4 Things Peter Pan Taught Me About Business

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In the summer of 2016 my boys and I were obsessed with Ruth B’s song “Lost Boy”! 

My 4-year old would shout out the chorus at random times throughout the day and my 6-year old and I would join right in.  I just couldn’t get it out of my head!! The boys would often ask me, “what’s a lost boy?” To this I’d reply, “a boy without a mom or dad”. One day I really started thinking about the lyrics in the song and oddly enough how Peter Pan is like the sometimes lonely entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur:

1. You live in a completely different world.  

Sometimes things are hard to explain to someone that’s not an entrepreneur. You work until the wee hours of the night not only because you are passionate about building your business but because it excites you and you actually love what you do. For someone slaving away at a 9-5 this often is not the case.  It’s a completely different world, much like Neverland is completely different from the Darling’s world in the Peter Pan story. Like Ruth B says, “a world like no other”.

2. You get to have a tribe.

If Peter Pan is the lonely entrepreneur then the lost boys are his tribe of loyal followers.  The lost boys are drawn to Peter Pan because he’s determined never to grow up.  He lets them have fun and be themselves.  An entrepreneur’s tribe is drawn to them also by the characteristics they share in common which is why the most authentic entrepreneurs are also the most successful (in my opinion). The entrepreneur exists to serve their tribe and they do it in the most genuine way possible.

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3. You have haters.

That brings me to the haters. In Peter Pan, that would be Captain Hook.  Every story has a villain and the story of entrepreneurship is no different. Haters gonna hate! Don’t sweat it. The haters don’t belong in your tribe anyway. That’s why being authentic is so great - you attract more of those ideal tribe members! That old saying about not being able to please everyone is true so you might as well just be yourself. Of course, if you know the story of Peter Pan, Captain Hook has a pretty legit reason for hating Peter Pan.  

4. You need to believe.

My absolute favourite line in Ruth B’s song is, “he sprinkled me in pixie dust and told me to believe; believe in him and believe in me”. I think in general, as humans we should support each other - believe in others but especially in ourselves. This is even more important in the entrepreneur world because things can be so different. You truly do need to believe in yourself and it’s a huge boost when others believe in you too.  Mindset makes all the difference.

There are many challenges that only entrepreneurs understand. You’re not just doing the actual work that you love but you’re also running your business which can take even more time than doing the actual work.  There are many days when the clock doesn’t stop when a normal 9-5 would.  

Sometimes there’s a lot of those days!  You need to believe in yourself, find some support, and keep working towards your dreams.