How Buddy the Elf Can Teach Us Enthusiasm

How Buddy the Elf Can Teach Us Enthusiasm

Part I: What Holiday Movies Can Teach Us

Enthusiasm Is Contagious

This time of the year I love to sit and watch some of the classic holiday movies.  It’s part of my holiday tradition.  It made me think about how some of these movies relate to business. For instance, take a six-foot tall adopted elf named Buddy (played by Will Ferrell) who wants to find his birth father, make that father the grumpy James Caan, and throw them together in the midst of New York City and see what happens. Buddy wants a warm and cuddly family reunion; his father Walter wants nothing more than to make this newfound son disappear.

Ah, but this is Christmas, so not only does Buddy convince his new family that syrup tastes good on everything; he also wins the heart of his stepmother, half-brother, and the skeptical Jovie, his new love. And yes, Walter eventually sees the light.

So business owners, here’s your business lesson from Buddy the Elf: “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” 

So… what if you’re not Santa? Buddy would tell you it doesn’t matter. Enthusiasm is catchy. No one is going to be more excited about your business, your product, your podcast, your class, your blog than you are.

Sometimes we feel a little hesitant to show our enthusiasm. It can be risky to show how much we care about something. But if we don’t show our passion, we’re not going to convince anyone else to follow or act on our recommendations.

Think about the last time you went out to eat. If the server gave a bland endorsement for the daily special, you would likely pass on that option. But if she or he said, “I just tried it before my shift and it was delicious!” you’d be a little more likely to order it. Enthusiasm sells.

How Buddy the Elf Can Teach Us Enthusiasm

Here are a few tips on how to be like Buddy the Elf without sounding like a used car salesman (or an escapee from the North Pole):

  • Be honest. Don’t sell or promote something you don’t believe in. It never works – people can tell, and you’ll damage your reputation.
  • Be yourself. You may be the understated type who isn’t going to jump out of a helicopter like Richard Branson to promote your latest business venture. You don’t have to be! (One Richard Branson is enough for this world.) But do show your energy in a way that is natural for you.
  • Be realistic. If you promote every new thing that comes down the block, or have a new solution that you are putting out daily, pretty soon no one is going to listen to you because they will feel overwhelmed. So think like your ideal client and provide them with realistic promotions.

And remember you don’t have to dress up in pointy shoes to get people to buy your new e-course. But hey… if the shoe fits… why not?

Stay tuned for next week. Part II is coming.

Happy holidays everyone!


Wanda Baader

Wanda Baader is a online marketing expert, trainer, consultant and serial entrepreneur. She enjoys working with fellow entrepreneurs and small business owners who need help with social media, Wordpress website development and online branding.

Comments (9)

  • Denise Banks-Grasedyck

    Dec 04, 2013

    Thanks, Wanda! My family just watched this movie again last night! Yes, enthusiasm is contagious, one can’t help but sing along near the end of the movie. When business owners share their enthusiasm with their clients and customers, they are giving a gift they believe in, which makes people want it all the more.

  • Holistic Healthy Lifestyle w/ MichelleVerdugo

    Dec 05, 2013

    This year I’m being more intentional about recording & watching Hallmark holiday movies~! They’re warm & fuzzy & fuel my holiday cheer~!

  • Angela Todd

    Dec 06, 2013

    Ha! I didn’t expect to like “Elf” when I saw it, but I really did. And you hit the nail on the head. His honest enthusiasm is contagious. Effusive, honest excitement. I feel very self-conscious about just this thing in my business, and it’s a great reminder that my enthusiasm comes from my solution, not just straight from me. Thank you!

  • Elaine Wellman

    Dec 07, 2013

    I love Buddy and he’s a great example for us all. Your simple tips are so important to remember. Thanks for the post!

  • Aly Pain

    Dec 08, 2013

    Buddy’s unbridled enthusiasm is a rare thing these days, specifically in business. I mean, that can’t possibly be professional, can it?? I totally agree with your point that it is necessary and it does sell. Specifically with so many solopreneurs in the world, there is no one else going to get your word out as effectively and passionately as you, until you have those precious few clients that will do it with you. Being enthusiastic in business feels daring, and I never back down from a dare!. Thanks so much 🙂

  • Jennifer Bourn

    Dec 08, 2013

    We just watched this movie last night! And yes, enthusiasm IS contagious. Almost all behaviors are contagious … surround yourself with negative people, you’ll feel down. Surround yourself with positive people, you’ll feel happier.

    But, one point you made really makes me happy. “Don’t promote things you don’t believe in.” Can I get an AMEN?!

    I am so tired of the shiesty business people who promote products, programs, and events just to get an affiliate commission … not because they actually have experience with it or believe in it!

  • Wendi Kelly-Life's Little Inspirations

    Dec 08, 2013

    Enthusiasm Sells! (The name of one of my speaking topics…) If you aren’t excited and passionate, you have little home of catching anyone else on fire! You are so right, Buddy is a great example of enthusiasm and faith. Two very important business skills!

  • Jenna

    Dec 08, 2013

    Definitely one of my favorite movies EVER!! It is true enthusiasm is contagious in everything you do, not just business but relationships, friendships, and even working out! This is why doing what you love is important in every facet of your life!

  • Pamela Wills

    Dec 12, 2013

    Great post, Wanda! It is so true that authentic energy trumps all else. Who better to teach us enthusiasm than a Christmas elf?? Love it!

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