Yesterday I finally got to see a movie I’d wanted to see for months – Joy, starring Jennifer Lawrence. I took my fake little sister Jenny as my date. I say “fake” as I also have a “real” little sister Jenny, but by strange coincidence I got paired up with another Jenny back in 2011 as part of the SISTER2sister mentoring program.
It was exactly the movie we both needed as a big year of big plans stretches out ahead. I LOVED it – JLaw was completely fantastic in her role and the random assortment of characters around her were fascinating in all their flawed glory. The movie is based on the true story of entrepreneur Joy Mangano, who invented the Miracle Mop and many other products since.
Watching the story unfold, I was in awe at the standing start the main character was coming from as she sought to fight her way out of the less-than-ideal existence she was leading. I had a fresh appreciation for the supportive people around me and the savings I had when I started The Remarkables Group almost four years ago now (!!!).
I spotted some marvellous lessons on success woven throughout the movie. I don’t think there are any major spoilers here beyond what the trailer shares. If I do give anything away…. Sorreeeeeee!
Lesson 1: In order to succeed, you need to tune out all those who say you can’t do it, who think you’re less than you truly are and who haven’t had success themselves.
Joy’s family in the movie are, well, pretty horrible. They take her for granted, question her ideas and tell her she can never amount to much. They are completely oblivious to the raw potential and pure guts she has, which makes her success all the sweeter!
Lesson 2: Cherish those who want to see you fly, and keep them near you.
Conversely, Joy’s best friend and ex-husband give her their full support and encouragement from the very beginning, then throughout all the negativity and challenges she experiences. The movie closes with both these people still her closest aides and advisers.
Lesson 3: Get rock solid legal advice.
Joy goes with her investor’s lawyer to make the legal arrangements to patent her idea, which results in a shambles of a situation. Finding a lawyer who was a specialist in patent law would have prevented the whole disaster.
Lesson 4: In the early days, you can sell your product better than anyone.
Joy manages to get QVC onboard to sell her mop invention, but the presenter screws his spot up and doesn’t get a single sale. Joy wangles her way onto presenting it herself live on air, and does a pretty crap job initially. Once she finds her voice and begins to talk about her product though, she comes alive and the sheer belief and passion she has for it shines like a beacon. The result? 50,000 mops sold!
Lesson 5: If all else fails, get a new haircut and kick absolute ass
When everything has pretty much gone to shit and she is at rock bottom, it’s pretty clear that Joy feels she has nothing left to lose. She hacks off her long hair and gets on a plane to Texas in one last attempt to save her business.
Lesson 6: Rock a power pose for extra confidence
In Texas Joy faces her VERY intimidating business adversary, who is the instigator of the whole mess she’s in. In what is probably the best example of a power pose I’ve seen in my life, she stands her ground and tells him how it’s going to be. I’m a massive fan of the power pose when I’m speaking. Just by planting my feet further apart than normal and facing the audience squarely, it tricks my brain into thinking I’m in control and confident – even if inside I’m terrified.
Lesson 7: No matter how hard you think your life is, there is an alternative reality waiting for you if you believe in yourself and are willing to step outside your comfort zone.
As I already mentioned, Joy had the odds stacked against her starting her business – and she could very easily have pulled her head in and remained a broke mother of two with limited prospects. However a little voice told her that she could be more, could do more, and create a life bigger than she even imagined. That voice got her through seemingly impossible challenges.
Pretty inspiring, yah?
By the way, if you’re like me and the first thing you do after watching a movie or TV show is to Google the “real” person behind the story, here’s Joy Mangano. And you might also enjoy this Vanity Fair story on the similarities and differences between the movie and real life.
Five movie stars from me – if you see it, let me know what you think!