By Rieva Lesonsky
If you believe the many futuristic “What have we done to our world?” science fiction movies, like this summer’s Elysium and Oblivion, the world of the future is a dystopian society—vastly overpopulated, with the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer, and the ozone obliterated. The message: If we don’t do something about the current world problems, we will leave a mess for future generations and ultimately destroy our planet. Although most likely extremely exaggerated, these post-apocalyptic movies can teach small business owners some useful lessons:
1. Remember your roots: In the bigger-means-badder world of the future, large corporations with unlimited working capital at their disposal use their power and wealth to perpetuate an unbalanced economy and care only for their own personal lifestyles. As your small business grows, it’s important to remember and give back to the community that helped you succeed. Remember to keep charitable concerns close to your business’s heart and part of your business budget, and use your power for good.
2. Look for leaders in unlikely places: When it comes time to delegate some of your duties, don’t only consider the obvious candidates. Think of all the movies where an unlikely hero becomes a leader because the circumstances call him or her to rise up and take action. Give everyone in your company a chance to shine by empowering them with a specific project or duty and see who rises to the challenge. Sometimes, people just need to feel important in order to show what they’re capable of.
3. Take risks: The best things happen to heroes when they take risks. Even if it doesn’t work out at first, eventually taking a risk gets them to a better place. In your business, if you take risks and learn from your mistakes, you’ll quickly learn when to act … and when you shouldn’t act. Learning from past mistakes and going forward with new understanding is not only the theme of most end-of-the-world movies, but should also be every entrepreneur’s mantra for small business success.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at email@example.com, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports