Saturday, January 5, 2013

Five (more!) Career Tips from Lady Gaga

It’s common knowledge that Lady Gaga is not a guilty pleasure for me, but someone I’m quite happy to enjoy. She’s just addictive to me. On the upside, there are plenty of reasons to not feel guilt for loving her. There are certain days when listening to something that just inexplicably makes you happy is enough. And completely necessary.

Then, there’s her truly smashing business sense. You’ve got to be a strong, powerful, and savvy person to orchestrate such a meteoric rise in such a short time. So I went and compiled a list of five business pointers we could all stand to take from Gaga. Love her or hate her, the advice is indisputably sound.

I have to give credit where it’s due. EZAsset beat me to this. But they didn’t cover all the bases on this topic, so I’m here to finish it off:

- Have a point of view. God, does she ever. And it’s so essential. People. Listen up. Especially in an economy like this, whether you’re seeking that perfect job or you’re an entrepreneur who needs to NAIL this pitch and snag another client, you’ve got to really have something to say, and you’ve got to stand behind it. Your audience can sniff out wishy-washy a mile away. I’m reminded of another of my pop-culture pleasures, Project Runway. The designer with an “off” design who gets voted off is almost never the one who took a risky idea and ran with it. The designer who plays it safe is the one who gets the ax. Because forgettable gets you nowhere.

- Do what you say you’re going to do. Lots of people say “I’m going to be a star.” She did whatever it took to make that happen. That takes a lot of thoughtful pushing. A lot of falling down, getting back up, adjusting your strategy, and pushing some more. Eyes up, focus on the goal, and persevere. It’s not just a perseverance thing, though; it’s an integrity thing. If it’s a promise you don’t know if you can keep, don’t make it. Stretch yourself, not the truth.

-It’s not always about inventing the wheel. Gaga isn’t breaking any ground musically. All she’s done is take a niche of the dance-music genre and make it indisputably her own. I’m all about being super awesome and covering new ground. But if you have an interest that already exists, why not run with it? Take a concept you like, improve on it, become the best and most memorable at it. (Although if you’re going to take inspiration from a predecessor, just be inspired. Don’t crib off the exact same song.)

- Be a team-builder. My favorite thing about Gaga isn’t her musicality, her sassy style, or her larger-than-life attitude. It’s the way she has with choosing the right people, or creating the right combinations of people. Red One. Her Haus of Gaga team. I don’t really like Beyonce much, and I didn’t expect much of that collaboration, but she knew it was the way to go, and y’know what? They made something great together. Nobody is an island. The ability to form just the right creative team that gets stuff done impeccably is a fabulous talent, and skill that we should all work to develop.

- Be gracious. Give thanks when they’re due, every time they’re due. In the business world, this means things like sending a real, snail-mail thank-you note after an interview, or remembering something important to your contacts such as a birthday or anniversary, or being generous with referrals. Or having a flexible return policy. For Lady Gaga, it’s being fabulous to her fan base. She’s sent them thousands of dollars worth of pizza while they waited for her to get to a signing, sent support one-on-one to fans in need via Twitter, and worked tirelessly to help out one of her best supporter networks, the gay community. (I’m still in love with her for her speech at the National Equality march!) Just be excellent to the people in your business life, whatever that business consists of.

Whether or not you’re one of Gaga’s Little Monsters, these are some good tips to take from her interesting persona. Go forth, be bold, be real, and make magic happen!

(Pics are from her Wikipedia page)

1 comment:

  1. I love Gaga so much. She's amazing and inspiring in so many ways, and not just another ~disposable~ type of pop star.

    "Go forth, be bold, be real, and make magic happen!" - I should write it on a post it and stick it to my screen.

    Great post! ♥