What Every Entrepreneur Can Learn from Van Halen

In this video from our archives, I share with you an important lesson that every entrepreneur can learn form Van Halen.


Do you remember Van Halen from back in the day? In this video and article I want to talk to you about something that every entrepreneur can learn from Van Halen. They did one thing that is so incredible, that it’s a key lesson about success for every single entrepreneur.

What M&Ms Have to Do with Success

Do you ever wonder why 95% of entrepreneurs don't make it? What's the reason for that? There are many, many reasons for that.

When Van Halen performed, there were many things that would be unsafe, if they weren't done right. Attendees could be hurt, and Van Halen had to protect themselves. So they had a clause in their contract.

Whenever Van Halen got a promoter to promote them, the promoter had to sign a contract with dozens of riders (stipulations) on the contract. The agreement was that if the promoter didn't do the dozens of things on their checklist, at the end of the show, they wouldn't be paid.

David Lee Roth Was a Weird Guy

A lot of people used to say David Lee Roth was a weird guy anyway. There were all kinds of stories about him going into his man cave. He'd turn the lights off and be there by himself for days, and then come out with music. He was a weird guy, but he, and the entire group, were brilliant.

And here's what they did.

Eighty to 90 percent of the riders that they had in the contract were about how to make the concert safer for everybody. But a few of the things seemed a bit strange. For instance, the contract specified what type of toilet paper they wanted. Another stipulation was that there had to be M&Ms back stage. And in the details, it said that there can be no brown M&Ms. None. When it came time for Van Halen to perform, they went through everything. They'd go back stage and look for the M&Ms. And if the promoter didn't read the contract carefully, and there was even a single brown M&M, he wouldn't be paid.

The Big Lesson Every Entrepreneur Can Learn From Van Halen

Now, you may say, give me a break. That's just ridiculous.

But here's the big lesson that every entrepreneur can learn from Van Halen. Pay attention to details. So many times entrepreneurs do a lot of things right, but they fail to pay attention to important details. Here are just some of the details you as an entrepreneur should pay attention to:

  • Expenses
  • Operations
  • Numbers you should track
  • Paperwork you need to submit the proper way
  • A person that's not doing things the right way, which could potentially hurt your company

If you don't pay attention to the details, things could backfire on you.

Inspect Your Business

So use the example of Van Halen, and pay attention to the details. Inspect your business and ask yourself what areas of your business you're not paying attention to, that are hurting your business. If you're not going to do it, you have to hire someone specifically to pay attention to details. This will keep you from being hurt, protects you long term, and gives you the highest chance of succeeding as an entrepreneur.


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