The smash hit HBO series Game of Thrones has broken all kinds of records. There’s no other TV show that can compare with it in terms of viewership, actors’ pay, or illegal download and streaming numbers. And it certainly sets an all-time high for both lost lives (150,000+) and stunt men on fire. But what do fiery dragons, White Walkers or a Three-Eyed Raven have to do with your business? More than you might think. Business is not that different from life in the Seven Kingdoms. Apart from the massacres, sex, and intrigues, Game of Thrones is a treasure trove of valuable real-life lessons. Read more to find out how Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister can help you win in business.
Lesson 1: Winter is coming
Here’s something you should know by now even if you’re not a serious Game of Thrones addict: Winter is coming! In R. R. Martin’s fantasy world, seasons can last for many years, and the winters are extremely cruel. So as soon as one winter is over, people start preparing for the next. How this relates to you and your business? Well, there will always be hard times and plenty of challenges you need to overcome. But no matter how difficult things get, you should never stick your head in the sand – or snow. Prepare instead and confront what’s ahead of you, e.g. by saving up enough money for the dry spells like vacation seasons.
Lesson 2: Knowledge is power
The next lesson comes from Varys (aka “the Spider”) who commands a vast network of informants. He’s a keen observer and always on top of the latest developments. While that doesn’t mean you should engage a private detective to spy on your competitors, you should definitely keep your eyes and ears open. To be truly successful, you need to know what’s going on around you and in your industry. If you don’t, there’s no way you’ll be able to keep up with the competition.
Lesson 3: Build a great team
Let’s have a look at Daenerys Targaryen. Daenerys doesn’t have an easy start in the series. Her brother sells her to the Dothraki and she’s married to their leader, Khal Drogo. But despite all kinds of setbacks, she single-mindedly pursues her goal of climbing the Iron Throne, building a vast army and conquering entire cities. Treating her subjects with respect, she manages to earn their loyalty. You don’t have to free cities from slavery, but you do need to treat your employees with respect. Be authentic and human, and always try to motivate and inspire your team. And just like Daenerys who only surrounds herself with people who have pledged their loyalty to her, you too should make sure that your employees firmly stand behind you and can be fully relied on.
Lesson 4: Look beyond the Wall
Jon Snow not only keeps a close eye on the other side of the Wall, he even allies himself with the Wildlings, which he considers the only chance to defeat the White Walkers. The lesson from this? Make sure your horizon doesn’t end at the door of your salon, studio, or office. Take a chance and look beyond your “Wall” – there’s a wealth of great new opportunities waiting for you! And sometimes it can even make sense to team up with your enemies.
Lesson 5: The only people who aren’t afraid of failure are madmen
Remember this line? This great piece of advice Tyrion Lannister gives Daenerys is something everyone should heed – in Westeros and in the real world. Whether you’re a king or an entrepreneur, success tends to go to your head quickly and makes you overestimate yourself. When you’re successful, it’s easy to think the tide will never turn. If your first location works out well, it doesn’t take long to open up a second one, and two employees quickly turn into ten. But even if things are going great, you should still take it one step at a time and carefully plan out your course of action. After all, the tide usually does turn quickly. Never lose your respect for that.
Westeros vs. Reality
Game of Thrones is not only a spectacular TV show, there are also many useful lessons to be learned from it when it comes to running a successful business. If you need an ally at your side, Shore’s software can help you combat the White Walkers of your day-to-day business (aka no-shows, tedious paperwork, and lack of customers). It may not be made of dragonglass, but it certainly will make running your business easier with a convenient online calendar, online booking, a newsletter tool, and all kinds of other useful features. See for yourself how you can benefit from it. Because after all, winter is coming…