We live in the age of binge-watching TV and films from the comfort of our living rooms and it's never been easier to feel connected to the journeys of the characters on our screens. Let's take a look at some pop culture entrepreneurs and see what we can learn from their successes and failures.
THE BUSINESS: Sterling Cooper Draper Price
THE ENTREPRENEURS: Roger Sterling, Bert Cooper, and Don Draper
On Madison Avenue in the 1960s, “mad men” dominated the advertising industry with outside the box creative, wining and dining clients, and lots and lots of mergers. Fortunately for the viewers who enjoyed the show and unfortunately for the heads of the company that seem incapable of learning their lesson ONCE, they learn over and over again to think twice before selling the company you own to a bigger fish. For men who were obsessive about the value of "having your name on the door", they were repeatedly too quick to sell their empire, only to pout and build another.
CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
THE BUSINESS: Wonka Industries
THE ENTREPRENEUR: Willy Wonka
Between the chocolate rivers, bubble soda, and gum that makes you balloon up into a giant blueberry, the corporate candy world is a dark place. Corporate espionage is plentiful with men in dark suits determined to use children as spies when the reclusive Willy Wonka opens is factory to a small few. But Willy Wonka knows how important it is to protect your secret sauce. Apparently only Oompa Loompas are to be trusted with keeping a secret.
THE PRINCESS & THE FROG
THE BUSINESS: Tiana’s Palace
THE ENTREPRENEUR: Tiana
Tiana is the best Disney Princess for several reasons. She lives in NOLA, she’s voiced by Anika Noni Rose, and has not one- but THREE killer ballgowns throughout the course of the movie. She’s also the only princess to ever have a job, the only princess to have a goal that doesn’t revolve around marriage or a vague desire to leave their hometown, and she’s the only princess to become an entrepreneur. If there was ever a woman who was #goals, it’s Tiana. Our girl works two jobs to save enough money to start her restaurant and doesn't abandon those goals when she finds her man. She teaches us that Dreams are hard work, but worth it. We can all agree Disney needs more Tiana merch, yes?
THE BUSINESS: Alexis Rose Communications
THE ENTREPRENEUR: Alexis Rose
Alexis Rose may have spent six years living in a motel with her family when they went all “Beverly Hillbillies in reverse”, but she also spent that time getting her first job, finishing High School, going to college, and starting her own business. Not bad for a twenty-something who never learned to ride a bike and was once trapped in the palace of a Saudi prince. Alexis teaches us that your past does not dictate your future.
THE BUSINESS: Rose Apothecary
THE ENTREPRENEUR: David Rose
Yes, I know, I have Schitt’s Creek on here twice, but Briana and I predominately communicate via Schitt’s Creek GIFs, so it was bound to happen. After being a Gallerist in the Village before his family lost all their money, David tries his hand at women’s retail before opening up his own general store selling the handmade goods of local artisans. Through his consignment deals with everyone from goat farmers to mennonite candy makers (not to mention his business partnership with Partrick), David teaches us the value of collaboration and partnership.
THE BUSINESS: The Dragonfly Inn
THE ENTREPRENEUR: Lorelai Gilmore
She went from teen mom to hotel maid, then from General Manager to business owner. There’s a lot to admire about Lorelai’s professional journey, but one of the most subtle and consistent things to admire is the patience she has for her vision. She’s not in a rush to start her own business, because she understands the value of doing things right. And while money certainly played a factor in the speed of her journey, you've got to admire that she found her dream location at the start of the series and saw it through in spite of countless obstacles. No matter how many things get in your way, never sacrifice your vision.