This article was originally published in Trinity Business Review by Shreya Pattar
She’s turning 30 this year, and has already been in the music industry for 13 years; that’s right, she began her career at the age of 17! Since then, she has made a successful switch in her genre from country to pop, and has won over 400 awards, including 10 Grammys. She has sold almost $935.4 million worth of tickets through 6 world tours. If you’ve watched her ‘reputation’ tour on Netflix, you know exactly how powerful she is and why she deserves to stand where she does today.
I’ve loved Taylor for years; but only now do I understand the influence this woman has over, well… the music industry!
This is what every young entrepreneur (or human!) must learn from Taylor Swift:
1. Don’t be afraid to start young
By the age of 9, Taylor knew she wanted to be a singer. She would have her mother drive around various record labels and studios in Nashville, where Taylor would walk in, give her demo cd, and say, “Hi! I’m Taylor.. I’m 11.. I want a record deal.. Call me!”. She was signed by various records by the age of 14, and finally released her first album, Taylor Swift, at the age of 17. Her debut album won her massive recognition, and helped her understand her target audience and future moves at a young age.
If you think you’re too young to start something, you’re wrong. The sooner you start, the more mistakes you make. And the more mistakes you make, the sooner you learn from them and the better you understand how to not make them again. Starting young is a boon; allow yourself this ‘extra’ time to learn through practical experience because this is what will propel you farther.
2. Make sacrifices
Love Story, one of Taylor’s most highly acclaimed song, was written in 15 minutes as she sat on her bedroom floor. That song came alive only because she decided to give up something else and spend her time writing it down.
If you want to create a difference for your own self, you have to give up things that distract you from your goal. What sets you apart from everyone else is how you decide to spend your time while others decide to hang out or party. It’s not wrong to party obviously, but you must realise when it is pulling you away from your dreams. If you have a goal, be certain about it and take action towards it. Spend your time wisely by making sacrifices every single day.
3. A combination of skills stands out
When Taylor first started sharing singing demo cds with record labels, she hoped they would listen to her voice and give her a deal. But she soon realised that everyone in Nashville had the same dream as her, and she was doing the same thing as everyone else. That’s when she decided to stand out of the crowd by writing her own songs and learning to play the guitar. Today, Taylor writes, sings and produces her own music, while also playing multiple instruments. What helped her along the way are her exceptional conversational skills, marketing strategies, persevering self-advocacy and brilliant stage presence.
If you want to stand out, you must be exceptional. One way to do that is to have a combination of skills. The best way to do that is to have a powerful combination of a hard skill and soft skill, or to have complementing skills. If you can learn and combine various skills and use them to enhance the one skill you are best at, then there’s no stopping you! For example, if you like writing, learn a bit of video editing or graphic designing. If you have an idea for a startup, learn pitch development and the art of effective written and verbal communication. (We really need to update the quote “Jack of all trades……”)
Whatever be your opinion of Taylor Swift, you can’t deny the staggering numbers she has achieved. These 3 attributes are what helped Taylor Swift get where she is now. So, why not give them a shot?