Are You A Control Freak?

How do you control 30,000 customers?  If you’re Bon Jovi, it’s pretty easy. A few months ago my good friend, mentor, and keynote speaker coach Mike Rayburn invited my wife Jana and I to celebrate his birthday at the Bon Jovi concert in Las Vegas.  Nice invite, right?

I reference Bon Jovi in my Opportunity Rocks Keynote about his relationship with his band and how he continues to increase his fan base “aka customers” and reinvents himself.  However, his 2017 concert and record had a different feel to it.  Instead of putting on a high-energy rock show like in the 80’s and 90’s- he took us on a journey. It wasn’t long before he had all 30,000 of us mesmerized, engaged, feeling like he was our best friend and really cared about us.

 Keynote speakers want to be able to do that same thing to the audiences they speak to, but we usually only have about 4 to 5 minutes once we hit the stage to do it.  As sales professionals, we want our customers to become raving fans. Why?  Because we want more than just satisfied customers; we want loyal fans that will enthusiastically tell others about us, our products, or services. We want fans who think of us often, who will bend over backwards and put their reputation on the line with referrals and introductions. Boom, when that happens we spend less time selling and more time nurturing the relationships and watch the sales increase.

So what is the secret? Once again it’s not rocket science, It’s ROCK- IT science.
Number 1: Transparency. Bon Jovi shared some of their struggles they have been experiencing the last few years. He told stories about what inspired certain songs and what some of the lyrics meant, so when he performed them they meant something to us too.  We were on the journey, along side him.  He made reference to getting older and how that has affected their band.  He even said after a tease of some of their past hits, that he knew what songs they came to hear and promised to play them, but please listen to some of our favorites from our new record and what they mean to us and maybe you might connect with them too.

So, for our businesses we need to do the same. There are not any secrets anymore, so why pretend that there are. Be open and honest, share information of interest that they may not be expecting. Let them know the great things that are happening and why. What the challenging things and what you’re doing to overcome them. Depending on your level of relationship, you might even share some personal things. You never know when you might find something in common with that person and take the relationship to a whole new level.
Number 2: Likeability- this is key when you’re a Rockstar or a sales professional. I don’t care what kind of music you like, it’s hard not to like Bon Jovi. The guy has remained loyal to his neighborhood buddies in the band, he’s still happily married to his high school sweetheart, he supports many charities, treats his crew and band equally with respect, and the ladies seem to think he’s a good looking guy.  Did I mention he loves on his fans a lot? Hence, the long lines to buy Bon Jovi swag, sold-out shows, and the audience was engaged with their phone lights on all night. 

Okay, take a moment and ask yourself on a 1-10 scale for likeability- how would you rate? Or more importantly, how would your fans rate you? Do you smile a lot? Do you surround yourself with like-minded people? What does your family, team, or clients say about you to others?

When was the last time you ran a likeability test on yourself?  And remember transparency? You have to be sincere. Fans and customers are smart and can see right through you if you’re not. Just run a few Google searches on yourself and see who the Internet thinks you are. Don’t forget to check what images pop- up too.

Number 3: Hard working –Brain Tracy said, “Success comes before work only in the dictionary” Mic drop. In my opinion, Bon Jovi and Brett Michaels of Poison are two of the best and hardest working fan pleasers on stage. I performed with Brett on a private corporate show and man did he ever work the crowd. Even after his time was up and his agent was ready for him to leave, he shook every hand, posed for every picture, and thanked the crowd over and over again until the last person was gone. Bon Jovi did the same and his band did too. They connected with the bleachers as much as the people right in front. Even the section that looked at his butt all night, they would give love too. He treats every show as if it were his last. Did I mention they played for almost 3 hours? That also falls under the “always over deliver” category. When you go the extra mile, you will find you’re the only one there. Not just you, but your whole team or band too. It’s all part of the standing ovation formula. At the end, the lights came on, the crowd wouldn’t stop cheering, and the band members all hugged each other and came out for their bow.

I quote Gene Simmons in Opportunity Rocks as saying, “People say we are marketing geniuses, but if we take credit for anything, we listen to our fans”. In business, when you are 100% transparent, you honor and respect everyone’s contribution to the team, your work ethic is second to none, you listen to your customers, and you and your team will have a high level of likeability.  Watch your fan base grow and your customers will be working for you. This winning formula will also create distinction, which eliminates extinction… so let’s get ready to ROCK – IT!

The Business Rockstar is an Author, International Keynote Speaker, and Customer & Engagement Guru

Click Here to learn more about Marvelless Mark

PS. I am going to be transparent with you right now. Last year, 85% of my keynote speeches came from referral. I always consider it a huge compliment, blessing and gift when I receive them or someone sends them to my website. So please feel free to repost, share or forward this article to any and all who might appreciate it. Thank you and Rock On!

Four ways to make you the One & Only

Have you ever been to a Las Vegas show, experienced a keynote event, or heard and introduction like: “Ladies and Gentlemen please welcome the one and only…………….only to find out they really were not “the one and only”? Or maybe you’ve heard a similar keynote speaker or you’ve seen entertainment acts that reminded you of someone else? What does the one and only really mean? To me, it’s one of the highest compliments you can receive as a speaker or an entertainer. In marketing, it means you’ve done such an awesome job of branding your product or service- that people always think of you. Better yet, your name comes up when speaking of a competitor. Numerous times friends and colleagues would introduce me as  “one of a kind”, “there’s nobody like this guy”, and you guessed it, ”the one and only” Marvelless Mark.  It’s a title or a brand one must earn, hone their skill or craft, live and breath it every day. Walk the walk and talk the talk as they say. So how does that happen?  Pretty simple. It’s not Rocket science it’s ROCK-IT science. Being the one and only requires 4-key rockstar principals:

  1. Reinvention.
  2. Innovation
  3. Unlimited Energy
  4. Taking Risk (or being fearless)

Some rockstar examples of my favorite one and only’s are: Kiss, Bon Jovi, The Rolling Stones, and Taylor Swift.  If you research the careers of these music legends, you will see that they constantly practice these 4 things. They are constantly reinventing themselves, they are always innovative and creative, they perform with unlimited amounts of energy, on/off the stage, and they are not afraid to take risks. Well maybe they are afraid, but they don’t let fear stop them! Who can really say that any of these artists are not “one of a kind” or the “one and only”?

What does this mean for us? First and foremost, do people say your organization, your products, or you, are “the one and only”?  Do they say- there is nothing else out there like it or I’ve never met another person like them?

If not, then you might be in danger of falling off the charts. So let’s break it down. Reinvention– To produce something new that is based on something that already exists. If people or companies are starting to copy you or your products, you are no longer the one and only. So what action or steps do you need to take to reinvent?  Start with the Why? In his Ted Talk, Simon Sinek explained that the idea started with the why, not the what. So ask yourself and your team- why it’s time to reinvent. Then get everyone onboard and fired up as much as you are about the idea or vision.

Innovation according to the dictionary is this: The introduction of something new. American hero Captain Sullenburger, who landed the plane safely on the Hudson River says to him innovation means, Changing before you’re forced to. Boom! Personally, I used to be so protective of my signature moves, routines, my catch phrases that I would really take it personal when people would start to copy me. But my awesome friend John Daly Jr. put me in check. He used to give his ideas away at association training seminars where many of his competitors would attend.  John said, “By the time I share one of my ideas, I’m already on to my next great one.” That was his motivation to keep pushing forward and being innovative before reinvention was needed. It should be your action step as well.

Unlimited amounts of energy is generated physically and mentally. Great leaders need equal amounts of both for effectiveness and longevity. Physical energy is pretty simple. Eating real food, the right kind and amounts, and a consistent exercise program. Key word is consistent. That’s another important topic and we’ll feature it in an upcoming article called “Be Fit To Rock.“

Mental energy is a different animal. That can be described in many different ways and is different for everyone. For me, it’s controlling my attitude, and keeping my ego in check to fuel me rather than rule me. How do I do that? In my book Opportunity Rocks,  I quote the one and only Lady GaGa saying, ”I wake up in the morning, I make my hair bow, I put on my cat suit and call up everyone in the house of GaGa and say, “How are we going to be brilliant today”?  What if you did that everyday with your team or yourself? Would that feed your attitude to fuel some rock concert energy? Rockin’ Yes!!!!! Having control over my ego allows me to convert arrogance into positive energy and keeps raising my standards.  If we are constantly raising our standards, then our goals or dreams are naturally getting bigger and more exciting. When that happens, we can’t wait to get out of bed and start your daily jam session or working as you may call it. When you get closer to your goals, you’re excited, your team is excited and that kind of energy is contagious and unlimited. Your action step is to have a dream or goal so big it motivates you. If it doesn’t, it’s not big enough. If people are not talking about you or saying you are crazy, it’s not big enough.

Taking risk or being fearless means this: Daily massive action and to boldly go where no one has gone before. Thank you Captain Kirk. I know we hear that all the time, but are we really doing it? What are we afraid of, being too successful? Working too hard? If that’s the case then you might consider changing careers. Taking a risk may mean failing. Awesome. Failure breeds success. So the more you fail, (and learn from the failures) the more successful you will be. Prince opened up for Elvis Costello once and was literally booed off the stage.  Did that stop him? No. Taking a risk can be blocked by fear. But try using fear as a GPS to show you where you need to go.  Watch out for another article titled Use Fear As Your GPS. Your action steps, now ask the what. What is the worst thing that could happen if I faced my fears? What is the best thing that could happen? What will actually happen if I face my fears? Distractions and procrastination can also stop you from taking a risk or being fearless. So you may consider applying some systems to keep that from happening. An accountability partner is a great start.

 So in conclusion but certainly not in conclusion. Are you “the one and only?” If you are, What are you doing to stay “the one and only”? It’s the difference between being a rock legend or a one hit wonder.  If you’re not the “one and only” what plan of action do you have that includes, Reinvention, Innovation, Unlimited Energy, and looking your fears right in the eye and telling it to get out of the way.

80’s rock star Billy Squire sang, “Everybody Wants You?” Do they?

The Business Rockstar is an Author, International Keynote Speaker, and Customer & Engagement Guru

Click Here to learn more about Marvelless Mark

From Transformation To Change-formation – The Point of No Return

Change is good, but transformation is even better. I saw this sign in the Minneapolis Airport returning from my last keynote of the year in Cincinnati. Have you looked back in the past year at your life or business to see which one you have created? In a nutshell, Change fixes the past and Transformation creates the future. First let us look at the meaning of each. Keep in mind there are a lot of different levels that could be defined, but let’s think in business relation. I believe that Change, Transformation and even Innovation are all somewhat related and even motivate each other.

Change is to make or become different. In business we may need to change the way we do business, to adapt to changing environments, so we don’t go out of business. Your future is an improved version of your past. The key thing to remember is, change is not loyal. You can change back at anytime. That’s why in Opportunity Rocks we say, ”Rockstars drive change, not ride it.” If you drive change or create it, then you border with transformation.

Lynne Twist award winning author of The Soul Of Money says, “Transformation never makes the past wrong. It transforms it. It doesn’t deny it. It honors it in a way that you can move forward without making anything wrong, and having the past somehow now become complete, rather than wrong. Transformation has a permanence to it – where once you transform, once you awaken, once you see the stations you didn’t see before, you can’t go back. Transformation has the ultimate power of time, and what the world is crying for now is transformation, not necessarily more change, though some change may be a part of it, the route to transformation. Transformation suddenly makes the past make sense, and new futures open up.” Boom!

So in order to transform we will need change, but you can’t go back. It’s a whole new world, person, business, or product. In order to get there, we now become thought leaders. We ask different questions, to our teams and ourselves. Business rockstars and music rockstars will need to be visionaries to see and even create the big picture or the lollapalooza.

Here are some questions you might want to ask.

  1. What is your current situation?
  2. What is happening in your surroundings which you can’t control, but would affect your business?
  3. What is at risk if you don’t change and if you do change?
  4. Do you and your team agree on the future you want to create?
  5. Does all of your team agree on the vision and plan to leave your current situation and the journey to your new future with no turning back?

After you have honestly answered these questions the next thing to do is get everyone on board in your whole organization with the goal or your new core value and get them excited about it. Then ”Party Like A Rock Star” and start taking massive amounts of action.

It’s been well over a year since I left my 4 year headlining gig at the Rock Of Ages inspired Bourbon Room in the Venetian. It was like a paid vacation after over 17 years as a touring corporate emcee, entertainer and speaker. What a great experience on customer service, customer engagement and customer loyalty. My next keynote will be on what I learned from my experiences and how we went from $0 to almost 7 million in the first year. When I knew it was about time to end my paid vacation, I asked myself the above five questions and realized it was a time of transformation for me. That journey began with a leap of faith to leave that security blanket to phase out Marvelless Mark the entertainer and focus 100% on Mark Kamp the Keynote Speaker, Author, and Business Rock Star. It’s transformation in the making, but I saw the need to change the past to create a new and different future.

Success happens to those who take the most Action. Change and transformation happens to organizations and people who take the most action, everyday.

Are you or your business on track heading from caterpillar to butterfly?

Let’s all commit to a business jam session or mastermind meeting, become new thought leaders by asking better questions, and see where we need to go. I look forward to connecting next time. For now, Rock on!

 

 

 

Mark Kamp aka Marvelless Mark,
The Business Rockstar is an Author, International Keynote Speaker, and Customer & Engagement Guru

Click Here to learn more about Marvelless Mark

Resolution or Revolution

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right?  The New Year symbolizes new beginnings, new resolutions, new budgets, new sales meetings to kick-off, new goals, new dreams, new visions, new year’s resolutions.………. STOP.

I ask you to think about this: Is what you really need a new resolution or a new revolution? People may not think about it or maybe they just want to put it out of their mind, but we are at war. Not just in the Middle East or around the world. When it comes to our own personal success or the success of our company or business, I believe a resolution just won’t cut it, we need a revolution. We need to declare war on our future and success. But we better not start a war that we are not prepared to win. My suggestion, start thinking like a rockstar. Rockstars don’t just want to “get by”, “pay the bills”, or “have a nice retirement”. They want to rule the world. They have totally unreasonable dreams. Which means if you’re not where you want to be right now, we are going to have to step it up a couple notches. Or more like 10 times. In the book The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone, Grant says that whatever our goals are, multiply them by 10. Whatever our level of action is, multiply by 10. If people are not calling you crazy or making fun of you because of your goals, then your goals are not big or crazy enough. Sound like a successful rockstar? Sound like a revolution? Okay good, so you up your goals 10x and you know your “why” or your purpose. Now what?

Allow me to share a philosophy I learned in church of all places. I attend a church in Las Vegas called Verve on the Vegas strip. Their motto is “For people who do not like church”. When you walk in- there is a big sign “No perfect people allowed.”  Our pastor is Vince Antonucci, who is an amazing writer, speaker, and pastor. During one of his sermons he spoke about the difference between trying and training. The example he gave was this, “If I committed to run a marathon, I would try my hardest to finish. I would get pumped up, eat some pasta the night before, drink lots of water, and take-off running at the sound of the starting pistol. After 5 or 6 miles I would probably hit the wall and collapse. As you can see I’m not in the best of shape. Even though I tried my hardest and kept putting one foot in front of the other, I would fall down and probably cramp up. However, if I download a marathon training App, wrote down a daily training plan, and I train every day both physically, mentally, and nutritionally then after a few months, I would be able to successfully complete that marathon. Do you see the difference here of training versus trying?” I teach this to my kids at home too. I don’t just tell them to go out and try real hard, I say if you want to win this or master this, we need to train for it.

People talk about how their resolutions failed or they quit after a month, or gave up because they lost interest or just felt they couldn’t do it. And they don’t understand why they failed because they really tried very hard. That’s why instead of a resolution you have to start a revolution on your goals and success. Come up with a battle plan.

First, you need to know “Why”. Why are you doing what your doing? Are you passionate and obsessed with it? Would you say the Rolling Stones are obsessed still touring in there 70’s? Do you think people said they are crazy for doing this? Do you think Elon Musk is obsessed  or been called crazy before? Definitely!  But they know their “Why” and they start recruiting an awesome army or team and start training them and inspiring them to understand their “Why” and be as obsessed with it as you are.

Part of that training will include being prepared for change or ambushes along the way. In fact, just assume they will happen. After all you started a revolution. You will have to be the change leader/change driver.  “Rock Stars Drive Change, Not Ride It”. Once you have all of that in place- then you take action. Massive daily action times 10 on your revolution!

This is the beginning of a 4-part series on how successful rockstars start a revolution on their success and journey. In my book Opportunity Rocks, and the keynote of the same name I teach 4 Chords of rockstar success.  Over the next months, we will help you find your inner rockstar and let it out by giving you 4 key principles that will allow you to start a revolution on your life, your career, your relationships, and your business. I look forward to getting to know you better and assist in preparing you for the performance of a lifetime.

Rock On.

 

 

 

Mark Kamp aka “Marvelless” Mark-
The Business Rockstar is an Author, International Speaker, and Customer & Employee Engagement Guru

Click Here to learn more about Marvelless Mark

Your Band’s Greatest Hits

Get the members of your band together (your staff, your department or team, your family). Spend a few moments talking about the things you do well as a group. Then ask them what they consider your “greatest hits” to be. What have your greatest successes been? Your most memorable moments? What are the things the people are going to remember you for (the songs that will be played on classic rock stations for years to come)? Next, ask them about what they think your “new songs” should be.

What would they like to try doing as a team? Are there new technologies, methods, or markets? Are there new “instruments” they would like to learn to play or a new medium to explore? What skills does your band have to bring to a new song? What will you have to learn? Your band should not only be unafraid of change, but excited about the possibility of making change. If you are functioning well as a group, and everyone is on the same page about your vision and your commitment to pursuing it in the long-term, then the odds are good that the excitement will happen naturally. You’ll sound tight when you play your current hits, and you will be ready to write the new music, too.

Bands, like other successful organizations, function best if they master the balance between stability and flexibility. The ideal mix is: a stable line up (a core of competent members who stick with you through the years) a single and compelling idea that drives the whole group’s efforts a collective ability to produce appealing and high quality work in new situations as well as familiar territory A band can keep rockin’ for 30 years as long as it maintains its vision, stays focused on the long-term, and creates its own change. Your band will still face challenges, go through rough patches, and experience some strife. But in the end you will be much more satisfied and fulfilled individually and as a group. You will be a lot happier. And, you will be better positioned to keep your fans happy. Rock stars live and die by their fans, you know.

F-chord, How to use Social Media to Build Fan Relationships

What makes a fan? If someone sings along with your song when it comes on the radio, does that make them a fan? If they can recognize your branding on a product, are they a fan? Someone who recognizes that Marvelless Mark is an international leadership coach and motivational speaker, is that a fan? If they buy your merchandise more than others is that what makes them a fan? Some of these might fall into just a customer category or the beginning of a fan relationship. A fan is someone who LOVES you, who chooses you over all the others, who will pack 6 people into a station wagon and drive across the state to see you. That is a fan.

So how do we build a fan relationship with our customers? Fans make your company work. As a professional leadership team builder and corporate keynote speaker, I can understand that without fans we don’t have a job. It’s part of our job to make them feel loved and appreciated– to give them something no one else does.
Right now one of the big platforms for relating with our fans is social media. We all have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, InstaGram, and all the others. How can we use our social media to relate to and grab the attention of our fans? I’ve been researching how to really rock social media and build our following.

Did you know that YouTube™ is the second largest search engine on the web and one of the most popular website on the entire web? If you do not have a YouTube channel, GET ONE. It is one of the most effective and most personalized way to market yourself. It is a great way to focus on providing your clients & prospective clients with relevant content specific to them. The basic video limit is 15 minutes in length with the option to upgrade your account. In 15 minutes you can get a great tour of your office, highlight reel from your speech or show. You can upload customer testimonials which have been shown to be more effective as they are more personal. YouTube™ is a great tool to help you position yourself as an expert in your field.

Facebook is touted as a “rolodex of over 1 billion readers.” It is a journalist’s paradise. Facebook is a great place to post press releases. They also have several call to action type functions that can boost your audience and even build your email list. Most experts in the field warn against using the BOOST POST function for larger businesses, it is however extremely helpful for smaller companies on a strict marketing budget. The boosted posts multiply fan engagement which increases the number of people who see your posts exponentially. Tools such as CUSTOM AUDIENCE allows you to target a specific demographic, for example marketing to only people who have viewed your website. Also Facebook Graph Search can help you learn more about the people who view your page which is a great tool in learning how to market to them.

One of the favorite social media sites for professionals is Twitter. Your face alongside each tweet allows you to get your image out there, it is recommended to use a head shot versus a logo because people connect with people. Another rocking feature of Twitter is that you can customize your profile page with your personal brand. The colors and images are all customizable. Twitter allows you to keep different lists, lists of customers, lists of potential clients, lists of people who inspire you in business. This is helpful when you are following hundreds of people and the feed gets clogged. You can then click on each list and see the tweets only from that list, so you decide what to look at and when. I could write a whole blog on the features of Twitter. You can do just that as well, why not embed a tweet in your blog and have it lead your followers to interact with you on Twitter?

Social media is a huge means for you to interact with your customers, clients, and prospective clients as well as those that you’d like to learn from. Take the time to build the fan relationships with through social media. It is one of the easiest ways to reach out and engage the people who will become your fans if you show them what a ROCKSTAR you are!

How Teamwork Can Improve Your Workplace

As famed anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Behind every well-functioning office is a team that works well together. Even jobs that are largely performed individually can benefit from the added support of co-workers. But strengthening a team of very different people is no easy task.

 

That’s where corporate motivator Marvelless Mark® can help. As an experienced team-building speaker and motivational speaker, Marvelless Mark® can help bolster your team so that your office may reap the following benefits of quality teamwork.

 

As the saying goes, many hands make lighter work. By dividing up a task among several people, things tend to get completed more quickly than if completed alone.

 

When working together, team members tend to feed off of one another’s energy and enthusiasm. Also, when one team member lags, another team member can pick up the slack to help get the job done. As a result, teams tend to put forth more energy communally than team members would if working individually.

 

Each member of your team brings different strengths, experiences and perspectives to the table. By collaborating, you can draw upon the collective attributes of the team to produce better, richer results.

When working on a project, we could all use someone to bounce ideas off of to make sure we’re moving in the right direction. A little constructive criticism from a group of trusted co-workers can greatly improve the outcome of the project.

 

When an employee works alone on a project, you run the risk of losing the fruits of that employee’s labor if he or she must leave the organization. By assigning multiple people to a project, you ensure that several people, not just one, are informed about what’s going on with the project.

 

When people are unhappy in their jobs, they tend not to put as much energy into their work. Having people around you that contribute positively to your work and lend you support when you need it helps boost morale. And with higher morale comes higher production.

 

 

Marvelless Mark® can help you achieve that stronger team for better results around the workplace. To book Marvelless Mark, call 1-877-976-2566.mark-team-building-motivator

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Marvelless Mark’s Top Ten Travel Tips

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Marvelless Mark is always discovering new ways to make business travel easier. As a global and local Las Vegas motivational speaker and entertainer, I’ve logged more than two million miles. I know that I can’t do anything about long lines, shrinking seats, or delayed flights, but I recently asked my frequent traveler friends to share their best travel tips with me, so I could share them with you. The results—these 10 travel tips—are my “best of the best” ideas that can make your future trips a bit easier.

  1. If you are a CostCo member, you can book a rental car through Costcotravel.com and save 25% or more, and you’re often eligible for additional coupons or upgrades. Plus, Costco’s search tool lets users compare prices from most major rental car companies, and then automatically adds in all applicable coupons, codes, and discounts.
  2. Bring your own healthy snacks with you. Packing snacks such as raisins, nuts, granola, trail mix, banana chips, protein bars, or fresh fruit is a great way to eat healthy and save money on the road.
  3. If your travel requires a layover, visit the airport’s website in advance or on your mobile device to know what food, drink, and shopping options are available.
  4. Purchasing bottled water in an airport can be expensive. Pack an empty bottle in your carry-on then fill it with water on the other side of the security.
  5. With the help of hot water from an in-room coffeemaker, instant oatmeal becomes a money-saving, healthy breakfast.
  6. Instead of paying $20 a day for the hotel internet, consider using your phone’s personal hotspot. Even if you have to increase your network data plan, it will likely cost less than one day of the hotel’s internet charge.
  7. Before showering, hang your clothes in the bathroom and let the steam from the hot water get the wrinkles out.
  8. Pack Epsom salt to give your feet a relaxing soak at the end of a long day.
  9. If you need extra room to spread out, let your hotel room’s ironing board double as a storage surface for your belongings.
  10. Pack your own power strip and extension cord to ensure you’ll have plenty of outlets within reach.

AND HERE’S A BONUS TIP for anyone who is an emcee, keynote speaker, corporate entertainer, or other people who spend a lot of time speaking in front of audiences: always bring a bag of cough drops backstage and share them generously, especially with other speakers. Anyone can get a dry, scratchy throat, and it usually happens at the worst time. When that happens, a simple cough drop can save your day or someone else’s.

Energize

Energy, in a general sense, refers to strength, vitality, power, and the ability to do work. This applies to everything from mammals to rocket boosters. As far as being a rock star goes, energy means passion, vigor, and enthusiasm. Being enthused about a job or activity makes performing even the most menial of tasks easier and more enjoyable, leading to a better performance. Rock star energy is a well of inspiration and a source of drive. It is also the ability to share that power with others; it’s highly infectious, it spreads like wildfire, and it makes amazing things happen.

How do you find the energy to motivate you and your band? Sometimes when you are tapped into it and it flows naturally. That may seem even truer when you can’t find it. Rest assured that there are techniques out there to help you find energy in meaningful, reliable ways.

Bands that stay together a long time and stay effective do so because the members offer mutual support. No one is saying that you have to take beach vacations and spend Christmas together. But your band members should speak and act with as much warmth and respect as you can muster. Watch for signs of struggle from individual team members and offer support. Don’t skimp on praise or encouragement—everyone should feel empowered to tell a band mate “Good job!” You should also get involved in the wider world as a group. Organize a softball game for fun, or get everyone together for a charity walk. You need to do at least a little bonding to allow positive feelings to grow get people invested in one another.

As the bandleader, it is up to you to feed everyone’s commitment to the vision, get everyone working every day to hone your chops, and write songs you believe in. When your band’s sound and energy is right, you’ll have what you need to energize fans. The strength of your product and your confidence in each other will translate into high power enthusiasm.

Rehearse

I have a friend who once worked with the Eagles. Glenn Frey told him that they never played a song at a live concert until they had played it perfectly 100 times in a row during rehearsals. Hard to believe? Well, it is certainly hard to emulate, but it demonstrates a rock star level of dedication and preparation. Anybody might get a lucky break, but you don’t get to be the best by accident. A tight sound comes out of consistent, disciplined rehearsal. Each member is accountable for staying limber on his own instrument, and for following through on the responsibilities he is given. Then, when you come together as a team, everyone will be prepared for the work that needs to be done.

Imagine what it would be like if you all practiced your best PowerPoint presentation 100 times in a row. Your sale calls? What if you practiced the protocols for your software beta test? What about your responses to questions in a debate? You would be more confident, better prepared, and more poised. Consider the benefits of rehearsing a facility tour of your building while preparing for an important visitor. Imagine how much smoother Christmas morning might go if you and your kids practiced what to say to Grandma when they opened their presents!

There are two basic lessons here:

  • First, we tend to get better at tasks with embodied repetition (that means acting things out) and familiarity. You and your band should commit yourselves to doing whatever it takes to be the best at what you do. Want the tight sound? Become a well-oiled machine.
  • Second, when success comes your way, you cannot afford to let the discipline slide. (Think of poor Whitney Houston!) Tickets for Eagles concerts are some of the most expensive on the market. Do you want your fans to think that you’re dialing it in? Or worse, that you’ve lost it? Maybe Glenn Frey was onto something after all…