When it comes to Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly films, Step Brothers, is a cult classic for comedy connoisseurs. Often times we are so distracted by the humor that we neglect to see the valuable lessons this movie can provide. As a new entrepreneur I’ve had several moments where all I can do is laugh when I think of the parallels to the silly movie I watched when I was younger.
Lesson 1: Choose a strong name for your companyThe name is everything. In the movie, the company name is “Prestige Worldwide,” which does have a nice ring, so don’t rush this step. This is a name you will put on everything from, t-shirts, to golf balls, to the product you are selling. Make it memorable.
Lesson 2: At some point you have to ask your investors if they are going to invest.
This was one of the hardest questions to ask but if you are raising money, whether it’s a lot or a little, you need to be confident enough to ask your investors to sign on the dotted line. Just don’t show a music video of you and your business partner crashing that person’s boat before you ask them.
Lesson 3: COPS comes on at 4.
As an entrepreneur you will be setting your own hours. So, you can prioritize what you want to get done around personal events in your life. How badly do you want your company to succeed? Well, how many hours do you want to put in. Long hours are expected as an entrepreneur. It will not be a typical 9-5. Prioritization is key.
Lesson 4: Your business partner is now your best friend.
Sometimes you are going to want to do karate in the garage with your business partner because they feel like your best friend. Other times you will want to bury them alive in the backyard. The important thing is to communicate with your business partner constantly so you can find out what you need to talk about for the success of the business and what things you need to let go.
Lesson 5: Lick the white dog crap.
I know, I know, I almost didn’t add this one but hear me out. There will be times as an entrepreneur that you make a mistake, or you take a wrong path, and the only thing you can do is fess up to your mistake and well, lick the white dog crap. Your industry partners will appreciate you owning up to it though and be willing to continue to do business with you if you are addressing these issues head on.
Lesson 6: Don’t get caught up with finding new little islands.
In the movie, Will Ferrell’s step dad calls out to his wife that he found a small group of islands they could sail to during retirement. He is so focused on retirement that he forgets to focus on the problems in front of him. The more you find out about your industry the easier it becomes to find more solutions or side projects. Don’t misunderstand me, if you have those ideas you should chase them down, but don’t lose focus on the important things in front of you, that you do well.
All this to say, being your own boss is the greatest feeling in the world. It is extremely challenging and extremely rewarding. Whether it’s running a karaoke company or importing wine, you have to be passionate about what you do. If you follow your passion and prioritize your days, it will feel like you stacked two beds on top of each other to make bunk beds. You will be amazed how much more room you have for activities.