Business And Life Lessons From Disney Pixar’s ‘Wall-E’

“I don’t want to survive, I want to LIVE!,” shouts McCrea, the jolly, well-fed captain of the fashionable starliner Axiom to the out-of-control auto-navigation unit Auto, which has now taken control of the ship, preventing its rotund and happy crew from returning back to Earth.



It’s a Friday night and I am in Medellín, Colombia, sleeping on a cot in the office (which just so happens to be a few houses down from where Pablo Escobar grew up), a far cry from my luxury midtown Manhattan apartment, my wife Jamie and my dog, Blu. I am here for the next few months working with our technology and design team, preparing for our next capital raise.

Netflix and a can of Club Colombia beer are my nighttime companions. As I am scrolling through the limited selection of movies, “Wall-E” catches my eye.  There is something about watching a new movie on Netflix that is not Godzilla, zombies or giant killer spiders. I am overjoyed, even if it is a Disney movie. And like with most Disney movies, I fell asleep inspired. I wanted to share a few entrepreneurial lessons I learned from the scrappy, determined and charismatic “Wall-E.”

1. It is OK to fall in love.

I was always told to never fall in love with your startup idea. It clouds your judgment and prevents you from thinking objectively, especially when things are not working and your idea appears to be a total disaster — hope has abandoned not only you, but your company. When Wall-E meets EVE (Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator) – a female robot — for the first time, he immediately falls in love and, despite how overwhelming the odds, chases her to the farthest ends of the galaxy to win her back.

Blind faith and determination are what eventually prevails. Like most startups, there will come a day when it will feel as if the world has conspired against you and nothing is going your way. Whatever you do, don’t lose hope.

2. Don’t fight the last war. 

Our past constantly haunts us. Whether we like it or not, we make most of our decisions based on our past experiences — both our past successes, which leads to overconfidence, and our past failures, which leads to self-doubt. Treat each decision you make with a fresh set of eyes, based on the current set of facts and information as it has been presented. Try to put the past behind you. Your scars, though not visible, will have a direct impact on you, your company and your outlook on life.

3. Surviving is sometimes not enough.

We all crave something a little more out of life, even if we have a great job, fantastic health and a wonderful family. It always feels like there is a little something missing. When you are young, the world feels huge, like anything great can happen. Maybe you always dreamed of being a famous actor, talented musician or a world-class chef, but somewhere along the way something happened. Maybe you were told you that “it’s a stupid idea,” that the industry is very competitive, or “you are not talented enough.”

Maybe life just got in the way – whatever the case, whatever you have now is “just not enough.” Breaking away from the routine and comfortable is not easy to do — it takes determination, perseverance and a desire to do great things.

Starting a company is easy; it is the middle and end parts that are hard. If you are tired of surviving and have a strong desire to start living — to break out and do something great — don’t be scared. And when in doubt, don’t forget to take a few pages out of Wall-E’s book.

This post originally appeared on Forbes. You can read the full article here

Joseph DiTomaso is the co-founder and CEO of AllTheRooms.

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