Bird Box, a post-apocalyptic psychological thriller on Netflix, has been the talk of the town recently, with 45 million accounts watching it on its first week alone.
Based on the novel by Josh Malerman, Bird Box tells the story of Malorie, played by Sandra Bullock, and her kids, Boy and Girl, as they travel by rowboat to get to safety five years after supernatural entities began causing mass suicide around the world. In this movie, opening one’s eyes is a matter of life or death. In order to survive, the characters need to cover windows with newspapers, wear blindfolds, and go through different tasks blindly.
While it makes for a good weekend movie, Bird Box has hidden nuggets of wisdom that can be useful, whether you’re starting a business or already running one. Warning: spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t seen the film yet, better get to it before reading this.
Persevere and be ready for the challenging journey. In the course of their 42-hour journey, Malorie and the kids had to fight off an insane stranger, thereby losing their supplies.
Choosing to start a business is similar to what the trio had to endure on the river—there are days when you would question your decisions, hurdle one problem after another, and deal with difficult people. The secret to triumphing over these obstacles? Your resolve to succeed and how you handle the challenges that come your way. Never stop learning, and keep your eyes peeled for improvements you can work on.
Take risks. As the world falls into chaos, the characters had to take risks in order to survive. Before the river journey, they had to make a desperate run to the supermarket to gather food and supplies with only blindfolds as protection. They had to painstakingly weigh every action and consider its consequences. Similarly, in running a business, you need to understand the risks you’re taking, know the downside of every scenario, and prepare for the worst outcome.
— ? (@balencigars) December 25, 2018
Have a team you can trust. Malorie wouldn’t survive without Tom and her trusted housemates as allies. The same rule applies when you have your own business to run. You can read articles and books about success, but nothing compares to learning from the experiences of others. It helps to have a mentor or a group of fellow entrepreneurs you can exchange notes with. In a Forbes article, Ken Gosnell shares, “The best leaders learn with a team. An old proverb teaches that where there are many advisors, there is much success.”
Be careful who you listen to. There’s a part in the movie where the creatures mimic the voices of Malorie’s loved ones to get her to remove her blindfold. In running a business, while it helps to have a group you can count on for words of encouragement and tips, keep in mind that you don’t always have to listen to everything they say. Take each tip with a grain of salt—what works for one may not necessarily work for you. Doing proper research and studying all possible consequences can help you prepare a concrete plan of action.
— ᴀɴᴅʀᴇᴀ (@sehnism) December 26, 2018
Listen to your surroundings. To survive the new world, the characters had to rely on their sense of hearing: the panicking sound of birds warn the survivors that the creatures are near. As with running a business, you have to listen and understand what your clients need so you can make informed decisions along the way.
Prepare to make sacrifices. Charlie sacrificed himself so the rest of the team can escape a crazed survivor. Tom also gave up his life so Malorie and the kids can escape a group of insane strangers who want them to “look.”
Sometimes, sacrifices are necessary to reach long-term goals—in business or in real life. There are times when you are forced to give up time meant for family or hobbies you enjoy to make sure the business runs smoothly. Don’t let this dampen your spirits as growing pains are part of the journey.
Keep your “blindfolds” on.Here’s a pop quiz: how many times did Malorie remind her kids not to take off their blindfolds? We lost count, too! To be able to get to safety, Malorie was steadfast when it comes to keeping their blindfolds on even if there were times when taking them off was the easier choice.
The same thing applies when running a business: you have to stick to the core values you’ve established from the beginning. Your brand’s mission and vision serve as the backbone of your company—the “why” in doing your business. Staying true to those values, even if certain situations ask you to compromise, will put things in perspective especially when making big decisions.
— yanz (@llanszeabuton) December 25, 2018
So be like Malorie—stay focused and never lose sight of your goal. And remember: never take off that “blindfold,” even if there’s a crazy man tempting you to do otherwise.
*Disclaimer: All Bird Box images are owned by Netflix.
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