Learn how to run a business: watch the Wizard of OZ

Recently I watched the Wizard of Oz (the original one from the 1930s)  with my daughter, it was first time she’s ever seen it. I highly recommend watching movies with kids because of their wonderful. How often can you watch a movie like the Wizard of Oz and see it with fresh eyes. (I’ve probably watched 20+ times)

As we were watching it, I was struck by all the characters and the messages that carried with them. Instantly, I  visualized how they applied to business owners and had to quickly type up this blog post! If you are a big fan of the Wizard of Oz, this will really resonate with you:
  1. Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Lion, and Scarecrow all decide to see the wizard woo1together, even though they want different aspects of what the wizard has to offer, they quickly realize that as a team they can conquer together. In business, it’s the same, the more you work as a team with other business owners, the stronger you are and the more empowered you are to accomplish what you want.
  2. The Scarecrow has one of the best lines in the movie is “some people talk, but they don’t say anything.” The Scarecrow is convinced that he’s not as smart as he woo2wants to be because he has “no brain”, but throughout the movie, he’s great about using strategy to outsmart the witch, etc. The message here is modesty and how even if you are “smart”, don’t flaunt it, use it to your advantage.
  3. The Lion wants courage so badly, but backs down as soon as he’s confronted by fear or uncertainty. The poor Lion is trembling when his crew go to visit the Wizard, the lion asks, “Who bit my tail?” and the Scarecrow jumps in and says “You did, look you are holding it” and the Lion quickly drops it. This is a great example of how as business owners, we can self-sabotage ourselves if we aren’t paying attention.  Having colleagues that hold us accountable and remind us that we can overcome a challenge or difficult time helps us become braver.
  4. Toto, Dorothy’s dog, represents tenacity, he escapes multiple times after being woo4captured, once from Miss Gulch and once from the Wicked Witch of the West. A wonderful quality among owning a business is being bendable and knowing when to make a change or decision. Trusting your gut and the ability to move quickly and smoothly is key.
  5. Dorothy represent earnest and bravery, yes -she daydreams that the grass is always greener and wants to live somewhere over the rainbow, but she always tells the truth and stands up for what she believes in.
  6.  The munchkins represent the fan club of your business, whether it’s family woo6and/or friends that believe in what you are doing or devoted customers who love to share the great experience your service or products has delivered.
  7. Glinda, the good witch, serves a mentor. Every business owner needs a mentor, someone who guides you and shares little nuggets of knowledge. Glinda shared the importance of the ruby slippers with Dorothy, but didn’t try and solve all her problems, she let her make her own mistakes and served as a good listener when Dorothy needed advice.
  8. The Tin Man, represents the heart/giving back aspect of business. He claims that woo8he doesn’t have a heart, but he’s the most empathetic creature of the group. The message is you don’t have to have a huge heart in order to care or make a
    difference in other people’s lives.
  9.  The Wicked Witch of the West sheds light on your doubts and fears. She eats at you and makes you lose faith and not believe in yourself. When Dorothy throws water and stands up to the witch, she demonstrates exactly what we need to do to ourselves to stop the negative thinking. YOU are your own worst enemy and the witch is one of the best ways to view what the negative thoughts would woo9look like if they were to represent a character.
  10. The Wizard is our competitors, he symbolizes someone with all of the answers, who can solve anything. Of course, we soon see, as soon as Toto spots “the man behind the curtain” that no one can be all-powering. Instead of fearing or reacting negatively to the our competition, try and get to know and befriend them, see what you can learn from them.
Bonus: The magic “ruby” slippers represent the uniqueness you bring into your business. It’s something no one can take from you, and you have to learn, on your own, how to craft and use them. No one can really do this for you, that is why Glinda had to let Dorothy figure everything out for herself.


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