This week I had the lovely opportunity to get out of my home office and explore the magnificent, world-famous, Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The festival spans over two weeks and brings people from all over the world to review films across many genres. I used this opportunity to reflect on creativity, ingenuity, and motivation from a solo entrepreneurship standpoint. The Beaver Trilogy Part IV was a delightful roller coaster of emotions associated with creativity, persistence, resistance, failure, and yet, again poetic persistence that culminated into a successful piece of cinematic art.
This post is a reflection of two insights the Beaver Trilogy Part IV sparked about solo entrepreneurship. You can own a laptop and say you own a business, but if you don’t do anything to fund, operate, or reach whatever objectives you have for your business, it is not going to happen. ACTION!
The synopsis of Beaver Trilogy Directed and Produced by Trent Harris. Trent Harris has had a roller coaster of films. He bootstrapped many of his films through his journalism. One of the films that he did was about a young man, Groovin’ Gary, from Beaver, UT. Groovin’ Gary had a great ability to do impersonations, including Olivia Newton and John Travolta. His impersonation of Olivia Newton was not received by rural Utahans because of their beliefs toward a man acting like a woman was considered sin. As such, Grooving Gary was ridiculed to the point that he tried to commit suicide. He quit his dream and took different career route, he repaired TVs. Beaver Trilogy has been on the big screen and Sean Penn acted as Groovin’ Gary and had success. The original footage of the real Groovin’ Gary was shown years later at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival. Trent Harris and Groovin’ Gary were reunited after years of being apart and his creative abilities and impersonations were well received at Sundance. This shifted Groovin’ Gary’s attitude toward himself – his pride and joy about impersonating returned. Gary and Trent celebrated the success of the film. Years later after traveling the world and self-funding films, Trent taught film courses in Utah. Here he told his his students the simple recipe for making a film: get a camera and go do it. Which is how The Beaver Trilogy Part IV was created and shown at Sundance this week.
Listen to our visitors. Inspiration can come from anyone at anytime. You just need to listen. Really listen. Digest what it is that is going on and how that information or advice can be used to aid you in your journey. However, as also illustrated within this film was negative critics. For example, Groovin’ Gary was a dynamic impersonator quit his love and passion because of what others said. In that example, the choice of what we hear, feel, and do can be impacted. It can be making a dream of being on TV a reality, or kill that dream and settle for a life of repairing TVs. In that situation, and as many solo-entrepreneurs can relate, it may seem easier to quit than to move forward. As such, it could also seem like death to quit and do something ordinary. Not that ordinary is a bad thing, but giving up on being extraordinary creates a behavior of accepting defeat. This is not a trait of a solo-entrepreneur. Which can be illustrated by Trent Harris and his objective of making films even with all of the critics and pennies to his name. He preserved and moved forward after each defeat. Also, with the current director, he listened to the advice of just get a camera and make a film. He did. So, within each of these people, we can see how listening can influence the direction of dream, career, or job.
A dream is one thing, action is another. You can have the passion,excitement, and vision towards a dream, but if you don’t have action, the dream will only be a dream. It will not happen in “reality”. This is experienced by many solo-entrepreneurs that have the dream of financial freedom, flexibility, and making money on their own. However, this doesn’t happen without action. You can own a laptop and say you own a business, but if you don’t do anything to fund, operate, or reach whatever objectives you have for your business, it is not going to happen. Likewise, even if you do all the things that you think you should do for your business, it can still fail. Dealing with failure is a part of being a solo-entrepreneur. You can either quit or you can buck up and move forward trying something different that aligns with you getting to your “dream”. Lets also face that fact that “dreams” change, and we can orchestrate that change whenever we want through our own action.
The Beaver Trilogy Part IV was a refreshing reminder about life, creativity, failure, and success. It illustrated the interconnectedness of people, action, inaction, and outcomes in our personal and professional lives. Much of which related to aspects that solo entrepreneurs experience daily. The insights sparked: listening to our visitors and a dream is one thing, action is another. Both show how perception, influence, action or the lack of action to catapult or sink one’s dream. Likewise, it also reminds us that like all things, dreams can change, and if we have the power within and the action we can make the unthinkable happen. Perhaps, this reflection may help to remind us that we’ve all experienced moments like Groovin’ Gary and how our decisions shaped where we are today, and continue to shape where we’re going. If you haven’t watched the original Beaver Trilogy I would encourage checking it out, and Beaver Trilogy Part IV. It really does bring a great deal of perspective to humanity, life, and how the decisions we make impact everything.
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by Katie Doseck, Ph.D.
Chief Visionary and Strategic Ace Up Your Sleeve | Viral Solutions LLC