Thou Has Unlimited Potential
The first commandment is that you have completely unlimited potential.
Let’s hear from Lin-Manuel Miranda what he has to say about it. [musical clip] In this song he’s basically saying, “My name is Alexander Hamilton and I have so much to offer. There are a million things that I haven’t even done yet. Just you wait and see what I can do.”
That’s a great attitude for you to have in your business, especially if you’re a solopreneur. How many things are there on your list of potential contributions that you can do and add to your business to help people make their lives better and create value that is going to result in the generation of revenue for you? There are a million things that you haven’t done yet in your business that you can get out there and do.
I think it’s important not to focus on all one million of them at one time, but the fact of the matter is there are so many people out there that are wanting to be successful businesspeople that are on the cusp of starting a business or moving forward in some way, but they’re just wondering what they have to offer. Why would someone want to listen to me? What do I have to offer compared to everybody else? The answer is from Lin-Manuel that there are a million things you haven’t done, just you wait.
Thou Shall Not Waste Thy Talent
Number two is an obvious one that is clear all the way throughout the musical. You should not waste your talent. Let’s hear it. [musical clip] In this song Alexander Hamilton is talking about the fact that he is not going to sit idly by and fail to take action.
The lesson for you in your business is you need to take massive action and make things happen. Do not throw away your shot. Go do stuff and get it done. If you get knocked down, get back up again. Just don’t fail to shoot. You have to get out there, put yourself out there, take massive action, fail quickly if need be, and get right back up and try it again. Just don’t throw away your shot.
Thou Shall Surround Thyself with Like-minded People
The third lesson or commandment is that you really should surround yourself with like-minded people. We’ve talked about masterminds before, but here’s how he works it into The Story of Tonight. [musical clip] Alexander Hamilton is talking about this idea of a groundswell of like-minded people coming together to accomplish something.
The closest thing I can tell you is if you’re out on an island and you’re trying to do something, trying to realize a dream, and the people around you don’t really believe in what you’re doing, you’re going to have a really hard time being successful. The way we think about that in small business a lot of times is in terms of these mastermind groups.
A lot of you know that I’m in a mastermind that I love very dearly called The Greenroom Mastermind with people who have become some of my very best friends. Those people raise me up because I have like-minded people around me that are helping me succeed, that want to see me succeed.
“Tomorrow there will be more of us,” it’s an idea that you can build on the people around you. I think that is echoed in an excellent song. I also love that song very much because it’s a tip of the hat to a song in Les Misérables, so if you’re a musical geek like me that’s a really special song as well.
Thou Shall Ignore Detractors
Commandment number four is that you should ignore the detractors around you, these people that are around you trying to bring you down. Number three was about surrounding yourself with like-minded people. Number four is about shutting out those negative people around you, the naysayers, the haters, the people that are telling you you’re not going to be successful. This song from the musical, Farmer Refuted, I think it’s absolutely dead on point. [musical clip]
It turns out this guy is exactly wrong in the sense that he is on the side of not having the revolution, but the idea is the same. You want to be around people that have your interest at heart. Stay away from those that don’t and ignore those detractors.
Thou Shall Enjoy the Journey
Commandment number five I think is really important, especially for solo entrepreneurs. You really have to enjoy the journey that you’re on, as a solo entrepreneur particularly. If you don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing, you’re eventually going to get yourself into trouble because sometimes what you’re doing is going to be really hard and you’re going to need that motivation.
In this song Alexander Hamilton, the guy is never going to be satisfied. For me I think it has a lot to do with Alexander sort of having blind ambition in a lot of ways, he doesn’t have a really clear understanding of why he is doing what he is doing. He’s super driven, but it’s to the point where it’s almost like he’s chasing the money, which I see in a lot of entrepreneurs. He’s not really chasing money in this case, but he’s chasing something and we’re never quite sure what it is. [musical clip]
Thou Shall be Patient
There’s no such thing as overnight success. Commandment number six for small business is to be patient. You have to wait for it. Leslie Odom Jr., playing Aaron Burr here, talks about this and it’s really powerful. [musical clip]
Leslie Odom Jr., who is an amazing singer, is really talking about how his character Aaron Burr is willing to step back and be patient to get the success that he wants. Now, all of these characters get off track in the musical, but for you in your business you really have to be patient.
If you’re expecting instant success, something for nothing, easy money in your business, you’re not going to be successful. You really need to wait for it and be patient. [musical clip]
Thou Shall Act with Integrity
Lesson number seven is my absolute favorite commandment. If you’re in a business you have to act with integrity. It’s really that simple. You have to do what you say you’re going to do. Why is that? Because history has its eyes on you. [musical clip]
When you do something people are going to remember what you do. It’s really important that when you act you act with integrity, you do what you say you’re going to do.
Quite frankly, even me in my own small business, that’s one of the things that I’ve been challenged with. If you listen to this podcast, how many times have I talked about making sure that this podcast gets out regularly? How well have I done with that? That’s an integrity issue. I haven’t had a tremendous amount of integrity around my commitment to be consistent with creating this content. You know what? People know that. The number of downloads that I have of this show is impacted by the fact that people just don’t really know whether or not they can count on me to get the show out.
History has its eyes on you, so you need act with integrity. People watch what you do and they pay attention. [musical clip]
Thou Shall Dream Big
Commandment number eight is dream big. I will tell you that anything is possible, including defeating the entire British Army, tens of thousands of troops, at Yorktown with a rag-tag fugitive fleet of rebels. It’s kind of an amazing story in history and they turned the world upside down. [musical clip]
You can turn the world upside down, too. You can shoot high. If you’re patient, which you will recall is commandment number six, and you act with integrity, which I just talked to you about, you can really do truly amazing things as a solo entrepreneur. You can turn the world upside down just like Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, and the boys did back in the 1770s and 1780s.
Thou Shall Be a Good Boss
The ninth commandment for me is you need to be a good boss. Being a good boss, first of all, has to do with being a good boss to yourself. It turns out that running your own business might not be exactly what you think it is. I’ve had a lot of people tell me that the worst boss that they ever had was the boss that they had when they went to work for themselves.
The bottom line is you need to be reasonable with yourself when you’re running your own business. You need to understand that probably working 150 hours out of 168 hour week is not going to work for you. You need to be a good boss to yourself, because when you make that step to being your own boss it may not be exactly what you think it is, just like when America (in the musical) makes the step to leave the protection of Great Britain and go out on their own. The King has something to say about that, that he tells George and the boys, and he says, “Let’s see what happens next.” [musical clip]
This is true, it’s much harder when it’s all your call. Be sure you keep that in mind if you’re used to having decisions made for you. Be a good boss to yourself, because you’ll be making all of the decisions and that can make your journey a lot better.
Thou Shall Hustle
Of course, the tenth commandment is you’re going to be more successful if you hustle. It’s kind of a Gary Vaynerchuck sort of message; hustle. Hustle doesn’t necessarily mean work yourself to death. I don’t mean that. I do mean work smart and work hard.
In the musical they talk about working nonstop, because Alexander Hamilton is famous for writing a lot. For those of you that are bloggers out there, you can identify with this. [musical clip]
I’m not necessarily saying that you need to write day and night like you’re running out of time, but one of the things that really propels Hamilton along his journey and causes him great success in addition to his intelligence is his work ethic.
That tops the 10 business commandments.
- Don’t forget that you have unlimited potential.
- Don’t waste that potential. Don’t waste your talent, don’t throw away your shot.
- Surround yourself by like-minded people.
- Don’t pay attention to the detractors. Ignore those people.
- Enjoy the journey that you’re on and know why you’re doing what you’re doing.
- Be patient. Wait for it.
- Always act with integrity. That’s good advice no matter what you’re doing.
- Don’t forget, anything literally is possible.
- Be a good boss to yourself.
- Remember to hustle.
These are the 10 business commandments.
That was fun and I very much appreciate the fair use of a little bit of the amazing music from Hamilton: An American Musical. I strongly encourage you to get on Spotify or iTunes and download this thing, it’s absolutely amazing music. If you’re not familiar with it, I strongly recommend that you get there and listen to it.
One of the interesting questions is the use of some of these clip without permission. It’s traditional in media this idea of fair use. It’s interesting because fair use is really not a permission to use something, it’s a defense against when you do use something without permission. I think that’s something that we probably could talk about, maybe in Episode 106, regarding the fair use of content, pictures, and music like this. My definite advice to you is to seek the advice of an attorney when you do things like this.
My sincere appreciate to Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odon Jr. and the rest of the cast over at Hamilton: An American Musical. This is a world changing piece of art. Guarantee you that people will look back at this 100 years from now, or 200 years from now, and say that this musical is when everything changed. This is one of the great ones. When you list the top two or three most important pieces of art – I’m not just talking about music, I’m talking about pieces of art – Hamilton: An American Musical is going to be on the list.
Talk to you again soon.