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4 Ways to Avoid the Formula Trap In business, we rely on formulas to guarantee future success. However, formulas have flaws.

By Andrea Olson Edited by Micah Zimmerman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In the popular movie Bohemian Rhapsody, Ray Foster, the head of Queen's record label, spoke with Freddie Mercury about their previous record's success and expressed his desire to repeat that success with their next record. Freddie stops him and plays an opera recording, illustrating his desire to do something different. Ray pushes back, stating, "Formulas work. We like formulas." In response, Freddie argues, "Formulas are a complete and utter waste of time." The band goes on to create the song "Bohemian Rhapsody," one of the best-selling rock singles of all time, recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the number one song of all time.

Like Ray, we like formulas. In business, we rely on formulas to provide a pseudo guarantee of future success. If someone did it and it worked, we try to replicate it to achieve the same results. However, formulas have flaws. Formulas don't work in all contexts and situations. They can create a false sense of security and produce results that may be counterproductive. Business leaders should be cautious when adopting a formula, regardless of its prior success.

Related: How Can Entrepreneurs Enhance Their Creativity?

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