In honor of May the 4th, we’re ready to get in the spirit for Star Wars day! With its classic storyline of good vs. evil among the cosmos, Star Wars has inspired generations of fans both young and old… including business owners! Let’s take a journey through the story of Star Wars, with business lessons that we’ve learned from each movie that every entrepreneur needs to know.
1.) The Phantom Menace – Be Willing to Take A Risk
In Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon Jinn goes with his gut and takes a chance on Anakin Skywalker, making the risky gamble of offering up his ship in exchange for the boy’s freedom. Despite the fact that many would have counseled him otherwise, Qui-Gon saw something in Anakin and was willing to risk it all in order to see his vision for Anakin’s future become a reality. For business owners, this is a reality that likely sounds very familiar. In order to see your dreams for your business come to fruition, you often must take a risk first. Whether it’s quitting your day job, securing financing, or making a long-term investment, running a business can require taking leaps of faith. But, as many business owners would agree, the risk is often worth the reward.
2.) Attack of the Clones – Take Initiative
In Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Anakin Skywalker’s grown quite a bit since his last appearance inThe Phantom Menace. If there’s one thing he’s learned to do well in the timespan between the two movies (which take place ten years apart), it’s how to take initiative, sometimes to Obi-Wan’s chagrin. While this occasionally can lead to trouble, Anakin’s initiative is the catalyst for quite a few victories in the Star Wars universe, including chasing down and catching a bounty hunter and saving Obi-Wan from captivity on Geonosis. A good business owner knows that sometimes, in order to see things done, one has to take matters into their own hands. Taking initiative to make that sale, purchase that new piece of equipment, or arrange that business partnership you’ve been thinking of will lead to big payoffs down the road for your business.
3.) Revenge of the Sith – Even at Your Lowest Point, Keep Pushing Forward
By the end of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, we see the Old Republic and the Jedi Order fallen due to the betrayal of Anakin Skywalker, now Darth Vader. For Yoda, Obi-Wan and the rest of the crippled remnants of the Republic, it could have been very easy to give up all hope and resign themselves to defeat. However, the film ends on a bright, hopeful note, placing its hopes in Vader’s twin children, who would grow to become the protagonists of the original trilogy. The final scenes serve as a reminder that although the heroes had hit an all-time low, it wasn’t over yet. Some business owners may have to deal with the same problem; after all, nothing goes perfectly in the business world. The most successful business owners, however, keep their heads up during their low points, refusing to give up and resolving to press forward to see the victory that’s on the other side.
4.) Rogue One – Find Your “Why”
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a newer addition to the Star Wars series, but it’s easy to get caught up in the story of the ragtag group of characters it introduces. Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor and the gang all have very different backstories, but achieve victory in the end because they are all rallied around and committed to the same cause. They all knew, regardless of whether or not they survived their mission, why they were willing to put their lives on the line for their cause. While your business may encounter life-or-death scenarios like the situations the crew from Rogue One faced, you will no doubt face trials on the road to business success. The key to overcoming these trials? Rememberingwhy you love to do what you do in the first place. Keeping your mind set on the ultimate goal will help you to overcome any hurdles that stand in your way.
5.) A New Hope – Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Luke Skywalker may not have been entirely content with his life as a farm boy on Tatooine inEpisode IV: A New Hope, but he was comfortable. He’d never had to face challenges before in his life, and when Obi-Wan Kenobi offered him a chance to join up for the adventure of a lifetime, Luke initially turned down the offer because it would have required him to leave behind everything he ever knew. When he did step out of his comfort zone, however, he became the hero that the Rebel Alliance needed him to be. When running a business, there will be times when you need to lean into the discomfort and step out into the great unknown. By stepping out of your comfort zone and expanding your horizons, you allow yourself to take your business to new heights and to do things that have never been done before.
6.) The Empire Strikes Back – Be All-In
Often argued as the best of the series (a position that the author of this post wholeheartedly agrees with), Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is full of valuable lessons – just watch any scene featuring the famed Master Yoda. For today, however, we are going to focus on perhaps what is one of the most quoted Star Wars lines of all-time: “Do, or do not. There is no try.” The line uttered by Master Yoda as Luke offers up a half-hearted attempt at a difficult step of his training has been featured on posters, t-shirts, and even tattoos for nearly 30 years. The lesson was simple: If Luke was resigned to an “I’ll try” mentality before even taking action, then he was already doomed to failure. When making decisions or moves in your business, be all-in. Go into every situation with a confident mentality that you are going to achieve the things that you set out to accomplish. Don’t simply try, do.
7.) Return of the Jedi – Stick to Your Guns
In the triumphant finale of the original trilogy, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, the Empire is finally defeated when Darth Vader renounces the dark side and turns on Emperor Palpatine. The victory can largely be credited to the grit of Luke Skywalker, who, despite what everyone else told him about Vader, believed that his father could still be persuaded to do the right thing. Luke put his life on the line for what he believed would end the conflict between the Rebellion and the Empire. He stuck to what he knew he was capable of and with this confidence he inspired the chain of events that ended the Galactic Civil War. While running your business, you may be prompted to take actions or make decisions in the face of dissenting opinions. While it’s always wise to heed the counsel of others who may be able to see where you may have blind spots, when it comes down to the decisions you knoware right for your business, stick to your guns! You know your business inside and out, and it’s up to you to make the decisions to take it in the direction you already know it can go.
8.) The Force Awakens – Believe in Yourself
Throughout the first installment of the sequel trilogy, Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Rey constantly reminds those around her that she’s just a scavenger that needs to get back home. She doesn’t realize the wealth of potential she holds inside of her, and is reluctant to face the fact that she’s more than she thinks she is throughout the course of the film. It’s only at the end of the movie, where she harnesses the power of the Force and defeats Kylo Ren, that her potential is unlocked, and it all starts when she chooses to believe in herself. As an entrepreneur, you have limitless potential inside of you waiting to be unleashed on the world. However, only you have the power of unlocking that potential. Shrug off all the debilitating doubts keeping you down – you’ve got the power to change the world with your business.
9.) The Last Jedi – Implement Everything You’ve Learned
In the most recent addition to the Star Wars Universe, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, Rey’s journey continues. Capitalizing on the events of the previous film, Rey decides to seek out Luke Skywalker in order to learn how she can utilize her potential to save the galaxy. Luke’s training isn’t easy for Rey, and she struggles to understand his methods as she learns to harness her power. When it comes down to saving her friends at the end of the film, however, Rey is able to implement what she’s learned from Luke and rescue the Resistance from the clutches of the First Order. As you continue to grow your business, you may experience growing pains. There are a lot of lessons that can only be learned by experience, after all. But taking each lesson to heart and implementing them as you go along will lead to greater business success in your future!
Now that you’ve got nine business lessons under your belt, check out our free resource for start-ups and entrepreneurs planning for success!