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I watched Top Gun Maverick a few days ago. 

Thoroughly enjoyed it. It was noisy, I’ll admit, but I expected nothing less of a fighter plane action movie! 

Only when I was thinking back on it later did I realise that it had some great lessons in it for entrepreneurs. 

Here’s what I learned (made an effort to not give away any spoilers!) 

  1. It’s not the plane. It’s the pilot. 

Near the beginning of the movie, while Maverick is coaching the younger pilots on the mission, he tells them, “It’s not the plane. It’s the pilot.” He repeats the same phrase later on in the movie again, to reinforce the meaning. 

There’s an important thing to remember here. He’s not saying you don’t NEED a plane. He’s not saying it’s cool if your plane can’t get off the ground. 

But he IS saying that your mindset, your skills, and your actions are the more important part of the equation. 

So often I hear clients say things like “But I don’t have X software”, or “I don’t have enough capital to invest in automation systems”, or some other version of “I don’t have all of the fancy tools.” 

The tools don’t make the business. It’s you. Clients don’t pay for the tools. They pay for you, your knowledge, your expertise, and your help. 

  1. Don’t think, just do. 

Maverick stresses the importance of not thinking, just doing. Now I understand that being a fighter pilot and being an entrepreneur are different in this sense. 

Spending too much time on a decision when you’re moving at Mach 2 could be fatal. Taking a bit of thinking time in business most likely won’t be! 

But it does highlight the fact that many of us spend far too much time thinking about what we should do rather than doing something… Anything. 

Thinking too much is a form of procrastination. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet, just do it, and then deal with whatever comes afterwards. 

So if you’re toying with whether or not to reach out to that influencer, ask for advice, invest in that software, add a new offering, or whatever else… Don’t think, just do. And then take steps from there, depending on the outcome. 

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  1. Choose your crew wisely. 

The people you surround yourself with matter. In the movie, the flight instructors are the best of the best. They’re teachers, mentors, and inspiring to the younger pilots. 

The younger pilots are surrounded with people who they aspire to be like. Even though they’re the best in the field, they have more to learn from the experienced pilots. 

They learn from each other. Listen to one another. Trust one another. They don’t always like each other, but they understand the value of being surrounded by people who’ve got their backs. 

In business, the same principle stands. Surround yourself with people whose opinions you can trust, people you can learn from, and those who you know will have your back and encourage you. 


If you want to be mentored by a Maverick-like coach with decades of experience, I’m accepting applications for my Elite CMO offer. 

I’ll be tough on you, but you’ll fly like a fighter pilot when I’m done 😉 

Hope I haven’t given away any huge spoilers, but you should definitely watch the movie if you get a chance! 

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Tom Cruise was right

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