Madonna and Joe Rogan Are the Mother and Father of Reinvention.  And Businesses Should Learn From Them

Successful business strategies must evolve over time to keep up with the needs of your clients and customers.  Agility is critical. There can be a lot to learn in business by looking at how people in the entertainment industry have re-modeled or re-imagined themselves. 

The most obvious example is Madonna, who has broken every record imaginable over her long career in music sales, chart positions and now downloads.  This is an example set for today’s female music darlings that chart-toppers like Dua Lipa and Taylor Swift are now climbing the ladder to hopefully hit her heights.  

Whether you love her or hate her, Madonna’s legacy has been about much more than singing and dancing.  After more than 30 years of a successful career, where she still sells out arenas, the now 65-year-old Madonna also has a savvy brand and business mindset.  And that mindset has kept her in the zeitgeist for longer than anyone ever imagined, as she has constantly altered her music and personae.  

Another contemporary example is Joe Rogan. While his now controversial podcast is at the center of much discussion and attention, we tend to forget how different and obscure his career was when he started.  He was an auxiliary cast member of Phil Hartman’s NewsRadio TV series, went on to watch people eat disgusting things and tread where no one else would as the host of Fear Factor, and was a regular contributor to Jimmy Kimmel’s (another guy who reinvented himself) Man Show, later serving as an announcer for UFC fights.  Today, his podcast is one of the largest listened to in the U.S. and earned him a $100 million contract from Spotify. 

So what can businesses learn from these ever-evolving entertainers? 

Always Look for a Chance to Reinvent Your Business

Remaining relevant in your business category is exceptionally vital to your long-term prospects. Markets and client needs change eventually and if you get left behind, you have no one to blame but your lack of flexibility.  Communication with your current and prospective clients is vital.  Listen to what they need and learn how to adjust.  Don’t be afraid to reinvent the wheel a few times or add services you didn’t know you needed when you started. 

Read, Learn and Listen 

As a business owner, you need to constantly follow what your competitors are doing and be aware of ongoing trends and changes in your business category or industry.  Read voraciously and follow emerging markets and new platforms.  Again, listen to your clients. Most importantly, never be happy with where you are today, or you will become irrelevant in a few years.  Complacency equals death for a company. 

Kodak is an excellent example of this.  It’s as if the 130-year-old company was caught sleeping when photography went digital and people stopped using conventional cameras and film. Did Kodak believe smartphones were a fad? Decades later, they reluctantly moved into digital cameras and printers.  By that time, it was too late and they became a penny stock, shedding 100,000 employees in the process.   

Don’t Be Stagnant

Dave Lavinsky is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of business planning, capital raising, and new venture development. He’s also the author of the world’s #1 business plan template.  He suggests companies ask themselves the following questions to avoid becoming stagnant and irrelevant.  

  • What new technologies, markets, product innovations, or unique services can we offer? How can we go beyond what we currently offer and how do we create an appetite for a new product or solution?
  • Where can my company get ahead of others? What ideas do we have that we can validate and get to market before my competitors? What client needs can we solve before anyone else?
  • What established platforms or distribution channels are our target customers already using or buying from? How can we leverage them to get my product or service in front of these customers?

So learn from Madonna and Joe.  Take a proactive approach to your business and dare to evolve, learn and try new things. And while you’re at it, don’t be afraid to take a few chances and make a few mistakes along the way.