Apart from the hair, outfits and notorious bad behaviour, Mötley Crüe were brilliant entrepreneurs and money managers (yep, you read it right!)
Founded in 1981 and surviving just over 3 decades of decadence, Mötley Crüe played their last concert on 31 December 2015. It is estimated that as of 2016 the total net worth of all of the band’s members surpassed $200 million! So how did a band that spent years entertaining an insane consumption of drugs, alcohol, sex and partying wind up entrepreneurs and making the Music’s Top 40 Money Makers 2012 list for Billboard magazine?
It’s rumoured the brains behind the business was mostly attributed to business manager Allan Kovac. He picked the boys up from disaster and guided them into developing entrepreneurial ways. Luckily a steer in the right direction meant they were able to not only survive (both literally and artistically) but also prove that there are valuable strategies out there that can revolutionize your business and moneymaking ability.
So, what have ‘the Crüe’ taught us about making and managing money and growing our wealth?
Lesson 1 – Have Someone to Be Accountable To
The mastermind behind Mötley Crüe’s business activities was their manager Allan Kovac. He was a strategic businessman who was known for his no-nonsense approach and tough love. If you don’t have a mentor or coach then it may be worth considering finding one. They will hold you accountable for achieving goals, help you navigate challenges and keep you focused towards success. If you can’t afford a coach or mentor as yet then look at finding an accountability partner.
Lesson 2 – Run Your Business Seriously
When Kovac signed up to manage Mötley Crüe in 1994 he insisted that the band functioned like a serious business. They had an operating agreement, shareholder and board of directors meetings. If you want your business to be profitable then it’s vital that you commit to running it seriously. This means knowing your numbers and setting financial goals. Keep your accounts accurate so you can use that data to make sound business decisions. Understand how to read your financials, calculate profit margins, keep track of expenses and plan for profit. Each week review your accounts, keep your expenses under control and make sure you are being paid on time.
Lesson 3 – People Will Pay For Value
Nikki Sixx, Mötley Crüe’s bassist and backing vocals famously said “It has always been about song writing and lyrics and live performances – and then the money comes from that.” When it came to providing entertainment Mötley Crüe went all the way. Their concerts were extravagant with revolving drum platforms, pyrotechnics, dancing girls and amazing lighting. They provided their audience with an amazing and memorable experience.
Are you providing your clients with a great experience? Do they walk away feeling like you have made a difference rather than just taking their money? Repeat work from existing clients and referrals is gold and saves you loads in marketing. Consider asking your clients how you can improve your service and/or product. It may seem daunting but it shows you care and gives you valuable feedback.
Lesson 4 – Invest Your Money in Multiple Sources of Income
Mötley Crüe made money from a variety of income streams. These include sales from recorded music, touring, merchandise, royalties from masters and publishing rights and payments from digital services. In 2001, they collaborated on the bestselling autobiography The Dirt and now, 17 years later, a movie adaptation of the book is being shot and to be released on Netflix.
Having multiple income streams can protect you if one source of income drops or becomes defunct. You may be surprised how many income streams could be available like coaching, online courses and affiliate marketing.
Lesson 5 – Invest in Your Wealth and Future
Just like the old classic ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’ Mötley Crüe invested a certain percentage of their sales. Sixx once said “…take 20 percent of everything you make – if you have a dollar, take 20 cents and that is gone forever. Until you are at least 50, you don’t ever touch it!”
As entrepreneurs and business owners we often get caught up making money only to spend it on paying bills, much like a hamster on a wheel. If we don’t pay ourselves we may as well go back to working for a boss. Make it a priority to pay yourself, even if it’s initially a small amount. Also, have a good look at how much your sales are costing you. Increasing your sales will not necessarily increase your profit as it may also increase your expenses. Find the sales that give you the best profit margin and nourish them. Review the viability of the sales that give you little or no profit. Look at your expenses and see how you can reduce them, for example stop subscriptions that you don’t use.
Financial success isn’t measured by your business’ bottom line, rather it is the freedom that it gives to support your chosen lifestyle. Good, solid financial habits will always win in the end. There is nothing stopping every entrepreneur from practicing these right from the conception of their business. However, it does take dedication and attention to detail – a small price to pay for the huge financial benefits, I believe!
Mötley Crüe have shown how simple, actionable steps, practiced consistently, can yield huge benefits to wealth and financial freedom.