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What business owners can learn from Jay Leno

December 15, 2009

For years, David Letterman and Jay Leno battled for ratings and market share in the lucrative 11:35pm late night television spot. However, Jay Leno announced in 2004 that he would be leaving the Tonight Show, passing the reins to Conan O’Brien.

However, it wasn’t like Jay Leno was going to retire and disappear into the sunset. He wanted to get back on television and he got his wish with the new Jay Leno Show at the 10pm time slot. What can business owners learn from such a move?

Stick with What You Do Best

Perhaps one of the biggest lessons that can be derived from this story is the value of work ethic and tenacity. Rather than disappear, Jay Leno continued to seek out opportunities to grow and to get himself back on television.

He also had a good grasp on his strengths, knowing that he would be best suited as a talk show host and not as a sitcom personality or a traditional news anchor. In business, know what you do best and work to build that skill set into something exceptional.

Be Loyal to Those Loyal to You

It didn’t take long after the announcement of Jay Leno’s departure from the Tonight Show that rumors sprung up about Jay moving to another network. It was a very real possibility that Leno could launch a new late night talk show with ABC or FOX, for example.

He may have entertained such offers, but Jay decided to stick with NBC in the end. This was the network that built his career and he had a certain loyalty to it. In like manner, business owners should remember to return the loyalty that they receive from customers, associates, and business partners. You don’t need to step on toes to climb the ladder.

Know the Importance of Branding

Jay Leno knew that he had established himself as a brand and this was nearly twenty years in the making. This, more so that his actual comedic ability, determined his long-term success. Entrepreneurs and new business owners need to learn a similar lesson.

About the author: <a href="http://thenetworkhub.ca/minna/?zR5QYhGz&quot; title="Original Link: http://michaelkwan.com” target=”_blank”>Michael Kwan is a professional freelance writer based out of Vancouver, Canada. He can be found blogging at <a href="http://thenetworkhub.ca/minna/?3_ev3KJL&quot; title="Original Link: http://btr.michaelkwan.com” target=”_blank”>Beyond the Rhetoric.

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