5 Lessons from Jimmy Buffet

I was incredibly saddened when I heard about the passing of Jimmy Buffet.  As I say below, his music has meant a lot to me for years.  The blog (and podcast) below, was created years ago.  But I felt the need to dust it off, refresh it, and give us each a chance to go to that “One Particular Harbor.  Here are 5 Lessons from Jimmy Buffet.   Read below…and Sail On, Sailor!

Let me say from the beginning, that I am a Jimmy Buffett fan. I have liked his music since college and have been to, probably, 10 of his concerts. As I have told my daughters, his music just takes me to a place with a smile on my face and a drink in my hand…no matter where I am.

But on my way to work the other day, listening to Tin Cup Chalice, it occurred to me that Jimmy has a lot to teach entrepreneurs and content creators if we are willing to listen.

Create a Niche

When Jimmy Buffett came to Nashville many years ago, it seemed nobody wanted him. He didn’t look like a country singer. In those days, he didn’t sound like a country singer. But he stayed willing to sound like “Jimmy Buffett.” Over time, he created a niche audience that wanted to hear the island sound at One Particular Harbor. Once he created it, that audience has loyally followed him for years!

Lesson:  Don’t wait for someone to choose you.  Create the audience yourself.

Have Fun With It

If you have ever listened to a Jimmy Buffett song, you know he talks about Changing his Latitude and his Attitude. His audience buys in. One time at a jam-packed concert (in the beer line) I accidentally bumped into another guy, spilling his drink. I quickly turned to apologize (that sort of thing can get you punched at many concerts). The guy said, “It’s cool! You are at a Jimmy concert!” Jimmy oozes a fun laid-back attitude…and people respond.

Lesson:  If you have fun with what you are doing, your audience will too…and they will love you for it.

Don’t Focus on Your Weaknesses

Though I am a big fan, I certainly can recognize that Jimmy Buffett is not the best singer or best guitar player. I am sure there are times you feel the same way about being a content creator. There are better writers. But don’t let that stop you. Had he worried about his weaknesses, he might never have moved to Key West in the first place. Bet on your strengths and put out your best, consistently. Soon, like Jimmy, you will be playing for a packed house.

Lesson:  Don’t let your weaknesses stop you from telling your story!

 Age Is Just a Number

Every year I hear a rumor that “this tour” will be Jimmy’s last. But every year, he keeps traveling the country to entertain his fans. Too many of us want to work hard so they can retire. If you love what you do, keep rocking as long as you want!

Lesson:  Keeping rocking and doing your thing as long as you want!

Nail Your Core…Then who knows?

For years, Jimmy Buffett was “just” an entertainer. He had some songs like Margaritaville that were popular and he played concerts around the country. But somewhere along the way, his music became a way of life. Recognizing this, Jimmy built a restaurant and bar called “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” Now he has huge restaurants, and casinos and even brews his own beer. He nailed his core and then built his brand from there. Jimmy started as an entertainer but has built himself into a true entrepreneur.

Lesson:  Do what you do best…then keep your eyes open for opportunities along the way!

So let’s take a lesson from Jimmy and work hard at having fun. By taking his lead, maybe we can create the next iconic brand…and spend some time in Key West too!

When you think about it, Jimmy hit his target.  Learn how you can do the same here.

Written by: Kirby Hasseman

Kirby Hasseman is the CEO of Hasseman Marketing & Communications. Kirby hosts a weekly Web show called Delivering Marketing Joy where he interviews business leaders from around the country. Kirby has published four books. His most recent is “Fan of Happy.” His book, called "Delivering Marketing Joy" is about doing “promo right” and is perfect for people in the industry and customers. He also wrote “Think Big For Small Business” and “Give Your Way to Success. All are available on Amazon.