Last night we had a family movie night. We’ve had a few of those over the last few weeks and I’m sure you have too. Last night was La La Land. It seemed an appropriately titled film for the current state of the world.
If you’re not familiar with the multi Oscar winning film of 2016, it’s the tells the story of two struggling artists who meet in a classic Hollywood version of Los Angeles. As the two chase their dreams and begin a quirky, musical, emotional relationship, the two learn some very important lessons about life, love, and dreams.
I’ll try not to spoil it for you but toward the end of the film, there’s a scene that shows how life COULD have turned out if they’d made different choices. Very clever, I thought.
Large or small, all businesses start at the same point, with an idea, passion, determination and in no small measure, a healthy amount of fear. But the idea is there – simple – effective. And with hard work that business will grow. But we’re now hit with Covid-19 and whether we like it or not it’s given many a time to reflect.
When I coach people on presentation training, I make the point that as we grow up and become embroiled in life and business, we tend to use language we don’t need. We ‘proceed in an easterly direction’ rather than ‘walk down the street.’ What is it about us that makes us feel we need to over-complicate things? And the situation we find ourselves in now gives us the ideal opportunity to think about whether, in business, we are using unnecessary language. Have we lost sight of what we set out to achieve?
Now you may immediately be thinking, ‘of course not, you’re talking rubbish!’ and that’s fine. These are only the musings of someone who’s sat and thought about precisely what I’ve just described. And it’s great that you know you’re on track and where you’ll be when we’re finally allowed out to play again. But many businesses have had to press the pause button for the time being – and that gives them time for housekeeping. Think about why you started your business in the first place and most importantly perhaps, is the passion still there?
This is a cruel, cruel disease the world is suffering and the tragic loss of life is such a waste. But as business leaders, is this an ideal opportunity to look at what might have been if you’d taken another road? Is the dream you had many years ago the reality now you thought it would be? Far from the glamour of the rose tinted glassed that affect all of us from time to time, what’s your business like now, once the glasses are off?
Now I draw no conclusions from these ramblings, except to say that I’m still as passionate about talking to people, helping people communicate more effectively and helping businesses with their crisis media planning as I’ve ever been. But if there was ever a time to switch the computer off and then log back in, maybe this is the time?
Of course we should all aspire. To create a successful company is a dream for many and so many now enjoy success, despite these extraordinary times. And I sincerely hope that when our, much less tasteful version of La La Land is over, your reality is that your dream remains intact.