10 Horror Movie Characters Who Teach Entrepreneurial Skills
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My business name is Hollywood Sensation Jewelry, which means I don’t just love glamour, I love movies too! Now it’s Halloween seasonputting many of us in the mood for a chilling movie featuring a hero we can cheer for or a villain to hate as they demonstrate valuable skills in entrepreneurship! Yes, we can learn many lessons from some of our favorite horror movie characters. So curl up with your favorite snack from the movie (make me some chocolate covered raisins, please) and grab a pillow to hide behind. Prepare to be afraid of success!
Here’s how these famous movie icons get the job done:
Stick to it and make it work
Jason Vorhees (Friday 13e Part 2, 1981, etc.) and Michael Meyers (Halloween1979, etc.).
Mr. Vorhees and Mr. Meyers have two important traits to teach us: persistence and flexibility. These two goal-oriented do-it-yourselfers won’t be held back from achieving their goals, no matter what obstacles stand in their way. On the contrary, they seem to enjoy challenges, preferring to see them as learning experiences. When they start a project, they don’t stop until the job is done, no matter how often they are delayed. And their flexibility is unmatched! The two independent men work effectively in any environment (small townscampgrounds, outer space, underworld) because they know their stuff so well they can easily change mediums and still produce reliable results.
Carve out a new niche
Freddy Kruger (Freddie, 1985, etc.)
In the 1980s, in a complete industry that seemed to have no room for another artist of his flavor, Freddy carved out a new niche tending to his customers while he sleeps. This move made meetings easier for him and distinguished him as the “only guy” who could take care of business during the wee hours. It’s a real time saver, and people have noticed it. By taking this step, Mr. Krueger broke new ground and ensured repeat business for decades.
Be the best at what you do
Father Merrin (The Exorcist, 1973).
Father Merrin sets the standard by being a recognized expert in his field. A position he achieved by becoming a controlled and certified expert opinion leader whose opinion and skills are highly sought after by people – including celebrity clientele. When a diabolical problem only needs the most qualified professional, they are the ones to go to. No one is better at handling demanding customers. He even makes house calls.
Changing careers at the right time
Hannibal Lecter (Thesilenceofthelambs, 1991).
After his lucrative career as a medical professional, Dr. Lecter becomes a part-time consultant for the FBI from a small underground office. He is an excellent example of a midlife career change, transitioning from a rewarding but stressful and time-consuming career in medical psychiatry to a freelance job where he can relax and pursue his interests. Now he only takes the cases he chooses to work on while enjoying hobbies like cooking and traveling.
Balancing life by working from home
Jack Torance (the brilliant, 1980).
Jack agrees to spend the winter as the caretaker of an isolated hotel, a job he takes very seriously. However, when work from home, having downtime is essential for your health and happiness. Without the traditional work “markers” of a commute or office, home workers can feel like they never get a break. Jack knows that when your home is also your office, it’s important to spend time with family, enjoy the outdoors and make new friends. Remember Jack’s motto, “All work without play makes Jack a dull boy.”
Pivoting the business when times are tough
Norman Bates (psychology1960).
Norman runs his family’s motel, but business hasn’t been as good since the freeway moved. How does Norman deal with being “outside the box”? By introducing specialist services that customers cannot find anywhere else, ensuring that customers are well taken care of. Norman makes his motel so unusual that soon people are actively looking for him and can’t stop asking questions!
Break with the peloton
Victor Frankenstein (Frankenstein1931).
There’s a lot to admire in an inventor who chooses his own path, saying, “Maybe we can do better than the way it’s always been done before.” When Dr. Frankenstein’s colleagues refuse to think out of frame, misunderstanding his project, they discourage him from venturing into promising new territory. No matter; this brave doctor takes matters into his own hands. He opens a private laboratory, does his own research and development and obtains results that are all the rage.
Make your customer experience unforgettable
Annie Wilkes (Misery, 1990).
The name of the game for Ms. Wilkes is customer service. As one of the first to experience the passive income boom in Airbnb industry, she only has one guest in her spare room at a time. Yet she devotes her full attention to him, ensuring that his stay will be long and memorable. In an age where customer reviews and word of mouth mean everything, her name and reputation precede her.
Working with the environment in mind
Leatherface (and his family) (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 1974).
Let’s hear it for farm to table, family businesses! The entrepreneurship is alive and well in this artisan family, with several generations working together on their sustainable farm project. They were downsizing before it got cool and barely left a carbon footprint except for a little chainsaw gasoline.
Now take a page of their scripts
As you move forward with your entrepreneurial endeavors, remember that many of your favorite movie characters can inspire you even in difficult times. There are many other great examples of entrepreneurs in horror cinema: the extraterrestrial (Extraterrestrial, 1979) who learns to grow, adapt and take charge of himself in a foreign setting; Chucky (Child’s play, 1988), which was not deterred by its small start-up size; or Jigsaw (Seen, 2004), who has an incredible mastery of branding. Follow the lead of these go-getters, and I’m sure you’ll be up for the toughest challenges!