What Patti LaBelle Taught Me About Business

How a night of unplanned entertainment turned into a business lesson

(Image: Twitter)
(Image: Twitter)

We’ve all heard the saying: “When you work hard, you should play hard.” This weekend I had the opportunity to play a little bit with the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Soul,” Patti LaBelle. If you have ever attended a Patti LaBelle concert then you know it is an experience.  As I reflect on the amazing, soulful night, wouldn’t you know it – I gained some notes to sing me right into entrepreneurial success.

Magic in the Moments

Focus and dedication are extremely important keys for business owners. However, there are times when you need to seize the moment. I had planned to work over the weekend but an opportunity to attend the concert as a special guest of the Kauffman Performing Art Center presented itself and I had one hour to decide whether to stay the course or seize the moment. I made the decision to go with the unplanned event. To some, that could have seemed like the unprofitable or unproductive decision. In the end, I gained a new client, strengthened vital client/friend relationships, and released the stress of a long week. Had I stayed and worked at the office the entire night as I’d originally planned, those unforseen gains would have been lost. I am challenging my fellow business owners to seize a moment this week. Do something unplanned and look for the profitability in your decision.

[Related: 5 Websites Every Entrepreneur Should Visit Regularly]

Size Up Your Audience

Patti started the concert by asking who the youngest person in the audience was. There are always people eager to answer the call, so some 40-year-old hands went up. However, the crowd learned that less than 5% of the people were younger than 20. I am sure that allowed her to determine or confirm her song list for the night. Also, one of the youngest audience members was called to the stage to sing with her! What a special moment!

As a business owner, it is important to understand your audience. You can give a great performance but it needs to connect with who you are speaking to. This week, take some time to review the demographics of your current client base. You could be surprised by who is really patronizing your business.

Kick Off Your Shoes

Patti is an entrepreneur in her own right. She has signature lines of food sauces and marinades called “Patti’s Good Life,” and produced her own cookbooks. In addition to selling more than 50,000,000 records worldwide, she also has her hand in the cosmetic industry with several perfumes and lipsticks. All of that and people at the concert were bracing themselves for the famous moment when she would kick off her shoes! The Facebook thread was lined with comments from individuals hoping to be the lucky shoe catcher.

As a business owner, it is important to establish a brand. What are you known for? What can people expect from you? This is just part of your business reputation. Take some time this week to ask a few of your clients what comes to mind when they think of your business. Then ask yourself what you would like your business to be known for. Be intentional about building up your business reputation this week.

As you can see, business lessons are all around you. It’s just a matter of you being tuned into opportunities everywhere you go. Get a new attitude, stir it up, and don’t forget to enjoy the moments during your business journey to success.

Marquita Miller is the founder and CEO of Five Star Tax and Business Solutions – a full service accounting firm in Kansas City, Missouri. A small business expert contributor on CBS & FOX morning shows, Miller is a published author, business strategist, motivational speaker and well known advocate for entrepreneurship. A recipient of Kansas City’s Influential Woman and Woman Who Means Business award, Miller is also a conference speaker and workshop facilitator for TD Jakes Ministries; www.marquitamiller.com; Twitter:@MarquitaMMiller; www.facebook.com/MarquitaMMiller



3 Responses to What Patti LaBelle Taught Me About Business

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