Is Your Business Future Proof? Cyndi Vs Madonna…

In 1983 Cyndi Lauper released her debut single, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!” while Madonna’s “Holiday” was the first of her records to really make an impact on the Billboard charts. They dominated the airwaves. Rumours of fueds and mutual distaste behind the scenes raged but they both received equal amounts of success. Their catchy pop tracks and punk inspired looks influenced a generation of girls who crimped their hair and danced around their bedrooms with hairbrush microphones. Whether they liked it (or each other) or not both Cyndi and Madonna were changing the face of a generation.

In the 80s the girls looked quite similar…

Fast forward to 2012 and where are they now? In a nutshell, Madonna is still a global superstar…in fact the global superstar. She’s just written and directed her first feature film, W.E. She’s also about to release her 12th studio album, MDNA, this month and her mammoth world arena tour starts in July. Her appearance on The Graham Norton show (UK) in January drew in a remarkable 4.2 million viewers (over a million more than the show usually records) and her performance at the 2012 Superbowl was watched by an estimated 1 billion viewers across over 200 countries.

…But today they couldnt be more different

Forgive me but while Cyndi looks like the lovechild of Christina Aguilera and the 80s gone wrong Madonna is effervescent, modern and doesn’t look anywhere near her 53 years.

So what’s happened? Why has Madonna stood the test of time while Cyndi hasn’t? The universally accepted theory is that Madonna has moved with the times and has been the ever changing chameleon whereas poor Cyndi appears to be trying to cling onto that 80s glory. Cyndi hasn’t allowed herself to move on and so she’s been left behind.

This is an idea I think about often. I am acutely aware that although the pink haired mouthy blogger thing is rocking my world right now, it probably won’t last forever. Can I really be 50 and still doing things exactly the way I am now? Christ, I hope not! I want my business to naturally grow and progress.

So, how can we make ourselves and our business a little more like Madonna and a whole lot less like Cyndi Lauper?

Diversify your business & don’t put all your eggs in one basket

It is so important to never ever rest on your laurels or allow yourself to think that you’ve ‘made it’. This is a sure fire way to get left behind. You need to be always thinking about your next move and what you can do to improve and grow.

Taking wedding blogging as an example, it seems to me that advertising is currently the biggest way that bloggers make money. However will this last forever? Will people still want to be advertising on blogs in 5, 10, 20 years? They may do but they may not! We all know magazine advertising is falling out of favour, so it stands to reason that this may well happen with blogs someday too. If, as a blogger, I was only making money through the adverts on my site I’d be a little bit nervous.

It’s important to realise that you should never put all your eggs in one basket and to be regularly thinking about how you expand or diversify your business to make money from other (related) avenues.

Don’t take the easy route

One of the best pieces of business advice I’ve ever been given was by my friend David McNeil when we worked at the shopping channel together. He was just starting wedding photography and I’d been running Rock n Roll Bride for maybe 6 months. It was going well for me and the blog was getting some good traffic and press. However at this time the only other wedding blogs I knew where American and therefore featuring predominantly American weddings. So I was doing the same. It wasn’t that I di