Business Lessons from Each Star Wars Movie

In honor of May the 4th, we’re getting ready for Star Wars day! With its classic story line of good vs. evil among the cosmos, Star Wars has inspired generations – including business owners! Join us in this journey of business lessons that every entrepreneur needs to know.

 

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. He makes the risky gamble to offer up his ship in exchange for the boy’s freedom. Qui-Gon saw something in Anakin and was willing to risk it all.

To see your dreams come true, you often must take a risk first.

For business owners, this likely sounds very familiar. To see your dreams come true, you often must first take a risk. Whether it’s quitting your day job, securing financing, or making a long-term investment, running a business can require leaps of faith. But, as many business owners would agree, the risk is often worth the reward.

 

Attack of the Clones – Take Initiative

In Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Skywalker grew quite a bit. If there’s one thing he learned to do well between the 2 movies, it’s how to take initiative. Anakin’s initiative led to quite a few victories in the Star Wars universe. Because he took initiative, Anakin caught a bounty hunter and saved Obi-Wan from captivity.

To get to the next level, strategic ideation, initiative, and bravery make a great combo.

A good entrepreneur knows initiative is key. To get to the next level, strategic ideation, initiative, and bravery make a great combo. You’ve got this. Take initiative to make that sale, purchase that new piece of equipment, or arrange that business partnership. That leap can lead to big payoffs down the road.

 

Revenge of the Sith – Even at Your Lowest Point, Keep Pushing Forward

By the end of Episode III, the Old Republic and the Jedi Order fall due to Skywalker’s betrayal. Yoda, Obi-Wan and the rest of the crippled remnants of the Republic could have given up all hope and resigned themselves to defeat. However, the film ends on a bright, hopeful note. Vader’s twin children provide hope and grow to become the protagonists of the original trilogy. The final scenes are a reminder that amidst an all-time low, it wasn’t over yet.

The most successful business owners keep their heads up, refusing to give up.

Some business owners may have to deal with a similar problem. After all, nothing goes perfectly. During hard times, the most successful business owners keep their heads up, refusing to give up. They press forward to the victory on the other side.

 

Rogue One – Find Your Why

Rogue One is a newer addition to the Star Wars series, with new characters – who’s a fan!? Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor and the gang have different backstories, but together, they achieve victory in the end. Why did they achieve victory? Because they were all committed to the same cause. They all knew their why, and they were willing to put their lives on the line for their cause.

Keep your mind set on why you love to do what you do.

While your business may or may not encounter life-threatening scenarios, you will no doubt face trials on the road to success. The key to overcoming these trials? Keep your mind set on why you love to do what you do in the first place. Centering on your why will help you overcome hurdles and fuel your fire.

 

A New Hope – Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Luke Skywalker was comfortable with his life as a farm boy. He had never faced life-threatening challenges before. When Obi-Wan offered him the adventure of a lifetime, Luke initially turned it down because he would have had to leave behind everything he ever knew. But when he did step out of his comfort zone, he became the hero that the Rebel Alliance needed him to be.

When he did step out of his comfort zone, he became the hero.

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 can take your business to new heights. Cheers to doing things that have never been done before!

 

The Empire Strikes Back – Be All-In

Often argued as the best of the series, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is full of valuable lessons and full of Yoda. This episode even includes one of the most quoted Star Wars lines: “Do or do not. There is no try.” Master Yoda speaks wisdom as Luke offers up a half-hearted attempt in a difficult step of his training. The lesson was simple: if Luke only had an “I’ll try” mentality, he was already doomed to failure.

“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda

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.

 

Return of the Jedi – Stick to Your Guns

In the triumphant finale of the original trilogy, the Empire is finally defeated when Darth Vader renounces the Dark Side. The victory can largely be credited to Luke Skywalker’s grit. Despite what everyone else told him about Vader, Luke believed his father could still do the right thing. Luke put his life on the line for what he believed would end the conflict. He stuck to what he knew, and his confidence inspired the end of the Galactic Civil War.

While it’s always wise to heed others’ counsel, sometimes you’ve got to stick to your guns.

Running your business, you may be prompted make decisions in the face of dissenting opinions. While it’s always wise to heed others’ counsel, sometimes you’ve got to 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 know it can go.

 

The Force Awakens – Believe in Yourself

Throughout Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Rey constantly reminds those around her that she’s just a scavenger who needs to get home. She doesn’t realize the wealth of potential she holds inside of her, and she 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 only then she chooses to believe in herself.

You have limitless potential waiting to be unleashed on the world.

As an entrepreneur, you have limitless potential inside of you waiting to be unleashed on the world. And only you have the power to unlock that potential. You’ve got the power to change the world with your business.

 

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. Rey asks Luke to teach her how she can capitalize on her potential to save the galaxy. Luke’s training isn’t easy, and Rey struggles to understand his methods. But when it comes to saving her friends, Rey uses her new talents and rescues the Resistance from the First Order.

Take each lesson to heart and implement as you go.

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. Take each lesson to heart and implement as you go, continuing to be a lifelong learner for business success!

 

Parting Wishes

Now that you’ve got 9 business lessons under your belt, check out our free resource for start-ups and entrepreneurs planning for success!

 

5 Entrepreneurial Lessons from 18-Year-Old Olympian Maame Biney

18-Year-Old Maame Biney, Olympic speed skater, stole the hearts of thousands of Americans. And you’re going to want to hear her story before her 2022 Winter Olympics. She has an admirable entrepreneurial heart that easily translates to the business world’s ups and downs. Here are a few lessons we’ve learned from Maame Biney that every entrepreneur should take to heart:

 

Biney’s Backstory

Maame was an 18-year-old speed skater in the 2018 Winter Olympics. She may have missed medaling for the 500m race, where she was favored, but she sent America home with joy. Maame’s infectious personality and admirable drive already won over the admiration and affection of her nation.

Her response to the loss? She’s already looking forward to the 2022 Winter Olympics.

That reaction to failure, a pick-yourself-up attitude, is admirable. Following, we’ll talk through lessons every entrepreneur should embrace:

 

Try New Things

Maame was born in Africa, and before moving to the US in 2005, she had never even experienced the cold, let alone ice skating.

Three months into her first year in the US, five-year-old Maame tried skating for the first time. Seeing a street sign outside an ice rink in still-foreign Maryland: “Learn to Skate,” she learned.

She fell in love almost instantly with a sport she’d never before heard of. Biney had a willingness to just get out there and try something new.

She had a willingness to just get out there and try something new.

Maybe you feel stuck in your business, or maybe you haven’t started your business yet.

Get out there, get creative, and most importantly, take that first uneasy step into something new. Who knows, you may just find your calling by doing so.

 

 

Break the Mold

Maame is the first African American woman in history to qualify for Team USA’s Olympic speed skating team.

She’s not intimidated by what’s never been done before. Instead, she focused on the future that she could create for herself. For small business owners pitted against what may feel like the world, it’s an inspiring tale.

Perhaps you’ve been told you’re too young, or too old. Too inexperienced, or too set in your ways. Perhaps you’ve been subject to discrimination. It’s in your power to break the mold and become the business leader you know you can be. We’re here to empower you and come alongside you in this journey.

It’s in your power to break the mold and become the business leader you know you can be.

 

Don’t be Afraid to Make a Switch

Maame’s first skating lessons were leading her to be a figure skater – not a speed skater.

While she was good, her coach noticed her tendency for speed and power over grace and elegance. Her coach promptly suggested that she make the switch to speed skating. Maame took a leap into a sport she knew little about. And with that leap, she found her niche and quickly rose to become the Olympic star you see today.

If you haven’t found your niche yet, don’t give up. Don’t be afraid to take chances and branch out.

Start that partnership. Make that sales call. Hire that intern. Obtain that new piece of equipment to help you generate new revenue. Sometimes, you won’t realize the potential your business has until you switch things up.

If you haven’t found your niche yet, don’t give up. Don’t be afraid to take chances and branch out.

 

Stay Positive

Aside from her killer speed skating skills, Maame is possibly best known for her infectious smile. It’s common for the US Olympic Team coach to crack a joke during an especially rough practice. Why? Not because the jokes were very good, but because Maame’s laugh could relieve even the highest tensions.

Her bright smile brought comfort and ease to her teammates and gave her a positive outlook even in the bleakest situations.

Her bright smile brought comfort and ease … and gave her a positive outlook even in the bleakest situations.

When struck by an opponent’s blade, Maame joked about her stitches. “17.5 inch blade vs. my bottom lip/my chin… who won? You guys should see the blade.”

A positive demeanor is required in the business’s rough-and-tumble world, especially if you’re managing employees of your own.

While it’s important to keep a realistic outlook, a smile or a joke can work wonders. You’re a leader & you can control your company’s mood. A joke just may relieve tension and allow employees to recognize the good you’re doing.

 

Dream Big

Ask Maame where she sees her future self, and you’ll hear her rattle off a list of goals most people only dream of.

She wants an Olympic gold medal. She wants to be a world champion. Perhaps more surprisingly, she aspires to become a chemical engineer. Some may write off Maame’s aspirations as near-impossible. But she pursues them as she sees them: within her reach.

She pursues them as she sees them: within her reach.

You have big dreams. You’ve said yes in a world of no’s.

In a world of can’t, it’s up to you to push yourself to see what you can do. Take a page from Biney’s book, and relentlessly pursue your dreams.

In a world of can’t, it’s up to you to push yourself to see what you can do.

 

Closing Notes

We’re all looking forward to seeing Biney skate in 2022. Until then, Amerifund is here to help you reach your business goals. Dream big with us. We’re here for you.

Reach out, and we’d love to help you with any of your financing needs.

Celebrating Women Entrepreneurs

Today, I started my day with Beyonce’s iconic lyrics, “Who run the world? Girls.” Today is going be a good day. This International Women’s Day, we are celebrating women entrepreneurs. With so much heart and power behind brands, we’re grateful to partner with awesome women entrepreneurs. Read on to celebrate strides businesswomen are making:

 

To Start

Before we go any further, if you ever need a mood boost, listen to this Girl Power Anthems playlist on Spotify. These songs will get your blood pumping & energy up for a great day.

How great is it that we can celebrate movements to empower women!? #MeToo and #TimesUp have made international headlines and sweeping strides for women everywhere. In a country where women can vote and are empowered, we’re proud to fund & partner with women entrepreneurs.

Unfortunately, even among victories & movements promoting social change, every day is still a fight for equality. But women are not knocked down easily, and they don’t give up easily, either.

 

 

Stats to Celebrate

Women are leading the next generation. The strides we’re making together speak for themselves. Check out these  Unconventional Women Entrepreneurs Statistics in 2020. Let’s speak to the strength of America’s women:

    • Women own 12.3 million businesses in the US or 42% of all US businesses!
    • 47% of businesses were started by women last year, compared to 44% for men
    • California ranks highest for the proportion of women owned businesses in the US at 1.3 million
    • Texas has 860,000 and growing women-owned businesses
    • In the US more than 1,200 new businesses are started by women every single day
    • Women owned businesses generate 1.9 trillion dollars in revenue!

These statistics for women entrepreneurs are astonishing. Women entrepreneurs have made leaps and bounds over the past 20 years. Yet, we still have a long way to go.

One of the biggest issues, highlighted in this infographic, is that women struggle to obtain funding for their business. Women’s lower funding percentage is caused by a number of factors including women being more conservative in the amount they ask for. As women become increasingly bold in their ask, funding numbers will also increase. Read on to get more answers on how to get business funding.

 

Continuing the Movement

Women will not stop making strides until the glass ceiling is shattered. The exponential growth over the past two decades indicates that there’s something even bigger for female entrepreneurs on the horizon.

Women will not stop making strides until the glass ceiling is shattered.

Women are great at supporting one another. We love celebrating organizations that are helping women start and grow their businesses. Currently, we’re compiling a list of women-led organizations to promote and empower. If you own or know of a great woman-owned company, send us a quick email to be included in our next women’s resource list.

When women succeed, we all succeed! Closing the gender wage gap will feed our American economy and create more jobs to fight unemployment in the US. Exciting news is on the horizon!

To the women of the business world, we salute you. We’re here to partner with you and empower you with all your business needs.