The quest for Enyanomics
may be the defining theme of 21st Century entrepreneurship.
Enyanomics is the ability to build and manage a considerable
business without leaving one’s home base. It is named after Enya, the famously reclusive Irish
singer-songwriter, who lives in a castle and never tours.
Conventional wisdom in the music industry is that performers
must tour – perform concerts – in order to sell albums.
Yet Enya has sold more CDs than most chart-topping singers
It may be that she is a special case. Her brand image has
always been based on a certain otherworldliness: her music draws heavily on
Celtic tradition, in which a specific concept of “otherworld” has always been
strong, and this is reinforced by her personal appearance, which has a beauty that
can only be described as ethereal.
That image would actually be undermined by overexposure. It
suits her particular marketing strategy to be the lonely princess in her Irish
On a less poetic level, it helps that film commissions
provide her with both a basic income and a platform to promote her albums that
gives her a higher profile than touring.
So is Enyanomics transferrable to entrepreneurs who are not
If so, there are a lot of people who would benefit – mothers
with children, agoraphobics, people who are fed up with the hassle of modern
travel, and those who are old and infirm of body but whose minds still crave a
The internet offers them a lot of opportunities, especially in
terms of service delivery, but marketing remains a problem: in most businesses,
there is still no substitute for face-to-face selling.
However, Enya herself provides some useful lessons: there is
a clear need for home-based businesses to have a marketing strategy that
reflects their particular situation, an established income on which to build,
and a definite means of promotion.
It is still not easy, but home-based entrepreneurs who can
apply Enyanomics successfully to their own businesses – and possibly to others’
– may be the trend-setters of the next generation.