Jimmy Buffett, Aristotle, and You
"To write well, express yourself like the common people, but think like a wise man."
This is a quote from Aristotle. And it's good advice.
Over the years, I've interviewed hundreds of songwriters and this is something the great ones have in common. Same for great podcasters and radio hosts.
Jimmy Buffett was one of these people. Regardless of your thoughts on his music, I encourage you to look at:
- His ability to connect with people.
- His business sense.
Both of these things came from his ability to observe. For example, his first job out of college was writing for Billboard. Realizing most of the musicians he was writing about were broke, when he went fulltime as a musician, he diversified his income.
For example, he started by buying his own tour buses, then renting them to other artists when he wasn’t using them. And we've all seen the various "Margaritaville" licensing deals, from a chain of restaurants, clubs and resorts, a line of blenders, and a branded radio station on Sirius/XM.
And the man understood the value of branded merchandise. And building something around a community.
FUN FACT: Jimmy never put himself on the "jumbotron" screens when it played live – it was always people in the audience.
And something else he did (or didn't do in this case) during his time at Billboard, which is a good rule to follow for podcasters:
“I can never give anybody a bad review because I knew how hard it was to get up there,” he said. “Now, there has to be something toxic that [a review] says, but I can never do it because I knew how hard it was."