I’m in love with The Greatest Showman! I’ve already seen it twice and bought the soundtrack. Aside from the yumminess of Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron, the music was amazing, and I felt myself getting teary through the whole movie. It spoke to me.
As I sat in the theater next to the hubs, I felt my dreams and goals stir inside me. Business was never in my original game plan. I planned to be a mom, to serve in my church and community, and to support my husband as he pursued his dreams. Somewhere along the way, I started to realize that God had a bigger plan for me to use my talents at home, and in a more public way.
And for years, I struggled with feeling like I had one foot on the gas and one foot on the breaks. Grow, but not too fast. Be visible, but not so much that people recognize you when you don’t want them to. Speak your truth, but not to the point that it offends others. Hit big numbers, but not so big that you don’t know how to handle them.
I know this year is going to be a breakthrough year for me. But I really want to do it on my own terms. So for all you fearless entrepreneurs who are shooting for greatness in your own industries, here are the lessons I learned from watching The Greatest Showman.
- It’s okay to risk and fail. I took risks well in the early years of my business. There was nothing to lose. And no one was really depending on me. There was also a safety net. If it didn’t work out, we could fall back on my husband’s job and I could go beg for my old job back. But the more the company has grown, the more cautious I’ve been. Trust me I’m not planning to be unwise in protecting my company. But it feels very freeing to give myself permission to try new things and not have every single one work out.
- Surround yourself with people that support your dream. PT Barnum went from having a failing museum to a thriving show when he started recruiting. The people he brought in were unconventional and exceptional and they were committed to his vision and dream.
- Don’t listen to the critics, focus on the ones that are clapping. There are always people that don’t like what you do. They tend to be loud. They tend to push their way into your vision to make sure you know they disapprove. But they are also the minority. They aren’t your people. Perform for the ones that are clapping. The ones that love you and what you bring to the table.
- Dream big, but live in the present. To all my visionaries out there, sometimes dreams are the thief of your joy. Because you are so clear on what you want, you can see it and feel it. But sometimes you live so much in the future and what happens next that you miss the joy of the present. Today is amazing. Love it. Live in it. Take time to dream each day, but then come back to today and give yourself permission to enjoy.
- The reward is worth it, even when it takes longer than you thought. There’s a line in the movie where PT Barnum tells his wife, “It took 25 years, but this is the life I promised you.” How many of us settle for less because the pain of wanting a dream but not having it is too great? Keep the dream. Hold onto it. And be patient. Sometimes they come when we hope they will. Sometimes they come later. But the reward is just as worthy of celebration.
- When the doors all close, keep the dream. There are moments in business and in life when it seems like you’ve explored every option. The money has run out. People are saying no. Someone quits. Everything falls apart. These moments are painful. And they cause us to adjust our approach and our direction. But they don’t have to cause us to adjust the dream. We can hold onto that dream. Something will open up. Hold faith and get creative. Sometimes the forced change ends up being the better way.
- When Hugh Jackman asks you to join the circus the answer is yes! And if Zac Efron asks you to go swing around on ropes? Yes, definitely yes!
I hope you see the movie and that it speaks to you like it did to me. What is your favorite inspirational movie?
Disclaimer: Before you send me hate mail, I do know that the film is not historically accurate, and that PT Barnum was more of an exploiter of the weak than a supporter of the unique. So I’m talking about the film, not the dude.