InvoiceBerry Blog

Our thoughts & tips on small businesses, freelancers and sole traders

Harry Potter’s 8 Magical Lessons for Your Small Business

Written by on August 09, 2016

Harry Potter lives!

With the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (breaking records again) at the end of July, and the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them coming out in November, everyone’s catching Harry fever again.

It’s a magical time for all those adults who grew up in the Harry Potter age, a chance to relive one of the most enchanting times of our childhood.

But we’re adults now, and we have to be serious, right?

Well, not so fast. The Harry Potter series actually has a lot of great, useful lessons that us millennials can take with us as we try to conquer the business world.

Don’t believe me?

I’ll prove it to you. Let’s look at 8 of the greatest lessons from Harry Potter you can use in your small business and freelance career.

Lesson 1: Invest in a good team

Surround yourself with good people who each have unique qualities

Harry had a good group around him.

The Boy Who Lived had the bravery and the dream to prove himself. Hermione had the logic to overcome difficult tasks. Ron had the interpersonal skills and strategy (in Wizard’s Chess).

When you run a business, you’ll encounter problems and difficulties on an almost daily basis, and you won’t be able to do it all. You’ll need a good team with you, with each person having a unique set of skills (and shared goals) that adds to the business’s success.

Lesson 2: Use your money wisely

Be careful with your finances so that you don't spend more than you have or can make

Having grown up pretty much poor as an unwanted guest sleeping under the Dursleys’ stairs, Harry had every reason to splurge after he visited Gringotts with Hagrid. But he didn’t.

It’s an easy trap to fall into, once your business makes money, or after you’ve received a loan or investment, to spend it on unnecessary things, but you should use it wisely.

It’s imperative to keep track of your expenses as well, either with an accountant or invoicing software such as InvoiceBerry’s.

Lesson 3: Do what you love

It's important to follow your dreams and try to make a business out of it

Jokers from birth, Fred and George never really fit in with the regular pace of the world.

They started off by peddling their magic potions, tricks, and found items around Hogwarts. They truly followed their dreams to open up their wizarding shop, “Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.”

Doing what you love is the goal of most freelancers, self-employed, and small business owners, and it’s a worthy goal to have. It may take a while to get there, but if you do it with passion and ingenuity, you’ll succeed eventually.

Lesson 4: Don’t give up

There will be many disappointments in your life, but don't give up

Harry’s life was quite difficult: His parents killed by an evil wizard. Having to live with an uncle, aunt and cousin who all hate him. Losing his godfather Sirius Black right after finding him. Breaking his bones many times at Hogwarts.

And what did he do? Cry? Complain? Pout? Yes, many times. But still, he never gave up.

You should always keep this lesson with you. As we mentioned before, small businesses fail a lot—50% in the first year and 95% over five years. They do so for various reasons, and you’ll face many similar problems. But through it all, remember: don’t give up.

Lesson 5: Choose your tools well

It's important to have the right hardware and software for your business

Harry’s wand. The invisibility cloak. The Marauder’s Map. Without these tools, it would have been nearly impossible for Harry Potter to defeat Voldemort and the Death Eaters.

When you run your own business, you’ll also need to get the right tools to ensure your success. That means the right hardware, including laptops, phones, and whatever specific tools you’ll need for your work.

But it also includes software, such as InvoiceBerry, which helps take care of the invoicing part of running your business.

Lesson 6: Follow your instincts

The business world has many doubtful moments, but stick to your instincts to make it through

When Dumbledore first met Tom Riddle (Voldemort), he knew there was something wrong with him. Even though all the other professors at Hogwarts loved Riddle, he kept an eye on him, which later paid off.

In business, you’ll also need to follow your instincts. There are many things that can be analyzed, but sometimes you’ll just have to follow your instincts.

If you feel it’s right (or wrong), go with your instincts.

Lesson 7: Don’t be stubborn—change with the times

If you want to survive in the business world, you'll have to change with the times. Don't be so stubborn that you'll get left behind

Harry Potter always disliked Professor Severus Snape. However, before Snape died, when he confessed how he helped Dumbledore, Harry realized how wrong he had been.

In business, it’s good to follow your instincts, as I said above. But it’s also important to know when to stop being stubborn and change your mind. Businesses survive by adapting to the times, but if you’re too stubborn, you’ll just be stuck in the past.

Lesson 8: Don’t underestimate your competition

Always keep an eye on your small and big competition, and be prepared to take them on

One of the many reasons for Voldemort’s downfall—besides being well, evil, of course—was that he underestimated almost every competition he had.

He underestimated house-elf power, he underestimated the power of the Potters’ love. But most of all, he underestimated what a young boy could do against his evil organization.

Don’t be like Voldemort. Don’t be overconfident. Don’t underestimate your competition. Pay careful attention to who is your main competition, and keep an eye on the ones who aren’t your competition yet.

To sum up:

Harry Potter is great, even if you aren’t a kid anymore. The lessons don’t just end with friendship, magic, and believing in yourself.

You can take these powerful lessons from the world’s most popular series with you on your journey to conquering the business world.

What are your favorite lessons and moments from the Harry Potter series? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • Hey Bernard, Nice to read. The way you explained the info is quite impressive and people can easily digest it with such famous video clips.

    • Bernard Meyer

      Hi Audrey. Thanks for the comment, I really appreciate it.

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