5 business lessons from La La Land

11th January, 2017

You must be living in la-la land if you haven’t heard about La La Land – which is only the film that just won a record seven Golden Globes – but what can small business types learn from it?

Oh, nothing…except the SECRETS TO SUCCESS.

No, really.

Here’s what La La Land teaches us about what’s important when it comes to building a winning business formula:

1. Strong partnerships

Not only do La La Land stars, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, have brilliant chemistry but they’re also – let’s be honest – Hot. As. Balls.

I’m not suggesting your success should come from you undergoing weird plastic surgery to look like either one of them,  but it wouldn’t hurt to think about the importance of forming strong partnerships within your business network.

By “plugging in” to other brands or businesses around you whose values are in line with your own, you’re potentially fortifying your worth by opening yourself to new ideas and opportunities.

2. Strong team

La La Land won Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Director, Best Actor – Musical or Comedy, Best Actress – Musical or Comedy, Best Screenplay, Best Original Score and Best Original Song.

Personally, I think it’s an outrage the film didn’t also win Best Dancing In A Traffic Jam.


Regardless, you only need to glance at the film’s list of awards to realise the team consists of a lot of experts in their field.

Just because yours is a small business doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prioritise building the strongest team you can wrangle.

Need a bookkeeper? A financial advisor? A marketing expert? Don’t scrimp or settle – engage the absolute best you can get to help build your success.

3. Strong leadership

La La Land director, Damien Chazelle, also wrote the screenplay for the film after originally conceiving the idea while at university.

Now that’s ownership…not to mention a lot of time thinking about scenes involving jazz hands.

Ownership helps build leadership, which is incredibly important in small enterprise.

Lead your business to success by strategising well, communicating effectively (which also means listening) and being accountable.

4. Strong financial backing

Chazelle was unable to produce La La Land for years because studios were unwilling to finance an original contemporary musical.

So instead, he made another film (Whiplash) which scored five Oscar nominations in 2014 and earned him studio attention, the financial investment necessary to make La La Land, and a bigger film budget than he’d originally imagined.

The lesson? Wait for the right numbers. Hold out if you must.

Whether you’re raising the capital to begin your venture or trying to fund movement in a new direction, do it within a healthy financial framework to increase your chance of success.

5. Razzle dazzle

Check out this scene.

Now that’s what I call classy. Not to mention amazing – it was shot in a single take with no cuts and capturing that gorgeous evening light.

Am I suggesting you move your business to a hilltop to dance and sing your way through every day?

If you want to, why the hell not?

But whatever your business is, operate it with style and make yourself and your enterprise memorable to others. A little bit of razzle dazzle goes a long way!