Run Your Small Business Like A Rock Star

October 31, 2008

When you first run a small business it’s easy to make the mistake of running it like a faceless corporation. But you don’t need to run your small business like that, to make it look bigger and better. You’ll get far more attention if you run your small business like a rock star. And who better to learn from than Jon Bon Jovi?

Be Bold

Jon Bon Jovi is incredibly bold without being full of himself, like some rock stars, which makes him more likeable. Be daring in your small business too and be proud of your company’s virtues. Run it in a way that makes you seem human and approachable too.

Make Your Customers Feel Like Your Small Business Was The Right Choice

In 2004, Bon Jovi released a box set of CD’s entitled 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong. He said it was a tribute to Elvis’s 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong. Assuring your customers that they made the right choice in using the products or services of your small business is a smart move.

Be Passionate

“Nothing is as important as passion. No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate.” Jon Bon Jovi

Jon Bon Jovi is passionate about his business. And this comes across in everything he does. But you don’t need to be a rock star for your customers to know you’re passionate about what you do. Choose something you’re passionate about and it will come across in every aspect of the way you run your small business, from the technical work, to phone calls and your website, or blog.

Sole Ownership

A lot of small business partnerships fail, for too many reasons to go into here. A small business needs to be run by a clear leader and that doesn’t often happen in a partnership. Jon has owned Bon Jovi from day one. He runs the business and the rest of the band work for him. This works well. They appreciate the fact that he writes the songs, organises everything and pays them massive salaries at the same time.

Make sure your small business is run by a clear leader and if possible, try to avoid a partnership. You’d probably be far better off employing folk who will help you build your business and rewarding them well.

Speak Out For What You Believe In And Don’t Be Afraid To Offend People

Jon Bon Jovi recently spoke out about the fact that he didn’t approve of Sarah Palin using his song, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” at her rallies. Clearly Jon is not afraid of offending McCain/Palin fans. And you should not be afraid of offending people either. Not everyone is going to like you, or your small business, so don’t be scared to speak out on issues where you have strong opinions. That way, you’ll get more support and respect from customers who do like and believe in you.

Don’t Be Afraid To Try Something Different

“Don’t get too comfortable with who you are at any given time - you may miss the opportunity to become who you want to be.” Jon Bon Jovi

Once your small business begins building up a loyal customer base, don’t be afraid to try something different. Although they are a rock band, Bon Jovi also ventured into country music. This was a huge success with “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” reaching number 1 in the US country music charts. What additional product or service could you add that would not only appeal to existing customers but also enable you to reach a wider customer base?

You Can Run Your Small Business Like A Rock Star - Check Out These Great Resources

How To Be A Rockstar Freelancer: This fantastic book is the ultimate guide for freelance writers and photographers. If you want to be more than just the average freelancer, you can’t afford not to read it. You can read more about How To Be A Rockstar Freelancer here.

Be A Rock Star Blogger: The rock star of conversational bloggers, Liz Strauss shares how to do it in:
The Secret To Writing A Successful & Outstanding Blog.

Become A Rock Star Trader:
The Forex Killer
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Become An Internet Marketing Rock Star:
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Related Reading

Being Bold Beats Talent

17 Ways To Make Your Business Stand Out From A Crowd
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Be A Business Success Story - No Matter What Your Age
Learn How To Run An Affiliate Marketing Business & Become A Super Affiliate

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Running A Small Business: Video Tips From Matt Cutts
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Run A Small Business In New Zealand
Start & Run A Small Business In Canada

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30 Responses to “Run Your Small Business Like A Rock Star”

  1. Jennifer on October 31st, 2008 6:29 pm

    Gotta love Jon Bon Jovi. I like his advice about not getting too comfortable.

    Interesting about going solo. I think I’ve always heard to find a good partner. Being a leader make sense as long as you give the credit to the team for the success.

    Jennifer’s last blog post..Have You Told Yourself this Lie?

  2. Brad Shorr on October 31st, 2008 6:29 pm

    Hi Cath, One way or another, a small business has to be bold. Otherwise, how are you going to get noticed? All of your very good points involve taking risk, which is a must I think.

    Brad Shorr’s last blog post..The Cure for Our Economy

  3. Marelisa on October 31st, 2008 6:59 pm

    HI Cath: I had no idea Bon Jovi was so wise :-) I know quite a few people who entered into partnerships and one day they awoke to discover that their “partner” had run off with the business assets. I also like that he’s not afraid to try different things and that he’s not afraid to voice his opinions.

    Marelisa’s last blog post..Use Creativity to Double Your Way to a Million Dollars

  4. Anna Conlan ~ Healing and Insight on October 31st, 2008 7:44 pm

    Hi Cath,

    What a great blog this is!

    I used to think I’d have to run my small business like a faceless company, but now I know that the more of my personality and me I inject into my business, the more people trust me.


  5. cathlawson on October 31st, 2008 8:50 pm

    Hi Jennifer - Thanks. I guess some people do find good partners - they seem to be in the minority though. I agree though - giving credit to folk who work for you is especially important if you’re going to do it alone.

    Hi Brad - Risk taking is definitely important isn’t it. I know that scares a lot of people. But it’s so risky just not taking risks and leaving everything to chance.

    Hi Mare - he’s really smart isn’t he. He does a lot of stuff for charity too. The speaking out thing is important. A lot of bands have been speaking out against Palin. It’s like she’s using their music to make it look as though they support her - and that must be really embarrassing for them.

    Hi Anna - thank you. That is so true - It’s easier to trust a real person than a business. I had real problems with a supplier I was using quite a while ago - Minor Planet.

    They sucked so badly, that when I called and asked to speak to the MD because I’d had enough they wouldn’t even give me his name. I now try to avoid businesses where the person running the show chooses to be completely anonymous.

  6. Ari Koinuma on October 31st, 2008 9:33 pm

    I agree that a good businessperson takes leadership — though that doesn’t mean that he’d do everything himself. Now, that’s the part I’m learning right now. I’ve done everything myself so far, and I can’t do it any more.


    Ari Koinuma’s last blog post..Why Passion Can Feel Like a Burden

  7. cathlawson on October 31st, 2008 9:50 pm

    Hi Ari - That’s very true - it’s important to be able to know what to delegate to others and learn to feel comfortable about other people doing it.

  8. Jannie on October 31st, 2008 10:59 pm

    Don’t be afraid to be different is probably the most important things for me to trust myself for.

    Living on a prayer…

    Thank you.

    Jannie’s last blog post..How much are you paying?

  9. Davina on October 31st, 2008 11:47 pm

    Hi Cath. Glad you’re back, I missed ya. Do you realize that you haven’t posted for over 3 days?!

    I didn’t realize Bon Jovi had such depth. This quote “Don’t get too comfortable with who you are at any given time - you may miss the opportunity to become who you want to be.”, was awesome.

    I think you should change your blog’s tagline. You share much more than “tips”.

    What additional service could I add to my business and to reach a wider customer base with? Perhaps an online forum. However I don’t know enough about forums other than they require even more time than blogging…. so I’ll get back to ya on that one.

    Davina’s last blog post..A Ghostly Life Experience

  10. Betsy Wuebker on November 1st, 2008 12:20 am

    Hi Cath!

    Rock stars are generally bold, rather than reclusive. Boldness is a sign of confidence and confidence is infectious. “Become who you want to be” is so valuable, as well as acting with passion.

    If you’re passionate about what you do, it won’t seem like work. There’s a reason a lot of successful people say they’re the luckiest on the planet. And if they keep “themselves” as the face of the business, the trust factor multiplies because of the personal aspect. Great analysis in this post.

    Betsy Wuebker’s last blog post..GHOSTS

  11. Cath Lawson on November 1st, 2008 7:50 am

    Hi Jannie - well that’s a good thing. It wouldn’t be much fun if you were the same as everyone else. Living on A Prayer wasn’t my favourite Bon Jovi song but it came out at a bad time in my life so that probably makes a difference.

    Hi Davina - Thanks. I know - three days is not like me. But as I said in my email yesterday, I’ve struggled to write anything I like this week. Oh well, plenty of draft posts to finish :)

    I feel guilty - you are my sponsor. It honestly didn’t make shedloads of difference to the traffic I got. But anything more than three days would probably have been disasterous.

    Jon Bon Jovi is really smart isn’t he? And he has so much energy. I guess a lot of folk don’t realise that - they probably assume all rock stars are permanently drugged up.

    I was thinking about services you could add the other day - when I was supposed to be writing. You could do with offering something - a lead up to the service you offer now, for some people. And an alternative for folk who can’t afford your full service. I will have a chat with you about it.

    And I don’t know if you read it yet - but Mare suggests pretending you’re someone else to come up with ideas. It sounds like fun.

    Hi Betsy - I know what you mean. I’ve often thought Kate Bush would be much bigger than she is, if she wasn’t such a recluse.

    That’s true - if you enjoy what you’re doing - it doesn’t seem like work. I must admit, I’ve talked on here about past business problems before. But I’ve never really felt like I was working - even when I was hardly sleeping, if that makes sense.

    Cath Lawson’s last blog post..Run Your Small Business Like A Rock Star

  12. Barbara Swafford on November 1st, 2008 8:32 am

    Hi Catherine - I agree on the going solo part. I haven’t heard of too many partnerships that went on to do well. For some reason, when it comes down to money and responsibilities, partners often go their separate ways thinking each is right. Paying professionals for those parts of a business we’re not proficient in has worked well for us.

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..Blogging To Do List - Do It, Delete It Or Delegate

  13. cathlawson on November 1st, 2008 4:47 pm

    Hi Barbara - That’s often the case. Partners don’t always want the same things for the business. Paying professionals is a smart thing to do, whether you employ people or outsource.

  14. Kathy @ Virtual Impax on November 1st, 2008 5:20 pm

    Right on - as usual!!! (Well worth the wait!!!)

    You couldn’t have picked a better (or sexier) illustration!!! Smart and easy on the eyes!

    Kathy @ Virtual Impax’s last blog post..Steps to Starting a Small Business: #2 - The Implementation

  15. Tom Volkar / Delightful Work on November 1st, 2008 5:28 pm

    “Make Your Customers Feel Like They Made The Right Choice”

    Some clients truly are unaware that they have made the considerable progress that they have. They are too close to it and can’t see it. It’s then our job to remark on their growth so they can recognize it for themselves.

    I particularly enjoy sincere reassurance when it points out an obvious win-win. Why we buy anything is a complicated emotional process.
    Using sound strategies like this one cements relationships well.

  16. Davina on November 1st, 2008 7:21 pm

    Hi Cath. Gee I hadn’t even thought about the effect of this on my sponsorship. I was just wondering if you might be ill or something. Mare’s idea does sound like fun. I await hear your suggestions… but only after you do some writing :-)

    @ Kathy. I see that Jon Bon Jovi has a “Virtual Impact” on you — tee, hee. And like Cath mentioned, I did have the idea that most rock stars were all drugged up. Shame on me.

    Davina’s last blog post..A Ghostly Life Experience

  17. cathlawson on November 2nd, 2008 12:07 am

    Hi Kathy - it’s an awesome pic isn’t it? I was going to do a video instead but I watched a whole heap and couldn’t decide. But - he is married and his wife’s a karate instructor.

    Have you seen this awesome video on youtube? It’s one of my favourites:

  18. cathlawson on November 2nd, 2008 12:18 am

    Hi Tom - it’s so true and as you say - that assurance is important for both parties. Weird when I first read your comment had been thinking about you - email you in morning.

    Hi Davina - No worries - I’m fine. Have been writing today - so will go over some ideas with you soon. You’re going to be a rock star life coach. And I can’t blame you for thinking that - lots of them are drugged up. You liked Steve Tyler’s quote too. You have great taste.

  19. Lillie Ammann on November 2nd, 2008 5:46 am

    Congratulations on being an SOB. I was just at Liz Strauss’ blog and saw your blog as one of this week’s SOBs–well deserved!

    Lillie Ammann’s last blog post..By: Celebrate Successful-Blog’s 3rd Birthday with me and 718 SOBs! - Liz Strauss at Successful Blog - Thinking, writing, business ideas . . . You?re only a stranger once.

  20. mark_hayward on November 2nd, 2008 10:54 am

    Nicely done, Cath! I don’t know if Bon Jovi has a song analogous to the fact that running a small business is harder than it looks. :) But, that is what I would add…also, even in a “down” market there are always opportunities!

    mark_hayward’s last blog post..One Month After the Train for Humanity Launch: Ten Lessons Learned

  21. John Hoff - eVentureBiz on November 2nd, 2008 3:47 pm

    Bon Jovi was one of my favorite bands back in the late 80’s early 90’s. I’ve always liked them and I enjoyed this post.

    I really relate to how you mention you don’t have to be a faceless corporation. I designed our company’s website in a way that I give a face and voice to our website so it’s not so damn corporate. Our band is eVentureBiz, our lead singer is me.

    Re: Partnerships
    Yeah they often end bad, don’t they. But like you said, there are times it can work. If you must enter into a partnership, a clear leader definitely needs to be defined - either through a partnership agreement or your corporate documents.

    John Hoff - eVentureBiz’s last blog post..How Can A Blog Help Your Business?

  22. cathlawson on November 2nd, 2008 4:03 pm

    Hi Lillie - Thank you. I didn’t know Liz had chose me to be a SOB until I read your comment.

    Hi Mark - Thank you. I’m not sure they do. But I suppose Dry County is about economic decline.

    Definitely - there’s opportunities in a downmarket - sometimes you’ve got to change direction completely though.

    Hi John - Bon Jovi are one of my favourite bands too.

    I like the way you’ve personalized eventurebiz. Few webhosts have done that. I don’t know if you checked out but she used to own a webhosting company and she mentions personalizing it as one of the reasons for her success. Her blog is definitely worth checking out.

    That’s a good point re - documenting who the leader is in a partnership. It definitely saves a lot of hassle further down the line.

  23. John Hoff - eVentureBiz on November 2nd, 2008 4:06 pm

    @ Cath - thanks for reminding me about Erica, you mentioned her before and I forgot about it until now. I’ll bookmark her site.

    I’ve been seriously considering a more focused direction for our company and was thinking of sending you an email asking for your opinion. Is that ok?

    John Hoff - eVentureBiz’s last blog post..How Can A Blog Help Your Business?

  24. cathlawson on November 2nd, 2008 4:13 pm

    Hi John - of course it’s ok. Email me at my gmail account, so your email doesn’t wind up drowning among the aol spam.

  25. Karl Staib - Work Happy Now on November 2nd, 2008 5:26 pm

    A entrepreneur must run his/her business with confidence. A rock star couldn’t go on to the stage and act shy. The people want to see passion and power, a person who believes in his/her songs.

    I’ve been developing this strength over the past year and I’m starting to hit my stride. It’s about not being afraid to do what we think is best. Ayn Rand style.

    Karl Staib - Work Happy Now’s last blog post..A Steve Pavlina Interview on How to Build Your Career

  26. John Hoff - eVentureBiz on November 2nd, 2008 6:14 pm

    Cath, I can’t find your gmail, just the aol. Could you email it to me? Thanks.

    John Hoff - eVentureBiz’s last blog post..How Can A Blog Help Your Business?

  27. cathlawson on November 2nd, 2008 10:19 pm

    Hi Karl - that is a good point. Shyness is something folk can definitely overcome though.

    Not being afraid of doing what you think is best is important. That’s definitely a mistake I’ve made in the past. Loved your Steve Pavlina interview by the way.

    Hi John - I’ve emailed you it.

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