The best advice you'll ever get as an entrepreneur can come from anywhere. It may have come from your parents or a mentor, a book or a billboard--or even a movie. You're not always sure why, but something in what you hear changes the way you think.
For me, this happened while watching the movie Jerry Maguire (yes, Jerry Maguire!). If you've seen the movie, you'll remember Jerry's mentor, the late, great Dicky Fox. Although Dicky Fox had limited screen time, his scenes have stuck with me. Before ShadesDaddy.com was founded, my friends and family always thought it was funny (but still admirable) how many businesses I had tried to start but failed at. Failure ultimately has been my best teacher and continues to be.
Maybe that's why, in both my personal and professional life, I find myself thinking back to Jerry Maguire. Admittedly, it's a little embarrassing that some of my guiding principles come from the same movie as the immortalized "You complete me" scene, but what can I say? Dicky Fox taught me a thing or two. Well, three, really:
1. "The key to this business is personal relationships."
You've heard the saying, "It's not what you know, it's who you know." I have heard that a lot, and this really resonated when I started seeing the value of one's network in working with vendors. Building personal relationships has been an integral part of growing my business.
2. "Roll with the punches. Tomorrow is another day."
Anyone that ever started a business and continues to run a business knows there are days when when it rains, and then there are days when it pours in terms of unforeseen issues, problems and failures. There will always be dilemmas--but thankfully, there is always tomorrow to find the solution for them. I've had to overcome problems that could have easily taken me out of business time and time again, but I always knew I had another day to fight.
3. "If [the heart] is empty, [the head] doesn't matter."
We all have personal problems, and those problems can easily interfere with our work. Some of my better, most thriving moments professionally came when I was very happy personally with my relationships and my family life. However, there were also periods when my personal life wasn't going so well, and I was fueled to work harder professionally as a result. All in all, I've learned that when I've been happiest personally, I've been able to better focus on my business.
I'd like to end with one extra piece of Dicky Fox advice: "I love getting up in the mornings, I clap my hands and say, 'This is going to be a great day!'"
Seriously, do this. Clap your hands in the morning, and say that quote out loud. In the last few years, starting off my day with positivity is a routine I've applied seriously. Love what you do from the start of your day to the end. If you put it out there in the universe, it will happen.
As Dicky says at the film's end: "I don't have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I have failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success."
Pablo Palatnik is the founder and CEO of ShadesDaddy.com, one of the largest online retailers of sunglasses in the world.