Business lessons from Marylin Manson

Marilyn Manson

Love him or hate him. Marilyn Manson is without doubt one of the most controversial and inspiring leaders in the music industry.

The music industry is one of the most competitive and challenging markets to be in business. There's plenty of competition and a dying business model that makes the path to success a hard walk.

However, Marilyn Manson did succeed! Millions of records sold. Sold out concerts around the globe.

So, what lessons can we learn and apply into our business?

1. "It's always about being yourself"

What's one of the major questions that CEOs in any business are trying to answer?

How can my business stand out in the crowd?

Marilyn Manson faced the same challenge in the crowded music industry. How did he answered it? By being himself!

You're the only person in the world that can use your ability (Zig Ziglar). What better way to stand out in the crowd than being yourself?
I know that is far more easy to decide what you want to become than discovering who you are, but once you do it you'll become unique.

For me, it's all about taking my imagination and creativity, my love for sharing knowledge and apply it in business to make the world a better place to live.

What about you?

2. "Not being ashamed of being different and thinking different"

This is all wonderful when you're thinking about it but being yourself in the real world takes courage.

Being a teenager is no easy task. In that age you want to belong to something. This feeling goes along with us for the rest of our lives. Nobody wants to be alone.

When I was a teenager I started to get curious about what was the Bible's message and who's God? Soon after I started to study the Bible with Jehovah's Witnesses who aren't a especial popular religion. But my love for God and his message sent me door after door talking to all kinds of people. Sharing what I've learn to them.
I remember that I was really scared that any of my friends found that I was a Jehovah's witness. Years later, not only because of that, but because I wasn't living the message 100%: i decided to leave Jehovah's Witness. But not God.

Then I discovered Marilyn Manson. This guy wasn't afraid to do and believe what he felt it was right, and let the World know what he was. Just like Jesus. Two different leaders but with one thing in common: both had the courage to let the world know who they are.

What about you?

3. "Take everyone's ideas and common morals, flip around, and make people look at them differently and question them"

This is the innovator's corner stone. Taking your creativity and transforming your ideas into something of great value to someone. That's what innovation is all about.

I have a wide array of interests and activities that I'm good at: technology, music, painting, writing, marketing. My challenge is to combine them into something the world has yet to see.

What about you?

4. "Not take things for granted"

That's my version of being aware. If you ignore market changes your uniqueness will become less relevant.

Marlyn Manson certainly knew this. In each record he added, what we call in the business world, an incremental innovation. Something that his fans and music customers didn't expect.

5. "Everybody's got a presentation... look in a certain way to make people listen to you in a certain way"

Marilyn Manson knew that what being yourself isn't enough. Just like Coca-Cola. In the beginning Coca-Cola was a medicinal product but it wasn't making an impact. However, when Coca-Cola built a bottle which a person could recognize even if they felt it in the dark, and so shaped that, even if broken, a person could tell at a glance what it was, it started making an impact in the World.

Being a great product or a great business isn't enough. You have to add a great image with the purpose of communicating what makes you different to really change the World.

I hope that you've enjoyed this business lessons from Marlyn Manson.

That's the Rabbit way. What's yours?

Thank you for reading.

Best regards,
Bruno Coelho

P.S: John Maeda & Becky Bermont wrote a great article on blogs.hbr.org called "Why Business Leaders Should Act More like Artists". It's an excellent read about the artist-business leader concept.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Be a part of our private list!

Enter your e-mail and access The Rabbit Way's exclusive offers.

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Or read this related articles

Widget by Hoctro | Jack Book


  1. As herd animals, we humans, want desperately to belong. As individuals who are born alone and die alone, we seek individuality. Growing up we are indoctrinated with the hopes and fears of others, even before we begin to self-define.
    And yet, we can only find ourselves by looking within and then engaging with the world. You did a nice job here, pointing out that being true to personal self is central.
    Another refreshing aspect of personal branding is that, unlike consumer brands, markets become manageable because enough is enough.

  2. What a powerful post Bruno. Not only are your words filled with insite and wisdom, there is a hint of genius in you as well. I will certainly return to read more of what you have to say and often.
    Thanks for being you.
    Steven Diamond


  3. I enjoyed your post. Marylin Manson reminds me of KISS, and not just because of the make up. KISS recognized early that being "just another band" wasn't going to be enough to break through. So they did something that nobody else did.

    When you are that different, you are by virtue the best at what you do. Nobody else does what Marylin Manson does. He is the best at his craft.

    The lessons you point out are valid in life and in business... be true to yourself, celebrate what makes you unique, always aim to be better, and use your visual to bring attention to your real message.

  4. Thank you very much. Very kind. I love KISS for exactly the same reason as you. On my myspace page you can see pictures of me, Gene and Paul. Keep up the good work. I enjoy your blog.

  5. Thank you all for your kind comments!

    I'm really glad that you've enjoyed this view into the mind of an extraordinary artist that can teach us a thing or two about business and life.

    @John your comment has inspired to understand that our lives as human beings are lived between the dichotomy of wanting to belong and wanting to be! It's all about how you can balance that equation.

    @Steven Thank you very much! It's awesome to know that this article has inspired you!

    @Steve Thank you very much! As someone that is writing a book related to this subject, called "Brand like a rockstar", knowing that you found this article interesting is a great honor.

  6. Hi

    The business is one of the most important things in my life ... Because of this I always look like being updated on the issue and in private placement investment and thus become a better person and better trader

    Rose Mary F.