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Last night I went to the MTV Video Music Awards in New York City. I had a ridiculously good time.
The opening tribute to Michael Jackson was stunning.
Listening to Madonna talk about her personal relationship with Michael brought tears to my eyes.
Janet Jackson danced like nobody’s business.
Beyonce performing “Single Ladies” live was beyond inspiring. Her power, strength and engagement on stage is breathtaking.
Lady Gaga was totally out there… and Kanye West acting like an A hole was another story into itself.
While I’m still riding high on the energy buzz from last night, here are two key business lessons I learned at the VMAs.
If you haven’t heard, Kanye West behaved like a royal idiot last night when he jumped on stage and stole the mic from Taylor Swift during her acceptance speech.
It was one of the biggest WTF moments I’ve ever witnessed.
Reports say that Kanye had been partying hard way before the VMAs began, gulping down an open bottle of Hennessy on the red carpet.
Not a smart move.
No matter what industry you’re in, you’ll inevitably find yourself at a networking event, business seminar, or some other kind of public outing where alcohol is freely flowing.
Please do yourself and your brand a favor: keep the drinks to a minimum.
Long gone are the days when ‘no one will know’ the stupid drunk crap you’ve said or done.
Apparently there were over a million Tweets sent out during the live VMA show.
My guess is many of those Tweets were about what a dick Kanye is. (I know mine were.)
In today’s world, you never know who has their Flip Camera or iPhone ready to broadcast your sloppy moments out to the Universe; immortalizing your bad judgment on the Internet for generations to come.
Your business, brand and life are all quickly becoming one.
Wanna be a ‘true playa’ in your industry? Be smart and lay off the sauce.
Take Big Risks and Put Your Ass Out There
The most memorable performances of the night were risky and “out there.”
I have to hand it to Lady Gaga for being expressive and totally unique. The blood, meat suit and gore was spectacular.
I was thoroughly wowed by Pink’s performance.
She dangled and elegantly flipped from a swinging trapeze… while singing her heart out.
Unexpected. Risky. Utterly captivating.
And straight up hot if you ask me.
If you want to be a star in your own industry you need to stop playing it safe and get your crazy ass out there.
Do what feels exciting in your heart, even if it scares the living crap out of you.
Do what feels expansive to your soul, even if it defies logic or reason.
Don’t believe me? Take a look back in your own life.
What moments stand out as spectacular? When have you experienced breakthroughs?
What moments have you felt the most alive? The most unstoppable? The most confident?
For me, it’s certainly not when I’ve been glued to the couch watching Lost.
My most powerful moments are when I’ve been scared shitless and had the courage to keep going.
Breakthroughs happen when I’ve had the intuition to go against the grain; to try something new; to risk embarrassment, failure and loss.
It’s when I’ve stepped away from the crowd to create something utterly new.
Those are the moments that have made my life rich in every sense of the word.
The VMAs drove home the fact that true stars in every industry always take risks and stretch out of their comfort zone.
And as entrepreneurs in a new economy, the way to win is to keep pushing the evolutionary envelope.
That means we stop playing it safe and become artists in business; creating unique products and services that defy conventional wisdom and push the edges of what’s possible.