7 Entrepreneurial Lessons from The Matrix

A while back I attended a talk with inspirational speaker and life coach Iyana Vanzant. During the question and answer portion, she was asked about following your dreams and entrepreneurship and she told the audience that if you want to get your mindset right to be an entrepreneur watch the Matrix, the original one, with a pen and paper. That was it, no explanation just a directive. So that’s what I did.

I took copious notes, writing down lines, documenting scenes and camera angles. Here are 7 correlations I noticed.

The change from Thomas Anderson to Neo: First off, can’t overlook that the word/name Neo means new, like he’s a new man…

I ofter look back at my own journey amazed at how much I have learned and how far I’ve come. I am truly a different person. Hmmmm maybe I should change my name to something cool like Neo.

There are agents EVERYWHERE: There are always people that try to pull you back into the Matrix. “Just get a REAL job” or “Technically, you DO have a job” Usually this comes from friends and family that want you to be safe and secure, but sometimes it comes from people that don’t want to see you continue to grow.

“He is the one” and so are you: At the end of the 1st movie, there was that amazing scene where Neo put his hands up to stop the bullets. It was part of the final scene. But if you remember, the scene begins with the Agents shooting him and leaving him for dead. Even Neo believed he was done. But then he gets up and begins to run for the phone when the Agents begin shooting at him, after being stunned he was able to get back up.

There is a brief moment when the Agents begin to shoot at Neo again and he simply says, “no” then he stops the bullets and…well..pretty much becomes the hero.

Throughout the movie, Morpheus believed Neo was “The One” but Neo didn’t. Every time even after fighting the Agents, Neo would run away from the scene (think back to the subway scene). This time Neo, in my opinion, had enough. He realized he was done running, and took on the Agents. Back on the ship, the crew realized he was The One and as he fought the Agents, Neo began to realize it too.

My point here is that Neo, and many of us entrepreneurs, are The One but we just have a hard time seeing the strengths and abilities we possessed. Like Neo, when we get tired of being knocked down, we’ll begin to see how amazing we are.

You need someone to show you the way: I know what you're thinking…get a mentor, but not exactly. Even while Neo was working his 9 to 5, he spent most of his time searching. Morpheus was searching too. If you call he was told to follow the white rabbit. In listening, well, uh, reading he met Trinity which brought him to Morpheus. He literally had to follow someone than learn from someone directly. Another thought is that the mentor, Morpheus, found him.

I’ve heard lots of people say that they can’t find a mentor, but from this example, the process began when Neo, still as Mr. Anderson, was willing to blindly follow and commit to some tough decisions.

The red pill and the blue pill: Most entrepreneurs get this one. I’ll let you interpret that one for yourselves.

You need a squad: To be honest, I probably would have found a way to work this one in any way. Having the team helped the main characters. When one of them was weak, the rest had to save or rescue. Don’t believe me? Just think about the scene where they all had to pull together to save Morpheus in the skyscraper.

In my own life, there have been times where I hit hard times, either financially, emotionally or with my business, and my squad came through. The offered connections, ideas, a listening ear, and sometimes basic necessities, all while telling me to hang in there and “you got this.”

You can’t go back…unchanged: So I wrote this with one clear analogy but now have 2. In the movie, I’m referring to Cypher. He connected with the Agents to hand over Morpheus in order to return to the Matrix. His one caveat was that he wouldn’t remember any of what he knows…

Becoming an entrepreneur and leaving the matrix changes you, well it should change you, like any other type of growth. Things you enjoyed may not be fun anymore, some people and friends may drift away. If you’re not growing your changing.

Another thought is that too many…most full-time entrepreneurs or business owners, there is no greater fear or “perceived” failure like returning to work full time. Being on your own and self-reliant makes it hard to go back an sit in meetings to discuss, blah blah blah, without some real skin in the game.

I could go on and on about the correlations of this movie with entrepreneurship but I’ll stop here so you can tell me what you think. Do you see any other correlations with the movie The Matrix and real life or entrepreneurship? Comment below

Some thought provoking lines from the film

  • Agent to Thomas Anderson -you believe that your special…
    Thomas Anderson’s boss-"the time has come for you to make a choice, You can choose to at your desk on time or you choose to find yourself another job... “

  • Morpheus: “You’ve been down that road, you know where it ends..”

  • Morpheus: You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain but you’ve felt it you’re entire life..that there’s something wrong with the world..Like a splinter in your mind.

    Morpheus: “The matrix is everywhere it is all around us”…"The world that has been pulled over your eyes, you are a slave in a prison for your mind”

  • Neo: “Why do my eyes hurt?” Morpheus: You’ve never used them before

  • “Don’t think you are…know you are”