The Millionaire Next Door

Cher, An Enduring Entrepreneur

In the December issue of Vanity Fair there is a well written article about Cher and her enduring career.  One of the many key points covered in the article was the discussion of Cher’s extraordinary endurance and stamina.  Take, for example, her recent tour during which she made 325 “grueling” performances.  That tour “is rumored to have grossed $200M.”

 It’s not an easy job.  You just have to make it look easy. . . it’s just a job.  I’m not doing anything that’s monumental.  I know what I do is kind of a tonic for people.  Cher

But Cher is not just another entertainer who survives by hunting and gathering.  She is also a cultivator, earning royalties on the songs that she has written.  And don’t forget the more than 100 million albums of her work that have been sold.

Some of the quotes cited in the article were similar to those of the extremely wealthy people whom I have interviewed.  I study the factors that underlie economic success, and Cher fits perfectly into the model.  The number one factor that separates very successful people from just those in the merely successful category is creative intelligence.  Cher has plenty of it; so does Steve Jobs.  Both of these people had a vision; they continue to see unique opportunities and capitalize upon them.  Cher is a brand that no one else has, not even Lady Gaga!  I look at Cher as an owner and manager of a successful business, in essence an entrepreneur.

The second success factor is the “fire in the belly” dimension.  And both Cher and Jobs have a lot of it.  A few components of this dimension include an “almost uncontrollable desire to succeed,” an extraordinary competitive spirit, unbounding energy, tenacity and hard work, and a nearly pathological need to be well respected. For example, to this day one thing continues to annoy Cher:

Sonny and I still are not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and it just seems kind of rude. 

Analytic intellect as measured by IQ tests and surrogate SATs, etc. is independent of both the creative intelligence and “fire in the belly” factors. I’m sure that Steve Jobs has very high analytic intellect.  However,  most very successful people do not.  They have the creative intelligence and the “fire in the belly” factors.

Our educational system caters to the so-called “analytically gifted.”  But shouldn’t it also recognize the importance of creativity coupled with “the almost uncontrollable desire to suceed” in order to produce exceptional talent and leaders for the future? 

4 thoughts on “Cher, An Enduring Entrepreneur”

  1. There are so many versions of greatness, and not all of them are recognized or measured. I think of the kindness, diligence, and dependability of my housekeeper. She’s not wealthy or famous, but she’s making my life and others easier. And that’s important.

  2. Toni @

    Thanks for the reminder. I need to cultivate this fire in the belly passion I have. Although I don’t relate to Cher from a fan base – different generations – I appreciate your analysis of the lady. Good piece!

  3. I always loved Cher ever since I was a child. I remember crying when the last Sonny & Cher show aired. I even had a Cher doll. What an icon!

  4. I took my family to the R&R HOF this summer and now that I think about it, we didn’t see anything of Sonny & Cher there. She’s right, “How Rude”.

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