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3 Important Business Lessons You Can Learn From Disney Movies to Propel Your Success



Disney movies

We all loved Disney movies when we were kids. Heck, a lot of us still love them now. Disney knows how to speak to us through their films, and really pull on our heartstrings. It’s what they’re good at. Their movies are also packed with life lessons. But what you maybe didn’t expect is that they also have some valuable business lessons.

With this in mind, here are 3 business lessons you can learn from Disney movies:

1. Hakuna Matata

It’s the name of everybody’s favorite Disney song. “Hakuna Matata” literally means “No problems. Don’t worry, be happy.” Of course, you don’t want to go through life and business without thinking critically and trying to solve problems. But all too often, we let the business problems overwhelm us.

Can you relate? Your focus starts to spread thin and you feel like there’s too much to deal with. There’s no way you can solve all the problems. In these cases, it’s best to take the “Hakuna Matata” approach. Stay calm, understand your circumstances, and focus on the one thing that will make everything else easier. Don’t allow “overwhelm” to cause you to make bad decisions.

“Happiness is a state of mind. It’s just according to the way you look at things.” – Walt Disney

2. Find Your Winning Formula, and Double Down

This lesson doesn’t have to do with a specific movie – more like all of the Disney movies in general. If you analyze the themes and basic plot points, many of the Disney movies follow a similar trend. Disney found that this trend worked best for compelling and hooking audiences.

You can see the formula both in the plot points – and even in many of the actual animations. Characters in different movies have very similar movements. When compared side-by-side, they’re almost identical.

The question is, what is your winning formula? What are your biggest strengths? These are the things you should be doubling down on. These are the things you should be working to optimize and improve at all levels.

Instead, most businesses and people double down on the wrong things like their weaknesses. In doing so, they undermine the potential of their business, create frustration, and miss opportunities.

3. Don’t Be Fooled By Appearance

Look no further than Snow White for this example. She held the perfect red apple in her hand, unable to resist biting into it. All seemed fine from the appearance. But this actually caused her demise and almost ended her life.

The lesson goes both ways – don’t be fooled by appearance for good or bad things when it comes to business. Opportunities are always in front of you and if you judge them by appearance without doing a little digging, you’ll find that you often take the wrong opportunities and miss out on the right ones.  

For example, in real estate, one person might walk through a neighborhood and see beaten up houses and bad opportunities. While another person may do a little digging, ask some questions around the neighborhood, and see that there are several properties being undervalued – hence, a big opportunity.

“Like so many things, it’s not what’s outside, but what’s inside that counts.” – Aladdin

Bonus Shrek Lesson: You Don’t Have to Accept Your Limitations 

Okay, we admit it. We thought Shrek was a Disney movie, but it turns out it was a Dreamworks flick. Still, it’s one of our favorites, and it’s packed with valuable lessons (so you’ll have to forgive us for this one!). Our favorite lesson being: You don’t have to accept your limitations.

Shrek thought he was stuck being an ogre, living a grumpy life alone in the middle of the forest. And that’s exactly what happened, until he was forced to change.

His adventures led him to saving a princess and eventually an entire kingdom – feats that were certainly beyond his limits and imagination. He surpassed those limits and became legendary.

Similar to Shrek, many businesses and people allow themselves to get trapped in boxes of their own creation. They think, “We’re THIS type of business,” or “I’m THIS type of person,” and they never try to change or elevate themselves, even when there are opportunities to do so.

Instead, be aware of your self-imposed limitations, and consider how you can break through them.

Now when you go back and watch your favorite Disney movies, you can look out for these business lessons too!

Have you learned any big life or business lessons from Disney movies? What are they? Let us know in the comments below!

Parker Davis is the CEO of Nexa, a leader in the virtual receptionist and technology-enabled answering services industry. He believes that the application of data analytics, investment in technology, and fostering a positive company culture together create highly efficient and scalable growth companies. In 2016, Nexa achieved record revenues while also being awarded the Top Companies to Work For in Arizona award. Parker is also the Managing Partner of Annison Capital Partners, LLC, a private investment partnership. Follow him @callnexa and on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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15 Business Lessons From Napoleon’s Playbook



Business Lessons and strategies from Napoleon Bonaparte for Entrepreneurs and CEO's
Image Credit | Joel Brown

Unleash your business potential by harnessing Napoleon’s strategic genius.

From dreaming big and thinking bold to moving fast and staying agile, these time-tested tactics are your blueprint for success.

Learn how creative leadership, detailed planning, and relentless execution can transform your business landscape. Boost morale, lead with clarity, and embrace hard work to conquer your industry.

Don’t just survive—thrive with the power of Napoleon’s lessons.

Here are 15 Powerful Lessons You Can Learn From Napoleon Bonaparte


1. Dream Big, Think Bold

Napoleon wasn’t just playing small; he believed that “Imagination rules the world.” In the business world, boldness and creativity are game-changers. Don’t just aim to fit in—push boundaries and set ambitious goals that make you stand out.

Think of Steve Jobs, who didn’t just want to make computers; he wanted to revolutionize entire industries. Your vision should be so grand it almost feels unreachable. When you dream big, you inspire those around you to believe in the impossible and work together to achieve extraordinary outcomes.

2. Move Fast, Stay Agile

Napoleon’s quick and secretive moves gave him an edge. In business, you gotta be nimble. Adapt quickly, move fast, and you’ll often find yourself ahead of the game, capturing opportunities your competitors miss.

Companies like Amazon and Tesla thrive because they constantly innovate and pivot when needed. Speed is your friend; it allows you to react to market changes and customer demands faster than the competition, ensuring you remain relevant and ahead of the curve.

3. Creative Leadership

Napoleon thrived on chaos and wasn’t afraid to switch things up. Unlike rigid leaders, he was flexible and adaptive. In business, embrace change and let chaos work for you. Being adaptable can turn unpredictable situations into opportunities.

Think of how Netflix transitioned from DVD rentals to a streaming giant. Flexibility and creativity in leadership allow you to navigate through turmoil and emerge stronger, transforming challenges into stepping stones.


4. Organize Like a Pro

Napoleon’s mind was like a supercomputer, processing vast amounts of info to make smart moves. Businesses should do the same—stay organized, use real-time data, and adapt strategies based on fresh insights to keep that competitive edge.

Utilize modern tools like CRM systems, analytics software, and AI to manage information efficiently. Staying organized and informed means you can make better decisions, foresee potential issues, and react promptly.


5. Keep It Simple

Napoleon knew the power of simplicity. Overcomplicating things can bog you down. In business, streamline processes and focus on what truly matters to hit your goals efficiently.

Apple’s product design philosophy under Jobs was about simplicity and user-friendliness.When you remove unnecessary complexity, you reduce errors, speed up processes, and make it easier for your team to focus on what’s important, driving efficiency and effectiveness.


6. Execute Relentlessly

Once Napoleon decided on a course of action, he went all in. In business, once you pick a direction, pursue it with full commitment. Execution is where success is truly made.

Look at how Elon Musk commits to his vision for SpaceX and Tesla. Relentless execution means overcoming obstacles, staying focused on your goals, and not getting distracted by setbacks. It’s the determination and persistence in execution that ultimately leads to triumph.


7. Play to Your Strengths

Napoleon only fought battles he knew he could win. In business, focus on your strengths and avoid head-to-head fights in areas where you’re weak. Know your advantages and leverage them.

Microsoft leverages its strength in software development and cloud services rather than trying to compete directly in hardware. Understanding and maximizing your strengths ensures you play a game you can win, using your unique capabilities to outshine competitors.


8. Plan in Detail

Napoleon planned for every possible scenario. Businesses should do the same—conduct thorough planning and prepare for various outcomes.

Detailed planning helps you stay ready for anything. Scenario planning and SWOT analysis are tools that can help you foresee different futures and prepare accordingly. When you’re prepared for multiple scenarios, you can adapt smoothly and continue to drive forward, no matter what challenges arise.


9. Seize Opportunities

Napoleon saw luck as the ability to capitalize on accidents. In business, be prepared and ready to grab unexpected opportunities. Agility is key.

Companies like Uber and Airbnb seized gaps in the market by being ready to pounce on opportunities when they arose. Always be on the lookout for opportunities, and when they come, don’t hesitate. Preparation and readiness to act quickly can turn unexpected moments into major breakthroughs.


10. Learn from the Past

Napoleon studied the greats who came before him. Entrepreneurs should always be learning from the successes and failures of others. History is full of lessons waiting to be applied.

Warren Buffett is famous for studying businesses and market histories. By learning from the past, you can avoid repeating mistakes, understand what works, and build on proven strategies. Continuous learning from history helps refine your strategies and improve decision-making.


11. Boost Morale

Napoleon knew how to keep his troops motivated. Business leaders should do the same—keep your team inspired and engaged. High morale leads to high productivity.

Companies like Google and Salesforce invest heavily in employee well-being and motivation. When your team feels valued and motivated, they are more productive, innovative, and loyal. High morale fosters a positive work environment where people are excited to contribute and excel.


12. Lead with Clarity

Napoleon believed in the power of a strong, decisive leader. In business, clear direction and strong leadership are crucial. Ensure everyone knows the plan and follows it.

Leaders like Jeff Bezos provide a clear vision and direction, ensuring their teams know what they’re working towards. Clear, decisive leadership aligns your team, fosters trust, and drives coordinated efforts towards achieving your business goals.


13. Reflect on Failures

Napoleon analyzed both his wins and losses. Businesses should review their successes and failures to keep improving. Learn from mistakes to avoid repeating them.

Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates emphasizes the importance of learning from failure in his book Principles. By conducting post-mortems, you can understand what went wrong, make necessary adjustments, and continuously refine your strategies to avoid future pitfalls and drive success.


14. Action-Oriented

Napoleon was all about turning thoughts into actions. In business, decisiveness and execution are vital. Don’t just plan—act on those plans with energy and determination.

Entrepreneurs like Richard Branson embody this principle by constantly moving from ideas to actions. Action orientation ensures that you don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis but instead drive forward, making things happen and turning visions into reality.


15. Embrace Hard Work

Napoleon lived and breathed work, saying, “Work is my element; I am born and built for work.”

In business, a strong work ethic and relentless dedication are key to success. Think of how Howard Schultz rebuilt Starbucks through sheer hard work and determination. Embracing hard work means being willing to put in the necessary effort, staying dedicated to your mission, and continuously pushing towards your goals, no matter the challenges.


By implementing these lessons from Napoleon, businesses can sharpen their strategies, strengthen leadership, and execute with precision, driving sustained success.

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