I absolutely *heart* Tom Hanks. And who didn’t adore that movie! One of those rare ensemble casts that were so balanced you forgot that Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell and others were in it. Instead, it was just a pure masterpiece. Of course, this is about A League of Their Own.
This movie holds a special place in my heart for a lot of reasons. In 1991 when the movie was being filmed my parents were freshly divorced and I was shipped off to spend the summer with relatives in Southern Indiana. Many parts of the movie were filmed in the Evansville, IN area and so people were happily gossiping about the Hollywood types running around the gorgeous farming landscape.
It seemed everybody had a story about Madonna at the Dairy Queen or Tom Hanks at the orchard.
Of course, this movie has a lot of lessons to be learned. Later this week Renee will be doing a post about “What Content Marketing Can Learn From A League of Their Own” so for now I am going to focus on general small business.
There’s no crying in small business
Some people don’t like the idea of “fake it till you make it.” I think those people are complainers. Holding strong and carrying a warrior like persona in the face of tragedy is a powerful, important trait. Check out this video I saw on G+ today about this very concept: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgZjy41weQ0
I’m not saying you can’t lean on a friend or cry when your books don’t balance or you can’t hit payroll. I’m saying you can’t do it right there in the dugout. Small business owners have to portray leadership. This means keeping up appearances, holding down the fort and all that.
It’s not all about you
The movie centers on the relationship of two sisters, but even the main plot didn’t overshadow the rest of the film. There was the Tom Hanks character that came to appreciate “girls” because he realized their connection with him through their love of the game.
You had many powerful actresses, in both major and minor roles. Did you notice Tea Leoni? She placed Racine’s 1st baseman and got quite a bit of air time for a complete newbie. This was only her second feature film.
In small business you have to let people stretch themselves. If you don’t give people room to impress you… they never will. Giving up control is probably the hardest thing for people who launch a small business on their own. But if the E-Myth taught us anything, it’s that we have to do it if we are going to survive.
Rules were meant to be broken
Yup, girls were needed to keep the American pastime alive as our boys went off to war. And though the place of women has drastically changed in our society these past 80 years, there are still a lot of things holding women back.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not a card carrying feminist. Far from it, but the truth is I couldn’t do what I am doing now without the many feminists who came before and cleared the way. One of my personal heroes is Mika Brzezinski. You should read her recent book, Knowing Your Value about how women can negotiate better terms in the workplace.
I think the bigger point is whether you are a man or a woman, your small business is yours. You’ve created it, nursed it and are keeping it alive. Don’t let anything tell you that what you want to do isn’t going to work. It can happen, you can make it happen. Rules were meant to be broken.
This film is now what… 20 years old? These are evergreen concepts that your small business can keep cherishing forever. Put them in your blackberry and remind yourself whenever you struggle. Stay strong, give room to grow and break the rules holding you back.
That’s the true American way.
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