We can learn a lot from Electro Violinist and Internet Sensation Lindsey Stirling.

Today, we know her as a popular dancing electro violinist, and her music video “Crystallize” has almost 100 million views on YouTube.

But she wasn’t always this way.

In her younger days, she had two passions: Dancing, and Playing Violin.

Later on, she decided to combine them to become a Dancing Hip-Hop Violinist.  She appeared on “America’s Got Talent” but she was eventually eliminated and got harsh criticism from Judge Piers Morgan who said the performance sounded like “drowned rats being strangled.”

Lindsey Stirling was very hurt by that, but eventually overcame it and became very successful.

Here are some life and business lessons we can learn from Lindsey Stirling:


1.  Innovation can result from combining two or more different things and packaging them.

Lindsey Stirling combined Electro Beats, Dancing, and  Violin playing to create a completely new category of music that people crave.

2. Exposure can be very beneficial even if it first appears to be a failure

When Piers Morgan rejected and criticized Lindsey Stirling in “America’s Got Talent”, it was a big blow to Lindsey Stirling.  She was even given comments by some of the judges who said that they didn’t know where she would fit in the music industry.  She was eliminated during the quarterfinals and it looked like a failure.

Lindsey had tried many routes, including record labels, Las Vegas, and America’s Got Talent may have been the last straw.

However, after America’s Got Talent, Videographer Devin Graham contacted Lindsey Stirling, and they created videos together published directly to YouTube.com.   And the rest, is history.

Just being exposed to a large audience and having someone believing in you can be a wonderful benefit.

3. You have to try to be brave even if you fail and get criticized.

Many of us might have crazy ideas or novel ideas, but we really aren’t sure if we should try it.    We could try our novel idea, but it could fail.  Or we might worry that others will make fun of us or criticize us.

Lindsey Stirling had very innovative and novel ideas, and on national television, she was criticized for sounding like drowned rats being strangled.  She took the risk, but in the end, it was all worth it.

4. It sometimes takes failure and many iterations before success can happen.

People sometimes think that success just happens and it happens easily.

But often, success only comes after a lot of hard work, perseverance, and some luck, and likely many failures along the way.

Lindsey Stirling taught us that.

5. If the current industry doesn’t know where you fit, create a new way to market your product.

Lindsey Stirling had a problem: The Industry didn’t know what to do with her.  Record labels didn’t know what to do with her and they thought she wouldn’t sell.  Even the “America’s Got Talent” judges thought she may need more of an act, and maybe bring in other musicians.

Lindsey Stirling was the equivalent of a Disruptive Technology in the industry.

It wasn’t until Lindsey Stirling collaborated with videographer Devin Graham and started posting videos on YouTube.com, when everyone started to realize that something special was being created.

Instead of going to Las Vegas, or going through an intermediate Record Label who didn’t know what to do with her act, Lindsey Stirling went directly to the people and showed them her vision of what she should be and what her act and performance should be.

As of July 2014, Lindsey Stirling has over five million YouTube subscribers!

6. Collaboration helps grow your audience.

Many people who try to gain a large social following, or gain customers know that it is very difficult to grow your audience.    One of the lessons that Lindsey Stirling taught us is that “Collaboration” can really help grow your audience.   For example, Lindsey Stirling collaborated with John Legend on a song and video.   Not only is this artistically beautiful combination, but it exposed Lindsey Stirling to a large John Legend following.  It is also beneficial to John Legend who gains potentially new audience (Lindsey Stirling’s followers) .

If you can imagine multiple collaborations, this really exposes Lindsey Stirling to new audiences.

7. YouTube and the Internet can be Disruptive and create new stars.

Lindsey Stirling could have gone direct to the record labels and the record labels would have worked with her and produced her work.   But when that path didn’t work, technology such as YouTube proved to be a disruptive force, and it showed the industry that her vision and act can really work, and people would be drawn to it.

8. Listen to your fans

With the ability to be agile thanks to YouTube.com, Lindsey Stirling was able to listen to her fans, and she did many different cover versions.  In fact, she even covered the music from games such as “Zelda”, and the audience responded positively:

9. A unique and attractive presentation of new and unique music is a good combination.

Lindsey Stirling taught us that new and unique music combined with an attractive video presentation, and good marketing, can lead to great success.

10. Creating music for all ages can be a good way to go.

There are some music types and lyrics that you wouldn’t want a child to be listening to.  This narrows the audience.

Lindsey Stirling’s music, however, caters to all ages.   Lindsey Stirling has even said that she enjoys seeing fans of all ages, from the young children, to the grandparents.    Making music open to all ages does not restrict her audience, and families can enjoy the shows together.

It truly is wholesome entertainment.

11. There are many different paths to success.

Many of us think that there is only one path to success.  For example, some high school seniors might think the only path to success is by studying at Harvard or Yale University.

Obviously, this is not true.  There are many possible paths to success, and Lindsey Stirling showed us that with her hard work, dedication, perseverance, and despite her many failures.


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Life and Business Lessons We Can Learn from Electro Violinist Lindsey Stirling
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