What 80s Music Taught Me About Business

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by Steve Holt on July 29, 2012

I had the distinct privilege of going on a trip recently in a vehicle that had SiriusXM radio. I have never ponied up the monthly fee to have it myself, so this was a treat for me. And of course, the first station I went to was 80s on 8, where it stayed the entire trip. So here my friends is my list of 80s song that taught me a little about business. And as an added bonus, click the song name to watch a video of the song. You do remember when MTV was actually song videos, right??

Hungry Like The Wolf (Duran Duran, 1982) – So just how hungry is the wolf? Pretty darn hungry, so never get in his way. But the real question is… how hungry are you? How bad do you want to succeed? Are you willing to show up early, stay late, and work harder than the others? If you are, then the wolf ain’t got nothin on you my friend.

Livin’ On A Prayer (Bon Jovi, 1986) – Never underestimate the power of prayer, eh? Even the boys from New Jersey knew that. If there’s one thing I know and have seen first hand, sometimes small business owners live from month to month on prayer. And sometimes on borrowed money from family, am I right? There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. Don’t let your pride get the best of you and miss the opportunity of giving someone else the joy of helping you succeed.

Pour Some Sugar On Me (Def Leppard, 1987) – I can find no business moral lesson to pouring some sugar on anyone or being hot and sticky sweet, but I just wanted to provide a link to the video. Freaking. Awesome. Song. Remember the good ole days of coding sexual references in the lyrics instead of throwing it in your face?

Walk This Way (RUN-DMC / Aerosmith, 1986) – You don’t have to be Lewis & Clark here. Learn from other people’s mistakes, and their successes too. Read everything you can get your hands on from those who have been successful. Talk to those who are successful. Listen to them. Learn from them. Do what RUN-DMC says baby… walk this way.

Every Rose Has It’s Thorn (Poison, 1986) – Please don’t hold it against Poison that Miley Cyrus covered this song. The moral lesson from Poison (yes, I just said Poison can teach us moral lessons) is that just because it looks good doesn’t mean you need to reach for it. There might be something about it that you aren’t aware of, so make sure you do your due diligence before sinking everything into it, whatever ‘it’ may be.

Workin For the Weekend (Loverboy, 1981) – To get ahead and be successful, of course you have to work harder than everyone else. You have to do the stuff that noone else wants to do or will do. Nobody cares like you do because you are the owner, right? But don’t forget to let your hair down sometimes and have some fun. If you let all that pressure and stress build up without a release, your head will explode. It will, trust me. So pick a weekend here and there and just put it all behind you and have some fun.

And finally…

Don’t Stop Believing (Journey, 1981) – I couldn’t possibly write a post about 80s music without this one, right? I am reminded of the story about Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx. One of his professors told him that his idea of ‘putting small packages on big airplanes’ was just about the dumbest idea he ever heard of. And of course the rest is history. Why? Because Fred Smith didn’t let that keep him down. He believed. If you give up, or lose faith, I can assure you that you won’t succeed. But I urge you to follow Journey’s advice, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll be the one that people talk about when they say…’I am reminded of the story about…’

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