Justin Bieber’s 5 Entrepreneurial Lessons
It’s Children’s Day, yet again!
This 14th Nov, let’s discover an unseen side of someone who managed to earn success and fame much before he got his driving license. And the person being discussed here (if you haven’t guessed already) is Justin Bieber.
Cringe at the name or drool, one thing can’t be changed about the fact that whatever he has, the guy has truly earned it.
No, he’s not lucky and he didn’t become an ‘overnight celebrity’ by fluke. I’m myself guilty of putting him in that category, till I came across his movie recently. I still don’t like that kid as a singer, but I totally respect for how he came up in life. And nothing can change that. Love him or hate him, you just can’t ignore him. As clichéd as it sounds, it stands true.
More than music, he gave everyone something more. These are some entrepreneurial lessons that can be learnt from him.
1. Start local, get on the ground and work, work & work
Initially, no one believed in the pint sized teenager but himself and his family. He had a lot of talent, confidence and passion for his age. He played guitar on the steps of a local theatre at the tender age of 12, played at local clubs and at every radio station, outside malls and even at a water park with almost no sound equipment. Because of that, a lot of (local) people knew him before he became The Justin Bieber and backed him as he worked his way up the ladder. Commendable feat!
Lesson to learn: Whatever is it you want to, there is just no substitute for getting on the field and getting hands dirty and just slogging off. Building a decent reputation in the initial stages will undoubtedly help you in the later stages. So just WORK HARD.
2. Grab every opportunity and trust your instinct
He came from a ‘normal’ background, had no godfathers in the industry. But he did what he loved and loved what he did. No one anticipated what came next, when his mother put a few videos of him singing on YouTube. When Scooter Braun ‘found’ him, later became his manager and presented some opportunities, his mother was skeptical. But Justin trusted his instinct and grabbed the right ones. And the results are for everyone to see.
Lesson to Learn: Learn how to spot opportunities, the right ones and just grab them. Once gone, the only person to repent is you. Call it whatever you want, inner voice, gut or instinct, it’s usually right, learn to trust it.
3. Interact personally with consumers
And use social media to its maximum potential.
Justin, I think, is one of the celebrities, who interact a lot with his fans. (Try following him on Twitter, you’ll know what I mean.) He speaks to his fans during rehearsals, before and after concert, while roaming around in his hometown and just any place he can. The biggest platform is definitely Twitter. How? He attracts 3% of the total twitter traffic, he recently hit 14 million followers, is more influential than Barrack Obama and no matter how annoying it is, you can see atleast one ‘Bieber’ topic trending every day . Not a mean task. I followed him for a brief period and saw that he replied and retweeted to almost all his fans who tried to contact. I did get irritated by that as my time line was just flooded with Justin Bieber. What I failed to realise that time was that he was building a loyal fan base. And presently, JB fans are almost the most loyal fans, and it goes without mentioning that he has one of the largest fan base.
Lesson to Learn: In every business, the most important people are the consumers. They make or break you. Businesses thrive only if consumers get what they want and are happy with it. Interact with them, know what they want and give it to them. It’s easier said than done. And all those who underestimate the power of social media in promoting their business might as well get out of the entrepreneurship scene! It’s the most powerful tool at present to promote anything. Use it to your benefit.
4. Play smart
Many criticised and laughed when he launched nail paints. So did I. It was funny that of all the things he wanted to endorse, he chose nail paints. But looking back, that was the smartest business move he made. How many guys would have bought ‘JB Deo’ or ‘JB whatever For Guys’? All the girls flooded the market and emptied the shelves within hours and lot of dollars happily landed in JB’s bank. Guess who’s having the last laugh!
Lesson to Learn: Do every possible thing (nothing outrageous or senseless though) you can do to build your business. Don’t worry about what ‘others’ have to say. Remember to trust your instinct and just build your company with crazy, insane, sensible or weird ideas, as long as they work. Nothing can go wrong then.
5. Self belief
Madison Square Garden is like Mecca for every performer and many performers just dream to perform there. Before Justin started his career, he went there as audience. He told his manager even he would live that dream of performing to a house packed garden within a year. His manager himself doubted if that was possible. A year sounded a tad too realistic for him and told Justin the same. But no one could dampen Justin’s spirit and he became the youngest performer ever to sell out the Garden, in flat 22mins! Everyone was stunned. It was Justin’s passion and belief that made this possible, apart from the constant support from his team and family.
Lesson to Learn: Sometimes your team or family might have some doubts or concerns about certain things, but never lose the faith in yourself. As long as you yourself are motivated, nothing is out of reach.
There you go! Unknowingly or not, 16 year old Justin did end up teaching these lessons. Of course, these are simple lessons but most of us happen to miss out on them somehow. He came from a broken family, raised by a single teenage mother with a humble background. Instead of complaining, he followed his passion, his love for music and made it majestically BIG.
Like Mr. Jobs used to say, have no complaints, follow the dream, shed the fear, have faith and just make it big.
Happy Children’s Day everyone.
By the way, which celebrity do you follow in life?