singingSooner or later you will end up at an event or bar with friends or colleagues who want to sing karaoke. Resistance is futile.

Maybe you enjoy showing off your inner rock star. Or maybe you pick the shortest, easiest song that is more like talking because you can’t stay on key to save your life. (Pro tip: Sometimes gusto and getting the crowd involved can make up for being tone deaf.)

I have no fear of speaking in front of a group, but singing karaoke makes me nervous. Weird, right? So when a friend suggested that we go sing, I said yes as an attempt to take myself out of my comfort zone.

It was hard! The songs I practiced went OK – barely. The songs I thought I could wing bombed. But I was with a great group so they clapped anyway. And I was proud of myself for trying.

The next day, I started thinking about lessons learned, and how they might apply to my business. Here are some of my thoughts.

Know your range. As with your products or services, it’s good to know what you can – and what you can’t – do. Your absolute favorite song may not be an option if you can’t hit the notes. Likewise, you may have to be flexible with your offerings so that you are actually solving your clients’ problems, not just doing something you love.

Have a backup. Make sure you prepare a few songs in case someone does your song before you go up to the mic.

Are you the only person who knows how to do something? Who knows the passwords? Clients? That may seem OK as a solo business owner, but what if you get sick or incapacitated in some way? Can someone fill in for you so you don’t lose your hard-earned clients?

You might want to think about this. Very small business owners are prone to what risk managers refer to as “key person risk.”

I recently watched a friend’s business while she was in Europe for a month. This included finalizing a project that was supposed to be completed before she left but wasn’t. Her client was happy with my service, and she got to go on the vacation of a lifetime.

Go for the gusto. In karaoke, don’t be afraid to really go for it. Ham it up and have fun. People will forgive some wrong notes if you are entertaining and having a great time.

In your business, being brave can have big benefits, too. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Don’t stop yourself from following up with that prospect who didn’t return your calls. Don’t be afraid to push your message out so that people know about what you offer. Be bold and creative.

The next time I go sing karaoke I’m going to practice a lot more and try to do better. But I’m glad I went, and I had a great time.

I feel like I grew a little, which is always a good thing. And I got to meet some fun new people – bonus!