Coldplay’s Lesson for Soloists

Quote of the Week

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler.”
– Albert Einstein

Coldplay’s Lesson for Soloists

by Terri Lonier, founder

These days, as we soloists ride the economic roller coaster, it seems everyone has a suggestion on how to improve your business. Sometimes, however, the best approach is to keep things simple and not over-analyze. Trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t in your solo business? Consider this:

In a recent interview Chris Martin, lead singer of the Emmy Award-winning British rock group Coldplay (Viva La Vida, Yellow, Clocks), spoke about how he and his bandmates determine which songs to include in their concerts, particularly during the early stages of a worldwide tour. Millions of fans turn out to see them — from London to Tokyo, Melbourne, Chicago and beyond — and Martin wants to make sure they have a great time. Besides their fan’s raucous cheers, how can he tell?

“When we look from the stage, you can’t really see people so much,” explains Martin. “But you can see the light of the doorway of all the exits,” he adds. “So the way to tell at the beginning of a tour which songs are working, and which ones aren’t, is if you see people’s silhouettes in the exits, then it means you’re probably not playing the right song — ’cause a lot of people are going to get a hot dog, or whatever,” he laughs.

Martin says he tries to make sure that the lights in the rear of the concert hall are just the backlit outlines of the door frames — with no people in them. “I know we’re doing okay, when all the exits are clear. That’s my way of judging it,” he says. “The silhouette factor.”

Pretty simple. No fancy, convoluted methods. Martin knows when Coldplay’s song choices are right because the fans stay and hear them.

So how do you know if people like your product or service? What is your Silhouette Factor?

Copyright 2009 Terri Lonier. This article first appeared in the Working Solo Minute, the free weekly email newsletter published by small business expert Terri Lonier. It is reprinted with permission.To subscribe, visit

Coaching Call to Action

Terri’s simple “Silhouette Factor” applies to all businesses, not just Soloists. I’d ask the same question of you all, how do you know if people like your product or service? Do you have a unique factor?