Dave Lukas Chats with Jennifer Justice
268: Entrepreneurship, Equality, and Yes, The Entertainment Industry is Just as Crazy as You Think with Jennifer Justice
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Jennifer Justice. Jennifer, also known as JJ, is an entertainment and live experience executive known for her expertise in building artists’ careers and business portfolios by marrying art with commerce. She made her mark as an entertainment attorney with a roster of clients that included Jay-Z, Outkast, Slipknot and Mark Ronson, and negotiated massive joint venture agreements including the partnerships of Jay-Z and Roc Nation with Live Nation. She then parlayed her experience to join Jay-Z to build Roc Nation in 2010 and served as his personal attorney for 17 years as well as Beyonce’s at times, during that time.
Today, JJ’s focus is on accelerating the success of women, women owned businesses, and women focused brands to help them succeed and achieve equality and diversity in the market and workforce.
I’m excited to have her on to talk about this topic, her experience, and the power of entrepreneurship.
@JenniferJusticeLeague on Instagram
JJ’s family never went to college or in some cases never graduated high school, so she didn’t have any success mentors. She was passionate about music and when she did get the chance to go to law school, she decided that she was going to be a music entertainment attorney. She didn’t realize how hard it was to get into doing that type of law – it was very small market. She started off a big Wall Street law firm and networked to meet some in the entertainment space. She had some success and ended up as a partner at a firm that specialized in music entertainment law. She found a lot of common ground with her clients and being an advocate for them as many came from the same type of background as her.
One of her first clients was a very then, unknown, Jay Z. They grew up in the business together and she started growing her roster of clients. She then grew into all the other areas of the business for her clients with Live Nation, Roc Nation, etc.
After 17 years, she had twins that were 2 and half and felt it was time to move on. She was single mom and took 6 months off. She took the time to find out what she really wanted to do and became the President of Suyperfly, a live experience company that started festivals like Bonnaroo and others. She was there for 3 years and pushed herself.
Through it all, she has always had a really big passion for gender equality and started her own firm called the Justice Department to help women in this area. She also invests in companies and consults for general business needs.
What was it like taking 6 months off?
Tell us more about your mission for equality and the state of things…
Do you see entrepreneurship as the best opportunity to level the playing field?
What you best advice to help women succeed in their careers?
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want and believe in your worth.
What are the principles that you’ve used to build great companies and what do you look for when you invest in companies?
What are some of the best lessons you learned from working with Jay-Z?
You should always be willing to walk away from a bad deal. Many times, walking away will turn it in your favor and if doesn’t, it wasn’t mean to be.
Best advice for an entrepreneur just starting out?
Craziest thing you’ve ever seen happen in your career in the entertainment industry?
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