Lady Gaga: an avant-garde (and perhaps slightly bonkers) pop star and performer who only has to wear a dress made of raw meat to spin a buck, right?

Wrong. The artist formerly known as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta is an entrepreneur as much as an artist; an artist as much as an entrepreneur.

In pop music, it helps not to draw a line too distinctly between the two. Gaga has a sense for art that grabs the public's attention not just because it is often outrageous, but because it says something in a way that is vital and contemporary -- and nobody else would say it in quite the same way.

That she gets her message seen and heard (30.17 million studio albums sold before you even look at the singles -- and now an Oscar too) is a testament to her hard work and discipline, as well as her business sense. Gaga's life may be glamorous around the edges, but at its heart is a lot of travel, graft, late nights, and thankless encounters with the press.

Gaga's Travel Routine

In short, the restraint of a professional schedule is a must, particularly while on tour. Despite late nights and frequent late-night travel, Gaga rises at six every morning to eat breakfast and think mindful thoughts. The latter is her way of dealing with the 'toxic workplace' of a celebrity industry where nobody -- least of all the press -- keeps their foulest thoughts to themselves. "Love who you are," says Gaga, "you are all that you got."

The next part doesn't sound so bad: Lady Gaga starts to write music in her hotel room between 7.30-8.30 a.m. when most of us are still on the way to work. But it is telling that even on tour, the pop star sets office hours for songwriting, an activity widely misbelieved to miraculously 'just happen.'

The middle part of the day is when Gaga actually enjoys some downtime (mixed in with self-care, much as Oprah Winfrey does). Yoga, lunch and a nap (so that's how she copes with a 6 am start) precede a period of relaxation or, more pointedly, mental preparation for the evening's concert.

She tries to connect with family and friends at this point if they're in town. "The reason I am here at all is because of my family," says Gaga, "and their encouragement of me to be a musician and to work hard." These meet-ups help to ground her, while posters of her idols such as Elton John and John Lennon get her in the mood to perform.

From 6 pm, Lady Gaga prepares technically for the concert, and she'll be on stage or nearby for nearly three hours in the evening. She spares a couple of hours to meet the fans directly afterward, too, then breaks away for a midnight meal to replenish some of that energy she burned.

She takes advantage of her 'commute' time -- which is traveling at night from one city to the next -- by dealing with admin and reading through fan mail.

Bucket loads of talent and originality help in business as they do in pop music. But without application and discipline, they're unlikely to get you far. Do you have any particular routines when you travel for business?

Published on: Oct 30, 2019
Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you'll never miss a post.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.