I’m on a plane, on my way to Austin for SXSW and the Global Coworking Unconference, enjoying the great service onboard a United Airlines flight. One of the movies playing is The Artist, starring Jean Dujardin, a film you should absolutely watch. Being as biased as I am towards startups and entrepreneurship, I could not help think that there are plenty of lessons and similitudes between the life of the stars and those of entrepreneurs. Or maybe it is because I was reading The Four Steps to the Epiphany that I saw in it a metaphor of entrepreneurship.
You never know who’s gonna be who or where you are going to end
Don’t treat those that are not yet somebody with disrespect. Even when I worked in public affairs this was a must. You never know where people are going to be at next. You cannot know everything about everybody, specially of those that you just met or haven’t had the time to get acquainted yet. Today’s trainee, junior employee or young entrepreneur could be tomorrow’s big thing, not in the long time. Treat everybody with respect no matter what their status is. Respect fosters relationships and collaboration
Your network is always being built
Yes, your network is always being built, even when you are not aware of it. You are not conscious of everything that goes on around you, so remember point nº1 and keep on working hard. Even somebody you did not expect may end up helping you or giving you a lead, and the more you are out there working with people and giving your help, the more good that will come back to you.
You will fall & raise
High or low, you are going to fall and raise. Life comes around. Failure does not terminate you. All you have to do is get back in your feet, learn from the experience, and try to get something positive out of it. Even if you are just a shadow of old successful self, you are still you.
Life is cyclical, and the life of an entrepreneur is a roller coaster, emotionally and in terms of success. Luckily most of it will be positive, even in hardship.
Entrepreneurship is not a tragedy
A film can be dramatic, life shouldn’t. Even if you crash you should keep in mind and your heart the most important things: your loved ones and friends. Your work should not isolate you from your loved ones: don’t let your company push them aside.
Alcohol and drugs only make things worst
And you know it. They’ve never helped anybody think clearer. All they do is push you towards inaction, depression and stupid decisions. They don’t replace guts and your brains and will not add anything good to your business.
If you think you need alcohol to do anything in life, anything, you are an alcoholic, get help.
Don’t do as The Muppets
The wrong movie lessons came by the hand of The Muppets, with Peggy’s use of violence to solve problems and the last minute no effort miraculous salvation moment. Silver bullets only exist in business fiction and the minds of some consulting clients.
The good news
The good news is that after the worst of hardships, even if it is not obvious you can succeed thanks to your work and persistence.
Who would have ever thought that a black & white silent movie could be made, enjoyable, watched, and praised in the 21st century?.
Success is in the heart of the entrepreneur, not just in numbers.