Your actionable plan often starts with an audacious goal. If you’re struggling to realize your dreams, look no further than the movie The Greatest Showman. Released prior to Christmas, this infectious musical has conjured up $168,917 in the domestic box office to date. This film showcases the enduring message of perseverance amid seemingly long odds.
Based on the real-life P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is a musical tour de force. Extraordinary in its powerful music and visually impressive, The Greatest Showman triumphs – overcoming challenges, casting away stereotypes, and powerful in its emotional storytelling. The outstanding stage performances from its starring cast, including Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Keala Settle, and Zendaya, showcase effective business lessons.
- Dream. As a child, P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) dreamt of “A Million Dreams” and told magical stories, filled with dazzling lights and fascinating make-believe tales. He pictured himself as a showman to delight and make audiences happy. What do you dream of and want to surrender your life to? Use a mind map to help you visualize your dream.
- Don’t let the fire engulf you. When a ferocious fire engulfed the original Barnum museum, scarce funds existed to rebuild. P.T. Barnum ingeniously transferred his circus to the big top tent that he leased on the outskirts of the city. He would subsequently be known for his innovation in creating the impossible no matter the challenges. What obstacles are in your way? Unleash your creativity to solve the puzzle.
- Test. P.T. Barnum took a gamble by financing a staggering $1,000 a night for Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind’s (Rebecca Ferguson) tours in the early 1850s throughout America. Convinced that this strategy would pay dividends, Barnum struck the daring financial arrangement with her. Unexpectedly, after several successful shows, Jenny rescinded her contract. Although Barnum was able to pull himself up from almost certain financial ruin, a more limited test of Jenny Lind’s shows might have netted less financial stress. What plans are you entertaining? What are the loopholes? Test ideas before a full-scale launch. This will save money, time, and resources.
- Be you. The film highlights the oddities that make every human different, unique, and magical. What we notice is that the “odd” individuals are the ones who have already grasped and identified who they are. They aren’t focused on becoming someone different. Rather, those who are not comfortable in their own skin are PT. Barnum and Phillip (Zac Efron) who you would assume are not struggling with their inner identity. In their struggle, they almost lose complete sight of what they hold dear (love, family, and happiness) in lieu of chasing goals set by others, but not their own. Take your own internal inventory and embrace the “This is Me” in you. Write a journal and read motivational books, such as Les Brown’s “Live Your Dreams”.
- Break down barriers. Outward and inward barriers exist to cut one’s esteem and cause you to explore ineffective paths. In The Greatest Showman, Barnum first casts doubt on his own limited expectations of who he would grow up to be. The son of a tailor, he was practically sewn into his role for life. He didn’t measure up to familial expectations (his wife’s family and their high-brow friends). By seeing himself in his true light, however, he became a beacon to those who were cast aside by society. While Barnum broke stereotypes, his resourcefulness and willingness to take risks also became his mission for his fledgling company. The help that he provided came around full circle. When no one else believed in him, the downtrodden came to his aide. Eventually, P.T. Barnum transformed himself into the greatest showman.
How can you help tear down not only your own walls, but others? What mountains can you scale and who can you bring along the way that might need a hand? While you’re scaling your barriers, you’re on your way to realizing your dreams. Let’s share ideas together. Tweet me at @circledotmktg.
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Sharon Gee is a consultant and marketer who specializes in helping global companies, start-ups, and small businesses thrive. A strategic thinker, Sharon supports CEOs and business leaders reach their goals through research, innovation, customer analysis, communication, and social media prowess.