Entrepreneurship lessons to learn from ‘Pursuit of Happyness’ - Start-Up Hyderabad
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Entrepreneurship lessons to learn from ‘Pursuit of Happyness’

 7 years ago    
pic courtesy: dbking at http://flickr.com/photos/65193799@N00/1136824072


Based on Chris Gardner’s true-life story the ‘Pursuit of Happyness” is the story of a single father and his journey from living on the streets to owning his own brokerage firm. The movie is not only thought provoking, but also shows some harsh realities of life. The film shows how the single struggling salesman manages to sustain the expenses of himself and his son in the increasingly unstable economic climate. Chris Gardner works as an unpaid intern at Dean Witter Reynolds and struggles his way up to do something more substantial, even as life continues to throw quite a few setbacks at him.

I am sure by the end of the movie, you are not only left amazed by the way he deals with life and left in tears, but also have some great takeaways from the life story. If we had to summarize 5 entrepreneurial lessons to take away from this movie, it would surely be the following ones –

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going”

Heard this phrase before? Doesn’t it relate really well to the real struggling life of a budding entrepreneur ? A journey of starting something new and different is never going to be a cakewalk. It is going to be a garden of roses full of thorns. So, the first lesson one can learn from Chris Gardner in the movie is to never give up. However tough the situation may be, keep trying. You never know when you will just hit the right key.

Have the courage to have high aspirations

In the movie, Chris Gardner  aspires to get the job of a stock broker while he is still struggling as an intern. Too high aspirations for someone who is struggling at the initial stages itself? Well, that’s the lesson to learn. It may sound too easy to say than do, but that’s the way it is – don’t be scared to go against the stakes, don’t be scared to take risks and set high aspirations for yourself, your startup and your team.

Never show your weaknesses 

In the movie, Chris Gardner’s is homeless, literally lives in public bathrooms and train stations, is responsible for  six year old. He never shows these weaknesses while at the firm. He is always smartly dressed and polite and carries himself in such a way that no one would think he is homeless.

Don’t let others opinions become hindrances in your journey

Chris Gardner’s partner thinks that his idea of entering the stockbroking field is too high aimed and absurd. Did it effect Chris’s goals? No! Do the same while you are moving ahead on your journey of success. Listen to other people, but do not let it affect or influence your actions and decisions. People on your way will give you loads of advices, tips and share their experiences, which might make you rethink for a brief moment! But, if you really want something, clear all those stages and go get what you want.


If you want something, work towards achieving it. Period!

 While Chris is still working as a medical salesman, his brief encounter with a man from the financial services industry driving a Ferrari makes him want to work out of a desk at a fancy office and own a nice car. From that moment, he holds on to that vision and works towards it no matter how hard the situation becomes.

 It obviously won’t be easy, but eventually you will reach your destination.

The current economic status will not determine your future

It surely may have an impact on your savings and present scenarios, but the current economic status prevailing in the country or world is not going to bring in such situations that will force one to alter their goals and future course of actions. So, don’t allow such trivial situations to effect long term planning. The only thing constant in the world is change, and learn to keep up and be adaptable to the changes.


“You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People who can’t do something themselves will tell you that you can’t do it. ” – Pursuit of Happyness





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  • Harshita Goel

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  • Ankur Mehta

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