Whilst on the plane to Cyprus to visit my husband Big was playing.
As I watched it I took note of some important business lessons which I thought were worth sharing with you.
For this of you that haven’t seen this film, I will need to tell you a quick overview.
Basically, after a wish turns 12-year-old Josh Baskin into a 30-year-old man (Tom Hanks), he heads to New York City and gets a low-level job at MacMillen Toy Company.
A chance encounter with the owner (Robert Loggia) of the company leads to a promotion testing new toys. Soon a fellow employee, Susan Lawrence (Elizabeth Perkins), takes a romantic interest in Josh.
Here are some interesting business lessons I picked up on and wanted to share with you.
Don’t care about what other people think
Embrace your weird and wonderful self. Josh goes to a work party dressed in a white Tuxedo and starts to eat the random foods on the buffet. He isn’t worried about what other people think, he tries some quinoa and proceeds to spit it out as it’s disgusting drawing some attention.
By not worrying about what other people think and being you, you will stand out for all the right reasons. There is no point being like everyone else if you want to make an impact and Josh certainly did that!
Not scared to try new things
This is one lesson that I think all adults, not just business folk should take heed of. Josh had never played squash before but he gave it his best. He’d never had a job before but he went for it as he needed to pay the bills.
Imagine if we approached new situations with a childlike curiosity and sense of adventure there is no limit to what we can achieve.
Don’t get stuck in your ways
When Josh gets promoted to work on toy development he literally questions everything. But why? He asked constantly, he just doesn’t get it.
Just because something has always been a certain way doesn’t mean it should be. By not accepted the norm he makes the toy even better!
Sees everything from a positive perspective
This is a great trait when you’re running your own business. Josh does this fabulously in the film when others are jealous or trying to make things difficult for him he sees the best in every situation.
By looking at things in a positive way when problems occur you can find solutions rather than complaining. This is business lesson 101, don’t moan about things or blame others, look at ways you can fix the issue and take it as a learning curve.
Seizing the day with passion and excitement will mean you’re not talking about things you actually take action and enjoy the process.
I love it when Josh is in the limousine and opens the sunroof and literally has the time of his life. Why do we think it’s just kids that need to have fun?
Make sure you let yourself have fun, life is too short not to laugh everyday. When Josh and the owner (old man) play chopsticks on the floor keyboard it builds a relationship with someone you never thought he would. This business lesson is crucial, you can make the best business relationships in the strangest of places with people you didn’t expect to.
Not afraid to say or do what need to be done
Imagine getting a job at 12 years old? I mean like a proper job and not a paper round. That must have been so scary but he did it anyway.
When he has a date with his work colleague she gets mustard on her face and he tells her. Not everyone would do that. People overthink things too much. I know tons of times I’ve had spinach in my teeth and no-one was grave enough to tell me!
He values Loyalty
Remember the fierce loyalty we had towards our friends when we were younger. We literally live for our friends when we are younger. Why does that change?
Josh and his best friend would do anything for each other. Josh loses sight of this temporally but soon sorts it out when his BFF calls him out on it.
If you treat people on business like you’d like to be treated and you’ll go far. You are not in the business or making money, you’re in the business in helping people which is a powerful business lesson.
Dream the Impossible
As a 12-year-old you know it’s pretty impossible to turn into a grownup overnight right? But Josh wished for it and it happened.
Dream big and you will be surprised what you can be achieved. If. You set the bar low and hit it is that better than setting it really high and coming short?
I know what I would rather go for!
Doesn’t mind being a Beginner
One of Josh’s colleagues that wants to take him down asks him to play squash. Josh has never played it but that doesn’t stop him trying his best.
He plays against someone that has been playing for a long time, instead of admitting defeat he gives it is all and learns the rules pretty quickly.
In business there will always be people that are more experienced than you, however, you can take it as an opportunity to learn or to bitch. Which will get you further?
When playing squash the balls goes out of play but the other plays didn’t admit it. He wants to win by any means necessary, even if that means cheating. Josh calls him out on it. Then they end up in a childish fight which is quite amusing.
In business, it doesn’t matter how much you make. It matters how you make it. You don’t want to cheat people to win. Having integrity is not something you can teach.
Telling the trust is important as people will see through your fake scarcity and pretend price hikes in a heartbeat. Be authentic!
Josh starts seeing his co-worker and they get talking and he listens to her and genuinely cares. He sees the good in her and doesn’t put her down like her last partner.
By listening he can read people better and in turn knows he has to end it with her. It’s not fair to her or him.
As a business owner if you listen you are much more likely to win. No one cares what you have to say until they know you CARE. Show. Your customers you care and you value their feedback.
There are other parables in this movie with running a business. Some of them may be a little tenuous but they are worth taking note of.
Who you are as a person reflects in your business.
Who do you think will be remembered?
Or more importantly, do you want to be remembered for good or bad reasons?
Have you seen Big do you think these lessons are important in business?
What is your main takeaway from this blog?
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