Grab your peg legs and hold on tight. We're diving into how one pirate built his business empire after getting some inspiration from Key West.
Attention all pirates. Sheath your hooks and put on your eye patch. Tell that parrot on your shoulder to shut up so you can focus. Pour yourself another shot of rum (it’s 5 o’clock somewhere), and let’s go treasure hunting.
Jimmy Buffett, a Mississippi native, is pretty good at drinking margaritas and great at singing. But it wasn’t until college when he got into music. One of his guitar-playing friends was a certified “chick magnet” and Buffett wanted in. He picked up the 6 string, got a few lessons, headed down to Bourbon Street, and started playing his heart out every night.
His next stop after college? Nashville.
Buffett worked a job at Billboard Magazine during the day, and tried his luck as a folk-country singer at night. His first record was a bust. He had to bounce. He left Nashville (and a marriage), fled to Key West, and turned into a beach bum. Jimmy soon found himself searching for his lost salt shaker. He almost gave up on his music career. He was so down-bad that he even considered smuggling drugs from the Caribbean just to get by. But he kept at it, and (eventually) was rewarded.
Finally, it came. His song. Margaritaville. It's 4 minutes and 11 seconds of pure sun-soaking, tequila-sipping goodness. Turns out, a lot of people like the idea of wasting away on a beach. Why solve your problems when you can just drink them away instead?
The song spent 22 weeks on the top billboard charts, peaking at number 13. Even though it wasn't number 1, it was good enough. Jimmy took the popularity, ran with it, and started a brand called (you guessed it) Margaritaville.
He opened up his first retail location in Key West and fattened his wallet selling t-shirts, mugs, and hats. Then, he opened another one. And anotha'. Then came restaurants, radio stations, brewing companies, hotels, and god knows what else. Now, he’s worth an estimated 600 million, and the Margaritaville brand has done billions in revenue.
Next time you're on vacation sitting on your bum drinking like a fish, write down some lyrics and strum a chord or two. You might just end up with a business empire.
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