What an entrepreneur can learn from The Big Bang Theory
The Big Bang Theory is a fantastic sitcom that has become one of the most popular TV Shows in years. It’s about 4 friends that are scientists and work together; they are also the biggest geeks on the planet. Whether it be Dr Who, Star Wars, Computer Gaming or Dungeons & Dragons - if it’s geeky, they love it! The story starts when a beautiful girl called Penny moves next door to two of the main characters. The programme is all about these five characters, how they interact and grow over the years. The programme single handedly made being a geek cool. However if you study this programme there are a lot of lessons for an entrepreneur or business owner. Lessons that you can apply within your own business to take it to the next level. If you think I’m kidding I’m going to go through all these lessons now. Let’s start with... 1.) You don’t need qualifications to succeed (outer space) In the Big Bang Theory Howard gets to become an astronaut and go into space. Most of the other characters look down at Howard because he only has a degree and not a PHD; yet he was the one that got to go into space (something that all the other characters, especially Sheldon are jealous of).
Society will tell you that you have to have a qualification. You have to get a degree if you want to make something of yourself. That is not true. Although I have a degree it had nothing to do with how well my business has done. That is down to determination and a passion to succeed. In fact my business partner Russell has no qualifications outside of GCSEs. He became a professional magician the day he left school and has gone from strength to strength. It’s not about what qualifications you have. It’s about how badly you want to succeed. Don’t let people tell you otherwise. 2.) Be yourself not what others want you to become Let’s be honest The Big Bang Theory made geeks and nerds cool. Since the programme began more and more people admit to being a geek. The one constant message that is hammered home time and time again throughout every episode is that you should be yourself. Society will tell you that nerds will never get a chance to date a pretty girl. And yet Leonard (one of the nerdiest people in the show) ends up dating Penny, who is the prettiest girl in the show. Even Howard who is portrayed as being hopeless with women ends up marrying a great one. It’s the same in business. You need to make sure that you are being yourself, in other words be authentic. When you are networking and building a reputation it’s very easy to pretend to be someone you’re not. The problem with this is that you will always get found out. If you make stuff up to accelerate the growth of your business all it takes is one person to call you out and then your reputation is in tatters. You also need to be yourself when you are making business decisions. At times entrepreneurs can feel like they are being pulled in a thousand directions. Everyone will give you advice, some of it will be great and some of not so good. The thing to remember is that what works for one person might not work for another. So if you are being offered advice make sure that it fits with who you are and what you want your business to become. Basically be yourself. 3.) You can’t just spend money on everything In one episode Raj and Howard decide that they want to buy a really expensive 3D printer. Realising they haven’t got the money, Howard buys it using his joint account that he shares with his wife Bernadette. She has a higher paying job than Howard and therefore he was able to access the money he needed. The trouble with this is that he didn’t tell her and when she found out she was understandably furious. The episode ended when he decided to send the 3D printer back having learnt his lesson.
A lot of business owners have a business partner. Larger businesses generally have a board of directors. Having a business partner can really help accelerate growth especially if you are both pulling in the same direction. However I hear of a lot of businesses that have been forced to shut down because the business partners just couldn’t get on. Maybe they weren’t on the same page, maybe they didn’t trust each other or perhaps something else. The point here is that if you have a business partner you need to take steps to make sure this is a long term relationship. The perfect example is spending money. If you want something in the business and your partner doesn’t, then you need to come to a conclusion that you are both happy with. What you shouldn’t do is buy it anyway and hope your partner doesn’t realise. I know this sounds obvious but I meet a lot of businesses that have closed down because one of the partners made a similar mistake. The bottom line is that if you have decided to go into business with someone else remember that it’s a partnership. 4.) You have to push through your comfort zone One of the recurring jokes over the first few seasons of The Big Bang Theory was Raj being unable to talk to women. Literally he was so nervous that he couldn’t even say a word. The only time he could talk to the opposite sex was when he was drunk! Then a few seasons into the programme h