Gore, sex, dragons, kingdoms, zombies and a lot of death--an accurate set of words to describe the phenomenon of a show that is HBO's 'Game of Thrones.'
One may also use the same words to describe the utter chaos that can be the business world.
Kidding! (Sort of.)
When it comes down to it, 'Thrones' entire premise comes down to two things: money and power. Though disguised by complicated plot lines and character development, there are some deeply rooted core lessons hidden underneath the surface about what it takes to become successful, and how to stay that way once you make it.
Here are 7 lessons about business and entrepreneurship that we've all learned while watching 'Game of Thrones':
game of thrones business lessons
7 things we learned about success from 'Game of Thrones'
Trust your instincts; your most valuable assets will "hatch" over time.
Daenerys held on to her dragon eggs and felt connected to them long before they even hatched--and right after her husband's death, the dragons were born and became her most valuable asset.
Not every investment you make or asset you own will turn over a profit or drive success right away. If your gut is telling you something is worth holding on to and fostering, it probably is.
In due time, the right investments will begin to show return.
View disorder in the market and your challenges as an opportunity to excel your business forward.
"Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, they cling to the realm or the gods or love. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is." -Peter Baelish
Accept the challenges that come your way and figure out how you can grow from them.
A misstep doesn't always mean a failure, so don't trap yourself into thinking that it does.
Be cordial to everyone, even those you feel may not be able to help propel you forward
"The occasional kindness will spare you all sorts of trouble down the road." -Cersei Lannister
Ironically coming from the resident Queen of everything not-so-nice (understatement of the century), this lesson is one of the oldest in the book but still one of the most pertinent.
Treating people with kindness will take you further than arrogance will. It pays in business to treat the person you think can help you the least with just as much respect as you would the person who could help you the most.
The business world is a ever-changing, and you never know where a connection could pay off down the line.
Draw on personal experiences to create your business model and core values.
After her brother sold her into marriage, Daenerys knew that supporting or allowing slavery was something she was adamantly against and would not allow it. She decides to sail to another city to free the Unsullied (slave warriors).
Though it wasn't in her original "business" plan, Daenerys wanted to make sure she was engaging in affairs that were important to her and that she could relate to.
Your company values and goals should reflect things that you care about directly, even if that means (sometimes literally) adjusting your sails to go a different direction.
Never underestimate yourself and the influence you can have.
"Power resides where men believe it resides. It's a trick, a shadow on the wall. And a very small man can cast a very large shadow." -Varys
Your title has nothing to do with how much power or influence you actually have. You can be a CEO, but if you're not well-received or liked, your employees are less likely to listen to and respect you.
What wins you "power" is how much respect you earn from the people around you.
While this line is perhaps one of the most well-known from the show, it's the deeper meaning behind the lines that teaches a lesson (aside from simply encouraging business owners to literally pay off their debts, which also is sound advice).
Don't go through business and entrepreneurship asking for favors and taking advantage of people.
When you owe something to anyone or any company, whether it's literal funding or an under-the-table favor, you eventually will have to pay it back.
Don't ask for something unless you're prepared and equipped to return back what you're asking for.
Whether it's wise words from a mother (We're looking at you, Cersei) or an offhand riddle from a councilman (Varys), the characters in this show are always giving one another advice about how to handle their affairs.
The business world is a game, and in order to thrive, you have to be strategic. As Cersei Lannister would say:
"When you play the game of thrones you win or you die. There is no middle ground."
We wouldn't take her advice too lightly.
Now, check out these movies that also give great entrepreneurial advice:
inspirational movies for entrepreneurs
7 things we learned about success from 'Game of Thrones'
The Social Network
Based on the true story of Facebook genius Mark Zuckerberg and his Harvard classmates and co-founders, this movie shows us how one idea can go from a thought in casual conversation to a world-dominating platform.
This film also brings to light the drama and behind-the-scenes tensions that arise when setting out to begin a new business or venture. We learn through Zuckerberg's faults in the movie that you must stay cognizant of your actions and the way that you treat people, or you may damage relationships with those closest to you.
In a classic awakening of the conscience, sports agent Jerry McGuire decides to write a letter to his entire company about how the hunger for deals and a profit are making it easy for everyone to lose sight of who they are.
This gets McGuire fired, and he must start his own business. With only one star football player under his management, McGuire learns what it really means to love what you do while still being able to sustain an income and sense of morality.
This classic has so much to teach us about believing in ourselves, believing in others, and how there is literally no one who can tell you what you're capable of doing other than yourself.
As someone who's mentally disadvantaged, Forrest lives a life that's anything but limited and does it all with a smile. His determination is admirable, and at the very least, this movie will remind you to never give up on the things you want the most. Mental fortitude is the most important thing.
Elle Woods is the girl you can't help but root for, right from the opening scene at the start of this movie. After getting her heart broken by her long-term boyfriend (whom she thought would soon be her fiancé), she learns that he'll be attending Harvard Law school in the fall.
Determined to both get him back and prove to him she's more than just a dumb blonde, Elle works harder than she's ever worked before (with the help of everyone she knows and loves), gets accepted to Harvard and finds herself on the defendant side of a high profile court case that forever changes her life and career.
Elle teaches us how to pool our resources and connections to get to our goals. The film also reminds us about how important friends and family are to have as a support system when you're taking on an endeavor that most people expect you to fail at.
Plus, she shows us that the seemingly impossible can become possible if you're willing to smile through it (and maybe if you put on a little pink!)
A classic tale of friendship and trust, Charlotte's Web will always inevitably give you all the feels. It reminds us all that by being kind and by simply being someone's friend, you can make all the difference.
The people who find the most success and get to where they need to be are the people who care deeply for others and expect nothing in return.
The film, as does the novel, can make anyone see that the relationships we build along the way become the best investments that we make.
This 2015 movie starring Robert DiNero and Anne Hathaway is feel-good film about a 70-year-old retiree named Ben Whittaker who, recently widowed, is looking to come out of retirement for something fun to do. When he sees a posting for am"senior internship", Ben believes he's the perfect fit.
Ben works under the owner of a fashion website (played by Hathaway) and the two form an incredible, honest bond. Their friendship shows that the most successful partnerships and ventures come from the most unexpected places.
It's a nice reminder that hard work, positive mentality and kindness will always be in style, no matter how old or young you are.