A few years ago, I was working a gig in Minneapolis when the client treated my wife, Jana, and I to a VIP tour of Prince’s Paisley Park. While I’ve always touched on Prince during my Opportunity Rocks Experiential Keynote Presentation, after this tour, I could easily create an entire speech based on him. Prince’s dedication, passion and commitment to his craft can teach us all how to run a successful business.
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What Your Business Can Learn About Productivity from Prince
Here are five lessons you can learn from Prince to become a business rockstar.
One of the first things you notice when you visit Paisley Park is that there are very few windows. No, Prince didn’t hate the outdoors. He just knew the importance of focus when there’s a job to be done. If he knew what time of day or night it was, he was afraid he’d be tempted to take a break. There were no clocks to disrupt his creativity and sometimes he’d play for hours or even days without a break.
Are you watching the clock waiting for the business day to end or do you get so wrapped up in your business (because you’re so passionate) that you can work until all hours of the night without losing interest?
Take Pride in Your Finished Product
Prince was self-taught and obsessive about getting it right. He recorded his vocals from inside the studio’s mixing room instead of in the studio. This way, he could adjust and mix his own vocals. He also had a whole movie studio where he recorded much of Purple Rain, Under the Cherry Moon, and Graffiti Bridge. These studios gave him total creative control over his music and his movies so he could be proud of the finished product he put into the world.
Do you skimp on time or money with your products or services? Or, do you do everything in your power (including working with the right vendors or trusting your team) to ensure that your customers get exactly what you intended?
Make It All About Your Customers
Prince loved his city and he loved his fans. Oftentimes, he’d invite anyone who wanted to come for a party. There was always entertainment, food, and something to do at Paisley Park. After a long day of practicing or performing, he’d often show up around 3 am because he knew how important it was to connect with and honor his raving fans.
Do you treat your customers like an inconvenience or like beloved fans?
Overcome Every Obstacle
During his legendary performance at Super Bowl XLI in the pouring rain, the producer asked, “Do you want to cancel? Is there anything we can do for you?”
Prince’s response… “Can you make it rain harder?”
No matter what problems he faced, Prince rose above them to bring his fans what they wanted and deserved.
Do you see challenges in your business as insurmountable roadblocks or do you welcome them as opportunities for growth?
Commit to Becoming a Master of Your Craft
Prince had separate video editing and viewing rooms with multiple monitors and camera angles. During practices and video recordings, he and the band would review their performances, choreography, stage presence and music. No matter how big he got, he always wanted to get better.
Have you plateaued with your skills and your business or are you constantly learning and perfecting your craft?
When Eric Clapton was asked many years ago what it’s like being the greatest living guitar player, his response was, “I don’t know… ask Prince.” Prince became the powerhouse he was because he had a rockstar mindset. If you want to succeed in business, take a page out of Prince’s book. Stay focused, take pride in your finished product, make it all about your customers, overcome every challenge, and commit to becoming a master of your craft. When you do that, you’ll live on in your fans’ minds long after you’re gone.
“Take care of each other and make sure you always dance.” – Prince