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What the Next 'Star Wars' Generation Can Teach Entrepreneurs About Leadership

ByDeborah Sweeney, writer
Nov 10, 2017
> Business Basics

Here are the leadership lessons the latest 'Star Wars' films are teaching 'treps.

Entrepreneurs have learned more about leadership from the "Star Wars" franchise than they may realize. These films taught us to use the power of the Force, belief in Yoda's "do or do not, there is no try" sage wisdom and to follow our dreams to fulfill our destiny.

However, these were also leadership lessons from the original '70s and '80s trilogy — and plenty of movies in the series have been released since then. As the countdown begins until "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" arrives in theaters this December, we're taking a look back at "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," and what its next generation of heroes, including Rey, Finn, and Poe, can teach entrepreneurs about embracing their inner leader.

Surround yourself with a capable team

When we first meet Rey, she's an independent scavenger on the planet Jakku. She goes out to find spare parts and brings them to the local marketplace in exchange for food portions. Rey might have remained a lone wolf had she not of rescued the BB-8 droid. Having no other place to go, BB-8 chooses to follow a reluctant Rey and later the ragtag team gets another member when Finn joins the crew.

A Stormtrooper, a scavenger and a droid. On the surface, they might have looked like an odd trio, but, together, they brought plenty of valuable strengths to the table. The same can be said about most entrepreneurs. Many begin as solitary figures, like Rey, wearing every possible hat and doing it all on their own. As time progresses with their startup, they realize that they can't shoulder the workload alone and need help.

By hiring and bringing on a team of talent, you're able to focus on other tasks at hand and pass off the ones you're less capable of handling on your own to employees with experience.

Pick a solid name that resonates with those around you

Finn's original identity was a Stormtrooper that went by FN-2187 — the only name he was ever given. He later became good friends with the pilot Poe who insisted on calling him Finn instead. The new name immediately stuck.

In a similar vein, entrepreneurs are tasked with the important mission of naming their small business. This name has to reflect what your brand offers, it has to be catchy and relevant to audiences, and it should be available to use. While all kinds of names have proven to be successful for various brands, the ones that endure the longest tend to be short, easy to spell, and look and sound good.

Find a mentor who can help take you to the next level

By the end of the movie, Rey has arrived at the planet Ahch-To where she finds Luke Skywalker and gives him back his lightsaber. While we don’t yet know for sure what will happen next between Luke and Rey, in "The Last Jedi," the trailers have assured us that Rey will receive some training from Luke in understanding and harnessing her natural abilities with the Force.

Entrepreneurs may not possess Jedi Mind Tricks, but they can always use the extra guidance and encouragement that a mentor can provide. If you don't already have one, seek out a mentor who can give you advice on weathering all the ups and downs in business you may experience. Remember: Nobody starts a company knowing every single thing in the industry and in your market. There will be plenty of unexpected surprises, good and bad, that crop up. A mentor's presence will give you the confidence you need to get break through the hurdles to the other side.

Deborah Sweeney
Deborah Sweeney
See Deborah Sweeney's Profile
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.
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