Bluegrass music can teach us a lot about building business. Bluegrass builds connections. It’s folk music with energy and passion. A band “wailing, picking and grinning,” can move an audience to giddy joy or quiet melancholy. People “get it,” and are sold. There are business lessons to be learned, and like bluegrass itself, the lessons are simple.
You don’t have to be big to be effective. A bluegrass band consists of four or five musicians, period. A banjo, guitar, bass and fiddle and/or mandolin are standard. Your business doesn’t need a staff of hundreds to be effective. Your technical and business talent are the critical components. The right staff and superb delivery can boost a small business into the major leagues.
Be real. Bluegrass is music from the heart. It resonates with human experience and draws you in. It is real. Be real in your business. A slick facade fools no one and alienates everyone. You can’t fake sincerity. There is power and strength in honesty. Tap into this inner strength to grow and support your business.
Spread joy. Yes, some songs can be melancholy, but the music is also filled with celebration, reunion and fulfillment. Some of the songs with the most morbid lyrics can have the catchiest, must hummable, upbeat tunes. Find the positives in your business and emphasize these. When your business is focused on joy, both inside and out, customers will respond.
Appreciate the journey. Bluegrass bands are nomadic. Whether crossing the country, traveling the world, or moving from one dive bar to another, bluegrass musicians are on a never-ending journey. Their satisfaction is not in arriving, but in the day-to-day travels. In business, too, we truly never arrive at a destination. There is always another hill to climb, another goal. Appreciate the journey of growing and nurturing your business. Don’t wait for a future someday to enjoy what you have.
Share your passion. We each have different gifts and different passions. Share yours with the world. Enrich the world around you, expand the experience of those you meet. Passion is electric and magnetic. Spread your enthusiasm and draw people to your business.
At its heart, business, like bluegrass, is quite straightforward. Business and bluegrass are all about connecting emotionally with audiences and customers. They are about being open, honest and real. Take a lesson from bluegrass and build your business. Nurture, treasure and build genuine connections that count.