Whether its a ‘do or die’ attitude or not caring what others think, Eddie the Eagle would’ve made for a great startup Founder
Last Saturday evening, I went to watch Wolverine teach a complete noob how to ski jump without breaking all his bones in the process. At least, that was pretty much the elevator pitch I gave my friends to convince them to watch the movie with me.
As I watched Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards attempt to overcome all odds and achieve his boyhood dream of participating in the Olympics, it occurred to me there were some lessons in the film that would be useful for a startup.
Here are my three takeaways:
Eddie started off with a goal — to go to the Olympics
The man cared less about ‘how’ he was going to reach his objective and more about accomplishing the feat.
He recognised the need to try many different methods in an effort to figure out the best strategy. When every blueprint failed, he pivoted and adjusted his goal slightly — make the Winter Olympics.
In the startup world, it is important have a similar mindset. Start with a goal or problem in mind, try different approaches to solving it and recognise if, and when, it might be time to pivot.
Ask for help
Do whatever it takes. Even if it means get laughed at and told ‘no’ thousands of times.
Eddie was kicked off the England squad and told he would have to jump 70 metres to qualify for the Great Britain squad in the Winter Olympics. Not to mention he was participating in a dangerous sport in which he had little experience.
But his kamikaze-like ‘do or die trying’ attitude made fans embrace him.
Most entrepreneurs, like Eddie, have also been told thousands of times that they are crazy. It is the determination, drive and chip on their shoulder that makes entrepreneurs ignore the doubters to stay on the path to success.
Just do it
There are many who speak of wanting to start a business but are afraid to try. One major barrier is the fear of failing and rejection.
It is true that the odds are stacked against startup founders, but the same applies for anyone doing something difficult for the first time.
Not every startup becomes a unicorn like Uber, Airbnb or Snapchat; but the biggest guarantee of failure is not trying in the first place.
Also Read: Entrepreneurs, how do you handle setbacks?
How can a founder take off if they are too scared to point their skis down the jump?
Pierre de Coubertin, the real-life Founder of the International Olympic Committee, said it best in an age-old Olympics agage. He said:
“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.”
Photo via 2Oth Century Fox official Poster.
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