KillerStartups

Business Lessons From Top Female TV Characters

by Erin Meagher

 

 

One thing that makes “Game of Thrones” so compelling (like “Girls,” “Homeland,” and the late “Breaking Bad”) is its complex, often controversial leading lady. As professional women, what lessons can we draw from Daenerys and her counterparts on other hit shows? A lot, as it turns out. Below, four of my personal favorites – and what we can glean from each:

 

Skylar White from “Breaking Bad”

Love her or hate her (yes, there is a whole subculture of Skylar haters), Skylar is savvy and smart. She lacks the sinister evil of her meth-cooking husband, but she definitely isn’t a pushover. Skylar successfully negotiated a bottom-dollar price for the car-wash acquisition – a move that even Walter seemed skeptical of. She’s also keen with numbers, enough to cook the books and launder drug money.

 

While it’s not wise to use those tactics (they will land you a visit from the IRS or your brother-in-law DEA agent), it is every business owner’s job to know their numbers. Lessons learned:

 

 

Daenerys Targaryen from “Game of Thrones”

As women, we often underestimate ourselves and even fall victim to the Imposter Syndrome. Dany could have easily slunk away or become the wife of another, silenced forever. But she had a burning desire to win in a man’s world. She takes up a league of her own, first by creating a trusted inner circle of advisors and then by winning over legions of loyal soldiers through compassion and empathy. By meeting their needs, she fulfilled her own. Lessons learned:

 

 

Carrie Mathison from “Homeland”

When she’s not interrogating prisoners of war or foiling bomb plots, Carrie is neurotic, unstable, and quite frankly, off her rocker. From the outset, it seems Carrie’s case is one of “how not to behave in business.”

 

Now look closer, and you’ll see Carrie is outshining her counterparts by acting on intuition, pushing boundaries and delivering results. Here’s the truth: great entrepreneurs, creators, and inventors are all a little neurotic. They are the ones really thinking outside the box (see: Steve Jobs). And most great business leaders all lead imbalanced work/home lives. So as we embark on the next season of “Homeland,” let us not judge. After all, isn’t there a little bit of Carrie in all of us? Lessons learned:

 

 

Marnie from “Girls”

In HBO’s hit “Girls,” we meet a young, eager Marnie, who desperately wants the perfect life but quickly loses control. She is fired from her job, breaks up with her boyfriend, and is labeled a bad friend by her roommate, Hannah.

 

As entrepreneurs, we know that failure doesn’t seem quite as bad once we have a few years under our belts. If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough. So dear Marnie, make mistakes while you’re still young. And for those of us that are now past our twenties, let’s try something new today. In failing, we will ultimately win. Lessons learned:

 

 

Our favorite characters may not be teaching us anything new, but they remind us of the many roles we have to play. We too fret over numbers, negotiate contracts and expand our businesses – all while pregnant with our third child. And yes, our own emotions sometimes get the best of us.

 

Maybe that’s why there is no “The Real Women Entrepreneurs.” We’re already charting our course, somewhere between the blurred lines of business, art and reality.

 

Erin Meagher is the developer of Kelapo™ Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, a product manufactured and marketed by Beneficial Blends LLC, headquartered in Tampa, Florida. Kelapo™ was launched in 2009 with the goal of producing the best-quality coconut oil on the market while ensuring fair and ethical treatment of the farmers who cultivate it.

 

Photo Credits

StartupCollective | Sabrina Krilic

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