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There was a terrific story in the New York Times over the weekend about singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett, who clearly can add "entrepreneur" and perhaps "business magnate" to his resume ... since he now owns a company that generated $1.5 billion in sales last year.

“People are always shocked when they find out how big we’ve gotten,” Buffett tells the Times. “We just kept quietly doing our thing. Not saying much. And now — bam! — here we are.”

Here's an excerpt from the story:

"Mr. Buffett, patron saint of the untroubled, has long been known for his business acumen. In some ways, with his approach to concert merchandise and tour sponsorship in the 1980s, he created the model of musician-as-entrepreneur that managers for artists like Madonna and Dave Matthews have pursued more recently. Other singers have parlayed their personas into business empires - Dolly Parton, for instance, with her Dollywood theme park, Dixie Stampede dinner theaters, Dolly slot machines and 'Coat of Many Colors' merchandise - but none are as singularly sprawling as Mr. Buffett’s Margaritaville.

“'He understands his brand, which has a substantial reach,' Warren E. Buffett, a friend (but not a relative), said by phone. 'One of the secrets to his success is that he never really loses any fans'."

And now, the story says, Buffett's company is engaged in an effort to do something that many companies have to do - insure that its offerings, which traditionally have appealed to (aging) baby boomers, remain relevant for younger generations, especially since there inevitably will come a time when the 69-year-old Buffett no longer is touring and serving as his brand's best spokesman.

You can - and should - read the entire story here.
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