Entrepreneurial Lessons from Willy Wonka
What can you learn about business from a children's movie? You
can learn some great entrepreneurial lessons from the recent
film "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" starring Johnny Depp.
WARNING -Spoiler Alert- If you have not seen the movie (or the
older version) yet, this article may give away a few elements of
the story that could reduce your enjoyment of the film. You can
always come back and read it after you have seen the picture.
"Find 1 of 5 Golden Tickets in a Willy Wonka product and be one
of the first people in a long time to visit the magical
chocolate factory. Also, one kid will win a special prize that
will exceed your wildest imagination."
This is an excellent promotion. It sparks interest in Willy
Wonka products, builds brand awareness, and most importantly; it
significantly increases sales. The media picks up on the
promotion and generates a tremendous amount of free publicity.
Word of mouth referrals help spread the promotion to areas that
were untouched by newspapers and television.
There are many "naysayers" who discourage the main character,
Charlie, from getting his hopes up about finding one of the
lucky Golden tickets. Negative thinking can be devastating,
especially to a child. However, Charlie does not take heed of
the negativity. Supported by his Grandmother's constant
reassurance, Charlie keeps a positive outlook and believes that
he has as good a chance as any other kid to find one of the five
Charlie refuses to give up on his dream of finding a ticket.
After he doesn't find one on his first, and probably only,
attempt - he doesn't quit. Charlie believes that he will get one
of those tickets. Providence provides two more opportunities and
amazingly, Charlie finds the last ticket! This is especially
significant because it had been falsely reported that all of the
tickets had been found.
A Good Support Network
Charlie has an excellent support network. Although very poor in
financial terms, Charlie is very rich in family. He lives in a
loving environment and appreciates every member of his
household. He selflessly offers to sell his ticket to provide
some much needed cash for his family, instead of taking the
special chocolate factory tour. His family will have nothing of
it and encourages him to pursue this once in a lifetime
When Willy Wonka offers to make Charlie his heir, Charlie
refuses because accepting the offer would mean that he probably
would never see his family again. Willy Wonka later makes the
offer again, but allows Charlie to bring his family this time.
Charlie's family then extends its hospitality to Mr. Wonka and
he ends up gaining the positive and supporting network that he
had needed as well.
Four Good Lessons
If you are an entrepreneur or are thinking about becoming an
entrepreneur, remember these lessons from "Charlie and the
Chocolate Factory". It takes good marketing, positive thinking,
and a good support network to get started. Most importantly,
don't quit - your success may be only one candy bar away.