Create your balance. Design your life.

7 Business Lessons Learned From Jersey Boys The Musical

jersey boys

Quinn VanAntwerp, Hayden Milanes, Nicolas Dromard, Adam Zelasko and the Company of JERSEY BOYS. Photo: Jeremy Daniel

Thanks to The Straz Center, I had the opportunity to be spontaneous and take my daughter to see a show. Jersey Boys, the hit musical, plays April 8-13th, and is a rockin’ good time!  As with all artistic expressions, theater gives you a chance to reflect on life’s larger lessons. This show is no different.  Here are 7 business lessons Jersey Boys brought to mind:

1. You can always re-invent yourself.  

It doesn’t matter what you’ve been through in life, who you used to be, or where you are from–you have the power to shape your future!  The boys in this show don’t let a criminal past stop them from pursuing their dreams.  They tweak their image and push forward into fame!

2. Never give up.  Success is just around the corner.

There are always bumps in the road.  Even after experiencing good fortune or lucky breaks, there are always hurdles yet to come. The band faces challenges along the route to finding their sound.  In order to make it big, the band needs to accept new people, try new things, and keep at it!

3. Pay attention to the signs.  

Get out of your own head and look up– long enough to see what’s going on around you.  Bob, the newer addition to the band, seems so focused on work/music that he seems to miss the interpersonal struggles between the members.  It’s worth the time to put down the papers and check in with your staff, co-workers, and family to make sure everyone is on the same page.  Trouble never comes out of nowhere.  If we check in with people we can nip problems in the bud.

4. Put it in writing.  

How many times have we settled for a verbal contract and gotten burned?  (More times than I care to admit!)  Clarify expectations and communicate desired outcomes.  Not everyone uses the same definitions.  Be very clear about what you mean and expect when you work with others. Make sure it’s in writing so no one forgets!  Uncertainty and assumptions often lead to conflict.

5. Get help when you need it.

In the musical, the band looks to a new member (younger than everyone) for great writing.  Some members are skeptical of this younger outsider. It ends up being the “thing” that takes the band to stardom.  Entrepreneurs can have a hard time getting help and trusting in other people when it comes to the business that they created.  Giving up a little control and accepting new ideas keeps a business fresh.

6. Balance is important to your whole-being.

Success in business is wonderful, but loosing your family means you won’t be able to enjoy it as much.  Work can consume us, especially when we are in a small-business.  We can easily lose track of what’s happening at home.  There will always be work to do, but family is our tether. Though balance is elusive, we have to put-time on either side of the work-life scale. We have to know exactly what our priorities are and make adjustments when needed. Frankie learns this lesson, in the show, when fame and personal tragedy collide.  

7. Confront your [money] issues head on.

As entrepreneurs, we often feel like we have to do it all.  It can be tempting to push aside more tasks we find more difficult or daunting.  Don’t do it. Get help! Hire a professional.  The problem will not go away on its own.  Tommy ends up getting the band in a boat-load of hot water by
forgetting some debt. Not only does it become everyone’s problem, it stirs up resentment.  This is the same in life. It might feel embarrassing to let your staff in on a problem, but they might be able to help you solve it! At the very least, they deserve to know where they stand. The embarrassment will be temporary. If the staff end up losing their jobs, however, the resentment will be much longer lasting!


If this isn’t enough of a reason to get out and see Jersey Boys at The Straz Center, April 8-13, 2014, here are a few more:

  • You should do something spontaneous every now and again! It’s good for you.
  •  It’s a Tony® winner, a Grammy ®winner,  and Olivier Award-winning Best Musical!
  • The story of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi, this musical is filled with songs you already know and love–and a few you might not have heard before!
  • Introduce your family to the magic of live theater.  This show is filled with music, great moves, and excitement.  There’s gunshots, smoke, and “Jersey” situations that will keep anyone’s attention peaked!




  1. lorahogan /

    So glad you got to go! Isn’t it a fun show? :)

  2. That was great advice! Very nice that you got that from the show. I would love to that show.

  3. What a clever review! Such a fabulous show for the music and the lessons!

  4. Number 4 is kind of funny given the “Jersey contract” scene. 😉

    • Right?! It worked for them until Bob wanted to leave the spotlight. The whole dynamic of the group was all based on the idea they all felt the same about who was in charge, who made decisions, and what the groups core values were. In reality, they all had different motivators and goals. So similar to how we function at work–expecting our team members or clients to feel the same way we feel about the big picture.

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