Lessons from Peter Frampton

Musicians are great at standing out. They have to be. So many competitors are waiting to steal the spotlight from them. How do they keep it? People get excited to hear something different. Not only does it capture their imaginations, it also encourages them to share their new discoveries. Everybody wants to be the first in on something really unique. That’s why we always hear people bragging about how they knew about bands “before they were cool.” People like to wear it like a badge of honour. All of this can be transplanted into the world we work in. You can inspire people talk about your business. You just have to stand out, surprise, and excite. Be the shiny thing that distracts the eye.

Here are three examples from the world of music that will show you what I mean.

Tony Bennett – I’ve been lucky enough to catch Tony Bennett in concert twice over the last five years. The man is 86 years old and can still belt out a standard like nobody else. At both concerts, there was one moment that I took away as the prominent performance. Near the end of each show, Tony would complement the acoustics of the venue he was performing in. To show what he meant, he would place his microphone on the piano, step away, and sing “Fly Me To The Moon” with nothing but the power of his own voice. It was enough to give you chills. Those nights were full of amazing songs and stories, but years later, the one moment I truly remember is when he turned the concert on its head and did something completely different and astounding.

Lesson learned – Strip your business down. Get back to basics. Shed all the extra crap that you think makes you special and find that one simple, inescapable pearl of brilliance. Flash isn’t everything. Sometimes the most intriguing ideas are the most raw.

Peter Frampton – What’s the first thing you think of when I mention Peter Frampton? Why is he still famous today? Sure, he was a fantastic performer and musician. But, he truly became a legend when his guitar spoke for him. The talkbox is synonymous with Peter Frampton now. He tried something completely different; he shocked a live audience with a new experience, and ultimately solidified his legend in one memorable night.

Lesson learned – Stand for something. Make one thing your own. When someone else tries to do the same thing, they’ll only look like a copycat.

Madonna – She’s in her fourth decade of stardom now. That’s because she’s always found a way to adapt with fashion. Every five years or so, we get a brand new Madonna. Pointy bras, leather clad, innocent, glam, rock, sexy, and classy. All of the above, and everything in between, but always surprising. She created the recipe for long term relevancy. It’s born out of evolution. Nobody wants to be stuck in the same rut, even if that rut was really awesome for a long time. Her formula has worked so well, it’s been adopted by other artists like Lady Gaga.

Lesson learned – Evolve. Grow up with your clientele, or find different consumers with renewed ideals. Don’t let your business stagnate. Be brave, and embrace change.

There are so many more lessons you can learn from musicians. So, throw on some of your favorite albums. Who do you love? Think about it a little deeper. Why do you love them? What do they stand for? Then, steal their tricks!