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Entrepreneurial traits from The Great Gatsby

An image of an entrepreneur

If the glamour and wealth surrounding the movie characters in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby don’t set your mind into an entrepreneurial brainstorm, perhaps Entrepreneur Day will.

Both events coincide this month and whether we are inspired by real-life entrepreneurs or those dreamed up in classic fiction, the same traits may apply when you study both types of characters.

If you fancy yourself as an ‘old money’ veteran such as Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), or just starting out with the lofty ‘new money’ ideals of Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton), the same investment rules will apply when it comes time to putting your savings on the line, or watching it grow.

So what do those fictional entrepreneurs have in common with their real-life counterparts?

Play the game to reach your goals

You are never going to reach your savings dreams or investment goals without being like a Gatsby, so ensure your finance habits look and behave the part. Buchanan knows his differences from Gatsby but decides money could work the same way for him. Envy or being intimidated by your own road to wealth will prevent you from taking the first steps on that journey.

Force your own changes

One of the big entrepreneur stories of this year came when British-Australian teen Nick D’Aloisio sold his app to Yahoo for a reported $30 million. The app, Summly, which summarises news stories from media websites, turned him into one of the world’s youngest self-made multimillionaires.

However, the hard work and time entrepreneurs undertake is always more inspiring and often overlooked. This particular teen asked teachers to delay his exams and travelled to California to find investors. He secured more than $1.4 million funding and the support of Li Ka-shing, one of the world’s richest men, the actors Ashton Kutcher and Stephen Fry, Mark Pincus of Zynga and Brian Chesky of Airbnb.

Turn failure into success

There’s a classic Gatsby quote: “You can’t repeat the past? Of course you can!” And if we’re talking about selling ideas, nothing is more famous than the billion-dollar sale of Instagram to Facebook in 2012. However, creator Kevin Systrom wrote his first photo-sharing application, Photobox, in 2004. It failed. So he wrote Burbn. That failed too. Eventually, though, he made it.

He’s not alone. Rich lists are full of characters who proudly cite their early failures. Even The Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald discarded the majority of his novel’s first version.

Impulse vs. good habits

If we can turn the smallest failures into successes, why not start with your saving habits? Chances are you’ll need that extra money on the road to wealth. It could be something as simple as starting a Notice Saver Account a new way to save by avoiding impulse purchases. It could be argued that the characters in Gatsby would have benefited from some distance from their own impulses.

Whether your favourite entrepreneur is a somewhat tragic character from a movie or a real-life financial hero worthy of mention on Entrepreneur Day, the inspiration is everywhere this month for those looking to change their financial position.

Who inspires you?