May the Force Be With You: 5 Takeaways for Entrepreneurs From the ‘Star Wars’ Franchise

You merely might view "The Last Jedi" just a little differently.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi makes its U.S. premiere Dec. 9, and is because of roll out in another 45 countries within the first week. The film is expected to match or top the $248-million opening weekend debut of the last installation in the series, 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens .

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Whether you certainly are a passionate fan of the saga already armed with prepaid tickets for the first viewing, or a comparatively uninvolved sideline onlooker hovering at the periphery of the blockbuster series, there are some very valuable entrepreneurial takeaways to be garnered from the series’ resonating universal themes, bumpy creative journey and large-scale commercial success. Some tips about what you can learn and ways to apply the lessons to your daily thinking and attitude as a business owner.

Screenwriter and film director George Lucas chose nothing significantly less than the universe and all its galaxies as the boundless setting for the Star Wars saga, and created a variety of aliens, robotic droids and humanoid monsters of most sizes, shapes and colors. We’re able to invite ourselves to think about this as a metaphor for entrepreneurial possibility. What could better represent the vastness of potential or the chance for exploration, when compared to a limitless, borderless intergalactic canvas, against which to weave an individual tapestry of tales, creatures and relationships?

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That is an insight and encouragement for every folks, as entrepreneurs, to attain for the stars, be bold and fearlessly inventive, in order that our external actions match what Diane Sawyer in her 1989 documentary for ABC referred to as a reflection of "the universe within: an imagination inhabited by the hairiest [Chewbacca], cuddliest [Yoda], slimiest [Jabba the Hutt], ugliest [Ponda Baba] things you’ve ever seen." Allow galaxy be our creative limit.

Another insight that the Star Wars saga can bestow upon the entrepreneurial attitude is revealed by the Tao and Buddhist-inspired "Jedi Way." The young Padawans all submit to an extended apprenticeship before they enter into their full power as mystical Jedi knights. Put simply, they cannot — and so are not likely to — go it alone; guidance and training beneath the supervision of a mature and more expert Jedi master is part of their growth journey. Luke Skywalker trained first under Obi-Wan Kenobi and under Yoda.

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Similarly, there are my knowledge no successful entrepreneurs today who wouldn’t credit one and even several mentors as a significant part of their career trajectory. No-one learns in a void, so that it is those people who are in a position to absorb the wisdom of other people who will set themselves apart. There is absolutely no shortage of online mentorship anecdotes shared by business luminaries; even Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates credit a lot of their success with their mentors.

The Jedi knights are touching the core of their being; they are taught to trust their feelings and intuitions, sometimes far beyond apparent rationality. Their training is approximately making space to get, feel and practice. This is exactly what Yoda’s lessons to Luke in the dreary swamps of Dagobah are about: "You need to unlearn what you have discovered." It really is what ultimately makes Luke’s attack on the Death Star successful: In heat of the battle, he pushes away the viewfinder, leans inwards toward the intangible power of the Force and lets himself be guided by his intuition to fire his winning shot.

The other Jedi habit we are able to therefore increase our entrepreneurial toolkit regards intuitive understanding, or what author and branding expert Bernadette Jiwa calls hunch. Jiwa reminds us that while the world is very much indeed governed by data-driven decision making, we should not underestimate "the less discussed and frequently unexplored intangibles of innovation: empathy, creativity, trust and uncertainty." As Jiwa says, "We use our intuition to create business decisions, it’s not fashionable to admit it."

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The Force, and experiencing it correctly to accomplish personal success and donate to the higher good and robust growth of the city, is a common theme of the complete Star Wars saga. This is a challenge that Padawans face. They figure out how to reserve any ambitions of immediate personal victory or glory, to be able to patiently uncover, align and use the Force.

That is just what Yoda strives to impart to young Luke, and what his father Anakin before him didn’t grasp: learning to listen in, wait, listen and feel, to be remembered as one with the field of energy within which he’s working. Only then will he have the ability to harness his skills to create his most impactful contribution.

It really is growing increasingly clear if you ask me a successful entrepreneurial attitude must indeed acknowledge the existence of sometimes mysterious, mostly invisible, energy fields, and look at the whole when it comes to a complete and interrelated ecosystem — and not simply as an interaction of separate and independent parts.

Within an article for the Huffington Post, MIT’s Professor Otto Scharmer, who researches and teaches about the "social field of presencing" that "makes our human essence more show the world, to one another, also to ourselves," calls this the transition from ego to eco-system. The only sustainable way to enduringly transform business, society and self, Scharmer argues, is to co-create the near future from a location of presence, which begins with listening and empathy, versus downloading and a me-first attitude.

The Entrepreneurial Genius of ‘Star Wars’

The Star Wars overall creative journey since it has evolved during the last four decades is a curious mixture of coherence and contradiction, order and chaos, focus and pivot. Much has been said and discussed the flaws in plot, chronology and character portrayal. The trilogies have witnessed changes in screenwriter, director and producer. The leaps forward and backward with time have sometimes been clumsily patched. I view it as fascinatingly illustrative of the organic unfolding of life itself: non-linear and endearingly tumultuous.

Out of this wider perspective, what strikes me most profoundly entrepreneurially speaking is George Lucas’s convenience of focus: to have known when and where you can improvise, when and where you can forget about his brainchild and release it to a life of its also to new partners. He brought it alive when few people believed in the project, he previously the audacity to invent as he went along, the business enterprise acumen to immediately trade off part of his director’s salary against merchandising rights, and finally, he knew right from the start that you can’t please everyone. In a recently available interview, he told the Independent : "None of it creates any difference — in real life, the critics, certain fans, they’re not so friendly — however when you see each one of these little kids, and the appearance on the faces, it’s everything."

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