647.224.5983 mary@marymstrachan.com

Just because there are 4 things Justin Bieber taught me, I’d like to clarify that no, I am not a “belieber.”

My interest in Justin Bieber begins with the fact that he’s a small town Canadian boy who grew up not far from where I lived as a kid – throw in a quick rise to stardom, some bad press (aka trouble with the law,) tears after his performance at the MTV Awards, a somewhat disappointing interview with Jimmy Fallon, and a lot of new songs I actually really like, and I’m intrigued.

That’s why I jumped at the chance to see him in concert in 2016, after which I became even more curious about him.  Much to my daughter’s dismay, I’ve been casually (and I really do mean casually) paying attention to him ever since.  And, I feel like I’ve learned a few things from JB that can be applied to my entrepreneurial journey, like:

 

Love what you do and if it doesn’t bring a smile to your face, take a look at what you’re doing (or how you’re doing it.)
At the concert I attended, JB did not smile once – I know because I’d been told earlier in the day (by a 10 year old) that he had a new face tattoo, and I spent the entire concert looking at his face on the big screen trying to find it.  Not only did he not smile, he went through his performance like he was checking off the boxes of a to-do list.  I left feeling kind of sad for him because it really didn’t look like he had much fun.

Pay close attention to how you’re branding yourself (and how others perceive your brand) because they will respond accordingly.  This lesson comes from a news report that JB got really frustrated at the audience one night on the European leg of his tour because they wouldn’t stop screaming, and he wanted to actually talk to them.  I found this ironic and slightly amusing because during the concert I was at, he appeared on the big screen several times, surrounded by beautiful women in a Calvin Klein underwear ad (eliciting even more wild screams from the audience.)  Need I say more?

Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate.  Have you noticed that JB is a master at collaboration?  This guy is on fire partnering with other high-profile musicians like Ed Sheeran, DJ Khaled, and Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, to create hit songs to their mutual benefit.  There’s something really genius about well thought out ventures like this.  We’ll probably never know what it’s like to work with JB, but collaboration will be a priority in my brand moving forward.

Elaborate doesn’t necessarily mean better – in fact it might just lead to exhaustion.  I’ve been to a few concerts in the past couple of years, and JB’s stage production was as elaborate as it comes.  He “entered” the concert via a clear tube that descended from above.  His dance routines were challenging – and then there was the suspended trampoline above the audience on the floor (it was really cool!)  But when he was done performing on the trampoline, the lights when down, and so did JB.  He literally laid down on it and stayed there for a little bit, like he could have had a nap.  There’s no doubt in my mind he was exhausted – I know I would be.  Simple is not boring and more and more, I’m looking to see what I can simplify in my business.

 

I can’t say I’ll rush to watch another Justin Bieber concert, but I still really like his music.  And, I have a feeling he’s doing his best to navigate a world we could not possibly understand.  So I’d like to say thank you, Justin Bieber.  I’m grateful to have learned from you, and wish you continued success.  Keep making great songs!

How about you?  Have you gleaned any valuable lessons about entrepreneurship from an unlikely source?  Share the what and the who with us in the comments!