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What ‘Scent of a Woman’ can teach us about business (and life) this Thanksgiving

One of my favorite Thanksgiving week traditions is watching “Scent of a Woman.”

There are valuable lessons about business (and life) that can be learned from the two major characters.

A prep school student, Charlie Simms, is faced with a choice over Thanksgiving weekend. He can either sell out his principles and be rewarded, or stay true to himself and likely suffer serious consequences. He must make his decision publicly, in front of his peers.

Retired Lt. Col. Frank Slade is facing a crisis of his own. His glory days appear to be long behind him. Sullen and depressed, he feels like he has no reason to live. He sees Thanksgiving weekend in New York City as his one last hurrah.

Here are three lessons we can learn from this film:

1) Do what’s right, even when it’s inconvenient.

Always do what’s right, no matter what. Put your customers first. Put your employees first. Put your stakeholders first.

Integrity, or lack of it, always shows itself when the chips are down. If doing what’s right brings negative consequences, so be it.

Business, like life, is a marathon, not a sprint. Character always reveals itself in the end. Always.

2) It’s never too late to turn things around.

Like Col. Slade, many executives suffer through less-than-optimal circumstances, thinking they have no control over them.

Thanksgiving weekend gave Col. Slade a fresh perspective on life. There are things you can do to give yourself a fresh perspective, as well.

If things aren’t working out for you, try something different. Exercise. Listen to motivational podcasts. Volunteer. Do things that make you happy.

Your mind is a powerful thing. Do things that remind yourself why you do what you do. Attitude is everything.

3) Surround yourself with the right people.

Charlie and Col. Slade needed each other. Charlie’s integrity gave Col. Slade the courage he needed to go forward. Charlie needed Col. Slade to come to his defense and protect his future.

If you need help with your marketing, be sure you have the right people in your corner. Our targeted digital advertising — forged by years of experience in southwest Missouri and surrounding areas — is second to none.

If you’re ready to grow your business, request a free consultation.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Jacob Brower is the president of Archer’s Bow Media. He has 20 years of experience in mass media, many of which he spent as the chief executive of a state and national award-winning media group in southwest Missouri. He was named among the nation’s top 25 media professionals under age 35 by Editor & Publisher magazine in 2016. Call or text him at 417-592-3505, or email him at



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