Business Lessons from Burning Man

By , Follow-Up & Stay-In-Touch Marketing Strategist

Solo-E Certified Solo Entrepreneur Expert

Marty Marsh - Follow-Up & Stay-In-Touch Marketing Strategist

Being at Burning Man and seeing how this city literally rises from nothing out of the desert because of some very committed and passionate people, got me to thinking about my business and yours.

3 big lessons we can all take away from Burning Man…

First, just like building Black Rock City, it takes passion and commitment to build a business. You have to be passionate about solving problems for your clients, and you have to be committed to doing what it takes to make your business thrive, like doing consistent marketing.

Let me ask you this: If you’ve got a job right now, would you quit it to work full-time in your own business? Would you leave all those benefits and your salary behind, especially in this new economy, and strike out on your own? I consulted with a woman a couple of weeks ago who is doing just that. She raised more than a few eyebrows among her co-workers, and especially from her family, when she announced what she is doing.

But you know what? I predict that she’s going to be successful in this business because I don’t think I’ve ever encountered anyone who is as passionate, as excited, and committed to making her business a success as she is. (Yes, Catherine, I’m talking about you and you inspire me.) She doesn’t care what the economy looks like, she doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. She knows that what she’s offering is something she loves, her clients love, and she’s thrilled that she’s going to be the one providing it to them.

Don’t you love talking with someone who is totally passionate about their business? When you talk about your business, can other people feel your excitement and passion?
Pay attention to yourself when someone asks about your business. How do you sound? If you’re not hearing something passionate come out of your mouth, find out why and then decide what would make you passionate about what you’re offering.

Second, Burning Man is all about giving stuff away. You’ve heard me say often that I don’t think you can give too much away, and yet so many folks are so afraid to share too much for fear that no one will hire them. When you’re passionate about what you’re offering, and when you share your absolute best stuff — your wisdom, your caring attitude, your help when someone asks — those are the very people who will want to hire you, because they’ll already know that you’re the kind of person who will indeed go the extra mile for them.

So share your best stuff. Heal lots of people by educating them and caring about them, and then do even more amazing work with those who just can’t get enough of you and love paying you for your help.

Third, lay out a plan. Some of the first work that takes place out on the playa — the dry lakebed where Black Rock City is built — is to lay out the foundation and the infrastructure. A group of surveyors come in and stake out the shape of the city and indicate where every street and intersection and facility will be. Without that foundation — without that plan — there would be no city and no Burning Man event.

In marketing, we often use the similar analogy of the architectural foundation, but I’m still surprised at how many people are still trying to build their business with no plan at all. If you still haven’t figured out who your ideal client is, if you still don’t know what you’re selling, if you still don’t know the niche you are trying to serve, then you need to get out your surveying tools and go to work to figure all those things out. (If you need some help,email me. I can often help you see what you might be missing.)

Those are the critical things that form the foundation for your business. They are the things that allow your business to grow just like how Burning Man grows from nothing, to a fully functioning city in just a few days.

So, three things: check in on your passion, what are you feeling? What is the best that you can give away? Is your foundation in place?

Marty Marsh believes that your successful business is the catalyst for creating massive positive change in the world. To that end, he specializes in helping you, the entrepreneurial change-agent, to attract your perfect clients and to grow your business quickly and with ease so you have the resources to truly make a difference in the lives of the people you serve. For more business development and marketing strategies for staying in touch with your ideal prospects, visit

© Copyright 2011 Marty Marsh
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