10 Entrepreneurship Lessons From The Netflix Series Money Heist
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
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Since the release of “Le Casa de Papel” (Money Heist), the Spanish TV series, in 2017, it blew up with a cult of raving fans that made it viral all-over social media. The intricate plot in the first episode left many unanswered questions that everyone went binge-watching through the episodes. That phenomenon was the sign that led Netflix to purchasing the series in late 2017 and distributing it on its platform, where it became its most watched non-English series until date.
While you wait for the release of season 4, let’s take a few minutes to reflect on what you, as an entrepreneur, can learn from Sergio "The Professor" Marquina, hoping you can be inspired on your journey. Warning: Major spoilers ahead.
1. The fuel of desire
The professor had a grave desire behind the heist of the Royal Mint of Spain; he was paying homage to his father who died working as a bank robber to treat his ill son, young Sergio.
Several studies have shown than 90% of startups fail in the first year. While the reasons may vary, one common pitfall that has been identified among entrepreneurs is procrastination. James Clear, the author of bestselling book "Atomic Habits", explains the reason behind this issue by imagining a Present Self and a Future Self. When your Present Self tries to take action towards your goals, it falls short in building up enough desire for a very far Future Self. Napoleon Hill dubbed Desire as the first step toward riches in his classic "Think and Grow Rich", and Friedrich Nietzsche was quoted saying, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” Bottom line, if your journey isn’t fueled by a burning desire to succeed, you won’t last.
2. Faith goes a long way
Whenever communication between the professor and his team was cut off or stalled, the latter operated with the faith that he will be back.
If you follow Gary Vaynerchuk, you’d always hear him repeating that most entrepreneurs today are entitled. Entitlement screws with your faith because you expect success as soon as you start. If you want to win the long game, have faith in what your doing and enjoy the process of the everyday hustle.
3. The power of visualization
The late Stephen Covey coined habit 2 (Begin with the end in mind) in his bestseller "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", where he wrote, “all things are created twice. There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things.” The more you spend in meditation, the clearer and more detailed you can see your future goals. I got the idea for this article while visualizing at 5:30 AM.
4. Planning like a master
The professor is undoubtedly a seasoned chess player. His power to plan the tiniest details of the heist is a product of the two previous practices. You can’t organize your chessboard if you can’t see all the pieces. Right? The more solid your plan is, the less problems you avoid in the future.
5. Branding your way to their heart
One important rule for the success of the heist was to avoid any bloodshed. Marquina had the most serious face when he addressed his team “the second any blood is shed, we’ll no longer be Robin Hood, but a bunch of plain punks.” Personal branding is the frontier for entrepreneurship. It encompasses how the customer sees and defines you, and we all know that the customer is king!
6. Consistency pays down the road
When your goal is solidified and chunked down to a daily action plan, all you need to do is DO! Late American entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn stated, “Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.”
No matter how many tactics where employed by the Spanish police, Berlin always said “we stick to the plan?” Overcoming hardship is what separates entrepreneurs from wannapreneurs.
A time will come when you need to scale your operation and hire some help. People skills will come in handy as you onboard, train and motivate your employees to handle the part of the operation you can delegate. Just remember that leadership start with yourself first.
9. The synergy of a master mind
The heist of season 3 was planned by Berlin and Palermo who said, “if we use talent and science. The best minds in engineering, in physics and fluid mechanics… Can you imagine them preparing for a job? Excellency applied to robbery.” The Oxford dictionary defines synergy as the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.
10. Finding balance
While the professor had a lot on his hands orchestrating the heist, you could see that he made time for working out and having an affair. Work/life balance is an absolute must if you’re playing the long game. Workaholics who justify everything with being busy are prone to become emotionally drained and eventually quit. Guard your personal time.