Box Office Business Lessons: Dope

March 1, 2017 by Karen Que

Thanks to his obsession with ‘90s hip-hop and his dreams of attending Harvard, he doesn’t really fit in.

Life is not fun for Malcolm and his motley crew of friends. They live in a rough neighborhood. They have to pass through metal detectors every day at school. And they get beat up for being different. One day they decide to expand their horizons by attending a kingpin drug dealer’s birthday party.

After a mix-up, Malcolm ends up with a backpack full of a drug called molly, and suddenly, these smart kids who don’t fit in have to become creative drug dealers or face the consequences.

Luckily, most of us didn’t become entrepreneurs under the threat of being arrested or taken out by a drug dealer, but I still think we can learn a few lessons from a bunch of scrappy teenagers who make the best out of a bad situation.

  1. The adversity in your life is your story.

Malcolm said it himself. “I’m from a poor, crime-filled neighborhood. Raised by a single mother. Don’t know my dad. Blah, blah, blah. It’s cliché.” He thought he was a cliché, but really, his life set him apart from everyone around him.

His grades and his dreams separated him from his classmates, but his background made him different from the average Harvard hopeful. In the end, he figured out how to make all of these differences work to his advantage.

Whatever you’re going through in your life is the only experience you’re going to get. As long as you keep learning from it, you can use it to connect with others. This story makes you unique and it allows you to have a human connection to your clients.

  1. Outsmarting everyone else will always get you ahead, as long as you have a solid strategy and really good systems in place.

A good plan will get you ahead every time. When Malcolm and his friends needed to get rid of the molly, they put together of team of people with the skill sets that they needed. Their team created a good marketing plan for the drugs and considered how to conceal the fact that they were doing something illegal.

I wouldn’t advise actually doing any illegal activities in a business. However, being more creative than everyone else, looking at things from a different perspective, setting goals and doing what needs to be done are all traits of business owners who have gotten ahead of the competition.

  1. Being different is an opportunity to create something awesome.

In his admissions essay for Harvard, Malcolm wrote about how he had a bad childhood and didn’t come from the greatest background. It wasn’t easy being different from his classmates, but it was the experience of being different that made him qualified for Harvard.

When you’re different, it gives you the opportunity to do something awesome. High school is a great training ground for disrupters, because everyone is usually trying to fit and be liked. It’s the best time for someone to find a way to stand out.

Disrupters like AirBnB, Uber and Tesla are taking industries that have been around forever and turning them on their head. To be a disrupter, you have to have a different perspective and the willingness to stand out and be different. You have to be willing to endure the strife you’re going to go through for being different.

The faster you learn how to embrace who you are and try to find other people who accept that, the better off the world will be. Once you find the place where you can connect with others, it allows you to be confident and you can shine your light into the world.

By being the best version of yourself, you help everyone else. That’s true in life and in business.

How does your unique story shape your business?  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *