I suspect by this time you’ve probably sung some karaoke, even if you don’t exactly know what the word means. Translating from the Japanese, it means
empty orchestra, meaning that the lead vocal has been stripped way from a popular song.
The instrumental track is there but the thing that gives many songs their passion and meaning has been left to you to supply. That would be the lead vocal – the main thing that puts the words to the music.
I’ve done karaoke, and despite having sung lead in rock bands for many years, I can’t do justice to most of the songs I undertake. Oh sure, I can hit most, if not all, of the notes. But it’s not the same, and I suspect it doesn’t matter how well amateurs such as me try to sing the songs; they’re just not getting it done.
What does this have to do with your business? If what you’re doing is trying to sing the lead vocal to some other business’ song, you’re probably going to come up as short as do when I’m trying to be Bruce Springsteen or Roger Daltrey. It’s not just about hitting the notes. It’s about lending meaning to the lyric and bringing passion to the verse. Think about how many great singers have done wonderful interpretations of someone else’s song. That’s far different from karaoke.
The business point is that too often we’re thinking about doing karaoke and not about providing our own interpretations. It’s not so much about hitting the note or the raw material. It’s about how we bring our own meaning to the lyric. You can’t run a business as a karaoke exercise. You have to bring your own passion and perspective. Otherwise, you’re just some person pretending to be something they’re not, and your customers will see through that in a heartbeat.