5 Lessons from Han Solo
by Sam Watson
Life and business advice from your favorite ‘Star Wars’ smuggler
1. Go with what you know.
“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”
While there are times when you might want to branch out (like cutting open the belly of a Tauntaun with your buddy’s lightsaber), stick with your specialization or core businesses. The best you’ll ever be at a weakness is average, so find something you’re good at without even trying and then actually try. To remain well-rounded, pick people that specialize or have strengths in other areas to play those roles on your team.
2. You have to play to win.
“Never tell me the odds!”
In fact, the only odds you need to know are that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Don’t get hung up on someone else’s failures, or even your own past failures. Learn what you can from the mistakes and move on.
3. Trust your intuitions.
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
Data and expert advice can only take you so far. Even the most seasoned entrepreneurs can strike out when their plans seemed foolproof. While it’s important to research and educate yourself beforehand, the most powerful tool is your gut. Trust your intuitions and don’t compromise on your values.
4. Know how to sell yourself and your product.
“Fast ship? You’ve never heard of the Millennium Falcon?”
Everyone, in one way or another, is selling something. Prepare two sets of elevator pitches— a brief one that’s two lines long and a more in-depth 30- second pitch— and know how to deliver both in a moment’s notice. Whether you’re a freelance consultant or the CEO of a vast company, you never know when a detailed grasp of your skills or products will come in handy.
5. Don’t pretend to be someone you aren’t. Know your motivations.
“Look, I ain’t in this for your revolution, and I’m not in it for you, Princess. I expect to be well paid. I’m in it for the money.”
Perhaps the most refreshing quality about Han Solo was his straightforward honesty. And he was always bluntly honest about his motives, even when they weren’t as pure or idealistic as Luke Skywalker’s or Princess Leia’s heroic goals. Be honest with what drives you. Find out what your “why” is and make a mantra of it.