Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and as much as we would love to write some old clichéd post about the best flavor candy heart or whether or not it’s appropriate to buy anyone in your office flowers, we decided to utilize another over-commercialized aspect of the holiday – the romance movie. Romance movies can teach us all sorts of wonderful lessons about never having to say sorry and ordering the right food at the deli, but you can also stretch some of those lessons to help make you fall deeper in love with running a business.
Or at least help keep you from wondering why the heck you started a business in the first place.
So, taken from a few of our favorite Romance movies, here are three ways to stay in love… with your company.
Know when to let the boat get cut in half – Must Love Dogs
Jake, the leading man of this film and played by good old romance film stand by John Cusack, had a very odd occupation in this film; he made handcrafted boats. Boats he put a lot of time, energy and love into. And they were beautiful boats, gleaming wooden triumphs of art and craftsmanship.
The problem is selling them. No one wanted to buy them, contributing to the myriad of problems Jake faced in the movie. When he does finally sell one, its to a man who wants to cut it in half and hang it up on his wall. It’s a travesty, but by the end of the movie Jake agrees, takes it out to the lake for one last row, and meets the leading lady, Sarah, who chases him down and ends the movie with the long awaited kiss.
Anyway, Jake’s intense passion and connection to his boat is what we would like to focus on. He puts a lot of himself into his product, and then is upset about what the consumer wants to do with it. That mentality isn’t healthy, and sometimes you have to let your customers do what they will with your product. You can advise them against it, you can even tell them how it is supposed to be used, but you can’t force them to use it a certain way. We’re pretty sure Frisbees aren’t supposed to be cereal bowls, but sometimes when you are running late and can’t find any clean dishes, you have to make do.
So learn to let go and just be happy you made a sale.
Even though they work well on their own, don’t just throw them all together and expect a movie to come out of it - Valentine’s Day (2010)
This was one of those movies that surprised everyone with its spectacular failure. After all, it had all the right elements. The cast was chock full of stars, it had Gary Marshall directing, it cost over $52 Million to make…
But it stunk. It was a train wreck – one of the worse movies to be released in 2010. It also made its money back four times over, which just goes to show you there is no accounting for taste. But it also shows that throwing a bunch of stars together with a poorly thought out script will not make a good movie – actors alone aren’t enough to carry a film.
The same can be said for business. I’m sure you have a few great employees in your office; hard working, loyal, and focused. But they aren’t going to be able to carry the company on their backs alone. They need good teams, a solid plan and the space to flourish. As the business owner, it is up to you to strike a balance between being meddlesome and aloof. You need to know what is happening in various departments, and be on top of what projects are being pursued in your office, but you also don’t want to micromanage. Let your employees do what they do best, and try to guide them rather than simply expect them to know exactly what to do.
Just because something is different, it doesn’t mean its good - My Bloody Valentine 3-D
We love our terrible horror movies, and My Bloody Valentine is pretty high up on our “bad movies” list. The original wasn’t even that great, but the remake was God awful. Rather than trying to build on what the original created, which was already pretty shaky, it simply slapped 3D onto the poster and threw an occasional limb into the audience to shake things up.
It is just one of a long list of films that sacrificed any semblance of story and pacing for 3D effects – the film made its money back, but it definitely won’t achieve the cult film status that its predecessor earned.
And it really does prove the old adage that new is not necessarily better. Just as an example, every year a slew of new business books gets published and, subsequently, managers all across the country try to implement some of the stupidest ideas ever to be written down just because they are new. We’ve heard of offices that shut down for an hour because the author recommends that the book be read out loud to all the employees!
It’s important to be open to change, but you should also trust your instincts. Ask yourself if this new idea you want to implement really is good or if it is just gimmicky.
Then sleep on it.
Finally, we’d also like to wish all of you a Happy Valentine’s Day. We forget to get you a gift this year, but now if your significant other drags you to a romance movie you don’t really want to see, you can ask yourself if any of the lessons are applicable to your business!