If you’re thinking of starting up your own business or you’ve already set off down this path, you might face several challenges. There’s a lot of advice on the subject, but according to Professor Fernando García from the Santa Fe Campus of Tecnológico de Monterrey, entrepreneurs can be inspired by and learn a lot from one of the galaxy’s most famous sagas: Star Wars.
On May 4, the day dedicated to this fantastic story created by George Lucas, better known as May the 4th Be With You, this expert on the subject shares some of the key lessons on entrepreneurship that he has identified in Star Wars.
Take risks and act
According to Fernando García, who gives classes on business creation and development at the Tec, many Mexican entrepreneurs put the brakes on their projects because they have doubts.
“They ask themselves, ‘Is it a good idea? Is it a bad idea? What about all the tax I’m going to have to pay?’ They worry a lot,” said the professor in an interview with Tec Review Web
To answer these questions, “or excuses” as this specialist calls them, they can learn from Star Wars by listening to one of Master Yoda’s most well-known phrases: Do or do not. There is no try.
“There is no try when it comes to entrepreneurship. There is action,” explained García. “Success is the result of many failures. That’s how you become successful. You have to go for it.”
Have a clear idea and believe in it
According to the professor, who thinks of himself as a fan “of entrepreneurship, of comics, and all of geek culture”, it’s very important that entrepreneurs are clear about what their business is and believe in it.
“The quote that reflects this comes from Han Solo: Never tell me the odds,” he said. “That’s something that I believe is very necessary.”
“When I’m working here in the business park, a lot of Mexican entrepreneurs come to me with very good ideas, but they give up on them at the first setbacks,” said Fernando García. “I tell them to trust their ideas.”
As an example of this, the Tecnológico de Monterrey professor recalled the case of Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple. “Everyone said he couldn’t do it. No-one would pay for a computer with different typography. People were looking for practicality. They wanted Windows,” he said.
He also mentioned a phrase that has been attributed to Henry Ford: If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.
“Instead, he created the internal combustion automobile for the masses,” said García.
Have an entrepreneurial attitude
“There’s another phrase from Obi-Wan Kenobi that could help entrepreneurs a lot,” said Fernando García. “He says that, ‘many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.’”
“Although Mexico has a lot of opportunities to offer, I feel that meeting other entrepreneurs at national conferences makes us feel afraid,” said the professor. “However, once you get started, hard work and perseverance take over, something all Mexicans share.”
Have a mentor
According to the expert, “in any saga, the hero or heroes have a mentor”, which is essential for entrepreneurs too.
“It’s important to ask the opinion of someone who’s already done what you want to to. If you want to open a restaurant, talk to the owner of a similar one and ask them what they did to get there, how they did it,” explained García.
In this case, he recalled that both Jedi and Sith always have a mentor. “Obi-Wan Kenobi had Qui-Gon Jinn, next Luke Skywalker had Obi-Wan and then Yoda. Anakin Skywalker was also mentored by Obi-Wan,” he said. “Hence the phrase that there are always two of them.”
For this specialist on the topic, “entrepreneurs must always have a team to which they can entrust their business, their dream.”
“As an entrepreneur, you start off as a jack-of-all-trades. You sell, you produce, etcetera. But there comes a time when you have to have a team, others who complement your areas of opportunity,” he added.
According to Fernando García, there are several examples of this in the saga, “such as Han Solo with Chewbacca. In the Millennium Falcon, Han Solo is the pilot and Chewbacca handles the technical side. Then Luke comes aboard, who can shoot. Each one has a role on that ship, on that mission, or on the adventure.”
García adds that although Luke is the hero, “he can’t be everywhere. He needs others to fulfil his purpose.”
Another example is the most recent film, The Forces Awakens, in which Rey fixes the Millennium Falcon and manages to stabilize the ship.
“That’s a very good scene about teamwork,” said the Tec professor. “Han Solo wanted to do things his way, as if to say, ‘it’s my ship, it’s my adventure.’ But Rey does it differently and makes it work. So, Han has the humility to say, ‘It worked. I don’t know what you did, but it worked.’”
Don’t go over to the dark side
The final lesson this expert shares with us based on Star Wars has to do with not letting your fears get to you.
“One of Yoda’s phrases is, ‘Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering,’” said García. “Avoid feeling anxious. You and your team have to work together to avoid feeling insecure about matters such as paying taxes, permits, registering trademarks, etcetera.”
“Instead of letting that get to you, act and get on with things,” he advised.
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