Have you noticed how many successful entrepreneurs are musicians? Paul Allen, cofounder of Microsoft. Steve Wozniak, cofounder of Apple. And yes, since the age of five, I’ve been an avid musician (I play piano) as well. As I look at the traits of entrepreneurs and musicians, it seems that more often than not, I see an indelible match.
Over the past months I’ve gotten acquainted with business consultant, speaker and author Steve Dragoo, of Nashville. The thing that immediately struck me about this entrepreneur (known as “The Doc,” short for Dr. Groove) is his love of music, which I also share.
Steve’s gift manifests itself in Karaoke. He is also an expert in the intersection and influence of music and business, which he’s written about in his new book “SING! Business and Life Lessons from the Karaoke Stage” (available from his website, KaraokeLifeLessons, or from Barnes and Noble).
In Steve’s book, SING is an acronym for these four steps that pertain to every entrepreneur:
- Step Up: What could you do if you weren’t afraid? You should make a mental, emotional and spiritual commitment and then take the risk, Dragoo says. Start today.
- Inspire and be Inspired: What energizes and motivates you? How can you use these gifts to motivate others?
- Find Your Nexus: In business and in life, surround yourself with people who share your interests, talents and strengths.
- Go for It: What is your stage? Put the lessons you learn to work on your own life stage.
Steve puts his own skills to work by coaching entrepreneurs and others in the skill of karaoke, and beyond the fun and fulfillment they gain, helps them apply their growing capabilities to the workplace as well.
Peter Spellman, author of Indie Business Power, notes the powerful corollaries between business and music as well. In his book he interviewed professional musicians about the ways their musical abilities had translated to business success. Their responses included the following:
- Self discipline
- Attention to detail
- Quick mental processing
- The development deep listening skills
- Ability to receive criticism
- Persistence & focus
- Taking risks
- Confidence and self-esteem
- Ability to handle rejection
- Teamwork and collaboration
- Problem solving
- Ability to strike compromise among diverse personalities
- The constant campaign of engaging fans and ‘packaging’ creativity
- Toned and fit creativity muscles
- Leaving the harbor of predictable outcomes and sailing into the sea of uncertainty
- Exercising differentiation
- Strong work ethic
An impressive set of attributes. In my own life, music has been a defining source of skill building, inspiration, and even bonding and fun . When I was five, my exposure to music began when my mother required me to take piano lessons and to practice first 30 minutes then an hour and eventually two hours a day. It was excruciating to sit and focus, but I couldn’t have privileges until the practice was done.