When you run a small business, there’s a lot of help and support out there. Some of it may resonate with you, some of it may not. Some of it may be closely related to your chosen business or industry, some of it may be too vague and generic to be truly actionable. Nonetheless, any entrepreneur worth their salt knows that they should take inspiration wherever they can find it. While this may predominantly come from business mentors and office angels, there’s a surprising fecundity of inspiration in our popular culture. Here we’ll be looking at the beloved diminutive Jedi master from the Star Wars saga. While he may not be the most immediately identifiable role model in the world of business, there are some stark lessons that small business owners can learn from the iconic little green space monk.
Embrace your small stature
“Judge me by my size, do you?” Yoda asks a young Luke Skywalker in the Empire Strikes Back. In today’s franchise dominated economy, it’s all too easy to equate size with value. Many small business owners are borderline obsessed with the idea of growth and upscaling their operations. While this ambition is commendable, and sometimes organic growth occurs when demand outstrips supply, there’s a lot to be said for keeping your small business small.
The Jedi lead a humble and monastic lifestyle that’s free of the superficial trappings that even people in a galaxy far, far away equate with success. Many small business owners fork out a substantial share of their profit margins on superficial flourishes to make their businesses seem grander and more robust. Executive office space for rent needn’t come with the huge price tag associated with lavish city center offices, nor need it tie your business into a long and restrictive lease. A small office space may be all your business needs and even working from home and using a virtual office may help you to clamp down on overheads without compromising your brand’s reputation.
Remember that scene in Attack of the Clones where the tiny Yoda faces off against the imposing Count Dooku played by the statuesque Christopher Lee in a crowd pleasing lightsaber duel? Yoda was able to gain the upper hand by leaping and rolling strategically to escape his adversary’s frenzied chopping. Small businesses are able to stay agile in ways that larger businesses are not. They’re able to respond quickly and decisively to consumer trends and industry changes while larger businesses have a far more elaborate bureaucratic infrastructure that prohibits this agility.
Use your wisdom to benefit others
There’s a reason why Yoda is referred to as the Master… And it’s not just because he’s pretty handy with his little green lightsaber. It’s because he is always willing and eager to impart his wisdom to others. As you rack up years of experience managing a small business, your insights and observations become an increasingly valuable commodity to those who are attempting to make it behind you. Help them out and grow your business’ brand and reputation by speaking at events and mentoring aspiring young business people.
Embrace Yoda’s teachings and find success in small business you will!