Entrepreneur Lessons from Grey's Anatomy

After 15 successful seasons with 317 episodes, there’s no way you haven’t heard of Grey’s Anatomy. Created and fantastically produced by Shonda Rhimes, Grey’s Anatomy has reached its 14th birthday. Throughout the 15 seasons, we’ve seen our favorite doctors grow into Harper Avery awarding winning surgeons and life experience pros. In celebration of the show’s 14th birthday, we’ve highlighted several entrepreneur lessons that business owners can take away from watching Grey’s Anatomy.

**Warning: Spoilers Ahead**

1. Always make time for family (most important entrepreneur lesson)

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Family first. That is a saying that rests in all of our hearts and minds but isn’t always followed. If you’re a Grey’s fan, you’ve seen Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) and Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) struggle to maintain healthy relationships with their family while having a demanding and unpredictable career.

If you’re a surgeon or entrepreneur, you’re well aware that there isn’t an off button. You have to be where you’re needed and it may become easy to prioritize your business first. You can’t be two places at once, and realistically your personal life may receive less attention than your business.

To bring harmony between your career and personal life, always remember to make time for family. Whether it’s sitting around the table for dinner, taking a walk, attending dance recitals or a sports tournament, be there. Be present.

2. Be flexible with your employees

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Remember when Preston Burke (Isaiah Washington IV) offered Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) his practice and our jaws literally hit the floor? The freedom and flexibility he offered were too hard to resist and she took it. And honestly, who wouldn’t? As a business owner, you should aim to mimic Burke’s flexibility with your employees.

Offer your team incentives like flexible work hours, remote work, pay raises, vacation time, etc. Loosen the wheels on control and order and make your organization a fun and friendly place to be. Work hard together, and play harder. You’d be surprised how much flexibility can increase retention, productivity, and employee morale in the workplace.

3. Dance it out (funnest entrepreneur lesson)

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“We have to dance it out.”

Ahh, the dance party. Originally started by Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and Christina, dancing it out has turned into an iconic Grey’s Anatomy stress relief and celebratory expression. Whether something fantastic or disastrous happens, dance out your success or failure. Just remember to never dance alone. Bring in your team!

Personally, this is a tradition we follow at MyCorporation. Every Friday, we put on song and dance together, laugh, and enjoy the day with one another with a quick jiggy.

If you think dancing is a waste of time thing again. Research shows that dancing can boost your mental health, happiness and physical health. No wonder the doctors keep doing this. So, going forward, whenever you hit your monthly goal or achieve something great, gather up your team, get active, shake your body, laugh, and smile together.

4. Take time to think before making a big change (valuable entrepreneur lesson)

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After the hospital explosion in season 13, our beloved Ben Warren (Jason Winston George) was inspired to do a drastic career change, yet again, to become a firefighter. Originally an anesthesiologist, Dr. Warren decided to begin a surgical internship in season eight. Halfway into his residency Ben decides to become a firefighter. These spur of the moment decisions seem to happen a lot with Ben. He acts first and then thinks later.

So, what can entrepreneurs take from this?

If you decide to make a big change in your business, take time to think about it. First, consider how your customers, family, and employees be affected. Secondly, think about how this change will make you feel. And lastly, ask yourself if this the best decision for your business?

5. Offer Several Training Methods

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Ohh season one how we miss you. We’ve got the original Grey’s gang here! Most of the OGs are amazing and established doctors, but back when they were interns, they were train wrecks. Emotional, headstrong, overly confident, and absolutely fantastic, they all experienced many successes and your fair share of mistakes together.

While running a business, you’re bound to hire employees that will make mistakes left and right. It’s your job to train them or hire someone who will train them well. Training your new hires doesn’t mean sticking them in a 30-minute group training session or barking a boring list of orders that no one will remember. Referencing the lovely Erica Hahn. Try out useful and diverse teaching methods like assigning a mentor, power point/video instructions, or hands-on training. These diverse options can help them improve and fit into their new role.

6. Be confident

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Confidence is key, especially for entrepreneurs. As a business owner, you’re the leading force of your organization. It’s highly unrealistic to expect others to follow you when you don’t believe in yourself. If you lack self-confidence, it can be frustrating to gain more, but it’s possible.

Take an entrepreneur lesson from the great Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone). Throughout the show, she lays in Derek Shepherd’s (Patrick Dempsey) shadow as a lesser of a neurosurgeon. Along with her past drug addictions and brain tumors, Amelia constantly doubts her surgical abilities. Her residents don’t fail to notice her lack of confidence and often question her performance abilities throughout the seasons.

These feelings can be devastating, so what does Amelia do? She poses like a super hero before every surgery! You can do the same, but with an entrepreneurial twist.

Here are a few steps you can take to increase your self-confidence

  1. Envision yourself as the person you want to be
  2. Give yourself pep talks
  3. Exercise regularly
  4. Do one thing that scares you everyday
  5. Help your employees reach their personal goals
  6. Care for yourself
  7. Purchase confidence boosting books

Believe in yourself. If you radiate confidence your employees will notice and be more inclined to follow your lead.

7. Never give up. Even during the toughest times. (resilient entrepreneur lesson)

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Meredith is one of the most resilient characters in the entire show. Fact.

Take this last entrepreneur lesson from Meredith. When times are tough and trust us they will be, make a plan to get through your hard time, and then bounce back. For example, if your business goes bankrupt and you file articles of dissolution, don’t quit entrepreneurship altogether. Start again. If your business closes, take a long moment to look back at your mistakes. Think about what went wrong and how you can do better next time? Pinpoint your mistakes and learn from your experience. This process won’t be easy, but you’ll return as a better leader and business owner.