Jennifer Lawrence: Actress, Oscar Winner… & Business Guru!?

March 20, 2013

It seems that everywhere you turn these days people are gushing about Jennifer Lawrence. How down to Earth she comes across, how refreshing she is and how we all want to be her BFF. And for once I can’t help but agree with them. I love her for so many reasons (not least of all because you know she’d be so fun to get drunk with) but I also think there are a huge number of things we, as small business owners, can learn from her too.

Stick with me here…

She flipped off the press

Jennifer-Lawrence

Now I’m not saying you should tell people to eff off at every opportunity, but not conforming to the perceived ‘norms’ of an industry (in her case Hollywood, in ours the wedding industry) has made her a success. She’s not malicious about it, but she did what you know everybody else would want to if they had the balls. I mean, if I was a celebrity getting papped all day I’d want to give them the finger now and again too! Seeing her do this makes her memorable, funny and the voice of a generation.

Lesson:

Don’t ever be purposely or repeatedly malicious, but don’t be afraid to speak your mind now and again… People will love you for saying what everyone else is thinking and they’ll remember you for it.

She’s damn good at her job

She’s a truly fantastic actress. Her performance in The Hunger Games was refreshing and brilliant, and although I haven’t seen it yet, winning an Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook must mean she wasn’t too shabby in that either.

Lesson:

First and foremost, hone your craft. Be the very best professional you can be. Always strive to improve your last performance. Never rest on your laurels.

She keeps it real

Case in point…

When bombarded with ridiculous questions, she wasn’t afraid to call bullshit. She doesn’t take herself too seriously and we love her for it. Even they (the interviewers) loved her for it!

As a side note, my favourite quote from that whole video, is when she was asked about the process of picking her Oscar outfit, “What was the process? I dunno I just woke up and tried on the dress and it fit, thank God, and then erm… I took a shower…”

Lesson:

The wedding industry is a strange place. Just like Hollywood it can be full of… erm… idiots expecting idiotic things from you. Just because that’s the way things are and the way things have always been, doesn’t mean things should stay that way. Be a leader not a follower and make your own rules! I’m suddenly reminded of one of my other idols, Marty McFly too.

She’s turned a bad situation around

Jennifer-Lawrence-_1679971a

She fell down on the way to collect her Oscar. Sure, that was pretty mortifying but it didn’t half make me feel better about that time I fell over in front of the whole school whilst breaking in my new 6 inch platform shoes.  

She not only handled the immediate situation so well and with humour (“You guys are only standing because I fell and you feel bad”) which just made her all the more loveable, but she’s weirdly been able to flip this humiliation around to make her even more adorable since (referring back to the first video where she’s asked about it – “Was that on purpose? Absolutely!”)

Lesson:

Not everything you do will work out perfectly and you may even fall flat on your face once in a while. Style it out, pick yourself up and keep on going. Don’t let a failure define you, but the way you react to it will speak volumes.

She doesn’t conform

“In Hollywood, I’m obese,” she told Elle Magazine in December. “I’m considered a fat actress” … “I’m Val Kilmer in that one picture on the beach” … “[but] I’m never going to starve myself for a part. I don’t want little girls to be like, ‘Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I’m going to skip dinner’.”

We all know the Hollywood machine is all about thin, thin, thin and the fact that she refuses to conform makes us love her even more. Of course she is far from fat, but by embracing the fact that she is bigger than other actresses whist accepting it and refusing to change it makes me want to run up to her and scream “Eff yeah!” whilst stuffing my face full of cake.

Lesson:

Conforming to what others expect of you, or what you think you have to do or be to be successful is utter rubbish. People will love and respect you a lot more for standing up for what you really believe in, being yourself and refusing to follow the in crowd.

She’s relatable

You saw this right?

Totally hilarious, and makes her even more awesome because you just know that’s how we’d all react too.

Lesson:

Always strive to be relatable to your clients. Realise that if you or your business are too aspirational then your clients won’t be able to connect with you. It is a very particular kind of client who wants to work with those super high end Claridges/ Oscar De la Renta/ 75 tier wedding cake kind of suppliers and I’d certainly prefer be myself in the way I run my business rather than ‘aspiring’ to be something I’m not.

So Jennifer, in a nutshell, I love you. I sure do want to be your friend. Let’s go do shots sometime soon OK? Sheesh, I really must stop with all the gushing, but in conclusion I’d just like to say that we really can all learn a lot from Ms Lawrence, not least of all how to style out an epic face plant.

Viva la revolution!

77 comments

  1. Gracious

    Just want to give you a massive hug for this article!! Really needed to read some honesty about starting out on your todd! It’s hard but will be patient and keep learning!! Thank you!! Xxx

  2. i’m soaking in all the words written here …very timely to remind me to keep going no matter where i stand now in my business…slowly but still enjoying what i love doing while joggling with motherhood! 🙂 always thankful to you Kat! xo

  3. This is a great article. I hope you do this again. I found great advice from all the participants but Gala Darling and Shauna Haider hit the nail on the head. Most of the participants admit to trying lots of things that didn’t work. Fail fast and keep moving!

  4. Kat, this is a fabulous, insightful article, and I am so glad you wrote about it. As a young consultant whose mind is always full of ideas, it is great to read realistic advice from real girls. Keep it up 🙂

  5. Stacey B

    This was an extremely honest, personal, and great post to read 🙂 Thank you for sharing your ups and downs with us! As a small business owner myself I am always looking for blogs that I can relate to and learn from. I don’t have a degree in business and sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t have dived into something so time consuming and financially draining. However, I do love what I do which pushes me forward. I recently read an eye opening book about running and growing small business called “Liber8 Your Business” (http://liber8yourbusiness.com) by multi-award winning entrepreneur and author Laura Humphreys. Laura started as a secretary and since has grown and sold multiple businesses, so you know she knows her stuff! The book primarily works on a backwards approach to business strategy, encouraging you to look at the end goal and build your business from there. It makes sense because too often we get caught up in the day to day routines of running a business and become complacent. By taking a backwards first look at our business plan, we can then successfully plan and execute the steps necessary to reach our goals and get the business to where we want it to be. Very professionally and intelligently written, I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to get ahead of the game when it comes to growing a business. Wishing you all the success! Hope you will give it a read 🙂

  6. Hi Kat,

    I’m glad I knew absolutely zilch about blogging before I started. If I had known how hard it can be sometimes I really don’t know if I’d have started out of pure fear!

    I can only describe my blog now though as my baby, a child I gave birth too and like any mother I’m super proud of any achievements and would fight to the death for it.

    One thing I never knew is how much my blog would become a massive part of my identity and self esteem, I never want to let that go :)) XxX thanks for sharing this post!

  7. Brilliant advice! However missed the important advice that is to set aside time to read blogs, so you don’t sit reading said blogs for 2 hours (because they’re so flaming good!) when you actually need to do some work! 🙂 Tx

  8. Oh wow! This was such a useful post!
    I am just starting to launch my business, and its very daunting! This post has been incredibly helpful and the advice of the contributors really helps! Especially the time frames.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to gather this 🙂

  9. Thank you so much for this, I have been trying to get advice, I’d trawl fb and Web for photographers that I liked the look of and messaged them for tips and advice non replied, I felt I’d hit a patch and these nuggets have really helped, I have bee a bit scared of pushing people to book me (or asking lol) and I’m Def guilty of waiting for people to come to me, I’m approaching my 3rd wedding season and this has just filled me with hope and motivation! Bring it on x

  10. Some great advice in here loved reading it and plenty to take on board, feel a little lost right now with my business but after reading this excited to take a step forward. Thanks!

  11. Wow Kat this is great! I love hearing the message ‘it takes time!’ over and over loud and clear from so many talented women.

    Being a freelance crafter is all consuming and sometimes it feels like I’m a swan (things look good above water, but below I’m kicking ferouciously to stay afloat!) and of course by ‘sometimes’ I mean all the time hahaa

    Thanks so much for linking us up to these fab girls!

    Big love,

    Kerry
    Be Brave Creations
    http://www.bebravecreations.co.uk

  12. This article is INCREDIBLE! So much truly helpful information and advice. It’s also really inspiring to read about all these fabulous success stories!

  13. This article could not have crossed my path at a better time. Having just been in the business 1 year, I found myself surrounded in self doubt this weekend after making (in retrospect) minor errors. Mistakes are a given and the more uncomfortable I feel when I make them, the more I will grow and be better as a result. Sometimes I forget that and it takes words of encouragement and little nuggets of genius like this article to remind me. That you for the little kick up the arse! 🙂

  14. Hi Kat, Another awesome Blog post. Thank you, so much helpful information that is so relevant to us right now!

    We launched our little Business {The Boutique Wedding Co.} Just two months ago, it’s still very much work in progress and at times we think ‘Can we really make this work?’ reading your article gives us hope and confidence that it is possible!

    Thanks for the burst of positivity!

    Lucy and Jesus
    http://www.boutiqueweddingsinspain.com

  15. Hi I just wanted to say what a massive help I’ve found this article! My friend and I set up our business last July and have been finding our way ever since. We’ve had some ups and downs but things are beginning to pick up and it’s just about hanging on on there and remembering after all the long hours it will be totally worth it 🙂

  16. Hi Kat!
    I just wanted to say thanks so much to you and your wonderful industry friends for sharing your experience and advice. I set up a wedding blog back in 2009, and have followed your blog (and lots of other fantastic wedding bloggers) ever since. My problem was that I was too perfectionist. I had a very clear vision of my blog, but for every thought I had I found a reason why it wouldn’t be as perfect as I’d envisaged it. Suddenly, after just 2 blog posts, I found myself utterly hampered by own thoughts. I stopped. The blog is still “under construction”.

    However, since then, I’ve learnt that life isn’t perfect. Two years ago I got cancer.

    Suddenly, I found a totally different reason to blog. I had “fought” my rare stage 4 Primary Peritoneal Cancer and won. Thanks to incredible medial team, the amazing staff at the Macmillan Centre, healthy eating, exercise, and endless baking, copious Star Wars-related fun (YEP – I’m a geek and it makes me happy!!) plus the love and support of my amazingly positive and caring husband, family, friends, colleagues, fellow patients, neighbours and even strangers I did it. I beat cancer in May 2012.

    However, following this amazing news I found myself in the wilderness. A sort of post-cancer limbo. My “fighting spirit” and Positive Mental Attitude, which had been my strength throughout my 17 weeks of chemo and surgery, suddenly seemed to have vanish completely. All that was left of my usual bubbly, ultra-positive social self was a shell of a person with severe anxiety and reactive depression. Try as I might I couldn’t “shake it”.

    Thanks to help from my amazing psychologist, provided by Macmillan Cancer Support, I managed to identify all the things that helped me stay positive throughout my treatment. To help myself feel better I started doing all those things again and recorded them in my own personal Positive Mental Attitude blog (LouiseWisson.com)

    Just by sheer virtue of changing my behaviour and capturing all my happy moments on my blog, I actually felt better.

    I so also delighted to learn the blog helped others around me too; both to understand my cancer journey and to help boost their Positive Mental Attitude.

    I must say I am so inspired by people like you and Gala Darling for sharing your passion and your positivity in the world.

    Thank you so much for helping spread happiness and being my #pmatoday.

    Best Wishes,
    Louise

  17. I loved reading this so much. I read a section just before I went asleep for the past week and had sweet dreams about the hopeful future success of my wedding photography business which while only in its second year I hope Itll be reaching milestones soon
    … Also while I’m here chatting away I though I should tell ye how much I love rock n roll bride! Hands down my favourite wedding photography blog and it gives me so much inspiration and enthusiasm daily 🙂 so thanks for that!! And for all the great words written in this article

  18. Wel… consider yourself added to my blogroll. I have like six other blogs I read on a weekly basis, guess that number just increased to seven! Keep writing!

  19. I am really happy to say it’s an interesting article to read. Very honest and practical, I feel much more motivated after reading this. Thanks Kat for all this positive advice.

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