A successful entrepreneur strives to constantly bring a fresh perspective to every obstacle and challenge. They recognize their weaknesses and strengths and bring in a wide variety of talents to help their business grow and become as successful as possible. One of the most successful TV Sitcoms in history was the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. They found success through a compelling cast of characters and a variety of awesome punch-lines.
Fresh Prince of Bel Air was a 90′s sitcom that was a hit sensation across North America. It kick started the career of Will Smith and provided us with the infamous Carlton Dance. While filled with humour and comedy, the show also offered us a chance to reflect on our own lives and learn a variety of key lessons.
Knowing these lessons for business can make you a successful person. Especially if you're an entrepreneur or business founder.
When I got started as an entrepreneur, the idea of telling a rich story was one of the many lessons I learned from studying the Fresh Prince. A few other lessons I learned from watching this show reflect on business as a whole and how I can optimize my life for happiness.
Let me share with you the 5 most important lessons I learned:
Get thrown out. Don't give up.
Jazz is Will's best friend, and from season to season, he never stopped loving Hilary Banks, Will's cousin. She wasn't interested in Jazz but week after week, he showed up trying to win the girl of his dreams with smooth pick up lines and a variety of shenanigans. Every time Jazz would bug Hilary just a wee-bit too much, Hilary would call her fathers name and have Jazz removed from the building.
As an entrepreneur, you're going to be met with rejection time and time again. Personally, I have yet to become fully comfortable with rejection, but it's something I've learned to take in strides. The key is to no longer be afraid of rejection. Our fear of rejection comes from the fear of humiliation, imperfections, and self-perception. Jazz knew he has a strong chance of being rejected time and time again but never gave up.
As an entrepreneur, you need to recognize and embrace the idea of being rejected. In reality, it's going to happen. Mark Zuckerberg's team at Facebook was rejected by several banks when they were looking for investors and Oprah was rejected by several networks when looking for somewhere to do her show. The key is to use rejection to motivate yourself to prove people wrong.
Money rules everything. Hustle. Hustle. Hustle.
As an entrepreneur, you need to be resourceful and be optimizing your revenue stream to keep the doors of your business open. Some of the greatest entrepreneurs have come very close to belly up but found ways to generate additional income to keep their business alive. An example of a resourceful CEO and team is the guys fromwho bought a bulk supply of generic cheerios and made up these cereal boxes to generate seed capital for their startup. Here's how one of the founders describes it:
We made 500 of each (Obama O's and Cap'n McCains). They were a numbered edition on the top of each box, and sold for $40 each. The Obama O's sold out, netting the funds we needed to keep Airbnb alive. The Cap'n McCains ... they didn't sell quite as well, and we ended up eating them to save money on food.
Asput it, this is a story of pure unadulterated hustle.
Never forget where you came from
As an entrepreneur, you are good at what you do. Your mom knows it. Your customers know it. Your colleagues know it. And, you know it. That said, don't get too caught up in your success that you forget about your own humble beginnings and those who helped you find success. The moment you do that, the confidence that you had as you built your business will turn into arrogance. Take the time to help out others who can't necessarily help you, and give yourself the time to reflect on your past and those who helped you achieve success.
Always be ready to make the sale
As a founder, you need to constantly be making the sale. When I say making the sale, I'm not referencing the importance of selling your actual product but I'm talking about selling your ideas, your vision, your team or your core value proposition (). No matter who you interact with in business, a sale is being made. You could be selling someone on an idea about your business or selling them your business as a whole. One way or another, you need to identify the key lines that will connect with people and what your business's value proposition looks like. Understand who it is you're targeting and optimize this value proposition to act as the best pick up line possible.
As Ben Affleck in Boiler Room once said,
A sale is made on every call you make. Either you sell the client some stock or he sells you a reason he can't. Either way a sale is made, the only question is who is gonna close? You or him? Now be relentless, that's it, I'm done.
Haters Gonna Hate
As an entrepreneur, you will come across a lot of criticism. The biggest challenge an entrepreneur will face with criticism is in their ability to differentiate between constructive criticism (the good stuff) and destructive criticism (). It's important to push yourself to understand and identify the difference. Constructive criticism is great for actually making improvements to yourself or your business. The destructive criticism has no value and is simply someone who doesn't want to see you succeed or is being negative.
If you're confident in what you're doing and are focused on providing value to your customers; ignore the haters. Focus on what you do well and embrace your strengths along with your weaknesses. We all have our little quirks and no one is perfect. As an entrepreneur, you need to have theto persistently push through criticism. While I haven't done the statistical analysis, I have a feeling the more successful you are, he more haters you have.
Forget failure - Create value and succeed.
What lessons have you learned from the Fresh Prince?
Do you have a favorite episode?
Ross writes at , where he shares his ideas and thoughts on life, business, startups and marketing. Subscribe to his to receive additional content not shared or published online.