What The Movie Caddyshack Taught Me About Business
It’s cliche to say that it’s one of the all-time best movies, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.
Sorry, but it’s kind of not even debatable at this point: Caddyshack is one of the all-time best movies.
We’ve all quoted that movie about 2 million times. That number goes up if you’re male and goes up again if you have ever spent half of a moment on a golf course. These are scientifically confirmed stats, so we have that going for us, which is nice.
The most recent time I watched the movie, I noticed some new things — or maybe it’s best to say that they were old things that hit me in a new way. Great art — no matter the form or medium — has a way of seeming new every once in a while depending on the changing perspectives of the receiver. After some additional life experiences, old songs can seem new again, paintings can evoke new emotions, and movies can take on different meanings.
Caddyshack has always been mindlessly funny. Most of it relies heavily on the comedic brilliance of the actors where clever ad lib and perfect delivery is prominent throughout. But this last time I watched it, I noticed some layers.
If you know when and how to look, there are a few solid lessons to learn from this stupidly hilarious movie. As a business owner, these lessons are relevant almost daily.
Here are the top 3 things I learned from Caddyshack about running a business:
- Be the ball. If you want to be good at something, practice how to do it. But if you want to be great at something, learn to think like that thing. Become that thing. See the world through the eyes of that thing. Knowing your audience and knowing your product is good, being your audience and being your product is great. Try to be great.
- How do you measure yourself against others? It is well-known at Bushwood that Chevy Chase’s character is the best golfer, but he doesn’t ever keep score. He’s not interested in being the best golfer in the club, he’s only interested in being the best golfer he himself can be. In business, it’s easy to see others and feel like you need to compare yourself to them and keep up, but at the end of the day, focusing on bringing your best game to the day each time is all that matters. Let them be them. You do you.
- Don’t overreact when it’s gets shitty. I promise you that no matter what you’re doing, some days are going to feel like someone crapped in the pool. It’s easy to overreact and have the whole pool drained, sanitized, and disinfected…but before you do, take a breath and make sure you know for sure what the issue is. Solving problems in an emotional state can be costly. If you’re lucky, you’ll find that after a while, it’s no big deal.
Laugh and learn
I know, it’s weird to pull lessons out of something that is supposed to make you laugh, but if you think about it, laughter is a part of learning. Learning doesn’t have to be all serious all the time. You could argue that you actually learn more when you’re in the mindset to have fun and take things with some humor.
As the school year begins for kids, let this be a time for all us to learn some new things. Have a laugh. Learn or give a lessons.
Thank you very little.