4 business lessons from The Wizard of Oz

Business tips from The Wizard of Oz

This week we introduced our daughter to the Wizard of Oz and she LOVED it. She got really involved yelling “RUN!” at the TV and asking loads of questions about flying monkeys, munchkins and witches.

In the film, Dorothy ends up in Oz after a tornado blows her house there. She wants to get home so she ends up on the Yellow Brick Road on her way to Oz to see the Wizard. On the way she meets a scarecrow, a tin man and a lion and they all go with her in the hopes that the Wizard will give them what they need – a brain, a heart and courage.

At the end *Spoiler Alert* (but you MUST have seen this film!) Dorothy gets to go home, the scarecrow gets his brain, the tin man gets his heart and the lion gets courage. Everyone gets what they need. Not only that, they all had it the whole time. Dorothy had the red shoes, the scarecrow wasn’t stupid, the tin man had feelings and the lion really was brave. They just needed to learn it for themselves as Glinda (the Good Witch of the North) puts it.

Home.

Dorothy wanted to go home. She wanted to be where she belonged, she wanted a base, a place to be surrounded by the people she loves. At the end she says: “I love you all”, the people at her home are really important to her.

Your home is your business – it’s where you belong, where you are based – either as a solid location or online (or both, even if you have a web based business you still work somewhere right?) and your people are really important to your business. These could be staff, they could be your tribe/ audience/ customers. So how do you get home? How do you tap your ruby slippers to find the people you want to serve? Dorothy knows who those people are – do you? Read this blog to find out how to pinpoint your ideal customer. 

Once you know who your ideal customer is you can target them in your business through creating a business image that speaks to them and using this consistently across all your touchpoints. You can take appropriate photographs that they can relate to and write copy which reaches out to them (or get someone else to do this for you) – knowing your client helps with developing products and services that they’ll actually buy too. There’s no place like home.

A brain.

The Scarecrow wanted a brain. He thinks he’s stupid and really wants to be able to think. He’s definitely got a brain though, as demonstrated in the film when he thinks to cut the rope holding the light up so it crashes down on the monkeys and gives them a chance to escape.

It’s so easy to think negatively of yourself isn’t it? I’m not good enough, I need to think better about this or know more about that. The scarecrow had a chance to prove himself on the journey to Oz and I think it was the journey that made him use his brain and make him clever rather than the Degree in Thinkology which the Wizard presented him with at the end of the film. Not belittling degrees here (I have one myself) but what are you doing on your journey to make your brain work harder and make you better placed to serve your customers? Some things you can do are: read books, invest in a coach or coaching programme, listen to audio, join masterminds, watch webinars, do a home study programme, read blogposts, take a course, listen to people, attend an event, have conversations… the list really is endless.

Just like your business, your brand needs some brainpower to be at its most effective.  There’s a lot of questions worth answering to ensure that your brand image fits the bill – attracts the right people, gives the right message and communicates your values.  You need to know how to implement it across all your materials from your business card to your Twitter profile. Of course, you can always ask a designer to do these things for you but you might need to teach yourself how to use Canva so you can quickly knock up a visual that’s on brand when you need one in a hurry. You’ll certainly need to familiarise yourself with your style guide so you can follow it through.

A heart.

The tin man wanted a heart. The Wizard says “you don’t know how lucky you are not to have one”, but the tin man wants one so that he can “register emotion.” I think emotion is really important for you to run your business! Having emotion, feeling strongly about something, gives you your why for keeping on going. Maybe it’s your kids, maybe it’s the buzz you get when you help people, maybe you want to fund an orphanage or raise money for action against slavery or maybe it’s so you can buy shoes. What is the purpose of your business to you? What is it that keeps you getting out of bed in the morning andmaking strong coffee?

Also – why should people want to engage with YOUR business? What do they get from it? The Wizard said “a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others” how loved is your business? Are you communicating your message with love and integrity? Do they get what you’re all about and feel warm and happy when they think about it? The emotions that people feel when they think about your business are something that you should be aiming to be in control of as much as you can. How can you have a positive impact?

Courage.

The lion wanted courage. He wanted to “show my prowess, be a lion not a mou-ess, if I only had the nerve” of course, as with the others he shows courage during the journey even stating “I might not come out alive but I’m going in there” referring to rescuing Dorothy fron the Witch.

I think it takes courage to run your own business (well done) and it also takes courage to get out of your comfort zone. You’ll have seen that picture, you know, there’s a circle labelled “comfort zone” and outside of the circle is a label “where the magic happens” – it’s so true! I may not have made giant out of my comfort zone leaps – although it felt like it at the time – but when I move out of my comfort zone, magic really does happen. Results happen. What are you putting off doing now because of your nerves? I challenge you to pick one thing and run with it. Get yourself some rescue remedy, invent a mantra, do a power pose, take baby steps – do whatever it is and make it happen.

What do you need to do most of all? Identify your audience, invest in yourself, work out your why or step out of your comfort zone?

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