What can Elvis teach entrepreneurs?

With excitement building around the forthcoming Elvis Presley biopic, the King of Rock and Roll is once again becoming known to a new generation of fans.

While the King has long been an inspiration for those in music and the creative arts, those in the business world can also learn a lot from his legacy. Of course, Elvis had a huge amount of raw talent which helped him succeed, but what else makes him an icon whose influence continues to resonate down the generations? And what can business leaders and entrepreneurs learn from this?

Talent and passion

Of course, we first have to look at the fact that Elvis was an incredibly talented individual who made the most of his raw talent through practice and passion. If you have a talent for a specific area of business or a passion project you cannot stop thinking about, this is where you should focus your attention.

Giving your all is a lot easier when you are doing it for something you really love and care about — and this passion will carry you even further than your natural talent.

Distinctive branding

If you mention Elvis to anyone in the world, images will instantly spring to mind of the the King’s distinctive outfits and style. Elvis cornered the market on uniqueness with his trademark look to his soulful voice.

There’s a lesson here for business owners about the vital importance of brand recognition. When you’re looking to create your own branding and promotional marketing, you too should aim for a unique and eye-catching look, while also making it understandable to your audience. Take the familiar and elevate it, just as Elvis did.

Gather inspiration everywhere

While these days Elvis is considered the King of one genre of music, the truth is that he gathered inspiration from everywhere. Elvis listened to all types of music and you can hear these influences of this in his work.

By gaining inspiration from a variety of sources, you will appeal to a wider audience through your own output. Don’t be afraid to be inspired in unexpected ways — business can be something of an adventure, just like music.

Commit to your goals

It’s a well-known story that Elvis gifted necklaces emblazoned with “TCB” to those within his tight circle — which stood for “Take Care of Business”.

This served as a physical reminder of Elvis’ work ethic, and the work ethic he expected from those in his team. The fact that Elvis’ brand continues into the present day shows how seriously he took his work and grew an empire that continues to outlive him. Similarly, you will need to give your business your all for it to thrive and remember to stay focused on taking care of business. Elvis made it look easy, but behind the scenes there was a lot of hard work.

There is so much that we can take from Elvis’ legacy. While talent is important to success, it is not the only fact, and whether you are seeking to create a distinctive brand or thinking of ways to create buzz and excitement, Elvis can be a great inspiration to entrepreneurs at all stages of a business career.

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Philip Keezer

I’m Philip J. Keezer, president and founder of management consulting firm Grindstone Capital. Dedicated to hard work, learning, positivity and accountability.