So What? You may be saying. Or perhaps, Willie who? And why blog it?
For those of you who haven’t heard of him, Willie Nelson is primarily a singer/song writer – there are millions of them, two-a-penny , as my gran would say. Nothing unique about what he does. Yet he seems to have had some success:
• He has written and released more than 100 songs over 6 decades – not album tracks – “singles” in old language
• Many of his songs have been recorded or covered by other artists
• He has had more than 25 worldwide No 1 hits
• He has appeared in more than 30 films
• He is a published writer and poet
• He continues to be an activist for change in the things he believes in
Along the way he has had some interesting episodes – he has been married 4 times and has fathered 7 children; He has faced prison many times for his beliefs; He was faced with an unpaid tax bill of US$ 32 Million which he fought and cleared; He is a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do amongst some of them!
And the most amazing thing is that he continues to do what he loves doing, playing music – he played 10 gigs in April and has 12 lined up in May. Not bad for a man of his years.
And “so what”?
Whilst I am happy to waffle on about what he has achieved, at the end of the day he is a business. Just like any other.
• He has a product – his writing skills and performance ability, which he constantly tries to improve
• He has honed and adapted the product to suit changing markets – he has issued albums with a country style, outlaw country, country rock, jazz and even reggae!;
• He has a high customer service ethic – He plays countless gigs to try to satisfy his customers
• He has shown tremendous resilience – Marital breakdowns, Tax issues and “disagreements” with US Laws
• In the early days, he had to have incredible Persistance – He did not have a No 1 Hit until his 27th single, 13 years after the first release.
From the many micro businesses I support, I would say it is the ones who display all, or even some, of the above that are having the greatest success.
So – take a look at your business. Is it a Willie Nelson, or perhaps an Adele – in the early stages, but showing incredible promise – if so, what are you going to do to keep evolving and developing to ensure you stand the test of time? I would hate to see you become a “one hit wonder” like Timbuk 3 or Chumbawamba!!
Bob Shimmon, Business Loans Manager – Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire