5 Entrepreneurial Lessons From the Movie "Sing"

I recently had the pleasure of taking my two oldest sons to the movie “Sing.” In my opinion, it was a great animated movie with a wonderful storyline, although I probably enjoyed it more than most because of the entrepreneurial lessons at play. Here’s a little bit of background information about the movie:

Koala Buster Moon is a dreamer and long-time theater owner. His grandiose, old-school theater isn’t getting the traction it needs to succeed financially, so the bank is threatening to foreclose on the property. Buster must make money and make it fast. All plans go awry during the dress rehearsal of his latest show, and his gorgeous theater building is destroyed. 

I won’t give any more details about the movie (in case you want to see it yourself), but there are plenty of hidden entrepreneurial gems.

1. Persevere in Your Business

Buster’s enthusiasm for show-business is evident throughout the movie. When the going gets tough, he doesn’t throw in the towel. 

When you face rejection, try to have a glass-is-half-full perspective. Get up off the floor and begin again. Otherwise, that fire in your belly will extinguish and you’ll end up in a similar or worse position than when you began the business venture. (For more from this author, see: 6 Ways to Make Sure You Achieve Financial Goals.)

“If you’re not failing, you’re playing it too safe.” – Stacy Tuschl, author of “Is Your Business Worth Saving?"

2. Find Passion and Purpose Through Work

Buster has an obvious love for theater, embedded from a young age when his father took him to his first performance. His enthusiasm is contagious. 

Ponder this: How can you live out childhood passions through work? 

Were you the girl (like me) who taught to her stuffed animals? Then think about launching an online course. How about the little girl or boy who always loved to write? Focus on written content creation daily.

Hopefully, you started your business not because of money but because you were passionate about the initial product or service offering. Even if your business has evolved significantly over the years, refocus your attention to that initial passion, the thing that got you up in the morning. Try to spend as much time as possible on that activity and outsource less enjoyable tasks.

3. Appreciate Diversity Within the Team

As the owner and producer of the show, Buster recognized his limitations. He wasn’t power hungry. He assembled a very diverse cast and found acts that suited each animal’s personality. As the leader of your firm, what tangible steps are you taking to celebrate diversity? I’m not talking about outward appearances, either. Are you surrounding yourself with others who share differing viewpoints?

4. Embrace Outside Financing

In Buster’s case, financial ruin hits when the theater literally comes crashing to the ground. There’s no place to go but up, and the grandmother of Buster’s friend proves to be a possible benefactor.

You may come to a point in your business when your liquid personal assets are not enough to realize business dreams. Do you fold or do you seek outside funding? I won’t go into all the details of venture capital, private equity, or debt financing in this article. But I will say that these can be very powerful tools to take your business to the next level, if your business is worth saving. When going down this road, rely on professionals (i.e. an attorney and CPA) to assist. (For related reading, see: 5 Ways to Get Venture Capital Funding.)

5. Focus on Relationships

Business = Relationships

Buster had a long-time, supportive friend to pull him through the truly tough times. Some of the first viewers of the new show were family members of the cast, and crowds followed soon thereafter.    

Relationships can come in all forms. Family, friends, former colleagues, clients (prospective, current and former), influencers, social media followers, friends of friends…the opportunities to connect are endless. If you try to develop relationships with too many people at once, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Rather, if you focus on a few relationships for each subset of people and exhibit patience, you’ll see better results.

Please don’t expect overnight success. Relationship-building takes time. The only exception I see to this is a structured mastermind group. An accountability group will likely bond rapidly because you share similar goals and values. I’m part of two different accountability groups—one exclusively for local female entrepreneurs and another through XY Planning Network; they are invaluable to my development as a business owner.  

Hopefully this article was beneficial. Please remember some of these tactics the next time you’re at a critical business juncture. (For more from this author, see: How to Incorporate Generosity Into Your Life.)