What Pixar Can Teach Us About How To Succeed

There are precious few – if any – animation studios more successful than Pixar. In fact, there are very few movie production studios of any kind that can say they are more successful than Pixar. The company, much like it’s partner, Disney, started with one creative guy with one creative idea. Followed by huge risks, and hard work, and unbelievable success. But, how did they do it, and what can Pixar’s success teach all of us about how to make it in business? 

Here’s 4 business success lessons all of us can learn from Pixar.

1 – Do what you are good at

This may sound oversimplified, but are you, really? Most people say they want to find something they love, and then do that. After all, if you love what you do, you won’t work a day in your life…right? Yeah, about that. It’s not finding something you love. It’s really about finding something you’re good at. Pixar’s founder was good at the things that have made Pixar successful. Creative animation, taking the right risks, and partnering with the right people. What are you good at? Again, don’t answer with what you enjoy. All of us enjoy lots of different things. But What. Are. You. Good. At?!

2 – Be willing to make bad better

The creative minds at Pixar have been known to say that, at some point in the process, each of their movies was the worst movie ever made. In other words, they did not stop when they had something bad. They made it better. You may be bad at something, or have done something not too well, but are you willing to make it measurably better?

3 – Take your time to build it right

The average Pixar film takes FOUR YEARS to finish. And you thought Lord Of The Rings took a long time to wrap! Think about it: every single Pixar movie you know and love, was once a bunch of scribbled ideas. And that’s pretty much ALL it was for a year. After that, it was, apparently, crap (see previous point) for some time before it got better. Because, they took their time. In fact, in almost every movie, Pixar animators had to literally create new animation processes to get what they wanted. But, THEY DID IT ANYWAY.

4 – People are more alike than they admit

There are several Pixar movies that appeal to a certain demographic, but there are many that almost everyone loves. Why? Because, when it comes down to who we are at the deepest level, most of us are more alike than we think. To find success, no matter what you do, you need to tap into the part of it that appeals to something in people, that makes them inherently people. A feeling, or memory, or emotion that can capture them in a way they can’t get past. What is it that really matters to your audience? If you can answer that question, and deliver on that “what,” then you are well on your way to success.

Pixar’s amazing success story may have started with one guy’s creative dream, but it has been successful because they have cultivated a team of people who absolutely love what they do…and they are GREAT at it. Sure, there are levels of success, but they don’t allow opinions, or ticket sales to keep them up at night. They are already looking into the future at their next success.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and Chairman of 5WPR, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America’s most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company’s growth, overseeing more than 275 professionals. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named “PR Agency of the Year” by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world’s most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine’s Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country’s foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations,” which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.

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