As The Simpsons is on the verge of turning 30, I was going to write a post on how the show is itself a masterpiece on how you can succeed in business. However, as I started, I realised a lot of that came from Homer Simpson himself.
In my humble opinion, it is the greatest tv show of all time. It has so many layers that appeal to people of different intelligence levels, different political leanings, different ages and more.
I watch it with my children and laugh at things they would never get, whilst they crack up at Bart’s antics. From being an 11 year old watching the show, I love nothing more now than having a hug on the sofa with my children watching it.
They’ve scaled up from a family to a whole town of hilarious characters full of stereotypes that 99% of us can relate to. In there are snippets of great tongue in cheek wisdom.
Whilst this is intended to be about Homer, it’s worth a mention of Mr Burns’ great quote “Family, religion, friendship. These are the 3 demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business.” Which, is true in a way.
So, whilst I could waffle away about the greatness of Groundskeeper Willie, Ol’ Gil and his ways of showing how not to sell or the charm of Ralf Wiggum, I’ll get to the real hero, Homer Simpson!
Now I know what you’re thinking, he’s a selfish lazy slob and a borderline alcoholic. Which I wouldn’t disagree with and isn’t why he’s an inspiration.
Here are the reasons he is…
He will try his hand at anything.
He has no fear and no limiting beliefs. If there’s an opportunity, he’ll just go for it. He became an astronaut, a mountain climber, an actor, an inventor and even found himself within one win of being world boxing champion. He doesn’t 2nd guess himself, he doesn’t worry about the what if’s, he just goes for it. Most of the time, for a while, he makes quite a successful job of it as well.
He stays true to his values.
Sure, all of his values aren’t great but there is the episode where it’s discovered he has a crayon stuck in his brain which has caused his stupidity. Upon removal, he becomes a genius. His genius alienates his friends and he realises that he is actually unhappy despite becoming more successful. He has Moe hammer a crayon back in his brain. He just wanted to be a simple man enjoying life’s simple pleasures.
He looks for ways to work smart, not hard.
He’s always looking for ways to get quick wins. This is epitomised when he gets extremely fat in order to work from home and thus reduces his travel to work. His daily routine is type “Y-E-S” on his computer until he realises he actually only needs to type Y. He then gets excited “I just tripled my productivity!”
Homer then uses a perpetual motion toy bird to keep tapping the Y button for him. He was one of the first people to use automation in his work, way before it became a common thing.
He’s a serial entrepreneur.
Homer has had a baby proofing business, elephant ride business, made people pay to see the Springfield Angel, a beef jerky manufacturer, ran his own grease racket and who could forget Mr Plow? There’s many more as well, he never misses a chance to make money.
He doesn’t let past failures stop him.
Despite all the failings of his ventures, it doesn’t stop him taking on the next one. If he thinks it’s a good idea, Homer Simpson will just go for it!
He can sell.
We know the Mr Plow advert song more so than 95% of real adverts that we see daily. He went door to door selling springs and selling his own brand of sugar. He was even able to sell himself to the public to get voted in as Springfields Sanitation Supervisor. Even Ned Flanders had his business saved by Homer going out and telling everyone about the Leftorium.
So there you have it, Homer, if viewed in the right way, is an inspiration. There may even be some things I’ve not thought about.
I’d love to hear if you can think of any more or how The Simpsons has inspired you. I can talk about The Simpsons for hours!