Nothing Shine Brighter Than That Bad Boy” The Inside Story of Hip-Hop’s Most Notorious Label | GQ
While many artists and music executives throughout the years have had varying accounts and experiences of their dealings with Puffy, there’s one thing they can all agree: his work ethic and energy is unmatched.
During a the height of the Bad Boy era, when the Billboard charts were emblazoned with songs by Biggie, Mase, and Puffy himself, he did an interview with Rolling Stone magazine and took readers through a typical day in his life:
Up at 10 in the morning. Then I’m on the phone – I’m in the bed, I’m on the phone, answering calls and puttin’ out fires. I’m up at, like, 11:30; I go to the office for a little while, then I go past the restaurant and on to the studio. I probably have rehearsals or interviews after that, then I go back to the studio around 9 or 10 at night and work there until, like, 4 or 5 in the morning. Then I go to sleep and start all over again. And I love my job.Q&A: Puff Daddy | Rolling Stone
As the years went by, Puffy accumulated more success and wealth, but never eased his foot off the accelerators. Interviews with former associates and employees of the Bad Boy head honcho all paint the same portrait of a focused and tireless worker.
Jayson Jackson, who worked as the Head of Marketing during the label’s peak years — the mid-to-late 90s — recalled a moment to GQ which perfectly encapsulated the essence of Puffy’s work ethic.
He launches into this Gordon Gekko-like sermon, like, “I come in here and work harder than you in the day, then go to the club and work. You think I’m in the club getting drunk? I’m looking at who’s dancing to what, figuring out which song is working in what way, which DJ is making it hot. Tell me who’s doing that more than me?” I was just sitting there like, Holy shit. Who he is hit me. He sleeps no more than four hours a night. And every waking hour, he’s figuring out how to make more money.“AIN’T NOTHING SHINE BRIGHTER THAN THAT BAD BOY” THE INSIDE STORY OF HIP-HOP’S MOST NOTORIOUS LABEL | GQ
In another GQ interview piece, Quinnes “Q” Parker from 112 — formerly artists on Bad Boy Records — talked about Puffy’s perfectionism:
So many times, we’d be asleep after a full day of recording, and he’d pull up in front of our apartment at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning, ringing our apartment buzzer down in the lobby. “Nah, let’s go back.” Time after time after time.Diddy’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective Moguls | GQ
These days, while he still boasts an untouchable work ethic and drive, Puffy has started to ease up on his hustle and live a more calm lifestyle. Recently celebrating his 50th birthday, Puffy has begun incorporating reflection and meditation routines into his mornings.
“I have this app that has these daily quotes like a conversation with God,” he told W Magazine in 2017. “I read that every day so I can get my trust up, so when I get hit with things, I’m also feeling with my faith.”
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