Bret Michaels’ resume must be 100 pages long. In addition to being a singer and songwriter, he can boast about his work as a reality TV star, pet product designer, diet drink maker and philanthropist… just to name a few accomplishments. He’s had a lot of success, but it didn’t come without effort. “To be a true entrepreneur,” he says, “you best have nerves of steel, love a challenge, have passion, self-motivation and believe in and bet on yourself.”

Be a “drealist”

When he was six years old, Michaels was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, and he quickly learned that he wanted to control his own fate. That mentality has carried him through the ups and downs of the music business and entrepreneurship. “I like to say I’m a ‘drealist’ — a dreamer but realist. You dream big, but work within reality.”

“I like to say I’m a ‘drealist’ — a dreamer but realist. You dream big, but work within reality.”

The seven “P’s” of business

Michaels says there are seven principle ideas that can be applied to nearly any business question: passion, purpose, product, profit, philanthropy, partnerships and people. He says partnerships and people are the most important, however, because it’s impossible to succeed without them. “As an entrepreneur, it is challenging enough to make a product or business successful and even more challenging to keep it successful, so having people that are as passionate about your vision as you are is key.”

Challenge yourself

Finally, Michaels says the worst thing you can do as an entrepreneur is “trap yourself inside a box,” because a failure to change with the times will result in failure for your business. “You have to be willing to be a warrior, sometimes unorthodox, a little free spirited and have a ‘have fun but get it done’ attitude.”