15 Success Lessons to Learn from Hollywood

26 August 2021

Hollywood Is All about Getting Success at the Right Time. Here Are Some Lessons You Can Learn from It.

Hollywood is a hit driven business. You can be hot today, who? tomorrow.

It’s not all just magic and lucky breaks, there is a lot of strategy and business practice to learn from Tinseltown. So here are 15 Success lessons to learn from Hollywood.

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We’re going to get a few fast facts out the way, jump into some juicy goodness and then end with some inspiration.

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Wasting your precious time won’t make you successful. So ditch this long article and switch over to the quick little video version:

With that done, let’s move forward with the article.


Nothing Is Impossible

If you ever feel like your dreams are too strange or unachievable, then we have one daily mantra for you to repeat: “There are no bad ideas, remember the success of Sharknado.”

Tada, that one phrase just helps self-doubt melt away. One more time all together for luck:

“There are no bad ideas, remember the success of Sharknado.”


Keep Up. The Rules Change

Next quickie is a real doozy. Don’t be a Harvey Weinstein, remember that the rules change. While it might have seemed like you would always get away with being a pig, the rules change. And what might have been somewhat “acceptable” behaviour doesn’t stay that way for long.

Be sure you keep up. Speaking about people who can’t take No for an answer…


No Is Just a Gateway to Yes

We don’t mean this in a Weinstein way, but in an indelible Forest Gump type of way.

If you’re going to try something new you should get used to hearing the word “no.” Consider no a positive, just one more no closer to a yes.

Jerry Weintraub was the successful concert promoter of Elvis Presley and other big names. Weintraub pitched a national tour to Elvis’s manager and was turned down. He kept going back for months and still no. His persistence paid off, and nearly a year later he got the nod for a coast-to-coast tour that secured Elvis and Weintraub’s life success. Persistence paid off.


Luck Isn’t a Myth, It’s the Name of the Game

Luck is like lightening. You don’t know when it will hit, but if you want to be struck you need to head outside in the storm and be waving around a metal rod and you will dramatically increase your chances.

If the many “lucky strike” stories of Hollywood fame have taught us anything it’s always be ready to be lucky. You never know when the person who is ready to give you a lucky break, so if you want to be lucky, be ready for the next lightening strike.  


Packaging Matters a Whole Lot

It doesn’t matter what you want to sell, it’s the story that sells it.

Hollywood shows us that anything can sell if you tell the right story. Human’s frame everything in terms of story, and it’s not enough to be known. Your story helps people invest in your dream or product.

Okay, so those are the quick takeaways, let’s get into some meaty examples.


Disney Plays on Urgency

One of the biggest shake ups in Hollywood history recently has been the shift from regional theatre releases to global streaming releases. But this doesn’t mean that big studios are losing out on income at the box office. Smart marketing means that everything from small-budget horrors to block busters are still having theatrical release success.

Tom Rothman, chairman of Sony Pictures described this success factor as “movies that carry a sense of theatrical urgency.” Disney releases manage to drum up urgency with all their releases, how do you create urgency with your customers?

With all its recent acquisitions it’s maybe time to ask, what does Disney actually sell? It might surprise you, stick around for that bombshell at the end.


Nostalgia Works, Time and Again

Part of what the Disney business model uses as a hook is nostalgia. They aren’t the only ones… you see nostalgia in the marketing of Coca-Cola and many other brands too.

But Disney has really perfected the art. Remake after remake you think that they would have tired the market, but it turns out nothing makes people show up to opening weekend with their kids than revisiting a movie they loved when they were little. Nostalgia remains one of the most successful draw cards in marketing, and Disney capitalises on this to their advantage.

Speaking of nostalgia, watch our video –  15 Sneaky Strategies Companies Get You To Spend More Money – to see how nostalgia plays such a HUGE role in sales.


Life Is Too Short to Be Working with Morons

Hollywood hires the best. They unashamedly select the top talent. They don’t care whose feelings they hurt, they hire the best writers, actors and directors, the most skilled CG person, and they pay for to secure them.

This is how to secure success in life right out the gate, so choose your team wisely.


Never Stop Learning

Hollywood never stops pushing and improving. A studio’s Computer Graphics are always improving film on film. There is never a moment that Hollywood rests on their laurels and believes they have reached the apex of image quality or music clarity. Those that do well are in a constant state of improvement knowing that there is always something that can be done better.

To succeed in business, you need to turn the defeatist statement of “I don’t know” into the humble hustle of “I don’t know YET” of Hollywood greats.

Talking about learning, how about adding an Alux course on Mastering your Mind into your toolkit. Go to alux.com/mindmastery and enroll now!

If you want to learn more life lessons about success, check out Richard Branson’s Most Valuable Lessons about Success.


Subscription Services Saved the Video Star

When SVOD or Subscription video on demand services like Netflix hit mainstream, the film theatre business took a knock. But studios who were fast to pivot to this new consumer trend have done well despite the change in business models. Whatever business you are in, there will eventually be a seismic shift if there hasn’t been already. Being able to pivot and take advantage of the trend will be what sets you up for success in life.


Be a Dream-Player

Although it can seem hard to break into Hollywood, once you’re in you will realise that it’s a very “team player” culture. It’s important that you are kind to everyone from the lowliest lever PA right to the top. If you don’t, you might find yourself in the kind of hot water Ellen faced in 2020.

On the positive end of that spectrum is Elton Butler, the owner of production equipment rental company, Line 204. When he was starting out his gear rental business, he helped out Brett Ratner who was making music videos at the time. This ended in Butler being first in line when Ratner made it big as director of “Rush Hour and “X-Men: The Last Stand”.

As Butler puts it: “Today’s [Production Assistant] will be tomorrow’s decision makers,” he stated. “If you help somebody get to the top, they won’t forget you.”

That being said, you don’t have to be a total a*s-kisser, but we’ll save that for our big finish at number 15.  


Show up… and Then Shine

Social connections drive careers and deals wherever you work, and no matter where you are, making friends will get you ahead in life. But you won’t make those connections if you’re at home. Filmmaker, Woody Allen is known for saying: “80 percent of success is showing up.” That’s good advice for life, in and out of Hollywood success. To make a success in life you must show up.


Shake Your Money Maker

Recently Stephen King was interviewed by Stephen Colbert about his new book, Billy Summers. King made an interesting comment about how important promotion is. Even though he is hugely successful, and his books sell themselves, King is acutely aware of the importance of marketing yourself and your new products. Or as King hilariously put it “you got to shake your money maker.”

And if someone as established as Stephen King is still out there shaking it, then you should also get out there and promote your business, product or yourself.


Reviews Matter

One thing Hollywood doesn’t take for granted is the reviews. Unlike Amazon reviews, Hollywood reviews are really influential. Producers, actors and studios take this feedback from critics and the public seriously and use it to improve or decide on their next projects.

Ensure you are using feedback to adapt and improve your business model or product.


You Don’t Have to Play by the Rules

It’s very clear that there are rules to follow if you want to succeed in Hollywood. But there are plenty of examples when not sticking to the rules is also possible.

When Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were given the job of hosting the 2021 Golden Globes, they weren’t about to just butter up the people paying their appearance fee. Nope. These women have established their right to say what they want. And oh, they did.

They took a dig right off the bat: “award shows are stupid,” but “even with stupid things, inclusivity is important.” They went on to diss the Golden Globe hosts, which are the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Tina Fey got stuck in: “There are no Black members of the Hollywood Foreign Press,” “I realize HFPA, maybe you guys didn’t get the memo because your workplace is the back booth of a French McDonald’s, but you got to change that. So, here’s to changing it.”

Did they get fired? Nope. The HPFA took the roast on the chin, promised to change, and so far until the change is in place NBC Universal wont be broadcasting the event in 2022 because they stand behind the hosts truthful roast.

And on that note, we hope we’ve left you inspired and fired up to get cracking on any goal you’ve put your mind to. We’d appreciate your support by subscribing and hitting the bell notification on our channel.


What is the most important business lesson that led to your success?