Saweetie Reveals Goal of Becoming a Billionaire in Talk with USC Students: 'Anything Can Happen'
Before being a rapper, Saweetie was (and is) an entrepreneur.
On Monday, PEOPLE joined the "My Type" rapper, 28, as she visited a business class at her alma mater, the University of Southern California, to share advice with students about how she made it in the business and the power of meditation. Saweetie also revealed her goal of becoming a billionaire in the next two years.
Before answering questions from eager students, Saweetie fielded questions from Prof. Albert Napoli, who taught the rapper in a business class when she was a student at the University.
"So your screensaver on your phone, what does it represent?" asked Napoli, referring to the rapper's phone screen that features a photo of the word "$1 billion" on it.
"A billion. [Those are] my goals," Saweetie responded, before saying she thinks it'll take her "two years" to reach her goal of becoming a billionaire.
"The reason why people like me, entertainers, do things quicker than those who came before us is because of cultural velocity. If the culture loves you, you have the potential to cut what it took someone else did in half," Saweetie explained. "So because I've seen what those who have done before me, I know what they did and now I know what to do."
She added, "Because of social media, because of the internet... It's like a wild, wild west. Anything can happen."
To reach her goal, Saweetie explained that she's working on building different business ventures as she aims to have 15 or more "streams of income" to reach a net worth of $1 billion, by tapping into markets in education, fashion, music, among other ventures.
"I know I'm capable of doing this," the rapper said. "But of course there are things that I know that are off-limits for me. I know my boundaries."
During the conversation, she explained how she chose to go to San Diego State University before transferring to USC, despite not wanting to go to college. (And in an exclusive clip shared with PEOPLE, Saweetie offered a $1,000 prize for the student who could best sell her a bottle of water, though none of the students ended up impressing the rap star and no one took home the money.)
While in college, she worked as a coder, a secretary, a waitress at a strip club and even ran her own clothing brand called Money Makin' Mamis — along with doing background vocals for Kendrick Lamar.
"I think I speak my mind a lot more because I run a very lucrative operation that goes by the name of Icy. I have employees," Saweetie said. "I have to make sure they're comfortable, they're happy, we're all getting money together. And in order for things to run smoothly we all have to communicate, so that's why I speak my mind. A lot."
During the talk, Saweetie shared that during a college career fair, Napoli gave her some advice that changed the trajectory of her career.
"In my head, I'm thinking I really don't see myself with your company in five years but let me just say some bulls— so I get hired. In the middle of the process, I felt someone tap my back. I turn around and it was you," she said of Napoli. "He's like 'What are you doing here?' I'm like, 'Trying to get a job.' And he said, 'Listen to me. If you work for one of these companies, your spirit and your soul is going to die.' "
She continued, "So I took off my cheap heels, put my slides on and went to get something to eat... I was struggling. I was renting a room off Craigslist... I was literally living paycheck to paycheck." It was soon after that she'd record "ICY GRL," the rapper's first big hit.
When asked by a student how she handles her business in a field that's mostly male-dominated, Saweetie shared that before she'd have a "really short temper" but that she's now learned to have power over her emotions.
"My favorite thing to do is just pause," she said. "As long as you remain calm, polite and have manners they're going to realize they were wrong."
RELATED VIDEO: Saweetie Says She's 'Always Been a Hustler' as She Gears Up for Debut Album: 'I'm an Artist, Honey'
"Make sure that people respect you... You have to tell people how to treat you otherwise they're going to treat you however they feel like you should be treated," she said. "So always just do things gracefully, have manners but make sure that you tell them in the most polite way possible that they got you f—ed up."
During the talk, Saweetie also shared that she has been meditating a lot recently. Her favorite way to meditate is to surround herself with candles while her tea steeps as she has an "internal dialogue" with herself.
"It's my new favorite thing to do. Meditating is better than sex," she said. "I'm just saying the peace you get, the clarity you get, it's really important for everyone to meditate. And I think the reason why I was so discouraged at first I because I'm thinking that you have to be in a cream[-colored] room, like yoga-ish. But I meditate everywhere."
She added, "At the end or throughout my meditation I write down three goals of the day or I take three positive adjectives to describe myself and it really works, that's why it manifests in a day."
To end the class, Saweetie offered $1,000 cash to who could best sell her a water bottle. After more than 15 students pitched their water bottles, no one ended up winning the prize money, but she reminded students of the importance of sharing one's story and connecting to their customers through empathy.
"People like real stories and real people. When you guys start your businesses, make sure you have a real story people can identify with," she said.
Saweetie's visit to USC comes several days after she served as a VIP judge at NFTE 2021 National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, where she dedicated time to helping young entrepreneurs from across the U.S.
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