P.T. Barnum was a businessman who became known as one of the wealthiest men in America during his time. “The Greatest Showman” is a movie based on his colorful life as a businessman who started the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus.
The Hugh Jackman musical has been a hit at the box office with all its spectacular song and dance numbers wowing audiences. The soundtrack for the movie has skyrocketed to the top of the charts in the U.S.
The film’s success has come as a surprise to many because it runs counter to all the latest box-office trends. It has shown that word of mouth can still bring in the crowds. Social media has also played a big part in this, attracting people who are curious to see what the fuzz is all about.
From a business perspective, there are a lot of personal finance lessons that we can learn from the movie that is worth applying today.
Business Lessons From P.T. Barnum
- Starting small can fulfill big dreams
Many people want instant success, they want to start a business and put all that they have into it. Barnum started with nothing to begin with. His passion became the fuel, which drove him to succeed. There is nothing wrong with starting small, in fact, most financial experts would recommend this. The important thing is to keep your focus on how big you want to be. Dream big for nothing is impossible for those who believe that their dreams will come true.
Barnum was an orphaned tailor’s son, who was still unemployed when he became a father of two. He became the famous showman and went on to become one of America’s richest.
- Come up with a product that the market wants
Barnum got a $10,000 bank loan to start a museum that had death as its central theme. This did not pan out with his intended audience. His business could have gone down further had he not listened to his kids’ advice. His daughters’ suggested to come up with a concept that would make people happy. This led to the start of his circus idea, which eventually brought in the crowd.
Great ideas can come from unexpected sources, like Barnum’s kids in this case. No matter how good your business idea may seem to you, if others don’t like it then your business is bound to fail. Market research is important and coming up with an excellent product or service that people need can ensure success in business.
Problem solvers are the most successful businessmen. Better than coming up with what the market wants is coming up with what the market needs.
- You need to get insurance for your assets
When the Barnum museum burned down, PT Barnum was left with nothing. That building was one of their biggest assets. Don’t make the same mistake and start insuring all of your assets now like buildings, machines or any other assets that you have that are crucial in running your business.
Another asset that you should insure is yourself. Barnum was the main man, the source of all the business ideas and he was the star of the show. Not having him around would leave the business, his wife and kids with nothing if he were to die unexpectedly. What if Barnum died in the museum fire? Talk with an insurance advisor now and get a plan that fits your needs.
- Make sure you have contracts when doing business
Barnum had discovered a gem in Jenny Lind. He expected to make a lot of money when they partnered and went on that singing tour. The problem arose when she decided to stop singing and not go on with the tour anymore. Barnum and Lind only had a verbal agreement which was not legally binding. If a contract had been signed, Lind would have to pay the penalty for breach of contract. Contracts are important in business, same with having complete legal papers and documents in all of your transactions.
The Greatest Showman entertained us all but we should never forget the lifelong lessons that we can apply especially when it comes to personal finance