Lessons from the Oscars

Last night was Oscars night. That means you were either glued to the TV to watch it unfold or you hide away in another room with a book.

Whichever camp you fall into, there’s something to  learn from the Academy Awards in that it gives us a rare glimpse into the complex world of making a film, as tributes are paid to the hundreds of people behind the scenes that make it possible.

Most of us understandably think only of the actors since they’re the ones we get to look at for two hours as the movie unfolds. After the movie is launched there is usually recognition of the Director and Producer but recognition seldom goes beyond that.

I live in a town that has the opportunity to host a fair number of movie makers each year and therefore we become more aware of the support systems as we step over those snaking lines of cables and curse at the road closures or the massive support trucks that take up too much road space – forgetting for that moment the cash that these productions bring to our local economy.

Next time you watch a good movie don’t hit the OFF button as the credits start to roll, but take a minute to see the dozens of categories of support from hairdressers, to post production to catering, location producers and on and on…

It’s easy to think of a micro enterprise – the one or two person business – as if the principals are all alone in the world and sometimes it may seem like that to the entrepreneur. In fact just as with show business there’s a small army of support people that help to make a successful business get launched and stay successful. For example, much as we love to slam government, without reasonable tax structures (including exemptions) and the services of the bureaucracy, small business dies. Becoming a sole proprietor takes a matter of a few days in BC; while in many other parts of the world it can take months to get approval.

Once launched, your support system becomes you accountant or bookkeeper, perhaps a lawyer, maybe the commercial realtor who found your warehouse or store, your business coach or training program, and of course your customers, since without them, nothing happens. Your friends and your family often have made sacrifices to get your dream launched and they certainly deserve recognition too.

Launching a company might not have the same scale of support (or the budget) of making a movie but the principle is the same. No one can make it happen without a wide range of other resources and the skills of other people. As entrepreneurs we need to consider those resources and support systems, letting them constantly know that they are appreciated and they share in your success.

Here’s an idea, maybe should all put our ‘list of credits’ on our websites, just like the movies do. It might help to let our customers know that we don’t do this all on our own.

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