What can entrepreneurs learn from Star Wars? Perhaps surprisingly, there are some valuable lessons within this legendary film series.
May the Force Be With You:
5 Takeaways for Entrepreneurs From the “Star Wars” Franchise
Sometimes the dream is just to be in the game. And, sometimes the dream requires sacrifices – giving up on other dreams along the way (can you imagine giving up a chance to be in Lion King on Broadway??), taking odd jobs to make this one a reality. For these two, the dream was not of gold, but simply for a chance to be in the Olympics.
What dreams lie awake within you?
Experience helps us to easily recognize patterns. Recently, I’ve seen a scenario enough times to know exactly how things were going to go. I’m here to warn you that if you’re going down a career transition path or completely looking for a career reboot, there are some dead ends you’ll want to avoid.
Here are three red flags (of many) that tell me in a free consultation I won’t get results with an individual and that their strategy for finding a place to land will tank. I know this because when I refer these people on to someone else to try to get what they want, they inevitably come back to me later when they didn’t get it.
“I want a list of fields that are hiring.”
Yes, and I’d like to winning numbers to the $300 million POWERBALL prize! This is not a strategy for success.
You may land a job. You may be able to cross that chore off your list, but you’ll be at it again very soon when the pick off the list doesn’t engage you in any way. Looking for the easy way, the way that “makes sense,” does not make sense if you truly want to find a good fit.
“I want contacts for recruiters who can place me in a job.”
That sounds reasonable. Having relationships with recruiters who are looking for matches for openings in your field is a good thing. However, when people ask to be connected to them, they are often operating under a false assumption. That assumption is that the recruiter will give a damn.
Recruiters don’t work for you. They work for the company looking to fill a position. They won’t take the time (nor can they) to nurture you or amend your resume unless you fit exactly what they need at the moment you contact them.
If you fit what they were looking for and you’re on LinkedIn, they would have contacted you already! Recruiters are to be included in a thorough search, but they are not the answer you may think they are.
“I need help with my resume and marketing. What I have isn’t working.”
This can be a very legitimate issue, but I’d put it in the “barking up the wrong tree” category when someone tells me they’ve been at the job search for a long time. When the doors are not opening after a worthy set of attempts, it’s not the resume that’s the problem. It could be changes in the industry or maybe the way you’re presenting yourself, but most likely, what it means is that you have to pivot and do something else.
Each of these markers tell me that you want a Magic Bullet. You want someone to give you the answer, the magical formula, that will allow you to sidestep the hard work and pain that it may well take to find a truly satisfying landing place.
Satisfaction doesn’t come from the job itself. Even the great financial relief of having a job won’t solve the soon-to-be drudgery that lurks around the corner when you settle for any old job.
Satisfaction comes in a job that plays to your strengths, stretches you, and gives you an opportunity to master something that matters to you. Satisfaction comes from who your job will allow you to be. None of the above strategies are likely to get you there.
If you’re wishing for a magic bullet (and, let’s be honest, most of us are), let us help you get to the real issue instead. You need to know what you want, and it becomes much easier to get it when you do!
In the wonderful world of podcasts, there are some great ones that might spark a dream in you, open up a possibility you hadn’t yet imagined, or peak a new interest. So, next time you’re going for a walk or a run or have a little extra time in the car, give a listen and see what’s here for you.
Betty Soskin’s story is inspiring on many levels, not the least of which is starting a new career as a park ranger at 85!
If you ever thought it was too late or thought there were hurdles you couldn’t overcome, take a look and think again!
P.S. Last we knew, at 95, Betty was still going strong in her role!
“I know what I want to do, but it won’t pay the bills!”
My answer to that is “It may not pay them all right away, but don’t let that be a reason to stay stuck.”
One of the biggest obstacles to people making a change (when they DO know what they want to do) is math. The math doesn’t add up to making the monthly/annual nut from day one.
“Yes, that’s true. AND… .?”
It could add up after the first year
It could make you enough money on the side to create some savings for when you attempt full time
It could put you in the position to create an alliance with someone else where you can get paid right away
It could take longer than you’d like to make the change, but you can use that time to pave the path in the new direction
It could leverage you for new opportunities that you can’t even imagine yet
It could work right away!
This is not Pollyanna speaking. This is 25 years of evidence doing the talking.
I’ve seen artists leave teaching jobs to make it creating their art full time.
I’ve seen doctors move on to related fields and be successful after much angst
over possibly losing their credibility
I’ve seen musicians leave their day jobs and develop their own unique opportunities.
I’ve seen executives change fields successfully, having no experience in the new one
I’ve seen lawyers use their training in a way that was a benefit in non-law jobs
They all made the math work … eventually.
How do you DO that?
Prepare: If you know you are ready to do something else and you know what it is despite HUGE reasons to stay put, you must start preparing.
- If you don’t have what Stephen Covey called a “possibilities account,” aka savings to invest in yourself, start cutting back on expenses in order to create a cushion.
- If your new direction offers an opportunity to start making money right away, start! And bank all that money to support a future leap.
- Involve family and friends in setting the stage for a new direction. Support makes a difference and holds you accountable.
- Complete any training or studying you need for your new direction BEFORE dropping your income.
I’m working with a woman on the operational side of show business who wants to move into another aspect of the field. She has started delegating to more junior people in her office to free up her time. She has begun asking for introductions and meeting with relevant contacts. She takes an extra hour before work studying up on people and projects she wants to be knowledgeable about. Over the course of a few short weeks, she has made solid progress toward making a change. Preparation is making a huge difference, and she is moving very quickly towards solidifying her first opportunity to make money in the new area.
Execute: Start making inroads
- If you need to become known in a new field, start asking for introductions and contacting strangers to gain information and to let them know what you are interested in.
- Volunteer in your desired field to get experience and meet as many people as you can while doing so
- Do what you want to do. Just do it. Start blogging, creating your art, volunteering your expertise or even charging for it. Just get going!
- Get your resume ready, design the website, order the new business card. Just take steps in the new direction, no matter how big or small.
- Explore the many possible ways your desired direction could provide income. For example, my son who started in music playing only one instrument, has no intention of being a poor musician. He’s learned how to program synthesizers, taught himself how to operate sound equipment and musical computer programs, jumped into musically directing musicals, volunteered as musical coordinator, contacted people who play on Broadway who have let him sit in on their show, and taught himself other instruments. He has been making money at most of these things since before his junior year of college. I’ve seen adults successfully take similarly fruitful steps in non-artistic contexts. Diversifying makes it likely you’ll work in the field of your dreams.
Leap: When the day job is getting in the way of the new thing … LEAP.
- If you’ve prepared and executed, there may come an obvious moment where the math still isn’t quite right, but jumping in with full attention is now the only way it has any hope of ever adding up.
In closing, I’m reminded about a very likely obstacle that might be making you resistant to everything I’m suggesting here. TIME. You might be thinking: “I haven’t got time to do all this.” Yes. And? That’s for a whole other post.
I’ll leave you with this:
“We make time for what we want to make time for.”
Now go run those numbers again … let me know how we can help.