Business lessons from HAMILTON.
Hello and happy Monday! This is Susan Hyatt and it’s GO time. This is episode Number 150. This is a show where we talk about goals, and courage, and going after what you really want in life.
Today we’re talking about the Broadway musical Hamilton! I’m sharing a few things that the cast and creators of HAMILTON have done. Three really brilliant things that every entrepreneur can learn from. Three lessons that apply to pretty much every type of business, project, or goal.
Wanna read the full transcript? Here ya go:
Today, I’ve got a story for you.
Let’s flash back to… a couple of years ago.
I still remember the moment vividly. I was sitting at my desk, typing my credit card information into a website form, paying a ludicrous amount of money—basically, my monthly mortgage—to buy a pair of tickets for the Broadway musical, HAMILTON.
Just before hitting “Purchase,” I paused for a moment and I was wondering, “Is this insane? Should I really do this? It’s so much money…”
But I’d been hearing such incredible buzz about the show—and my daughter Cora was DYING to go—so I bit the bullet and went for it.
A few months later, we flew from Indiana to New York City to see the performance. And let me tell you, Cora and I were NOT disappointed. We laughed, sobbed, and felt mesmerized the entire time. The show was even better than I thought it could possibly be. Truly, it was a night I will never forget.
HAMILTON is so much more than just a Broadway show. It’s a historical moment. It’s a cultural revolution. It’s also a business venture that’s making a HUGE amount of money. One of the most profitable Broadway musicals of all time.
As a business owner, writer, and creative person myself, I’ve been feeling very curious about HAMILTON. What led to Hamilton’s incredible success? Why did this show explode when so many others fail to launch? Why has this show connected with fans in such a big way? I want to become the HAMILTON of my industry! So, what are the lessons I can take from this show?
Maybe YOU want to become the HAMILTON of your industry, too! Well… I have some thoughts on that. And that’s what today’s episode is all about.
Right now, I’m going to share a few things that the cast and creators of HAMILTON have done. Three really brilliant things that every entrepreneur can learn from. Three lessons that apply to pretty much every type of business, project, or goal.
#1. Take time to rest.
HAMILTON started… all because of a vacation.
A guy named Lin-Manuel Miranda had been working nonstop for years and years, and FINALLY he decided to take a break and treat himself to a vacation his family.
While lying in the sunshine, he started flipping through a random book—a biography about the life of Alexander Hamilton.
Right there, in a flash of inspiration, he had an idea—a new Broadway musical with rap and hip hop music about the American Revolution.
In an interview, Lin-Manuel says that he had to stop working, pause, rest, and let his brain become empty… so that there was room for HAMILTON walk in.
Moral of the story? If you’ve been working nonstop on your business, working 24/7, feeling exhausted and stressed to the max… it’s time to start giving yourself REGULAR BREAKS.
Your million dollar idea is NOT going to arrive when you’re frantically hunched over your computer. It’s going to arrive when you’re relaxed, inspired, taking good care of yourself.
I’ve seen this happen for myself and my clients countless times. Chill out. The more fun you have, the more money you’ll make. More pleasure, mo’ money. For real.
#2 Don’t give up too quickly.
Lin-Manuel Miranda shared that it took him a whole YEAR to write the very first song in HAMILTON. It’s an epic, complex song with so many intricate lyrics and rhymes, and it took him many, many, many months to get it just right. There were many moments where I’m sure he considered giving up, but he didn’t. He kept plugging away.
This is a powerful lesson for entrepreneurs, for artists, for anyone with a big dream. Don’t try half-hearted for a few days and then quit. Hell no. Devote yourself to your dream. Commit. Go ALL IN and be persistent. This might mean that it takes many months—or even years—to build the empire or brand or audience that you want.
#3 Give your fans TONS of love.
HAMILTON is one of the top selling shows of all time. It’s consistently sold out and seats get snapped up like crazy. Part of the reason for this comes down to how HAMILTON engages with its fans, its tribe, its community.
After seeing HAMILTON in New York with my daughter, we went outside and hung out by the backstage entrance. Eventually, all the performers came out after the show and they were so gracious and kind. They took time to pose for Selfies with fans. They signed autographs. My daughter wriggled her way up go the front of the crowd and handed one performer some artwork she’d made, and he was so lovely and chatted with her about it.
The cast and creators of HAMILTON give their fans SO MUCH LOVE. They do free street performances before each nightly show. They release bonus tracks and mixtape for free. They are active on Twitter and Instagram, sharing fun behind the scenes moments. They go ALL OUT every performance, night after night, and never give a half-assed show. They really SHOW UP for their fans, giving tons of love—and their fans give tons of love, support, and dollar bills in return.
There’s a big lesson to be learned, here.
Look, if you’re a brand new entrepreneur and you only have 2 customers or 10 Twitter follows or 27 people on your email mailing list, those 2 people, or 10, or 27… those are your FANS. Treat those fans with love and appreciation and respect. Give generously to them. Show up for them.
Whether you have 1 million Instagram followers or 11 followers, you should be showing up, inspiring, entertaining, sharing, and strengthening those relationships. Show up, show up, show up. Release your podcast. Post your article. Host your webinar. Give that talk at the local library. Release your e-book. Keep showing up with joy and enthusiasm. This is how you’ll build a stronger fanbase—and eventually a bigger fanbase, too.
OK, boo. Whether you’re a HAMILTON fan like me—or not—I hope you got a few pieces of inspiration from this podcast. I invite you to choose 1 of the 3 concepts I just shared and practice that concept in your life THIS WEEK. Maybe you’ll choose to rest more… to practice patience and persistence… or to show up for your fans in a bigger way. Pick something and do it. I guarantee you’ll see beautiful rewards from that choice.
This is your one and only life. Your one chance to pursue your dreams and build a legacy and make big shit happen. To quote some lyrics from Hamilton…
Don’t miss your shot.
It’s GO time.