What a rock band can teach you about your business

Remember the Wild Cherry song, “Play That Funky Music” No? Let me sing some lyrics for you…

Yeah, they was dancin’ and singin’ and movin’ to the groovin’

And just when it hit me somebody turned around and shouted

Play that funky music white boy

Play that funky music right

Play that funky music white boy

Lay down the boogie and play that funky music till you die.

(Now do you remember? Thought so!)

What most people don’t know is that Wild Cherry started out as a hard rock band. The song represents a true story about how audiences during the disco era wanted them to “play that funky music” instead of their normal set. So, they changed their musical style – and voila – they had a huge hit on their hands.

In short, Wild Cherry listened to what their audience wanted – and they changed their music accordingly.

In the business world, this is called “pivoting” your business. It’s a change in strategy without changing your vision (check out this great Fast Company video for more information).  The term was coined by Eric Reis, and describes how some companies drastically changed their business course before they saw great success. For instance, did you know that YouTube originally started as a video dating site? It’s true! And look at them now…

They successfully pivoted their business model – and everything opened up for them.

Although the term is used in terms of startup businesses, any business could benefit from a pivot.  Chances are, your business – like your best relationships – will change over time. What worked five years ago may not work today. What your customers wanted five years ago may be a “be there, done that” today.

So you, as a business owner, have a choice.

You can keep on doing what you’ve always done.

Or you can pivot your business and give your customers the “funky music” that they really want.

If you’re not quite seeing the business results that you want to see, put your ear to the ground and confirm that you’re giving people the right services (or products) at the right time. Are people asking for new and different “things?” And if so, are you listening to them – or are you putting them off figuring that, “That’s a good idea, but we don’t have time for that right now.”

The thing is, the right pivot can keep your business constantly relevant. It doesn’t need to be drastic (such as changing from a rock band to a disco/funk one.) Nor does it mean changing your entire business model.

It’s simply taking what you know and meshing it with what your customers want today – not last year.

Consider ways you can pivot your own business. You may find that a slight change in strategy can bring you incredible amounts of success.

Now, get on with your bad self and keep playing that funky music. You’ve got a business to run.

(Thanks to Daniel Iversen for that bit of musical trivia.)

Are you feeling like your copywriting business could use a pivot? Check out my Copywriting Business Bootcamp – it’s still 30% off through September. If you put what you learn into practice, you’ll more than make your investment back in new business. What are you waiting for?