The film showcases the new generation of resistance led by Starr Carter (played by Amandla Stenberg) who we see switching between the two worlds of her deprived black neighbourhood and the wealthy white prep school she attends.
After witnessing the tragic shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a white police officer, Starr realises that in order to fight the injustices of this world, she must take a stand that may cause her two worlds as she knows them to shatter.
This is a film about finding your voice, fulfilling your true destiny and solving a problem in a corrupt system by ANY MEANS NECESSARY.
Here are 5 things budding entrepreneurs can learn from the character Starr Carter…
1. Stand for SOMETHING (not ANYthing)
The best businesses and initiatives are successful when they solve a meaningful problem for people. Jamal Edwards launched SBTV because he couldn’t find a platform that championed underground talent and grime music. Primark and Missguided solve the problem of affordable fashion; Akon Lighting Africa is solving Africa’s energy and water crisis. If you take the time out to look at the core values and beliefs behind your business, project or idea, ask yourself the following three questions:
1. What problem am I going to solve?
2. What is the desired outcome?
3. Who stands to benefit and why?
Starr was going to make it her business to use her voice to speak up against injustices, crime and police brutality carried out against her community. Her desired outcome was a better quality of life, less killings and a safer neighbour hood, which everyone including the people she was fighting against stood to benefit from.
2. Faith without works is dead
It wasn’t good enough for Starr to recognise injustice and do nothing about it, she had to take ACTIONby speaking up about the truth. The same goes for you, it’s not good enough to just have a great business idea with no real investment of your time, resources or commitment to making it sustainable. Starr wasn’t used to having attention on her in this light, but she had a network of people around her including her family, friends and boyfriend who also believed in her. Starting a business, project or initiative can be overwhelming when you consider the work ethic that needs to go into it, so find yourself a team or network. To start off with this can be 2-3 key people in your family or close circle who you can trust to delegate tasks to or even talk to when you need emotional support. ‘You are only as good as your team.’
3. Finding your true purpose takes you out of your comfort zone
When Starr had to testify about witnessing the shooting of her best friend Khalil she was worried about how her white friends at school would perceive her. She became comfortable with being the black girl who blends in, however in order for her to honour her loyalty to Khalil it resulted in her life becoming extremely uncomfortable from having her house shot at and being threatened by the local drug dealer to keep her mouth shut. Like Starr, your true purpose can take you out of your comfort zone in many different ways from working long hours, cutting back in spending so you can invest money in a strategic way to not having much of a social life. Jamey Bowles who set up Manhattan Ink tattoo studio said ‘at one stage I was living on brown sauce and bread sandwiches’ when he left home at 16 to start his business. The reality is ‘You can’t achieve anything in life without a small amount of sacrifice.’
4. Not everyone will understand your destiny
As the film progresses, Starr’s new stance causes her to part ways with her best friend from school. Her friend is middle class, white and has never known a lifestyle like Starr’s, which leads her to make ignorant and insensitive statements that offend Starr and all that she tries to stand for. There was even a point where Starr’s Mom (played by Regina Hall)was uncomfortable about her testifying as a witness, however in the end Starr understood her destiny and knew she had to do what was right even if her family and friends didn’t always agree. Being an entrepreneur is all about resilience, not everyone has to understand your mission or like it , but the right people will always stand in your corner even when they don’t understand and the people who are not meant to be on your journey will leave, and that’s okay!
5. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Starr has seen tragedy at it’s worse, but her circumstances make her unstoppable! There is no such thing as a ‘perfect entrepreneur’! You will have hurdles, hard decisions to make, stumbling blocks but remember ‘this is never failure only FEEDBACK.’, learn from your mistakes, grow from your mistakes and from them develop better habits for success. Starr was thrown into a world she never knew but she eventually learned to roll with the punches, you too are perfectly capable of doing the same. Be consistent, persistent and strategic!
(All images supplied by Fox Press Office)