How I Made It

Pitbull: The hustler in me needs this to succeed

Musician and rapper Pitbull may be a Grammy winner, but what he really wants is for you to doubt him.

"As hustlers, you need that challenge. I need people to tell me all the time, 'I don't think that's going to be as good as your last project,'" he said.

"Watch me," he said with a laugh, adding "it gives fuel to the fire."

Pitbull performs on stage in Las Vegas.
Justin Solomon | CNBC
Pitbull performs on stage in Las Vegas.

The Miami-born rapper and musician, whose legal name is Armando Perez, has been in the music business since 1999.

"I've been very fortunate that music for one has been my escape, my meal ticket and the avenue to be able to create so many other opportunities," he said.

His hometown has been the "melting pot" that has allowed him to think creatively about music.

Pitbull describes it as his "second love" after his mother and has invested in trying to make Miami a start-up mecca for Latin America. He also has helped build a new charter school in the city, a project that fits in with his passions of helping others know they can do whatever they want in life.

His advice for other entrepreneurs?

"Bottom line: You've got to think outside of the box. Everyone's going right. You have to take that risk and go left," he said.

A former teacher's words have also stuck with him through the years: "The biggest risk you take is not taking one."