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The 6 Ways To Be A Rockstar (leather pants optional…but recommended)

blog post 3.25

I did something last week that I hadn’t done in 8 years.


And when I say I ROCKED, I don’t mean that in the figurative way where I just did something I’m proud of and said “I rocked that”. I mean…I ROCKED in that I got up on stage with white leather fringe, booty shorts and fake eyelashes, and sweat my ass off playing rock n roll songs in front of 200 of my favorite people.

You might be wondering why I’m telling you this. And to be honest, it has taken me a few days to even be able to write about it. There were so many mixed emotions swirling around in my heart and in my mind.

You see…I used to ROCK on a regular basis. All throughout my 20’s that was my job. From the moment I graduated college, until I turned 29, I was a working musician. I toured, I played shows, I lived in Hollywood, I had fancy friends, I got invited to parties where I got to dance with Billy Corgan and go to BBQ’s at Tommy Lee’s house. I got to wear wild outfits and do my hair and makeup on the regular. And not only did I get to do that…it was my job to do that.

And then somewhere along the line, it stopped being fun. My band was road weary. And then our singer quit. Which then ended the band, and ultimately my rockstar days up to that point.

If you’ve ever had a job that was very much tied into your identity, you know the feeling I’m about to describe. The “if I’m not SALLY HOPE THE BASS PLAYER FOR THIS AWESOME ROCK BAND, THEN WHO AM I??” If I don’t have some fancy situation that sounds really cool to tell people about when I talk to them, then what is my value?

My identity had been so tied into that one job that I had, that I hardly knew what to do with myself when all of that went away. I struggled. For a long time, to find my own rockstar self, regardless if I was playing an instrument or not.

And I tucked that side of myself away for a long time because it was painful. I didn’t know how to live with her inside of me but not up on the stage.

And last week, as I was preparing for the upcoming reunion show of my band, I realized some things. That being a rockstar has nothing to do with whether or not you’re playing music, but rather it’s a point of view. It’s an attitude. It’s a decision to live life a certain way.

And the more I thought about this, the more I realized that ALL of those things are exactly what it means to live a Wildheart Life. I might not be up on the stage on the regular. My sequined booty shorts might now live in a box in my garage, only to be pulled out on special occasions. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still rock.

And with that being said, I wanted to share with you all what I discovered about being a rockstar, and how we can ALL do that in our businesses and our lives starting right this second. I didn’t ever really realize how being in a band prepared me for having my own business, but so many of the skills are the same. And I wanted to share them with you today. So let’s do this. Let’s rock n roll.

1) Practice

The only way the Beatles became the Beatles is because they played. A LOT. They started when they were teenagers and never stopped playing. I remember watching a documentary about them and they calculated that they had put in 10,000 hours of actual playing before they got discovered.

The same thing applies in business. You only get to be well known when you consistently do your craft and keep putting yourself out there. You have to play shows to get more shows. Or…you have to keep coaching to get more clients. Or keep creating websites to do more websites.

2) Play to one person as though you’re playing to 10,000

I remember this one show in particular where one of my band members was in a terrible mood. We were used to selling out shows on the Sunset Strip, but when we toured, a lot of people didn’t know about us yet.

This one show, we were about to go out on stage and one of the band members looked to the crowd and there were only like 5 people there. He grumbled and said he didn’t want to put on his full outfit (which at the time was leather pants cut down-to-there and a fur vest with no shirt underneath), and didn’t even feel like playing.

And I told him “you have to give those five people the show of their lives. You have to treat every crowd like it’s the Madison Square Gardens gig of your life. Each person deserves the best that we got.”

And so we did. And all five of those people became fans for life.

It’s not the amount of people in the audience that matters as much as the amount of fire in your fight. (Tweet This!)

At first, not a lot of people will care what you’re up to, but that doesn’t mean you should give them half of what you got.

3) Leave it all on the stage

This one is a derivative of an old sport’s saying, which is to leave everything on the field. And what this means is that in order to “WIN” you must play with everything you got, all the time.

Last week when I was up on that stage, it was nerve wracking at first. I was out of practice. My body hadn’t moved like that in over 8 years. My fingers weren’t as agile on that bass as they once were. My balance on my platform boots wasn’t as steady.

But you know what I did? I played with everything I had. I swung my bass like I was a teenager. I threw my hair around and my head back like I hadn’t skipped a beat.

Was I sore the next day? HELL YES. But was it worth it? Totally. Why? Because you have to play every show like it’s your last. Same with business. Don’t save up your “best” for when you’re famous or “where you want to be.” Give us your best all the time.

No person became “famous” or rich by doing anything half-assed. If you want true success, always use your full ass when putting yourself out there. (Tweet This!)


4) Keep singing even when no one is listening

I hear this a lot in the business (and music) world…”I don’t feel like writing a blog post because no one cares anyway. No one reads it or comments on it, so what’s the point?”

This makes sense right? WRONG.

Here’s the thing. In the beginning, people don’t care. That’s just the truth. And why don’t they care? Because you haven’t made them care yet.

Do you think that Motley Crue just became the biggest rock n roll band on the planet because they played one song for their mom once and then waited for the crowd to follow them? No way. Do you think they stopped playing after that one show where only two people showed up? Nope. They became the biggest rock n roll band because they played every show they could get their hands on for years until people paid attention.

They played, the refined, they played some more. One of my favorite stories in the Motley Crue book, “The Dirt” was about the first show where they decided to make it theatrical. They bought some fancy lights, and had their buddy set them up. They got a smoke machine. And Tommy Lee, their drummer built this cool apparatus for his drums.

This set them apart. They became “not just another band.”

And this is true in business as well. You have to keep playing, keep coaching, keep creating, keep finding your own thing, even when no one is listening. The more you do this, the more people listen.

In order to be a rockstar, you have to act like a rockstar, all the time, even when no one is looking. (Tweet This!)

5) Be willing to flyer

This is one of my favorites because here’s the thing…everyone wants to be on that stage, everyone wants the mega success they see other’s have, and everyone wants to reach their goals. But the truth is that not everyone is willing to do what it takes to get there.

Back in the day, before internet was so accessible, bands had to literally flyer in order to get the word out about their show. And this meant that you had to create a graphic, get it all printed out, and go around to stores and venues and talk to people and ask them to come to your show. You had to hand them your flier. You had to staple gun it up to telephone posts.

And was it embarrassing at times to sell yourself in that way? Totally. But you know what? That’s what it takes to get people in the door. You have to be willing to put yourself out there, risk embarrassment or someone saying “your band/product/service looks stupid” in order for you to get anywhere.

You have to believe in yourself and in your product enough to ask people to come to the show before anyone ever will. And you have to be willing to flier.

6) Enjoy the hell out of the moment

It’s easy to want to be on the other side of the hill. To imagine how big you want to be or how successful you want to become. And when we do this, it’s hard to enjoy the show you’re currently playing.

There is nothing better than that first chord you play at a rock n roll show. Where the curtain lifts, and the crowd is anxiously awaiting your show. But if you’re too wrapped up in the next show, you can’t enjoy what’s here now.

The other day, when I was up on that stage, I looked out to each and every face in the crowd. I was so grateful. So excited. So happy that they all showed up. I didn’t know whether or not this would be the last time I ever played, but I enjoyed it like it was.

We are all in such a hurry to get to the next step that we forget that the one we’re already on is pretty cool and all part of the journey to our own rockstar lives. So enjoy it. The best you can. While you’re here.

And that’s all I got for you. And remember, you can be a rockstar at any stage of your life, no matter what you’re doing. My 35 year old rockstar self looks very different than my 25 year old one, but the thing that remains is the dedication to strive for the best ME possible.

And with that being said, I wanna hear how YOU rock. What is something you’re proud of right now? What does your rockstar self look like? Make sure you leave yours in the comments below and if you like this article make sure you “like” it and share it with your friends.



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19 Responses to The 6 Ways To Be A Rockstar (leather pants optional…but recommended)

  1. Paulette says:

    Love this post…especially the tweet about using your whole ass! I was thinking that I feel like a rock star when I do the things that are unique to me…like tap dancing, or standing up and facing off authority when it’s important to do it…or writing a book….or acting silly or goofy….or wearing what I want to when I want to….or NOT having pierced ears. I come from a long line of women who weren’t afraid to get up on the bar and dance, you know? Just being out there, joyous, and being themselves. So grateful for all of them.

    • Sally Hope says:

      WOW…YES! And now that I think about it, that’s when I feel like a rockstar too. When I’m doing the things that are fulfilling and unique to ME. And I’m SO lucky to come from the same line of out there, joyous women. THANK YOU MOM! :)

  2. Jessica says:

    I love love this advice Sally! I totally want to be a rock star in my world. The truth is you do have to practice whatever you do constantly to become a master and reach rock star status in your field. This is a lesson I am applying to my life right now because no matter how long you have been doing something I think you can always get better at it if you want to.

    • Sally Hope says:

      Hey Jessica! I couldn’t agree more! We all can tend to get to that place where we feel like “I’m done! Been doing this forever!” but even the biggest rockstars I know still work at their craft and change and adjust. Such a great reminder. Thank you!

  3. wow!! I can totally relate to this post.. Its funny how sometimes you feel as if your the only one in this world going through it and the people around you don’t know how you feel. I had a horrible back injury which I couldn’t dance and basically move for about 2 years I was in so much pain! I thought my life was over. after chiro and physical therapist the best thing I did was surgery. But then it left me with bad nerve damage on my right leg. For a dancer thats like death. I thought I would recover fast, but going to dance class was the worst cause it just reminded me of what i can’t do anymore and it would rip me to piece. It took me forever I mean forever to let go of the dancer I used to be and embrace the new not so imperfect high extension leg lift dancer and be ok with a lot that I have lost. Believe me its still hard. but when I hear stories like yours it helps me, but Its very hard cause all my life I have been that dancer!!

    Thank you for sharing this, I am slowly getting to that place of being ok to forgive, accept and share.

    love xoxo

    • Sally Hope says:

      Hey Emma…oh my gosh girl…first off I just want to say that I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through that. It sounds complex and painful in many ways. And I know what you mean about letting go of tht part of it. For me, I try to remember that my value isn’t tied up in my ability to play bass on a stage, but that that fire is INSIDE me no matter what activity I’m doing. I think the same is for you. You’re a dancer whether or not you’re on that stage. :) Thanks so much for your comment. XO

  4. Brenda Canas says:

    Aaahhhmazing blog post, Sally! I absolutely love it all! Your analogies make it so much more meaningful.

    Also to add to #4, there are people most likely reading your blog all of the time, but not commenting or sharing! They’re called Silent Obsessors… So keep writing for them! I can be one of them so I keep writing. I know someone is reading and it lights my heart when others comment.

    Thank you!!! :) :)

    • Sally Hope says:

      Brenda…AHHH! I love your addition and it’s so true! A lot of times people ARE paying attention and we just don’t know it. :)

      Thanks for the reminder. XO

  5. […] Rockstardom! Sally hope… […]

  6. Christie says:

    Whoa, you go girl. Great post & tips. Thank you for sharing! I’ve gotten down on myself plenty of times by comparing my life as it is now to my life as it was in the past. And you are so right. There are no such things as ex-rockstars!

  7. Sarah Cauble says:

    Sally, I LOVE this analogy and your tips on how to truly be a rockstar. You’re brilliant and inspiring and you seriously ROCK.


    • Sally Hope says:

      Girl you almost just made me cry. Thank you SO much for these kind words. You know I adore you to the moon and back! XOXO

  8. Amanda says:

    Love the comment “always use your full ass when putting yourself out there.” I was cracking up. Don’t be afraid to make an ass out of yourself. :) Love this article.

    • Sally Hope says:

      Hahaha! Thanks lady. To be honest…I was TOTALLY giggling when I wrote that too. I love your addition to it. :)

  9. Amanda says:

    I have a question… what do you use to create the pink opt-in bar under your header???? I use hello bar and it won’t work with Divi’s header I need an alternative. Thanks!

  10. Keli Conci says:

    Whoah – this got me in the rockstar balls, no doubt! My whole life I identified with being famous (for what, not sure, just knew I wanted to make a positive impact in a big way!).

    And when you talked about having to go through an identity crisis when the band split, I totally resonated with that. Thank you for the tips on being a rockstar on the daily in my own darn life. Especially the tip about rocking out with your all to ANY size of crowd.

    Love xo,

  11. Sheri says:

    HYSTERICAL…and quite true! Great post Sally!

  12. I love the reminder of giving it your all no matter how many people are there. I taught a yoga class with only one student last night. It can be super disheartening, but I knew I needed to give it 100%. At the end of class this student had done things she had never done before – crow and headstand. She was so excited and eager to tell her friends about her experience. I know I made a connection with her that I possibly wouldn’t have in a bigger class. I hope she will be a fan for life!

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