There are lots of life lessons we can all learn from Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better know as his pen name, Lewis Carroll. Charles was born in a 19th century England and the eldest of 11, he was a remarkable mathematician, photographer, poet, and writer. He had a very bad stammer but felt at home whilst entertaining his siblings and other children. He started by telling them stories, one of which was inspired by Alice Liddel, which we now know today as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Though this book was published in 1865, there are still many valid life lessons that one can gain from this magical tale about life that can be applied to many facets, including business and entrepreneurship.
Amidst this fanciful tale filled with delightful characters, there are many values hidden amongst the texts. Teaching us the importance of imagination, perception, morals, change, curiosity, following our dreams, success, instinct and being true to one’s self.
So how does this magical tale relate to business?
Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to go.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice: …So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, as long as you walk long enough.
If we keep walking long enough, striving to be successful in building our business, we are sure to get somewhere. Will it be exactly what we were expecting? No, that is not realistic. But, as long as you are walking down the path that you have created for yourself – one that you can be proud of at the end of the day – there is no reason why you won’t succeed. You are your key to success. No one else can get you there but yourself. Of course, you can find mentors and follow in the footsteps of those who have come before you, like Alice had with the Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, and even the Queen, but everything has to start, and end, with you.
In a wonderland they lie. Dreaming as the days go by, dreaming as the summer die.
Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams. They are beautiful and pure and most of all, they are yours and yours alone. Don’t ever let anyone take them away from you!
My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere, you must run twice as fast as that.
In order to get anywhere in business, you must always stay ahead of the curve. Constantly learning and taking continuing education classes so as not to get left behind. As technology and industries adapt and change, you must also be willing to do the same to stay relevant in a constantly changing world. Don’t be afraid of change. Embrace it! For it’s the ones who do that will make waves, and this ripple affect will influence the world as we know it.
As business owners and entrepreneurs, we have to follow Mr. Carroll’s example, continuing to push the boundaries, fostering change and empowerment. We must continue to use our imaginations and follow our dreams. We must do things for others and always continue changing and growing both personally and professionally. Find your reality and change other’s perceptions. But most of all, we must never, ever loose our muchness.
What’s in a Name?
I am often asked “why Mad Hatter Marketing & Event Planning?” Or “how did you come up with your business name?” When I first decided to go into business for myself, coming up with a unique name that matched my personality and made people ask questions, was key.
Growing up, I was an avid animated Disney movie fanatic! We owned nearly all of the original VHS animated Disney movies (a collection that is sadly no more), and my absolute favorite was “Alice in Wonderland.” I could watch that movie over and over again. Something about it was relatable to me and I loved the Mad Hatter. Though I wasn’t alive when the book this famous animated tale is based upon was written, nor when this treasured movie was created, my imagination was sparked and a fire was started from the very first moment I saw it.
Like the characters in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, I am constantly living in my own little world. I still love using my imagination and find being curious and asking questions – even the hard ones that we often don’t want to ask – is the reason I have been so successful in life and business and why entrepreneurship comes so naturally to me. I have always pushed boundaries and limits and tend to follow my heart instead of my head in most situations. I am not afraid to be vulnerable and to put myself out there. Emotions are a normal part of life and I have learned to embrace this part of me. I love learning and finding out what other’s perceptions are. I love working together for the benefit of the greater good and helping others be successful. I have drive, ambition, and passion and will keep pushing myself and others until we reach our fullest potentials.
Like the Mad Hatter, I am a little crazy, but you know what, all the best people are.