3 Things We Can Learn from Jimmy Dean's Life of Entrepreneurship

Jimmy Dean was not only a successful country music star, he excelled in almost every area of business in which he entered. Whether it was brainstorming and bringing to market a line of food products or transitioning himself successfully from musical star to actor, Jimmy Dean was one of the first musical artists to successfully use his performing popularity to propel other product brands forward.

So what can we take away from Jimmy Dean's life of entrepreneurship? Let's take a look at how a country music singer morphed himself into an actor, stage performer, entrepreneur, writer, and spokesperson.

1. Establish Yourself as a Brand

Clearly Jimmy Dean had a much larger platform to stand on than the rest of us, with this singing and acting career. He was able to parlay the devotion from his fans from his creative performing career to his food products, effectively having a built in consumer base for his product lines.

Since the majority of us aren't known on a national or international level, it's best to start building a brand locally. Creating an online presence and establishing yourself as an expert in a certain field is the best way to start creating a brand around your name. You can offer to write op-eds for the local newspaper, be available for interviews in your area, or even self publish a book or e-book on a certain topic to begin building a strong platform for your expertise.

2. Diversify Your Product Line

Jimmy Dean knew that to succeed in business he had to not only focus on his musical career, but needed to dip into multiple industries, stretching his reach so that he didn't leave all of his eggs in one basket, so to speak. Many music artists today have taken that same principle and now lend their names to a multitude of products. Even Lady Gaga is repping Polaroid, among other brands, these days.

For small business entrepreneurs, always being open to expanding to new products and pursuing new business partnerships will ensure that your business keeps evolving.

3. Be Strategic in your Timing

Any business executive will tell you that timing is key, whether its figuring out when to roll out a new marketing campaign or deciding to sell the business to a larger entity that can take it further into the market. Jimmy Dean knew when to hand over the reigns to the Jimmy Dean Sausage Company and allow Consolidated Foods (now the Sara Lee Corporation) to acquire the company. Similarly, entrepreneurs need to be able to pinpoint good business opportunities when they come up and jump on them. Executing good timing on business decisions can sometimes mean the difference between a failed company and one that goes on to thrive for generations.

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