Skip to main content

3 Sweaty Lessons for the Entrepreneur

When the remake of the movie, Sparkle, arrived to theaters, I had to watch the 1976 version just one more time. This has been a favorite since I first watched it as a teen almost 20 years after it was released. Every time I watch the movie something different stands out. This time that I watched it, I noticed how sweaty Stix, the character played by Philip Michael Thomas, was when he hugged the girls mom. It was at the point that I experienced an epiphany as to why this movie impacted me so much. Here are three sweaty business lessons that I learned from the movie:


1. Sweating is Natural 

In Sparkle, when Stix came to Sparkle's debut and hugged her mom he was sweaty. She didn't turn him away. In fact, she gave him a full embrace while in her finest threads. He had made a mistake and she knew it, but he had survived it and she was encouraged.  As a entrepreneur, I have to put in my sweat equity to get my business off the ground. There aren't always casual or ladylike ways to go about this. I just have to allow myself to get dirty, make mistakes, fall down, get up...It's okay. As I take risks, I see my clients taking risks. They inspire me. That determination and perseverance becomes contagious.


2. Sweating is Good for you

Yes; I am a writer. Yes; I am a poet. But, THIS time I am not speaking figuratively. In the movie, when Stix got upset, he would put his feet to the pavement and take a walk. Similarly, no amount of reading, savvy, and mental exercises can replace a good workout. Physical exercise is good for your health AND the health of your business. Dan Brown, author of the Da Vinci Code is quoted as saying:

In addition to starting early, I keep an antique hourglass on my desk and every hour break briefly to do push-ups, sit-ups and quick stretches. This helps keep the blood, and ideas, flowing.

As an entrepreneur, you are not only the worker bee - you are the thinker bee. The one with the vision. When I allow myself to become exhausted, it compromises the amount of energy I have to put towards my projects. Time at the gym or walking has produced some of my most creative ideas.


3. Use your Sweat to Sparkle



There are fifteen key minutes of the movie that completely elevate the story line from being about a poor family living in Harlem to a much more universally-themed story line about choices...specifically choices that have to be made in the face of adversity. The following words were said by Sparkle (portrayed by Irene Cara) after the funeral for her sister and Stix returning to town after leaving to pursue his career. She is hurting or, in the words of the old Dry Idea commercials, letting him see her sweat. But, it is pivotal to her growth and independence. This stronger, confident person emerges than we have seen up to this point in the movie. This person becomes the Sparkle whom we see command the stage at Carnegie Hall.

Give you a chance? Wanna know something funny? When you first left, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to live without you. Yeah, I used to sit in this room and wondered if I would ever get through another second. Can you imagine a person so unhappy? To not know if they'd live through another second? I got through the second, Stix. Minutes, days, months, weeks. I'm doing fine without you. Just fine.  

As an entrepreneur, I am faced with many challenges. Unlike the years I spent in higher education, I don't have a meeting to call, protocol to follow or standard practices guide. Many choices are complex and there is no right or wrong. I have mentors and resources in place which help. But, some decisions and challenges are unique to my own business. Going through the process, the sweat, learning from own lessons, and recovering from my own decisions all are helping this solopreneur to evolve.

Comments

  1. For a successful company , one needs to realize 3 goals.

    1. One, a business exists for many reasons, but the primary one is to make money.

    2. Two, The business needs to sell a product that folk want.

    3. And three, one needs a positive aura/attitude of owner/workers, led by the owner, to make that product, and market it successfully.

    I have been in business over 60 years, make car parts, employ hundreds of folk, and these 3 rules have served me well.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Unofficial Beginning of Fall

Have you ever noticed how a slogan will start to be passed around in advertising for a while? As a kid, I remember all the stores that were open late in the fall would call their sales "midnight madness" or something to that effect.  A few years ago the buzz phrase was "Christmas in July". This year is no different. I have heard Labor Day termed "the unofficial last day of Summer" more than a handful of times this year. It doesn't have quite the same charm as Christmas in July but it does give one pause. Ending Summer when living in the Midwest is quite a sobering thought.

But guess what? In Michigan, Summer isn't the only exciting season around here! Fall in Michigan means amusement parks without blistering heat, cider mill and maple tree tours, and...the ARTS!! One way to verify that fall is here is with the Kerrytown Bookfest happening this Sunday.

The writing and poetry community is definitely ready to jump back into action. In fact, Thursday…

Can Professional and Effective Coexist in Social Media?

Good News! Social media does not have to be boring and ineffective to still maintain professionalism.  Many organizations have started to get hop by adding cute photos, taglines, humor, and video. But, a thousand likes on your pictures of cats in cute hats won't necessarily translate into new paying customers or increased awareness for your organization. Below are twelve ways to begin to strike a balance in communicating effectively and professionally the key parts of yourself, brand, or organization. This list comes from years of seeing people and organizations struggle with keeping their online presence professional, yet engaging and effective.

This presentation was created for the University of Michigan's Center for the Education of Women hosted its 33rd Women of Color Taskforce Career Conference, one of the oldest and largest career conferences for the University. We were happy to be a part of this day of learning with the session Communicating Professionally and Effectiv…

Too Good To Be True!

#TechTuesdays
#TuesdayTip
Free Ninety Nine! Doesn't it sound good? Oh boy! Two FREE roundtrip airline tickets to wherever you wish. All just because you just happened to be on Facebook at the right time, connected to the right friend. Have you seen an ad or been tagged on an ad like the one below on your Facebook timeline?
I hate to break this to you...but it is a scam. Perhaps you received something like this in your email inbox?

Examples:

[Collected via e-mail, November 2011]

Receive 2 FREE Southwest Airline Tickets Today!

[URL elided]

For a limited time you can receive 2 FREE Southwest Airline Tickets good for any travel within the USA! Don't wait, this is a one time free gift offered just in time for the Holidays!


[Collected via e-mail, October 2012]

Planning for the holidays? Lucky you! Southwest Airlines is sending out thousands of complimentary flight vouchers to current Facebook users! To get yours, fly by [URL elided] to follow the on-screen instructions. Happy flight, co…