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The Greatest Showman and the Beauty of the Entrepreneurial Spirit | Brittany Hunter

You're More Than You Can Ever Be

Barnum is a lowly servant with big dreams working in a wealthy household. He gets a glimpse of the life he could live if he were to rise above his circumstances.

Barnum did not obsess over his daydreams but through hard work made his dream a reality.

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The Greatest Showman and the Beauty of the Entrepreneurial Spirit | Brittany Hunter

The Greatest Showman and the Beauty of the Entrepreneurial Spirit | Brittany Hunter

https://fee.org/articles/the-greatest-showman-and-the-beauty-of-the-entrepreneurial-spirit/

fee.org

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Key Ideas

The Greatest Showman

 ... is a tribute to the resilience and power of the entrepreneurial spirit.

It is a story of society’s outcasts finding success through unconventional means.

You're More Than You Can Ever Be

Barnum is a lowly servant with big dreams working in a wealthy household. He gets a glimpse of the life he could live if he were to rise above his circumstances.

Barnum did not obsess over his daydreams but through hard work made his dream a reality.

The Market Is the Great Equalizer

Barnum’s original museum highlighted the spectacular and unbelievable marvels of the world. Unfortunately, none of these rarities was real. 

His original museum relied on poor quality replicas of mermaids and other mythical phenomena, which were not appealing to consumers. But the lack of customers drives Barnum to go in search of real, and rare, human acts.

Reframing the Narrative

The entrepreneurial spirit is one of dedication and resilience.

A highbrow, snooty, and prominent theatre critic attends one of Barnum’s performances and writes a particularly nasty review. He dubs Barnum’s act a “circus”–which, at the time meant “a public scene of frenetic and noisily intrusive activity,” hardly a compliment.

Instead of being discouraged, Barnum changes the name of his show, “P. T. Barnum's Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan & Hippodrome” to include the word “circus,” establishing a new definition for the word.

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Cause and Effect

Survivorship bias leads us to think that coincidence is a correlation. We want the encouragement from survivorship bias so we can believe in our own capabilities, but it results in an inflated idea of how people become successful.

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Describing wonder

Wonder is said to be a childish emotion. However, as adults, we experience it when gaping at something unexpectedly spectacular.

Adam Smith, an 18th-century moral philosopher, describes wond...

Bodily symptoms

The bodily symptoms of this strange appearance point to three dimensions:

  • Sensory: The marvelous things take hold of our senses - we stare and widen our eyes.
  • Cognitive: We are perplexed because we don't have a past experience to understand them. It leads to a suspension of breath, similar to when we are startled.
  • Spiritual: We look upwards in veneration, which makes our heart swell.
The scale of wonder

At the mild end of this emotion, we talk about things being marvelous. More intense emotions might be described as astonishing. The extreme of this experiences is met with expressions of awe.

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Make The Readers Feel Something

Honesty is the most important ingredient. You don’t have to be or have gone through something to write about it but you must have a heartfelt feeling about it so you can expose that emotion thro...

Structure And Revise

You need to have a beginning that builds to a middle and an ending, or at least an idea of where you’re going, as it is key to explore your themes and foreshadow things properly.

Another important thing is to revise your writings. Your first draft is likely to contain multiple errors, poorly phrased sections, and inconsistencies.

Surprise The Reader

To do it, you must know what your audience expects from the type of writing you’re doing and then defy it.

Without the surprise, without the twist, if you don’t pull the wool over the audience’s eyes, then it’s unlikely you’re going to be memorable. It’s precisely the fact that things are not what they seem that makes a story interesting.

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Don’t Be Alone

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Get Good At Sprinting

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Real world parallel: Spend time leveling up your sprinting skills. It builds strength, power, VO2max, endurance and quality of life while also helping you lose weight if paired with a healthy diet.

Training Brains, Technique And Strength

Horror movie tip: the unintelligent and unprepared often die in movies, so get smarter, train yourself and learn how to use tools and new skills.

Real world parallel: take a tactical approach to both your training and your behavior. Train functionally so that your body is prepared to function. Use your environment, your body weight and free weights to exercise. will give you a better body and the best chance for survival.

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The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

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  • Occupy your mind with uplifting thoughts, because they will give you the energy you'll need to attain the success you desire.
How To Attain Your Goal
  • Visualize your goal.
  • Keep yourself positively motivated.
  • Make a deadline.
  • Take steps daily.
  • Laugh along the way.

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Effective Speech Writing
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  • Structure: people prefer stories that follow a logical manner.
  • Context: significant impact on the persuasiveness of a story.
  • Audience: determine who you don’t want reading your content along with who you do.
Bring People Into Your World

Walt Disney took suspension of reality a step further building theme parks that brought people into his world. You can bring people into your world through storytelling and brand activation.

...

Suspend Reality

Suspending reality is a powerful storytelling technique as it creates a safe, magical world in which to contend with powerful emotions and themes, and it allows the viewer or listener to be transported and associate that escape from reality with the story.

Anything is possible and that becomes inspiration.

Focus on Shared Desires

Disney stories have a near universal appeal because they are designed around struggles and desires that are common to humans everywhere.

You can apply this message to storytelling in your company, too. When you’re communicating with your customers, you should focus on the shared experiences and desires that make your product so valuable.

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