What An Entrepreneur Can Learn From Doctor Who?


Doctor Who is one of the longest running TV shows of all time. It first aired in the 1960’s and is still going strong today. In fact a few years ago it celebrated its 50th anniversary. The programme centres around a character called The Doctor. He is an alien from a planet called Gallifrey and is thousands of years old. His race (the time lords) have a trick that they can use to cheat death. Whenever a time lord is about to die they can change every molecule of their body and renew themselves. As a side effect they look completely different. This allows several actors to play the role of the Doctor and in fact there have been 14 separate Doctors at the time of writing. The Doctor travels around the universe in a time machine called The TARDIS, which can travel anywhere in time and space. Along with his companions he spends his days saving the universe from a variety of evil aliens. I know what you are thinking. How can a programme that is basically a glorified kid’s show teach an entrepreneur anything? Well there’s a lot to learn from the characters in the show and from the show runners. Let’s count it down. 1.) If you have an impossible situation there’s always a solution When Doctor Who first started airing in the 1960’s The Doctor was played by an actor called William Hartnell. After the first few seasons he became very ill and it was obvious that he couldn’t continue in the role. Doctor Who had become very popular and The BBC did not want to cancel it. However without the main actor continuing they really couldn’t see another option.


The show runners at the time had the wonderful idea of regenerating The Doctor. They proposed that because he was an alien, he would have the power to rejuvenate himself near death and come back to life as a different looking person. This would allow another actor to be cast in the role. This strategy was unheard of at the time and allowed the programme to change the main actor multiple times. I can only imagine what a stressful situation this was for the people who produced Doctor Who. They had a certifiable hit on their hands and were in a situation where they might have to cancel it through no fault of their own. The solution they came up with was genius and meant that the show has continued successfully for over 50 Years. Without this one moment Doctor Who might have been a footnote in the history of British TV. As an entrepreneur there will be times when you come head to head with a situation that seems impossible to resolve. Overcoming this might be the difference between your businesses folding or continuing successfully. There is always a way out of every situation no matter how impossible it seems. I’m sure that the makers of Doctor Who thought there was no way out at first however they came up with a solution. The lesson here is don’t be a defeatist. The defining characteristic of an entrepreneur is the ability to find a way around every situation. Simply make sure you don’t panic, approach the situation calmly and a solution will present itself. 2.) Never Give Up

This is kind of related to the last point. The Doctor never gives up no matter what the odds. I have seen him in situations where it is impossible to survive and yet he always seems to win in the end. Whether he is facing an army of Daleks or trying to prevent the end of the world, he never gives up. As an entrepreneur you will have times when you want to quit. There have been dozens of times when I have wanted to quit. The thing that you need to understand is that the moment when you want to quit is when you are the closest to success.


Sir James Dyson invented the Dual Cyclone Vacuum Cleaner. He went through 5127 prototypes before he made it work. Imagine how many times he wanted to quit. If he had given up then he would not be where he is now. Instead he kept going and each failure brought him closer to success. The key thing to remember is that contrary to popular belief failure is not the opposite of success. Failure is a part of success and you cannot have one without the other. 3.) Regeneration can solve a multitude of problems I have already mentioned that The Doctor can regenerate his body. When he is near death or his body becomes worn out he can regenerate into an entirely new person. This trick has allowed him to cheat death many times. As an entrepreneur it’s important to regenerate your body as well. Now I realise that unless anyone reading this is a Time Lord we can’t actually do this in the same way as