Business tip from van hallen

No business owner has the time and energy to dig into every aspect of our businesses. Neither do rock stars.

Are your systems overly complicated? Or do you fear that installing systems and procedures will make your company move slower? Here’s a cool story on how the guys at Van Halen turned out to be really savvy at making sure that their standards and policies are met: wrote an article titled “Business advice from Van Halen.” And it made sense.

David Lee Roth and Van Halen had it in their contract that demanded a bowl of M&Ms backstage, but with all the brown ones removed. Buried in the middle of Van Halen’s contract, it read: ”There will be no brown M&Ms in the backstage area, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation.”

Seriously…this is absolutely true, confirmed by former lead singer David Lee Roth himself.

That sounded like diva behavior, but in actuality, it was a way to ensure everything the band needed to get done got done.

Roth and the band members don’t have time to make sure everyone at every venue read the contract thoroughly and did everything that was needed for the band concerning the stage, amps and voltages. He needed to find out if the stagehands at each venue were actually reading the contract and taking it seriously, but he didn’t have time to check the amperage of each socket. And…that wasn’t his job.

So the requirement for M&M’s with all the brown ones removed was the clincher, the one thing Roth could check to find out if anyone read the contract. If there were brown M&M’s in that bowl, the clause was broken, and the venue might not have Van Halen perform after all.

Roth came up with a brilliant system where he could easily tell — with just one scan of a bowl — if there were problems. No business owner has the time and energy to dig into every aspect of our businesses. Neither do rock stars.

Did Van Halen teach you something about business today?”

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Marvin Suwarso

Marvin Suwarso Business Coach ActionCOACH


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