What Movies Can Teach Us About Business: 5 Lessons from Buddy the Elf

A favorite holiday classic is none other than Elf and more specifically, Buddy in all his unrelenting and infectious Christmas cheer. Although a great deal of the movie functions in comical hyperbole, there are still valuable lessons that emerge from Buddy’s approach to business during peak season in his life: Christmas. We invite you to grab a warm blanket and cup of hot chocolate and watch the movie (for none other than a hearty laugh) while pondering the list below. If you find any other business lessons during your viewing, be sure to let us know and drop a comment below! 

1. Buddy’s enthusiasm is consistent. Buddy epitomizes pure joy. His sunny attitude and disposition is something he actively chooses each morning he wakes up, and he maintains it throughout the day. He doesn’t give it much thought beyond this; he pours this same energy into everything he does, from making toys to interacting with people. When it comes to our business standards, we should offer the same quality.

2. Buddy understands and exercises the importance of spreading positivity and building community. Buddy, without a doubt, positively impacts people wherever he goes. His heart for others and banding people together in the spirit of Christmas is infectious. And more than that, he wants to leave a lasting impact on those he does come in contact with. We should always operate our business with others in mind. 

3. Buddy doesn’t stay down for long and works hard when it’s crunch time. Even when Buddy fell behind in toy-making and was demoted to the basement, he didn’t allow his spirits to stay down for long. He knew he had to work hard and redeem himself, and handled any challenges he encountered with grace and resilience. When we experience setbacks in business, it’s up to us to learn quickly, pick ourselves up, dust off, and get back in the game. 

4. Buddy takes risks even in the midst of fear. When Buddy finds out in the beginning of the film that he isn’t actually an elf, he makes a trip to New York City to meet his real father, Walter. Although this clearly makes him uneasy at first, he proceeds anyway, and is instantly rewarded. Many things in business don’t always happen in the same way or as quickly, but generally speaking, there will be times that it’s advantageous to step out in courage in spite of our nerves. . 

5. Buddy isn’t afraid to do things his way, but is also humble.  One of the things that stands out the most about Buddy’s character is that he is so unapologetic about who he is: what he wears, how he talks, the way he carries himself, etc. Just like us in our respective businesses and what we have to offer, walk in confidence about who you are, what special skills and talents you possess, and know that you can and will change the world with your uniqueness. 

Buddy the Elf is a truly iconic character and can, perhaps surprisingly, teach us a lot about how we approach business by offering a fresh perspective on the way we do things: anything is possible with hard work, positivity, community-building, taking calculated risks, and seeking to be uniquely you!

Related posts from the ‘Business Lessons We Learn From Movies’ post category:

The Greatest Showman: Going 7 Levels Deep with P.T. Barnum’s ‘Why’

Selena – A Real American Drama

Nightcrawler: Observations of Where Marketing Meets Entrepreneurship

“The Social Network” – A Cautionary Tale

About Megan Carter

A passionate storyteller with experience across a wide range of clientele and industries, Megan's ability to capture the essence of a brand far exceeds her years. Beyond her work, she cherishes the opportunity to live, adventure, and lead an active lifestyle in the Pacific Northwest. When not writing, she's volunteering with her church family, CrossFitting, trail running, watching films, eating yummy food, and thriving on the positivity each day brings.