Be Like Leo
I’ve met hundreds of entrepreneurs in my career. There is a common behavioural trait in the ones that succeed: they tend to give it their all. They tackle their role with as much energy, gumption and chutzpah as they can muster.
I term this the ‘Leonardo DiCaprio Principle’ to my friends. The first movie I ever saw that features Leo was What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, in 1993; playing the autistic younger brother of Johnny Depp’s character, DiCaprio was surrounded by a strong cast, but still he completely stole the show. I was 19-years-old and didn’t enjoy the movie, but I recall thinking, “wow, this kid is putting it all out there”. He made an indelible impact on most people who saw the film, so much so that Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for his first Oscar for his role.
Leo’s gift is his ability to not hold back. Despite the insecurities, doubts and fears he undoubtedly carries, he gives himself completely to each role. Leonardo DiCaprio’s career has become one of the most enviable in Hollywood, consistently providing some of the most memorable performances in acting history; from The Aviator to Wolf Of Wall Street. His own dogged persistence has been a lesson in determination, and Leo finally won the coveted Oscar with The Revenant in 2016, almost a quarter of a century after his first nomination.
My advice to entrepreneurs is don’t hold back. If you’re going to choose this path, fraught with potholes and booby traps, you may as well commit to the journey wholeheartedly. If you don’t, the people around you (staff, customers, media), will easily see that you’re not committed. You’ll appear to them like a sub-par actor on a sub-par movie.
Be like Leo.