You think you know what to expect when it comes to anticipating the threats to your business, yet so few businesses survive. They die the same ways the fools in horror movies do: they don’t follow the simple rules. There’s a reason (SPOILER ALERT) that in Halloween, Michael Myers wipes out all of Lorie Strode’s friends, but Lorie survives. There’s a lot that we in business can learn from Jamie Lee Curtis. If you want to survive in the scary business world, there are three rules of the scary movie formula that must be obeyed.
1. Listen To the Kid
These poor schmucks always get brushed off in horror movies. The adults who “know better” are quick to discount the kid talking about the doll moving on its own or disbelieve the boy who swears he saw the boogeyman. When it comes to your business and staying ahead, it takes a leap of faith in things you can’t yet see, and that kind of vision often comes from unlikely sources (usually youthful ones). Don’t disqualify ideas, suggestions, or advice just because you think someone lacks the experience or belongs to the wrong generation. They’re the ones thinking out of the proverbial box. They’re the future.
2. The Bad Guy/Monster Isn’t Dead
Stop dropping the weapon with a sigh of relief that your imminent threat is now destroyed! You fool! The minute your back is turned, the attacker sits upright and suddenly has the advantage. As for your company, you don’t want to look at barriers to entry or threats to growth as ever truly conquered. Not only will new ones always creep up, but new life will be breathed into old ones. Resting on your laurels is a surefire way to get yourself killed in business.
3. Don’t Stray from The Group
Investigating a strange noise on your own? Grabbing some more supplies out in the shed by yourself? Going to run to the neighbor’s house and “be right back”? You’re dead. In the horror movie world, the minute you step away from the group to take on a task alone, you’re the newest addition to the body count. Not much interpretation is required here. Clearly, you cannot survive, let alone thrive, in the business world alone. You may think you can do it all, but you will seal your fate with that kind of mindset. Surround yourself with a loyal, capable, and discerning posse.
While no set of rules can guarantee your survival in the ever-changing landscape of competitive business practices, at least you can increase your odds by taking some universal precautions and applying common sense. To visit a virtual graveyard of companies that didn’t take this sage advice, check out Rick Newman’s article in U.S. News titled, “10 Great Companies That Lost Their Edge”. Just make sure you don’t go there alone.