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Top Gun: What Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Tom Cruise’s Four Decades of Success

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Business Lessons from Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise’s latest film, Top Gun: Maverick, has broken box-office records. And entertainment industry experts are deeming him the world’s No. 1 movie star.

But, in fact, Tom Cruise has never stopped being bankable, having enjoyed success for over four decades!

He’s been a leading man, supporting actor, producer, and director, and has been nominated for and won numerous awards. Most impressively, the star, who turned 60 on 3 July, has done it all despite a learning disability that rendered him barely able to read all through high school. 

Here are a few life lessons from the one and only talented Mr Cruise to inspire business owners and entrepreneurs.

Always give it your all

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Cruise has worked hard from Day 1. Indeed, it’s been reported that trouble with reading his scripts meant he had to put in twice or three times as much effort as his peers just to see tasks through.

Granted, things are different these days, now that he’s learnt to cope with dyslexia and other challenges. But even so, the actor remains just as committed to working hard.

To quote Joseph Kosinski, the director of Top Gun: Maverick: “He approaches every day with the enthusiasm that it’s his first movie, and at the same time puts the effort into it like it’s his last movie.”

Success doesn’t come easy. That much is clear to us in direct selling. But what’s especially important is to remember that no matter your status, whether newbie or veteran, always give 110%

Don’t let age hold you back

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Not too long ago, action movies were reserved for actors in their 20s and 30s. Not anymore. And Tom Cruise, more than most, has proven that age shouldn’t limit one’s chances of success or indeed, opportunities to scale the Burj Khalifa and jump from planes.

The lesson here, then, is simple: success is determined by one’s goals and determination to triumph, not by age. 

Sure, many entrepreneurs began their business journeys when young and have tasted success. Yet, there are many others who have become their own bosses later in life and found as much fulfilment

In short, you define success, not the number of candles on your last birthday cake.

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Look to learn and grow

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His amazing stunt work in films aside, Cruise’s career also shows that he’s never been satisfied with resting on his laurels.

Indeed, the film icon is known for constantly pushing himself and trying on roles — from a disabled Vietnam War veteran in Born on the Fourth of July to an ill-tempered studio exec in Tropic Thunder — that allow him to grow as an actor. 

Continuous and lifelong learning is critical to growth in business. And the takeaway from Tom Cruise’s long list of achievements is that to truly taste success, entrepreneurs and direct sellers must be willing to step outside their comfort zones, and look to improve.

There are many ways to do this, of course. And a specialised learning programme, like the ones qLearn offers, could be just the ticket.

Build trust in your personal brand

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You can’t please everyone all the time. But the ticket to longevity in business, like in Hollywood, is brand trust.

The name “Tom Cruise” on a movie poster or marquee may not necessarily guarantee that audiences will like the film. But what it does tell the public is that the star has given his total and utter commitment to the project. 

That’s the reason not only why fans keep flocking to see his films, but also why studios have no problem greenlighting projects to which the star is attached.

Similarly, in business, building clients’ trust is key. So how do you do that? It’s simple — keep your promises, be committed, address problems promptly and directly, and always strive to be professional and ethical.

Take heed of these lessons, and you, too, could be Cruise-ing to a long, successful and rewarding career.

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