Irrespective of the fact that Heroine failed to score points with the critics and the audience, one thing that it offers is a set of important lessons that cannot be ignored in the journey of business and life! Learning from Bollywood Movies can be real FUN...
Heroine opened to mixed reviews from the critics, and the audience have also criticized director Madhur Bhandarkar for an unimaginative storyline and giving a rehashed version of his earlier films like Page 3 and Fashion. However, critics and the audience have been impressed by the performance of the leading lady, Kareena Kapoor who played the role of Mahi Arora, a heroine on a downslide, facing an emotional turmoil, and torn between love, fame and money. Notwithstanding its fate at the Box Office, Heroine and Kareena offered us some lessons which will help us if we follow them in our life and business. And as Eleanor Roosevelt said: “Learn from the mistakes of others, you can't live long enough to make them all yourself”.
1. Get your Business Model right
In the movie, Mahi Arora is shown as a confused actress. Though, she is a leading actress in mainstream commercial cinema, in order to regain her position and achieve success, she is shown experimenting with various other forms of cinema like dabbling in an art film, offbeat films and new wave films. Similarly, in life, it’s important to have clarity of purpose and understanding, that you can’t please everyone. In business, it’s like not knowing whether you are operating in B2B or B2C space or whether your product is targeted towards large enterprises or SMEs or SOHOs. Not having your business model in place or not knowing your customer can lead to confusion in the minds of customers and often wastage of precious resources in responding to market and customer requirements.
2. It’s important to have a support system
Mahi Arora is not only confused; she is also mostly lost in the movie and easily drawn to doom like moths are attracted to flame. Either she is listening to too many people, or she isn’t listening to anyone who offered her some good advice. What Mahi clearly missed is a support system, who could have possibly helped her in keeping her sanity. In life and career, it’s important to have a handful of select people, who could possibly give you fair guidance and keep your feet firmly on the ground. It could be a close friend or family member or a colleague or senior at work. Please note, it’s also important not to listen to everyone, which could again lead to confusion. Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey and it’s important to seek out mentors and take the advice of those who have already walked the path before, so that you don’t repeat at least some of the mistakes which are avoidable.
3. Know and respect your competitors
Mahi was so busy chasing her dreams, trying to achieve success at any cost, that she forgot to keep her ears close to the ground and an eye on the competition. While her coterie warns her about her co-actors getting ahead of her, or landing the roles which should have been hers, she chooses to ignore them with a false sense of arrogance and also somewhat in her plight to get her love life back on track. In business, it’s very important to know what your competitors are doing, so that they don’t surprise you with a new product launch or ambush your marketing initiatives or simply win over your customers. Also, at work, keep an eye on your colleagues who could be eyeing the same plum job opportunity that you’re hoping for, or, getting themselves equipped with new skills which could help them succeed in the long run.
4. Do things for the right reasons
In her own words, Mahi chose the acting profession for fame and money. It’s not clearly shown whether she is in love with her craft. While fame and money could well be important by-products of success, these can’t be the primary reasons for choosing a career or a path. It’s important to do things you love and enjoy doing and be driven by the purpose of fulfilling a bigger objective. Before taking up a career or embarking on a journey of entrepreneurship, it’s important to ask yourself if you’re in it for the right reasons. Often, we are driven by the need to live up to the expectations of others or prove a point or satisfy our egos in an urge to prove that we are smarter than others. Make sure, you’re not doing something for the wrong reasons and ask yourself this question periodically.
5. Take control of your life and product
Mahi wanted to achieve success at any cost and also get social approval for her love affair with married co-star Aryan Khanna (Arjun Rampal). She was driven by this urge to get roles with Aryan and also manipulated her way to get a film with another actor Abbas Khan (Sanjay Suri) or even work with Bengali filmmaker Tapan Da. However, all her plans came to nought. Working with big marquee names or brands could definitely make your Company look better; however, if your success depends on factors which are not in your control, and you have to depend on someone else to execute your plans and achieve success, it’s a hard and treacherous path to glory which you are seeking. So, whether it’s your life or business, it’s important to have complete control over proceedings.
6. Choose partners wisely
Mahi is an impulsive person. She was aware of the reputation of her co-star Abbas Khan, who was known to have flings with his co-stars during shoots. However, she still got into the project; and when she refused to give in to his demands, she found her role chopped mercilessly at the editing table. Later, she started working with mercurial Tapan Da, who was known as a hard task master and his dictatorial and non-compromising ways of filmmaking, and got wasted, as it not only took more time than planned, but also got eventually shelved. Don’t shy away from doing some research and choosing your partners wisely, because the success of a project often depends on working cohesively together for a long period. And, getting into a project with partners, after knowing the serious challenges involved as Mahi did, is no less than blasphemy.
7. Being obsessed with your goal can get you there
Before you think that this is all about things not to do, one admirable trait in Mahi Arora was her obsession with her goal. She was singularly driven by her goal to become successful. She could never accept that her goal is not achievable, and would not give up even when others are not so optimistic about her chances. Entrepreneurship is ignited by passion which can lead to obsession with achieving the so-called unachievable goals. At the heart of it is strong desire for success and unwillingness to accept failure as an option and ability to do almost anything, including making great sacrifices to achieve it.
So, these are a few of the things I learnt from my Heroine outing. What about you?
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