Joy in business

I enjoyed this movie about the rags to riches life story of Joy Mangano. Even though it’s a Hollywood feel-good homage to the American dream with a good dusting of schmaltz, it nevertheless pulls great performances from Jennifer Lawrence, De Niro and Bradley Cooper. It probably also resonates with every entrepreneur, as the plot’s trajectory takes in the huge amount of learning, and innumerable setbacks that go with turning an idea into a commercial success.

One of Jennifer Lawrence’s more demanding roles.

Perhaps starting a business is always a challenge, a lonely path with obstacles and doubters aplenty; one which calls for extraordinary self belief, resilience, diverse skills, and not so much objectivity. In many respects it’s like parenting, but as the movie depicts, rearing kids, whilst no cake-walk, has an inevitability about it that entrepreneurship does not. Statistics vary, but a conservative figure quoted here has 60% of UK startups not making it to year 4.

So if creating something from nothing is a tough gig, made none the easier by recent events, what’s the secret sauce? a good idea, hard work, talent, charisma, creativity, self belief, investment, networking, connections, sponsorship, marketing, luck, efficient administration, a business plan?

The movie gives each a role but for the business plan, which ironically, is what every mentor and business development bod I’ve spoken to has emphasised.

Now in year 4 🤗

It’s interesting to contrast the human qualities and intangibles above, with the logical, rational, if formulaic and often “imaginative” approach needed to write a plan. The TV series Dragons Den often highlights this juxtaposition, and Levi Roots’ charisma and loose grip on the figures epitomises it.

Regge, reggae jerk sauce is now an international success, affording Levi, aka Keith, a net worth of $45m and, more importantly, the opportunity to perform with James Brown.

Other posts have explored faith and reason, building a business perhaps embodies them like nothing else.

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