09/17/2014 10:26 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2014

What One Direction Taught Me About Business

Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

With the Where We Are Tour in full swing, it's time to admit it: I'm a self-proclaimed newbie Directioner. Yep, for real.

I'd heard about them ages ago. Mostly from the news and their crazy fans (and I recall listening to a radio show once where they went on and on about one of the band member's luscious hair). But I mostly tuned it all out. Until one week, I heard one of their songs on the radio like five times. Everywhere I went it was on. And it was catchy enough that I kept listening. Don't you just love digital radio -- the name came up, and the artist came up... 1D, really? Okay I'll roll with it.

And I did.

I went home that night to YouTube the video for the track, and four hours later, I was a full-blown Directioner.

Since then, my dedication and love for them has grown, while at the same time, so has my business. And while I'm not *that* obsessed to attribute my business growth to these lads, there's a thing or two that One Direction has taught me about being in business.

Let me count the (5) ways.

1. Giving people a name to identify with.

As I'm sure you've noticed from my intro up there, 1D fans get given a special name. Directioners. What it does is provide us with an identity -- automatically converting us into diehard fans. Once we're there, we ain't turning back. We are there for them, always. A collective.

Your lesson: Give your tribe a name. Use it.

2. Being yourself always pays off

What everyone loves about 1D is they are who they are. They aren't trying to be a boy band of yesteryear (aka the next *Nsync with killer dance moves). They do what they do. No dancing required. And people LOVE LOVE LOVE this. We love knowing they're doing it their way. Being themselves. It encourages us to just be our own selves too.

Your lesson: Stop putting on a façade and be your damn (fine) self.

3. Always sing the praises of your fans

1D always gets this right. In every interview, in every movie, they are constantly telling the world they have the best fans in the world, and guess what? They do! They acknowledge how much their fans have helped in their success and how they have created this legacy -- the fans are always the first to be thanked.

Your lesson: Do you need to look after and treat your customers or subscribers with more appreciation and love?

4. Give, give, give, give and then ask

They are constantly giving -- interviews, Instagram shots, 15-sec Vine videos and tweet updates. All because that's what their fans want. And then, when they drop a new single, or need some votes for an award... they ASK. And they receive.

Your lesson: Give a shit-tonne, but don't forget to ask directly for the sale.

5. Know when to knuckle down and when to muck around.

These guys work their friggen asses off. They know when to knuckle down -- and they know when they need to have fun too. When they're recording a new album, it's heads down, bums up. But then they allow themselves to rest before they burn out. If you watch their movie, you'll see that while they work extremely hard, they joke around and muck around when they can. Because burnout is real, and when you're a superstar boy band, you just can't afford that. (And let me tell you, honeybunch: neither can you.)

Your lesson: Are you allowing yourself to muck around after you've knuckled down, or are you just go-go-go?

So basically, I love One Direction and you should too (!). Now, I'd love to hear from you - are you a raving fan-girl for an artist or group? What have they taught you about life and business? (And all fellow Directioners, fly your flag in the comments!)