5 Business Lessons to Learn from “Groundhog Day”

Working to grow your business is a slow, uphill battle.

There are no shortcuts, easy ways out, or detours that will lead to its expansion. Worse, due to hard work and exhaustion, you can’t tell which day is which anymore. Everyday becomes the same, regardless of what happens.

Kind of like how Phil Connors (played by the deadpan comic Bill Murray) felt in the film Groundhog Day.

Groundhog Day

If you’re feeling under the weather because you’ve gotten weary of doing the same thing for your business over and over again, let Phil Connors be a reminder of what you could do to regain your old swagger.

#1 Work can’t always be fun

In the film, Phil Connors is an arrogant, selfish TV weatherman who keeps waking up to the same Groundhog Day celebration in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Knowing that he can get away with everything he does because he’ll wake up to a clean slate on the same day, he indulged in hedonism and affluence to his heart’s content.

At one point, Phil went behind bars after plowing a car through a pedestrian lane while intoxicated. He even stole a bag of money from an armored van because he figured out when the security were not guarding the contents of the vehicle, thanks to having observed the men every same day.

After a while, Phil eventually lost the fondness for debauchery because he feels trapped in living Groundhog Day over and over.

What does this have to do with your business? At first, you will enjoy the challenges of running your own business. However, the grind of filling out paperwork, reaching out to prospective clients, and conducting market research every single day – no matter how much you enjoy these – will catch up on you.

There will come a time that you feel you’re running on your last leg and want to give up the chase. You will come to the realization that in order to achieve success, you have to work tirelessly. It will take the fun out of things, but it is the only way for you to achieve your business goals.

#2 Quitting won’t get you anywhere

Recognizing the futility of living a life trapped in Groundhog Day, Phil tried to off himself by driving a car off a cliff. However, he woke back to where he started: lying in bed at 6:00 am in Punxsutawney, unscathed. He tried jumping off the top of the building and getting run over by a bus on the succeeding days, but he keeps waking up to the same day endlessly.

What does this have to do with your business? Quitting seems like a viable option if the going gets tough, but it becomes a difficult pill to swallow when you realize that doing so is equivalent to flushing your life’s work down the drain. With that knowledge, you are not only forced to carry the weight of your business on your shoulders, but also robbed of the inspiration and vigor that brought you here in the first place.

#3 Shortcuts aren’t really short

Groundhog Day -1

Phil has wanted to go out with Rita, the executive producer of the network played by Andie MacDowell, but his ego and love for self are getting in the way. Since time keeps repeating in his watch, Phil has thought of a way to get Rita to like him. Every same day, he observed Rita countless times to know her more and to say the right things to her.

What Phil taught was a great way to get Rita’s affections was apparently ill-conceived. Rita keeps spurning Phil’s advances every time, even offering him a slap in the face for good measure. Apparently, knowing more about someone doesn’t equate to becoming a likable person.

What does this have to do with your business? There will be opportunities that allow you to get ahead your competition, but these could lead to damaging effects in the long run. You can get exposed for either your inexperience or the illegal means you’ve done to pull rank. These “shortcuts,” therefore, run the risk of bringing you back to where you started.

#4 It’s not enough to be aware of yourself

Trapped in the absurdity of repeating Groundhog Day, Phil turned the corner when the homeless man he brought to a hospital died of natural causes. On the following Groundhog Days, Phil did whatever he could to try and save the life of the man ahead of time – treat him to a big breakfast, performed CPR.

The homeless man still died regardless, which speaks of the inevitability of life; despite how much we try to come up with different variations for the same day, the outcome remained constant.

What does this have to do with your business? It helps to look around you whenever there are times you feel helpless with your work. You may need to attend to non-business matters to get out of your funk.

#5 Reevaluate your goals

The death triggered a transformation in Phil’s character. He started helping people with their problems like changing car tires driven by the elderly, delivering a Heimlich maneuver to a choking man in the restaurant, and even getting a doubting couple to marry on the same day.

After being enlightened by his new outlook in life, Phil slept and upon waking up, it was no longer the same day. It was the day after Groundhog Day.

What does this have to do with your business? You have to remind yourself from time to time why you built your company in the first place. There’s a possibility that those reasons have changed throughout the years. By trying to achieve the same goal all the time, you may have completely lost touch of your business and could experience the boredom mounting from your everyday work.

You need to adapt yourself to the different challenges presented by your business to achieve a sense of purpose day in and out.

Are there any other scenes in Groundhog Day that speak to you as a business owner?  What are your thoughts about the hurdles of growing your small business? Let us know by commenting below!

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